Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Another visit to The Country Living Fair.

Annie Sloan and an Antique Fair?

What could be more perfect?…

Two of my favorite pastimes combined: painting and antiquing?…count me in!   I don’t generally take much time off but how could I pass up another opportunity to take a paint workshop with Annie Sloan?  It is such a treat to be on the other end of the workshop scene.  Just show up and start to paint and then listen to all of the talk of the new upcoming products, hear the exciting direction the company is going and most importantly networking with fellow stockists!  I left the workshop with renewed energy and so many creative ideas it was very inspirational!   I’m sworn to secrecy about the new products but all in due time you will be as amazed as I was!…

IMG_5063I also had the opportunity to work in Annie’s booth at the fair and assist with a workshop that she amazingly taught with 75 participants.  We only had an hour or so to complete a stenciled tote bag and it was impressive the range of individuality that was shown.  I love that Annie likes to kick her shoes off!  She is so relaxed and free spirited and fun to be around!

She had quite the busy schedule teaching her stockists, hosting workshops for the public and several speaking engagements during the course of the fair as well as book signing and working with customers at the booth.  Everyone was very taken with this talented lady and what she has accomplished with creating a furniture painting revolution.  She is the originator of the one and only Chalk Paint®!

Aside from Annie’s booth being a big hit, I was able to peruse the grounds to visit the many vendors on exhibit.  I so enjoyed the show and all of the shopping and the weather was perfect as well.  Yes, I did happen to find a grand treasure to bring home…well several of course and you can look for a cleaned up and painted (or repainted) version of my treasures on the shop floor soon.  I will keep you guessing amongst the photos below.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Rhinebeck, NY I would highly recommend that you do so.  It is such a lovely area and an easy ride from central Massachusetts.  In addition there are some National Historic Parks such as the FDR Presidential Library and Museum as well as the Vanderbilt Mansion both in nearby Hyde Park.  Two national treasures and a must see for both.

Now I am looking forward to visiting the Country Living Fair in Columbus, OH in the Fall! More workshops, more shopping and much more fun to be had!

Best,

Maureen

Vendor Spotlight

Vendor Spotlight at Signature Finishes-Diane Daniels Designs

Introducing Diane Daniels Designs!30742666_1438726156273668_7485573770053156864_n

Diane has been a long time vendor at Signature Finishes.  She is an incredibly talented graphic artist and handmade signs are her specialty .  She has some regular customers that keep her busy with multiple requests for repeat business.  If you have a custom order in mind Diane can deliver the goods!  Visit her booth for plenty of ready made signs made seasonally and be inspired by her artwork.  Her creations make the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  Special occasions are made all the more unique with something crafted with a personal touch.

Diane is pictured above at my shop in Maine.  She did a beautiful job recreating my logo and shop storefront at The Shops at Cape Neddick.  I would highly recommend her as her work is superb and she has a very fast turnaround which is no small feat considering she is a busy mom raising 3 boys! View some examples of her work below and hear more from Diane:

 

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I asked Diane to tell us how she got started,

I have always been crafty and love to create things for myself and as gifts.  My sister-in-law had a sign in her kitchen that I liked. I thought, I can do that.  I loved the results and got great feedback.

Soon after making that sign, I decided to contact a few area shop owners to inquire about selling at their store. Maureen Bane of Signature Finishes in North Grafton gave me a chance.  I have a vendor space a bookcase, at the shop and I love what I do. I take custom orders, too. It’s fulfilling to create something for a customer and have them love the finished product!

Thank you Diane for joining our family!  Please come support Diane as well as all of our many vendors here and support local artisans!

Best,

Maureen Bane

Signature Finishes

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Ode to all Mother’s!

IMG_4609Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!  It is marked on a calendar but once a year but hopefully we all revere time spent with our moms.  The shop is open for business but we have a full family day planned also.  It takes a village to run this small family business so my husband and one of my sons will treat me to an extra set of hands which is much appreciated.  My mother and siblings will arrive too for a family gathering after hours which I am so looking forward to!

Motherhood can apply to any caretaker as not everyone has to give birth physically to be a maternal influence to another.  Mother can apply to many roles in life.  As blessed as I feel to have children my heart also goes out to those mothers whom have suffered the loss of a child.  Mother’s Day can be an all too painful reminder for the indescribable pain suffered on a daily basis from that loss.  You women have my prayers.  I have had several customers lately that have really touched me as they shared their stories of pain and suffering from the loss of a child and/or a mother.  As my husband reminds me, “We are more than just a retail store, we are building a community!”

