Save the Date! Amy Howard at Home Hand’s On Workshop

jabos-headerI am so excited to announce that Home with a Twist is partnering with Jabo’s Ace Hardware for a special hands-on Amy Howard at Home workshop on Saturday, October 1 from 10 a.m. – noon at the Fort Worth Jabo’s Ace Hardware.

bird-seed-pail-3Amy Howard is an exclusive line of eco-friendly paint products that help you to rescue, restore and redecorate most anything in your home.

This fun “make and take” class will teach us how to transform a simple galvanized pail into a one-of-a-kind container for pet food or bird seed.

Galvanized metal is so popular right now in home decor, this on-trend workshop will feature chicken-feed-pail-2Amy Howard at Home Parisian Zinc Solution to give the pails a weathered, antiqued look. But, we will add a modern twist by adding additional products like Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint, High Performance Lacquer and Clear Wax.  Your friends (even the furry ones) will be envious of your creation when you bring it home!

The class is only $35 and includes all the supplies needed during class, your own customized project to take home and yummy snacks.  Space is limited so be sure to register quickly to reserve your spot in class. If you want to know more what to expect, click here to watch a video on how the magic happens using the Parisian Zinc Solution.  I hope to apply the technique we learn in class to create a galvanized top to a piece of furniture!

dog-foodStay tuned.  There is a container for cat food…but the cats were busy and not interested in being in the photos.

I am so excited to be working with Jabo’s Ace and I hope you and your friends will join me for a morning full of fun, inspiration and learning something new!

Haven Conference 2016 Recap

Haven sign
Haven 2016 Welcome Sign

I just returned from my very first Haven Conference and it was amazing.  I am exhausted, like that feeling you had when you were little and came home from summer camp.  It’s a high-energy event full of networking, sharing, smiling, meeting new people and packed with lots of good information to help bloggers learn more about how to best represent themselves to their readers.

There were tons of vendors who gave away so much stuff it was unreal.  It started with a giant swag bag when we checked into the conference…

swag bag
Haven Swag Bag — totally full of good stuff!

Packed full of DIY supplies like a Dremel rotary tool, paint brushes, tape, glue, a fun hot pink bag full of tools, craft supplies, thermos mugs, notepads, pencils, tape measures.  This was just the beginning.  The Home Depot, Ryobi, DAP, Frog Tape, Cricut, Schlage, and on and on were so generous with their giveaways.  I accumulated more than my suitcase could hold and found a 32 inch TV box in the trash and filled it with all my loot and checked it at the airport.  It was opened by TSA at some point because when it came around on the luggage carousel I saw the TSA tape used to re-seal the box.  I am sure they said, “this is like the 40th box full of all this stuff, where is it coming from!”  A Hodge Podge tshirt was a low threat risk, I’m sure.

me and Amy
Me with Amy Howard

I met so many bloggers I have followed and admired for years.  It was like a celebrity sighting everywhere.  People like Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles, Diane at In My Own Style, Rhoda at Southern Hospitality, and Amy Howard from Amy Howard at Home.  I had the opportunity take her painting class and hear her inspiring message of believing in yourself and restoring cast-away furniture.  It is amazing to hear that 28 million pieces of furniture are thrown into the trash every year!  She has a passion for teaching people how to restore and put new life into something discarded, to inspire people that they, too, can learn a skill and be proud of what they created. I have used Amy Howard at Home paint on several of my own pieces you can read about here.

Young House Love
Sherry and John Petersik from Young House Love

The speakers and workshops were informative and topical. These were led by successful bloggers willing to share their tips and tricks of the trade with new bloggers like me.  Social media has totally transformed the blogging world and changes all the time so this information was very helpful.  The closing speakers were Sherry and John from Young House Love.  They shared an inspiring message to remain true to yourself, be more than your blog, to be creative and take chances, define your purpose and remember why you started blogging.

We also had the chance to break into smaller groups facilitated by an experienced blogger.  I had the blessing of being partnered with Liz Marie at Liz Marie blog.  She was kind, genuine and loved hearing our stories on how we started our blogs.  Her husband, Jose, is her partner in her blog and it was fun to get to meet him.  It made me realize that next year I might like to take Mr. Bee so he can learn more about the blogging industry.

