Monday, April 9, 2012

~ Me and Annie Sloan, Part 1 ~


A photo of Annie Sloan and Me!
It's so amazing to think of how my life has changed in the last year.
I recently found my receipt for the very first can of Chalk Paint™
that I purchased from Patty Seaman of Classic Wall Finishes.
The date was March 31st, 2011!!
This picture was taken March 31st, 2012.'s been one heck of a year.
lots more pics in a minute...
I would like to begin my post with a little story.
After being invited to teach at the Boston stop of the Annie Sloan North American Tour, I called the company travel agent to book my flight reservation.
Joe, the owner, was very friendly and also offered to secure a seat assignment.
I told Joe I loved window seats because I could lean on the wall and go to sleep and I loved looking out the window.
Sadly all that was available was an aisle at the very back of the plane.
I despise aisle seats at the back!!
Having retired from Continental Reservations, I knew that sometimes airlines release a few forward seats as flight time nears.
A gal could hope.
The morning of the flight, at 4am, I used my iphone to check in for my 8:30 am flight.
The website asked if I would like to change my seat....
Could I be that lucky???
As I scanned the aircraft map....there she was 34A.
The most beautiful little window seat you ever saw.
(ok, not really, but I was pretty darn excited)
I grabbed it and headed out to the airport with a spring in my step.
After the dreaded security check..
shoes off 
body scan
body pat down
gun powder on fingers wipe
Really I look that dangerous??
I finally got to my gate
My section of the plane was called for boarding and I proceeded
down the aircraft aisle.
As I got all the way to the back, I started checking the overhead
seat numbers and eagerly searching for 34A.
I spot 34A and looked down to the seat itself..
My coveted window seat is being occupied by
Sweet Annie and her lovely husband David
are sitting in my row 34.
In her lilting English accent, Annie says..
"Oh Janet, we just scooted in, you don't mind do you?"
If you guys think I want to be known as the blogger who bumped Annie Sloan out of her 
window seat, you are crazy!!
I would probably lose 75% of my readers!!
So there I was ..right back where I began
In the aisle
But what an aisle...1 1/2 hours of delightful chatting with Annie and David!! can have my window seat anytime you like.

Just some of the beautiful painted pieces on display
The Leesburg Stop on the Annie Sloan Tour
was wonderful.
All the attendees were greeted by a beautiful display of painted pieces all staged vignette style.
Everyone was touching the finishes and taking lots of photos.
My job was to coordinate the vignette features and a big 
to all the talented ladies who participated.
You rocked it ladies!!
Leesburg enjoyed the largest turnout of the tour.
We love our Annie in these parts!

One of my favorite event times was the magical meeting of 
Marian Parsons, aka Miss Mustard Seed and Annie Sloan
truly a match made in Heaven.
Absolutely a Mutual Admiration Society happening here.
I know Marian is recuperating from surgery
and I am so very grateful that she 
took the time to attend and to showcase a beautiful piece of furniture.
Many thanks are one classy lady!!

My dear friend and DC Metro Stockist,
posing with Miss Mustard Seed.
It was so great getting to meet many readers of my blog and when they wanted a photo with me, I had to laugh. want a photo with ME????
You all made me feel like Queen for a day!
My 15 minutes of fame
If you guys are reading this...I would love a copy of those photos for my blog!

Celeste, Annie and Kelly from Stylish Patina
Having a good laugh. 
Annie does a lot of laughing.
I love that about her.

At Leesburg, I was one of Celeste's assistants.
Celeste is a very talented teacher and we had a wonderful class full of eager women.

We had a great 4 hours of painting and they all left with beautiful sample boards and a new appreciation of what Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ and brand is all about.
Annie spent about 30 minutes in each classroom
answering questions and talking about her upcoming projects.
Here is Annie telling our workshop class all about her upcoming workbook, fabric line and about her shop philosophy.
She is such an engaging speaker and so very approachable.

Me and Annie's wonderful husband, David Manuel. 
What a delight David is to talk to...he showed such a sincere interest in everyone he met.
He and Annie are two peas in a pod.

and after the event....
It was time to 
Here's to you Annie!

We all went to Lightfoot, a beautiful restaurant, that was once a bank in Old Town Leesburg.
The architecture was incredible..the food delicious and the company divine.

Sloan Rangers Debbie, Bahia and Bri.

Annie, Celeste, the cute bartender and lovely Rita.
Lot's of smiles and good times!

Annie's husband, David, Celeste, Kelly and Amy.
So sorry about the quality...the lighting was nightclub style....dark.

Lightfoot's upstairs bar area....we even had a piano player singing Elton John tunes!

via flickr
Just look at this ceiling!
Everyone had a great time and we hated to see it end.
But end it did.....
Next post
On to BOSTON!!!!
Until next kind and stay creative.
PS....cannot sign off without showing my appreciation to some very smart and hardworking women.
Teryl and Lisa
and of course the grand DC Metro Stockist herself and my partner in crime...
you amaze me more each time I see you!
Kudos also to the home team back in New Orleans
this would not have run as smoothly as it did without you.


