Limiting Retail to Online + Curbside Pick-up

As of Monday, March 16th we will be limiting in-person retail sales at our Bristol, Rhode Island location through the end of April. We are taking these steps to achieve social distancing in light of the Corona virus and the steps that are being taken statewide to contain the spread.

We will be taking telephone orders that can be picked up curbside or, in our case porch-side if you prefer. Please call ahead so we can take your order and payment by phone (401-254-1166). Phone orders can be shipped via UPS Ground as well.

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We are also offering once a week local deliveries in Rhode Island every Friday for orders $100 and up with a delivery fee of $10 per order. We will continue to fulfill online orders via our website with shipments made via UPS Ground. We can also take those orders by phone as not all of our brick and mortar products are offered online.

We are also happy to continue to answer your product questions by phone (401-254-1166), email (nan@searosecottage.com) or messaging via Facebook (searosecottage.us)

We understand that undertaking painting projects can be a great creative distraction during this time. We have some fun and unique paintable surfaces in the shop and would be happy to put a custom kit together for you to meet your needs.

Wishing you and your family health and peace during this watchful waiting period.

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Tybee Island Inspired Weathered Saltwash Finish

I have so much fun using Saltwash® as I shared in an earlier post here.  SALTWASH is a powdered paint additive that helps you achieve a layered and weathered coastal look.  I especially like to use it on decorative surfaces.

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For my latest project, I used SALTWASH to create a colorful textured finish on reclaimed wood pallet art by Rhode Island Artisan Guy Lemione.

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My “seahorse” color palette was inspired by the exuberant and colorfully painted Tybee Island cottages in Georgia.

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Source: Visit Tybee

After playing with different color combinations,  I settled on a soft pink for the base coat, with a top coat alternating stripes of  lime green, turquoise and coral pink.

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My pink base coat is SALTWASH mixed with Antoinette Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.  The folks at SALTWASH created a helpful guide for mixing different types of paints with the additive and the ratios of each to use.  They recommend 12 ounces of Saltwash® to 16 ounces of Chalk Paint® or roughly 40% additive to 60% paint.  Don’t get too hung up on being exact  —when mixed it should have a thick “icing like” consistency.

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I applied my basecoat to the wood by pouncing the surface with a brush covered in a generous helping of the mixture. Don’t be stingy or you will be rewarded with having to do a second pass over the surface.  When it starts to dry you can gently knock down the peaks with your brush  —avoid smoothing out the texture completely.

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Once dry, apply a thin layer of contrasting top coat. I created three custom colors for my top coat using Chalk Paint® but you can keep it simple using one contrasting color or stay in the same color family to create a subtle tone-on-tone effect. White over gray is a great neutral option! It really depends on the surface you are painting and the look you want to achieve.

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After the top coat is dry, sand the surface to reveal the Saltwash® layer.  I use an orbital sander for larger projects, but for this one I simply sanded gently by hand with 100 grit sandpaper. I find it helpful to use a tack cloth and wipe off the surface as I go so I don’t take off too much paint.

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For this rustic wood surface I used a Hemp Oil Wood Finish  —it brings the color to life and provides water-resistant protection.  I simply brushed the oil on following the instructions. Miss Mustard Seed’s Hemp Oil is solvent-free and food safe —a definite favorite!  The type of top coat you use (if any) depends on your paint of choice and also if the piece is to be used indoors or outdoors.

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I love how these Tybee Island inspired Sea Horses turned out!

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They are now ready for a happy home or home-away-from-home!  Follow the link to find out more about SALTWASH and to purchase products here.

SALTWASH, Annie Sloan and Miss Mustard Seed products can be purchased from Sea Rose Cottage online or in our brick-and-mortar store in Bristol, Rhode Island.  We also carry Guy Lemione’s reclaimed wood wall art and other paintable surfaces.  We are happy to take orders for custom work or put project kits or gift sets together for you or the DIYer in your life.

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Once Upon A Sign

Once upon a time (over 6 years ago), I came into possession of a vintage “Paint Supplies” sign for my studio via Robin Jenkins Antiques.

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This wasn’t the first time serendipity struck and I secured a much treasured piece with the help of Robin–but that is another story.

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Shortly after I claimed ownership of the sign, I became the first Stockist/Retailer for Annie Sloan in New England.  My once private studio was opened to the public for business stocking Annie Sloan’s decorative paint- Chalk Paint® for walls, furniture and cabinetry.

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The sign has graced the west wall of my shop ever since.  It is often the first thing people notice when they enter my store and working studio.  A true harbinger—marking the beginning of my time as a small business owner while simultaneously exposing my love for antique and vintage trade signs.

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Robin did not know the provenance of the sign–it had been exposed to the elements and needed some cleaning up (which I did here).

