Saturday, August 25, 2012

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint 'CHIPPY' Video

Hello friends..
Hope you are all well and ready to enjoy the weekend.
I have been super busy at  The Empty Nest and I am so sorry if I have been a little AWOL on all of your lovely blogs.
I need and 8th day in my week!

I started painting an old dresser using
 Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint
in Ironstone.
Ironstone is a clean linen white, however I was having a bit of trouble
with the chipping process.
Especially the 'chipping before the second coat' occurrence. 
Well Marian's ears must have been burning, because her newest video
talks about this very thing!
Marian's video answered every question I was having...
Thank you for being a mind reader Miss Mustard Seed
Oh more thing she is good at...

I hope you enjoyed this video and I know it will help you to be more confident when you tackle your first piece of milk paint furniture.
Until next kind and stay creative!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

~ October Chalk Paint™ decorative paint workshop schedule ~

All September classes are FULL.
Many thanks to all who have shown an interest in my workshops.
My October classes are also now FULL.
November classes are currently being planned!

Hello friends..
It's that time again
Time for my October Chalk Paint™ classes!
so here you go
I have three workshops planned
One Advanced Workshop
One Beginner Workshop
and one
'Bring Your Own Piece'

Lot's of fun was had at the last 
'BYOP' class

Just look what they painted!!
Having never painted with Chalk Paint™by Annie Sloan
I think they did quite nicely

I hope some of you can fit a class into your busy schedules and join in the fun!
Discover the magic of Annie's paints and see why for over 20 years, 
people have been transforming outdated pieces into 
beautiful hand painted treasures.
I will be offering

Advanced Workshop
October 5th.....Friday

Beginner Workshop
October 21st....Sunday
'Bring Your Own Piece"
October 26th....Friday

Advanced  Workshop Includes

Use of all paints and supplies needed
Light refreshments will be served
Techniques learned will include
Stenciling (Annie Sloan freeform style)
24k Gold Leaf
French Gilding Waxes

Beginners Chalk Paint Workshop Includes
 Use of all paints and supplies needed
Light refreshments will be served

You will learn:

All about Chalk Paint™ decorative paints

Assorted painting techniques such as


   2 layer


   Wet distress
   Dry distress
  Application of Clear and Dark waxes
  Coloring waxes
Trouble shooting with problem furniture pieces
In addition to sample boards, a small take home piece will be painted 
using techniques learned in class

Please call or email to hold place in class as seating is limited to 8 students per class. 
'Bring Your Own Piece'
Each student may bring a small piece of furniture, picture frame, chair or home decor item.
You must be able to carry your piece unassisted into the shop..
Don't make me send you home !
If in doubt, call me and we will talk.
Please have your piece cleaned and ready to paint.
Class fee is all inclusive and refreshments and friendship will be served.
Credit Cards accepted.
shop phone: 540-216-3044

Saturday, August 11, 2012

~ how to paint slick surfaces with Chalk Paint™ decorative paints by Annie Sloan ~

Hello my friends!
I am slowly getting back into the routine of blogging.
I must share with you how well my little shop is being received.
I LOVE meeting so many interesting people everyday.
I can't wait to get there in the morning and I hate to leave at night.
I know this is a job...but does not feel like work!!!
so today I want to share a little painting project I worked on over the weekend.
Last week I bought two full size porcelain rabbits at a local thrift shop.
Cute...but really needed some love.

I mean really...look at this little guy.....way too shiny and a little scary looking.
Who's idea was it to dress this guy up with a funky blue ribbon???
He is just screaming out for some magical Chalk Paint™ decorative paint from Annie Sloan.
Did you know Chalk Paint™ would adhere to glassy porcelain?
It absolutely does!
There is a technique though and I am happy to share it with you.

