Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shutting My Booth

Today is my last day trading at The Balmain Road Antique Centre. I'm not 100% sure what I'll be doing next but will have lots of time to think about things while I'm away in the US.

My sales through the antique centre generally don't cover my rent there which frustrates me no end. Especially as I'm selling quite a lot through the blog/ebay/gumtree so I've decided to end my lease. I also really like meeting the people who buy my furniture which I don't get to do when it sells through the booth. 

I'll still keep painting furniture though as I REALLY love it!  It definitely feeds my creative soul.

Here are some photos from my time there:

The day I moved in

The second booth

Stripes and Bunting

And more recently

And the few pieces of furniture I still have left to sell. Please contact me if you are interested in them:
Day bed

White Mahogany Sideboard

French Parquetry Table

Child's Armchair

These next 2 weeks I'm away and will try and blog from the iPad. I'm so looking forward to this holiday but sure will miss the kiddos, my husband and my dog.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

cheers Fiona

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

French shops in Woollahra

I spent the morning with a friend, browsing the gorgeous shops around Queen & Ocean Streets in Woollahra, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.

After a couple of skim lattes at Zigolini's we hit the street.

Summer's Floral, on the corner of Queen and Moncur St had beautiful orchids.

First up on our French list was Ma Maison en Provence where we found divinely scented bath oils in gorgeous bottles.  If you ever see the brand, Amélie et Mélanie, the bottles alone are worth the splurge.

Then to Parterre which is in a beautiful old sandstone building on the corner of Ocean and Queen Streets.  They have beautiful old French furniture all styled so elegantly.  The photo below is in their courtyard. I love the old sandstone doorway acting as a mirror frame.

Walking down Ocean Street a little further brings you to Piggott's Store which has lovely fabric, lamps and furnishings. I also love their handpainted teapots and cups.

The pineapple lamp below with the Tiffany coloured shade was one of my favourite things in the shop.

Crossing the road then brings you to Imagine This. My all time favourite painted french furntiure shop. I never drive down Ocean St without pulling over and spending 10 minutes in this place. They have antique furniture intermingled with reproduction stuff. It's one of those shops I want to live in.

We then went on to Simon Johnson Providores where we sampled the Fromager des Clarines, a soft cow's milk cheese from their fromagerie. I'll definitely be buying some for my next dinner party.

So if you are feeling like a trip to France but are limited by time and money then head on over this little part of Woollahra for a "french" hit.

Then it was off home to deal with the insurance company who is replacing our lounge room carpet that was damaged in the recent storms.

A bientot!


Friday, August 19, 2011

My American Holiday Plans

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm heading to the US!!

A good friend of mine is marrying an American woman on the 3rd of September. It's all a bit international as he's South African and he and I met while when we were both living and working in London. He then met his (to be) wife while holidaying in New Zealand. He's since moved to America and they live in Portland but they are getting married in Bar Harbour, Maine (she holidayed there as a child or something like that).

Confused yet?

So my husband and I were initially thinking of both attending the wedding and taking the kids but it's so expensive and so far, and we'd need babysitters for the actual wedding so Phil suggested that I GO BY MYSELF....and then said as it's so far I may as well GO FOR 2 WEEKS!!

I'm flying in to LA and staying with a gorgeous friend I met last year in Yosemite. She lives in Pasadena, which I'm looking forward to exploring.  I need some suggestions of things to do there. I've been to LA several times before including staying at Banana Bungalow in West Hollywood for a couple of months while backpacking in my twenties. So I don't really need to do LA touristy things.

I then have a hideous overnight collection of flights to Bangor where I'll pick up a hire car and drive to Bar Harbour for the wedding. I'm there for 4.5 days over the long weekend.

I'm sharing a room with the groom's twin sister whom I love. I can't wait.  The wedding (which sort of goes on for the 4 days) sounds amazing.  There'll even be a traditional Maine lobster bake for the rehearsal dinner (when in Rome...). It will be wonderful seeing my friend getting married and getting to know his fiance better.

I then fly to San Francisco and stay with wonderful friends on ours who live right in the city. I'm looking forward to catching up over champagne at the 21st Amendment Brewery (their local).

I was hoping to buy some Annie Sloan chalk paint but just realised that I can't bring it back on the plane with me (paint is considered a banned substance) so I'll just have to continue being envious of all the chalk paint furniture i see on other blogs.  Instead I'll just have to splurge at a Coach Outlet!!

So suggestions please for things to do, junk shops or markets to go to and also where is the nearest outlet shopping to any of the places I've mentioned!!

And thanks to my gorgeous husband for letting me go and also to my supportive mother-in-law who's coming down to Sydney to look after the kids!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Redo-ing My Redo (Another White Sideboard)

Back in April I was inspired by Christa at Stories of a House to paint a vintage mahogany wood sideboard blue and white (like a Jasperware Wedgwood plate). I loved how the sideboard turned out (see here) but it just never sold in my booth.  A lot of people have told me they love it but ... loving it and wanting it in your house are two different things.

So I dragged it home again this week, sanded it down and painted it white. 


Although I loved it blue and white, this is much more my style.  Crisp and clean.  I'm sure it will sell quickly now!

There are the faintest peaks of blue where I've distressed in ever so slightly. I also restained the top and re-waxed it and it's even more lovely.


and before the before:

While I was re-doing funky furniture into something more sale-able I also repainted the celtic cross table a plain red. 

and before:

So my question to you, dear blog reader, is do you prefer them plain (as they are now) or in their previous "ornate form"?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My new (old) french provincial sideboard

I've finally finished the antique walnut French Provincial sideboard that I scored for $60 from eBay. I've had sitting in my carport since April and was a bit nervous about starting until I was 100% sure my skills were worthy of this beautiful piece.

I'm so happy to have this in my dining room at last. I love everything about this piece of furniture. The walnut top is beautiful. The varnish was very damaged so I stripped it all off and the wood was so beautiful that I've just waxed it and it's so silky smooth to touch. 

The shape of the mouldings, the slight chalkiness of the paint, the vintage porcelain cabinet knobs from Limoges France, the great storage ....all perfect.

Here it is before - I loved the shape of it but really hated the streakiness of the walnut on the front doors. Also the handles were just not right for this piece of furniture.

and I can't resist one more peek....

I still need to sort my dining table out and hang my Laura Matthews' painting up on the side wall but will do that when I get back from my trip to America (will post about that exciting venture soon).

Hope you're all having a great day. 


Monday, August 15, 2011


2 of my pieces have been featured on Lauren's gorgeous blog. Pop on over and check them out. While you're there have a look at her lovely furniture!

I had a massive weekend of sales, so thanks to all the lovely people who bought my stuff. I also listed 3 pieces on The Gumtree on Friday night and they were bought, picked up and paid for by Saturday afternoon so that was great.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend

Friday, August 12, 2011

White chest of drawers

I've had this chest of drawers tusked away in my shed for about 3 months and am only getting around to painting it now. Not sure why I waited so long as it's such a gorgeous shape and in very good nick.  Someone had done an extremely bad staining job on it in the past (see photos down below) so I thought it would be a perfect candidate for painting white. I've used a lovely french limed white. 

The glass top is in perfect condition

I've very lightly disressed it to bring out the definition of the shape and mouldings.

and before

cheers Fiona

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Old Photos of Venezia

I was sorting out some old photos this morning and came across these from a New Year's Eve we spent in Venice with friends years ago (before kids).  They brought back lovely memories. At the time we were living and working in London and had spent Christmas with other friends skiing at Val D'Isere in the French Alps.  What a life!! Seems a long time ago now.

Enjoy the day wherever you are!