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.....






                                                        ...by 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.....



                                                       ...by 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






Thursday, April 3, 2014

TLC Vintage Collection April Newsletter -- Volume 11

April 2014
Volume 11

UPCOMING EVENTS!
Junk Jubilee – April 25-27 – TLC Vintage and its collaborators have decided to go with a theme for the spring show! We are excited and working hard in advance of the event. State Fairgrounds, 4-H Building.






Vintage & Junk Show Schedule – To map out the shows you want to see or just map a day of junking, check out IowaAntiquesNetwork. Here is a link to Mike’s schedule of upcoming events! http://iowaantiquenetwork.com/events








TIP OF THE MONTH
Waxing Made Easy! Waxing a piece should be no more difficult than painting it! Really! Most people are making it way to difficult. First, have plenty of lintless cloths at hand – teeshirts that have been washed a million times, shop rags. Do not buy the tee shirt rags at the store – these were never washed and are full of lint. Second, a good wax brush will reduce your effort, time and cost of waxing. Three, think of the soft clear wax as you would moisturizer or cold cream on your face. You do not handle it roughly. Gently – with just a little more force than painting – brush it into your paint in long strokes. Cover about a 15 inch square area. Be generous with your wax. Put down your brush and gently but firmly wipe of the excess wax. Turn the cloth to a new clean side periodically so you are not just pushing the wax you have picked up into a new area. Do NOT buff the wax. You are just removing the excess. It is perfect when you can no longer see your finger print in it and it does not feel wet or greasy. More wax tips next month!




PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
Stencil Cremes and Brushes – Chalk Paint® works great on stenciling. But we have something new you will also love. Many colors of Stencil Cremes by Royal Design Studio. Try them – metallic, peacock blue, brilliant reds and more! Plus we have small to large stencil brushes to make the job easier.



Stencils –We try to keep our stencil selection fresh for your picking! Check out the new French themed ones we carry from Artisan Enhancements! Only available through Annie Sloan Stockists!




THREE GREAT FACEBOOK PAGES!
Iowa Antiques Network – Webster City
Chalk Paint – Oxford England by Annie Sloan
Not on Facebook? Here are some stops in Des Moines to make as they do not do FB:
Euclid Flea Market, Repeat Boutique on Ingersoll, Vintage Cellar in Pleasant Hill, Collectomania. These are placed I go to find some great things!


WORKSHOPS
Chalk Paint® 101 Plus!
Six starter paint techniques plus clear and dark wax methods! $85 in advance.
April 7: 6 pm to 9 pm  (2 spots available)   May 3: 9 am to noon
June  9:  6 pm to 9 pm  July 12: 9 am to noon

Chalk Paint® Jump Start!
All new mini starter class. Just an hour and a half! $50 in advance. All held 6-7:30 pm except where noted otherwise.
April 14 (2 spots available             May 10: 10-11:30 am    June 16       July 14

Chalk Paint® 201 All New!
More amazing paint techniques of Annie Sloan!  Crackle, frottage, wet wax distress and more! In advance $85. All 9 am to noon Saturdays, except where noted otherwise.
May 24      June 28         July 22: 6- 9 pm

Chalk Paint® Your Kitchen Cabinets & Built-Ins! How to renew your dated cabinets at a fraction of the cost without replacing them! $135 in advance. All noon to 4 pm unless otherwise noted.
 April 19 (two spots available)        May 5: 6 to 10 pm
June 14             July 26

Wood Icing®
Learn how to “ice” wood, just like you would ice a cake. Create your own textured and built up decorations instead of purchasing plastic or wood appliques! All classes 9 am to 4 pm with break for lunch. $150 in advance.
 May 18     July 19

Studio Time -- by request!
This can be a tutoring session, a time/place for you to bring in and leave a piece of furniture to work on with helpful oversight, or a girls' afternoon or evening out. $25 per hour for individual, and adjusted for groups. Requirement that you purchase and use our materials and supplies for your project. Call to reserve and check availability.

Class Size & Cancellation Policy: We maintain the right to refund your money or arrange with you for a different date if we do not have the 3-4 people necessary  to make a class viable. If you are ill or weather prevents travel, you may reschedule to another date within six months of the date you originally scheduled. If your plans change we need a two week notice before the class date if you want to be rescheduled. Under two weeks there is no refund and if your spot is filled we will allow you to reschedule, otherwise your fee is forfeited.
 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

TLC Vintage Collection Newsletter Volume 10

March 2014
Volume 10
NEW CLASS OFFERINGS OVER NEXT FIVE WEEKS!
Here is a quick peek at our next few classes. See end of newsletter for details and classes through July!

