Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

“. . . on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was held, one of the most
remarkable happenings in the history of democracy. . . ”

-American Heritage Magazine, October 1993

I feel so blessed to be a part of a time that is taking into account our beautiful world.  This place has and never will stop amazing me.  Our environment is a precious and beautiful place filled with mystery and inspiration.  My partners and I are trying every single day to make Patina Designs and Lulu Painting full”green” painting companies.  Here are a few of things we have been doing to help our environment and the environment at our clients homes.

  1. USE THE INTERNET:We no longer print out paper recipe cards for classes and demo’s that we are instructing.  We put the recipes on-line for folks to look up at their discretion.
  2. VOC FREE PAINTS:We use low VOC or NO VOC paints.  These are paints that do not contain toxic amounts of cancer causing  volatile organic compounds.
  3. WASH WHAT YOU HAVE:We wash out all our brushes, rollers, naps, trays, and paint cans, so as to not over use products that end up in landfills.  Some of us have paint brushes that are 3 years old and still work like new.  It can be a pain at times but its worth it in the long haul and also helps with costs!
  4. RE-USABLE JARS: We use old glass pickle jars and plastic yogurt containers to mix our color samples or glazes in.
  5. RECYCLE:We recycle our clients paint cans for them.  How many of you have old paint just sitting in your basement unused and collecting dust.  By bringing these unusable paints to a recycling center folks who are thrifty can pick them up for next to nothing to be used.
  6. RE-NEW:We re-paint cabinetry.  This is our hottest selling service right now.  Folks seem to be using what they have and making it how they want rather than wasting money on NEW, and putting the old in a landfill.  We can take any dated, ugly kitchen, and make it gorgeous!
  7. RECYCLE WORK SITE TRASH:We recycle our old paint cans and water bottles from work sites.  We have a lot of trash that builds up on a work site but a lot of it can be recycles if you just take the time.
  8. WASH:We run our rags through the wash instead of throwing them away.
  9. SUPPORT “GREEN” BUSINESS, (or at least ones that are striving to be that ways)We support Sherwin Williams by purchasing their recycled brushes, trays, and rollers instead of purchasing ones that are not made from recycled materials.
  10. GET CREATIVE:We cut up our rags from old sheets and towels instead of purchasing a bag of them at the paint supply store.  All of us have old towels or cloths that could be used as rags.  Why on earth would you buy rags when it takes two seconds to make your own?

What are some ways that you help to make your business or life a little better for the environment?  Do you have any other suggestions for us?  We like to think that we are very crafty but there is always room for more!  What other ways do you think we could help make our painting company even “greener”?

To view one of my many green DIY projects please read: https://lulupainting.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/painting-and-stenciling-a-bench-for-steph/

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Happy Easter!

Here is a little collection of all things Easter for you to enjoy to help get you amped for the big day tomorrow!

A lovely room, ripe with the Easter bunnies favorite color!!


Easter Gear, I’m positive the Easter Bunny must wear these while he’s doing all that hopping about!!!!


Easter Painted House!!!  Maybe even the actual location of the real Easter Bunny?


Easter is SO HIP HOP!




Happy little kids having all their bunny dreams come true!!!


and lastly, whats Easter without an Easter Bunny siting!

Happy Easter

love, lulu

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Happy New Year 2009!!!!


New Year! New Ball!  What else could possibly fall into place in 2009? I was pleased to hear on NPR this morning that a brand spanking new updated LED double size, superior  Times Square Ball has been installed.  This new improved ball will  drop us all  into 2009 and will now be on display year round for all to see.   In Reflection of the year 2008  I can recognize great success in my own life and the lives of those who surround me.  The lessons of 2008 were endless.

2008 began for me in my hometown in Vermont.  I was terribly sick, as was my best friend and we spent the celebration full of cough medicine with warm tea in hand.  It was hardly an exciting invitation to the coming year, but was rather an introduction into our personal perseverance, and ability to not let the little things in life get us down.  Hence we repeated continuously together, Em and I, 2008 is GREAT! We then sickly  kissed 2007 and all its ills and glory  goodbye, got a good nights sleep, woke up in 2008 well rested, and better.

