The Art Ladies. A unique, dynamic group of my long-time friends who originally bonded during our term as board members of the local Artists’ League. For almost 15 years we have met for dinner one a month to talk art, learn from each other, challenge each other, and share our lives.
Many of you know that I used to co-own a shop called Feather Your Nest with friends here in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was operated in conjunction with my former faux finishing studio, Faux Design Studio.
Of course, owning a shop means shopping the High Point Furniture Market.
One vendor I discovered years ago with my designer friend Sandra Barron was Blue Ocean Traders. Owner Jason Mulvene has made his company a top source for vintage American, European, Asian, Egyptian, and Indian furniture and accessories. For my store, I found items that coordinated well with the painted furniture and finds we offered. In my finishing studio, I bought furniture and accessories for the décor and ambiance, and often visitors twisted my arm to sell them.
Now that I am a consultant for DIY paint products and a blogger, I still love Blue Ocean Traders for photography props and a client here and there.
Recently I announced how pleased I am to be working on some projects for Homestead House’s Fusion Mineral Paint line. First some training materials, then presentations in Orlando. Heading to Toronto this weekend. Furniture finish demonstrations, basic social media and merchandising for merchants. It has been great fun getting to know a new DIY paint line and the retailers too.
So. I lost my roller covers in the studio closet where I thought I put them in a “safe place.”
I found these canvases and fond memories of my painting trip to Barcelona a few years ago with Melanie Royals of Royal Design Studio.
P.S. These are small sections of our projects we completed at the monastery Sant Jeroni de la Murtra. I love them. All of the wonderful designs were by Melanie. Dear friend Nancy Jones of Artworks Spokane was our star painter who inspired us like crazy.
The Colour Inspiration Notebook has now been published in Canada! It features all of the gorgeous furniture photography found in the original version, PLUS new photos of stunning furniture upcycling projects by many talented Canadians friends. And I am happy to say that it is printed in Red Deer, Alberta.
COLOUR INSPIRATION NOTEBOOK FOR CREATING GORGEOUS PAINTED FURNITURE
by Debbie Dion Hayes & Friends from Canada & USA
48 pages on heavy coated stock, 6″ by 9″
$19.95 plus tax and $7.00 shipping per book
Retailers in Canada coming soon!
Happy New Year!
I can’t believe My Patch Of Blue Sky is one year old. I am an entrepreneur at heart, and this is not my first business venture. I owned a faux finishing business for over 15 years, and I ran a small home décor shop called Feather Your Nest with three dear friends for a few years simultaneously.
It has been a fun year for me, with the worst challenge being that I work at home. I have always loved to leave the house, dressed for the day, to work in a studio or office environment filled with like-minded folks. The dynamic for creativity has now changed. I have to reach within myself, my print and internet resources and connections every day instead of brainstorming with peers in the room together.
Now I work with Lacey Jane, the kitty assistant, who works and snoozes by my elbow at the computer – or on top of my studio work table. We have some quality time, and I talk to her instead of myself.
WHAT DID I DO IN 2014?
Many readers think of me as a DIY project, design and travel blogger. I have been blogging for years, and love to mingle with other bloggers like I did again this year at the Haven Conference.
But, My Patch Of Blue Sky is also my business, and I am often asked what I do, other than blog.
In 2014, I worked with lots of wonderfully talented, dynamic Annie Sloan stockists. Three signed on quickly as my first clients, then the list evolved. We reinvented their existing stores, or designed new ones. We shopped for merchandise at the High Point and Atlanta Markets. I built websites, created email blasts and handled blogs and social media. We did workshops at their locations, and even created workshops for them to teach.
And we laughed, painted, stenciled, lugged furniture, shopped ’til we dropped and loved every minute of it. And I’m pleased to say that they tell me their businesses have grown with my help.
I also designed and wrote dozens of DIY paint and stencil projects for my fabulous clients, Royal Design Studio’s Paint + Pattern, Wood Icing™, Artisan Enhancements and Modern Masters. At times, I wondered if I had one more new idea in my brain, and somehow, the projects flowed!
Now I can say that I have a large portfolio of DIY paint, stencil, and related products to design with that blend beautifully with each other. Lots of exciting potential.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2015?
And who knew that The Colour Inspiration Notebook Canada will launch soon?
In early January, I will introduce The Workshop Store for retailers of DIY products who tell me they always need new, inexpensive, quality project workshops and furniture finishes to satisfy the never-ending demand by their customers. Running a store is daunting enough without the pressure of cobbling together new content.
The first offerings will be compiled from posts I have written for clients like Paint + Pattern and Wood Icing™, with their permission. Then I will add more, often.
Retailers will simply shop by drop-down tabs, choosing according to the product lines they sell.
For pure painting fun, I can’t wait to start the DIY Furniture Finish Design Challenge. So many times I pin stunning painted finish ideas on Pinterest, but how does one DO IT?
So, submit your inspiring photos for me to choose from on Facebook, and I will create a finish designed from the DIY paint and products I know and love.
Then I will share the recipe!
Do you love modern furniture? I do. Love the sleek lines and inventive designs. Modern style fits in everywhere, if you love to mix like I do. I recently discovered the Modani line of modern furniture – their stores are found in large metro areas and their website is to die for.
Modani modern furniture recently noticed my rogue design style here on MyPatchOfBlueSky.com and I responded with this post. Since I tend to break lots of rules I decided to tackle Modani’s Rules To Break Number 3 – stick to one pattern per room. Continue reading
The adorable, energetic and oh so talented Kim Yeager of Lark Nest Design and I met two years ago at the wild and crazy-wonderful September Junk Bonanza event in Shakopee, MN. She was displaying a cool piece of hers from Flea Market Style that featured Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in the Annie Sloan Unfolded booth where I was working. Plus, she was working the event with Ki Nassauer, upcycling guru, creator of Junk Bonanza and editor-in-chief of Flea Market Style Magazine.
I had to do it. I had to bust out of my office. Most days I am happy as a clam in my little nest – an office and studio filled with plants, inspiration and a kitty who manages it all. Today I had the wiggles that I could not squelch. One. Minute. Longer.
Recently, several of my Art Ladies friends journeyed north to Tazewell, Virginia, to spend a lovely, relaxing weekend with member and master glass artist Nancy Brooks of Sleepin’ Dog. In my pre-trip post I mentioned our typical agenda, but we never really know what will be in store until our arrival.