Thursday, December 29, 2011

29 Ways to be Creative

Twenty-nine Ways to be Creative
by To-Fu

1) Make lists.
2) Carry a notebook everywhere.
3) Try free writing.
4) Get away from the computer.
5) Quit beating yourself up.
6) Take breaks.
7) Sing in the shower.
8) Drink coffee.
9) Listen to new music.
10) Be open.
11) Surround yourself with creative people.
12) Get feedback.
13) Collaborate.
14) Don't give up.
15) Practice.
16) Allow yourself to make mistakes.
17) Go somewhere new.
18) Count your blessings.
19) Get lots of rest.
20) Take risks.
21) Break the rules.
22) Don't force it.
23) Read a page of the dictionary.
24) Create a framework.
25) Stop trying to be someone else's perfect.
26) Got an idea? Write it down.
27) Clean your workspace.
28) Have fun.
29) Finish something.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gearing up

Congratulations to Lauren of Washington who won the gift basket drawing and will now be entered in the national drawing to win either a ticket to meet Annie Sloan and participate in a workshop or receive $350 worth of paint. I appreciate all those that were willing to participate, and I am sure there will be other events going forward that everyone can enjoy.
I spent Christmas Eve walking around Washington DC with my husband. The White House was particularly beautiful contrasted against the darkness of the evening.
Yesterday we took a trip out to see Lucketts Store where Miss Mustard Seed had her space. It is a wonderful store, three floors of beautiful furniture as well as decorative items and collectibles. Marion of Miss Mustard Seed was in the process of down-sizing her space in order to focus on her book, so there was not much to see as I had hoped.
This was one of the spaces. Everyone there seems to have a knack for displaying wonderful and fascinating things. I could have spent a lot on furniture had I been able to easily transport it to the West Coast.
As I was roaming around inside, my husband was outdoors in the rain and drizzle looking at all the spaces out there. I guess I was a little surprised that all this great furniture was left out in the rain.

I did purchase these two French Faience plates to bring back to the shop.
One of my goals for 2012 is to bring in some beautiful handmade pillows to sell in the shop. I intend to use my antique/vintage textiles and trims as well as collection of old buttons. Lots to plan and create and anticipate as I gear up for a new beginning year with The Purple Pear!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winding down

Our holiday party at The Purple Pear was relaxing and easy. We did not do any painting, but we did share paint stories as well as lots of inspiration. Jeanette flew up from LA just to be there and help. The time went all too quickly and she was headed home to her sweet baby and husband and work by early Sunday afternoon.
I have never shared this painting that my friend, Kathy Sandler painted for me when I opened my shop. This is such a beautiful painting and everyone loves it. Why did I choose the name The Purple Pear? Long story shortened, it all began with a blog I read called The Black Apple. I have this thing about pears as well as pomegranates and the color purple seemed like it went well with pear as opposed to blue. And I wanted to convey that one can expect the unexpected when they enter the shop since there is no such thing as a purple pear.
When the new year approaches, I am always anxious to get on with new ideas and new colors and new inspiration. I keep staring at this card in my shop. It is a Jessie Wilcox print so full of new life, new anticipation. After the holidays, it will be time to give the shop a new look. I think I am ready!
This tiny chair has been a work in process for at least four years. It wasn't finished until about 6 weeks ago when I decided what it needed was Annie Sloan's colors, Napoleonic Blue, Aubusson Blue, a touch of Provence, and a little gold with a vintage textile to bring it all together.
One of my customers recently shared with me a piece of furniture she had purchased for a great deal, and actually brought it in the shop to show me.

The photo does not do justice to the beauty of this piece. She used Old Ochre, Old White, and Scandinavian Pink with clear and dark wax.
This is the back where you can see some of the Scandinavian Pink coming through. I love the lines of this piece too. Liz did such an amazing transformation on this piece.

Today is my last day in the store until I return from the East Coast on January 2nd. I will be back to open on Tuesday, the 3rd with regular store hours. I will come back ready to plan a great year with Annie Sloan products as well as teaching more versatile workshops. I will also be adding additional workshops taught by other people who will offer other great ideas using Chalk Paint. I will also be filling the store with lots of textile-related products such as pillows, throws, lace creations, sachets, and even textile jewelry. So stay tuned. I will post some things here while I am with my husband for the holidays. I hope to go on some antiquing jaunts! I will be close to Lucketts where Miss Mustard Seed has her space.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My store is offering the Annie Sloan American Tour and Chalk Paint Giveaway to local customers. Come in and fill out an entry form or call me at 503-206-6554 to enter in the local drawing. Check out all the exciting details for the Annie Sloan American Tour and this incredible event! Also become a follower of Annie Sloan's Blog.

I will announce the local winner here on December 31,2011. Good luck!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Annie Sloan's Barcelona Orange

I just opened a quart of the new paint that arrived on Thursday.  I have been anxiously waiting for it.  It is stunning!  I painted a paint stick, one of my apples, a miniature chest, and did a sample with Barcelona Orange under Coco with clear and dark wax with some distressing so the orange comes through.  Can't wait to come up with some other combinations for this rich and lively color.

I had some old lace that was falling apart and not really good for clothing or decorator sewing, so I glued various pieces to some clear votives.  They look especially nice in a darkened room since the lace allows shadows and varying plays of light in a room.

