Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Feeling inspired

If a change is as good as a holiday then an actual holiday is even better. Well that doesn't make grammatical sense but you know what I mean. The last month or so I've been having moments of wondering what I'm doing with my business. My shoulders have been aching from painting so much and my right hip is sore from the awkward position I sit in all day painting. I'm seeing a wonderful osteo who is fixing it all but I have to work out how to paint and not get sore.  I was also offered an amazing opportunity (can't talk about it now, sorry for being mysterious) but have had to fore go it for the time being because of family priorities. This along with a few other things have just made finding treasures and painting furniture not the pure joy I usually derive from it all.

Anyway after a lovely dinner on Tuesday with my gorgeous friend Sandy and a visit to her beautiful shop Paint Me White yesterday, I am not only loaded up with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, I am afresh with inspiration. She said she was feeling the same after her recent getaway. Sometimes you really do need to step away from what you are doing to get some new ideas and feel happy with it all again. 

As well as 18 tins of paint, some waxes, and other painting supplies for my business, I also bought these beautiful goodies below from her for our house. How could I resist? 

I have one of these French grain sack cushions at home that I've bought from Sandy a few years ago and I love it and move it between chairs so I decided a second one wouldn't go astray. The rattan tray is for our coffee table, to gather magazines and remotes and candles in and I love the feather wreath. I'll find a spot for it I'm sure. 

While I was at Sandy's shop, Phil and the kids did the high wire course at Currumbin bird sanctuary and apparently it was really hard. High ropes over the crocodile pit.  So glad I opted out :) Poor Sasha was in tears in one section but soldiered on bravely. Jonty of course just raced ahead and completed it all in no time. He never is fearful.  Phil has not stopped talking about how proud he is of the kids. He's a good dad. 

Now I'm feeling happy and keen to get back to work...that is , after a few more days at the beach...

The furniture photos I've included are some pieces I painted last year and loved. 

I've got some lovely pieces at home waiting my paint brush and now have loads of beautiful colours including some new ones for me. Can't wait. 

Fiona xx


We are enjoying a lovely break on the beach: some time with friends and some time in an apartment. I'm blogging from my iPhone while lying on the beach so I'm sure the formatting will be terrible but my mood is good, the kids are happy  and the day is beautiful.  Hope you are having a lovely time also. 

Fiona xx

Some stormy weather also

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hand painted French drawers in pale taupe

I have a thing for furniture - you may have noticed :) I especially love long chests of drawers. This one is no exception. Actually it may just be one of my favourites with it's clean lines.

When I bought it I couldn't even take a before photo - someone had painted it pale blue and bright, bright yellow. Must have been from the 1980's - anyway I could see how well made the piece was (solid timber, dovetailed drawers on base runners and very heavy) and loved the size of it. I knew I could tone it all down with paint.  The back panel had also fallen off the piece which turned some people away from buying it but it was a simple fix with a nail gun. 

I mixed a pale taupe colour based on ASCP French Linen. It's very soft and muted and I think it would go in any home as it's so neutral. I have the piece a good sand and then primed it in a dark grey Zinsser BIN to cover the yellow paint. I then painted in my custom mixed chalk paint and waxed and sanded it smooth. For the handles I spray painted them with a Rustoleum paint and primer.  

The drawers are 1.73m long and would be fantastic storage in a bedroom. They would also work as a sideboard or TV cabinet.  I have a few buyers lined up and someone is coming to see it this morning but if you are interested, just email for price and details and you can be added to the "interested parties" list.  ** UPDATE these have now sold

I am also almost sold out of the willow wreaths - let me know asap if you want one and I'll possible be able to order more. I kept one for our house,I found a nice spot for it next to our front door.

