Friday, June 28, 2013

Grey Weathered Driftwood Effect Cabinet

When I saw this cabinet recently for sale I knew I had to buy it. Not to keep - as we definitely don't need more furniture in our house but just for the pleasure of painting such a beautifully shaped piece.

Grey Weathered Driftwood Effect Cabinet by Lilyfield Life

I have long admired the painted furniture finishes of Wisteria, Restoration Hardware and various extremely fine French furniture shops I occasionally stalk in Sydney's eastern suburbs. I particularly love the weathered driftwood finish and after practising on several pieces of timber the other night when I was cooking dinner (as you do) I decided I was ready to give this cabinet the treatment.

Some of my inspiration is below. The top photo is a piece of furniture I saw years ago and snapped on my iPhone. I'm not sure where it was taken. And the bottom photo is from Wisteria.

The inspiration pieces above are more beige than the effect I wanted for this particular piece. I spent an hour or so on Dee Why beach the other day and the sea was wild, the sky grey, the surf all misty white and the ocean pool was contrasting a lovely bright blue. I wanted these colours reflected in this cabinet.

and below is where I sat with my takeaway coffee and sandwich; such a beautiful view for lunch. I only stayed for around 15 minutes but it made me so happy and relaxed sitting there. I love the beach and surf even when it's on the verge of rain.

and speaking of driftwood inspiration how good is this cave made from driftwood. We found this on the beach at Eden last year. I wanted to move right in.

I love how the finish on my painted cabinet turned out. I think it is very beachy with the soft grey dragged paint exterior and its bright pop of blue interior. The cabinet is an old gramophone cabinet (Golden Tongue made in Melbourne) and has a lift top lid with a small section that would be great storage for jewellery, make up, keys, wallet, scarves etc  and then there are 2 cupboards.  The bottom one has a removable shelf.  

I replaces the cheap metal floral handles with some of my stash of the crackle porcelain knobs from Limoges, France. I love these knobs and they are a much nicer quality than most other crackle knobs I have seen. The crackles are finer and more elegant and the colour a little more muted. What a score these were. I still have quite a few left and you'll be seeing more of them down the track I am sure.

I haven't distressed this piece but whoever buys it could possibly do that if they wish. It's always an option for painted furniture. I did paint the trim in a custom mixed soft grey - softer than the rest of the cabinet but not white. I just wanted to define the shape and add some delicate visual interest.

Dimensions are: 120cm tall, 61 deep and 58cm wide. If you are interested in viewing or purchase please contact me.

Did you notice that in the top photo of this post the bottom right knob is too large compared to the others? I didn't realise until after I started taking the photos but I've since changed it to the correct sized one. I have two sizes of the crackle knobs and thought this cabinet suited the smaller knobs. 

Here is the cabinet before I started on it.  Very orange stripey aged timber.  I think it's looking a whole lot better now.  

Grey Weathered Driftwood Effect Cabinet by Lilyfield Life

Isn't it funny - painting old furniture to make it look old. Do you like this old weathered wood effect?  

happy Friday everyone!  I've got loads to get done today - last day of term so last kid free work day for a few weeks. Got to pack a lot into those 6 school hours!

Fiona x

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Paint Parade #2 - a furniture link party and features

Lilyfield Life Paint Parade

What a week - loads of rain and grey skies and a new Prime Minister Elect for Australia. What a backflip that was. It's interesting times.

Anyway thank you everyone for linking up your fabulous painted furniture last week.  I am so happy to be hosting this link up party as I found some wonderful new blogs to follow. I am so inspired by your makeovers. I had such a hard time picking only a few to feature. My favourite piece was Jennifer's from Rustique Restoration. Chests of drawers like these make my heart beat a little faster and I love how she has painted it in these pretty, muted colours.

How cool is this and what a great way to display paint colours. Karen from Redoux Interiors and the CeCe Caldwell team made this. Australia would also look great like this! Can someone do this??