I have learned so much from my friends and my family this year.  Janessa has shown me true personal dedication and how very resilient a mind can be when given the proper attention and time to just be with itself and be okay with that.  Jacob has shown me first hand what emotional loving is and can be.  He has been my shoulder, inspiration, and very best friend of the year, and I am so grateful for his support and love.  Corn has shown me inspiration on so many levels, I am continually moved by her personal growth, strength and reflection.  Destiny showed me the strength of the human heart, the beauty of each of our own unique talents, and what closing a chapter in ones life can do to open the door to a whole new world.  My sisters continue to work toward there dreams, and this keeps me motivated to pave the way and lead by example for them, so that they will never ever give up.

I’ve watched great friendships rebound from insurmountable ruins.  Businesses grow to unexpected levels, Dreams stretch to become  larger and more clearly viewed, Love flourish in the most unexpected places, A father who’s strength surpassed any  hopes and created the most inspiring chain of optimism in his daughters.   I have watched as people have gone above and beyond for the people that mean most to them, even when they knew the favor would never be returned.  I have been so grateful for my network of the most creative, loving, and inspiring people I have ever known.  And the endless love and support of my Grandparents and all of the other people who believe in me and what I am passionate about so lovingly, without you…I can’t even imagine what life would be.

Each and everyone one of you that has touched my world on any level has made me a better person, and taught me so very much.  I have the foundation now that supports everything I have always believed, which is that people are inherently GOOD and deserve second, forty, or five hundredth chances… (circumstances pending of coarse).  That if you love something or someone you may at some point have to let it or them go…only to appreciate the actual lesson.  That life is filled with lessons for all of us if we will only take the time to stop and listen.  That we are creative beings, resilient beings, loving beings full of light and passion that wants so desperately to be harnessed.

I wish each and everyone of you a 2009 so much greater than you could ever dream.  A year where great opportunities no longer pass you but join you in your growth.  A year filled with absolute true love on every level outward and inward.  A year of great success in all that you do, May everything you touch turn to gold and your new glorious self be on display all year round for all the world to see.


Happy New Year to all of YOU!  Namaste and High Fives!!!! LULU

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lululemon02Candlelight Anusara Yoga with Ali Certain

Friday, Jan. 2nd @6:30pm
2313 W. 50th St. MPLS, MN (50th and Penn)

Begin this year with intention! Join us for an evening of complimentary candlelight yoga as we forget about 2008, and we look to the fresh new year ahead. Taught by Anusara certified yoga instructor, Ali Certain. Take the time to get intentional this year with lululemon athletica! Feel free to bring family and friends. No RSVP necessary.

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Merry Christmas to all!

I’m so fortunate to be spending the holidays with my east coast family this year.  Its been a whirlwind of visits and scrumptious eats and catching up with all of the friends and family who are so dear to me.  Each year seems to surpass the last.  I am continually amazed by all of the wonderful things that people I know are doing, and how ridiculously in love so many couples still are.

resent-216 ( I made my own Christmas cards this year, NICE and NAUGHTY stamped with love)

The holidays serve as such an excellent reminder to me that no-matter how little you may see someone, or how infrequently you may speak to people you love because of your busy bee schedule, that family and true friendship never ever dies.  It only grows stronger.  Thank you so much to all of the supportive people in my life, to all the loving and caring people that I have the great bragging rights of calling “my family” or ” my friend” or “my client”.  I am so blessed to share the holidays with so many people that I am absolutely in love with.

Merry Christmas to all!  Here is wishing you and yours the most magical of Holidays shared with all of those that you love and cherish wildly.

tree(Our humble little homemade christmas tree!)

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painted by Jeff Robinson in the living room of interior designer Molly Luetkemeyer’s

Oh all the buzz and works of Christmas trees this time of year has got me thinking of times shared with clients this past year and other wild and ambitious ideas!   Jacob and I, nailed blue Christmas lights to our living room wall and made a glowing Christmas tree for the season.  With family trips and visits just around the corner there would only be a short time that we could even enjoy the tree together so we figured this was naturally the next best thing.

