Saturday, December 31, 2011


We at Robyn Story Designs and Boutique want to wish all of you a wonderful, healthy, happy and creative NEW YEAR!!  
We are also so excited to share with you the winner of our
The giveaway prize is a basket of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Products!!
Valued at $150.00!!!

BUT the BEST is the chance to win $350 from Annie Sloan Unfolded.  This will be a random drawing with ALL the winners of this National Giveaway.  That $350 can go towards Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or to register to meet Miss Annie herself!!  I can't think of a more wonderful gift than to meet the creator of this FABULOUS product and to be able to learn directly from her!!  So GOOD LUCK to our winner:


Enjoy your paint and send us pictures of your projects!!  Thanks for following our blog and for following Annie's blog as well!!

Thanks to all who entered!  Though the contest is over, you can still register to meet us all in Atlanta to meet Annie and to take her workshop!  You're guaranteed to have a fabulous time.  Just click here for more info on registering!

Yes my earlier post said Amanda, call it a holiday exhaustion moment.   But Megan is the winner and she's SUPER excited to have won and now we have to route for her to win the BIG GIVEAWAY!! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Thanks to all who participated in our first series of the
So You Think You Can Create Contest!!

LOTS of people voted for their favorite and we've counted the results....
So the WINNER of a
Tricia and her amazing transformation of a rusted box spring into this GORGEOUS 
Vintage inspired Christmas Tree and all the lusciously wrapped presents.  I personally LOVED how she incorporated everyday household objects into beautifully and artfully wrapped presents.  I think it reminded me of the days when Christmas wasn't commercial.  When we used what we had on hand to embellish our homes.  The true meaning of Christmas and decorations that are heartfelt!
 If you haven't seen this before, please go to her blog and check it out.  It absolutely exemplified  what we were looking for.  Tricia took something most of us would have deemed as useless and had a vision to create a one of a kind work of art!!
THANKS again to all who entered.  Each entry was creative and inspirational.  I hope everyone that looked at the posts were inspired to make something old - new again!

All comments have been published for your viewing!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Way back in May we shared with you one of our first Annie Sloan Chalk Paint projects.  We have wonderful customers that were game, why not try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on their very 80's style built-in bookshelves in their home office. (We used Chateau Grey with Clear and Dark Wax on the base and just along the back of the shelves we used Versailles with clear wax.)  This was just the beginning of the project.  We were thrilled with our results at that time.  Well, the project is finally finished and we really wanted you to see the end result.  Not just from the Annie Sloan point of view but from the design aspect as well.  Robyn Story Designs and Boutique not only sells wonderful home decor and women's fashion jewelry we are a full service design studio.

We took this tired room and made it into a fabulous home office for our client.  They just recently returned from up north to spend the holidays and the winter here and were just tickled at all of our additions.  Let me take a moment to share with you our vision that came to fruition!

Wall to wall orange melamine

17 flat front panel doors

This was after the paint was done, but please take note of the accessories etc

This is an after picture, once we finished the paint.  But it gets so much better!

Hmm, notice the bank of windows and orientation of furniture

Another picture of the finished paint.  But again, please notice the ceiling fan, desk, chairs and accessories in the shelves
Take note of the accessories and the handles on the doors!  Also the framing on the doors.  They used to be flat front.   A little time, great carpenter and beautiful trim and voila, a decorator door!
In the before picture you saw a bank of small windows.  We took those out and had gorgeous French Doors installed.  It opened the whole room and will have a gorgeous view of a luscious English garden. We also replaced the porcelain sink with a beautiful oil rubbed bronze finished one as well as a matching faucet.  This is the same finish on the cabinet hardware.

The view as you enter, a grand view!  Also notice the hardwood flooring, all hand hewed.  The panels on the left and right of the wall unit are hand painted works of art that brought in the Chateau Gray on the shelves, a beautiful way to round out the space

More beautiful accessories

The reading nook complete with comfy leather chairs and windows framed with the most incredible drapery.  I love how the nail-heads on the chairs are mirrored in the window treatments.

One final view!
Robyn Story Designs and Boutique creates fabulous, inviting, warm and elegant interiors from top to bottom!! 

Friday, December 23, 2011



I know this contest timing is a little off.  We experienced some MAJOR technical difficulties!!  Don't you just love's a lifesaver when it works....but when it doesn't it's enough to make you scream!!!

However, I think we're up and running.  My apologies to all that may have tried sending their entries and don't see them here...something went a little wonky with the email address and I fear several entries were considered "spam" and were immediately deleted.  This came to my attention from someone that did call us here at the store to check whether or not her entry made it.  Had Tricia not called I never would have known.

There were over 20 people that were registered for the contest.  If you're one of them, please just resend your entry to the same email address: and we'll register you automatically for the next series for an equal opportunity to win!

