July 30, 2012

Reimagined Monday: Ahhhh, Florence!

Well, after several days of struggling with our blog... again (you may have noticed that the number of posts in the last week equals a big fat goose egg) we are back!

We'd knock on wood... but let's paint it instead! 

Today is...

Let's go back to July 6th at On The Apple Box when we announced the newest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colour, Florence.  The conversation about creating a sample for the blog went something like this:

Leanne:  "Here is my primitive 'computer sketch' of my ASCP Florence project."

        Us: "Really... don't you want to try it on something small first?"

        Cue Leanne's stare of disbelief and chirping crickets.

        Us: "Right.  Well, we'll take pics"

Here is Leanne's sketch:

and here is the Florence paint swatch, extended with ASCP Old White:

Based on Ciruelo Interiors PG swatch

This is the story of what happened next, in her very own words (you might want to make a sandwich and grab a soda... that girl can chat!)

 "Hello everyone and happy Monday!

When I saw the paint chip introducing Florence to all of us in North America, it was love at first sight.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on a can and get painting!  In a second and a half I had the cabinet I wanted to reimagine sitting in its new place in my parlour... Oh the anticipation!

I think I say this every time, but that is one of my favourite things about ASCP.  I paint indoors and 'on the spot' for myself, the boutique and clients.  No more heavy hauling or worries about time of year, rain or temperature... an especially HUGE plus in the winter when you live as far north as I do.  Even the reindeer wear parkas here.  Lately they've been carrying umbrellas, which somehow seems wrong.  (Get it?  Rain Deer?  Right, sorry about that. Moving on...)  

The lovelies at Apple Box Boutique -- that's what I used to call them before that smart remark that I talk a lot -- shared my computer sketch and the colour card with you.  This is the cabinet, pre-paint and pre-my-kindergarten-version of a computer drawing:

Picture by previous owner.  Thank you!

I was inspired by an image I found on the internet a while ago, and for the life of me I cannot seem to find it again.  If this is your photo and your work, thank you for posting it and please let me know who you are so I can credit you!

I don't know if this cabinet was painted with Annie Sloan's Florence, but it has the worn, chippy look I was after and the colour is what I was dreaming about -- a deep verdigris that is reminiscent of old world paintings and oxidized copper.  Then Annie Sloan posted this image of a facade in France that made my heart skip another beat:

Finally the paint was here and no time was wasted in getting out the brushes!

To begin, hubby and I removed the top of the two-part cabinet and I set to work taking off the hardware.  I don't always do that, but the handles and pulls are lovely and I decided not to paint them.  It is much easier to paint cabinet doors while they are still on the piece so they stayed put and I worked around the hinges.

When I opened the can of Florence, it made me pause for a moment... it is so bold and bright that it could make a lot of people stop right there, but having experienced that with other ASCP colours (Emperor's Silk starts off with a big breath in as well!) I knew to be fearless and forge ahead!

I decided to start with the buffet section, painting it first with Florence then the trim and details in Old White.  When it was dry I started rubbing away some of the paint to give it a 'been around the block' look.

(Woops... messy Leanne reveal. I didn't have any felt for the feet so used beach towels to keep the cabinet from damaging the floor and a couple of garbage bags to protect from my 'Joie de Vivre' style of painting.  Others might call it wreckless abandon, but that's a story for another day.)

After a couple of hours of painting and a whole lot of second-guessing myself, I decided to really go for it with the distressing.  When it looked suitably worn out, I finished it with clear wax, then added dark wax to give it a lovely aged patina.

Here are the bits:

Flashback to the before:

... my sketch:

And this is what I ended up with, towels, bags and all:

Now to decide what to put in it!  I'll start with the precious crystal Mama just handed down to me, and then the world is my oyster!  Look out thrift stores... here I come!"

xo, Leanne

Everyone at the boutique already adores Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and now we all have BIG love for  Florence.

What do you think?  Are you loving it too?

