February 29, 2012

"Late Night on the Ave": March 1st

On the first Thursday of each month, merchants along 112th Avenue in the Highlands area work together to create a fabulous night of special deals, meals and entertainment.  This month we are celebrating St. Paddy's Day early by offering "Top 'O the Evening to Ya" on Thursday, March 1st from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

At Apple Box Boutique, we are offering 10% off all home decor items and will have an experienced Annie Sloan Chalk Paint specialist on hand to answer any questions you have about the paint that is causing North Americans to call themselves "Chalkoholics".

Sugar Blossoms Floral Design shares our boutique and is offering 15% off arrangements, lovely mixed cut bouquets starting at just $25.00 plus gorgeous green florals to add to your decor in celebration of the month of the Irish.

May the road rise up to meet you as you make your way to this great event!

February 28, 2012

Ten Projects...One Can of Chalk Paint

As I wandered about the internet visiting some favourite blogs and websites, I stopped in at Girl in Pink, a great site about decorating, crafting and generally making the world a prettier place.

Blog owner, Amanda had heard that one can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint would cover 'a slew of things' and decided to put it to the test.  The paint comes in single quarts and I get asked the question "How far does it go?" fairly often so wanted to share her findings... following are the results of Amanda's experiment:

Ten Projects...One Can of Chalk Paint!

Just over a month ago I purchased my first quart of Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  As much as I wanted to jump in with both feet and order a quart of each of the colors I had been admiring, I just didn't have the funds in my paint budget to allow it!  After a whole lot of perusing ASCP related blog posts and scouring photos on Pinterest, I decided to start with a quart of Old White, 2 sample pots, one of Duck Egg Blue and one of Paris Grey and a can of both the clear and dark waxes.

Every Annie Sloan Chalk Paint "review" I had read stated that this one quart of paint would cover a whole slew of projects, but exactly how many projects constitutes a whole slew?  That's what I wanted to know!  Now, having scraped the bottom of my quart of Old White, each of the sample pots and the clear wax, I am prepared to show you just how many projects my first can of chalk paint made over!

This lovely frame received 2 coats of a mixture of Duck Egg and Old White followed by clear and dark waxes.

A 24" x 36" antique mirror was made over with two coats of Old White and waxed with both clear and dark waxes.

The dark red bottom half of this vintage style milking stool was completely covered with just two coats of Duck Egg Blue.  I honestly think that it would have taken 4 coats of latex paint to do away with that red.  I painted the seat with Old White, distressed it and waxed the whole piece with clear wax only.

My antique vanity/cabinet was first painted with one coat of Old White, followed by a Duck Egg Blue/Old White mixture and sealed with both clear and dark waxes.

Prior to purchasing my chalk paint, I had applied a coat of creamy white latex paint to this end table.  Just one coat of my Old White/Paris Grey mix completed the job.  I then applied both clear and dark waxes.

My over sized oak dresser (now mantle!) mirror was complete after 2 coats of Paris Grey, followed by clear and dark waxes.

Both chair and table shown here were previously painted white and therefore only needed the one coat of Paris Grey mixed with a bit of Old White and followed with clear and dark wax.

This is another little piece that was given a coat of creamy white latex paint before it's makeover in Duck Egg Blue with clear and dark wax.

And this is where I started scraping the bottom of those cans!  The desk portion was completed.  It had received two coats of Old White, clear and dark wax all over and multiple coats of clear wax on the desk top.  I had just about finished the first coat of paint on the hutch top when the well ran dry!  I have a whole lot of the dark wax left, even though I've used it on almost all of these projects, plus several more!

I have written this post for myself just as much as I've written it for you.  I really wanted a visual of how far my initial Chalk Paint investment had taken me.  Honestly, I feel it was well worth the money.  If you've used Annie Sloan's products, you know how wonderful they are to work with, regardless of how far the paint goes.  I am happy with the number of projects I completed with my first can of paint, but I am thrilled with the quality of finishes I was able to achieve.  If you've been on the fence about whether or not to try Annie Sloan's products, I hope I've encouraged you to go for it!

Many thanks to Amanda for generously allowing us to re-post this great informational (not to mention, creative) article on our blog.  Be sure to stop by her site for fabulous ideas + projects + recipes and to follow the adventures of the Girl In Pink.