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While I hoped the sign came from an old mom & pop shop in Bristol, there was no way to tell.  The sheer size of the sign appeared to contradict that possibility.  Who would need a 12 foot Paint Supplies sign in a small size shop (aside from me) ?  Certainly the sign had to come from a large department store where it would aid in navigation.  There was a similarly-sized companion sign at Robin’s Tiverton location labeled “Hardware – Tools.”

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Fast forward 2 years when two local women popped into my shop to see what it was all about.  They stopped in their tracks and pointed to the sign and asked about its origin. One shared with me that the sign came from an outbuilding on her property on Usher Terrace (once known as Usher Place) in Bristol.  She didn’t know where it came from either and was regretting not keeping at least one of the signs. It was a possibility that someone who lived on that property may have owned a paint and hardware store but I thought it would forever remain a mystery –until now!

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A few weeks ago I bought Richard v. Simpson’s book “Bristol Through Time.”  It contains many “then and now” photos of Bristol including the shop I purchased the book from–Paper, Packaging & Panache at 418 Hope Street.  The shop was the “now” photo at the bottom of the book cover and is also shown in a ‘then and now’ picture comparison inside the book.  If you have any interest in Bristol’s architectural history I highly recommend the book.

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Source: Bristol Through Time by Richard V. Simpson, Photo by Sandy Town

Lo and behold, on page 29 the book features a July 4, 1937 photo by Sandy Town of the same location where I purchased the book.  However, back then it was a  Hardware -Tools and Paint Supply store that looked to be owned by a “Johnston.”

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Looking at the photo I was pretty sure that the sign gracing the wall in my shop is one and the same as the exterior mounted “Paint Supplies” sign in the photo.  The companion “Hardware – Tools” sign is shown on the left side of the photo.  That would explain the sign dimensions.

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Source: Town of Bristol, RI Property Card, 418 Hope street

Just to be sure, I did a little digging.  I used the Town of Bristol Website to look up the Property Record Card for 518 Hope Street.  I discovered that Algernon and Lida Johnston purchased the property from Samuel Colt in 1923 and it did not transfer hands again until 1953 when it became owned by Marguerite Johnston.

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My next step was to search the online archives at Roger Williams University made possible by the Bristol Phoenix Indexing Project.

An August 13, 1943 article in Rhode Island’s Bristol Phoenix described a temporary WWII era recruiting station set up at “Johnston’s Store” at 418 Hope Street.

This was helpful after finding an A. L. Johnston advertisement in the March 14, 1930 Bristol Phoenix that did not contain the store address.

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The most revealing of the articles was an October 13, 1948 obituary for Algernon Le Baron Johnston of 41 Usher Terrace in Bristol.  According to the Phoenix “Mr. Johnston conducted a hardware business in Bristol for twenty five years until his retirement in 1942.  His love of tools not only gave him business incentive but resulted in his numerous wood craft hobbies.”  Hmm, could he have made the sign?

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Interestingly, Mr. Johnston, born on September 7, 1880 was a 9th generation descendent of James Cole who came from London in 1633 to settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  This makes sense as Bristol was once part of Plymouth Colony (purchased after the King Philip War ended in 1678) and part of Massachusetts until the Crown transferred it to the Rhode Island Colony in 1747.

Mr. Johnston was a charter member of the Bristol Rotary Club, serving as Treasurer for many years and took special interest and effort in creating and supporting Summer Camp opportunities for children in Bristol.  So much so that the Bristol Rotary created a fund in his honor – “The Algy Johnston Memorial Camp Fund.”

His wife Mrs. Marguerite Johnston was listed as the sole survivor with no mention of his first wife that appeard be listed in the historic property record.  Aided by an obituary in the Phoenix, I was able to confirm that Mr. Johnston’s first wife was Lida (Pearse) who passed away in 1938 and was a direct descendent of John Howland that came to this country on the Mayflower. At the time of her death she was residing at 103 Church Street.

I gleaned from another obituary that Mrs. Marguerite Flowers Johnston was Mr. Johnston’s 2nd wife, and a well-educated former Teacher who passed away in 1971.  She lived at 41 Usher Terrace and was originally from Saranac, New York.  In December, 1970 the deed to her land and buildings was transferred to her nephew H. Sanford Town (the son of Harry Town and her sister Ina Flowers Town.)  The current Bristol, RI Property Card for 41 Usher Terrace shows H. Sanford Town as one of the prior owners  of record.  Matthew Town (most likely related) is recorded as once owning a neighboring property where my sign was found.

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Source: Bristol Phoenix 1922 Advertisement

I am grateful to own a small piece of Bristol’s mercantile history and to finally uncover the significance of its origin.  While many businesses come and go and the future of brick-and-mortar stores is up for debate, I continue to be proud to be part of the small business community in Bristol and happy to walk in the footsteps of the many who came before me as I celebrate my 6th year in business.

 

 

 

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