Apple Box Boutique

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

Send us a description of how you used Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint or 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!

We'd LOVE it if you shared our blog:

July 23, 2012

Reimagined Monday: From Uninspired to Shades of Antoinette

Have you ever decided against something because you just couldn't "see" it as a completed project, only to have it creep back in to your consciousness?  It happens subtley at first, then you think of it over and over until finally you are drawn back to it with a fresh perspective?

That's what happened with this poor little white/gold veneer dresser, lovingly stickered by a little local girl with an affinity for Winnie The Pooh.

It sat in the back of the storage area gathering dust for months.  Finally, I brought it in to the boutique to get a feel for it in a creative space.

Then the inspiration arrived... Manolo Blahnik shoes from the 2006 Sofia Coppola film "Marie Antoinette":

The perfect colour? Annie Sloan's Antoinette.  This dresser was made for it!  And so the reimagining began.

Because there is no sanding, priming or stripping required, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was exactly the right thing to use on this off-white veneer. 

No worries about toxicity or clean-up either, so I set to work right on the spot in the boutique.

First, removal of the hardware.  Each handle and knob had been gilded in gold, so those were keepers!

Before long, everything started to come together, and it was time to distress.  Keeping the lines of a piece can be what distinguishes it, so rather than sanding I used a water technique to distress through to the gold gilding along the edges and details of the dresser.

You can see it a little better here:

It's not as easy to see the gorgeous finish as I'd had hoped (photography lessons might help! *lol), but here is a swatch of the Annie Sloan paint colour:

Here are the lovely Manalo Blahniks again:

And this is a final pic of the completed dresser.  It is in the boutique, waiting for the perfect new home!

But now I have a problem!  In my search for inspiration I found more Manolo Blahniks!

So many beautiful, inspiring colours... so little time!

Perhaps something special in Louis Blue, coming up soon at On The Apple Box!
Apple Box Boutique

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

Send us a description of how you used Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint or 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!

We'd LOVE it if you shared our blog:

July 21, 2012

Barefoot Venus Mustard Bath - Too Good AND True

  • How often do you find a product that really is as good (or even better) than it proclaims itself to be? 
  • How many times have you discovered one that gets a perfect score in review after review... after review?
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it is "too good", but we agree that the hype is absolutely true.  If you haven't tried it yet, stop in at the boutique and pick up a cute, vintagey container of Barefoot Venus Mustard Bath... then it will be tried and true!
Yikes... is it really Mustard?
Well, sort of!  Barefoot Venus Mustard Bath contains mustard seed powder, which has been used for centuries as a detoxifier.  A mustard bath is a traditional English therapeutic remedy.   The ancient Greeks & Romans, Europeans, Native Americans and the Ayurvedic tradition of India have all used mustard in this way*.

Barefoot Venus has managed to create the perfect mustard bath, infusing it with aromatic essential oils and 100% natural bath salts.

How does it work?
Put a healthy scoop in a hot bath, inhale and relax.  The therapeutic properties of mustard go to work pulling nasty toxins from your skin and the epsom salts relax your muscles while the wintergreen, eucalyptus, chamomile and rosemary surround you in a curative cape, leaving you feeling top-notch, clear-headed and ready to indulge your next girlish whim.

So, this is a girl's product?
While we'd like to lay claim to it, we know how great it is to find something that works well, makes you feel wonderful and smells fantastic.  We`re willing to share it -- unless it is the last scoop!

Words of warning
Bet you expected something cautionary in this section, but this product is oh-so-natural and our words of warning are simply this:

Stock up now! 
Barefoot Venus Mustard Bath is the fastest selling b&b product in the boutique and it isn't uncommon for customers to purchase 2, 3, 4 or more at a time.  This makes a fantastic gift for family or friends and works for any occasion... even as a hostess gift!

The guiding principle at Barefoot Venus is to support a lifestyle of beauty and wellness through the simple pleasures of their natural, aromatic bath and body experiences.

