Thursday, June 9, 2016

A little antiqued French Cabinet

I am always practicing my painting skills and trying to learn new ones in order to take my painted furniture to the next level. I want to try using more glazes and layering so when a piece needs a less-clean look, I can make it look authentic. I have been experimenting with different paints, glazes and waxes in order to achieve this effect. 

This beautiful French cupboard was already painted when I bought it but it was very rough and there were drips everywhere. I gave it a very good sand and then got started painting. I'm thrilled with how it turned out. How beautiful are the carved details.

I think these colours together are just delicious and will be definitely using them again. I am already using this mix on a gorgeous tall cocktail cabinet that I'm hoping to finish later today.

Just after I had finished it a friend dropped in to pick up his boys who I mind on Tuesdays after school and he kept saying to me "but you didn't paint this did you? it's from 300 years ago?" so I think I must have got the aging and antiquing right :)

Even though I'd like to be able to make furniture look a lot more antiqued and "grungier" maybe I can feel a bit less dissatisfied with my skill level :)

If you want more information on glazes and antiquing I have a few blog posts here that might help:

Fiona xx

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Another hand painted desk...

I have been painting a vintage desk a week lately. When Melissa missed out on the last one, she asked me to find her one. Later that week I found a gorgeous one in very good condition. Melissa loved it.

ASCP French Linen and clear wax on the exterior with some antique glaze and crisp white enamel on the interior. I added the moulding to the front as well. The hardware I left unpainted as it's in beautiful condition with lovely patina on it.

My paper daisies are opening up. I just love them and their papery feel. I don't think I've bought them before. $5 from the markets, what a bargain. Sasha says they are her new favourite. They might be mine too.

Hope you are all doing well and that you have a great day. I am heading out for a quick coffee and a chat to a guy about a local fete/event and then I have a studio full of furniture that needs painting. 

have a great day

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Painted Desk, Upholstered stool and a Specimen Chest

Are there some days weeks when you are particularly forgetful. Last Friday evening I walked into my friend's house and saw a gorgeous bunch of crimson tulips all open and surrounded with little native flowers and foliage. They were stunning. I said "Wow those flowers are beautiful! Who gave them to you?" I quickly added: "Did I forget your birthday?" She just looked at me really weirdly and said you gave them to me. OMG I had completely forgotten that three days before I'd given her the flowers as she's having a bit of a tough time at the moment. We both just cracked up laughing and she said she was so pleased it's not just her losing her mind. Is it that we have too much to juggle or is it part of the aging process?

Yesterday I finished painting a beautiful desk.  I set it up to photograph, sent the photo to the owner and shared on social media. It wasn't until Roseanna sms'd me and asked "How does it look with the stool?" that I remembered I had also painted and upholstered a stool to go with it.

The stool looks great :)

The table and stool are painted in one of my special taupes and I found some vintage black ticking that was actually my mother's. I made the trim from the fabric also. 

Roseanna uses the desk as a little dressing table in her bedroom so I top coated it with a wipe on poly just so that if she spills mascara on it it's super easy to clean. I don't think it's a nice a feel as wax but sometimes you just need to be super practical about things.

You can see that the table has lots of signs of use but I love it so much. 

On Tuesday I bought a little old specimen cabinet. It was one of those pieces that as soon as I walk in the door I have to start painting as I love it. It really is old and a bit on the rustic side but nothing that a bucket load of white paint can't fix.  These old cabinets typically just have finger holes rather than handles but my friend has bought this to display jewellery in her shop so i painted the inside of the drawers and added crystal knobs.  I actually bought this for home but Phil took one look at it and said sell it. The man doesn't do rustic.

Have a good day
Fiona xx

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Beautiful Mirrors

I spent much of yesterday painting and have lots of beautiful furniture coming up. I love finishing interesting pieces and have found some cabinets recently that really make me happy to get out my paint brushes and transform them. It's great to love your work.

I have some beautiful mirrors that can be bought as is or I am happy to paint them. Let me know if you are interested.

These ones below are all sold now. 

I painted this one in matte graphite as per the buyer's request.

This pair of French style mirrors below sold very quickly. I will definitely keep my eye out for more pairs as lots of people were interested in them.

and this was a mirror but I smashed it. I didn't want to waste the divine vintage frame so I turned it into a chalk board. The frame was so just heavy and ornate that I had to do something with it.

