Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Your Home Must Be Amazing!" (, I'm sorry. It Isn't!) I admit that I love my little shop, TLC Vintage Collection -- central Iowa headquarters for Chalk Paint(R) decorative paint by Annie Sloan. Somehow during the four minute morning commute from my home to my shop, all my inner decorating and creative inhibitions dissipate. I become a free spirit, able to splash a bit of the very Best Paint in the World onto anything and have it turn out lovely and charming.

But like Cinderella at midnight, as I make the return trip eight hours later from shop to home, the magic disappears. I become unable to make a decision about my décor or color themes. As a result, my home is a hodge podge of styles and broken trains of creative thought. A wreck, quite frankly.

I've tried to figure out why this Jekyll-Hyde change in my abilities between the two physical locations. Here is what I have come up with. If you visit my shop, you can see it is highly influenced from my 12 years living in Europe during my early adult years. The chandelier, the curvy lines, the accessories, the lace....Those were years where my homes were filled with bits and pieces of 18th and 19th century furniture, when I would frequent restaurants and hotels dating back hundreds of years.

Suddenly, with little notice, I returned to the U.S. with few of those items I had collected and began a new life (on a strict budget). My two children and I filled our first home with what I charmingly call "garagesaleandfamilybasement" décor. The best was the cutdown library table/coffee table that we grew up with on the farm as kids. (It is back in my brother's living room at the farm now!) I was so busy making a living and keeping up with the kids that not much attention was put into decorating!

Fast forward 25 years, several jobs and the building of two very different businesses.....suddenly I can shop -- not with abandon -- but at least with an eye that anything I buy will be resold. That makes you look for items of distinction and economy and multipurpose. You look for items that will charm and turn over. And then my golden rule for this business: Buy low, sell low and sell a lot. Who wants to enter my shop and see things over and over again? No, you are hoping to find new things and fresh ideas.

Therein lies the disconnect. When I buy for the shop or even decorate there, it is temporary.....I won't be living with it for long. This make me free and able to pivot from one idea to the next without hesitation. Not so at home! First, my thriftiness instinct kicks in -- you want things to be the way you will be happy with them for a long time! You can't invest hours of time and hundreds of dollars into something you may not like tomorrow! I stop trusting my instincts.....So where does it end?

Right here, right now. And here is kitchen is literally falling apart. The cabinetry is covered with Thermafoil and it is starting to crack and peel off the drawers and doors from ten years of hard use (did I tell you that I love to cook and do so almost every day?). The appliances are packing up on me. It looks like the aftermath of a war zone. It has to be redone if we decide to sell this house and downsize sometime in the next decade. I don't want to never enjoy the fruits (and costs) of the labor of  remodeling it. So since Chalk Paint(R) cannot work well over Thermafoil -- and the cabinets are poor quality any way, I hired a professional to redesign the kitchen lay out and widen the very narrow doorway to the dining room.

I turned to a hometown gal who I knew in grade and high school, Peggy Triggs of Grimes, owner of Cabinets by Design. This has started the ball rolling. It now means that the entire first floor is going through a redecoration. And I found two rooms of walnut French Provincial for sale on Craig's List. It arrived yesterday -- and I quickly rearranged dining and living room to accomdate it -- but we still have repainting everywhere to do.....

 The Old

The New

So the story is not over......Follow us as we prepare for the contractors to come in and tear out the kitchen along with tips and ideas as we move forward. I can't imagine where all of this is going. So let's discover it together!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TLC Vintage Collection October Newsletter Volume 17

Here is what is happening at TLC Vintage Collection, Central Iowa Headquarters
 for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan!
Burgundy, a scrumptious cranberry red, has arrived in both quart and sample sizes. This is the latest color of Chalk Paint (R) Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan. A great autumn type color arrives just in time to go with fall decor.

Lemon scent Scrubby soap! We have carried orange and now we have lemon too! Great for cleaning brushes as it is infused through a plastic sponge that helps scrub off crusty paint. Great degreaser to also use at your kitchen sink.

Christmas cards, labels and mini bags are here! Humorous or heartfelt, the Shannon Martin line
does it again. We have lots of stocking stuffers, too,in small sizes of lip balm and body butter.

Follow my colleagues in Canada as they celebrate October and 31 days of Annie Sloan colors. Each day a Stockist posts about a color with background and photos. Then Canadian customer compete for prizes by submitting their projects using the day's color. Pull up Annie Sloan Canada 31 days of Chalk Paint.

