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January 30, 2012

Tangerine Tango

Well, I do not know how to tango (yet) but I love tangerines.  Do I still qualify to blog about this year's Pantone Hot Colour?

Each year designers and manufacturers pay close attention to market analysis results meant to determine the next great trend in colour.  Sometimes I love the reported winner and other times I don't.  And often I wonder what came first... the chicken or the egg, because when you see enough of a new trend it can sometimes grow on you.  I can't say that happened for me with pea green at the height of its popularity, though I quite like it now.  Maybe I am a late bloomer.

What I am confident of is that we are each unique and wonderful, and that market research reports do not define us.  I happen to love a vast array of colours, but right now I am favouring casual, cottage-chic-inspired decor.  It could be because it is the middle of winter and I am yearning for the beach.  Perhaps it is because I spent a good part of my early life surrounded by water and sand and I know how to have fun with the corresponding colours.  Or maybe I like the comfort factor of soft blues, driftwoody taupes and creamy off-whites... nothing glaring or startling about that, except perhaps for the bits of lemon yellow that sneak their way in... probably representative of the summer sun. Whatever the reason, right now that makes me smile and I'm not sure that is one of the questions asked of the Hot Colour of the Year focus group.

Case in point:  2011's Pantone pick was Honeysuckle.  I liked it, but I did not paint with it, or decorate with it, or wear anything in that colour last year.  I have a nail polish that could be considered "honeysuckle', though the label says "Bubble Gum".

Whatever the trend, whatever the report, I recognize that my clients have wide-ranging, interesting and very personal preferences, and that is what I listen for when we meet to discuss custom colour options.  So if anyone loves this:


or has a penchance for this:

or like me, wants something a little more like this:


...well, I am happy that they are happy; and to me, a client's "Wow, I LOVE it!" is all that really matters when a design project is being realized.

With or without hot stuff approval, go with what makes YOU smile.

Hmmm... how about a little of this?



January 26, 2012

Late Night on the Ave

One of the things I was completely sure of when Apple Box Boutique, the brick and mortar edition was becoming a reality early last spring was that I wanted to find a way to highlight local/Canadian artists, be they musicians,  fine artists, comedians, actors, photographers... well, you get the idea.  So I wrote into my business plan that once a month we would do just that and hold an event at the boutique, wherever that ended up being located, and then started telling everyone I met about it.

Lucky for me we landed in the Highlands merchant district where the 112th avenue restaurant and shop owners championed the idea in their own businesses and together we are presenting "Late Night on the Ave".

Thank you to the lovely Sabrina O'Donnell of Sabrina Butterfly Designs for creating this graphic.

On the first Thursday of each month, merchants in this quaint, historic community will open our doors from 4:00 - 9:00 PM and offer promotions, contests and more.

The upcoming Late Night event on February 2nd precedes Valentine's Day and is a great opportunity for Edmontonians to cash in on deals and get your flowers ordered and gift-buying done, not to mention alleviate concerns about line-ups, or for some particularly busy people who shall remain nameless, forgetting the day and being caught off-guard.

At Apple Box Boutique/Ambiance Events, any excuse for a celebration is worthy and we are very happy to have local up and coming musician Sara Isabel performing at the boutique.  When you stop in for Sara's set, enjoy a complementary beverage and enter to win our "Love is on the Avenue" contest.  (Watch the blog for our 'concert' poster, available tomorrow, with performance times and more.)

Sugar Blossoms Floral Design shares our space at 6507 - 112 Avenue and is joining us in offering the contest prize of a gift card for a Teddy bear and a dozen roses.  But that's not all!  There are plenty of deals to be had at all of the Highlands businesses taking part:

Poster created by Laura England, Mandolin Books and Coffee Company.

That should help make Valentine's Day what it is meant to be... stress-free and loaded with L-O-V-E.

See you there!




January 25, 2012

Our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Display

Yesterday was like Christmas all over again with the heaps of goodies that arrived. Which means today is the day our inventory of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is going up on the shelves... and I am still staring down the cabinet I've selected to display it in.

I hadn't really thought about what it would be like to have 28 equally gorgeous paint colours to choose from.  It seemed like a no-brainer at first... the paint labels are white with blue lettering, so it appeared obvious to paint the cabinet in coordinating colours.  Then a feeling overcame me that it might be too matchy-matchy, and I swung the other way... offset the cans by respecting the colour wheel and go red.  But every time I look over at the towers of paint cans, well the deciding starts all over again.

So, I thought maybe some suggestions would be in order, and I'd love to hear yours!

This is the cabinet (apologies for the not-so-lovely picture provided by the perfectly-lovely previous owner):


 And these are the paint cans (yippeee!):

Photo courtesy of Trouvé Antiques

And... here are the options:


I have not included the 55+ colours you can make by mixing these (AS Chalk paint contains very little black pigment, at least all but Graphite, which means pure colour mixes... nothing to muddy them up).  That would just wreak further havoc on the current state of my aesthetic sensibilities (how's that for a mouthful), but we will look at the how-tos etc. on this blog in the future because it's just too much fun not to.

In the meantime, consider this my call for help.  I'm looking forward to your ideas of fabulousness!




January 23, 2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & Apple Box Boutique Inc.

Today is cause for celebration at Apple Box Boutique for several reasons, but I will try to limit my enthusiasm (okay, lets just call it what it really is... ECSTATICISM) in this post to two rather happy events.

We are officially bloggers! Our goal is to share new trends, vintage finds, and local events from fashion to flower shows. Followers will also be the first to know what is new in-store and more. We are looking forward to lots of blog parties and feedback from our new blog friends.

Effective today we are the only retailer north of Lethbridge approved to carry Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

As a fan of AS paint and a 'reimaginer' who uses it in my own studio (you may have seen it on some favourite pieces in the boutique) I am fully aware of the concerns when paint is shipped... the cost, the cold, the parking and waiting in line to pick it up. In a word, it is 'unnerving' for someone like me who l-o-v-e-s paint and wants to get started on a project before even taking my coat off.

Thankfully, Tara of Lauren Lane Decor in Calgary became a stockist so everything is checked for quality before it gets to Apple Box Boutique all warm and toasty... or at least room temperature.

With 28 colours of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, waxes with distinct characteristics and other fun products to round out the line, we can't wait to share everything from painting projects to custom colour recipes in future blog posts. In the meantime, we invite you to stop in for a visit at our little boutique at 6507 - 112 Avenue just off of Ada Boulevard in the quaint community of Highlands.

We're looking forward to meeting you!

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