Monday, April 14, 2014

Annie Sloan, Have You Seen My Hubby?

Dear Annie Sloan, 

Sorry to bother you about this! I know you are busy with a new book, training new stockists in Europe, preparing to visit the U.S. next month for your annual conference. But honestly, Annie, my husband is missing and I know for a fact -- you are responsible! Please, let me explain.

                                                       ...Steven M Sipple for The Journal Star

Annie, this is a picture of Nebraska University's Memorial Stadium on game day -- the most sacred spot in the world to my husband, who is a Cornhusker through and through. To understand this, you need to think of Manchester United fans and you will understand his passion. And the only color that dominates a Husker fan is red -- the sea of red you see in this photo. A miniature version of this sea of red hits you if you walk into our closet where about half of Dan's side is plastered with red clothing. It is a brilliant red, much like.....

                                               Christopher Drake for Annie Sloan

your very own Chalk Paint® decorative paint color called Emperor's Silk. Please understand, this color has dominated Dan's life since he was a small boy being raised in Lincoln, Nebraska where he shared a passion for all things Husker Red with his father and sister! (His mother was from Iowa like me, and not that big a fan!)

But, I digress. Back to the issue of what you have done with my husband! This all started about a year ago as he was retiring from a long, very loved career as a journalist. I needed help in my shop -- TLC Vintage Collection -- where you know I am a devoted stockist for you and Annie Sloan Unfolded, your American distributor. So Dan agreed to help -- initially we thought with inventory, the bookkeeping, janitorial -- just anything that needed done and I didn't have time to do. That's when things started to change.

The first time, I just thought it was a fluke. It went like this: "Honey, did you see that truck?"

Me: "No."

Dan: "It was painted Florence!" He was excited, he was pointing, I was looking and sure enough! The truck was painted a color that very much resembled.....

                                              Christopher Drake for Annie Sloan

your amazing color called Florence! Yes, he was right as I saw the truck's tailgate glistening as it drove away! 

Me: "That's amazing. You are right!" (First time, for everything, I chuckled to myself).

But it didn't end there, Annie! A few nights later, the two of us are relaxing in our hot tub in the garden after a long day at work. Dan was sipping his beverage of choice, as was I -- enjoying the blooming flowers and trees, the humming birds feeding from the hibiscus. Suddenly, Dan let out a long sigh and said.....and I quote:

"Do you REALLY know what I love about Annie's colors?"

Okay, so I am thinking this has got to be really good! We are going to hear all about Emporer's Silk and how many ways we can use it in our house, right? But no, here it comes....

Dan: "All the beautiful blues! She just has so many great blues! Louis and Aubusson and Napoleonic...there are just so many great blues! Even Greek!"

I think I dropped my glass of Scotch into the hot tub at this point! Who was this man -- this stranger -- sitting in my hot tub! And what had you done -- Annie Sloan -- with my husband? Okay, so he looked like Dan. But, oh brother, this was not Dan-Speak!

Well, I realized then and there that there was only one solution. So I sent this guy that looked like Dan off to official training in High Point NC with the revered Barb Skivington. If my husband was going to start talking the talk of Chalk Paint® -- we better be sure he could walk the walk,   errrr -- paint the paint, that is!

This new guy, the Renaissance version of my former husband Dan, is an integral part of our little three-person shop. He loves to explain the many uses of Chalk Paint® to our customers, pointing out techniques and color combinations. But we still see an inkling of the old Dan when someone starts asking for a match for Periwinkle or Fuschia or Persimmon! In a flash, he will call on Mary Lou or myself to help out, looking like a fish out of water! 

Now, Annie -- can you just help me get some of that plentiful red out of our walk-in closet???

Best regards, your devoted Central Iowa stockist, Janet