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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Put Down the Sandpaper

this is a plea....
a plea to put DOWN the orbital sander, the palm sander, 
and GASP, the belt sander!

I'm guilty of it...we all are
even if you haven't done it, you've seen it:
swirl marks, "bite marks",
 areas where the sander has burned right through the paint and the original surface,
 revealing the raw wood

The more I learn about authentic painted finishes...
the more I studied actual wear on antique pieces...
the less I reach for a mechanical sander

Distressed finishes are GORGEOUS!

 even after 100+ years, you still don't see much wear down to the wood...

 More wood showing, but it is a soft, natural effect...
thousands of fingertips brushing the edges, gently polishing the surface below the paint...
it's not rough
Water-marks, a little dirty around the edges...gently worn paint

 Notice these authentic finishes have an antique tint, 
but the color isn't covered in a layer of dark wax...
save the dark wax for the areas that would naturally get a bit dirtier...
the edges, the feet, etc

 Stunning finish...layers of paint, no discernible pattern to the wear
this could have been created yesterday or 150 years ago...

 worn, layered...subtle wear to the wood below
 I'm personally drawn to these chippy, layered, textural finishes

These finishes are not your standard 
"chalk paint, distress, clear wax, dark wax" 
that we're all accustomed to

There is a whole world of options for aging your pieces...

and none of them involve a belt sander :0) 

Tutorials coming later this week...


Friday, July 18, 2014

A Quartet of Delicious NEW Colors!

Kenny is at his pre-op appointment...
covered in paint!
He forgot it was today...oops!

Since he's tied up, I have a bit of free time
to share the new Amy Howard at Home One Step Colors with you!

Do you get as excited about new colors as I do?

First up, a lovely royal blue/navy 
called American Dream

What I love about this color is it's mix-a-bility (new word!)
Out of the can, it's a vibrant, rich blue
but it mixes gorgeously to create deep navy, teal, peacock, cobalt...
even a rich array of purples

For some blue inspiration, visit our Pinterest board:

We live on the west coast of Florida, 
and the beach is never more than a few minutes away...
so these beachy colors make me happy, indeed!

Tick Tock is a fresh minty green shade...
add a touch of white for a softer look, or a bit of blue or green for more vibrancy...
as is, it is STUNNING!
(greens are SO hard to capture on film...
my pic reads a touch more soft than it's true greenish blue shade)

For some inspiration:

Get in Gear is probably my favorite of the four new colors...
strong and true, this reads a bit Kelly Green w a hint of blue

Lastly, Table for One

A strong, mid range pink with a retro vibe
Out of the can, it's bold and wonderful
but it mixes well to create a variety of shades from subtle peach to coral, 
as well as just about every shade of pink, plum, or berry you can dream up!

Need some Inspiration?

We really enjoyed dipping into these strong new shades from Amy Howard at Home
I'm looking forward to seeing how YOU use them!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Atlanta Market

We hopped off the roller coaster long enough
to jump on the tilt-a-whirl known as 

We attended to represent Amy Howard at Home

We've been to Atlanta many times, but never downtown
Atlanta is a gorgeous city!

This was home for 8 days...
a circa 1905 home full of charm

Located on storied Piedmont Street,
 the house sat well above street level, as most homes in this area do

There was a set of stone steps leading up the the walkway, another set of brick steps to the porch,
and of course, winding steps leading upstairs to the bedrooms

I'm mentioning this because on DAY ONE of Market, Amy broke her foot!
Stairs weren't happening...Amy and Gene had to secure a hotel
(at the last minute, during Market...yep!)

We did enjoy sitting on the front porch, looking at the Atlanta high rises through the trees
but missed visiting with Gene and Amy

We dined at Ray's on the River and White Oak
Both were delish, but White Oak is MY KIND OF PLACE

From the design to the season, farm to fork food...I was smitten!

Amy and Gene both made it to the showroom EVERY DAY, broken foot or not!

Now in a permanent showroom, the space looked AMAZING

I was surprised to see such BOLD use of color...I LOVED IT!

These lacquered display cabinets are available for retailers...
doesn't the product look gorgeous? 
Really, the packaging is just too pretty not to showcase

 This represents Lacquer, One Step, and Toscana...
all stunning, authentic finishes in their own right
but easily used in tandem to create fresh, exciting looks

 High Performance Lacquer Sprays...yes, please!
Amy introduced a new product at Market...Bright Idea Clear Lacquer Spray
It's used OVER One Step to give a high gloss finish

We worked every single day from 8:30a until well past 6p (8p Fri-Sat)
and the showroom was PACKED!
We didn't see too many showrooms
(AmericasMart is 7.7 MILLION SQUARE FEET)
but really enjoyed what we did see

The days literally flew by...talking about paint, teaching about paint,
and painting all day are pretty close to ideal for me
although my feet would STRONGLY disagree...

I have SO much more to share, but frankly, I'm tired!
We've not been home for 24 hours yet and my workload is ready to topple over!

Watch for new colors, custom mixes, 
and some new painted pieces on the blog throughout the week!

Have you been to AmericasMart?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freak Out

Oh my goodness...does this ride EVER slow down?  

As you know, we made the decision to close our retail store in Tarpon Springs
and instead, move our retail items into the uber fabulous 
(follow them on FB for status updates!)
Between our online business, custom work, and Amy Howard gig, 
we just can't manage running a store full time, too...