Lately, I have been smitten with tiny shoes.  I found these at an antique show recently and could not resist them.

Everything is for sale in the shop, including these Boston Bull Terrier salt and pepper shakers.

It is always fun to have a variety of luncheon or dessert plates in the cupboard.  At home these days, I use everything.  Isn't everyday a day to use "the best"? There are four, "Made in Japan".

The color of this little box and the floral container in the painting behind it remind me of Annie's color "Arles".

One simply cannot have too many pieces of hair jewelry, especially if they are embellished with Japanese flowers and colors.

This is my lace-covered votive placed on my fireplace mantel at home.  It is the perfect place to sit and dream and be enchanted by the light, one of my favorite pastimes anytime.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Preparation

I have been getting ready for the holidays earlier than usual this year. I took a dollhouse down to my shop that I had displayed in a guest bedroom. It really needed a coat of Annie's Chalk Paint to transform it into an elegant little dollhouse. I had so much fun working on this project that now I am on the hunt for more dollhouses to paint.

I even went as far as looking for tiny lights to decorate the front of the house, but discovered, after attaching them, that battery-operated lights just do not last very long. Three double A batteries every three days is a bit extravagant. I put a little decorated tree in the window instead.

I brought in a small round table for the center of the room and painted it Versailles. The little tree looks perfect there. And, of course, Versailles looks good on absolutely everything!

I took my sewing machine down to the shop and made stockings to hang in the window. The fabrics and trims and lace are all vintage. They are also for sale.

The tiny red baby shoes stole my heart recently at an antique show. I think they spell the magic of the season, tender and sweet and hopeful.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Upcoming Shows and Workshops

This last Saturday I was a vendor at Art and Soul.  What an amazing week-long event this is for so many women who come from all over the country to participate in all kinds of art and mixed media classes.  I am hoping that next year I can take a workshop or two and do the vendor show again as it was so much fun being around all these creative women.  Everyone loved Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint and the colors.  I also had a chance to sell some of my antique textiles, trims, buttons, and tassels.  I will be selling more of this at the upcoming show at the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro.

Before the show, I was busy painting color cards to sell.  This is a time consuming process, but when it is finished the colors look so true, and it is easier to really see the paint and all the exquisite colors Annie has created in her palette.

I sell these in my shop and soon they will be listed on my website too. 

This is the new paint lid that just came into the shop.  It is going to be great!  Now no more mess or waste around the rim of the paint can. 

I have so many lovely things in my shop for sale, including this wonderful passion flower painting that was done on a board.  I would guess it is late 19th c. but it is such a beauty in form and color and composition.

In the weeks ahead I will be posting more photos of upcoming Chalk Paint workshops as well as holiday-themed workshops.  So please check in periodically to see what is going on in the shop and out of the shop at the various shows.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Purple Pear revisited

It has been awhile since I entered the world of blogging, even my very own.  I need to get back here and resume with some stories and a few photos of what has been going on with The Purple Pear......

 I finally am getting around to some essentials like advertising, what I am doing here and why I am in this retail space.

I have already moved several pieces of furniture out to accommodate some great Chalk Painted pieces by Kathy Sandler who has no problem playing with a multitude of colors as well as the clear and dark waxes.  I have added a table painted in Provence as well as a fun picture frame that I did in Antibes Green and Aubusson Blue with both waxes, but running a store tends to allow less time for huge projects at this point in time.

Old White is really such a versatile color for distressing as well as layering.  I never tire of looking at the softness of these pieces, and it seems this is a shade that is ever popular and in demand because of its timeless beauty.

Yesterday one of my customers brought in a picture frame that she had purchased at the Goodwill that she said was pretty dull and uninteresting.  I am amazed how she transformed this with Duck Egg Blue, Olive, Old White, and Arles.  It is an exquisite piece.  It almost looks as if she has added gold leaf, but it is the way she applied the Old White and Arles that gives it a wonderful metallic appearance.

I am also happy to say that my website is now active and will be featuring the paint, waxes, books, gift items and handmade creations.  I will also keep up with events and ongoing workshops there.  The door is opening to many possibilities and all of these "pages" will be updated on a regular basis.  Please stay tuned for more stories and photos of customer creations. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Opening the Purple Pear

The last two days, I have been moving into my shop at 1720 Lovejoy, Space #120.  The store faces 18th Street and is next to a cafe that sells espresso drinks and quick meals.  Stop by and see the shop and grab something from the cafe before you head home.
I just flew in Monday, late afternoon, after attending the IDAL Convention in Hampton, VA where I met many of the other Stockists as well as Annie Sloan.
We all had the opportunity to watch her paint a piece of furniture that was be given to someone in a drawing at the end of the show.  What a treat to watch Annie paint and wax and work.  It seems that she painted this piece in a flash!
I just kept taking photos of the process and watched her closely as she did each step. 
What a gem!  She used Primer Red on the first coat, then painted the base and mirror with Duck Egg Blue.  On the top and accents, she used Old White and finished it with the clear  and then dark wax. 
I returned to Alexandria, VA and went on a couple of bike rides in 100 degree temps over to Washington DC as well as Mount Vernon another day.  What a great trip and now I am back  opening my shop, "The Purple Pear".  Please do come and visit me.  Lots of workshops will be up and running very soon.  It will be a great place to paint, see all the colors, and talk about projects and ideas.  I am very excited to get going on all of this!