Hope you've had a good weekend. It always goes so quickly doesn't it. Today I'm trying to squeeze in some furniture painting in between the kids' activities. My daughter has a better social life than most adults I know so she's off to a friend's for the day. I may have to pout Jonty to work with the sand paper on my next piece. He's very practiced at that and loves helping me. Nothing like cheap labour :)

Fiona xx

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vintage hutch - green and white

Good morning! Spring has sprung in my studio also. How pretty is this green on the back of the kitchen hutch I painted for Katie! perfect as a backdrop for my ranunculus.

Katie's husband didn't think their kitchen hutch was worth saving as it was in bad shape but I've painted a few pieces for Katie before and she trusted the magic of my paint brush. 

Clean white paint and a fresh minty green make a big difference.

Katie and her husband are both thrilled with it. It always makes me happy to have happy clients.
The white is my custom soft white chalk paint I use on a lot of my furniture. The green is something new for my palette. I used a Dulux colour "Retro" as my base but with a lot (lots and lots) of white paint added to soften it. You could also use ASCP Antibes and white for a a similar look. I painted the inside of both the cupboard and the drawer in the green also. The piece was then waxed with clear wax and Katie and I decided to leave it undistressed for a clean look.

I just love the rustic old backing boards.

Today I am painting some beautiful french drawers - they will be for sale soon. They are so well made and heavy. A gorgeous shape.  Also the curtain lady is coming to measure up our bedroom windows for Roman blinds. We'll be able to take down the beach towels - just in time for summer :) 

Happy days 

Fiona xx

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

French grey wreath with fairy lights available

I'm in love with these dried willow wreaths so I've decided to stock them. Not only perfect for Christmas but i think lovely all year round.

French grey wreath with fairy lights 
(batteries included) 
35cm diameter. 
$35 each
Local pickup or Shipping possible

email to purchase

Fiona xx

Monday, September 14, 2015

Painting bedroom furniture white

Good morning paint lovers. Hope you've had a lovely weekend. I just love this good weather, being able to have the doors flung open and the kids from our street all playing out on the foot path and running in and out of each other's houses. 

I love painting spring flowers

I was sorting through some photos for my blog and found some paint projects that I've forgotten to share - all are of bedroom furniture that I painted white. I have a soft spot for white bedroom furniture because it's actually what started me in this creative business.  My first real furniture painting project (besides my kitchen cabinetry and house) was our bedroom furniture. I hated our bedroom - dark and full of orange/brown baltic pine furniture. One day I just got jack of it all, sold the tall looming pieces and painted the rest white. It was just so much better, brighter and more visually spacious.  I couldn't believe what a difference paint made.  I still get amazed by the capability of white paint!

 I did straighten that handle on the right bedside table below before I finished it. Just in case you noticed and were picky :)

...and these lovely bedsides below are possibly some of my favourite ever. So tall and elegant. I also had to do a repair on a drawer and will write a separate tutorial on that. 

Mid project below, you can see how crowded my studio gets. I can't believe I used to run my whole business in the corner of our bedroom.

Worth it for all this beautiful white furniture.

I'm currently painting two enormous wardrobes in ASCP Old White and then at 10am today I have a customer's hutch being delivered as well. I've spent half the night juggling the logistics in my head. I need a factory!

Fiona xx

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The weekend at home

Just a quick little hello from me on Sunday morning. Hope you are having a beautiful day. We are having amazing weather this weekend in Sydney and both Phil and I are getting excited about the summer and also how our house will be in the warmer months. The light in the back lounge room is beautiful and having the three french doors open wide on to the terrace is just beautiful. We still need to do a huge amount of work in the garden : re-turf and leveling the soil is also on the agenda. I have been having a play with some succulents and a vintage sieve. I havent got it sorted yet but I think when I do it will look great hanging on our fence.

We had friends over for dinner last night and sat outside for the meal. We lit a fire and it was so pleasant. Still no outdoor table but I just chucked a nice french tablecloth over the plastic trestle table and all is good. who cares when there is good company, yummy food, champagne and a chandelier-turned-candelabra. 

