See you in September…@ Brimfield!

It is time to get ready for the September 2012 Brimfield Antiques Show!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Brimfield Antique Show is really a collection of shows. I will be participating in the New England Motel Antique Show (next to the Food Court) from Wednesday September 5th through Saturday September 8th.

You can find me near the central parking entrance to the New England Motel Show.  I’ll be in space 303A&B–the 2nd tent on your right as you come through the main entrance.

Hope to see you there!

The shop will be open from 10am-5pm on Friday and Saturday August 31st-September 1st and then closed for the duration of the show. I will be returning to normal business hours the following week.  Any online orders received through Sunday (9/2) will be shipped on Monday (9/3).  Orders received after Sunday will not be shipped until Monday, August 10th (inventory permitting).

I am so looking forward to catching up with everyone!  Keeping fingers crossed for fair weather.  If you are new to the show, check out my earlier post on my top 10 tips for navigating Brimfield!

What is on your wish list for Brimfield 2012?










Back from Brimfield – Part I

It was a fun but very hot week at the July, 2012 Brimfield Antiques Show.  I must say I prefer the heat to the torrential rain we experienced last Fall!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Brimfield Antiques Festival is really a collection of shows.  I participate in the New England Motel Show.  The field opens at 6 a.m. sharp on Wednesdays of the show weeks scheduled for May, July and September of each year.

I was still pricing and tweeking my space at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning after doing most of the set up on Monday and Tuesday.  After the work was done my space looked like this…

I set up a wall area to display some Annie Sloan product and sample finishes.

For seating, I brought along my restyled wicker chair painted in a mix of Provence and Old White Chalk Paint™.

My friends Robyn and Mohammed from Kingston Krafts are my nearest neighbors in the co-op tent we rent for the show.  They are the sweetest couple who do fabulous painted and restyled vintage and antique furniture.

They have a gorgeous Etsy Shop and a Workshop/Studio space in Providence where they do custom furniture refinishing.  A number of their pieces are finished with Chalk Paint™ so our spaces are very complementary and visitors flow freely between them.

The star of the show was their amazing zinc top table!

Since most of my booth consisted of antique and vintage smalls, and my friends had some large furniture installations, I opted to share part of my space for the July show.

Just shortly after the show opened, my largest piece–a rustic white farm table –found a new home on Martha’s Vineyard along with a folksy hand made boat and a dotty 50′s era glass ice bucket.

This vintage aqua bottle is going to be used to house a sea glass collection — only the very smallest fragments.

One of my gothic cabinet doors (salvaged from a former Newport Mansion) was sold to a sweet couple who are making an old church their new home.

The pre-1940′s carnival wheel will be gracing the walls of a family game room.  The yellow Abington Acanthus art pottery vase (directly below) is now in the home of a collector that was admiring its rich color and near mint condition.

 The Daniel’s Auto Radiator sign was happily carted off by another ‘Daniel’—no doubt!

One of my favorite finds was a pair of vintage green and yellow water skis.  I just love the color and the slightly worn finish.  They were purchased by a sports collector.

I also, love-love-love this sculptural deco watering can!  It came home with me from the show so I get to enjoy it for a little while longer.  The pair of candelabras in the background were purchased by a Connecticut photographer to be used as studio props.

I didn’t get a great picture of the vintage yellow and red Royal Crown Cola cooler, but it had spectacular color and just screamed nostalgia. The couple who bought the cooler were not collectors, they just loved the color too!

As things get sold (or not sold!) the space is rearranged multiple times before packing up and heading home.

By the end of the show, it is hard to even remember the initial set-up as items are re-grouped, moved to a more prominent location or set aside as ‘sold’ to be picked up later.

All in all, it was a fun and successful week.  Thanks to all for coming by to visit!  It was great seeing all my old friends and meeting some new ones, talking antiques and vintage-and of course Chalk Paint™.  Now off to unpack–and then luxuriate in some air conditioning! More to follow…

Before and After Picture Frame

I picked up this gold picture frame at the local Thrift Shop with plans to experiment with some fun products including Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan and her Crackle varnish (Craqueleure) just to name a few!


First I painted the surface with Provence Chalk Paint.™  When it was dry, I wiped some of the surface area with a damp rag to reveal hints of gold underneath.  Then, I lightly dry brushed the surface with Cream Chalk Paint.™

Now onto the next step….I applied Annie Sloan’s 2 step Craqueleur over the dry surface to give the frame some interesting texture.  Janet from The Empty Nest Blog gives a wonderful tutorial on the 2 step process here.

