Friday, December 19, 2014

My Inspiration Comes to Life

Do you remember my inspiration for the back of the new house renovations?

We are getting closer!

That's home made scaffolding up there (not a balcony) that I'll blog about that soon. It's saved us a fortune having the builders make it rather than hiring scaffolding. Such clever builders and so careful with our budget. We decided against a balcony, despite the amazing views, as we didn't want to upset the neighbours.

The french doors off the lounge room are divine . I am so happy we chose then over bifolds or a sliding door. They are Trend Aluminium french doors. From about a metre away you seriously think they are timber. But they seal so well! and don't need painting. Ever!  I know, I know I'm a furniture painter and yes, I love painting... but not these babies. Painting high doors and exterior windows is not my idea of fun.

The french door details are:
Synergy Ovolo PD Generic Hinged doors
Height 2400 mm, Width 1300mm
Glass: 6.38mm Clr Lam
Frame Finish: White Pearl Gloss
Trend Aluminium Ovolo Colonial Bars
Opening Config: Open Out
Contact Anthony Perrett, Trend Windows 
(phone 02 9840 2000)
No sponsorship, he was just a great guy and very helpful.

The doors are fully glazed windows not the stuck on glazing bars ie each door has four separate pieces of glass and the Ovolo glazing bars are solid rather than those ones that are just glued onto the one piece of glass. That detail was really important to me :)

That's all my cornices for the lounge room and the ceiling roses in the photo. Victor (who I'm sure is the most masterful gyprocker in Sydney) will be installing them next week. The cornices are from Silver Cornice. You can select the products online but their show room in Rydalmere is well worth the visit. Upstairs in our house I'm going for a smaller, plainer and cheaper paper backed cornice from Boral. But I think this lovely lounge room deserves a little something special.

The concrete slab for the paving and side path was laid on Monday. The form work is still all in place to protect the edges while the builders are here. We'll pave the back area but not the side path. I still have to chose the paving - so many decisions.

Happy boy photo bomber

We are all happy.

Hope you are having a happy day also
Fiona xx

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This year's hand painted furniture

It's been a sad week for most of us here in Sydney. A gorgeous friend of ours lost her struggle with cancer early Monday morning and it's terribly sad especially for her two sweet children, one of them a good friend of my girl, so I am heartbroken for them growing up without their beautiful Mummy. Then came the hostage situation in Martin Place and the terrible ending (although it could have been much worse although I'm sure the families of the dead aren't feeling that). My cousin was very close friends with Katrina and I've just spent some time today with my aunt who is devastated and shaken. I think it's a week where we get smacked in the head with just how fragile life is and how we need to just spread love and kindness to others in our daily lives. Life is too short.

And then (inconsequentially to all that) on Monday afternoon I broke one of my toes. While the accident was actually occurring and my foot was trapped for a few minutes, I thought my toes were going to be ripped off. I won't go into how it happened but I just made a mindless mistake in my daze of grief and now I am limping around still in pain. How is it possible that toes hurt so much? I need steel capped boots.

Anyway I wanted to share today a little video (only 1 minute long) of the pieces I've painted this year. When I see them collated like this it always surprises me that I've painted so many pieces. This is about 80% of the furniture I've painted this year). I think next year once my studio is finished I will be able to work on even more pieces, hold classes and write more tutorials for you.

Lilyfield Life Hand Painted furniture 2014

Thanks for being part of my life - I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Wishing you peace and love

Fiona xx

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Painted Furniture Inspiration - ASCP Paris Grey

I love ASCP Paris Grey for painted furniture. It's a soft grey with an undertone of blue and in some lights it reads almost lavender. Mixed with white, it forms a dove grey.  It's one of my go-to colours for painted furniture and I find it very versatile and easy to live with. Every now and then, I do wonder if grey furniture will lose its popularity sometime soon but really, the French and Swedish have been painting furniture in a soft grey for hundreds of years I think we are okay.