My friend is hilarious - such a funny evening. She turned up with flowers for me but said she's tripped over and broken most of them - the remaining ones still look good. I love ranunculus and am glad to make the most of them in springtime. (and no she didn't hurt herself)

I have a few pieces of furniture available as is if you are interested. This beautiful french sofa which is in amazing condition and doesn't need re-upholstering if you don't mind the current fabric. 1.3m long - perfect for a bedroom. If no one wants as is I have a lovely plan for its makeover.  (SOFA HAS SOLD)

I also have a stunning vintage large blanket box on castors available. Custom painted $500 or buy as is for $295. 100cm wide x 50cm deep x 72cm high. pickup Lilyfield or some delivery available

I would love to be spending the day at home relaxing but I'm heading out to Olympic Park to take Sasha to a party. Mother duties are never ending aren't they. Her social life is way better than mine these days!

have a lovely day
Fiona xx

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A map makes this piece pop

A $7.95 wrapping paper map makes this piece of furniture!

I recently bought an old Queen Anne long legged cabinet. It had lost the drop down front some time ago I would say but I just loved it and new I could bring it back to life.  Actually when I first saw the piece I didn't even notice the shelves inside, I just loved the outside shape and little drawers. What a great added bonus are the internal desk details

This is one of those pieces that jumped the queue and I started painting as soon as I walked in my front door with it. I pulled the back off to be able to access the shelves properly and also because the inside of the back was painted in a chalky red coating that I knew I wouldn't be able to paint over properly.  I painted the internal in the seafoam colour I mixed recently for a chest of drawers.  The outside I painted in a ASCP mix out of several cans of paint that were almost finished  -it's a lovely soft taupe that I am going to mix again for a huge chest of French drawers that I have sitting in my studio awaiting my paint brush.

To adhere the map to the back of the cabinet I first coated the red chalky paint in a sealant spray so that it wouldn''t show through onto the wrapping paper. This paper is more like thick calendar paper, not the thin wrapping paper that comes in rolls. I used modge podge to both adhere the paper and to give it a sealant to protect it. then I screwed the board back onto the piece.

Isn't it fantastic! (Forgive me for saying so myself).

My friend Belinda from Bella Emporio Roxelle stopped by yesterday while I was working on it. She was dropping off a mirror for me to paint and when she saw this piece she asked to buy it. So in the afternoon as soon as i'd finished it I dropped it up to her. It's in her shop for display and no doubt for sale.

Last night I had two enormous wardrobes dropped off for custom painting.  Call me crazy as that's bucket loads of white paint to transom them. Luckily I love painting!

Fiona xx

Friday, September 11, 2015

Old Chiffonier - perfect hall table or dining room

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

Yesterday was a busy day with people and furniture coming in and out and lots of waxing to finish off pieces. I finally finished the lovely old chiffonier I've been working on. I painted it in ASCP Paris Grey with Pure White highlights and distressed and antiqued.

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

Because this is such old timber I decided to use a shellac based primer to ensure that the tannins didn't bleed through all of my nice paint work.  I actually love how it looked even after one coat of primer.

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

I gave it two more coats of paint -ASCP Paris Grey and the with a small brush I highlighted the details with ASCP Pure White. Once it was all dry I then distressed the piece and waxed it with first clear wax then on the detailed areas I brush on some dark wax to age it.

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

It's quite a rustic old piece with a few dints showing a well loved life but I really think it's pretty and very practical. Great storage for a hall way or dining room, even the corner of a bedroom. 

103w x 150h x 38d cm

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

Vintage chiffonier from Lilyfield life painted in ASCP Paris grey

Please sms or call me on 0405766445 if you are interested in this piece. Delivery available. **EDITED - SOLD**

Pop back tomorrow also as I have the cutest piece to share. I've got some great pieces at the moment and my head is full of creative ideas. I love it when that happens.

Wishing you a great day also
Fiona xx