I feel such gratitude to have built a strong bond with many of my customers and vendors alike and it is an honor for me to be a confidante to others.  The stories are a gift of enlightenment to me as well as it is a realization that everyone has a story to share and each of us has SOMETHING!   I so hope that you have a restful and joyous day spent with those you love.

I will leave you to contemplate a quote from Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  Her wisdom speaks volumes as time is our most precious commodity and too valuable to waste not living our lives as fully as possible.  Remember the love of family is our greatest gift.  Time together will keep peace!  Your home should be a safe haven and your happy place and we are proud to help you decorate with what you love and ever grateful for your patronage.

Thanks for your sharing your lives and Happy Mother’s Day!

Maureen

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Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.” – Mother Teresa

Vendor Spotlight

Vendor Spotlight at Signature Finishes

Did you know we feature over 40 local artisans in our shop?  Truly when you shop at Signature Finishes you are supporting your local community.  It is with great pleasure that I would like to introduce you to Kathie of Garden’s Under Glass.  It is fitting that we should feature Kathie’s work in May as we have historically reserved early May for our Garden Party Event these last 6 years.  Who better to spotlight than our vendor with the greenest thumb?  Kathie’s work has graced the shop since our early days and she has such a talent for making terrariums.  She loves to hunt for antique vessels at the Brimfield Flea Market and antique malls throughout New England.  She built a lovely garden room addition in her home to house her love of plants.  She not only has a heart of gold but everything Kathie touches turns to green!

Kathie has had some terrariums in her personal collection that have survived over a decade now!  Terrariums are an eco-friendly environment and if you have trouble keeping plants alive then terrariums are your new friend.  She recommends that you place your containers in indirect sunlight or low light areas and no need to water typically unless it looks really dry.  If the container fills with condensation, simply remove the lid for a short time until the moisture dissipates!  Easy care and so beautiful in any room in your home! Each piece is lovingly created and a true one-of-a-kind creation.  If you look closely within the vessels you will find a distinctive detail in each piece such as a miniature pewter snail, a ceramic mushroom or a sweet bunny.  It’s the attention to detail that sets this plant artist apart!

I asked Kathie how she got started in the business?…

When I was a child my grandmother brought me a terrarium when I was sick and I loved it.  When they started to make a come back I wanted to make one so I experimented with different materials and tools to see which ones worked best and developed the knack for creating a quality product.  I so enjoy finding unusual vessels to put them in.  Maureen was kind enough to let me put them in her shop and I have been there since she opened as one of her first consigners.

 

I am so grateful and honored to have such a talented artist as a member of the Signature Finishes family.  I have made so many beautiful and lasting friendships along this journey.  Stay tuned for additional blog posts to learn more about our complete family here!  In the meantime stop by the shop….we are open daily and we are looking forward to your visit.

Have a great day!

Maureen

 

 

 

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The Country Living Fair

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I love it when I get to cross something off the perverbial bucket list!  Attending the Country Living Fair in Reinbeck, NY, visiting with my son who lives in NY (that is #1 of course) and attending a workshop with Annie Sloan is my idea of a full and rewarding weekend!

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The show was packed with a good variety of vendors and there were plenty of shoppers but the venue is so spread out that it didn’t feel overly crowded.  There was a great food selection, demos, book signings and all manner of live entertainment. There was plenty of elbow room to search for treasures and some of my favorites are captured below!  Love the painterly mural style panels from this vendor.

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LOVE these topiaries and anything garden related!

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Ironstone heaven and more well curated and arranged collections!

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My heart skips a beat at this well worn chippy cabinet.  So many trinkets that once lived in someone’s home,  garage, barn, business….each with it’s own story.  Someone once bought and cared for each piece until it found itself in someone else’s hands. If only each piece could tell us their story, it’s amazing to think about the history behind it all.  Antique lovers are said to be the keepers of the memories as we all collect something that reminds us of a bygone era or of a loved one who once owned a particular set of dishes or home decor item. We may not know what happened to their collection but we are now determined to scoop up every piece that reminds us of Grandma, Grandpa or Aunt Betty from yesteryear.  Such nostalgia is conjured up as you inspect each item for sale and wonder if an earlier ancestor had once owned such a piece.