Anyway, let's move on to the good stuff!!  We did get a few entries since things cleared up and in all fairness I want to post them and continue on.  So here's the deal:

Below are the entries with a brief description of what each person created and what products they used.  
Voting is easy.

  1. You MUST be a follower, so if you're not please become one, let me know that you did.  
  2. Once you've become a follower of our blog then leave a comment on your favorite entry.
  3. Only comments from followers will be counted, so you just know I'll be checking!!
  4. We will accept votes through 12/26/2011 and will announce the winner on 12/27/2011
  5. Remember to vote for the ONE entry that you feel BEST defines "re-purposing".  At Robyn Story Designs we LOVE seeing something old find a new life!
 That's it.   Simple.  Your vote helps someone win a $250 American Express Gift Card to be used anywhere -- even here at Robyn Story Designs.
And don't forget comments will NOT be published until voting ends.  I want the winner to be surprised!!

Entry One:  
In the beginning there was an old rusted mattress boxspring.  Tricia knew this was someone's trash that she could turn into a treasure.  She read about our contest and her imagination flew...look at what she created!

You can go to her blog for complete details and even more pics of her creation!  

A close up of the 'branches' decked out in all their glory!

A few of the handmade, repurposed wrapped presents
Entry two:
This was a mantel that Pattie found at a yard sale and placed on top of her table in the kitchen.  There are SO many pictures and much better explanation of products used on her blog - be sure to read all about it before you vote!
If you check out Pattie's blog you can see her entire entry with more pics and a much better description of her project.  She did use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on the mantel clock and set the whole vignette in her kitchen.
Entry three:
Cynthia found inspiration from something she'd read online for these simple but fun Christmas trees.  All of her trees are made of burlap or cardboard, embellished with a little this 'n that and put on found candlesticks! 

She painted the candlesticks in this picture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, color Versailles to create this venue.

Go to Cynthia's blog to read more about her project and her inspiration for these trees.  There's plenty more pics to look at as well. 

Entry four:
This is such a fun entry and I loved reading their story (see below).  Carol doesn't have a blog so I want to be sure that you get her entire inspiration!!
"After 25 years in the remodeling business it's inevitable that some of your tools will start to wear out.  Thus was the case of my trusty wheel barrow. 

As I was carrying this work partner to the alley for bulk pickup I spied some cross country skies someone else had already set out.  Seeing the two items together I was struck with the possibility of a Christmas miracle.  This wheel barrow had been a Christmas present years earlier and I was saddened to send it off.  Your "So You Think You Can Create (Series One) Holiday Contest and Giveaway" brought it all into focus.

With some left over lumber I arched and fastened the suspension to the skies and attached them to the sled.  My wife painted everything and we made a display in the garage with some white tarps, saw horses, left over landscaping fabric and some lights.  Now when we raise the garage door our neighbors can enjoy this delightful display.

Thanks for your inspiration Robyn to think outside the box."

So there you have it.  Four completely different, yet inspired designs!  Please read each entry carefully and select your winner!


Thanks to all who've entered so far.  It's winding down so be sure to get your comments in.  Winner will be announced New Year's Eve!!  Then it's time to get ready for Annie's Tour.  We'll be sure to keep you posted.  We've had some wonderful friends/customers of the store ALREADY register to meet Miss Annie herself.  Trust me when I tell you she's a HOOT!!  I hope to meet you all there!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


YES, you read that right, I said "GIVEAWAY'S".... plural!!
In addition to the other fabulous stockists throughout the country participating in the Annie Sloan  American Tour and Giveaway (woohoo this is BIG).... Robyn Story Designs asked three of her
FABULOUS BLOG FRIENDS to help us celebrate Annie Sloan's tour and to promote 
click here to read all the details of this great giveaway at
Robyn Story Designs!!!

Go on over to My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia this week to check out her addition to the giveaway!!
Next Monday, December 12  Savvy Southern Style will take over with her own giveaway!!
and the final week (December 19) will be hosted by
French Country Cottage, again, she'll have an additional 'somethin' somethin' for those that check her out!

We are so excited that Annie Sloan is coming to the US, we want to shout it from the rooftops!  She has shown us the way to create beautiful European finishes on virtually any surface and allowed each of us to find the artist within!

Her product has empowered us ALL to change our world, 
So please enter as many of the giveaways as you can
(start here of course!! at ROBYN STORY DESIGNS) where you can win an incredible holiday gift basket of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint products and the opportunity to actually meet this incredible woman yourself!!

Monday, December 5, 2011


(This one is going to be Big!)

To spread some holiday cheer and celebrate the Annie Sloan American Tour, Robyn Story Designs is excited to announce this wonderful giveaway.

Each WINNING basket includes two fabulous pots of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Annie Sloan Soft Wax in clear and dark, and Annie's book Quick & Easy Paint Transformations. You read that right!!  Robyn Story Designs is having an ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT GIVEAWAY! 