Tip of the Month
Suddenly I am into layering colors. I also like the hint of an underlying wood. Check out one of my September blogs on layering colors with a sponge, then sanding to give a blended look. Sorry this is short this month, but I accidentally destroyed my computer and am waiting on a new one.


Chalk Paint® 101

Learn the fundamentals of painting with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. One and two color distressing, rustic, modern, faux copper patina, antiquing as well as application of soft clear and dark wax. Class is $85 in advance. Offered on the following dates:

November 1:  9 am to noon

December 6: 9 am to noon

Chalk Paint (R) 201 All New!
More amazing paint techniques of Annie Sloan! Crackle, frottage, wet wax distress and more! In advance, $85. Minimum of 4 people.
November 8: 9 am to noon.

Chalk Paint (R) Your Kitchen Cabinets & Built-Ins! How to renew your dated cabinets at a fraction of the cos without replacing them! $85 in advance. Minimum 3 people.
Oct. 25: Noon to 3 pm

Wood Icing
Ice wood like you would ice a cake. Texture paste to add dimension to any surface! No one else is offering this product or class in Iowa.
November 22: Noon to 3 pm

Artisan Enhancements Special Effects!
Crackle, Pearl Plaster, Transfer Gel, Gulding Foil! Fun beyond description! 4 person minimum. $85 in advance.
Oct. 11: Noon to 3 pm

Peeling Paint, Crust & Ctrud
Perfect for the junker who wants to blend a newer piece or add a more rustic finish to an item to blend in. Peeling off paint, layers of crust and crud...this is a fun evening class! Offered once to see how you like it.
Oct. 13: 6-9 pm

Introduction to Milk Paint
A variety of applications for the use of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint. Wax distress, layering, staining and more!
Oct. 18: 9 am to noon.
Dec. 13: 9 am to noon.

Girls Night Out! Wine, Cheese and Paint Therapy!
Put together a group of girlfriends and spend 3 hours in the studio painting! Organize your group. Book it exclusively $360 for your group of up to 8 people. You bring the wine, we provide the cheese and paint!
Oct. 14: 6:30 to 9:30 pm

Cancellation Policy: Payment is required to reserve your place in class. Fees are non-refundable. But if your plans change and you give two weeks’ notice before your class date, you can take the class at a later date that it is offered within six months of original date. Under two weeks, I will try to fill your space and then you can choose another class date when offered. However, if I am unable to fill your space, you will forfeit your fee. Thank you for your understanding of this policy.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Burgundy Arrives Today at TLC Vintage, Central Iowa Headquarters for Chalk Paint®


TLC Vintage Collection, 

Central Iowa Headquarters


Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan 

Announces The Arrival Today of



Quarts will be available this late this afternoon at TLC Vintage Collection. Sample sizes not until next week. We will begin shipping to out of town customers Monday at the latest for quart sizes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mille Feuille Finish -- or Cheryl's Kitchen Sponge Technique!

At TLC Vintage Collection, Central Iowa headquarters for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, we are always looking for brilliant, easy, practical paint finishes and methods to share with our readers. is the best ever so far, thanks to my dear friend and stockist colleague -- Cheryl Frampton -- who is clever, witty and brilliant - owner of the Big White Goose, Canby OR and her friend Bob -- your common kitchen sponge! I buy mine, 3/$1, at Dollar Tree. Great tool for your workbench!

So let's take your first half 1900s hall table and turn it into something phenomenal with little paint and product in about two hours, start to finish!

Clean your furniture with dish soap and warm water, rinse, let dry. Then apply small amount of French Linen to your clean, new sponge and gently whisk it over the surface. Do not try for full coverage.....let some wood and varnish show through. Once dry, do the same with Duck Egg not apply paint into crevices....let it fall where it may. After this level dries, you will do the same with Paris Grey...

Next you will sand lightly with 200-600 grit sandpaper to merge colors and bring out any natural imperfections of the piece. Take the dust off with a tack cloth or cheese cloth.

The finale is to do a blended wax of Clear Soft Wax and Renaissance Gilding Wax (both available at our physical store and on line at Apply and wipe off the excess as normal, leaving extra in cracks and ridges to help leave a metallic gold sheen.

Let dry for a few days before buffing or placing items on top. Patina look finish with panache!