Studio 8 Happenings: Road Trip

Oh My! It’s been WAY too long since we’ve posted ANYTHING! Sorry about that. We’ve been swamped with shows, custom jobs, workshops, and creating!

Last month Nancy and Kim had the privilege of attending the Unfolded 2014 Annual Stockist Conference in New Orleans! This is Kim writing the blog – so it will be first person from here on out. đŸ™‚ We went down a couple days early and left late in the afternoon the day after it was over. Jennifer Reichert and Melissa Wagner of Interiors to Inspire joined us. For those of you that don’t know… Jennifer is Nancy’s daughter. She and I grew up together. She and Melissa have a very successful Faux Finishing business and shop that sells Chalk Paint® among other things in Clagary, Alberta – Canada. Needless to say it was kinda like a family trip. It was an awesome time being in such an artistic environment. We shopped, did a Katrina and City Tour with Tours by Isabelle (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!), ate so, so, so much good food, listened to fantastic jazz music, and learned a ton about everything CHALK PAINT®!

Here are a few highlights from our trip.

relaxing at The Carousel Bar and Lounge in Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, LA.

All four of us – (L-R) Melissa, Jennifer, Nancy, and Kim, catching our breath and relaxing with a drink at The Carousel Bar and Lounge at Hotel Monteleone. We spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how the bar tender gets in and out. đŸ˜‰

French quarter the first day.

The architecture in the French Quarter has such incredible character and history. While there we saw a bride and groom parade through the streets with their wedding party and band. The natural gas lanterns are common on both home and business doors.

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Of course we had to have Beignets and Cafe Du Monde.

Tour of the City and Katrina took us by the famous "above ground" graveyard.

Our tour of the city and Katrina was eye-opening. We would highly recommend this outing if you have time. Our tour guide, Jenni, was full of New Orleans knowledge. She shared history and current information during our tour.

The Spotted Cat Jazz Club

Our favorite place to listen to jazz and watch some spontaneous swing dancing. It was also a great surprise to find an Art Show located in the alley beside The Spotted Cat. We purchased gifts for loved ones back home from this “fair”. It was our pleasure to support local artists.

Instagram account set up during the social media portion of the conference.

Yes… We did work during this conference. During the Social Media session Artworks Spokane FINALLY set up an Instagram account! This lovely large “selfie” of Nancy and Kim is the first photo for Artworks profile. đŸ™‚ Follow us… Please.

photo session during the conference.

We also had an entire session on interior photography and shooting the projects we have completed in natural light – both with a phone camera and a digital camera. This one was taken with Kim’s Nikon. #nofilter #nophotoeditinginphotoshop. đŸ˜‰

Jen and Nancy on the bright green swing.

Wednesday night we had a wonderful event in the City Park. We heard New Orleans opera, saw acrobatic dancing, and a puppet show. The evening was finished with dinner, dancing and live music. Jen and Nancy got a mother-daughter photo opp on a bright green swing in the gardens.

Bayona Dinner

I told you… lots of good food. This was a beautiful restaurant in one of the common buildings in the French Quarter, the outside nothing spectacular or different from most of the buildings surrounding it. But the food…. Oh. My. Goodness… another full tummy at bedtime. đŸ˜‰

Annie and Nancy

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a photo with Annie. She is such a wonderfully creative and artistic person. Her presentations were easy to follow and listen to. She shared on color mixing, new products, waxing techniques, and general encouragement for her stockists.

Okay! We learned a TON about Marketing and PR and Shipping and Distributing and … and…. and… đŸ™‚ We came home fired up to make changes – and we have done just that. Have we perfected everything? NOPE! But we’re passionate about getting this paint to the people. It’s so much fun!

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share and leave comments or questions.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

How To: Communicating with Your Contractor

So, you have a project in mind… and you REALLY don’t want to “do-it-yourself”…

So, you have this wall (or furniture piece or room or outside space) that you aren’t sure what to do with… and you don’t have a clue where to start…

So, you want the perfect solution to this design dilemma…

All of these scenarios find you needing help from a professional. Does the idea of hiring a contractor frighten you? Cause your heart to quicken just a bit and send your thoughts into a spiral? Give you heart burn or a headache?… NEVER FEAR! Here is some advice on finding a contractor to help you through the process in a professional and comfortable way. If you do your homework upfront, the journey should be an enjoyable one.