Here are my bunnies..yup, there were two ugly black mottled bunnies, after two coats of Old White. I have found that the secret to painting on super slick surfaces like glassy porcelain is to not try too hard.
By that I mean don't try to get full coverage all in one coat. I painted one coat of Old White, not worrying about complete coverage. Don't overwork your brushstrokes. You need to apply a light coat quickly and leave it alone!!! Like overnight leave it alone. The more you try to brush  paint over bare spots, the  more you simply keep picking up the previous coat. 
Let the first coat fully dry..THEN apply a second coat and the same technique applies.
Lay on the second coat and leave it alone to dry..don't mess with it!
The above rabbits have two full coats of Old White, over the span of two days.

Here are two lovely rabbits  with two coats of Old White and a coat of Step 1 of
 Annie Sloan's wonderful 
Craqueleur  Varnish Crackle.
Have I told you how much I LOVE this product??
Yeah..I pretty much LOVE IT!!!

Step two is now applied and depending how thickly I apply it, will determine how bigs the cracks are.
Step 2 is a heat activated step and at this point I hit the rabbit with a blow dryer to get the crackling process going.
Your won't really see the cracks..they are very small and hidden, but once step 2 is dry..
the magic will happen.
Liberally apply dark wax all over the piece and rub it into the cracks.
Your beautiful cracks all come to life.
Pick up some clear wax and wipe all over your piece 
to clean off all the residue dark wax on your piece

This is what the final effect will be.
Beautiful crackly, crazed and antiqued gorgeousness.
Can you say 

The lovely thing about Annie's crackle medium is that it doen't touch the paint, but crackles the varnish.
So cool!
You are able to achieve an antiqued old world varnish crackle.

Hands down my favorite product!
You can get lovely looks with this product and try to attend a local workshop for some real fun.
Remember...go to to find a stockist and workshop near you!
I think my after rabbit is much more spectacular than the before version.
What do you think?????

Until next kind and stay creative.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

~ ask and they will come ~

Hello friends..
Last spring I was enjoying our lovely Warrenton Spring Fair and I met a man at one of the vendor booths.
Turns out he was a reporter for the local county newspaper, The Fauquier Times Democrat. I introduced myself and told him I was opening a new shop on Main Street and he was going to want to interview me.
Yeah...I'm pushy that way!
Well guess what?
a couple of days ago he dropped by The Empty Nest and wanted to interview me!!!!
He did a wonderful job describing the real essence of my shop.
Thanks Don Del Rosso!

image courtesy Randy/Fauquier Times Democrat
So I say to my fellow business owners...
don't wait to be discovered...go out there and drag those reporters in!!!
It just might pay off.
Until next kind and stay creative.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

~ My Grand Opening ~

You are all cordially invited to the 
Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting
The Empty Nest
92 Main St. Suite 102
Warrenton, Va overload!!

My large display window is staged to look like a lovely vintage sewing room.
It features an antique vanity painted in Duck Egg Blue and Graphite tops, a French chair in Old White and an old White sewing machine (that works!) which I found at the DUMP.
I know...crazy..who throws this stuff out????
One of my Couture Aprons is featured also (it's sold already).

The Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce
was gracious enough to host a lovely
ribbon cutting ceremony.

Here I am thanking my sweet sister-in-law sister, Wendy, for driving all the way from New York to help me.
Mr. Secret Agent got called out of town the week before my opening.
I could not have been ready in time for the opening without her.

Ok...lets cut that ribbon!!!!

Flowers from my dear friend Toni!

All aboard the 
Empty Nest Train!
My friends came from far and near to help me celebrate my new venture.

Come on in and take a look around!

Mr. Secret Agent built all my display tables and my check-out table.
Thank you my dear.

Lots of lovely silver bling!
I adore mismatched little silver pieces for sweet table top vignettes.

Sales were very good!

My buddy and personal cheerleader, KellyAnn. 
Kelly owns a fabulous quilt shop here in Warrenton.

I think this is the moment I realized I had to feed all these shoppers!

So great to see all my friends browsing my little shop.

Susan Emory one half of the Swirly Girls Quilting fame, doing some shopping.

My new friend and student Donna. She is an admitted Chalk Paint™ fan and a good customer.
I think this is her telling me that she just bought everything off one of my display tables..

