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.