Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tales of this shopkeeper - Repurposed

We've had this old utility cart in our storage area for quite some time. It's still in good shape but it needed a purpose:) This one was my husband's idea and I loved it! Here's what he did.... Cut boards to make a base on the cart. Roound the corners and stain the wood. Attach them to the cart so it looks like this....
Hmmmm, let's see. What could we use this for?
Cute, huh? Just wheel it out on your deck and place pots of your favorite flowers on top and bottom! Or how about your screen porch? We like it enough to put it in one of the shop windows....the industrial side, of course! Happy repurposing!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tales of this Shopkeeper - A Romantic Homes Magazine Surprise...!

On our way to the shop in the truck one night to paint, paint, paint my phone beeped and there was an email. My husband and I had both had a hectic day and, really, we were tired and just hoping to get things done at the shop in a timely manner. We were in the middle of a conversation but as I was talking (and I can talk alot!) I got into my email to see what it was.
To my surprise it was an email from Romantic Home Magazine asking if I would be interested in being featured in their shopkeeper section!!!!!!!!!
I interrupted my husband and said "Oh my gosh, listen to this??" We were so surprised and excited that the next couple of hours while painting and fixing flew by as we talked about photos and information. To say that we felt totally humbled is an understatement!!
Then came the doubts...as is my "mo." What was I going to talk about and what if I couldn't answer some of their questions and did we even have really special things in the shop to take photos of?? So silly me spent too long on that road....but, I was able to call my talented friend, Jodee Ball of JpBall Photography, and she was willing to come in early on the next Saturday morning for a photo shoot. Jodee is a spunky very busy lady who teaches fulltime, is raising a family with her husband and takes beautiful portraits as a side business. She was so willing and encouraging and we were able to have the photos ready to email in a few short days. Thanks, Jodee!! Go to www.jpballphotography.com to see her wonderful work.
After the photos were sent I received an email to set up an over the phone interview with Romantic Homes. At five minutes to the hour I was at my desk with my phone in hand... praying. The phone rang and at once I was grateful to hear the voice on the other end. This woman was so sweet and kind and interested in what I had to say. She took notes in between and we talked of things other than the shop that we both had in common. She was human!:) What was I worried about??
And now the reality sinks in...Winsome Cottage will be featured in the shopkeeper's section of Romantic Homes Magazine for the July issue!!! What a privilege!!
I have been a loyal fan for many years and just this year began advertising in the magazine which was exciting all by itself!! Please check out an issue if you aren't familiar with it. Great articles and beautiful photos not to mention many, many ideas for decorating in that time worn way. We carry issues for sale in the shop each month as well.
So.......I'm sure I will be posting about this again after the issue comes out but thought I would share the experience now! Isn't it exciting?
We are so grateful and Rebecca...if you read this, you have been a blessing! Thank you so much!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tales of this Shopkeeper - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint bonding...

It's Thursday morning and I'm usually picking up my chalk paint order to run to the shop and then take off for places unknown to go junking.
This week my girl that works on Thursdays is on vacation so I'm here for the day....a long day into night as we are having an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop right here at Winsome Cottage.
As the business day progresses I go over my list of things to do before it gets too late, moving furniture and getting tables set up. I make sure there is room for the ten people that will be attending. I cover tables with paper and make sure everyone has all that is needed at each place to complete their project.
It's a rather quiet business day today so I am able to finish up quickly. Several texts back and forth between Debra( the instructor) and I to make sure we have everything before the workshop begins.
Someone calls to see if they can get in to the workshop at the last minute. Couldn't I just make an allowance?? I have to be the "bad guy" and tell them we are maxed out this session so "no". This happens once or twice each time we have something like this in the shop.
I stand back and double check the set up. Looks like we're ready.
Debra Campbell is our instructor and full of information and expertise. She loves to teach and makes the workshop interesting.
Half of the people have driven quite a distance and I feel grateful to have them here. As everyone is introducing themselves I am struck by the common bond that we all have with this paint. Some hope to open a shop of their own, one painted furniture for their salon business, others are using it to transform their homes. Love being around these dumpster diving, repurpose-loving, creative people!
Debra walked everyone through the steps of applying the paint to make a chalkboard. In between she discussed and answered questions. There was time to chat and get to know a little more about each other.
Then Debra demonstrated how to use clear and dark wax on the frames and answered more questions.

