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Finish of the Month About Kathy Contact Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes

Artisan of the Month
AOTM Archived
August 2006 Sharon Taglienti
August 2006 Martin Riding
August 2006 Tomas Kyrgiakos /
Iowanna Azar
August 2006

Jenna DeFalco

August 2006 Alissa Murnane
August 2006 Rhonda Barber
August 2006 Laura Ross
August 2006 Nancy Schnell
August 2006 John Michaels
August 2006 Debi Vaninger
August 2006 Marsh Danner
August 2006 Beth Haynes
August 2006 Cassy Weddel
August 2006 Bruce Thalman
August 2006 Melanie & Stuart Kershner
August 2006 Lorie Wolff
Doug Diekman
Lori Tselikis
Joanne Voll
Linda Wetsch

Jennifer Rongaus

Natalie White
Dan Gangler
Sharon Damisch
Kay Reyes
Mary Johnson
Ed Hartfiel
Estelle Leptich
Laurie Ebert

FairyDust Creations - Nancy Schnell

dining room stenciled

After over 10 years in the decorative painting industry, Nancy Schnell has more than a few stories to tell. One of the more interesting ones involves Kathy Carroll being on a beach in Jamaica.

"I had called the manufacturer to get help with a product and they were not able to tell me anything other than how the product was created," Nancy says. "I called Kathy to find that she was on a beach in Jamaica -- but Peggy put me through to her. Kathy was able to help me get information and I was able to work through the problem I had with the product, and successfully finish the job."

painted dressform

Nancy adds "I call Kathy my 'painting angel' since she is always there for support."

FairyDust Creations has an interesting name, and really was a inspiration from Nancy's first project - a girl's bedroom full of floating ribbons, with fairies stenciled everywhere.

FairyDust Creations

Nancy credits a fellow SALI member - Karen Lewis, a muralist in tampa - with creating FairyDust's logo. "I saw it and it was so perfect -- I use it with Karen's permission," Nancy says.

Rather than describe Nancy's work, her photos really tell the story of the diverse, quality work she does, and how pleased her clients must be!

Nancy's business developed as she did her own house, and like many faux artisans, her business spread through word of mouth. She credits SALI and the Stenciling Roundtable for being an unlimited source of inspiration.

"I went to my first SALI convention in Atlanta in 1997and was just amazed," she says, and notes that she is a member of the Heartland Chapter and also a member of the Stenciling Roundtable. Nancy credits people like Melanie Royals as being inspirational.

"Thank God for the people who come up with innovative ideas -- like Melanie Royals and other leaders in the field. Their insights give us the creative spark. They are like a tree trunk supporting the sprouts," she explains.

Asking about challenges she has faced, Nancy is enthusiastic about the "positives" to the situation. "It is hard to take a class and come home with all these sample boards and wanting to jump in -- and then there is no one to sell those finishes to!" Nancy laughed as she said "I just sold a finish I created in 2000."

Another difficulty Nancy has faced is familiar to many decorative painters: "You have to figure out what products you want to work with, because you just can't work with everything," she notes.

In the future Nancy plans to either pull in a partner or a crew to take some of the pressure off -- "I am nearing 50 but I am not ready to give it up at all," she explains.

Nancy Schnell and FairyDust Creations can be reached at 847-650-6422 or via email at nans123@comcast.net.


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