Apple Box Boutique carries a variety of Barefoot Venus bath and body products.

Apple Box Boutique
We'd LOVE it if you shared our blog:

July 19, 2012

Finding Beauty in Imperfection

Project Personality
with Apple Box Boutique founder Leanne Playter Korsos

I've always been a person that loved the unusual.  I would not have described it that way myself, but I've heard it so often throughout my life that the phrase is always there for me to lean on when I am asked things like, "Really, Leanne?  I don't get it... why do you like that?"

Huh, well, because it has character.  It is unique in it's imperfection.  Like me.  Like all of us.

          Isn't that freeing?

There was a time in my life when I began to wonder if I was weird, because that was the word that kids used when they didn't agree with my tastes or ideas.  But thanks to my parent's belief that creativity should be celebrated, I decided to chalk it up to their more positive descriptions of being 'imaginative' or 'theatrical' and enjoy the experience.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!  You saved me from A LOT of therapy!

Now that I am (dare I say it) a grown-up, I appreciate even more having a different perspective to draw on.  It certainly helps in my 'retirement hobby' of  reimagining furniture.  I love the pieces that have character, that have generations of stories, that show the markings of the lives they inhabited.  The cherished, the once-loved, the discarded, the worn... I have a studio full of them and each and every one  is waiting to be a rejuvinated thing of beauty, enhanced through a fresh new finish and often distressed or embellished to help show its true personality.

                  The best part is... there is a community of 'weirdos' just like me.                   

One of the things that endeared Annie Sloan to me was an excerpt I found in one of her books.  It was her commentary on finding beauty in imperfection, and it goes like this:

Excerpt from Annie Sloan's book: Quick and Easy Paint Transformations

I couldn't agree more.

I LOVE being retired from the corporate world and living this phase of my journey in my studio and at Apple Box Boutique because I get to practice this fairly wabi-sabi aesthetic every day.  AND I get to share it with you.

So thank you, to all of you... this wonderful, inspiring community of the imaginative, the theatrical -- or the just darned "weird" like me -- for stopping in to this blog and the boutique, and for sharing your creativity.  I LOVE your company.

~ Leanne
We'd LOVE it if you shared our blog:

July 17, 2012

Get Creating with Annie Sloan Paint Books and Classes

At the boutique we do our best to share what we know about painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but it is also really helpful to have step-by-step instructions and detailed pictures... which is why we keep Annie Sloan books on hand.

Quick and Easy Paint Transformations: 50 Step-by-step Ways to Makeover Your Home for Next to Nothing
Author: Annie Sloan

With this book in one hand and a brush in the other, you can learn how to create different finishes and effects with paint to change everyday rooms and furnishings into something special, all for the price of a pot of paint. The first section of the book tells you everything you need to know before you start - how to prepare surfaces properly, choose the right paint for the right place, use the best tools and select a colour scheme that will work with the room in question. Then, the 50 different techniques are divided into nine sections: colour washing; distressing and aging; fabric effects; wood effects; stone effects; metallic effects; stencilling and printing; stripes, checks, and spots; and, varnishing and glazing. 

There are step-by-step photos showing how to achieve the finished look, backed up by inspirational photos showing the effect used on walls and doors, furniture and floors. Learn how to bring old second-hand furniture bang up to date, or how to give modern pieces a softly aged appearance, as well as ways to treat and transform floorboards, doors and plastered walls, all with the aid of a pot of paint and a brush. Whatever the style of your interiors, "Quick and Easy Paint Transformations" will show you the best way to makeover your home.

Creating the French Look
Author: Annie Sloan

The French interior evokes a way of life to aspire to, with its good food, unhurried pace and, above all, its past for which many people feel nostalgia. Developed over hundreds of years, the French look reflects all tastes, from the cultivated grandeur of the chateau to the simplicity of rural living, and can be adapted to every home, including the Mediterranean style villa and elegant town house. In this book, the look is divided into 'Chateau', 'Country', 'Provencial' and 'Parisian style', and applied to living room, kitchen and dining room, bedroom and bathroom, and to living space in the garden.