607 isn't opening until mid-August
so that left us the rest of this month in Tarpon, right?


The landlord opted not to renew the lease, 
since we couldn't commit beyond 90 days
(hopefully a GREAT tenant will be moving in w a long term lease!)

We are headed to Atlanta for Market on Monday...
and will be gone for 10 days or so...
which means we need to clean out the bulk of our store by SUNDAY

In theory, this is fine.
We need to combine the studio/warehouse into one location...
and this prompts us to get moving on that goal

HOWEVER, in reality...


they saved our sanity!
(there is still going to have to be a storage unit in our future 
unless something miraculous happens in the next day or so...)

You can find our pieces RIGHT now, in both stores

But what about Amy Howard at Home products, you may be wondering?

The full line will be available at 607 Vintage Marketplace
and in the coming weeks, 
we have FOUR new retailers throughout Pinellas County...
we'll share that info once their paint comes in!

If you need product in the interim, 
or need assistance w your Amy Howard at Home products,
just email us...we'll be happy to  meet you w product or answer your questions!

Thanks for following along w us on this crazy roller-coaster 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Marble Topped Goodness

Sadly, I did NOT get a "before photo of this little lovely...
I purchased it from our neighbors at the shop
(oh, I bet they have a photo!)

Anyway, we decided this would make a lovely addition to our home
a cute little mobile kitchen island!
(the white marble top had me at "bonjour"

Our style at home is quiet, with lots of details you only notice upon closer inspection
We wanted this piece to look really old, a little dirty, and overall sort of soft and relaxed

Our dining area is a pale blue, 
and our kitchen is Luxe Grey and White 
(Amy Howard Home One are all the other colors used on this piece)

We first painted this piece with Nottoway
(two coats)
then one coat of Cracked Patina

The Cracked Patina was left to dry for about 30 minutes
(instructions say an hour or more but you know how that goes around here!)

On top, Luxe Grey, dragged and cracked for an aged appearance 
followed by Clear Wax

The finishing touch, of course, is Dust of Ages!
We really concentrated around the key holes, 
as they would have received lots of wear

We used wax and Dust of Ages to "age" the knobs...
we wanted them to have that powdery appearance old metal sometimes gets

(of course, I photographed the ONE handle that was missing a brad...figures)

We love, love, love this piece!

Unfortunately, it only fits in the spot I had selected for it IN MY HEAD
In reality, it doesn't fit AT ALL

Now what?  Not sure.
Maybe I'll find another spot for it in my house, maybe it will end up for sale
at 607 Vintage Marketplace next month...who knows! 


Monday, June 23, 2014

What's Happenin' Hot Stuff?

We wanted to offer you an update!
(and YES, I did quote Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles...what of it?)

We've been knee-deep (actually, more like chest-high!)
in Amy Howard at Home all week

Speaking with potential new retailers,
getting new retailers established,
and working to help our existing retailers grow their businesses
Throw some painting into the mix, and yeah...we've been busy!

But it is AWESOME
These products...they just make me HAPPY

Sharing what we love is what we like to do most
Sharing, teaching, seeing that 'A HA" moment 
when someone realizes they CAN DO IT
it's so gratifying

We feel very fortunate to be aligned with such an amazing company

But enough gushing...on to the nitty gritty

Our retail doors will be closing on Friday, June 27th
What does that mean if you need product?

We have a new retailer in the area who will have all your favorites
as well as continuing to offer classes and fun events

There will be a week or so "lull" between their receiving product
and us being out on the road, so if you need paint, 
please email us and we will be happy to meet you!

Our location will stay the same, but it's converted to our office up front,
and our training/workshop area in the back

We have several new retailers coming on board,
 and we can not WAIT to share w you who they are...
you'll be as excited as we are about it!
More on that once the ink is dry, as they say

We're crazy excited about moving in to 607 Vintage Marketplace next month...
we hope you'll attend the grand opening and come visit!

You'll be able to find our refinished pieces at 607, in our FaceBook Store, 
and via our website
( I am updating our online shops today, I promise!)

We are so fortunate to be able to share this journey with you...thanks for following along!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Glancing Around...

Thought we'd share some random images 
from around the shop today...

Soon, we'll be reworking the front into our offices,
the back into our warehouse,
and taking most of our goodies
(and some yet-to-be-seen new ones!)

This guy is on my window or my door nearly EVERY day...
and he's HUGE!

This is my favorite corner of the shop right now...
we re-vamped the front so everything is so soft and serene
Shades of grey, soft white, cream...lots of wood and metal
(and everywhere you look, signs of our love of paint!)

Hardware, both new and antique

 Antique folding rulers, a Victorian door-knocker, and a sweet old box

 Victorian piano shawl...vibrant color against pale lovely

 Blanc de Chine porcelain figurine, antique Italian mirror, 
and another rustic box

 Toscana Powder Paint creates such an authentic, 
old-world finish
(Toscana Powder Paint WILL be available at 607!)

"Overcast" milk paint in all its chippy glory

 We go through a LOT of One Step Paint...
and are always looking for clever ways to reuse our empty containers!

We hope you'll swing by and say "HELLO"
before we're no longer in the shop every day!

Kenny and Michele