Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tales of this shopkeeper III

It was last fall as I was doing research ie. checking out products, reading blogs, etc. that I kept seeing "chalk paint."  Pictures were posted by others claiming the wonderful benefits of this paint and, I have to admit, I was impressed!!  I just had to try it as that's what we do at Winsome Cottage.....we paint furniture.  Well, to make what could be a very word-y and lengthy story shorter......I bought the paint and wax and brushes.  It was love at first use and even though I was using it like latex (because that's all I knew) I couldn't believe how wonderful it was! Every piece I painted sold very quickly......hence, the reason that we are now in our third week of carrying Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.  I stand behind this great product with lots of enthusiasm!!  The "tough sell" was my husband as he is the main painter for our business.  I won't go into all the reasons he was such a skeptic but I can honestly say that now he is a true fan!  I've included a few photos of furniture we've had the pleasure of painting with this non-latex, no prep, quick drying, low VOC product.

Paris gray and old white

Duck egg blue

Chateau gray with dark wax; Louis blue interior

Close up of old white with dark wax
We are hoping to eventually be "latex free" in the shop by summer.  I'm sharing all of this because you "do it yourself-ers" would love this paint AND you that are fearful of "do it yourself" projects would find how easy and successful you can be painting your own projects.  And that leads me to this.....a beginner's workshop will be held at Winsome Cottage on Thursday, February 23 from 6:30 to 9:00.  We will cover the basics of doing a two color project.  The workshop will be taught by talented, Debra Campbell, of Wallartistry Studios.  She has lots of experience behind her.  You will go home with a finished project and lots of encouragement to begin using this fabulous paint.  If you are interested, you can comment here; contact me on Facebook or email me at shopwinsome@yahoo.com.
Last but not at all least, I spent a bit of time working at the shop the other night and came up with this little project that is now in our front window for sale......simple items and materials.  Here they are:  an old kitchen cabinet door/glass; cast iron hooks; stencils; Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I used Emperor's Silk)

Oh, man! Don't you Love this color??? Okay, just dip the tips of your brush in the paint then dab it almost dry on paper towel.....

As you can see I used a simple pack of cardboard stencils...I taped my stencil down but you can use stencil spray and it will keep your paint from slipping underneath.  I just held parts of it down with my fingers as I went. Use a pouncing or stippling method to fill in the stencil.  I used numbers but you could do letters for the first initial of someone's name.....
Attach the hooks and you're done!! What a great piece for a mudroom, kid's room, bathroom.....you name it!  So simple...a quick result project.  Oh, and we put "d" rings on the back to hang it. Love the fact that it's an old kitchen cabinet door and love the graphics of the numbers.......and love that we used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!!  We are a local retail partner for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint....go to
http://www.anniesloanunfolded.com/ for a local retail partner near you:)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tales of this shopkeeper

I LOVE Saturdays at Winsome....the sun is pouring in the windows this morning and customers are cheery and chatty.  I just finished ringing up a lady who is from Venezuela.  Her American friend asks "How do you, on an emtional level, allow yourself to paint these old pieces? I mean," she continues "I have an old sideboard at home that I would love to paint but it was my grandmothers."
I LOVE that I have such intelligent customers with feelings!  So, I talk to her about the fact that most of our pieces are in need of being rescued with parts missing or finishes in bad shape and that we look at it as giving the piece a new life. Besides, there is no emotional attachment to these pieces.  I remind her that in our history we did  paint furniture and that people are still paying hefty prices for those old pieces with original paint....it was a good conversation; not sure if she'll paint or not.

At the back of the shop behind the door that says "employees only" are the sounds of sanding and pounding and painting.  My husband is hard at work "restyling" a piece and this is why I LOVE Saturdays at Winsome!
He is my best friend and business partner.  He is 50% of our business and he "gets it!"  I am so blessed to be taking this journey with him!

One of my favorite customers enters.....we are glad to see each other!  She's brought three of her sisters with her and they are laughing and talking as they make their way around the shop.  One has spied a french wall basket and wants me to show her how to use it....there's a small crash in the back....someone caught their purse on a wire basket and it's contents (unbreakable) have spilled onto the floor....there's a hush and I say "that happens, it's okay".....and now there is snickering from relief that nothing's broken.  The sister with the french basket is at the counter ready to purchase.  I finish scooping up the fallen items and hurry to the register....the hammering and sanding continues in the back and I am so content to be right here at this moment....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tales of this shopkeeper.....

It's 4:45 pm on a Wednesday afternoon.  A very sweet lady just left with a purchase of six glass knobs and a smile on her face.  She's a do it yourself -er with dreams of "restyling" an old dresser that has sat for years in the basement.  I love those conversations and never tire of them.  Oh, the possibilities!!
It's been a relatively quiet day but productive.  A delivery this morning of spring merchandise has kept me busy and excited thinking ahead of how I will merchandise all of it.  The wheels are spinning!! I have checked the order for breakage, amounts, backordered items.  Have priced and put up everything, cut down boxes and gathered excess packaging, made a pile of bubble wrap to be used again.
Now as the work day comes to a close I sweep, straighten and make my way around the shop turning off lamps and twinkle lights as I go.  Key in the register to run a "Z" tape, drawer pops open and I empty it of cash and record my totals.
Overhead lights off, coat, purse, etcetera's in hand I open the shop door to head home.  As I turn to close and put my key in the lock I look one more time inside.  This is a dream come true, a vision realized, a "work of heart."
Please join me on this "never a dull moment" journey as I share with you tales of this shopkeeper....Marykay