Monday, September 30, 2013

Recent vintage finds

I love taking a little time out on the weekend to stroll around vintage markets to search for vintage pieces. Luckily I live about a ten minute stroll from the fabulous Rozelle markets. I thought you might like to see some of my recent finds.

I have a real thing for vintage cutlery. We use bone handled knives a lot for buttering bread, for the children's meals and for cheese etc. I love the feel of the smooth worn bone in my hand and never mind hand washing them.  I bought this whole lot from different vendors a few Saturdays ago, total cost about $15. Some of the knives have never been used. The carvings on the fish knives are beautiful.

We also found these little dessert spoons. Two different designs but that's fine by me. They are larger than a teaspoon but not the normal dessert spoon size. I was delighted as I always think a normal dessert spoon is too big when eating dessert anyway. We got them for $12 for the lot.

I also bought tarnished old teapot that I had styled on the white hall cabinet. It's currently full of roses from our garden. So beautiful.  I took the photo below with teapot spun around to show you the speckled pink back of the rose. 

As we were leaving the markets we spied this little butter dish tucked away under a pile of other things and asked the price. $5 people! I didn't even ask for a better deal. I love it and am tempted to use it as a soap holder in the bathroom.

Do you love searching markets for old junk? What's your favourite way to unwind? I think I need a few suggestions as have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. I need to meditate again...

Fiona xx

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blooger App for Mobile Blogging

Did you know that there is a new Blogger app for iPad and iPhone built by Google itself? 

If you have a Blogger blog, this is one app you need to download!

Our friends from the States who are travelling around the world and stayed with us recently, the same friend who has climbed Mount Everest and the other 7 Highest Peaks and the same one who bought me the domain name of as a present, told me about it recently. How did I not know about this?

 Before the launch of this, to blog on the go you needed to use a third party app such as Blogsy, they cost money and also had lots of errors, kept crashing and loading photos was a real pain. The new Blogger app is free and great to use. Download it in the App store. It's got the same orange B icon as Blogger on your desktop has. See my screen shot below. 

Loading photos is fantastically simple. Start your new blog post then just hit the camera button on the top right hand corner and you can either take photos or use your camera library. No loading to Picasa etc. 

Other benefits of the Blogger app included:
  • immediate synchronisation with desktop blogger 
  • Able to make changes on your blog from your iPhone on the go 

Blogger lists the functionality as 
  •  Compose a post that you can save to draft or immediately publish
  • View list of your saved and published posts
  • Switch account/blog if you have more than one
  • Embed an image from the gallery, or, by taking a picture directly from the app
  • Add labels to your posts
  • Add location information

The functionality is still very limited compared to the WordPress app, which is surprising but I'm assuming it will be improved and at least it's stable and doesn't crash like Blogsy always did. 

What I haven't worked out yet / not possible

  • how to centre photos and change their size (you can set their size in the settings but you can't manually set their size- I size my landscape and portrait photos differently so they all line up nicely)
  • Edit HTML
  • Spell checker
  • Change font from default
  • Bullet points
  • Editing scheduled posts

I will manly use the app to make small changes to an already published post, to easily upload photos from my iPhone, and to write if I'm on holidays (but I won't like that the formatting is screwy)

Have you tried Blogger Mobile App?

Fiona xx

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A quick makeover with Rust-Oleum 2X Spray Paint

Yesterday I attended the launch of Rust-Oleum 2X Spray paint in Australia. Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover spray paint is a new highly concentrated spray paint with twice the coverage rate of other brands in a brand new range of colours.

It was lovely to finally meet (in real life rather than just online) Jen from Interiors Addict, Jo from Coastal Home Love and Catherine from Paisley Vintage . Catherine is now a 2X Cover spray paint expert having painted all of the props for the Rust-Oleum stand at the BHG show and the launch.  I came home from the launch with a few cans of spray paint to trial including Satin Lagoon.  This afternoon I was feeling inspired by my morning swim at Bondi Icebergs (a very quick swim as it was freezing in the water)

Aren't the blues and greens of the beach beautiful.  I just need the water to be a few degrees warmer.

I had a little wicker table waiting for a makeover so I decided to spray paint it in Satin Lagoon.

I probably shouldn't have chosen the windiest day in ages to spray paint as I now have teal arms as well as a teal table :)

The table is now for sale also. Email me if you are interested.

The paint has excellent coverage and it was very quick to use. It's quick drying and has a beautiful sheen. I'm not a big spray painter but love using it on wicker and cane which are a bit tedious to brush paint. 2X Spray Paint has a built in primer so you can just grab your can and start spraying. I found it easy to use, the colour is rich and deep and it seems to pool less or maybe I just picked up a few hints from the experts yesterday. I used about 1/2 a can on the table so that's good coverage.

