Announcing The Workshop Store, A DIY Painters Design Challenge & More for 2015!

Blue Sky Anniversary

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?

Annie Sloan stockists shop redesign projects

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.

DIY paint and project samples

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?

Color Inspiration Notebooks - USA and Canada

In August, I self-published the Color Inspiration Notebook for Creating Gorgeous Furniture. Who know that there would be dozens of retailers in the USA in half of the states. Plus one in Canada?

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!

Stay tuned for details. 2015 is going to be a blast!Signature2

 

 

 

 

 

My Funky Holiday Mantel Decorating In Our Cozy Den

This rustic fireplace is perfect for some funky decorations

Our den is where we truly live in the evening. We are empty nesters, and admittedly, we eat dinner here, watch movies and sports here, and find ourselves quite entertained by our three calico kitties each night. The fact that red leather furniture and a crusty old red door make up the décor means decorating for Christmas is a snap. In fact, decorating the mantel with lots of natural holly and large branches in the fireplace that stay in place all year is quite speedy.

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An Old Dough Bowl Gets Gorgeous Using Wood Icing® + Milk Paint!

Wooden dough bowl painted with green mmilk paint and stenciled with Wood Icing Textura Paste

I have spent many years in the faux finishing and DIY paint worlds. I can’t even begin to count the number of different products I have used. Some I love to use, and others…well, not so much. I am excited today to play with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for the first time. The look is very “me” and the though of pairing it in a project with Wood Icing‘s Textura Paste made me jump out of bed this morning in anticipation of the possibilities.

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Celebrating “Year-Round” Christmas Tree & Room Decorating – Almost!

Oh, Christmas Trees! Blog HopThanks for stopping by our Holiday Blog Hop! If you’re looking for inspiration for your tree, DIY ornaments, or just want to see some really gorgeous, fun, and creative Christmas trees, then you’ll LOVE the hop,

“Oh, Christmas Trees!”

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to follow the links at the end of the post to visit all the great blogs!

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Non-traditional Christmas tree decorating

I finally finished decorating our Christmas tree, the living room and adjoining kitchen. Can I moan and groan tell you I was at it for days? Continue reading

Win A Color Inspiration Notebook From DIY Furniture Painting Bloggers!

I am having so much fun with several of my favorite bloggers who are giving away a Color Inspiration Notebook – just in time for your painting projects. And gifting of course!

MEET SUZANNE BUGHERI of The Painted Drawer

The Painted Drawer Notebook giveaway

Suzanne loves to paint like I do, and in her giveaway post she shares projects like these, and how she uses the Color Inspiration Notebook.

Don’t miss Suzanne’s giveaway post and enter to win a Notebook! Just click on the picture above! Her promotion ends TODAY AT MIDNIGHT!

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MEET DANIELLE DRISCOLL of Finding Silver Pennies

Finding Silver Pennies Notebook Giveaway

Danielle transformed this old dresser using Miss Mustard Seed’s Mustard Seed Yellow paint. How pretty and cheerful!

Want to read Danielle’s project post and enter to win a Notebook? Just click on the picture above! Her promotion ends on November 30th.

Stay tuned for winner announcements, including the giveaway from Kim Yeager at LARK NEST DESIGN.

More blogger giveaways coming soon!

Want to purchase a Notebook? Order or find a retailer near you.

 

How To Use Your Color Inspiration Notebook For A Project! (Part Three)

How to use your Color Inspiration Notebook for a project

This week we are using the Color Inspiration Notebook to work on my master bedroom redo – the primary objective is to refinish three large pieces of furniture. Platform bed and two large dressers. Holy cow. They are 30 years old, wonderful, but the teak seems to get more orange by the day. Not the look I am going for. Continue reading

Exploring The Color Inspiration Notebook – The Built-In Color Wheel

My Notebook is a power-packed little tool. It’s only 6″ by 9″, but it is stuffed with inspiring details. Take the built-in color wheel, for example. It includes the traditional colors, plus neutrals and metallics:

The Color Inspiration Notebook built-in color wheel

There are gorgeous photos of painted furniture by many passionate, talented artists. Plus photography of architecture, nature, and worldly travels – color combinations in abundance. Not to mention, you will begin to see color ideas everywhere as you go about your day.

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Inspiring Quilts of Tazewell, Virginia – the Patterns, the Colors, the Designs!

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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.

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