Thursday, August 25, 2011

Iowa, Meet Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

Tomorrow, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint arrives in Iowa in bulk for probably the first time! Destination: TLC Vintage Collection storage, waiting to be sent out to retailers and consumers around the state.

We ARE the Iowa stockist for

I cannot wait to get my hands on this wonderful product that eliminates messy, smelly, noxious, time-consuming stripping and sanding! Put it on virtually any clean, dry surface and follow up with the appropriate wax and you have a fantastic rehabilitated piece of furniture to match your personal or client's style.

Don't you think an application like above would look good on my sweet little corner desk?

When I looked into refinishing this piece and wanted to know the best product to use, I kept seeing on the shabby chic blogger sites how everyone was raving about "chalk paint."  What they were blogging about was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 28 plus colors and an ease of use unsurpassed. I thought to myself, "Gotta have it!"

But I would have had to order from out of state. No stockist in Iowa. So I started talking to Lisa in Louisiana, the North American distributor for Annie Sloan, and even emailed with Annie Sloan in London. I asked them, please, please, please pick me! And they did! They wanted to open up the Iowa market for Annie's wonderful products.

My inventory arrives, yes, tomorrow. So this weekend will find me eagerly and passionately working on the desk above, trying out this great new product. And, between a coat or two, working on my virtual store on the web, so people can easily order from me.

In the meantime, if you want to order, just leave a message in comments with your email address or email me at (temporary til my TLC address is set up) and we can discuss colors and costs! I can bill you through PayPal. Talk to you soon!

Oh, here is one more picture to show you a bit of the technique used. More to come as I transform my desk above.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pretty Little Things

My name is Janet and I am a "picker."

There I've admitted my new addiction, pure and simple. There is just something amazing about finding pretty little things that someone is discarding or selling inexpensively that to you is a refound treasure.

Whether it is ceramic, china or crystal, whether it is natural wood, painted or mind if it is rusty and crusty! There are just items or furniture that jump out at me because they have nice lines, good bones or a bit of charm. Sometimes I imagine the tale they might have to tell....but that is a different blog.

So this week's feature in Pretty Little Things is my Geisha with Fan! Creamy white and so demur, at first I thought she was a lady head or wall pocket vase. But there was no way to hang her and she had this odd perfect hole on her chest. I almost missed her sitting there in someone's garage behind a clutter of items. But somehow the good stuff jumps out at you the second time through. $1? Sold!

Sitting 6 1/4 inches on my mantle, I researched and found two exactly like her on the internet. Dating from the 1950s or 60s, imbedded Made in China on the bottom, Geisha with Fan is most likely Blanc de Chine, according to the matching listing on Ruby Lane. This is a European term for a type of Chinese porcelain. According to Wikipedia Blanc de Chine comes from Dehua in the Fujian province of China, and is sometimes called Dehua porcelain. Manufacture of Blanc de Chine goes back to the Ming dynasty over 450 years ago. (Disclaimer: I am not an antique expert. I report merely what may be a probable explanation for a piece I find. Reproductions and fakes may be possible.)

But Geisha with Fan is pure retro 1950-60s production -- though she has lines to some pretty amazing predecessors! One thing for sure is she is elegant, undamaged and had to travel a long way to get here. Now part of her story has been told. Best yet, my $1 investment is listing out there for $30!