March 8 – Chalk Paint® 201 – 9 am to noon Saturday – Frottage (create a travertine or slate look!), wax rub-offs (great for recreating frames), wet wax distress (dreamy distress look), and upholstery painting (great for updating out-dated furniture).
March 10 – Jump Start! – 6 to 7:30 pm Monday – A quick kick-off for those with no time on how to paint and wax using Annie Sloan’s great products: Chalk Paint® decorative paint and Clear and Dark Soft Wax!
March 15 – Kitchen Cabinet and Built-ins Rehab – Noon until 4 pm Saturday – How to prep, choose a style, execute a practice board to upate your kitchen or family room!
March 22 – Wood Icing™ -- 9 am to 4 pm Saturday – Learn how to ice your furniture or décor, as you would ice a cake! This amazing texture paste allows you to have raised reliefs with stencils, lace, stamps and more! Great for decorating wood and cigar boxes! Don’t miss this – it is only held about once a quarter due to minimum number requirements.
March 29 – Artisan Enhancements Special Effects – Noon to 4 pm Saturday – Transfer images from paper to furniture or décor! Gild with ease! Crackle made easy! Products you don’t know about but will love to use!
UPCOMING EVENTS!
Junk Jubilee – April 25-27 – TLC Vintage and its collaborators have decided to go with a theme for the spring show! We are excited and working hard in advance of the event. State Fairgrounds, 4-H Building.

Guess what the theme of our booth will be?  





TIP OF THE MONTH
Ways to keep your paint fresh on your shelf! Like to have lots of Chalk Paint® colors on hand, but worried about spoiling or wasting paint? Here are important tips!
Use a syringe to syphon out paint and place it in a separate container for painting. This will prevent contamination from bacteria on a brush. It will help keep lid clean so it seals tight without a buildup of dried paint.
Never add tap water to your can of paint. Tap water contains bacteria that will cause mold to grow on a closed can of paint. If you add water to the can, make sure it is purified or distilled.
Use flip-lids to help keep you can sealed. These and syringes are sold at TLC Vintage Collection.
Our newest product is three sizes of Paint-Eze (all the same price). Part or an entire can of paint can fit into these plastic bottles. They have a silicone nipple that never blocks up with dried paint. We are converting to this use in our workshop we like them that well!

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
Buffing brushes – Oval shaped large and medium size beautiful mahogany shiny brushes with a hand strap and black bristles. Perfect for buffing up a shine!



TSP – Degreaser you need to use any time you undertake painting something that has been in a kitchen. Scrub well with TSP, then rinse well and dry – off you go to a successful paint job!

Gilding Waxes – Great highlighters in gold, silver, pewter, brass! A final finishing touch after you have waxed to add a little sparkle. Or, stencil with these great waxes or create a glaze! We’ll tell you how!



THREE GREAT FACEBOOK PAGES!
Garage 9, Des Moines
Caryville Country, New Virginia
Annie Sloan Unfolded, New Orleans

WORKSHOPS
Chalk Paint® 101 Plus!
Six starter paint techniques plus clear and dark wax methods! $85 in advance.
April 7: 6 pm to 9 pm May 3: 9 am to noon
June 9: 6 pm to 9 pm July 12: 9 am to noon

Chalk Paint® Jump Start!
All new mini starter class. Just an hour and a half! $50 in advance. All held 6-7:30 pm except where noted otherwise.
March 10 April 14
May 10: 10-11:30 am June 16 July 14

Chalk Paint® 201 All New!
More amazing paint techniques of Annie Sloan! Crackle, frottage, wet wax distress and more! In advance $85. All 9 am to noon Saturdays, except where noted otherwise.
March 8 April 19
May 24 June 28 July 22: 6- 9 pm

Chalk Paint® Your Kitchen Cabinets & Built-Ins! How to renew your dated cabinets at a fraction of the cost without replacing them! $135 in advance. All noon to 4 pm unless otherwise noted.
March 15 April 12 May 5: 6 to 10 pm
June 14 July 26

Wood Icing®
Learn how to "ice" wood, just like you would ice a cake. Create your own textured and built up decorations instead of purchasing plastic or wood appliques! All classes 9 am to 4 pm with break for lunch. $150 in advance

March 22 May 18 July 19



 Artisan Enhancements Special Effects!

