Annie Sloan work book

I love getting post. Not bills, obviously, but pretty much anything else still makes me childishly excited.

I think it comes from when I moved to the UK from South Africa and, in those pre-internet days, relied on snail mail to bring me news of my friends ‘back home’.

I particularly love getting books and magazines in the post, so you can imagine how excited I was when this arrived:

The new Annie Sloan work book, £16.95, out 30 November 2012

It’s the latest offering from Queen of Paint, Annie Sloan, whose products – as you well know – I love.

The work book, which is due out at the end of November (there are some benefits to being a journalist!), is no exception. It is stuffed with inspiration…

Water Annie’s chalk paints down to create a soft wash effect

Did you know you can paint canvas shoes with chalk paint??

…as well as useful hints and tips…

Who needs a paint brush when you’ve got an old cork to hand?

Some tips are more helpful than others!

…and there is a lined section for notes, and a pocket at the back where you can stow any loose bits of paper, pictures and swatches. Genius.

This inspiring book would make a fantastic Christmas present for a home loving creative type, and will be available to buy through the Annie Sloan stockists only – check out the website for your local store.

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Mashed Creations

A friend of mine recently discovered the delights of decoupage – or “sticking stuff to stuff and varnishing it”, as she puts it.

When she said she was going to turn her newfound skill into a business, I’m afraid to say I was skeptical. After all, this is the girl I used to get up to all sorts with when I was a teenager, and it’s hard to forget sometimes that that was a long time ago and we’re all supposed to be grown ups now!

Anyway, true to her word she has been working hard on making Mashed Creations a success, and I must say that I’m hugely impressed with her progress so far.

This is her latest creation:

Pretty, isn’t it? I like to think I helped a little, by recommending the Annie Sloan paints she used for the base.

This is a more modern-retro style piece, which I think is wonderfully kitsch and would work brilliantly in a kids room or a suitably quirky, fun apartment:

Having seen Clare’s handiwork, I’m starting to wonder whether I should include a touch of decoupage in my own furniture transformations when I finally get round to sorting my study out.

If I do, I promise I’ll take pictures…

Annie Sloan paint

Annie Sloan ©

I have a new crush: Annie Sloan. Or rather, Annie Sloan’s incredible Chalk Paints. If you’ve never heard of them, you really need to investigate – the colours are delicious, they stick to anything (wood, metal etc) with no need for sanding or primer, and it’s ridiculously easy to create stunning effects.

Annie Sloan ©

I took part in an Annie Sloan furniture painting course led by Emma Purvis of Kindle House last weekend, and have been buzzing ever since. I’d been wondering what to do with my almost 20-year-old pine furniture (servicable but boring as anything) for ages. Now I have the answer.

Annie Sloan ©

I can’t say too much about my fantastic day yet, because I’ll be writing about it for the next issue of WM magazine. I’ll let you know when it’s out, but in the meantime do check out Annie’s website and that of Kindle House, which sells a gorgeous range of homewares and gift items.

Annie Sloan ©

You can also buy one of Annie’s many books, including the latest two: Quick & Easy Paint Transformations (which I will definitely be getting a copy of) and Creating The French Look.

Annie Sloan ©