Tuesday, April 9, 2013

~ Me..Annie Sloan..New Orleans and making new friends ~

Hello friends...guess where I spent last week???

In the Big Easy!!
New Orleans, Louisiana
Every year Lisa Mobley Rickert, the CEO of Annie Sloan Unfolded, invites all of the Stockists for Chalk Paint® decorative paints by Annie Sloan, to her hometown of New Orleans.
And what a town it is!!!!
And what a wonderful time I had!!!

Thanks Mary Corso for the beautiful scarf!
It was five days filled with new friends.
Fellow European Stockists from places like
 Denmark(Hello Adri!!), England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Poland and France.
Talented and lovely ladies..every single one of them.

We all became fast friends through our love of Chalk Paint® and Annie.

Lisa and the Unfolded team had arranged for us to enjoy a scavenger hunt through the beautiful art gallery district of the French Quarter.
many thanks to Michelle Gallant for these great photos!
We were given a wine glass at the first gallery stop and a clue to the item we were to hunt for.
So much fun!
Once we found all the clues and had our cards punched to verify, we headed to the fabulous Presbytere Museum for a private party.

Ok...here is where the photos get a bit fuzzy. dim lighting and cell phone do not make for clear photos. But I think you will get the feeling that a fabulous time was had by all.
See that crazy, lovely, funny gal next to me? That is the incomparable Claire from France and she is one witty and wonderful gal. Claire owns a beautiful Flower shop in Brittany called
and she is also a Stockist for Chalk Paint®.
I brought a little bit of France back to The Empty Nest from Claire. That's for another post.
Many of you will recognize the talented Amy Chalmers from Maison Decor blog, second from the left and to the far left is the wonder woman herself Robyn Story of Robyn Story Designs.

Ok...so we got a little silly after a few many glasses of wine.
Hello Claire!

I adore this lady..hard working and super talented.

The many gallery owners really made us feel right at home.
If you look closely at the mirror to the left, 
you will see me and Annie chatting with Vickie from Switzerland.
The handsome man on the left is Annie's husband David Manuel.

Say hello to Vickie aka 'Sparkles' from England. 
She owns a lovely shop called Bateau Rouge, in Switzerland
I bought so many lovely French treasures for The Empty Nest from Vickie. 

And did I tell you about the food?????
OMGoodness the food in New Orleans is the BEST!!!
Stockist, April James, was having a romantic moment with a lobster.

Can't go to New Orleans without enjoying some crawfish!

When it came to entertaining and feeding us, this hotel was tops.
Every lunch and cocktail party was filled with delicious dishes of every variety.

Loved the colorful exteriors of the buildings in the French Quarter.

The antique shops and galleries are some of the best in the country.
This particular shop the Bevelo Gas & Electric Light shop was spectacular.
As I was walking in, I met Annie and David leaving and Annie told me to be sure and go all the way to the back room.
I walked into this little back room and just stood in awe of the beauty.

Just look at this beautiful mirror and the gilding.
My first thought was..."I could get this look with Chalk Paint® in Florence/Clear/Dark wax 
and either gold leaf or French Gilding Wax."

I called this room 
'Decayed Elegance'
Crumbling walls with shades of Duck Egg Blue peeling paint and plaster

The chandeliers were stunning.

Oh My..Oh My..Oh My!!!
I wanted one of everything

The walls!!!!!

Who doesn't love exposed brick.

The metal art was divine

This is one of my favorite images.
What faux finish artist would not kill to be able to replicate this wall.
I want this look in my home!

Each shop and gallery was better than the last.
Lets just say New Orleans knows a thing or two about chandeliers!

And window dressing!

Loved the placement of a statue and the lighting that reflected it onto the church wall.
Very cool.

On to the Presbytere where we drank wine, 
ate local delicacies and jammed to the Jazz band.

Lisa announced the winners of the gallery scavenger hunt...
Lisa had personally chosen a gift form each of the galleries we visited.
Lisa has very good taste, so I knew the prizes were going to be good.