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Next we moved on to the guest speaker where Annie Sloan graciously gave a talk on the art of repurposing furniture with her amazing Chalk Paint® product that she developed in 1990.  She called it Chalk Paint® because it dries to a flat chalky finish.  It was developed as a fast drying paint that could transform a piece with superior adhesion without much prep work as is necessary with other latex or acrylic brands.  She can be credited as starting a furniture painting revolution that has put an extremely user friendly product into the hands of non professionals and yet one can achieve a very professional looking outcome with a bit of training on the application of paint and waxes.  I am proud to be an ambassador of her Chalk Paint® brand and my favorite part of being a shop owner is to teach my customers about my passion to paint with a variety of workshops at Signature Finishes.   Once you start painting with this amazing product you will find it hard to put your brush down.  It is as much addicting as it is therapeutic to create something with your own two hands!IMG_4855IMG_6772IMG_4864Stay tuned for another blog post for some historically significant home tours while on my visit to the Hudson Valley…..

Thanks for following along,

Maureen

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Treasure hunting in the big city!

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During my recent trip to NYC I just had to make a stop at John Derian‘s gift shop to peruse all things decoupaged by this amazing artist.  What a feast for the eyes with his abundant displays of neatly arranged treasures in the most stimulating explosion of color.  John (yes, we are on a first name basis now) appeals to my love of color for sure but I was also in awe of his ability to turn his obvious obsession with vintage prints into such a well curated collection.  I know his dirty little secret…he is a fellow hoarder but in a good sense!  I can so relate to his “I must feed my collection” syndrome or IMFMCS, as it has come to be known in my TV doctor fantasy mind.  Seriously though, there is a sincere talent here to present one’s finely hoarded possessions in such an artfully arranged manner.  Take a bow Mr. Derian (ok, I can’t really pull off the first name basis) and to his staff…bravo!

Just take it all in with these delightful candles below that appear good enough to eat but no threat of suffering the caloric intake.   Actually, I would never want to light these candles as to deform their perfectly sculpted beauty!  This arrangement is so fun it makes an instant party scene.

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What’s not to love about colorfully decorated pottery?  Botanical designs, silhouettes, typography and whimsical scenes to swoon over.  Queue the angels singing!…

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Also, in the back of the shop was the most beautiful garden room replete with this beautiful vintage tea set arranged on this sweet bistro table.  Where is the chair for me to invite myself to tea?

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I did manage to visit several other antique malls and thrift stores on my visit and I must say that it was heavenly.  I felt so inspired by all of the merchandising displays and ideas were running on end.  There is nothing I enjoy more than a great shopping adventure and now I can add a few more places to my favorite haunts.  The love of shopping has certainly been what has propelled me into this business of selling to others and I promise to source what I love and stick to my vintage style to offer my customers a great variety of treasures.  There is no greater compliment than when a customer buys something that gave me joy once.  Thanks for allowing me to share my passion with you!

Stop by Signature Finishes often to view our ever changing collections!

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Sneak Peak-5th Annual Garden Party!

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Signature Finishes is busy preparing to host you for our annual Garden Party Event!  Each of our vendors have been pulling out all of the stops to provide all things garden related for your home and garden pleasure.  Who doesn’t love a garden party?  We will have food and beverage and pretty cupcakes for sure.  We will have balloons as well to make the party complete.  You can wear your party hats if you are so inclined and wear your party shoes too as the music will be playing.  What’s a party without music?  But best of all is we will offer beautiful wares for your home and lots of plants for both indoors and outdoors to beautify your happy place.  Bring on the party, bring on the guests!

While you are here please plan on honoring your mom, grandmother, your special maternal influence or mother of your children with one (or two) of many beautifully curated gifts to surprise her.  Just in time for the occasion we will offer a SALE: a buy one, get one half price on any scarf found in our apparel department.  So many soft hues to choose from and gorgeous jewelry offered by our many vendors.  You are overwhelmed with selection?  No problem, a gift card is your solution.  Keep the community strong by shopping locally!  Mom would definitely want you to do that!….Listen to MOM! xo

See you then and as always thank you for your support!

Maureen