I tried to include a picture of the tree but I’m currently on the east coast and the file is not responding to my commands.  I’ll do this later when I return to Minneapolis.

I would also like to  say is that this post is dedicated to one of my dearest clients, Miss Jen!  You know exactly what I’m talking about with this one lady.  So here is the back story.  A year ago we were painting her place and she decided a tree would be perfect at the top of her stairs.  So, BOOM, first thing when you walk into the front entrance of the house, you see a very flirty branch or maybe even the whole tree.

As with anything in life, things come up, big things, small things, things in general, so, BLAST, we never got around to it.  Now, here I am, a year later… surfing away and what do I find but two lovely beautiful trees….One whimsy and romantic (TOP) the other Bold and strong (BOTTOM).  Even better, I find a how to!!!! So as my Christmas present to you I want to share this lovely recipe to make your very own tree, fit for enjoyment to carry you through all seasons.  Please visit http://freshome.com/2007/07/10/how-to-paint-a-tree-mural/ to learn step by step exactly how to create the tree below.  My next move is going to be convincing Jacob that we need one in our office…but with some Robbins egg blue flirty branches and a deep cocoa brown.  Hopefully I’ll be finding some time to make this happen after the holidays and you can come view our version of this master piece soon!



tree painted by: Reader Telmen

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Kathie’s Finds!!!!!

A few weeks ago I was out painting in Mudd Lake, MN for one of my favorite clients when I passed a cute rustic shop called Kathie’s Finds.  I had driven by Kathie’s Finds before but each time would have some reason not to stop.  We all know how these things go, you’re in a rush, you may have somewhere important to be.  So you say to yourself, NEXT TIME.  Well, this time I finally stopped, and I couldn’t have been anymore pleased with what I found.

Kathie was generous enough to find the time to let me interview her during such a busy time.  Here is our conversation:

LU: Kathie, Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me.  Your shop is absolutely adorable and just filled with cozy things that I just want to scoop up and have in my home.  I was so pleased to be welcomed in by you shortly after I walked into your shop, is this something that most shoppers will experience when they enter Kathie’s place?


Kathie: I am usually always here…….I only hire 1 other person and her name is Anna Tillman and she is a gem. She only works when I absolutely need her and I am pretty much here at the same time as well. There has only been 1 day since opening April 4th that I wasn’t here and that is because my grandson was sick….so to answer your question, yes shoppers will experience meeting me 99% of the time.

LU: Well how very lucky for your customers then! You have quite the array of “finds”, where do you pick up all of your various treasures?

Kathie: One of the best parts of my business is  the hunting and gathering of all of my finds. I love the finding of treasures! I go to thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales. I can find something that to the regular person may appear broken or of no use and fix it up, mend the seams, or rid of the stain so it’s as good as new.  Because I find my goodies for such a discounted rate I am able to then share them with my clients for such great deals.

LU: I noticed that you had so many furniture pieces just gushing with aged character.  You do these pieces yourself, can you tell us a little bit about the process and what inspires you do create this distressed look?

Kathie: I love old things….if it is new it just doesn’t work for me so the aged look just comes so naturally to me. I also do it out of necessity because when I find pieces that are in really bad shape and I put them back together or marry them with some other piece to make it more significant they need to be painted. It is just so much more interesting to make a piece of furniture look married when it is distressed. I also feel that furniture takes on so much depth and a deeper definition when distressed, especially when there is carvings and details there.

LU: You really do have so many treasures Kathie! Out of all of them, what would you say are the three things that Kathie’s Finds is best known for?

Kathie: Definitely one would be my painted furniture which is my mainstay. That is my bread and butter and has been for a long time now. I have been selling my furniture to stores in the city for many years as well as to my own customers. My home accessories just automatically go right along with that…….mirrors are big for me, chandeliers and lamps as well as jewelry…vintage and new.