Guess who won one of the prizes?????
I won a set of 8 of these beautiful ruby red and 22 karat gold tumblers!
The cell phone pic does not do them justice...they are stunning!!
Many thanks Lisa!!

And then we have Annie Sloan herself. 
I am so proud to call Annie a friend...a real friend. Not just someone you talk to once a year, but someone I chat with on Facebook or a quick private message or email. She is so approachable and down to earth. She never makes you feel as if you are bothering her when she is asked to sign a book or pose for a photo (for the millionth time). She just smiles and and says "of course".
I admire her so much.

Signing my Color Recipes book.
So that was my whirlwind week with Annie.
It's back to the shop and I am ready to take on new projects and make 
The Empty Nest
the very best it can be.
Thanks for all the great advice Annie!

Until next time...be kind and stay creative!
PS....next post I will be doing a tutorial on fabric dying with Chalk Paint®, so do come back. Also be sure to click on the Workshop tab under my header as the April workshops have been posted. Many seats are sold out already, so don't wait too long to call the shop.
For a workshop in your area go to 
for a Chalk Paint® Stockist near you!



Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Great recap~loved seeing it through your eyes. Sooooo many wonderful moments!

Shingle Cottage said...

Oh my gosh i just loved this post!
The pictures are fabulous and give a real feel for what a wonderful time was had by all,I'm going to have to go look at those chandeliers again and that stunning mirror.
Love the picture of you with Annie too xxx

Cheryl said...

Great post Janet. Of course you look to have been having a wonderful time.Glad to have you back though!

Susan Osborne said...

Janet! Love this post - your treasure hunt took you to different galleries than mine did, so now I've seen twice as many gorgeous places! Until next year, my dear........

April James said...

Oh Janet! I just love you girl!! It was an amazing week for sure. I will never forget my special time with my little lobster boyfriend and all my new girlfriends! Time to take on the world! :)

AnnieK said...

My daughter used to work in that hat shop!! Looks like a fabulous time...thanks for sharing :-)

NanaDiana said...

Janet- How absolutely wonderful for all of you. I see several faces there that I recognize. What a special trip/adventure and thanks for sharing it here- xo Diana

Lisa Rickert said...

Janet, I am so pleased that you enjoyed the conference and the wonderful city I call home. Can't wait to see you again soon!

Sparklers said...

Lovely blog post Janet. Really touched on all of the great parts of the trip. So lovely to get to meet and know you. Desperate to come back next year! If you're even en Suisse, give me a buzz! xxxx

Maria Chappel said...

Wow, I love how these turned out! I am feeling motivated to give etching a try...I don't know why it seemed so 'scary' to me. LOL interior glass doors

Claire said...

Wow, what a wonderful 5 days Janet......
New Orleans, is an amazing place, we visited 15 years ago and it was great....the loudest thunder storms ever!!
Looks like you had some great company and have come away with some wonderful inspiration and motivation. A very successful trip by all accounts.

Claire x

Anne said...

Wow! Such amazing talent all together! My head would be spinning! Looking forward to learn more from you! Thanks Janet!
Anne Dees

Anonymous said...

omg!! I am sooo copying all those pictures!!! What a week!! and what a great experience to join the North America team! You are such a great group of people.. Janet, Brighton is counting on you!!! xoxoxo

Hartwood Roses said...

What a wonderful week it must have been!! Looks like you will have to go back to the shop to recover from your trip ... all charged up and ready to take advantage of all of your creative urges.

Erin said...

Janet- Thank-you for the great recap in pictures. It was fun to scroll through.... I had such a great time meeting everyone! Until next year....

Debbie Borthwick said...

Your pictures are gorgeous, what a town! My husband was there on business once and told me we have to go sometime, told me I'd love it.
I recognized the stockist (Kathie) near me that I purchase product from! I knew she was down there and have signed up for a class to learn some new techniques and ideas she brought back with her. Can't wait!