Custom Countertop Finishes Collage

1. Request to see a portfolio. This can consist of actual samples and/or photos of finished work. The size of the portfolio will vary depending on the experience of the artisan. While a hefty portfolio is always a good sign don’t let that be your only guide. Take close look at the finished work in the portfolio – is there attention to detail? This is VERY important! Make certain to ask for client references as well. Some questions to ask previous clients include: Was the artist dependable, responsible, considerate of their property, clean? Was the project on budget and completed in a timely manner? Would they hire the artist again? See if the artist has done any finishes or surfaces in commercial atmosphere so you can visit the place and see some work for yourself.

paint on the plate to promote the mixing of colors.

2. Ask about training. Decorative Artists abound but experience and attention to detail are quality traits you don’t want to compromise on. Ask about the training and experience the artist has accrued. If they profess to be “certified” verify where they received this certification and what the requirements were. You want to ensure the artisan you are hiring has knowledge in product chemistry, adhesion, surface preparation, and color theory.

3. Request proof of Insurance and Licensing. The last thing you need is a problem with damage during a custom installation that the artist is incapable of repairing for you.

chalk_paint_hutch

4. Always see a sample and approve before the job begins. This step brings you peace of mind – believe me, both you and the Artist. I will often have my clients sign off on the sample board to verify we are all on the same page. A sample should be the finish and color theme you want to see in your space. If the sample is off, request another one. You may end up paying for multiple samples, but the end result will be what you had in mind. More communication with your contractor is ALWAYS better than wondering or assuming.  Also keep in mind, a 2′ x 2′ sample board will vary slightly from the wall finish. This is to be expected because some finishes are difficult to portray on such a small area or need to be scaled to fit the space or piece in your home. If you’ve gone through the steps mentioned above there should be a level of trust in the artist. You can know minimal variation will be acceptable AND that the artist will balance and complete the finish to your standards.

Master Suite at a recording studio

5. Don’t sweat the process once the job has begun. It may sound cliche, but many of these finishes aren’t pretty before they are done. I have had more than one job where the client is horrified at the middle stage. Thankfully we have gone through this process and they know the end result will match the sample and the vision we have worked through together.

Hopefully this will help you the next time you need to hire a decorative artisan. We at Artworks take pride in our custom finishes. From start to finish our clients are kept informed, valued, and respected. Bring us your design dilemma… we’re experienced and ready! For more examples of the work we’ve completed visit our website or studio!

Studio 8 happenings: Hosting Fun!

Welcome to Artworks Spokane

We welcomed 36 Chalk Paint® stockists last week for National Training with Barb Skivington.

Ya know that after party glow? We’ve been living in it for the past week – remembering favorite moments, recounting fantastic sample board designs, and relishing the blessing of new friendships! November 6th and 7th we were honored to have Barb Skivington and 36 Chalk Paint® stockists for a National Training Seminar. If you don’t know or haven’t figured out… we LOVE throwing a party. And when Chalk Paint®, sample boards, food, and fellow artists are going to be creating together… well, we consider that a party! This week came on the coattails of our Grand Opening celebration at Artworks Coeur d’Alene the weekend prior. If you don’t know or haven’t figured out, we love a challenge as well! And can I just say, we pulled it off! Studio 8 received a major overhaul and redesign – that’s for another blog… this time I want to talk about my stockist friends and the fun we had with Barb! What a phenomenal trainer/teacher! Her infectious laugh and light spirit made everyone comfortable and at ease.

Barb Skivington teaches Chalk Paint® stocists.

Barb made the classroom portion of the training fun and interesting.

The training began with a review of our standards as stockists. We had several classroom sessions and each one was packed with technique review, product information, common challenges as stockists, and business savvy.

Class time with Barb Skivington

What a beautiful group of ladies. They came from Arizona, Calgary, AL, California, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington.

We had our work room set up to accommodate these gals.

