Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Birdcage Bookcase

I found this cabinet on the side of the road a few houses up one morning after school drop off. I screeched to a halt and tried fitting it into the back of the car but it was too wide so on foot raced home, leaving the car in the middle of the road...and brought back a trolley to haul it home.  I put a new shelf in which was  a major drama and took half a day because of course the cabinet isn't totally square and it was all more difficult than I imagined.
Lara, the lovely woman who runs the Balmain Road Antique Centre, suggested I paint the bird and branches across the back (same as the one I did on the chest of drawers same as Miss Mustard Seed) . It really suits this cabinet because the dowel rods on the side remind me of a birdcage.
There are two holes on the back where TV cables were threaded through. I think these would work very well for placing a little lamp on the shelf.
This is already up in my booth for sale.

and before:

I love this piece - i am so pleased with how it turned out!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Facebook People

Quick favour to ask. I'm one person away from getting my own facebook name. If you are on facebook and you like my stuff can you please LIKE my stuff by clicking the "Like" button to the left of this page.

many thanks

Thursday, June 23, 2011

French Provincial Parquetry Dining Table

When I bought the chairs for my dining room, I actually bought a dining set of a french parquetry table and 6 chairs. I only wanted to keep the chairs so I decided to sell the table. The table surface was extremely damaged which doesn't really show up in the photos but it had coloured marks, scratches, water damage etc from a life of use. I wasn't happy to sell the table in it's damaged state so set to work......and work (and work and work) I did.

A week and a half later here it is ready for sale in my booth.
and close ups although these make it seem a bit darker/redder than it actually is.  I stripped and sanded it right back to the bare wood then gave it 2 coats of walnut stain and then varnished it. I decided to use varnish as wax just wouldn't cut it for a dining table. I didn't want heat or water to mark it (which it will with wax).  I actually did the whole process twice as I wasn't happy with it first time around as the stain had gone on a bit patchy. After doing everything a second time it's perfect. I'm beyond happy with the finish.

Gorgeous scrolly feet
The sweetest carved apron
and a beautiful parquetry surface. What more could you ask for?

Here is a midway shot showing how the stain didn't go on nicely the first time around. It's a bit marked in the middle. I'm not sure if you can notice but I thought it was worthwhile spending a couple more days on to get it perfect.
and once again in my booth

Full before shots:
So what do you all think? If you weren't perfectly happy with a finish would you go back to square one?

cheers Fiona

PS forgot to say the guy I bought this from said his parents had been using it recently as a table in their laundry to stack stuff on. No wonder it was in bad condition.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paris Apartment Bedside Tables

I bought these bedside tables from one of my blog followers who was moving to the UK (thanks Tee!) and they've been sitting in my carport for a few weeks while I decided what to do with them.  I finally decided to feature the moulded edges. I'm calling these my Paris Apartment Beside Tables.

I was lucky enough to meet another of my blog readers and fellow furniture painter recently who was moving to France (I'm very jealous!) and she generously gave me three massive boxes of paints, waxes, brushes etc that she couldn't take with her (as well as heaps of lamps, lamp shades etc). I've painted these bedside tables in the Porters Paint Explorer Blue that was she gave me. I was actually quite sad that we only met the weekend before she flew out as we had so much in common and she was so lovely.  Thank goodness for blogland where we'll be in touch, no doubt.



I love it when you finally get inspiration for something. I really struggled at first for ideas, especially as I wasn't that keen on the black footings but I think the black hardware sets off the blue/grey and white trim now. 

These will be for sale in my booth at The Balmain Road Antique Centre.

I'll be back tomorrow with the french table, it's still not quite perfect....

Have a lovely day. The sun is shining here today!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

still here.....

hi lovely readers, sorry I've been slack but I'm still here - I had a birthday last week (gorgeous day, so spoiled by friends and family), a busy family weekend and then I've been struggling with a few pieces of furniture that I'm slowly conquering. One is a French parquetry table which I thought I'd finished on the weekend and then decided I wasn't 100% happy with the finish so I stripped it fully back a second time and re-stained and am doing the final varnish coat again tonight. (Sometimes being a perfectionist sucks...) But I'm so happy with it now and I'll post photos tomorrow.

I also have painted some bedside tables that I've had sitting around for a couple of weeks as I had no idea what to do with them. Photos to come tomorrow also.

Come back tomorrow to see the reveals....

fiona xx

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ramping things up - HELP!!

