Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being married to a project manager (dinner at Vini, Surry Hills)

On Saturday night we went out with a group of friends from my husband's work on Saturday night to Vini in Surry Hills. Dinner was to start at 7:30pm and my husband didn't want to be late as he had organised it.

However, in afternoon my little girl danced in a flamenco concert way out at Blacktown (a long drive from home) so my friend and I took our girls and went together in her car. My husband and son stayed at home to play monopoly and handball.

The traffic was hideous both there and back and we compounded the travel time home by dropping in to a "40% friends and family sale" at the Adidas Outlet store at Lidcombe.  There were enormous crowds and lining up for the cash register took about 40 minutes.  We grabbed some great bargains but what was meant to be a quick stop over on the way home actually turned into a hour plus stop.  

So we didn't get home till 6:20pm and our babysitter was due at 6:45pm. On the way home my friend was saying "Fiona, just blame me so Phil's not cross that we've taken so long".  I even bought him a new running top to sweeten the deal.

But I shouldn't have been worried about not getting ready in time because I am lucky to be married to a very good Project Manager.   I walked in the front door to find:
  • the house clean and tidy
  • my son already fed and in his pyjamas
  • dinner ready on the table for my daughter
  • a chocolate cake baked for our babysitter
  • the taxi booked for 7pm
  • and my outfit all selected for me and laid out on the bed!  (a black Lisa Ho dress, silver jacket, shoes and even my underwear!)
What an amazing husband

Dinner at Vini in Surry Hills was divine. Beautiful Italian food, several bottles of prosecco and wine, fun company and a lot of laughs.

Rotolo of lamb
Our menu for the evening was: (we actually were served all these items, not just to chose one for each course. I was so full after!)

Olives & Grissini
Prosciutto di San Daniele
Buffalo mozzarella brussel sprouts walnuts
Kingfish carpaccio fennel olive
Rotolo of braised lamb roast pumpkin rosemary
Slow roast sirloin
Pan fried silver dory with beans
Salads - Broccoli and Ricotta /Baby Spinach Rocket and Parmesan
Ricotta pannacotta with espresso caramel
Chocolate tart with mascarpone
Now I need to put all that new Adidas gym gear to use to burn off some of those calories!
Leave a comment telling me about the restaurant you've been to most recently and if it was good.

Fiona xx

Monday, May 30, 2011

Free furniture - 4 drawer chest

On Friday I got an SMS from my friends "hi, we have a set of drawers/filing cabinet cluttering up our lounge room. would you like them?"

....umm  YES PLEASE!!

I immediately jumped in the car and raced over there to load this beauty up.  Aren't I lucky to have such generous friends who think of me! Viv and Shan, thanks so much!

I had sold the vintage turquoise sideboard last week, so I thought I'd paint this one turquoise also. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Photos below of it in my space at the Balmain Road Antiques Centre. For sale $450. Fantastic storage for tight spaces.

I also sold the pink vanity yesterday to a lovely family who then sent me the photo below of it all in place in their little girl's room.  Doesn't this look sweet! 

I love meeting the people who buy my furniture and knowing that they are happy with their purchase and with what I've done. It's so rewarding!

Tomorrow I'll post about our dinner on Saturday night at a fantastic Italian restaurant and what my husband did for me. 

Anyone else got good stories from the weekend? 

Fiona xx

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bedside Tables

This post is all about bedside tables: two that I'm selling and two that I'm keeping!

The first one is the one I bought at the Salvos with my friend last week. I adore the shape of this with it's squat little legs and drop down door. So cute. I have nothing in my stall at the moment with a damask so i thought this was a good candidate. I love it. 

This little chest of two drawers below is really sweet but was quite battered and was crying out for restoration. I really love the shape of this piece also, the little carved details and also how deep the two drawers are. It would make a lovely bedside table. 

Before: (after sanding as I nearly forgot to take photos)


Are you getting sick of seeing the same bunch of fake purple flowers in all my staged makeovers? Perhaps I should splash out for more! LOL.

... and these two lovelies that were made in the US are staying with me. They'll be painted soon (of course) but I'm so happy to have matching bedside tables finally. They are quite large and will provide great storage. I bought them on eBay this week from an American guy who has been working in Australia for a couple of years and is now heading back to New York but didn't want to move these back with him. I see furniture like this on all the American gals' blogs but it's hard to come by stuff of this shape here in Australia so I was so happy to get these.

Thanks for all your kind messages. We're waiting to hear from the surgeon about bringing forward mum's hip replacement and my daughter is nearly over her flu.  It's so chilly here so she's all rugged up and spending the day with me.

I'm not really a matchy-matchy person but I think it'll be nice with the bedside tables matching. What do you have by your bedsides? The same on each side or different?

Fiona xx

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Post, Deja Vu and an Explosion

Hopefully that title got you intrigued!

I'm very excited to be guest posting over at Type A today as the lovely Tammy is on holidays. Please pop over and have a look.

Deja Vu - I know you've seen these from me before but I've done another Union Jack dresser and another Harlequin Coffee Table. Both of these sold very quickly before and so I couldn't resist the chance to do it again. Especially when I found exactly the same coffee table as last time. It's funny how that happens.

These books represent only a small portion of our Lonely Planet travel guide collection.