Tracey@Breathing English Air said...

Goodness me, how very un-English of them, stealing seats, lol. I bet there will be a few readers green with envy after reading this post!
Looks like a fantastic event. I'm glad you had such a great time.

Gretel said...

Oh Janet, I have a tear in my eye and a smile on my face, you are beautiful! What an amazing outing, I'm so very proud of you and wishing I could have been there - even though I admit my interest in furniture painting is watching other people do it. YOU rock Janet!

NanaDiana said...

Janet-What a wonderful, uplifting post this morning....even if you did mention Annie Sloan and seat thief in the same sentence! lol I am so glad that things went so well for you. What an opportunity to get to actually meet someone that is a "hero" to you. I'll bet you are on a high for weeks. I can't wait to hear more! xo Diana

Lady Courtney said...

I'm so excited to be hearing about your tour...;) and looking forward to part 2. And Gretel is right, YOU rock Janet!!!

Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

I am so glad you had a wonderful time. As your only reader who probably needs to google Annie Sloan, I am so glad this was a great trip for you. I know it must have been so important. Leigh

Danielle said...

Janet, what a lovely post! The photos are fantastic and it sounded like the Leesburg event was so much fun. It was so great to meet you and Celeste up in Boston. Hope to see you again soon! x

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

HI janet! Ha! I loved this post~so fun to hear your version of the behind the scenes ASCP workshop in Leesburg. Can't wait to read about Boston too...I need your phone number sister, gotta give you a call!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

What fun and what a funny story about the airplane seat! Hated missing the Atlanta tour.

Kelly Ann said...

I really going to need to attach bricks to your feet to keep you from floating up to the are truly walking on air right now...yippee for you...

Michelle G said...

Janet, you are amazing! I Loved you the moment we met. ( I know that sounds sooooo cheesey! BUT it is true, your a gem! ) Thanks for recounting your story its a pleasure to read, and great morning motivation!
All the best to you! xx Michelle

Joanne said...

So very proud of my big sister!!!! Love you :)

Hartwood Roses said...

I am so happy that your Annie Sloan workshops went so well!! No one deserves all the attention and accolades more than you do, Janet my dear. The Leesburg event was such a success because of the hard work and ingenuity of the organizers ... puff out your chest and be proud of what you have done.

Now take a deep breath and get back to work.

Melanie said...

Wonderful post, Janet. :) Those vignettes looked amazing. Great job there!! Hope you got a window seat on your return flight-and Annie did too!!

Anonymous said...

I have been so much looking forward to know everything about your experience! Thanks for sharing! I feel so happy for you. I have met Annie myself and she is such a Lady! just standing by her side is already inspiring. And you start getting used to people asking for pics!!

Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes said...

Sounds like a day in Heaven- learning to paint with Annie herself! And then ending up at my favorite restaurant, Lightfoot, too. Wow! Janet, you almost take us there with your wonderful post. Thanks!

CM Shaw said...

I have to tell you, I have been completely inspired by your chalk painting. I was on the fence about ASCP and doing a bunch of research about it before I took the $200 plunge and bought Patty's furniture finishing kit. I found your blue and green sideboard while I was stocking the internet and that was all it took! I am way too much of a spaz to work solely in white and linen, and that was all I was seeing until I saw your stuff. Color! Innovation! Woman you are amazing. I am having my own ASCP sale with all kinds of things refinished in beautiful colors (along with some original art and vintage treasures, barn sale style). Thanks for being willing to share your creative heart and mind with us beginners.

Shells in the Garden said...

Hi Janet...I met you at the Leesburg AS event. You helped me figure out how to leave "comments" on people's blogs. Loved the workshop and was so inspired. Lovely meeting you...have a wonderful Spring...Michele

Maria @ All Things Luxurious said...

Can't wait for the next installment, Janet! How exciting! :-)

Amy W. said...

I'd like to consider myself as being your Star Cheerleader Reader amongs all of your other faithful peeps!
It's amazing to see the trails your ablazing these days...and yet...inside I secretly knew this would happen as you have so blessed myself and others through-out the many, many months with your kindness, creativity, and diligence!!
All I can say..(in a Cheerleader's Rant and Shout) GO GIRL, YOU GO GIRL, YOU GO GIRL!!!!

The LadyBugs Garden said...

I know you were in hog heaven. Like they say. Your dream was to see Annie and it came true. I was excited for you Janet. Also you got to meet so many other Bloggers in person. What a wonder trip.

Joi said...

Janet, I was at the Leesburg event - flew all the way from Texas, and had the most. fun. ever. Annie is just the best! I hope there is a "next time" and that it is a two-day event so we can extend the bliss!