Want more of an opportunity to win?  Check out all retailers of this Fabulous product in North America!  This is a national giveaway.  That means there are over 100 opportunities to win because EACH of us are offering this basket!  So REGISTER TO WIN HERE FIRST and take a tour of North America yourself!!!

Plus there’s even more! It Gets Better!!

In addition to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Giveaway, the lucky winner of the holiday basket from each shop across North America, will be entered for a chance to win a $350 gift certificate from Annie Sloan Unfolded. It is good toward your choice of a credit on your Annie Sloan American Tour registration fee or $350.00 in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! The big winner will be announced on Annie's Blog on January 10, 2012.

Check out all of the exciting details for the
and read all about this incredible event!
 Sound Good? Great! Here is how you get started to win BIG in the Annie Sloan American Tour and Chalk Paint Giveaway here at Robyn Story Designs.

  1.  Become a follower of Annie Sloan’s Blog  and comment with "American Tour 2012"
  2.  Become a follower of Robyn Story Designs blog and comment with "American Tour 2012"
  3. For an EXTRA entry be sure to "like" me on FACEBOOK and make an additional comment on the blog letting me know that you did that!!
  4. AND FOR ONE MORE ENTRY - come into the store and tell us you read about it on the blog and we'll enter you AGAIN.
The giveaway starts NOW and Robyn Story Designs will announce the winner on this blog on New Year's Eve. Now wouldn't that be a special way to start 2012!!


    Thursday, December 1, 2011



    We are fully stocked and ready to fill your order!
    Go to our website and place your order or give us a jingle at the store!


    Sunday, November 27, 2011


    One of the many things I've always loved is SALVAGE SHOPS.  I love what creative people are doing with salvage pieces and how they're being repurposed into gorgeous objects.  It just thrills me to see wonderful "Objects d' Arte" come alive from things that were torn down and ripped apart.  I have always felt that no matter what your design in your home - traditional, transitional, contemporary or just plain eclectic - each home needs a sense of history.  Something that tells a story.

    Walking into a salvage store I can feel the history, almost hear the whispers of lives lived.  It sounds romantic or dramatic but just holding an item makes me wonder who owned this before...what was their life like....what did it look like in their home....and how lucky that this piece of history still remains long after the owners have gone.
    I LOVE these balusters.  Decades of old paint just chipping away.  I can imagine a new coffee table with these gorgeous legs restored to their original lustre.  Or perhaps just cleaning them up a little, making sure the paint that is chipping is sealed and creating a beautiful shabby chic table.

    Can't you just "See" the history??

    This is one of my favorite shots!  I love the textures in this picture.  The old baskets.  Were they used to carry fresh harvested wheat?  The old chippy windows.  What views did they have?  Who gazed out of them waiting for a loved one to return?

    Doors.  I love them.  I am ALWAYS drawn to them.  The hardware is almost always hand forged and withstands the test of time.  Did the family have horse and buggies that would drive through these gates?  What was their story?  Who came and went?  Look at this old fashioned cash register.  I love how simple life was and how thrilled they must have been when they invented this for merchants.  I think about our computer systems.  How far we've come, yet how many times we need to resort to the good old fashioned way of doing things when technology fails us!!

    Did I mention that I love doors?  These doors (I bought 2) came from McDill Airforce Base in Tampa.  They were the doors that may have heard all the dreams and fears of Amerian airmen when they crossed the threshold of their colonels doors to accept their deployment.

    I bought these and brought them home to my store to give them a new life.  They were gorgeous,solid wood doors that we painted ASCP Paris Grey with Old White, distressed them to embrace their age.

    Waxing the doors a final time.  I had great plans for these doors. They came with us to the Orlando Expo where they were appreciated and adored.  We added gorgeous sconces and made them panels to hang.  Now they grace the walls of my showroom waiting for their perfect final home!
    VOILA!  A gorgeous piece of history!!

    Don't forget about our HOLIDAY CONTEST & GIVE AWAY.  It's all about creating new from old.  Finding pieces to create into gorgeous Christmas decor.  I'm hoping for some great inspiration!!!
    In case you didn't read the earlier post....we have a new

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    FANCY FLEA IN LAKELAND (and secret news of an ASCP GIVE AWAY!)

    I have MANY things to be thankful for.  I have the most attentive and wonderful husband.  A Fabulous son and daughter in-law.  Truly the MOST GORGEOUS grand-daughter, GREAT brothers with fabulous families, the WORLD'S BEST mother and a TERRIFIC staff at my store.

    My life is full and now that I have extended friends through blogging and Facebooking, I am truly Thankful!
    So have a wonderful day with your loved ones, I will be enjoying a fun-filled family day as well!!

    Well, we made it back to Tampa with a lot less paint and A LOT of great memories.

