Stay Home & DIY (Part 1)

As you #stayhome safe and healthy, allow your imagination to run wild - with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®

We are sharing a few Chalk Paint® DIY projects that are perfect for everyone - ages 3 to 99! Each of these makes for a fun activity with the kids, a weekend family bonding project or a relaxing creative outlet just for you. 

We hope you enjoy the read and that you try your hand at some of these projects in the coming weeks. 

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PAINT-A-POT

We love painting pots - fun, easy and so satisfying! A few strokes of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® will brighten up your garden or balcony. The best part is that you can paint any kind of pot - the tacky plastic kind, ceramic, terracotta, marble, clay... Chalk Paint® sticks to most surfaces with no additional prep work needed!

Our tip - to prevent colour from fading, seal Chalk Paint® with Annie Sloan Lacquer - its water resistant and formulated with UV protection, comes in gloss and matt finishes. 

What You’ll Need 

    How-To

    1. Apply two coats of the base colour, giving half an hour drying time between each coat
    2. Create a design of your choice, either freehand or with masking tape
    3. Rinse flat brush thoroughly, until water runs clear
    4. Apply lacquer with clean flat brush
    5. Let it dry for 24 hours, place your plant in the pot and done!

    If you'd like to try a bit more of an advanced finish, grab the Annie Sloan Detail Brushes Set and try your hand at a faux inlay pattern.

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    WAVE HELLO TO OUR NEWEST COLLAB!

     

    Big Blue Company & Big Blue Trunk have collaborated to bring you a fun DIY project that'll almost make you feel like you're on the beach...

    Inspired by the treasures of the sea, Big Blue Company designs and produces a range of 100% 'ingenuine' resin stone giant clams, corals and shells using a combination of 3D printing technology, an underwater camera and a healthy dose of tenacity. 

    Add into the mix a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® from Big Blue Trunk and ta-da - create a beautiful decorative piece for your home! 

    To achieve best results, we recommend using the Annie Sloan  Pure Bristle Brush which will ensure even paint coverage (even in hard-to-reach crevices!) and produce a beautiful conversation piece that reminds all that nature will heal in due time if we care for her.

    What You’ll Need 

    How-To

    1. Apply two coats of Chalk Paint with half an hour drying time between each coat
    2. Allow to dry for a few hours before displaying your masterpiece

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    “MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL…”

    “Who’s the fairest one of all?”

    After a Chalk Paint® makeover, don’t be surprised if it’s the mirror itself!

    Since so many of you have been asking about the multi-blue hued piece in our Cluny Court store, we thought we'll show you how to create your own. 

    What You’ll Need

    How-To

      1. Select a base colour and apply two coats of paint, allowing half an hour drying time between each coat 
      2. Once the base coats have dried, lightly dip your brush in a second colour, wipe off excess on a paper towel and then use quick light strokes to dry brush the paint all over the frame (make sure your brush is dry and doesn't have too much paint on it)
      3. Repeat the same process with the other colours, to achieve a layered soft finish
      4. Seal the paint with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Wax

    Tips

    • For best results, choose colours from the same family or complementary colours, e.g. blues and yellows

    We'll share 3 DIY projects each week until the end of May. We hope you try some of these - nothing like some painting to brighten up your days!

     

     

    May 09, 2020 by Deepti Chadda
    Padhchinh - Every Footprint Tells a Story

    Padhchinh - Every Footprint Tells a Story


    It was sometime last year when a friend told me about an artist and wildlife conservationist in Singapore who found a way to combine her two passions to create something beautiful and meaningful. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to meet with Alpana Ahuja several times and hear about her unique and fascinating work, which lies at the intersection of art and wildlife conservation. Her art has been collected by the likes of Justin Trudeau and Pharrell Williams and has helped raise large amounts of funds for wildlife conservation in India and Singapore.

    I’m excited and honoured to share more about Big Blue Trunk’s collaboration with Alpana Ahuja.


    (Picture by David Stewart)


    At the intersection of art and wildlife conservation. 

    As an artist, for many years Alpana had painted Lord Ganesha (Indian elephant-headed God, the remover of obstacles), until she discovered the joy of painting actual elephants. It started with a calendar she was creating for Wildlife SOS, and it never stopped. As she spent time with the elephants, she began to learn more about their kind and sensitive hearts, gentle natures and their vast knowledge of the earth. She loved the diversity with which she could characterise them in her art - in bright bold colours or monotones, zoomed into the face or as a large herd, at the forefront or in the background of a painting… she had found her one true muse!


    Elephants as co-creators of Art

    Alpana felt her connection with these fascinating creatures grow over the years. She was taken by their intelligence, emotional sensitivity and her heart hurt for all the abuse they experienced at human hands. As part of her fundraising efforts, she decided to involve elephants as co-creators in her art - thus emerged a unique collection called “Padhchinh” or “Footprints” in Sanskrit. Elephant footprints are special and tell each tell an individual story. Alpana observed that newly rescued elephants who have just been brought into the Elephant Sanctuary will have smooth pads that are worn out by walking on tarred roads, while those that have spent time at the sanctuary will begin to redevelop natural crevices and grips on their foot pads. 


