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.


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.


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






A Lovely Fabric-Like Cabinet Finish Using Wood Icing™, Chalk Paint® And A Stencil!

Cabinet finish using Wood Icing™ Textura Paste and Chalk Paint®

Last week I spent three wonderful fall days wandering the High Point Market. It’s where buyers and interior designers go twice yearly to buy for their stores and clients. You can imagine the eye candy is over the top, and I get ideas faster than I can remember them. I did leave with the plan to create a furniture finish using Wood Icing® Textura Paste that is lightly textured, washed and soft gold and grey.

Yes, like pretty fabric, with a gorgeous glass pull that is similar to the pattern.

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Furniture Finish Trends + Bling At The Fall High Point Market

Blues, reds and brass at the High Point Market

This week I spent three glorious days walking the gigantic buildings at the High Point Market with buyer/interior designer friends. Thousands of showrooms touted the latest and greatest new introductions and long-time favorites in furniture, accessories and lighting. The crisp autumn weather was the perfect backdrop for the 70,000+ (wholesale-only) buyers from around the globe who arrive twice a year to buy for their stores and clients.

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How Rusty And Crusty (Crustic) Will YOU Go When Painting Furniture?


rustic, crusty, crustic, furniture, painting, finishes


Let’s face it. The Chalk Paint® revolution has embraced millions who are happily painting away, upcycling and having a blast doing it. Have you joined this fun phenomenon? Are you happy with painting a couple of coats of a pretty color, distressing lightly, waxing, and calling your piece done? Or do you want more zip, zing, character, and personality for your project like me?

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Magically Merchandised Displays Using Multiples at the High Point Furniture Market!

Early spring in the High Point, North Carolina area means the Furniture Market is open to 80,000 international buyers and interior designers madly intent on discovering the coolest, newest designs for their stores and clients.

While they shop ’til they drop for several days I arm myself with cameras and seek nothing more than to explore the showrooms for merchandising ideas. (Plus mental shopping, of course. Looking is free.)

While downloading my zillions of photos to share with you I realized I was shooting similar patterns over and over – the use of multiple items. You name it, apparently I was loving it!

Pretty pillows piled on in patterns galore, mix and match:

High Point Furniture Market - Spring 2014 - merchandising - display - multiples

Poufs perched in perfect alignment:
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Getting Crustic at the Spring High Point Market

Blue Ocean Traders - mantel It’s one of my favorite times of the year. The daffodils are popping up and the white petals from the Bradford Pear trees are drifting in the breeze. Meaning the Spring Furniture Market is here for the week. 80,000 buyers from around the world representing 100 countries. They have converged on our little town in North Carolina to see what’s new in furniture, accessories, rugs, lighting and more for 2014.

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9 Funky Choices For Industrial Chic Lighting!

Are you a fan of edgy industrial style? Are you always cruising for new looks to enhance your decor? Need a bit of eye candy just for fun?

Here are ten cool options from Furniture Market showrooms to get your creative juices flowing, from artsy to rustic to blingy.


industrial - lighting - pendant

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My New Home Studio Challenge Using Chalk Paint® And Stencils!

Recently I embarked on a new journey encompassing “My Patch of Blue Sky” the blog, the website, the creative resource for independent retailers. Not to mention “Blue Sky Style” which is simply my personal style. My first mission was to create a new home office – since I have always loved getting out of the house and going to another location to work, this was a biggie. It had to be a comfy and an engaging space to get me creative!

Let me know what you think!  – Debbie Dion Hayes

New Studio