Once the two step crackle is applied and has dried, it is hard to detect the fine crackle pattern before antiquing it with Annie Sloan Dark Soft Wax.  Once you apply and wipe off the excess Wax, the fine eggshell crackle is revealed.

I used some Gilding Wax in Empire Gold to lift the color and bring highlights to the surface.

After the Wax had dried but was still tacky, I applied Aging Dust to the surface to give the frame a time worn feel.

I love restyling picture frames and mirrors!

  It is a fun and easy way to update your furnishings and enjoy a custom hand  painted finish for years to come.

Meet Florence at Sea Rose Cottage’s Next Workshop!

Introducing Annie Sloan’s beautiful color Florence!  Released as a limited edition in Europe, it will soon be available in the U.S. and Canada.  It is a beautiful addition to the historic palette of Chalk Paint (TM) decorative paint colors now available in the U.S.

Florence is a rich jewel green that looks great by itself or over Annie Sloan’s Provence (pictured middle, right below).  The possibilities are endless!


Work by Annie Sloan, photo by Christopher Drake.


The color Florence is inspired by malachite, a copper mineral that was historically used as a pigment in paints until about 1800.  The beauty of this natural stone continues to be reflected in fashion and home decor in a variety of ways.  Learn more about Annie’s color inspiration here.

Photo Credit Dlloyd at the English language Wikipedia


Florence is debuting at the Haven DIY and Blogger Conference in Atlanta this Thursday & Friday June 21st and 22nd!

Haven Conference 2012
If you are lucky enough to go, please visit the Annie Sloan Unfolded Sponsor Booth to take your chance on some fun and fabulouse giveways!

Our first shipment of Florence is arriving Tuesday.  Please email if you want to reserve a quart or sample.

Florence will be featured as a bonus sample finish during Sea Rose Cottage’s next Restyle-Your-Furnishings Workshop scheduled for Thursday, July 19th!  Follow this link  for a full workshop description and to Register Now.  Class size is limited to 6 participants, spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Happy Painting!



Annie Sloan ™ Paint Brushes are here!

I am so excited that my first shipment of Annie Sloan ™ paint brushes have arrived!  As many of you know, I carry wax brushes that I love to use but had yet to find a favorite in the paint brush arena.  That is…until now!

These brushes were introduced during Annie Sloan’s 2012 American Tour and  up until recently were only available in Europe.


Annie Sloan’s paint brushes are uniquely oval and are made of pure bristle. It is a great brush for painting but can also be used for applying wax.

Long Annie’s favorite, this type of oval brush is firm but pliable. While strong, the flexibility of the brush allows for expressiveness and is ideal for creating texture. The length of the bristles allow the paint to flow well and spread easily.

The brushes come in three sizes (small, medium and large) and are a joy to paint with.

As a Workshop Instructor on the final leg of Annie’s Tour in Boston, I was able to take a brush home and start using it.

Having fun with friends at Annie Sloan Boston

I’ve had my brush since April and it is now my favorite!  I used the smallest version to paint a pair of bedside tables and it was the perfect size to get the job done.

We are thrilled the brushes are now available at Sea Rose Cottage.  Come by and test one out or follow this link for more information or to order online.

Happy Painting!


Painted Wicker Garden Chair

To paint or not to paint?  This is a question I often ask myself.   I love chippy old finishes on furniture and the characteristic dings and scratches that make them unique. Regardless, I’m almost always tempted to paint them.

When I found this vintage wicker stool I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

Then I came across this old green skirted wicker chair.  The chippy finish seemed busy and distracting in comparison.

 You can barely detect the woven diamond pattern centered on the back of the chair.

I decided to paint the chair in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint —a mix of Old White and Provence thinned with water.

I didn’t attempt full coverage of the paint over the wicker.  I like how the original green color peeks out in places.

To paint or not to paint?

Sometimes the answer to that age old question is an emphatic “Both!”

If you are lucky enough, others will agree!

Linking up to:
Furniture Feature Fridays

Ship’s Wheel Mirror Makeover

When I found this old ship’s wheel mirror, I thought it would be perfect for a fun makeover.

The frame was in fair shape but the mirror was desilvered in sections giving it an antique look. While I find that appealing with many old mirrors, it didn’t match my plans so I removed the mirror from the frame.