If you want to paint some furniture with this beautiful paint colour, then here is some inspiration for you. 

via Oliver and Rust
via Sally White Designs


via Leslie Stocker
Another great thing about Paris Grey is its very good opacity and paint coverage. Generally two coats is all you will need. I love the mix of ASCP Paris Grey as a base, ASCP Pure White on the details and then dark antiquing wax to age the piece. This is a piece of mine that I am very proud of. My friends bought it and it's lovely that I get to visit it.

and some other pieces I have painted in ASCP Paris Grey are below. Can you tell I love it?

and how beautiful is this one below from La Vie en Rose?

Have you painted any furniture in ASCP Paris Grey lately? What other greys do you love?

Fiona xx

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Simple Christmas and thousands of Santas

I am married to Mr Christmas. Phil just loves everything related to Christmas - celebrating life with loved ones, the food, the decorations, the carols. Me? I'm a bit more of a grinch. I can take Christmas or leave it but as with most things Phil's infectious enthusiasm usually wins me over. I decided early on in our marriage to just go along with all his suggestions and I always end up enjoying myself. I do love being married to someone with great ideas who makes life fun.

This year we aren't putting our big tree up as we don't have room. I'm allergic to real trees especially as they start to wilt. I just end up sneezing and sneezing so we have a very good artificial tree. I keep asking my builder where can we store the tree - I need a space to store the tree. We've decided there will be a little mezzanine in the new shed for it. I'm actually looking forward to Christmas next year already as our big tree is going to look fabulous in the new lounge room.

This year we are making do with this little potted tree we bought at the Orange Grove markets. We found the pom pom lights at Myers - they are battery operated so it makes it easy. The ceramic stars are from Marley and Lockyer - our names on each of them and then one with Peace and one with Joy. The burlap cover is from Bunnings and is plastic lined so we can water the tree easily. I think this little corner is very simple and pretty.

Below is our tree from last year. It's just made me think I need to sort out where we are putting the presents this year. I don't want to give the kids too much. I'm not a fan of over the top present giving. our kids don't need anything anyway. New beach towels and a few small things will do. I love that French Provincial coffee table that I painted white and re-stained the top last summer. I always wonder if I should have kept that one but I know that Miriam loves it also.

Oh well you can't keep them all. 
To be honest I'm a bit overloaded with lovely coffee tables at the moment and I'll be listing two square french style ones shortly.

Another Christmas event that Phil talked me into was the 5km Variety Santa Run. You've never seen so many Santas. I can't tell you how hot it is running in those nylon Santa suits. 

But what a run! - from Darling Harbour, through the city and the Rocks, along Circular Quay and ending up at the Opera House forecourt.  Even if it was the morning after our street Christmas party I really enjoyed it and we'll do it again next year.

Hope you are enjoying the lead up to Christmas and not finding it too stressful.
Fiona xx

Monday, December 8, 2014

The best brush for painting details on furniture

Good morning from "tropical"Sydney! It's like someone's dragged this little corner of the world closer to the equator: high humidity and afternoon thunderstorms. Not very good for when you are putting a new roof on your house. Luckily there's a break in this morning's rain and I think the roof tilers will finish it all in a couple of hours. Our builder and I will both breathe a sigh of relief with the house being water tight.

Last week a painted a sweet little timber plant stand. It's very old and is missing a few pieces of the timber trim but I love the shape and think it will be pretty in a corner of my house somewhere. 

I painted a simple fleur de lis on each of the four sides. The plant stand is painted in a light grey (ASCP Paris grey with white mixed in it and the fleur de lis is ASCP Pure White). Several years ago I made my own stencil of a fleur de lis using a print off the internet, a scalpel and some thick mylar. I don't actually like stenciling because of the blurred edges you get. Instead I use the stencil to trace the pattern lightly in pencil and then I hand paint the design. 

