Wednesday, June 29, 2011


BOTH of our



So if you're visiting from Blue Creek Home, be sure to register as a Follower on our blog and make sure you leave a comment letting us know you're visiting from Blue Creek Home.

If you're here for the FREE SHIPPING give-away, it's too late to get FREE SHIPPING but it's not too late to register for our LEVEL 2 KIT give-away.  Just become a Follower of our blog, and make sure to leave a comment mentioning FREE SHIPPING.  This will automatically register you for our drawing. 

Winners will be announced on July 4, 2011 

Thanks for visiting and keep on checking back....... I sense another GIVE AWAY in the near future, I just need to share this paint with everyone!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We are an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Store and SO MUCH MORE!!!

It's been a whirlwind for us since late March and what fun we've been having.  We started our Annie Sloan journey when I left for New Orleans in February.  Here it is the end of June and I can't tell you where the days have gone.  Getting set up and prepared for the craze of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has taken lots of energy, consumed my thoughts, and has become an obsession.  Those that have bought and used the paint know what I'm talking about.

But I want to be sure to show you many of the other wonderful things going on at my little boutique, Robyn Story Designs.  So many other things that make us a unique destination store, things that have kept me around for the last 9 years.  With the many ups and downs of the economy I'm not going to say it's been easy.  It's always interesting, sometimes exhausting but I wake up everyday anxious to get to my little slice of heaven.

This blog has consisted of many things Annie Sloan, and will continue to do so.  But I am going to be sharing lots more of myself, my staff and my store with you via this blog and with any luck, Facebook.  I look forward to your feedback, your suggestions, your comments and just having you hang around!

That being said, I want to take a moment to introduce you to one of my very talented Floral Designers - known around here as "Designer Dave".

Dave, surrounded by his "toys" at home!
 Although he's an incredible floral designer, he's also my 'go to' computer geek.  Without him, I'm not too sure you and I would be having this conversation right now.  He's helped us with all things technological!  Not my thing, but he LOVES it - thank goodness for that!

His floral work is pure artful genius.  I know I talk a lot about art.  Art comes in many forms; on canvas, on fabric, on wood...and in florals.  I truly believe that each piece our designer's create (more on Scott at a later date) are works of art.  Our customers as well as our designers love David's work.  He does it all, from classic to contemporary and makes it look effortless and breathtaking.  Our floral work comes with a guarantee.  If you love it, it's yours!!  If it's not right, we'll make it right and if you want to start over, that's fine also.  No deposit is ever required and we LOVE your challenges.  So if you're ever in the need of a centerpiece, a ledge piece or a little posy, we hope you'll remember us!

Some of our most gorgeous pieces were designed for my son's wedding in March 2010.  I'd like to share a few of these as well.

These beautiful wreaths greeted our guests

Each table was graced with tall centerpieces

The canopy where Steve and Tanya were married

The "train" of the canopy resembled a wedding gown!
The view of the reception hall

How Pretty!

Most people don't think "SILK" for their wedding floral needs, but they make for beautiful forever keepsakes.  Many times we've had brides come in with pictures of their 'live' bouquets from their wedding and ask us to put these same florals in silks to be used as their dining room centerpiece - another beautiful way to capture that most special moment forever!

In future posts of this blog, I will share the rest of my very talented staff.  I know the value of having a great supporting cast.  Each member of my team brings something unique to the table.  Scott is another of my full time floral designers.  He has his own sense of style that he brings to his design and is well-loved by our customers and designers.  He's an amazing talent in many ways and has embraced Annie Sloan Chalk Paint like the rest of us.  I often tease him and tell him to 'switch hats' many times during the day!!  He goes from floral designer to painter extraordinaire in a flash of a paint brush!! You'll learn a lot more about him in the coming posts.

Ellen, we call her "lil bits" because she's a teeny little thing, is a powerhouse of energy.  She's also my inventory warden!!  Holy smokes does she run a tight ship (don't fool yourself, it's my store but she controls all things inventory!)  She has a lot of talents herself and I'll be sharing those with you as well.  She just had her second baby, came back early from maternity leave and has been instrumental in launching this paint line as well as keeping up with her everyday responsibilities of orders, dealing with vendors and helping out in the store!!

Ellen, Faith and Baby Kelley

Then we have Sarah.  She's the girl with the money!!  She does our books, payroll, and makes sure that all my little treasures are paid for. She's a busy girl in the store but is also pursuing a nursing career and participates in Triathalon's.  She's one ambitious woman and we're very proud of her.

 Lori, or Lore Lore as we call her in the store, has been with us for 2 years now.  She used to work with a designer that frequents our store but was looking for more hours.  Goodness knows, we keep her busy as well.  Lori likes to call herself a Jack of all Trades.  She's fearless with power tools, grew up helping her dad build things and will tackle almost any project.  Together, her and I traverse the state of Florida looking for treasures on many Monday's.