The paper backing was date stamped–Valentine’s Day 1949 to be exact.  I love to find out a little history about furnishings…even if they are of a newer vintage.


The plan was to replace the mirror with a chalkboard.  First, I used the mirror to outline a circle on a piece of MDF that had a similar thickness as the mirror.  My husband cut the MDF to size using a jigsaw.   I painted the MDF with three coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (TM) in Graphite and let it dry overnight.

For my other paint colors I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (TM) in Greek Blue, Old White and Primer Red taking cues from this fishing boat for my color inspiration.

  When the paint was dry I applied one coat of Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax to seal it…

 and christened the new chalkboard for its maiden voyage…

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Home Stories A2Z

10 Tips for Navigating the Brimfield Show

It is hard to believe it is almost time for the Brimfield Antiques Show again!  I shared an earlier post about how much I love to take my annual trek to the mecca of all things antique and vintage.


For those not familiar, the Brimfield Show is held in Brimfield, Massachusetts three times each year (May, July and September).  Yankee magazine describes it as both the Ultimate Antique Treasure Hunt and a three ring circus.  It has become a rite of passage for many antique lovers in the region and attracts visitors from around the world.  According to  Yankee Magazine, the number of antique dealers (6,000) alone outnumber the town’s population (3,500) which swells to upwards of 130,000 during the show.

I will be one of the dealers at the show in May.  If you’re in the area please come by for a visit! I will be at the New England Motel & Antiques Market  (303A & B) at the center of the action from Wednesday May 9th through Saturday May 12th, 2012.  Look for me on the right just after you come through the main entrance.  The New England Motel Show hours run from 6am to 5pm on opening day (Wednesday) and 8:30am to 5pm for the duration.

As I gear up for the May event, I thought it would be timely to share some of my tips on attending the show.  To learn more, check out this link.

1.  If you see something you love, buy it on the spot.

One lesson it has taken me too long to learn is that if you see something you really love and you can afford—buy it on the spot.  There is so much to see and so much geography to cover that even if you had the time to circle back, it is easy to forget where you found your vintage treasure in the first place! It is also very likely that in the meantime someone else has found it a new home.  If you absolutely have to walk away, it is good to note the name and location of the show and dealer in the event you want to take your chance at a return visit.

2.  Don’t worry if it is too big to carry.

If you buy something, you can get a receipt from the dealer and a business card with the name of the field and the location of the booth.  Before heading home you can drive to most spots or a pick-up zone to load up your car.  Just check to see what times pick-ups are allowed in that particular field.  Also, if you need to come back for your fab find another day, be sure you confirm with the dealer a good day and time to return.  Some shows are open all week, some one day, some have optional days.

3.  Consider getting help with Shipping & Delivery.

Shipping services are available along the Show route and you will see places where they sell rolling shopping carts to carry your wares and even porters to help you collect your purchases.  It is a good idea to check with the services first about shipping large or heavy items and the costs and logistics.  It is great to have options for those larger items that won’t fit in your car.  Last year, I bought an oversized storage cabinet and the dealer offered free delivery since it wouldn’t fit in my van.  Lucky for me the dealer lived in a neighboring town! Some things are just meant to be…

4.    Cash is king.

You will get the best deals if you pay in cash.  While there is a cash machine at the New England Motel Food Court, it is better to come prepared and hit the ground running.

5.     Dress comfortably and bring some baggage

Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will do a lot of walking.  Layers work best so you can adjust to the changing temperature.  After experiencing the rainiest Brimfield ever last September, I would say ALWAYS bring a rain coat and galoshes just in case.  Not only will they keep you dry, they will allow you to hunt out some better pricing while those fair weather shoppers stay home or go running for cover.  For the smaller and medium purchases that you might carry with you, consider a fold up bag, backpack or rolling cart.

6.     Kids and carriages can slow you down

I’ve had lots of fun and success going to Brimfield with my little ones but our usual 6-8 hour shopping window shrinks considerably.  In general it is easy to navigate Brimfield with strollers.  Be aware that a few fields have gravel and the carriages can be hard to push in those areas. I can vouch for that!  If you are bringing the little ones have realistic expectations of how much of your shopping they can endure!  Sun screen, sun visors for the carriage or hats, layered clothing and a bag full of snacks and beverages.  A stop at the Food Court for a breather may buy you some extra time but try to avoid the Noon rush by opting for an earlier lunch (11am).