If you want more information on the spray check out Rust-Oleum's facebook page. The spray paint is now available in Bunnings.

Do you use spray paint much?
Tried this brand yet?

Fiona x

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mix Tint Colour Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

So I had a little brainwave the other day and did a little experimenting and am so exited to be able to share it with you.

As you probably know by now Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is available in 30 colours. I have only used Old White, Pure White, French Linen, Paris Grey, Country Grey, Duck Egg Blue, Greek Blue and Graphite.  Here are these colours below on pieces of my furniture.

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Pure White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Paris grey Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Country Grey Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP French Linen Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Duck Egg Blue Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Duck Egg Blue Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Greek Blue Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Lilyfield Life: ASCP Graphite  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan has chosen beautiful colours but it is a limited palette (especially when I'm never going to crack open a tin of Scandinavian Pink, Barcelona Orange, Primer Red, Olive etc). You can also mix your own colours and The Painted Lady has a fantastic colour mixing tool but what if you are painting on commission and your client asks for Antique White USA or Dulux Limed White but you want to use your ASCP chalk paint? You could fuss around with different tins of colour and possibly get a close match but why not...


(and yes I know you could also use Websters Chalk Powder or your own DIY Chalk paint and I will talk through my experiences with both those options in a coming blog post)

The other day I was flicking through a magazine and I saw a wall painted in a specific colour, a beautiful peacock blue, brighter and deeper than Duck Egg Blue and seeing I had about a third of a tin left of duck egg blue I decided to experiment with it and I ducked into my local hardware shop and asked them to tint it. 

I painted over an old brass lamp with my new paint colour, then washed it down with a wash of ASCP Graphite. You can see the wet colour on my finger! It dried much darker than that, and then darker still with the Graphite wash. Because the colour I wanted was off a deep base and I was tinting Duck Egg blue I didn't get an exact colour match but as I was just experimenting and not colour matching I am really happy with the result and wasn't expecting the exact colour (although it is close)

 I think it looks like verdigris and love the effect. 

Anyway it set me thinking about ASCP and if you love Annie Sloan's paint but need a specific colour that is off a white base you can always take your ASCP Pure White tin to the hardware store and for a couple of dollars get the specific colour you are after. Now I know that there aren't many situations you will do this as there are other ways of getting a broader colour range than the stock standard 30 colours but I thought it was worth sharing.

In regards to changing the paint or effecting the properties of the paint I very much doubt it. In the manufacturing process, tint is how the colour would be added to make the range in the first place. Also Annie herself recommends thinning the paint with a little water if you want a smoother coat so I doubt the 8-10 mls of tint that you will need to add will change the chemical and physical properties of the paint (spoken like a true engineer).

What's your all time favourite paint colour, ASCP or otherwise?

on a sad note, today is my Mum's birthday, missing her a lot. She was such a creative, wise, clever woman.


Monday, September 23, 2013

French provincial tv cabinet in progress

Hello everyone, isn't the weather beautiful in Sydney today. Fantastic for the school holidays. I am looking forward to taking the kids out as soon as I post this and get out of my paint clothes.


I had to start this post with some flowers (these 9 day old ranunculi keep on keeping on) as I couldn't stand the thought that the first photo you saw was the before shot of the pine cabinet below in all it's orange glory.

I was up early this morning to get some painting done before it gets too hot and so I can have most of the day free with my kids.

 I hope you all realise this is the before shot!! Gross orange colour

I'm currently transforming an orange pine low sideboard into a French provincial style tv cabinet. I thought you might like to see some progress shots and a little video. Although my husband called me in the middle of shooting the video so it is cut off at the end.

The top is now stripped but I was having trouble stripping underneath the lip

I stripped the top to stain but was having trouble getting a very neat line between where the white paint went and where the timber would be stained so I have dismantled the cabinet and will rebuild once it's stained and painted.

Dismantled and after 2 coats of primer. 
Here's the video below - a lot of umms and ahhs as I did it off the cuff and very quickly on my iphone. I thought you might like to see what goes into transforming one of my pieces and how I go about it with a more modern piece that can be de-constructed (without harming the piece). I hope the video uploads properly :)

I am pretty sure this piece has already been spoken for but my customer is having trouble with shipping to Queensland so there's a chance it may still be for sale once I've finished.

The look I'm going for is the same as the white hall cabinet I finished last Friday.

have a lovely day

Friday, September 20, 2013

White hall cupboard

I love a good hall cupboard makeover - not that these sweet little cupboards can only be used in a hallway obviously!