February 27, 2012

Reimagined Monday: Maple & Magnolia


We are very excited at Apple Box Boutique as we share our first Reimagined Monday project.

Reimagined Monday is a weekly event dedicated to the celebration of creativity. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is sweeping the continent and we wanted to highlight some of the fantastic projects out there, and as often as possible the how-tos, so that you can use these great examples and ideas as well.

Our first feature is a beautiful sideboard that has been reimagined by the lovely Susan of Maple & Magnolia.  Her blog focuses on the transformation of her farmhouse and guest cottage in Illinois and is overflowing with fabulous decorating and furniture refinishing tips including plenty of images to help inspire the reader.

Susan's makeover is the perfect example of faith!  If you like subtlety, Annie Sloan's Aubusson Blue is a colour that can strike fear into your heart at first painting.  But with vision and a some elbow grease, this sideboard went from a nice antique to a stunningly beautiful piece that works in any decor, including a Parisian chateau.

Without further ado...

Sideboard Makeover

I had plans for this one to go in our master bedroom and I knew just what color I wanted to paint it. Aubusson Blue.

So here it was before. In good shape except the top. It had some water damage and cracking veneer.

If any of you have used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in Aubusson Blue, the color can be a little scary before the wax.

Smurf blue was not the color I was going for here. And you know how I feel about Smurfs. But I had faith that the dark wax would tone it down.

And it totally did. Just the shade I wanted. I am really happy with the way this one turned out.

A HUGE thanks to Susan for sharing this fantastic makeover.  Be sure to visit her blogsite at for more transformations and other great decorating projects!

Here is how to share your reimagined paint project at On the Apple Box:

Send us a description of how you used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to get from your vision to the reimagined piece, before and after pictures, pictures of your project in progress or a couple of it in its finished state, and you may be highlighted on our blog!
Until next time...

February 24, 2012

The Colour of Spring

After a short hiatus, the blog is back, and our focus is COLOUR!

It's been such a lovely, mild winter it feels almost strange to say we are looking forward to spring, but  it's true! With spring comes the feeling that we are refreshed and renewed, and it also comes with brand new colours to play with.  Pantone continues to be the go-to resource for colour trends and although we don't strictly follow them (yup, we're decor rebels) it is interesting to see what designers are envisioning for the upcoming seasons.

Here is what Pantone has to say about the hot colours for spring 2012:

"For spring 2012 designers are inspired by diverse influences, showcasing a range of  styles and lifestyles, from free and playful and light and breezy, to contemporary classics. Colors likewise reflect these differing moods, encapsulating vivid brights, soft muted tones and fun-loving pastels.

"Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "They have learned how color can help them alter a mood and provide the vitality and enthusiasm that enables them to experiment with new looks and color combinations."

"Provocative Tangerine Tango, an enticing juicy orange, is a vivacious and appealing refresher to enliven anyone's outlook this spring. Providing a jolt of energy, Solar Power radiates warmth and cheer.

Fanciful Bellflower, a distinct ornamental purple, exudes uniqueness and creativity. Scintillating and sexy, Cabaret is a sensual and intense rosy-red — an excellent choice for summer clothing and cosmetics.

Sodalite Blue, a classic maritime hue, brings order and calmness to mind. Like an anchor to a ship, this dependable shade works with every color in the palette. 

Cockatoo, a tactile blue-green, is sure to make your spirits soar. This unusual hue adds a whimsical touch to the palette and will surely make a statement this spring.

Margarita, a piquant yellow-green, lifts spirits with its refreshing and stimulating glow. 

Reminiscent of a blossoming garden on an early spring morning, fragrant Sweet Lilac evokes the fresh scents of summer. This delicate pinkish lilac adds a touch of romance to any wardrobe.

Natural versatile neutrals add practicality to this season's brights. Driftwood, an adaptable blend of beige and gray with a slightly weathered feel, and Starfish, a perfect warm summer neutral, complement all colors featured in this season's top 10.

For an ultra-bold vibrant look this spring, try mixing Bellflower with Tangerine Tango and Cabaret. Combine Margarita with Sweet Lilac and Cockatoo for a subtle alternative, or combine Margarita with Sweet Lilac and Driftwood for a more practical variation. Solar Power is best juxtaposed with Sodalite Blue. For a safer bet, add a natural neutral like Starfish to the mix.