    These footprints symbolise the elephants walking away from a miserable existence towards a better future. 

    A couple of times a year, Alpana visits the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura, India and co-creates art with the rescued elephants - their unique footprints on her canvases. Her favourite co-artist is Phoolkali, blind in one eye from abuse before she was rescued and brought to the sanctuary, she is calm, gentle and patient by nature. She enjoys working with Alpana and gives her almost perfect footprints each time. As all the elephants at the Sanctuary are used to being checked by veterinarians for foot problems regularly, lifting their foot is quite a regular activity for them. For Alpana, these footprints symbolise the elephants walking away from a miserable existence towards a better future. 


    Her newest Padhchinh Collection has been created with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

    For several years now, Alpana has been searching for a natural non-toxic paint to use in her Padchinh Collection, one that isn’t harmful to the elephants or the earth as it’s washed off. And that’s how she found us! Her newest Padhchinh Collection has been created with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that’s odourless, non-toxic and low on VOCs, completely safe for babies, pregnant women and animals alike. We are delighted that her experiment with using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was successful and are excited about a long-lasting collaboration with her. All proceeds from the sale of her Padhchinh collection will go directly to Wildlife SOS towards the rehabilitation of rescued elephants. 


    The famous Raju and sweet Kalpana

    For her most recent collection, Alpana worked with 2 elephants - the famous Raju and sweet Kalpana. She says “Raju was very cooperative and gave us some beautiful footprints. Kalpana and Holly, the inseparable duo, were well, inseparable. Holly didn’t like lifting her foot, so we left her alone. Kalpana was happy to do some foot lifting in exchange for treats. But she got bored quickly so back we went to Raju to finish the lot. We also had to contend with a litter of 8 pups running around fearlessly. Hence my art had to dry on a cart! Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paints was a great experience. I was happy that my paint run-offs didn’t pollute the earth at the Elephant Care and Conservation Centre. Being mindful of our daily actions is important for the future of our planet.”


    You can support the cause by:

    1. Purchasing unique art from the Padhchinh Collection online or in-store at Big Blue Trunk

    2. Attending our “Meet the Artist” event with Alpana on February 22 at 5:00PM at our Studio

    3. Contributing directly to Wildlife SOS

    Also read - Alpana Ahuja, 57, Artist and Elephant Whisperer by the Ageist

    January 31, 2020 by Deepti Chadda

    Confetti Confetti

    A few weeks ago, we acquired a cute antique bureau from an auntie who has had it in her family for more than 50 years. Dusty and old but full of character, with hidden compartments and little drawers. We were so excited! Our makeover plan started with a neutral concept - Graphite paired with Duck Egg Blue and a chalkboard table top to keep it interesting. Something that would appeal to everyone and fit into most homes. Maybe even slightly boring, but safe. Well...

    It just so happens that all of us at Big Blue Trunk love everything that's happy and bright - neons, unicorns and sunshine. And so our finished piece turned out to be quite different from where we started. Instead of the neutrals, we went with fresh pastels and pops of bright colour. We thought why not give it a fun transformation, something that surprises and delights. And what better way to do that than with neon confetti and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®? So we went for it >>>

    Here is how we transformed this bureau:

    Since it was a very old piece, we took some precautionary steps and filled all the holes with wood filler, and treated it with anti-termite oil. We gave it a quick rub down with Annie Sloan Sanding Pads, cleaned it with warm soapy water and then started painting.

    We chose a combination of fresh pastels - Lem Lem mixed with a bit of Pure White and Antoinette for the outside, and Pure White for the inside. The Lem Lem and Antoinette took two coats of paint while the Pure White took three coats as the wood was very dark. Since we wanted a textured look and had a lot of corners/carvings to paint, we used the Pure Bristle Brush. Once the paint was dry we sealed it using the Chalk Paint Clear Wax applied with the Wax Brush

    Then came the fun part....I had leftover Meri Meri confetti from my daughter's first birthday and it was gorgeous - gold, pink, neon yellow and green. We used Annie Sloan's Image Medium to decoupage the confetti all over the inside of the bureau. Pure White was the perfect background for the confetti circles to really pop. A couple of hours, 5 coats of image medium later and there it was - yes, we did go a little crazy with the confetti!

    For the last few touches - did you know that any of the colours in the Chalk Paint® range can be used to make a chalkboard surface on furniture or walls? With the right technique, its very easy to do! We applied 4 very thin watered down coats of Antoinette on the door of the bureau with half an hour drying time between each coat. Once dry, we conditioned the surface by rolling a piece of chalk across it and then wiped it clean with a damp rag. And just like that - the chalkboard was ready! Hello there :)

    It still felt like something was missing... a touch of gold, perhaps? The carvings and metal knobs looked very flat against the pastels and bright confetti. Annie Sloan Bright Gold Gilding Wax to the rescue! We applied the gilding wax using our fingers and a fine brush as a border for the chalkboard, to cover the metal knobs on the doors and to highlight the wood carvings. 

    Finally... we were done. From an old dark bureau to a fresh and fun piece of furniture!

    If you would like to learn the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® method and upcycle your furniture, register for one of our creative Workshops