Creative Rx: Matthew Mead Workshop

Fresh off the publication of one of my favorite projects in Cottages & Bungalows magazine, I was looking for a creative escape as a way to rejuvenate or “fill the funnel” as my friend Margo likes to say.


Source: J.T. Designs

She always uses that term to describe the sales process– to seek out new prospects never knowing what will come to fruition.  I think that advice applies to the creative process as well.  We all need different sources of inspiration to keep the creative juices flowing and to allow for possibilities to unfold and develop in their own time—without expectations.


One thing I know for certain is that when I am in a creative funk, the best medicine is often a hands-on activity or workshop where I can be fully present.  However convenient, losing myself in an ever-cascading rabbit hole of social media will not do the trick.




Enter my friend Elyse Major, who is always up for a new adventure.  After a brief discussion we decided that only one antidote was in order—-

Elyse_91 copySM

Elyse Major
Photo credit: Marissa Bettencourt Photography

…a road trip to New Hampshire to visit THE Matthew Mead in his studio for one of his winter workshops!

Matthew Mead picture

Matthew Mead

As many of you know, Matthew Mead is an accomplished stylist, writer, author, photographer and lifestyle editor.

Matthew Mead BHG Cover

Source: Cover by Matthew Mead, Better Homes & Gardens, Dec 2014

He was also the style editor for Country Home magazine, one of my all-time favorites.
(Remember the design home they assembled in Grand Central Station? Just epic!)

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We quickly registered for the Workshop and before you know it we were in Matthew’s studio working on a fun and creative project, enjoying all the camaraderie while so graciously being hosted by Matthew and his wife Jenny.

The setting, the food, engaging conversation, creative play and just plain ‘ole good cheer made the day so wonderful and memorable.

strawberrybowl pmed

During the workshop, I had the opportunity to create a decoupage plate, something I have wanted to do for eons after seeing a feature on John Derian’s work in a home decor magazine.  We were able to select from several styles of plates and beautiful papers in a variety of motifs.

decoupage papers pmed

I love how they all came out!


While everyone has their own way of re-igniting the creative spark, in my case the Valentine’s Workshop at Matthew Mead studio was just what the Doctor ordered…

creative rx

A feast for the creative soul!

decoupage candy box pmed

Many thanks to Matthew and Jenny Mead, to fun & adventurous Elyse and her indispensible (but sometimes annoying) GPS phone app, and to our fellow workshop attendees.

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Looking forward to more inspiration from Matthew Mead! I’m especially excited for his next publication, Upcycled Style Magazine featuring my friend Danielle Driscoll from the Finding Silver Pennies Blog.

MM Upcycled Mag Release

  Coming soon to a newsstand near you!

A new home for Chalk Paint® on Cape Cod!

*PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN OLD POST.  SIMPLY VINTAGE’s location is now 1600 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA at the Bell Tower Mall.  Tel: 508-775-3569*

We are thrilled to announce that Sea Rose Cottage has partnered with Simply Vintage to bring Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan to Cape Cod!

Simply Vintage of Cape Cod carries new and antique furnishings and everything in between. Co-owners Cathy Dupuy & Lisa Nickerson curate an eclectic mix of fine goods at their shop located in the lovely coastal village of Cotuit in Barnstable, Massachusetts.

The shop is in a beautiful circa 1700’s Cape Cod shingled style house. It is the perfect setting to learn about the best paint in the world and to shop for painted furnishings and vintage finds as well as new jewelry, cards & gifts!

The shop is located at 5 Main Street  directly across from the Cahoon Museum of American Art and just a short drive (under 3 miles) from Mashpee Commons. Summer hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays from 11am-4pm.  For more information, contact Cathy or Lisa (or me!) at  telephone 508-420-3500 or simplyvintage  So glad that Chalk Paint® and Sea Rose Cottage have found a home away from home in “Old Cape Cod!”



March Events


Intro to Chalk Paint®  Workshop, Saturday March 16th,   9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  $35 per person. 

Want to keep it simple?  This hands-on mini-workshop is for you!  Practice Annie Sloan’s signature 1-color technique on a small sample molding using Chalk Paint® decorative paint and Annie Sloan Soft Waxes.

This class is limited to 6 participants.  Paint, clear wax, dark wax. Leave with the know-how to tackle your next painting project with the best paint in the world!  To register click on the add-to-cart button below.

Price: $35.00 Coming Soon

Restyling Your Furnishings Workshop with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan
Wednesday March 20th,  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.   $165 per person. 

Ready to dive in to the world of decorative finishing with Chalk Paint®?   Want to learn best practices for achieving professional quality finishes? Then this class is for you!

We cover 6 decorative techniques in a comprehensive and lively 4 hour session.  Leave with your sample boards and the confidence to create a full range beautiful finishes with Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan Soft Waxes on even the most challenging surfaces.

To learn more and to register, click here or use add-to-cart button below.

Price: $165.00 Coming Soon


Free Demo! Sunday March 24th 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m, at Simply Vintage of Cape Cod
5 Main Street, Cotuit, Massachusetts 

We are thrilled that  Simply Vintage of Cape Cod will be hosting us for another Chalk Paint® Demonstration!  Simply Vintage carries new and antique furnishings and everything in between.   Find us among the eclectic mix of fine goods.  The perfect setting to learn about the best paint in the world and shop for vintage finds!  We are accepting advance orders.   Hope to see you there!

To place advance orders please call or email Sea Rose Cottage: 401-254-1166 or

To reserve a spot at the Demo please contact Simply Vintage of Cape Cod call 508-420-3500 or email

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 II

It was a busy week unpacking from the Brimfield Antiques Show!  Luckily this time I was able to sneak off to do a little shopping at Brimfield as my friends and I took turns watching each other’s space.

For the very short time I had to shop, I was pretty happy with what I came home with…

 This 1930′s sofa table is my favorite.  I love all the details.  I think it will look great painted!

 On the smaller side… a 1940′s map of Newport, RI…

 Old cast aluminum street signs…

A coat rack made from the remnants of an Eastlake headboard…

A frame in the same style…

A saddle style stool with spool legs, a handmade bench with fretwork and an old wooden bowling pin lamp base.

 A 4-light globe tole light in need of rewiring and and some fresh paint!


And finally an Ironstone Soup Toureen in perfect condition—ladle and all!

Do you have any fun finds or favorites to share from the latest Brimfield Show?


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…

Off To Brimfield! Shop closed this week…

The shop will be closed this week. I’m heading back to the Brimfield Antiques Show to finish set-up for a Wednesday Show opening. I’m hoping for a quick set-up and some time to shop later this afternoon!


I’ll be at the New England Motel Antiques Show from Wednesday July 11th through Saturday July 14th. The weather forecast is looking good—at least for the first several days. I hope you will come visit if you are at the show. I’m in space 303A&B. It is just past the food court that has the green and yellow umbrellas (if the food court is on your right). It is the second tent on your right when you come through the main (parking) entrance to the New England Motel Show.

Earlier I posted some tips for attending the show—I have one addition. If you are lucky enough to find central parking (New England Motel is a great spot!), you can make several trips to your car to drop off your treasures rather than carting them around all day.

Hope to see you there and happy hunting!

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…

Linking up to:

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!

Linking up to:

Home Stories A2Z

The Annie Sloan American Tour and Chalk Paint Giveaway!

Please hop on over to Home Stories A to Z where Beth is hosting my first giveaway!!!

While you are there enter to win $150 in product from Sea Rose Cottage and a chance at a free seat for one of Annie’s tour locations or $350 in product courtesy of!

Enter now, contest ends December 11, 2012 at 12:01 am!