7.    Familiarize yourself with the Show Schedule and locations.

Brimfield is not just one antique show but a collection of shows.  Some shows are open for one day, some for the whole week and some opening dates and times are staggered.  Look at the show schedule to help you select the best day or days of the week to visit.

8.  Pick the best day for you.

In general I like going to Brimfield earlier in the week for the best selection.  Of course that depends on the weather forecast and childcare coverage among many other things!   I have friends who always go on Sunday because there are more deals to be had—especially on larger items that have to be packed up and hauled back.  In my book, any day at Brimfield is a good day.  Go when it is convenient for you, but realize the trade-offs.

9.    Arrive early and expect to pay for parking.

If you are driving to Brimfield the day of the show—leave as early as you can stomach.  Set your GPS and grab breakfast on the road.  Early birds will  be rewarded with prime parking spots in central locations and first crack at what the day has to offer.   Expect to pay $5 -$10 for parking per day.  If you get there on the early side park at the New England Motel & Antiques Market.   If you get stuck in lots of traffic, keep an eye out for signs for parking.  You may be better off parking and hoofing it rather than waiting in traffic if things are at a standstill.

10.  Enjoy the hunt!

My very best memories of Brimfield are scouring the fields first with my husband (who takes a vacation day each May to attend Brimfield as my birthday gift), then during my pregnancies (although the frequent trips to the Porta-Potties nearly killed me), and now with my daughters who have developed their own sense of affection for all that is Brimfield.  My youngest came home with a few finds last year including a free vintage basket from a sweet dealer that just liked her spunk.  Not a bad deal for a 4 year old!  We have brought home some great finds from Brimfield but even when I come home empty handed the sheer joy of the hunt is enough to keep me coming back year after year.  It looks like I will be in good company!

If you have some favorite things about Brimfield or tips for the hunt, please share!  Hope to see you there!

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Home Stories A2Z

A Royal Makeover!

Ever since seeing Marion Parsons most excellent Union Jack Dresser, I have wanted to paint one of my own. I figured when I came across a piece of furniture that screamed to be painted as a British Flag then I wouldn’t hesitate to start the project. That never happened—or so I thought.

Many moons ago I bought this sturdy dresser at a local consignment store but did not have a plan of how to paint it.  It sat unattended for quite some time.

I liked that is was a sturdy piece of furniture with interesting details that could be better showcased with a painted finish.

That said, I was quite stumped as to how to proceed. The furniture is a more formal piece than I would normally purchase.  Its regal bearing demanded attention with its carved columns that grace the front corners of the dresser, the fan carving at its base and its Queen Ann legs.


Finally it struck me—a royal makeover would be in order (in the British style of course)!

I quickly selected my paint colors (Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Napoleonic Blue, Emperor’s Silk and Old White) and got down to painting.  I did have a few hiccups along the way.  I thought I would sketch the design out on the front of the dresser and forgo the taping off (bad idea when the drawers are not flush with the face of the dresser). I also had incomplete instructions on how to draw the Union Jack (an even worse idea). Luckily my friend Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies came to the rescue. Funny enough we were both working on Union Flag dressers at the same time!  She shared this “how to”with me that she was using for her own project (which by the way came out fabulous!)

After painting over my mistakes the work in progress looked like this:

I finished the piece with Annie Sloan Clear Wax and used Annie Sloan Dark Wax for an aged effect.

I highlighted some of the carvings and details with gilding wax.  The original drawer pulls were given the gold treatment as well as a few new additions.

Finally after much primping (and a few episodes of Masterpiece Theatre’s  Downton Abbey)–the royal makeover is complete!  Just in time for the next best British invasion—Annie Sloan’s 2012 US Tour!



Linking up to:
Furniture Feature Fridays

New Sample Deck Giveaway!

I am so excited to have these new Sample Decks in stock that showcase 28 of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint Colors!

Some  have admired the exact same Sample Deck in my shop and have wanted to purchase one for themselves.  So happy that it is now available for sale !

In celebration, I decided a Sample Deck Giveaway would be in order.   The gracious giveaway host is none other than Kelly Bernier of Restyling Home by Kelly.  Kelly is a talented designer and blogger who helps to make homes happy with color selection and room makeovers in a day using existing furnishings.

I first met Kelly when she visited my shop last year to learn more about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Since then Kelly has fallen in love with the paint and has taken on restyling projects like this sweet Hope Chest makeover.

Please hop on over to Kelly’s blog to learn more about the Giveaway and to catch up on her recent posts.

The Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Valentine’s Day.  Good luck!