If you are hand painting decorative detail on your furniture, a lovely brush to use is a Talkon Dagger brush. It is an elegant brush that creates beautiful curves for flowers and fleur de lis.  You can buy these from art shops or the internet for anywhere between $5-$30. The one I'm using cost around $9 from Tilly's Art Supplies in Rozelle.

I use the paint from the lid of the tin and gently dip the end of the brush into it, then with a steady hand I paint the detail. Don't worry that the first coat of paint doesn't look good. It never does.

But after a couple of coats of paint it will look lovely.
What's your favourite brush to use?

Today I'm heading out to pick the tiles for the bathrooms and laundry. Wish me luck
Fiona xx 

Sharing at 
Miss Mustard Seed

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Furniture Paint Effects - dry brushed and washes

I probably should have just sold this piece unpainted as it was in lovely condition and looked nice. However Catriona visited me to see what I had for sale and loved this piece and wanted it painted in a washed effect so I agreed. I thought it was a good chance for me to practice my painting technique anyway.

French style dry brushed and washed cupboard ASCP Lilyfield life

French style dry brushed and washed cupboard ASCP Lilyfield life

To get this effect I sanded the cupboard down lightly then did a rough base coat of ASCP French Linen. When it was dry I then dry brushed ASCP Old Ochre. To dry brush, I shake the tin of paint and then take off the lid. The paint that remains on the inside of the lid will be enough for you to use. Dip a dry paint brush into the paint very lightly. Then blot the paint brush onto some paper towel to get off most of the paint. With barely any pressure run your paint brush down the surface to be painted. Try not to get big blotchy spots, you want gentle light lines. 

 Once I was happy with the dry brushing and it was dry, I watered down more old ochre paint in a bowl to create a wash (which also lightens the paint colour) and carefully washed the paint in biog strokes along the grain of the wood. 

French style dry brushed and washed cupboard ASCP Lilyfield life

French style dry brushed and washed cupboard ASCP Lilyfield life

I then waxed and lightly distressed it. Saying it like that makes the process sound very simple but I did several layers of the washed and probably mucked around too much. I need to improve this technique and get it more streamlined. I wish I had a teacher to take me to the next level of furniture painting. Until then it's just a matter to practicing, reading online and trying new things.

French style dry brushed and washed cupboard ASCP Lilyfield life

Catriona loved it and so did I. 
It's such a well made stately piece.
I could have happily kept this one.

Fiona xx

Monday, December 1, 2014

Latest available pieces from Lilyfield Life

Good morning! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. We were wanting to spend sometime on the beach but in between house chores, some school posters to be made, my son dancing with his school dance group at the Rozelle Festival and sport we didn't make it. Anyway I did do some painting and I have a few little pieces for sale if you need to sort out your house before the Christmas festivities or even if you are feeling generous and want one as a present for a loved one. 

Go on - Spoil yourself (or someone else).

Duck Egg Cupboard

An ASCP Duck egg rustic cupboard and 4 drawers. Solid timber. Dimensions 60cm wide by 42 cm deep by 74cm tall. Perfect for a big bedside, lamp table, hallway: a great for a pop of colour in any spot really. SOLD

I really love ASCP Duck Egg over dark timber such as this mahogany cupboard (not so much over orange pine or paler timber). I have distressed this cupboard slightly so you can see traces of white paint and the timber through the duck egg paint. It gives it a lovely soft worn look. Although a piece of jagged timber gave me a humongous splinter when I was sanding. The cabinet is all smooth now but I'm pretty sure there's still a sliver of it in my finger. I'm hoping it works its way out soon.

Pale Grey Hall Cupboard

Painted in a soft pale taupey-grey that I mixed (a lovely pebble colour) then antiqued with dark wax and very lightly distressed. Beautifully smooth paint work. (I always do a lot of sanding) Perfect for a narrow hall or small space. Dimensions are 90cm wide, 32cm deep and 79cm tall. For sale $425. Pickup Lilyfield.

I think this piece is one that looks better in real life than in photos. The paint is a lovely colour. I'm more than happy for people to come and inspect. Just let me know.