A great evening and I learn something new everytime. One idea I came away with is simple "barcelona orange" over "provence." That will be the next piece! Sounds beautiful, thanks Debra!
And speaking of orange....we are now in full swing and this is the newest window piece that I just finished...
Loving that Barcelona!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tales of this Shopkeeper - Oh, what fun it is to create...!

My days at the shop are full of many enjoyable moments and great people and once in awhile a fun surprise....like the Saturday that Robin walked in.
Robin owns a salon. Her business partner decided to leave and now she is going to redecorate and make it all Robin:)
Her mom was with her and both ladies are as sweet as can be. Robin had an idea of what she wanted her place to look like ie. shabby, white etc.
We walked around the shop looking at different pieces and talking about how she could use them for this or that. As we talked she settled on several pieces of furniture, some shutters and a chandelier. Could we change the color of one piece? she asked and what about that chair in the backroom? Could that be used for the "nail station"? I brought it out for her to sit in and imagine how it would work with the piece she bought. Our wheels were turning and I was getting the vision for her cute little place.

Her mom was quiet but every once in awhile she would tell me how hard Robin had worked and that she deserved this. See, this is what I mean by not just a business...not just a business to bring in revenue, not at all.
I have the privilege of being a part of precious bits and pieces of peoples lives and help them enhance whatever their situation with some great find that makes them happy. What a job!!:)
One of the pieces she bought was small enough to fit in her vehicle and as I walked out with them and Robin was loading her purchase, her mom came over to me and gave me a hug..."Thanks for helping her" she said.
And that, my friends, makes all the difference in the world to this shopkeeper!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tales of this shopkeeper - A Vintage Twist

I have been in business almost three years now and when I first opened the shop it was very shabby chic; very feminine and very pink and white. Flowers and ruffles and pretties all over and I loved it!
Over the years I have found that there are so many things that I love ie. shabby, industrial, classic and, yes, even mid-century modern and different aspects of each of those decorating styles have crept into Winsome at one time or another.
I really enjoy mixing the romantic feminine with a more edgy color or style. After all, opposites attract, right? Why not burlap and lace; soft lines and hard lines; zinc topped on curvy, cabriole legs...you get the picture. Such is Winsome these days and this week has been no exception!
It was time to change out the window that held the beautiful cream colored 30's dresser with accessories. What to do, what to do?? Time to change it up!!
Enter....barcelona orange from our wonderful selection of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (www.anniesloanunfolded.com for a retailer near you).
I am NOT an orange person. Don't really wear it...ever. It just doesn't look good on me and maybe that's why I don't use it to decorate in my home or haven't associated it with that shabbyness we love at Winsome...until this week!
So...I found this great mid-century modern piece that has quickly taken on a beautiful shade of barcelona orange in the past few days. It needs some dimension so I have started distressing and will add clear and dark wax and ooooh la la! This picture is a bit dark but here's a corner of one of the doors.
Oh, yeah, can you just imagine it?? Coming soon enough!
Well, my plan was to get this done for today, Saturday for 10:00 a.m. in the window with another compatible piece and these hanging from the ceiling.
Cute, huh? Are you seeing a color theme here? Anyway, this didn't get done in time and last night my husband and I were up at the shop thinking it would be a very late evening. BUT...our talented couple that creates and sells in the shop showed up with a great old piece with a funky new finish AND in orange!! I had mentioned earlier to Rachel that I was thinking of using orange for summer so she made up some great pillow slips to compliment orange and then found this victrola cabinet, painted it and let her creative fingers fly over the front of it in this great argyle pattern! The bonus was a cute curvy chair padded in another twist of satiny orange/pink.
Guess what ended up in the window last night AND guess what sold five minutes after I opened this a.m.? So fun and I asked the customer if we could keep it in the window until my other piece is ready. She is fixing up a home before they move out of their old one so she was fine with it!
Do you love it? That's Winsome's new look for the summer...more to come but expect shades of orange and yellows and greens! And btw...the colorful balls hanging from the ceiling are made with coffee filters.
At Christmas last year I found a project online for a wreath made from these. We even had a contest in the shop to guess how many filters I used.
And true to her creative mind, Rachel not only tried those wreaths but tried dipping the filters in food coloring and then gluing them to a 2" ball, thus...what is in the window. Easy peesy and so pretty for display.
So...our new look. You have to change it up once in awhile. I love the difference it makes even though I have stayed with whites and lights these past years it's so fun to change directions!