As well as describing each overall look, focusing on colours and fabrics, Annie Sloan emphasizes the details and accents required by each one, and, aided by 25 clearly explained step-by-step projects, shows how to achieve it. Among other things, she explains how to paint and distress furniture, and describes how to cover an armoire door with embroidered voile. Whatever interior you desire, this book will guide your choices from the grand statement of the painted armoire to the finishing touch of a little posy of lavender.

Annie Sloan Paint Classes


We will also be offering Annie Sloan paint classes if hands-on learning is more your style.  And when you register, you can save money by using our coupon code: APPLEWatch On The Apple Box  for news on upcoming class dates, or visit the ASCP Classes page on our website to request email notifications.
Whether you feel you need a little how-to info or a lot of applied assistance, we want to help you feel comfortable and prepared to take on your summer DIY painting projects and more!

Apple Box Boutique
We'd LOVE it if you shared our blog:

July 16, 2012

Reimagined Monday: Dedication To A Friend

As many of you know, last week was a tragic one.  We lost our dear friend and colleague, Tara Jamieson of Lauren Lane Decor in Calgary.

Tara described herself as "a daughter, a sister, a friend, and someone who loves to refinish old furniture! I love thrift stores, coffee, well worn jeans, red wine, sunday brunch, making lists and my dogs Bella and Winston."  She had an indomitable spirit and a love for all things vintage.

Tara left her job as an accountant in the oil industry to start her own business painting furniture and in a few short months her talent found her as a major Canadian stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, a much-sought-after contractor, a media doll, and a guest celebrity with The Home and Garden Show.

One of her happiest moments was opening her own studio Lauren Lane Decor, where she designed and sold refurbished vintage furniture, and lead classes sharing her knowledge with others.  She packed a lot of living into just 30 years.

It has been difficult to accept that we must move forward in this business and this blog when we feel Tara's loss so fully. There is much to say about Tara as a person, and never enough time or space to do her justice, but we've come to the resolution that continuing well is a dedication to her presence in our memories and our hearts.  

Today's Reimagined Monday is a tribute to Tara's work... a celebration of her talent and love of painting.  She will be missed.

Country cabinet in ASCP  Arles by Tara Jamieson
Antique sideboard in ASCP CoCo by Tara Jamieson
Antique vanity in ASCP Duck Egg Blue by Tara Jamieson
Dresser in ASCP Emperor's Silk by Tara Jamieson
Christmas Mantle with frame in ASCP Emperor's Silk by Tara Jamieson
Antique dresser in ASCP Pure White by Tara Jamieson
Antique butler in ASCP French Linen by Tara Jamieson for Uniquities
 (Tara is reflected in the mirror at the Calgary Home & Garden Show 2012)
Dining table in ASCP recipe by Tara Jamieson, one of her favourites
(she had it photographed by Brian Bookstrucker)
Antique dresser in ASCP Pure White by Tara Jamieson
Dresser in ASCP Olive by Tara Jamieson
Antique dresser - Before
Antique Dresser - After, in ASCP Pure White by Tara Jamieson
One of the set of side tables - Before
Side Table - After, in ASCP mix of Emperor's Silk, Old White, and Scandinavian Pink by Tara Jamieson
Antique table - Before
Antique table - After, in ASCP Old White by Tara Jamieson
Two Step Dresser - Before
Two Step Dresser - After, in ASCP Old Ochre by Tara Jamieson
Gold French dresser - Before
French dresser - After, in ASCP Graphite by Tara Jamieson
Dresser in ASCP Antibes Green by Tara Jamieson for Reworks Upcycle Shop
Dresser in ASCP Barcelona Orange by Tara Jamieson


Photo of Tara by Kristen Shima of Shima Photography

Please Share This