This cupboard was a lovely shape - how sweet is the curved base and moulded doors. It's in lovely condition but was a little bit too orange for my liking. Someone sent me an email this week basically asking permission to paint their orange timber bedroom furniture (Don't you just love how we need permission sometimes, from people on the other side of the world even!). Her whole family is trying to talk her out of it and telling her to learn to love it. I said "Life is way too short to live with, much less learn to love, orange wood."

get me a paint brush....

Painted white hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life

White paint to the rescue. 

Painted white hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life
The left door doesn't sit flush when closed but if you can't deal with this small imperfection, don't buy old furniture.
I left the top natural timber (stained a dark walnut and sealed for durability) so throw your keys down with content.

Painted white hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life

The cabinet even has a key with it - such a lovely shape.

vintage silver tea pot homewares

I scored this gorgeous teapot recently. Actually Sasha and I found some absolute gems last week at the markets. I'll share them soon. I love the tarnish on this teapot. I know it will scrub up beautifully but there's such beauty in the aged patina that I don't want to make it all shiny and new again.  The roses are from our garden. I got rid of the aphids and the rosebushes and thanking me abundantly for it.

iceberg roses say thank you

For this painted part of this cabinet, I lightly sanded, two coats of primer as I thought it may bleed, 3 coats of acrylic based flat paint and a top coat of wax. For the top, I sanded off the old finished, reducing the grit of the sandpaper till the timber was smooth and then cleaned and gave it two coats of walnut coloured stain. As far as I'm concerned walnut is the only colour too use for staining. I find all the other stains too reddish/orange for me. I just like dark brown. Fussy, aren't I? (I'm just going to say particular but I know my family will say otherwise). I then sealed it with a Porters sealer, sanding between coats.

French White painted hall cupboard by Lilyfield Life for sale

Vintage tea pot and roses -life's good

The inside of the cabinet was just in perfect condition so I left it untouched. Well, I cleaned and dusted it but luckily it didn't even need oiling or waxing.

White hall cupboard inside

Some progress shots for you.
Before - not bad shape at all but the colour was awful.

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

Stripped top and one coat of primer.

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

Painted and stained, ready for sealing and distressing. I also didn't like the white knobs so I stripped the paint off them and left them the original dark finish so they tie in with the timber.

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

Lilyfield Life painted cupboard makeover

If you are interested, this is for sale has sold now. Such a great functional piece. Details here.

Don't you just LOVE white paint!

Have a great weekend
Fiona xx

Thursday, September 19, 2013

and now it's in your house

Because I'm meant to be doing some other work this morning and feeling a bit unmotivated, so I thought I'd share some customers' photos of where my furniture ended up. I'm productive like that...
Actually it's more that I worked till midnight last night and I need my brain to take a break and tick a few other things off my list before getting stuck back into it again. 

Lilyfield Life french provincial sideboard

Anyway onto some pretty things. Michelle sent me a photo of her hallway. She bought a French provincial sideboard from me that I'd painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Old White and left the top timber. I love how Michelle has styled her hallway. What a warm welcome it is. It would make me breathe a sigh of relief, kick of my shoes and drop my bags and feel right at home when I open the door. When she came and picked up the sideboard  she said she loved our house and asked me the wall colour. She has since painted her walls in the same colour we used. (It's Dulux Sleigh and I think it's a lovely neutral.)

Lilyfield Life french provincial sideboard
and this was how I photographed it to sell it.

Brenda from Melbourne bought the beautiful Duck Egg Blue coffee table. One of her friend's son was moving to Melbourne so we shipped the coffee table down with his belongings. I love it next to her navy lounge. I'm glad it arrived in one piece. I hate shipping furniture to be honest.

Lilyfield life ornate coffee table

Here is the coffee table all painted and ready for selling at my house.

Lilyfield life ornate coffee table

Marney was one of my first customers and bought this cabinet I painted white with limed white details. Click here to see the before photos. Paint is magical.
I get such a thrill seeing how people use my painted furniture. It's nice to make something functional that is then a statement special piece on people's homes. I got a lovely message from Marney yesterday about how she has watched my furniture painting skills grow over the years. It's nice to know that I have support and loyal customers. I really appreciate it. 

Lilyfield Life white painted cabinet furniture

Chloe sent me a photo of her hallway with the little French Linen Fleur de Lis cupboard in it. I love French Linen - such a soft dark colour. Aren't Chloe's candlesticks beautiful!

Lilyfield life painted hall cupboard french furniture

Birdie bought one of my French upholstered armchairs and her cat is loving it!

Lilyfield life french upholstered armchair

and Jennifer sent a photo of her lounge room now filled with my cushions.

Lilyfield life cushions

Lilyfield life cushions

Thanks everyone for sending me these photos.

I was asked yesterday how I can part with my work. I usually don't mind as I know I can always do another piece for myself down the track if I want it. It's also made easier by knowing that someone else is treasuring it.

now to start work...
Fiona xx