Beachcomber found this lovely little cabinet on the side of the road. I love a good roadside find, people throw away the most amazing things; you should see the before photo. It's barely recognisable. Hooray for aqua paint! Such a great pop of coastal beach-combing colour.

You have to check out Mimi's blog, not only for her beautiful painted furniture but how she juggles her baby on her hip while she paints. Isn't this desk just beautiful, and I just love those white floorboard. 

and the link most clicked through was this sweet little piece painted by Kim at Kim's Craft Cottage. I'm always a fan of painted pieces with the top left wooden. Such a great look.

So what do you have this week?
Looking forward to seeing it all!

Some logistics:
  1. Please only link up furniture projects. Room reveals & built in furniture such as kitchens / bathrooms also count.
  2. Please follow my blog
  3. Please place my button from my sidebar or a link to my blog in your post.
  4. Have fun. Be inspired. Visit other linked projects and leave some love.
  5. BTW, please pin from the original sources.
Fiona xx

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on Rusty Metal

Did you know that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can be used to paint on metal, even rusty old metal, without using a primer first? It not only adheres to wood beautifully but also to metal, porcelain, matte plastic and concrete etc.

Lilyfield Life: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to transform Rusty metal bed

I recently was asked by a lovely client to paint an iron bed and a metal plant stand. The plant stand was a pretty shape but federation green that was very dated and the bed was in a bad way. The original finish was a chippy bright yellow paint that was to be honest, pretty awful (I don't have a photo of the yellow paint, sorry) and my client, years ago, had started to strip it but then got fed up half way through the job and placed the whole bed under her house where it started to rust. 

Lilyfield Life: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to transform Rusty metal bed

As soon as I saw the photos of the bed I knew that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite was the perfect choice. This paint adheres beautifully to metal as well as wood furniture and you can even paint over rust! I gave the bed a light sand to remove any flaky bits and then just started to paint with the Graphite. Annie Sloan with her background in Fine Arts really knows her colours - Graphite is a beautiful muted black that makes me think of old French furniture.  I think it is beautiful for old metal.  Not too black and shiny that will make your furniture look like it's been shipped from a factory in China.  

Lilyfield Life: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to transform Rusty metal bed

I gave the bed 2-3 coats of paint and then once it was dry I sealed with Wipe on Poly. I didn't use wax because I thought wax probably isn't the best finish to have your beautiful white linen rubbing up against. The wipe on poly has given the bed a beautiful soft sheen that I know will be extremely durable.  I didn't take proper after photos just a few snapped on my iphone of the bedhead, but I think you will be able to see how beautifully the bed turned out. I will definitely use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for all my future metal projects.

I don't have great photos of the plant stand either. I was really busy when my client came and picked up everything and forgot to take good photos. Remember if you are using ASCP outside then you do not use wax as a top coat. Water (rain etc) will react with the wax and leave white marks on your piece). You can either leave the piece uncoated - just let it cure inside for a week or so before you expose to the elements or you can top coat with a poly. I left this plant stand uncoated.

Lilyfield Life: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to transform a metal plant stand

Have you used ASCP on metal? Were you happy with how your piece turned out. I'd be interested in hearing how it has stood the test of time outside.

Remember to come back tomorrow to link your projects up to my Paint Parade! I have some wonderful features to show you.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Navy and White on the Table

lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting

Hi everyone, firstly thanks for linking up your furniture projects to my Paint Parade. It's open until Sunday night so you've still got time to enter your link.  I have found some wonderful new blogs and am really looking forward to showcasing a couple of talented people and their furniture.