The side bars and the clothesline across the display tables was my idea.
I wanted to bring the eyes up to distract from the high ceilings.
I think it worked!
Plus my Janet Hill prints look darling hanging from the clothesline.

My high school friend and student, Missy, drove all the way from Washington, DC.
I'm sure she is talking Chalk Paint™ with my friend and student, Ann.

Ann's talented husband sketched the front of my shop and presented me with a framed original.
How sweet and special is that?

This is Alessandra, who is the creator and designer behind Lala's Pequenos, a fabulous infant wear online shop.
Alessandra and her business partner Annabelle Quigley will be opening a brand new creative studio
just a few doors down from me.
I am so very excited about their new creative venture called Confetti Studio.
They are two super talented ladies.

Paying at the check-out table

Even the resident pooch from Be Boutique, my neighbor, got in on the fun.
Hello Bear!

Love how my doors that I painted with Chalk Paint™ decorative paints,  brightened up my walls.

My pretty felted (fulled) wool and cashmere children's sweaters 
took their places of honor in my new shop.
I create these by shrinking thrifted adult sweaters, cutting them up and reconstructing them with lot's of embellishments.

You will always find beautiful porcelain of my passions.

That a those credit cards!

cell phone pic courtesy of 11 Magnolia Lane..the blog
Terry and Amy, my friends from the fun blog 11 Magnolia Lane stopped by to say hello and see my shop. They must come back and bring the third Magnolia Gal, Christy, next time.

The cute blonde is Tracey...also a former Chalk Paint™ student and friend of the 11 Magnolia gals.
The area that you see being reflected in the vintage mirror is my workshop area.
I held my very first Chalk Paint™ workshop there last wek and it so fabulous!!!!

Here are a few photos I took around the shop this week

Hey Teddi...recognize this?????

Pretty new knobs.

I love how my checkout table turned out. I used tension rods to hang simple unhemmed fabric from underneath.
So soft and pretty!

Great vintage looking bookplates..perfect teachers gift!!!!

Lots of little birds nests all around.

Sweet brass kitty

Lately I have been on the hunt for vintage globes...LOVE them!

Most of my aprons have sold

I have some very unique tea cups and saucers. 
Gorgeous colors

Look at this very cool brass lamp I the glass ball.

Love my Jacobean Cabinet in Cream with stenciled interior.

Old gaudy gold wood frame I found at a thrift shop. 
A little Florence from the Chalk Paint™ decorative paints color chart and dark wax...
She is Old World beautiful now.

Many pretty make-up bags to choose from.
I had a lady buy eight to put gift cards in to give to her nieces.
Great wrapping needed!

Wonderful soy candles from Harmony Farms and made by my blog friend Erin.
The Lavender and Lemon Cookie are heavenly!!!!
I love the clean lines of the canning jars.

The glittered vintage gift tags and paper line are proving to be very popular.
Aren't these sweet?

All my painted doors make such great backdrops for all my aprons.

Everyone comments on the 1930's painted windows and doors that fill my walls.

A few days before the opening, It was late and I was trying to figure out how to better display all of Annie's colors.
I kept looking at that color chart hanging to the left and then looking at the white wall to my right...
Why not make my wall a giant color chart!!!!
Everyone loves it and customers are coming in with pillows and fabric which they are holding up to all the colors, to get ideas.

A fellow Stockist Michelle Gallant of Canada shared her 'WE DO' idea and I turned it into a poster for my shop.
This is my business mission statement.

It was so great holding my first workshop in my very own studio.

So to is my shop before.....
And I was worried about filling this space...Ha!
Well, it has been two weeks and business has been 
My community has really embraced not only me, but the idea of my shop. 
For that I say a huge and heartfelt
Tomorrow is Wednesday
and I have a super special something to share with you!!!!
If you are ever in the vicinity of Warrenton, Va
please do stop by, have a cup of coffee and say hello.
And you if you happen to catch me here on my days off ...knock on the door..I'll let you in!
Until next kind and stay creative.

PS...a sweet out of town customer called my shop a
"destination shop"
it gave me goosbumps
Happy to once again sharing with these other wonderful blogs