 And last, but certainly no where near least is Alberto.  He's the one that keeps all of us organized, I honestly have no idea what we did without him. He comes to work everyday with a smile on his face and a willingness to help.

So that's it in a nutshell.  Stay tuned for more stories of my group, lots of pictures and inspiring ideas.  This blog has become such a great forum for sharing and I thank you for reading and staying tuned!!  Oh, and if you do stay tuned...there may be a little 'give-away' in your future!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


are having a GIVE-AWAY!!
Register as a Follower on BOTH Blogs
Leave a comment so we know you visited
and just like that - You're entered in our GIVE AWAY


Don't Forget - We have PERMANENTLY lowered our

Jeanne and Chris Ireland sent us these pictures from their home/workshop in Ocala, Florida.  Jeanne, who has always loved refinishing furniture, read about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint online and found out that she had her own supply of paint available to her through Robyn Story Designs here in Tampa.  She gave us a call at the store, chatted with Lori for a while and learned about the paint and our workshops.  She promptly signed up Chris, her husband, to come take the workshop and soak up all information.

Chris came, had a great time, learned all 6 finishes and returned home with a nice 'care package' of paints for Jeanne.  Both she and Chris returned just a couple of weeks ago to check out all the other colors available, see more finished pieces at the store first hand and left with several more pots of paint.  Jeanne had visions of projects she wanted to complete with her new colors.   As you can tell by the pictures, they've been busy ever since!!

All of this as a result of an online article, a phone call, a workshop, a trip to Tampa and lots of inspiration.  Thanks for sharing Jeanne and Chris, it's been a pleasure getting to know you both. 

If their tables have you wondering if you can do the same can, come check out the paints at the store, give us a call and we'll talk you through it or sign up for one of our workshops!! 
Old White and Paris Grey, Clear and Dark Wax
Paris Grey and Old White
Graphite was used on Polka Dot Table.   Above table had Old Ochre and Old White

Friday, June 17, 2011


We all get inspired by things.  Whether it's a flower or a tree or a feeling.  Something always makes your creative juices flow.  For me, it's found objects, colors, architectural pieces, artifacts and odd things of interest.  Somehow, in my minds eye, I can create something profoundly interesting with those objects.

I have a passion for art, in many and any form. And as I've mentioned many times before, I love a good "story". Remember a while ago I talked about my day in the attic of one of my favorite stores.  Well, below is one of my found treasures there.  It was an old radio cabinet, stripped of its radio, just a shell but I felt it had more to tell me.  So I sat with it for a while and waited for it to come to me.

Then, we recently received a shipment of fun and funky knobs that were screaming to be placed on an object of whimsy.  Also, in our store and on my haunts, I'm always finding vintage Florentine pieces of art.  Little pieces of art depicting an Italian scene - they're quite "in" right now.

As these pieces came in, ideas started to form.  I find that things grouped together and layered provide interest to a piece or a room.  Just like when we work with our customers in designing their bedrooms or other rooms in their homes, it's the layering of objects that provide these spaces with a sense of history...that tell a story.

That's how it was with this piece that inspired me.  I found inspiration in a line of accessories that I love.  Checkerboards and flowers and all kinds of whimsical, artful things.  I "heard" my little radio cabinet coming to life.   So below is my final, artful project.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is also inspiring, as her colors transform anything they touch.  I opened up all pots of my paint and had a great time creating in my 'woman cave'.

Inspiration from Annie Sloan, an old cabinet and all my finds artfully placed transformed a dated, tired piece to one of whimsy and fun.  I especially love my little knob on the front.  Patsy, a friend and customer at my store who bought the piece, also loved the knob the most.

 Remember when I told you about our hunt in the HOT attic?  This was one of my fabulous finds!

Checkerboard done in Graphite, Old White with a hint of Cream.  The border was done in Aubusson Blue.

The brushes were flying on this one.  I had every pot of paint open!  How Fun!!! 

Look at the incredible depth of colors that you can get from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

This treasure...this is a 200 year old artifact that was just talking to me.  Of course, I had to feature it front and center.  Look at that fun and funky knob!!  Of course, I got a little carried away and gold-leafed the relief (from a kit at Michael's!).  The antique dealer would have died but just look at it!! It looks fabulous!