I am finding the furniture revamping - blog life so very rewarding (emotionally, not so much financially). I love that it combines so many of my abilities - engineering, practicality, artistic, bargain hunting- with a core values of reuse and non-mass-consumerism, and that I can work from home....

So I've decided to put all my effort into it to make it more financially viable.

I've recently been offered a second booth at The Balmain Road Antique Centre so I grabbed the chance to display more items (photos of the new booth below). I still need to get some more stuff in there especially after  spectacularly successful sales last week and I'll probably put up the striped canvas and bunting that my original booth has.

I have also started a facebook fan page (please "like" me - there's a button over to the right).

In regards to the slow sales through the Centre, I decided that I could be part of the problem or part of the solution so I sat down with the owners of the business and offered my services (for free) to assist in the marketing of the Centre; as my success hinges on their success. So I've started a fan page for them also here and we're working on a blog and a local mailbox drop.

Although talking about slow sales isn't entirely correct, as I had an amazing week last week - the cow cupboard, french desk, white french provincial sideboard, union jack chest, bird on branches chest, harlequin coffee table, the child's french chair and a pair of shoes all sold!

So if you read my blog and like my stuff (for a better word) can you please spread the word amongst your friends and help me grow this business.  Or if you have any ideas on how to market LilyfieldLife please leave a comment below.

Many thanks!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Little Slice of Paradise - Eden

I've been to a lot of places - I've travelled extensively in Australia as well as overseas - I just did a quick count and I've been to over 40 countries. I lived and worked overseas for several years, I've studied in Italy and done some fantastic treks including the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and The Inca Trail to Machu Pichu in Peru.

So I've seen some very beautiful places...but my favourite place in the world is a small town on the NSW Far South Coast of Australia - Eden. It's where I grew up and where my mother still lives. It is situated on one of the world's deepest natural harbours, Twofold Bay. There are so many lovely little beaches (with no one on them) and the sand is a gorgeous colour and the water is very blue - they call it the Sapphire Coast.

Eden has a fascinating history. There was a thriving whaling industry although now the whales are back and bring tourism.  There are still many historic buildings and whaling relics.  It makes for great visiting (although a long drive from Sydney!)

I thought I'd share some photos: Not of the town but of the bay and the surrounding Ben Boyd National Park.  The park was named and established in 1971, in honour of Benjamin Boyd (1801-1851). Ben Boyd National Park protects a wonderful section of coast line from Pambula to Green Cape, split into two distinct sections, one north of Eden and the other south. The park is well known for its contrasting red rocks, whale sighting, Boyd Tower, Green Cape Lighthouse and associated history.

View from South Head to the township of Eden

The chipmill (a big timber industry)

Edrom Lodge, on the south side of the Bay is a fantastic place you can rent out. We used to stay here as children for camps. Private beach, open fires, beautiful lawns and a historic house.

Originally built as a lighthouse but never granted permission to be lit, Boyd Tower was used a lookout for whales.

The Seahorse Inn at Boydtown (no longer a town but a campground across the bay from Eden) has recently been fully restored and has beautiful guest rooms.


View below from Boydtown to Eden

North of the town is the beach I practically grew up on; Quondolo Point in Ben Boyd National Park. Locals call it Long Beach.  My favourite place in the whole world.


I loved jumping from this rock also - at the same age my little girl is now.

South of Eden is a beach called Saltwater Creek with a very primitive campground. We used to spend 3 weeks camping here every summer with several other families. So many wonderful childhood memories.

We took the kids on the Coast Walk. They walked ahead of us and said "stay back, we're telling secrets".  I love the lush misty vegetation of this walk.

What a wonderful place to grow up! So much beauty. This is why I'm a country girl at heart and why I'm creating a "country life in the inner city suburbs".

Leave me a comment if you've been to Eden or if you want to share your favourite place.

Fiona xx

Friday, June 10, 2011

Rachel Ashwell Inspiration - Dining chairs

I recently bought a new French oak dining table and chairs - all vintage and preloved and all waiting a transformation. I'm not keen at all on the shiny honey brown colour of the chairs in particular - especially with the grubby pink chair pads but that can all be changed.

Yesterday I found these photos of Rachel Ashwell's furniture on her website and also of her own dining chairs in her Malibu Beach house and thought that's exactly how I want my chairs to look. My chairs have such a similiar shape to the top photo. I'm really looking forward to this makeover. I think this treatment will really lighten up my dining room.

and this chair below although I'm not so keen on the slip cover - I'll just recover the pink pad.

Let me know what you think and if you have similar chairs?
Fiona xx