I recently made this gorgeous navy and white floral tablecloth for Roberta who won my 400th post give away. She had already bought one of the blue/grey striped tablecloths I sell so I offered to make her a different sort. Before I pack it off to the other side of Australia, I thought I'd snap a few photos of it. It's always nice to set a pretty table. 

lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting
lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting

The dinner setting I've used today is a Wedgwood Countryware setting that my mum won and she just loved it and thought it was so special but never actually used it. Why do we do that? Save our beautiful things for some special day that may not ever come and not use them. Although Mum did have them on display on a dresser so perhaps she just enjoyed looking at them. This is just a setting for four, I am going to try and buy another two settings at least. I'm sure they still make this design. Does anyone know? (I'll google it later, google is my friend!)

lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting
lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting

The cutlery was also Mum's. Beautiful old silver and bone handled cutlery. I adore having these things of my mum's and we use them for family dinners when setting the table nicely. I like that my kids grow up using family treasures. I think these were given to my maternal grandparents as their wedding present.  Although to be honest my boy is pretty tragic using a knife and fork and will still often slip into eating with his fingers.  It drives me nuts but at least he uses a serviette to wipe his fingers on and not our chairs any more.

lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting

I love proper linen serviettes and never begrudge the washing and ironing that comes with using them. I sure my time at boarding school gave me this appreciation. These serviette rings are all family ones and are all engraved - mine from boarding school, my mother's, my maternal grandfather's and the one most special to me is my paternal grandfather's. My grandad, Frank, was in a Captain in the Australian Army in WW2 and was captured by the Japanese and held in Changi Prisoner of War camp. He was allowed to send one thing home and chose to send this serviette ring. Grandad managed to stay alive despite the horrendous conditions at Changi and then at Sandakan in North Borneo. He gave this serviette ring to me one year for my birthday as we share the same initials.  I think he was always very proud that I also joined the military to serve my country. Grandad spent his career in the public service and became the NSW Director of Tourism and held this position until he resigned on his sixtieth birthday, in 1968. At the height of his career, he revolutionised the sleepy department and conceived the Australian Tourism Commission, which has now built up one of our biggest national industries. He was also trustee of several National Parks and fought to establish high conservation priorities in their management. He really was a great man.  I admired and loved him so much. I will post more of his amazing story and his time as a POW some time soon. 

So Roberta I hope you love using this tablecloth!

If you would like to buy one of the striped tablecloths I currently have three available all sized 250cm by 150cm. 

lilyfield life blue and white floral table setting

So I got a bit off track there with reminiscing about my grandad and not so much about dining with blue and white table settings but that's one of the things I love the most about old furniture and vintage treasures - the stories of people who came before us and that these same things on our table now have been in amazing situations and held in other people's hands; and loved and treasured and now that love continues and we are constantly reminded of that. Do you know what I mean? What things do you treasure that were handed down to you?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Paint Parade #1 - a furniture link party

Good morning everyone, I have been thinking of hosting a link party for ages to showcase your fabulous furniture makeovers. I love seeing people's creativity and productivity and you know that there's almost nothing I like more than a painted furniture revamp. So I turned to an expert in this area, Cassie from Primitive & Proper who helped me get set up with linky tools and a name for this bit of furniture fun. We tossed around a couple of ideas but then one night I was thinking about my time spent in the Royal Australian Air Force and it came to me: Paint Parade!  It's always good to bring different areas of your life together and this name sits nicely with me.

Each week I'll also showcase my favourites and the link most clicked on.  Link parties are always a great way to get inspiration also. There are so many talented people out there painting furniture. So make sure you check out other links also.

Some logistics first:
  1. Please only link up furniture projects. Room reveals & built in furniture such as kitchens/bathrooms also count.
  2. Please follow my blog
  3. Please place my button from my sidebar or a link to my blog in your post
  4. Have fun. Be inspired. Visit other linked projects and leave some love.
and while we are talking military and parades, I thought you might like to see a photo of me in my Airforce uniform! so long ago...(I can't find the original photo only this hazy copy. Why do I never put things away where they belong?)

So quick march everyone and show us what you've got!

Fiona xx

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Oh so pretty white sideboard

hi everyone, Just a quick post this afternoon with my latest painted piece: a lovely white sideboard. The shape of this, and now with the added mouldings, is just so pretty. These photos do not do this piece justice unfortunately. 

