When Janet came to stay


Janet and I have been friends for quite a few years now. We met through blogging, me here and her over at 'The Empty Nest'. Recently I've watched with admiring wonder as she has branched out and built up a thriving boutique business based around Annie Sloan chalk® paints. 

When I found she was visiting England, we both were determined to meet up. And so she made the long train journey from Brighton to Shrewsbury, to stay at my decrepit little cottage for a couple of nights. Brave lady! From the start, it was like meeting an old and dear friend and we were completely comfortable in each other's company. I toured her round the lovely town of Shrewsbury, to the library, where we inspected the old school room graffiti - some of it dating back to the early 1700's. 


Naturally I had to take her to a second hand furniture place - I swear if she'd had access to a shipping container, half of that shop would now be back in the USA, in her beautiful Warrenton  shop, awaiting the paint treatment. It was so interesting to watch and listen as she explained how a dated and tired old chest could be transformed into something fresh and beautiful.


And (as she did all day) she made friends with one of the shop assistants as she bought one tiny little snippet of tapestry to take home.

Then there was browsing through vintage china in the Market Hall...

...fish and chips for lunch. I don't think Janet was persuaded by mushy peas.

Naturally, we had to pop into the vintage shop in town who also stock Annie Sloan paint. Janet had just been to the Brighton Anne Sloan convention and was keen to see a UK shop. There was much inspection of paint and wares.


We visited another splendid vintage chic shop nearby, 'Rustic and White', where we made friends with Jo, the owner. I did a bit of networking and it seems possible that I'll finally be able to do a Shrewsbury needle felting workshop, having found the right venue. (Contact me if interested).

Janet also bought over a plethora of lovely gifts for me, including a sweet dog that she had needle felted herself, my first 'Annie Sloan' wax brush (which I have a project in mind for), real cotton buds, book plates, a vintage card of Poughkeepsie (which I can now almost pronounce properly), a hand made 'Empty Nest' bag and best of all, a gorgeous old edition of Mother Goose. Better than Christmas. Oh, and of course, the backdrop - a sumptuously heavy vintage linen table cloth, from an old mill. 

And after our long day enjoying ourselves, we had a little relaxing wine and needle felting session, making chickens by the fire, with the TV on and chatting about everything under the sun. It was wonderful to finally meet meet such a gracious, kind friend who is just as super in real life as she has been for so many years in our online friendship. Your place next time Janet!


Soozcat said...

So excited that you two finally got to meet! Sounds like you had a wonderful time together.

Janet Metzger, Artist said...

Oh Gretel...I had the Best time visiting you and your sweet little cottage. I fell in love with Shrewsbury..fish and chips..scones..the whole deal. As you Brits are fond of saying ...it was all Brilliant!!!!
My whole stay in your lovely country was wonderful and I am already planning on a return. Yes...you need to visit the USA!
Many thanks for the great needlefelting tutorial (I love my little chicken) and the yummy trout dinner.

Such a joy finally meeting you.
Much love...Janet xox
The Empty Nest

rachel said...

Sounds perfect. Fun, shared interests, new discoveries and opportunities, and an online friendship firmly cemented in real life. Lucky you and Janet!

Deborah Flint said...

Oh, oh, oh :-) It all sounds so lovely. I am not at all surprised that you had such a great time together. I think the ripples spread out far and wide, and we all feel a little better now that you have actually met!! The day sounded perfect.

Much love, D xx

Noelle the dreamer said...

The old school room graffiti brought lots of memories to ex-RAF hubby!
Lovely meeting this way is it not?
Thanks for sharing,

auntpearl said...

Sounds like a wonderful visit for both of you. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful things you got to enjoy together.
Sending you hugs,

Nancy said...

It reminds me of a wonderful set of books I read as a young adult (never a child. Anne of Green Gables always gave me a small spot of jealousy she had a bosom friend, Diana Berry. It is a blessing to have such good friends that you feel comfortable with -- they are such a gift. :)

Vintage Jane said...

I love how blogging helps us to join up with friends who share interests and 'understand'. So glad that you were finally able to meet up with Janet and have such a great time. Save every little penny you can and go visit the US. Bestest, Marina x

Twiglet said...

Sounds like the perfect day out in town! x Jo

Claire said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time together Gretel.......great to meet in person.
Making chickens by the fire, hehe, the perfect way to spend the evening, I think.
I can imagine Janet keen to ship some wares back to Warrenton, she has the knack of turning an ugly duckling into a swan.....
Loved reading about your adventures together.

Claire x

Parisbreakfasts said...

Po-kip(small nap)-C
Delighted to discover you thru Frances!