I had several people ask me about the woven chair that is in the above photo. I love this chair. I think it's one of the nicest things that I've done. I upholstered it a few years ago and it's still looking good.

It's not for sale (and never will be!) although I'm tempted to do another so let me know if you are interested.

White French Style Coffee Table

This piece has already sold. Well sort of sold as I swapped it with my neighbour for some pilates lessons. My hips are a little sore since I've started running (...if you can call it that) again and my neighbour is a wonderful pilates instructor so when she wanted this coffee table as a little table for her grandchildren we did a deal.

We were using this coffee table for a while as our own but I recently found a couple of ones that I love so I decided to sell this one so repainted it in Dulux Natural White and as Marg is using it for kids, I used scrubbable paint and also gave it two coats of Porters All Purpose Sealer for extra durability.

I also am almost finished painting that lovely mirror in the corner. Can you believe that the frame is actually a heavy plastic? 

Vintage Oak Cupboard

This is an interesting little cupboard that I found recently. Lovely old oak with vintage timber castors and the most beautiful handle. I painted it in ASCP Pure White and wax for protection. To give it a soft shabby chic look, I lightly distressed the edges. So pretty (especially with those fading peonies). SOLD.

I'm hoping to get a few more pieces finished this week so check back if you are looking for anything.

yours in paint and a love of vintage stuff
Fiona xx

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two turquoise pieces - such a splash of colour

When I painted the piece of furniture that Wagner Australia bought and gave away on my facebook page, the marketing manager asked for me to paint the piece in a bold bright colour. I love bright splashes of turquoise so I went to my local paint shop and checked out the colour range. I chose Dulux Porpoise Place but it's not the exact colour I ended up with. I first selected a semi gloss acrylic but it was way too shiny for my liking so I went back and aimed to get the same colour in a flatter sheen but the guy at the hardware shop mixed the colour into the wrong base colour. Porpoise Place is meant to be on a Ultra Deep base but the hardware guy accidentally mixed it in a Deep base. So I then mixed both my tins together to get a mid sheen, mid colour paint and it turned out perfectly. A custom mistake!

Above is a close up of the French desk before I lightly distressed it. My client Nicole had asked me to find her daughter a french style dressing table that I could turn into a desk for her daughter. A few weeks later I found this stunning walnut piece. Usually these dressing tables only have two drawers on each side and longer legs but I was thrilled to find this one with 7 drawers in total. Nicole loved it and asked for me to paint it in this turquoise/teal. I always get confused with turquoise, aqua, teal etc and never know what exactly to call them and this colour proves difficult to capture in a photo anyway but trust me it's gorgeous.

I replaced the original hardware with crystal knobs. There's also a beautiful piece of glass to go on the top which I think will be good for a desk to protect the paint work.

When Nadine, another facebook follower, saw this desk she asked if I had any small pieces for a hall table and could I paint it in the same colour as her hallway need a bright piece.  I had a gorgeous vintage music cabinet in my stash which she loved.

Pretty ugly in my opinion in it's original finish especially paired with those gold star knobs.  I painted the whole thing, inside and out with the turquoise paint mix and added little silver knobs. In progress below. For both pieces, so I didn't need to use a primer (as I didn't want any white peaking through) I used the first coat with a custom mix ASCP. The custom mix is one I did ages ago and I had enough to use as a base coat for both pieces but not to do three coats on each. It's probably close to Florence but more blue and then I did two coats of the acrylic paint. 

And finished.

The details on this piece are lovely also. The little silver disc covers the original gramophone winder holes.

So if you love this colour and want to replicate it, I would get the hardware shop to mix Dulux Porpoise Place into a deep base in a satin finish. It won't be exactly this colour but close enough. Dulux Waikiki might also be an option.

Just to finish I thought I'd share some photos from the weekend at the beach. I think this summer will be a hot one and when I'm not working you will find me here...

sharing at 
Miss Mustard Seed