LU: Oh my goodness, all of that jewelry!!!! All of that heavy costume style and vintage jewelry is so in style right now.   I know for sure you love the fun jewelry that you have at the shop but  what are a few of your other  favorite things that you have for sale?

Kathie: The things that I like the most are the architectural pieces like of course the wood furniture or anything wood with carvings and details on it. for instance right now there is a beautiful dresser with a mirror that has so much character…….it is yummy!!!! Chandeliers are one of my favorite things in this life so there are always chandeliers for sale and tons of them hanging around……

LU: The holidays are just around the corner, what are the kinds of things consumers will find just perfect for stocking stuffer s, or presents?

Kathie: I love the holidays because I love anything that sparkles and I truly believe that everything is better with glitter on it…so if you like glitter this is the place to come. Give me a bottle of glue and some glitter and I could be happy for days. There are so many different things to find  here, not like other  retail stores that  have to buy 6  of the same exact thing . I have so many  unique pieces at the shop, especially during the holidays. I only buy things that I love and would have in my own home.  Worse case scenario, if the item does not sell I can just bring it inside. There are things priced as low as a dollar so there is a lot for Christmas stocking stuffers and so much more.

LU: You are a woman after my own heart Kathie… Glitter for days…  (giggles) I also love how eco-conscious you are. When I was there you showed me your handmade “coffee cup blankets”, they were lovely can you tell us about these, and what they cost?

Kathie: I have a line of what I call “Kathie’s cup cozies” the waste of all the paper sleeves on cups from coffee shops makes me crazy so I came up with my line of these little treasures. They are like my other lines where they are all made from recycled products.The cozies are made from old blankets, coats, sweaters or anything that I find and that can be reused. The coffee houses are buying them as well as direct customers so the idea, the customer buys one and you keep it in there purse, car, jacket or wherever and when you go to buy coffee you just keep using the cozie over and over. It is washable so if you spill there is no problem. It is a no brainer to me…save our landfills and our planets resources instead of using 30 at least in a month if you go everyday….you use your own…over and over and over…good for everybody.

LU: YOU ARE AN ANGEL, this idea is brilliant and I have a feeling we are going to be seeing lots of these Cozies around very soon.  Now, you are having a Holiday open house soon, Can you tell us a bit about this and what to expect?

Kathie: This Friday and Saturday December 12th and 13th I am having my Holiday Open House and what that means is it  is a thank you to all my good customers and new customers. I am opening up my kitchen and making it all darling for retail as well as serving homemade cookies and cider. So for those 2 days people will have a little more space to shop in at my store. This means more finds and a little bit more of this lovely building to see. It is from 10 – 5 each day. I’ll hope to see you all there!

LU: What’s next in the cards for you and your store Kathie’s Finds?

Kathie: Since we opened April 4th we have opened up 2 rooms to the public and that consists of approximately 700 sq. ft. After the holidays we are starting to work on what we call the big room and hopefully by spring we will have that opened up as well. It is approximately 800 sq feet and will be absolutely lovely.  This building has so much character and fits with what we believe in so much. Keeping what is already here and making it better and using it to its full potential. It is a privilege to live here and enjoy it everyday and I love sharing it with all of our customers and friends. I believe that each one of us can do our part by saving our planet one piece at a time.

LU: and lastly, what four things can you just not live with out?

Kathie: The usual things of course…..husband, children, pets….but on a shallower note……I could not live without creating. It is not only what I do but is who I am. Making and fixing things that maybe would have been tossed out or overlooked truly makes me happy. Happy in a way that I never knew before I entered into this wonderful way of life

It was an absolute pleasure meeting you the day you breezed into my shop and brought such a wonderful spirit with you. I know that your life is touching many and you are doing great things to share with others and I admire that in you.

Thank you for your time Alicia and God bless you.

Kathie Armstrong

Awwww, Kathie is an angel, I adore her shop and I adore her.  I hope you will find the time to go out and experience her and her fabulous shop sometime in the near future.

For more information on Kathie’s Finds you can visit her website @ Kathiesfinds.com

Happy Holidays to you Kathie, It was truly a pleasure!  See you soon!


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