(below is actually photo of the previous coffee table as I haven't managed to take a photo of the new one but it's pretty much exactly the same)

On a personal note things have been tough this last week - sales have been extremely slow at my stall in the antiques centre and I'm wondering if I should leave. I'm selling my stuff on eBay and from the blog but not much there. My new Miele washing machine exploded with glass everywhere; my daughter has been sick with fevers and then on Sunday my mum had a bad fall and dislocated her good hip (unfortunately it was her good hip and not the one that is already due for another hip replacement!). She lives by herself in the country and is being discharged today so my sister has rearranged her life to fly down there and take care of her. Please send good thoughts to my mum for a speedy recovery and to my sister for some patience!!

I'll leave you with some photos of my washing machine: luckily Miele have been very responsive and the guys are installing a brand new one as I type. The rest of the day will be spent tackling the mountain of dirty clothes that has grown since the explosion. These photos are taken after I'd cleaned up most of the glass. 


I'm hoping the week improves!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Pink Dressing Table

I met a lovely lady, Helen, who was cleaning out her parents' house after they'd moved to a nursing home. This was her sister's childhood dressing table. Helen gave it to me for free as she just didn't want it thrown out and she knew I would give it a new lease on life.

I painted it pink, shabbied it up and waxed it. I've lined the drawers in with hot pink paper and now it's ready for sale. I think it's going to look lovely in a little girl's room.

Fiona xx

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Antique Dining Table Makeover

After 20 years I'm saying goodbye to my beautiful dining table. I bought this when I was first out of university living in Adelaide and working in the Royal Australian Airforce. There have been a LOT of good dinner parties and fun times around this table.

To freshen it up I painted the apron and legs then stripped back the top, restained and waxed it. It's so beautiful and I'll be a little sad when it sells.


Now, ready for sale:





It's got such sturdy legs, vintage wooden castors and a beautiful wooden table surface. Dimensions are:180cm by 105cm, 75 cm in height and approx 60 cm to bottom of apron.

Fiona xx

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great finds and some stripes!

My friend came furniture scouring with me this morning then we spent the afternoon sprucing up my space at Balmain Road Antiques. What a productive day! Some great finds as well as a totally new looking space.

Gorgeous chairs ready for a makeover. Check out those divine legs! Got these discounted by 20% - is it wrong to bargain with a charity??

A cute little nightstand with a drop down door. This is going to look fabulous painted.  

and a little coffee table exactly the same as the one I painted with a harlequin pattern. The previous was snapped up so quickly so I think I'll do this one the same.

After a quick lunch, stops at Spotlight and 2 hardware shops, and getting the kids from school, we added some great black and white canvas to the back wall and moved some furniture around as well as adding my new cushions and babies' singlets. Now it looks much more inviting! 

Now I'm off to do some market research on alcohol. After that busy day, I'm hopping for taste tests!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Little French Side Table

A quick but lovely makeover using the same paint that I painted my kitchen with - British Paints Colorbond "Dune".  I really like the shape of this side table. So sweet, French and practical.

and here it is before.

I've been busy today sewing cushions and some other little things for my booth at the antiques centre. It's looking a bit full of furniture and empty of little interesting items. I'll post photos of the cushions soon.

Hope you're having a good start to the week!

cheers Fiona

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Roses and a new dining table

This morning I took some time out from painting furniture and met my dad for a coffee and a wander amongst the roses at Swanes Nursery at Dural. I captured these photos with my iphone camera. You wouldn't think it is nearly winter.

I then came home and started restoring my old dining table to sell. I bought this table 20 years ago from an antiques shop in Adelaide . It's very beautiful and has served me well but it's a bit small for our family and I've been looking for a new table for several years. The one I really wanted was $4800 which I can't justify so when I won a French oak table with ornate legs at auction on Tuesday for only $100 (an absolute steal) I decided to keep it. I'm very happy!

My old table and a set of 8 chairs that don't go with the table (the chairs don't quite fit comfortably under the table's apron)

and my new one - I'm not keen on the light oak colour so I plan to restain the top dark and paint the apron and legs...eventually.  I also bought 3 french oak chairs and then tonight I won 4 similar oak chairs on eBay which I think will match nicely once they are all painted. I'll pick them up tomorrow.

Fiona xx

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bird on a Branch - Chest of Drawers

I've been channelling Miss Mustard Seed....

I bought this dresser very cheaply last week. It's a bad photo but the dresser was also in a really bad way.

It was very wobbly and the back piece of wood was falling apart - the bit of wood that stabilises drawers, so I pulled it off and replaced it, screwed it in nice and tight and now it's all very sturdy. The mirror was also badly scratch so 
i pulled the whole piece off. I prefer it as a chest of drawers rather than a dressing table anyway.

Last week when my friend gave me a hand, we stripped it down and primed it. I painted it white and then drew a mental blank at what to do next.  My husband suggested a fleur de lis or damask flourish but this piece is very rustic and not really French so I started looking through my blog lists and found Miss Mustard Seed's bird cabinet.  Just perfect for my chest of drawers. So with a soft french grey, I painted by hand the branches and little bird. 

I'm really happy with this now and will take it to my stall tomorrow.
Fiona xx

This made my day...

I sold the lovely vintage dining table at the end of last week, after literally spending weeks working on it. Today I received this email from the lovely woman who bought it.

hi Fiona,
We picked up my beautiful table, got it home and I want to tell you - I LOVE IT!!  It will be another much loved part  of my home, so thank you.


I'm so enjoying bringing back furniture to life that other people then love!

Thanks Maree, and I hope you enjoy it for years to come.