Last week my life changed for the better...for real. No, I didn't lose weight, get new shoes or win that little thing called the lottery. I got together with friends (in a freaking cool store), picked up a paintbrush and learned how to use "chalk paint" for the first time. Doesn't sound life-changing? Just you wait. It totally was.
My Playgroup had a mom's night out -- the once-a-month meetup where a bunch of us get out, get together and get our craft on! We pretty much dream about this night allllll month longggg. Normally I pick a project and lead the group with my DIY Divatude but this time I paired up with Azie Shelhorse from Verdigreen Home in Montclair, NJ (just 10 miles from NYC).
Verdigreen is a crafting, reclaimed, DIY, irreverent and artistic-gals haven for all things crafty and down right cool. You know I don't lie when it comes to the fabulousity meter... this place and it's owner are the real deal. Azie, not only DIY's everything she sells in the store, she's the official local stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! So as 15 of us gathered to DIY our chosen project, a picture frame, our hostess for the evening filled us in on the ins-and-outs of painting.
First up, pick your palette (Chalk Paint comes in over 30 colors). I chose a muted pink called Henrietta. Soft and subtle as I knew I wanted to put this frame in my living room which has a myriad of pinks and purples. Throughout various stages of the painting process -- chalk painting, decoupaging, waxing, gilded metallic accents, sanding and sealant -- one by one we created our masterpieces.
I am a lifelong fan of decoupage so you can imagine my delight when Azie told us we would be using Modge Podge to embellish our frames. We actually used artistic napkins as fabric accents on our chalk-painted frames. I chose a print of watercolor flowers then used metallic silver french gilding wax. This stuff is the creme de la creme. I've actually been justifying a purchase by dreaming about the the ways I can use it. A little goes a long way when enhancing Anne Sloan chalk paint projects.
Art is my friend. It comforts me. Motivates me. Gives me all the good feelings one could wish for. DIY is in my DNA and I wouldn't have it any other way. My 'stuff' doesn't always come out as planned; in fact most crafting sessions end with me saying "ugh, this isn't what I envisioned." Sure, it's frustrating but don't all deep relationships have a bit of bittersweetness?
While I was chalk painting I didn't think about all the other things I could or should be doing. At that moment, I was in the moment. That's what I love about crafting...being in it...really focused on making something by me, for me. That along with a couple of good friends to share those moments with is all I can ask for.