Crackle, Pearl Plaster, Transfer Gel, Venetian Plaster and easier than ever before gilding! Fun beyond description! Noon to 4 pm $140 in advance
    March 29       May 31     June 21  




Studio Time -- by request!
This can be a tutoring session, a time/place for you to bring in and leave a piece of furniture to work on with helpful oversight, or a girls' afternoon or evening out. $25 per hour for individual, and adjusted for groups. Requirement that you purchase and use our materials and supplies for your project. Call to reserve and check availability.
Class Size & Cancellation Policy: We maintain the right to refund your money or arrange with you for a different date if we do not have the 3-4 people necessary to make a class viable. If you are ill or weather prevents travel, you may reschedule to another date within six months of the date you originally scheduled. If your plans change we need a two week notice before the class date if you want to be rescheduled. Under two weeks there is no refund and if your spot is filled we will allow you to reschedule, otherwise your fee is forfeited.
TLC Vintage Collection 7518 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights (Des Moines) IA 50324 Telephone: 515-276-1577 (shop)
Email: tlcvintage@tlcvintagecollection.com Website: www.tlcvintagecollection.com Blog: www.tlcvintagecollection.blogspot.com Facebook & Pinterest: TLC Vintage Collection

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Travel Elixer For Burnout! Recap of Building a Business!

Building a business from scratch is kind of like pregnancy -- except the condition lasts a lot longer! TLC Vintage Collection is the second business I have built from ground up, so I knew what I was getting into! Like a planned pregnancy, it all begins with an idea -- Wouldn't it be great to have a child --- OR, in this case, have a quaint little paint and vintage shop? And in both situations, conception is a great deal of the excitement and fun! LOL


I didn't have nine months to come up with a name though. I had about a minute and a half when I successfully phone interviewed with Lisa Rickert, CEO of Annie Sloan Unfolded, in August 2011 and she approved me to become the first Iowa stockist for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. "What business name should I put on the contract," she asked. Out popped a very "Janet is a Virgo" buttoned-up name: TLC Vintage Collection LLC. And so a business was conceived without a lot of thought to the name. I so wish it was something catchier, like: Vintage Flair, Capital City Emporium or Vanity Flair! Fortunately, my talented son Chris Saldanha is a graphic designer and came up with a logo I like very much! He knows me well.

That was a Wednesday, and Chalk Paint® would arrive for sale in Iowa two days later! What's a gal to do? Well, I contacted a lawyer to form an LLC, started this blog, build a sales on-line website at www.tlcvintagecollection.com, reserved a locked case at The Brass Armadillo, and I am not sure when I first set up the TLC Facebook page....it is all a blur that first 48 hours --including emptying out part of the garage to have a spot for the paint! Fortunately, the weather was not hot and the paint could be in the garage for a month or so.


Within a month -- which had included arrival of the paint, 10 day trip east to do my training in High Point, NC -- and a whirlwind of sales from my home, the antique mall and on-line -- I needed to expand and opened a booth at the mall. Here was our feeble first attempt!






Two months later we expanded at the mall again, got rid of the case, and put the paint out where people could take it from the shelf to checkout themselves. All this done without a bank loan, but not taking any money home either. Everything we made went into more inventory. And the hunt began for the next step -- retail space. I compare this point to the time in pregnancy when you don't want to admit that your jeans just won't work anymore and you have to opt for maternity clothes. Growth is inevitable and requires change.






Sherwood Forest Shopping Center on Hickman Road in Windsor Heights, bordering Urbandale. Why? Loved the half tudor look, loved direct path from either I235 or I80W-I35S, and easy enough from the northern side of the city freeway. Price was right, lots of parking for customers and delivery semis, location great just 5 minutes from home, open floor plan!





Things were a bit slim when we opened. And our paint display was a bit -- well, basic! But it was April and we were going to Junk Jubilee for the first time, had been to our first Annie Sloan convention and were about to launch our first teaching workshop in our new space! Operating on slim margins -- and quite frankly still are!

So that was the first eight months of TLC Vintage Collection and Chalk Paint® at its new Central Iowa Headquarters! And now it is almost two years later! Our work has become a bit more sophisticated and our workshops more frequent and varied in topic. Taking furniture from this look....


To this look....



Improving our display from this look.....






to this look.....



So I am a little on the edge of burnout, so I am hitting the road with my gal pal Lynn. Travel has always been my elixir  when I feel fried! I have wanderlust which led me to a life in Europe in my 20s and early 30s. It has taken me to wonderful places on this continent, in the Pacific and throughout Europe. But now there is nothing like a Junk Jaunt with a friend -- with just a little bit of Thelma and Louise in us to make it daring but not dangerous -- to refresh the mind and the soul. So spend some time here on our blog this week as we head out on a plane in predicted winter mix tomorrow for Texas in search of rusty gold and vintage finds!