The food and vendor displays were so clever.  A display by Schage for their locks with donuts!

donut display
Schlage Donut Display

This was the display at the Haven Conference check-in.  Made entirely of wood by That’s My Letter. Hooks to place your business card for the state you represent.

state board

In addition to informational workshops, there were chances to do crafting. I am so glad I did this.  At the first part of the conference I told myself I am here to learn about social media and email campaigns I can always do crafts another time.  But by Saturday, I was so tired my brain needed some down time.  It was so fun to sit with people and paint, and build a succulent vase while listening to music and sipping iced tea.  I literally visited the Deco Art table every day to sit and paint.  The reps from the table were so nice.

Catcus Project

Deco Art Paint










And the displays…Home Decorators Collection had their furniture everywhere and it was beautiful.  I fell in love with this chair!  If I had a way to shove it in that box I checked on the plane, I would have.

Home Decorators Collection
Home Decorators Collection

Look at this clever display from 3M.  I am thinking of all kinds of ways you could do this for parties — a wedding shower for notes to the bride and groom.  Or new parents and you send the notes a few months later as encouragement.  Or how about a college send-off party?  Paint the mail boxes in school colors — wouldn’t that be fun!

3M mailbox display
3M Display

colored mailboxes Mailbox display napkins in mailboxes

And then there were all the fun touches with the food and beverage service.  Look at these cute little plastic drink cartons with labels and straws..

tea and lemonade

And the cute menu board for our salad bar at lunch sponsored by 3M


And the last thing I made sure to do was take a few hostess gifts for the people I met along the way as a memento from Texas.  Some were bloggers I made a point to introduce myself to, others were just sweet people I met sitting next to in a class.  I wrapped up pralines in a polka dot envelope with my business card and kept a few tucked into my bag everyday to hand out.  My mother taught me you never go unprepared to say thank you.

Praline favors

It was the best conference I have been to in a long while.  I really appreciated all the efforts the organizers went to in planning it.  I can’t wait for Haven 2017.

Dress it Up — Using Amy Howard Chalk Paint

This is the before photo of a nice looking dresser I purchased a few years ago from Pier 1.  It had a minty green paint with red stripes and brass, ordinary knobs. Over the years, I have transitioned from my love of red to calmer hues of blue, grey and cream with pops of orange and turquoise.  I decided the dresser needed a makeover.

I love painting with chalk paint. Two brands I have worked with are Annie Sloan and Amy Howard.  I have more experience with Annie Sloan and have painted several pieces of furniture, my pantry door and even a fireplace mantel for my designer friend’s client.  I wanted to try Amy Howard’s line she sells through Ace Hardware.

She carries a wide variety of colors and even has a line of lacquer spray paint. The fun and unique aspect of Amy Howard’s paint (like Annie Sloan) is the product is a water-based paint that adheres to any surface with no need to sand or prime.  The results net a flea-market piece that looks fresh and updated.

Chalk paint is very forgiving and is super easy to use.  It rubs off in the places you don’t want it and stays where you do. My local Ace offers classes for application techniques, so be sure to follow them on social media for updates.

I selected Amy Howard One-Step paint in black.  The pigment is very rich so a little goes a long way. I have enough black paint left for another project.

I taped off everything I didn’t want painted black and removed the knobs.  I only painted the minty green and left the cream that was already on the dresser.  I had plans for the stripes using a different line of paint.Using a paint brush, I applied two coats of black paint, making sure to give ample time between coats to adequately dry.

After I was finished painting, I waited 24 hours then applied two thin coats of Amy Howard light antique wax.

The wax helps to protect your paint and also gives a nice, satin finish.

I replaced the hardware with some sparkly knobs from Hobby Lobby and decided to go with mis-matched whimsy using two different knobs from the rest.

The stripes are now gold.  I used a Sherwin-Williams paint and applied it with a steady hand and a small watercolor brush.

Here’s the after…

I am really happy with how it turned out.  It’s not perfect and looks like a vintage piece which is what I was going for. The dresser is in our dining area and houses all our place mats and linen napkins.Can you imagine it would also make a cute coffee station with your Keurig on top and mugs tucked in an open drawer?

So, for about $50 and a weekend, I gave an already great piece of furniture a new life.  I’m sure you have a piece of furniture you’re not feeling the love for.  After a weekend with Amy Howard, you might just change your mind.