This lovely tall mirror also sold quickly. I painted it in Duck egg with a white wash and distressed it. It was originally a cheval mirror but the stand wasn't with it when I bought it. Still very beautiful.

Louise really want the above mirror but missed out on it and so she hopped onto Gumtree and unbelievably found a similar one which is such a coincidence as it's not a modern mirror. The one she found still had the stand but the mirror wasn't beveled. I painted it the same for her. She's been a very good customer of mine over the years and is now moving to Perth, taking with her a household full of Lilyfield Life furniture, so as a good bye present I offered to paint the mirror for free. She was very happy with how it turned out.

That's a lot of mirrors I'm handling, I am surprised that I don't break more although saying that, I have probably just jinxed myself.

Fiona xx

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

French pots filled with succulents

Good morning, we are just back from our walk in Callan Park and a quick coffee. It's chilly today. When we were walking a fellow on a tractor (in the park) waved to us and shouted out "Hello, Winter is Coming!" Made me laugh as it was straight out of Game of Thrones (which Phil and I are now a year and a half behind on as we don't have Foxtel).

I am having fun growing a little succulent garden at the moment. I don't really have a green thumb (or maybe I'm just not into it enough at the moment) - it's Phil who does all the gardening here so I need something hardy that doesn't require much ongoing attention for my French pots that I scored a while ago.

I've been collecting little succulents for these pots and for Mother's Day, Phil and the kids started to set it up for me.

A few weeks later and with some more plants added, it's looking fuller.

My inspiration is these overflowing pots at my friend's house. Aren't they beautiful. These reminds me of my Mum's courtyard. She definitely had a green thumb and loved pot plants. She would create succulent gardens in old salad bowls and any interesting pot. I have since managed to kill almost all the plants I took from her house when she died (except my grandfathers orchids - they are still beautiful).

My friend gave me a bunch of these ones above as she literally has them growing everywhere. I came home with a big plastic bag of them. I've planted them all into a lovely cobalt blue pot for by our front door.  It still needs to establish as it is looking bare at the moment so I'll share later.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying this pretty bow pot.

I've read heaps of articles about propagating succulents and some say to cut the stems and put them in solution but my friend says to just shove it in the dirt. That's what I did and it seems to be doing just fine. Fingers crossed anyway.

Fiona xx

Monday, May 30, 2016

The weekend and Pretty Pieces

Lilyfield Life dining room

Good morning lovely people! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Saturday was freezing and wet and I felt for our kids playing sport. It was cold enough standing all rugged up on the sidelines. Their little hands were so old they could barely catch the ball. I actually had to bribe Jonty to go back on the field for his last quarter of AFL. He didn't actually want anything for himself but had been asking to buy his friend a present so that was his motivation to brave the rest of the game and I'm glad he did as he had a cracking quarter with a fantastic kick to a fellow team member resulting in a goal. 

Sunday on the other hand was a beautiful day. Sasah and Phil went to the Swifts netball and Jonty and I headed up to meet my family for brunch at Brooklyn. It was superb looking over the water. So close to Sydney and so peaceful.

In the afternoon I had a load of furniture picked up by happy customers.  This chest of drawers below has been sitting in the corner of my dining room for about a month while the buyers were waiting to move house. Now my dining room looks very empty without it.

washed grey vintage drawers by Lilyfield Life

I painted these vintage drawers in a soft layered grey with a wash of white. I love the shape, the finish and these unusual handles.

washed grey vintage drawers by Lilyfield Life

washed grey vintage drawers by Lilyfield Life

These bedsides painted in a soft Dulux grey and waxed. I will be finishing the matching chest of drawers today.

hand painted bedsides by Lilyfield Life

These sweet drawers painted in ASCP Paloma. These are off to a little girl's room and the dad said to me thanks so much, her room is just beautiful now. Always nice to have lovely feedback.

ASCP Paloma on chest of drawers by Lilyfield Life

ASCP Paloma on chest of drawers by Lilyfield Life

This chair was also bought by the family for their daughter's room. A low Victorian chair I painted in a Porters french blue and upholstered in fantastic designer brand clock fabric.

upholstered chair by Lilyfield Life

upholstered chair by Lilyfield Life

And this little coat stand I made from a piece that originally would have been the back of a cabinet. I love quirky pieces like this. 

Vintage coat rack by lilyfield Life

I also spent the late afternoon finishing up our study and we are so happy with it all. I will share tomorrow. 

have a lovely day
Fiona xx

Ikea sink full of flowers Lilyfield Life