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!