For over 18 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and beyond to bring you the season's most important color trends. This report previews the most prominent hues for spring 2012."

One of the things we love about this season's hot picks is that so many of them play into (and play well with) the colours of a peacock... one of our favourite combinations, they transcend decor.  From exotic and luxurious to beachy and casual, these hues can complement any design scheme.

Of course, our first love is vintagey, shabby chic, but thanks to these versatile colours our decor options will only be enhanced.

February 20, 2012

It's Family Day! Here are some fun things to do...

Family Day is an opportunity to take some time for family fun!  We like to consider it an official "Snow Day" and enjoy some of the great activities in our community.  In Edmonton, there are so many events happening that it is hard to choose... here is a list of just some of the happenings... Hope you enjoy the day, too!

Rutherford House (map)
Family Day Open House Rutherford House February 20 Celebrate the Family Day weekend with a visit to the historic home of the first Premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, and his family . Explore the features of this historic house, take part in traditional family activities, sample cooki...
Alberta Legislature (map)
Family Day Alberta Legislature February 20, 2012 Free Family Fun at Legislature.Celebrate family day with an abundance of indoor and outdoor activities.Kids carnival, hot chocolate, free guided tours of legislature, wagon rides, ice sculpture display and skating.
Art Gallery of Alberta (map)
Qualico Family Day fun at your AGA - free admission and art projects for all! EDMONTON, AB – Enjoy free access to AGA exhibitions and participate in hands-on art activities for all ages including: Cubist Collage Masks – take inspiration from AGA exhibition, Icons of Modernism, to create...
Art Gallery of Alberta (map)
Family Day at the Art Gallery of Alberta
Art Gallery of Alberta
February 20, 2012
Fun hands on art projects and visit the gallery.
Valley Zoo (map)
Family Day Fun – Polar Bears International Awareness Day Valley Zoo February 20, 2012 Bundle up the family, beat the winter blues and take a trip to the zoo for some Family Day fun.Scavenger hunt.Learn about Polar Bears International and what the zoo is doing to support this initiative.Indoor...
Edmonton Ski Club (map)
Family Day Edmonton Ski Club Feb 20, 2012 Join 105.9 ShineFMfor Family Day at the Edmonton Ski Club on Monday February 20th. This hidden gem set in the beautiful river valley is perfect for skiers & snowboarders of all ages! Jennifer Joy will be broadcasting live from the slopes asyou and your ...
Strathcona Wilderness Centre (map)
Family Day – Winter Play Day Strathcona Wilderness Centre February 20, 2012 Cross Country Ski lessons (fee), showshoe orienteering, bannock, hot chocolate. Join us for a day of winter family fun.
Various venues
Downtown Family Day Festival Various venues February 20 Fun-packed Family Day afternoon including games, arts and crafts, performing arts, and free and low cost admission for all ages.
Muttart Conservatory (map)
Family Day Adventure Muttart Conservatory February 20, 2012 You can’t beat the fun and excitement found at the Muttart for Family Day.
Sir Winston Churchill Square (map)
Metropolis Family Day Sir Winston Churchill Square February 20, 2012 Hay RidesIce Sculptors, Bannock Making/Bonfires, Play Around the World, Stilt Walkers, Hockey Tutor Shooters, Free Skate Rentals, Face Painting Mascots, Human Statue, Balloon Fairies   Polar Brewhouse, Carnival Games Che...
Stanley A. Milner Library (map)
EPL's Shrek-cellent Family Day Movie Event Monday February 20, 2012 at 2pm Stanley A. Milner Library, Theatre, Lower Level Looking for some free fun on Family Day? All our Family Day programs are drop-in.   * Shrek Interactive Movie   * More Downtown Fun   * TALES ...
Fort Saskatchewan (map)
Traditional WinterFest and Vintage Snowmobile Show February 20, 2012 11:00 am to 2:00 pm Fort Saskatchewan Museum & Historic Site and 1875-1885 NWMP Fort 10006 - 100 Avenue The Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society would like to invite everyone to celebrate winter at a Traditional WinterFest.The...
Bonnie Doon Mall (map)
Family Day Family Fun Bonnie Doon Mall, 82nd Avenue & 83rd Street Monday, February 20. 12pm – 5pm. petting zoo, balloon artist, crafts, face painting
Londonderry Mall (map)
Paper Airplane Competition Londonderry Mall Feb 20, 2012 Families come down to Londonderry Mall for ourFamily Day Paper Airplane Competition! Building of paper airplanes 12- 2pm (Supplies will be provided) Competitions will begin at 2pm (Heats of 5 to determine semi finalists) Winners will re...
Fort Saskatchewan (map)
Munschapalooza Fort Saskatchewan February 20, 2012   MUNSCHAPALOOZA! Family Day Monday, February 20, 2012 - 1 pm Tickets are required for FREE ADMISSION Celebrate Family Day with an all ages afternoon of crazy fun, games, crafts, music and the hit musical Munschapalooza! based on five famous ...
Capilano Community Hall (map)
Family Fun Day Celebration Capilano Community Hall, 108A Avenue and 54 Street Monday, February 20. 12pm – 3pm Residents of Capilano, Fulton and Gold Bar. crafts, balloon animals, snow shoeing, snow painting, and skating. Warm up beside the bonfire while sipping hot chocolate.
Stony Plain (map)
Family Day Scavenger Hunt Multicultural Heritage Centre, Stony Plain Monday, February 20, 2012 On Family Day, February 20th at the Multicultural Heritage Centre bring the whole family for our “Paper and Pencil Scavenger Hunt” in the Multicultural Heritage Centre.
Edmonton (map)
Family Day is a statutory holiday occurring on the third Monday in February. This corresponds with Presidents Day in the United States. The holiday was first celebrated in 1990. This holiday would emphasize the importance of family values. When is Family Day, Monday, February 20, 2012 Family Day lo...