Here's where you get to think out of the box.  You know how much I love art, here I took one of my little treasures, this Florentine Art and embellished the side of the cabinet.  This is art creating art!  The outside is done with Scandinavian Pink, Old Violet.  Inside is Emperor's Silk, the frame is distressed Old White.  The inside and outside of the door was Aubusson Blue, Old Violet, Provence and hint of Duck Egg.  (You thought I was kidding when I said I opened ALL pots!!)
 One more shot of the beautiful details.  Notice how we incorporated so beautiful beaded trim to drip down the front!!
 An up close shot of the rainbow of colors I used and the texture it created.  A bit of Versailles, Primer Red, Provence and Old Violet.  The entire piece also has a coat of Clear Wax and Dark Was.  Whew!! 
Look at the little surprise in the cabinet!
One last look....this sold within the hour, while we were staging it in the store.
Oh NOO, here it goes -- outside in our courtyard before pick-up from one of our FAVORITE customers.  I'm going to miss it.  But I know she's going to a good home and will be well loved!

Stay tuned, we have so many projects and our minds are filled with inspiration.  Wait to see what we do next!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Yes, folks, it's true.
FREE SHIPPING is a piece of history now.
Thank you to all who ordered paint and shared in our
celebration of our new online store.
It was a wonderful "GRAND OPENING"


Don't fret, there are plenty of reasons to continue to shop 

We are going to offer Annie Sloan Chalk Paints for only $34.95, the lowest price available!



We are ALWAYS fully stocked and ready for your orders
We ship 4 DAYS A WEEK, Tuesday through Friday
(after all UPS is closed Saturday and Sunday and we're out picking on Mondays!!)
We provide EXCELLENT customer service
and Our Staff is fully trained to answer any questions you may have.
(via email, phone, text or blog!!)

Now, for a limited time
we are sending a free HAND PAINTED COLOR CHART
with any purchase

So, you see, we are STILL the shopping source for your paint project!

Need to know more?  Here are our shipping rates:
If you purchase

$ 0   -   $ 50                               your shipping rate is $8.00
$50.01   -   $100                              your shipping rate is $10.00
$100.01 -   $150                              your shipping rate is $12.00
$150.01 -   $200                              your shipping rate is $15.00
$200.01 -   $250                              your shipping rate is $18.00
$250.01 -   $300                              your shipping rate is $20.00
Over      $300                              your shipping rate is $25.00

 Sooooo, shop online anytime and "LET THE PAINT FLY!"
having our STARTER KIT GIVE AWAY through the end of June
You just need to register as a follower on both blogs!!


JULY 4, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Childhood Memories

are having a GIVE-AWAY!!
Register as a Follower on BOTH Blogs
Leave a comment so we know you visited
and just like that - You're entered in our GIVE AWAY

One of my employees, Lori, is an avid Craigslist shopper.  She is always saying that she needs a 12 step program for her addiction.  I know it's the first thing she does in the morning and the last thing she does at night!  Sounds like there might be an issue here.....  It seems she's often running out of work at the end of the day to go and purchase her latest find.  Well, as it turns out she found me a little diamond in the rough! 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this, but when she found it on Craigslist and sent me the picture, I knew I had to have it.  So now, I'm an accomplice! But seriously, look at our find!!!  It's a little rough around the edges, but you just wait and see what she becomes.  Here's the "before" picture, you'll have to wait for the "after" picture, I'm still waiting for this piece to 'speak' to me.

Friday, June 3, 2011

ANNIE SLOAN and the Past

One of my beautiful finds from my attic adventure on Monday!  Just look what crawling around a hot attic produced!  Isn't this the sweetest little desk? I knew Annie Sloan Chalk Paint would take a tired old desk and transform it into something you just have to have.

I saw the life it lived...I felt the person sitting by this desk writing letters to her family from's easy to drift back to the past of a piece, to feel its history.  It came alive to me and I knew that I had to return it to its former beauty.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and Old White along with the clear and dark wax is all it took.  Well, that and a little lovin'.  Can't you just sense it's history?


Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the hottest thing in town and we're giving it away*!!  Are we NUTS!!

A couple of weeks ago we had a wonderful visit from Rhonda and her cousin, they heard that we were stockists of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and came to our store, Robyn Story Designs, to check it out.  The hours that followed were such a treat for us.  Little did we know that Rhonda was a blogger, has her own site Blue Creek  Home, and was going to feature our little Annie Sloan Workshop space as well as our store!

So take a cruise over to her blog and register as a follower.  Make sure you leave a message or a comment and let her know how you found her.  Once you've become a follower with Robyn Story Designs and Blue Creek Home you will automatically be registered to win our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint GIVE-AWAY!!  We will send the winner a starter kit that consists of:  One quart of Old White, One Dark Wax, One Clear Wax and the Quick and Easy Paint Transformation Book.  It's the perfect kit to get started on any project!

This is the perfect opportunity to THANK all of our followers.  We're not the most technically savvy group but we're learning, thanks for being so patient with our growing pains!

*(no purchase necessary)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things of Beauty

I adore these bottles.  Each one is hand-made and unique.  No two are alike.  I can't tell you how special they are.  Just things of beauty that I thought I'd share with you.