Our classroom and custom job finishing area - all clean for the training.A

This room is THIS clean about twice a year. Don’t misunderstand – we strive for this clean, but with custom jobs and show booth construction… it just doesn’t happen. We LOVE it when it looks like this.

Neatly stacked sample boards and Chalk Paint® cans standing at attention.

Supplies were laid out and ready for use. (The cans are so clean.)

After a time in the “class room” everyone headed back to get started doing what they do best – PAINTING!! These ladies were just chomping at the bit to get started mixing color, slapping paint brushes around and trying something new!

Final instruction is given to the National Stockists before diving into the Chalk Paint®.

Final instruction is given before turning everyone loose!

paint on the plate to promote the mixing of colors.

Promoting the mixing of colors… this was FUN!

The board you see in the picture above is a Bohemian sample. Encouraged to mix new colors and hues then paint fun patterns outside “the box”, everyone was tapping their well of creativity.

Wednesday night we took all our new friends to see our NEW Coeur d’Alene store. Artworks Coeur d’Alene was buzzing with artists for a moment and then it was off to dinner. What a fun filled day!

a field trip to the Coeur d'Alene store in the Riverstone Village gave our guests some evening activities.

Barb and Peggy pause for a snapshot. Our store is decked out for fall and ready to inspire!

By day two our workshop looked a little more like normal. Check out the supply table:

Chalk Paint® cans looking more "normal" after use.

Those little cans all lined up and ready for use… They are serving the front lines of creativity right there! Those are battle wounds worn proudly! They look exhausted!

Not only was the supply table looking a bit worn, but every place that could house a drying sample board was doing just that! Everywhere you turned surfaces were being used. I was able to get some shots of those Bohemian boards – but I’ll let each stockist share their own. đŸ™‚

sample boards finding a safe place to dry.

These samples are safe under a work table. There are more on the shelves, propped against the legs of tables and supply bins, and the chosen few rest atop the table in plain sight.

It was a fun-filled two days. Not a down moment for boredom. We were so thrilled to open our studio and host our fellow stockists and Barb. But what’s a get together without a family picture? Being women we understood the importance of recording this gathering…

National Stockist Training with Barb Skivington 2013 at Artworks Spokane.We also understand the importance of our work….

Bohemian style sample boards

Some are peeking through… cheaters. đŸ˜‰

Thank you to all the stockists that made this meeting a priority, purchased your plane ticket, booked your hotel room, and graced us with your presence. It was a wonderful time and we hope to be able to host you all again soon.

Until then…

Please feel free to leave a comment, share our post, follow our blog, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, link to us on linkedin… We’ll continue to share what inspires us, what transpires in the Studio and on the job, and what fuels our fire!

Artworks Spokane

Now with the launch of a second location in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we thought it necessary to explain the differences between the purpose of the two locations.

Artworks Spokane building facade

Artworks Spokane’s Studio in Spokane Valley, WA. Prepare to be Inspired

Since 1994 Artworks Spokane has been developing into a decorative arts authority here in Spokane, Washington. Nancy has been known and recognized nationally for her teaching abilities, knowledge, and technique. Along with classes in Faux, Concrete, and Plasters, Artworks Spokane specializes in custom contracting. In 2010 we opened the doors to our Marietta studio, Studio 8, with the sole purpose of having a location where finishes are displayed, clients can meet around a design table and discuss options, classes can be held with plenty of room and inspiration, and supplies can be purchased for do-it-yourself projects.

custom work by Artworks Spokane

From Left to Right: Plaster wall finish with Aspen Tree relief; Custom built wine rack buffet; Covered sun porch concrete overlay floor; Decorative Concrete overlay countertop

Artworks Spokane focuses on the Contracting side of a very creative business. “Transforming Ordinary Surfaces into Works of Art” is our tagline and it is what we pride ourselves on doing. Just about any surface that stands still long enough can be transformed into something beautiful! Walls, Floors, Countertops, Showers, Ceilings, Cabinetry, Furniture, Driveways, Patios and more, are just a few of the surfaces we specialize in transforming. We also hold classes in the studio. These classes range in skill level from beginner to the contractor seeking new certifications. The showroom has been finished with many of the techniques we offer and holds thousands of samples available by our highly qualified and trained team of artisans. We still sell Chalk Paint® and we carry many other sundries needed to get your job done, as well as the products to the classes we teach.