Stop in at the blog next week for our first Reimagination Monday!

February 18, 2012

Reimagined Monday

Monday.  It is one of those days that can clunk along while you pine for the past weekend and can't wait to see the next one on the horizon.  I am always looking for something to brighten up Mondays, and I think this might be the answer...

Weekends offer an opportunity to work on fun projects, and Monday seems like the perfect day to show them off!

Send us a description of how you used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to get from your vision to the reimagined piece, before and after pictures, pictures of your project in progress or a couple of it in its finished state, and you may be highlighted on our blog!
I'm excited to see what you've dreamed in colour.

Happy Painting!

February 15, 2012

At First Blush (New Chalk Paint Colour "Antoinette" Creates a Stir!)

Valentine's Day may have come to a close, but the shades of love live on... The latest addition to the Annie Sloan family of chalk paints is arriving very soon and

I. Just. Cannot. Wait.  

Please allow me to introduce... "Antoinette".

Image courtesy Paint Shoppe
This is simply the most beautiful, French-inspired blush pink I have ever encountered.  It may seem... well, odd to some that a paint colour could create such euphoria.  But it makes me happy... so, SO happy!

It is no secret to most that I have an affinity for the flamboyance that was Marie Antoinette, and I have the same giddy enthusiasm for all of the incredible sets, candy-coloured costumes and the too-fabulous-for-words Manolo Blahnik shoes that graced the screen in the the 2006 Sophia Coppola film.  If even one frame is accurate, it is proof that this paint has been heaven-sent from Marie herself.

It turns out that I am not the only one swooning.  Here are just a few of the lovely projects that have been posted online by Annie Sloan and other lucky testers in the U.S.:

Whatever it is... that intangible "je ne sais quoi" has my full attention!

So many dream projects awaiting "Antoinette"... Ooo-la-la!

*Where not noted on images, original sources are unknown.  Please let us know if credit can be provided!

February 14, 2012

Flowers! Today our shop is a Parisian garden

Happy Valentine's Day, one and all!  Today our shop is brimming with flowers, and I couldn't be happier.  Love is in the air!

I have an affinity for Paris, French style and the incredibly breathtaking gardens in the region and thanks to sharing our boutique with Sugar Blossoms Floral Design, I have been transported there.  We are surrounded by a sea of roses and other aromatic, beautiful flowers awaiting a new home this Valentine's Day. 

Anyone who receives one of Sugar Blossoms' stunning bouquets or arrangements will fall in love all over again... I know I have!