    Our booth FULL of ASCP
    Thanks to all who stopped by our tent to check out the ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT.  There were many wonderful vendors there displaying their pieces done with this amazing product.  Those that never heard of it (if you can believe that!!) were amazed at the finish that you can achieve and came by to check it out.  As most of you know, once you try it - you're hooked.

    So I think we managed to hook a few more this weekend!!  

    What was the MOST FUN?????  Meeting SO MANY of our Facebookers and Blog Followers.  What a hoot.  THANK YOU so much for introducing yourselves and for making a point to come and meet us!
    My good friend Deb from Vintage Soul
    Can you believe we didn't take ONE picture - Nada, zippo, nothing!!  What a total bummer.  I'm borrowing gorgeous pictures from other more organized people (thank you by the way for taking such amazing photos!!)    But honestly, we showed up at the designated time, 5:30 a.m.!!!! and started setting up immediately with only the street lights to illuminate our spot.  By 7:00 there was a race that was running right down the middle of Kentucky Avenue and once the race was over people actually started shopping.  Ummm, hellllooooo, we weren't ready!!  But that was okay, I was also in a frenzy to buy buy buy!!  I was there to sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paint but I was ready to find a few goodies myself!  And no worries...I did!

    Isn't this GORGEOUS!!
    Here are a few of my favorite finds that I sold at Fancy Flea.  These burlap panels, sacks and pillows were ALL THE RAGE!!  I have to admit, my heart skipped a little beat each time I sold one.  I really wanted them for myself.....but that's okay, I can always get more! I have a few left and more on the way.  So if you missed them at FANCY FLEA, come on in and grab one before they're all gone!
    The Union Jack is in Honor of my FAVORITE Brit - Annie Sloan!!

    This is in our showroom but we brought LOTS of those panels that we framed!!

    Okay, so I have to be hush hush and can't give you any details but I am bursting at the seams with some delicious news.....all I can say is
    This is just the tip of the ice-berg for all you loyal "Sloaner's" out there!!
    That's it.  But please keep posted.

    Sunday, November 13, 2011


    As many of may know.. my store Robyn Story Designs and Boutique sells gourmet nibbles.  Everything from Stonewall Jams and Chutney's, to USF, UCF and Florida State Peanuts.  Yes, those were Ellen's idea to carry and boy are they ever successful.  They're a GREAT gift for the sports fan, alumni or students and they're also tasty so it's a win-win!!
    Aside from selling wonderful gourmet products we always have a buffet of homemade appetizers and nibbles every day.   I hope that when people come into our store that they check their problems at the door and come in and just enjoy a visit with us.  That always includes Starbucks coffee, latte's, cappuccino's, soda, water as well as many little treats throughout the store.  It's important to my staff and myself that our customers know that they can just forget about the outside world when they come.. a place where you can just let go... My goal has always been to captivate all of your senses once you walk through our doors. 

    I am also so fortunate to have great reps for our food lines as well.  They are fantastic and always offer to come to our OPEN HOUSES and serve some of their delectable products.  One of the most delicious and versatile ones that they always bring this time of year is Earth and Vine's Mandarin Pumpkin Marmalade.  If you've been to my store, chances are you've sampled it and bought a jar or two - if not more!  If you haven't I really think you might want to try it.  It's fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving all bottled up in this little treat!

    Lori went online and found a recipe using a jar of Mandarin Pumpkin Marmalade to make the most moist Pumpkin Bread I have ever eaten.  Ellen also went online and found a recipe for a baked Mandarin Pumpkin Marmalade Cheesecake.  Can you say "slices of heaven".  We were all stuck in the kitchen eating both of them, barely leaving enough for our guests!!  You can go online at to read all about their products.  If you can't find this marmalade anywhere, as always I'm happy to send it out.  It's definitely something you'll want to try and I've ordered several cases of it since it sells out so quickly!
    Since I'm sharing some yummies with you, here's one of the most requested recipes, we have several and I'll eventually share them all with you - they're all WINNERS!  But here's one that I've been serving at my store, in my home and often bring to events.  It's my husband, Steve's Salsa and it is FANTASTIC!!  It makes A LOT so plan on having some friends over when you make it!  Let me know when you try it, I'm certain you'll be hooked just like many of my customers.
    Steve and Louie!!


    1 can sweet niblet corn, drained
    1 can black beans rinsed and drained
    1 can black eyed peas rinsed and drained
    1 onion chopped
    1 red pepper chopped
    1 green or yellow pepper chopped
    1 cup Wishbone Zesty Italian Dressing
    1 tomato chopped
    1 handful of fresh cilantro chopped

    Toss all together, let marinate in frig a few hours or overnight.  Serve with Tortilla chips or pita wedges.

    Of course, for those that like it HOT, chop up a small jalapeno and add in.