A few of our favorite things at the Coeur d'Alene store

CdA specializes in Chalk Paint®, hand painted furniture, pottery and glass, teas and florals.

Now, what is different about Coeur d’Alene? Artworks Coeur d’Alene is an extension of Artworks Spokane. This location is a boutique featuring hand painted furniture, home decor, and Chalk Paint®. Artworks Cd’A is a retail driven location. Both stores carry the tagline “transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art”. In our Coeur d’Alene store this is found in everything we have for purchase. The hand painted furniture has been transformed to breathe new life and begin a second phase. We only choose the highest quality pieces to invest time in. As for the home decor and gifts? Each item entering our store has gone through a rigorous examination as to whether it falls under the tagline’s standards. Hand crafted jewelry, unique candles, pottery and glass, dinnerware and teas are just a few of the beautiful, high quality items you will find in our one-of-a-kind home decor boutique.

I hope this helps you in understanding the difference between the two locations. While both carry Chalk Paint® and feature our custom work, Spokane is designed to focus on the custom contracting side, and Coeur d’Alene is designed to cater to the retail end. We love beautiful things. We are passionate about transforming ordinary surfaces into works of art. And we support those who do!

Please feel free to leave a comment and share our blog. We love our clients, customers, and friends!

Studio 8 Happenings: Our Second Location

A couple weeks ago we posted a blog about Our New Store! It’s been a busy busy month! The time has finally come! Tomorrow we have a very, very soft opening scheduled. đŸ˜‰ We began this final week of preparation by purging the Spokane studio of all kinds of furniture and inventory to be displayed at the Coeur d’Alene boutique. I wish I would have taken pictures of the chaos here at the studio – but I was wrapped up in it myself… I can show you what Artworks Coeur d’Alene looked like when it received all the merchandise.

all the furniture in the center of the Coeur d'Alene studio

This is most of the “big” stuff from the Spokane Studio.

Of course, it gets much worse before it gets better.

more inventory coming into the Artworks Coeur d'Alene store

A little messier this time – and everything has been moved at least 4 times EACH!

With all that beautiful inventory going to the Coeur d’Alene store our Spokane studio is getting a fresh start.

The Spokane Studio finds itself with room to breathe!

Room for more beautiful custom works of art.

Now, the front area will feature all of our Chalk Paint® line as well as other product lines for sale, like Wood Icing, Royal Design Stenciling creams and tools, books, custom art, and much much more!

The front reception area now contains the Chalk Paint® line as well as other custom painting lines.

Upon entering the front door you can purchase your paint and all the necessary items to make your paint job a success.

With all these changes taking shape, we throw caution to the wind and open the doors in our Coeur d’Alene store this Sunday, September 1st (but if you happen to be out there on Saturday, we’ll be open then too)! Our store hours will be 11:00am – 7:00pm, daily. For more information on our second location check out our website/blog. If you can stand the “in between”, come visit us! We’re so thrilled to be branching out!

Studio 8 Happenings: A NEW STORE!!

We are so excited to announce a new adventure! We’re opening a location in Coeur d’Alene, ID. At the heart of Main Street in Riverstone Village you will find Artworks Coeur d’Alene. This location is going to feature mainly Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan’s entire line of products as well as gift items, home decor, furniture, and more! We want to keep you posted as we go through this fast month of set up so here are the first shots from our new location… a blank slate if you will.

Riverstone Village

The view of Riverstone Village. Our shop is right behind the tan SUV.

We’re ordering a sign, painting everything we can find, dreaming dreams, and drafting plans! The floor and walls will be painted with Chalk Paint® as well as the vast majority of furniture and displays. Here’s a shot of the bare-bones beginning. The floor has been prepped for painting.

bare bones beginning

Just waiting for all that cool decor and inventory!

The new store’s logo will have the same look and feel as our current “mother ship” in Spokane Valley.

Artworks Coeur d'Alene sign

“New” logo

Stay tuned for more as we spend LOTS of time there in the next couple weeks. You can also check our facebook page for updates on how things are going.