White painted sideboard french style Lilyfield Life

The details and shape are so romantic!

White painted sideboard french style Lilyfield Life

These photos are terrible of it as I really struggled to take good photos with the angle and the sunshine streaming in (but really I can't complain about sunshine mid winter!).  I'm a bit short of space at the moment to take good photos. I had to stand on my bed to get the whole sideboard into the shot.  (photo below - you will laugh)

I felt that the sideboard was a little plain so I added some lovely timber mouldings. I had fun working out which way looked best.  I blue-tacked them into place on the backing board and took photos. Sometimes I find I can see things more clearly in a photo than in real life just looking at something. Rendering into two dimensions always helps me.

placing timber mouldings

I chose the bottom configuration and glued them on with Tough as Nails. I then primed, painted and top coated the piece. I also gave it a good (for me) distressing to bring out the pretty features and used dark wax on the mouldings to make them pop.

White painted sideboard french style Lilyfield Life

I actually bought this sideboard for a commissioned piece for someone but it ended up being the wrong size and not suitable for what the lady wanted it for. I paid more than I usually do for this piece but I'm selling relatively cheaply as I don't really have space to store it. Please contact me if you are interested for price and details. 

White painted sideboard french style Lilyfield Life
White painted sideboard french style Lilyfield Life

and because we all love a good before and after - here's the before. Photo from ebay - I forgot to snap one. I am out of practice!

timber sideboard

Please drop by tomorrow for a new link party I am hosting: Paint Parade. I would love to have you link up your painted furniture projects. I'll be choosing my favourites and featuring them on my blog weekly.

Lilyfield Life Link party - paint Parade

see you here tomorrow then?? right...
Fiona xx

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This and That - Life lately and projects

hi everyone, firstly thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes. I was actually dreading my birthday in the week leading up to it as it's my first birthday since Mum died and it just felt weird. In the end I had an absolutely lovely day, so thoroughly spoilt by Phil and the kids.

We set off to Enmore for breakfast at Cafe Shenkin. If you live in Sydney, you have just got to go. Delicious Israeli food, the best coffee I've had in ages and great service all in a groovy cafe. Phil ordered the house speciality of shakshuka. We cook this often at home but Shenkin's was superb. I ordered a stuffed pastry served with tomato, egg, coriander dip and hummus. 
We will definitely be going back. I love food cooked with love and passion.

After a long bike ride to burn off breakfast, we had a quiet afternoon and then friends started arriving for champagne - a surprise Phil had arranged, and then a surprise dinner with my sister and her kids. Phil cooked a beautiful meal and even baked a butterscotch cake with caramel icing. He is the best!  I felt thoroughly loved and special.

So that was one special day and I definitely didn't need to eat much today and made sure I went for a run in the afternoon.  We just went to Callan Park which is right near our house and ran and kicked the ball around and watched the sun go down. It was very cold but a beautiful afternoon. Can you spot Charlie?

I have had lots of little painting projects lately. I recently painted a mirror for a customer and it turned out beautifully. I don't have a before photo but it was very dark brown Spanish style and Renee wanted it looking more French style to go with a cabinet she had bought from me.  I painted it in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint French Linen with Pure White Trim and waxed it with both clear and dark wax and gave it a little distressing. 

I also painted a sweet little bedside table in Paris Grey with white trim with some slight dark wax antiquing for another customer. I love the crystal knob on this piece - a little bit of bling.

I've got some lovely pieces of furniture coming up - a very pretty white sideboard, a beautiful serpentine front chest of drawers, some other home wares and also a little kids table with 4 chairs. I've also decided to sell the ornate coffee table in duck egg blue. Please contact me if you are interested.

oh and look at this beautiful clock my sister in law gave me - she knows me well! it's gorgeous isn't it.

I hope you all had a good weekend also
Fiona xx