*Where not noted on images, original sources are unknown.  Please let us know if credit can be provided!

February 10, 2012

Highlands Secrets

Highlands is a lovely, friendly place and a big part of what makes it special are the little gems you find here. Case in point: Sabrina Butterfly Designs.

Local fashion designer Sabrina O'Donnell was featured this week on Breakfast Television and it was especially exciting for those of us who happen to be "in the hood". Her boutique is just a few doors down and is such a unique, unassuming space that we like to think of it as one of our 'Highlands secrets'.

This week brought to the forefront that Sabrina and her fantastic line of clothing are in fact not a secret at all. Hers is a bustling, cozy, friendly shop that beckons a wide range of personalities looking for something special that will not only be beautiful but easy to care for.
Most of Sabrina's designs are wash and wear; she has managed to make dressing well very, very easy and the comfort level gets two big thumbs up. Plus she carries jewelery and other fun items. But don't just take my word for it. Stop in and see for yourself!

Sabrina Butterfly Designs is located in Highlands at #102, 6421-112 Avenue. And don't forget to swing by Apple Box Boutique to say hello!

February 09, 2012

This Weekend: Last Annie Sloan Paint Class until April

With the announcement that painting classes will not be available in March, the February 11th session is nearly full. There are just 3 seats left! 

Usually there is a class each month, but this March brings some exciting events and the sessions have been postponed to accommodate them.  More on this soon!

In the meantime, here is the upcoming schedule and information about Edmonton Annie Sloan Chalk Paint classes:

  • February 11th
  • April 14th
  • April 15th
  • May 19th
  • May 20th

How many times have you seen those distressed pieces with that hand-rubbed lustre and velvety matte finish and thought, 'I could do that”?'  Well now is your chance to put that thought into action!  This class teaches you everything you need to know to create the look at a fraction of the cost.   

Students will learn the basics of how to apply one and two colours of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, different distressing techniques and the proper application of Annie Sloan Soft Wax.  Each student will leave with 6 different beautiful samples and the enthusiasm and expertise to go home and finish a piece of furniture!

Class includes all supplies needed - just show up in your painting clothes!

Fee:  $250 + GST

10:00 - 5:00

Lunch will be provided!

To register for this class, please contact Tara Jamieson at

Then save $10 when you purchase a "Reimagine It" kit from Apple Box Boutique.  

It includes
  • 1 can of AS chalk paint (your colour choice)
  • 1 can of AS wax (your choice clear or dark)
  • 1 LLD wax brush
  • 1 Annie Sloan Paint Transformations book

Happy Painting!

February 05, 2012

Repurposed with Purpose

I grew up in a strange and wonderful middle-world where we spent part of our year in an urban environment and the other in a rural community.  I am appreciative of both experiences, and it definitely helped me to cultivate a sense of humour... in the country I was known as 'the city girl' and in the city I was known as 'the country girl'... which meant I had to a) find a way to fit in, and b) learn both Donny's and Marie's lyrics.  Thankfully the rest of my family are easy-going, fun-loving folk so I had good role models and we enjoyed every moment.

This is part of the family homestead known as Garen Carlea Stables.  It is located in the snow belt on a breathtakingly beautiful island in Lake Ontario named Prince Edward County:

Photo courtesy of Tim Vanhecke
Eventually we found ourselves packing up to live here all year, where I was happily surrounded by shabby chic, cottage chic and casual elegance full time.  'Shiny new' may have been hot in the city, but I discovered that re-using items in the country was prevalent and sometimes a necessity.  There just wasn't a trendy furniture and decor store around every corner.

I learned a lot about being creative and even a little fearless from that time in my life, and still today one of the things I relish is when a great find can be bravely repurposed in an unexpected way.  The following has to be one of my favourite examples to date.

Take an old barn door, paint it the perfect colour, add a set of a pocket door rails, and voila!  Instant eye-catching, heart-stopping style that works in a myriad of home designs and decor.

This one I love for its unassuming, country feel:

And this one for its bright, sunny transition into the focal point in a modern space:

I've been wandering my abode looking for just the right place to incorporate a big, bold barn door.  Looks like I need more rooms to outfit.

Honey...  Call the realty agent!

Signed, the country side of

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