Tuesday, May 31, 2016

French pots filled with succulents

Good morning, we are just back from our walk in Callan Park and a quick coffee. It's chilly today. When we were walking a fellow on a tractor (in the park) waved to us and shouted out "Hello, Winter is Coming!" Made me laugh as it was straight out of Game of Thrones (which Phil and I are now a year and a half behind on as we don't have Foxtel).

I am having fun growing a little succulent garden at the moment. I don't really have a green thumb (or maybe I'm just not into it enough at the moment) - it's Phil who does all the gardening here so I need something hardy that doesn't require much ongoing attention for my French pots that I scored a while ago.

I've been collecting little succulents for these pots and for Mother's Day, Phil and the kids started to set it up for me.

A few weeks later and with some more plants added, it's looking fuller.

My inspiration is these overflowing pots at my friend's house. Aren't they beautiful. These reminds me of my Mum's courtyard. She definitely had a green thumb and loved pot plants. She would create succulent gardens in old salad bowls and any interesting pot. I have since managed to kill almost all the plants I took from her house when she died (except my grandfathers orchids - they are still beautiful).

My friend gave me a bunch of these ones above as she literally has them growing everywhere. I came home with a big plastic bag of them. I've planted them all into a lovely cobalt blue pot for by our front door.  It still needs to establish as it is looking bare at the moment so I'll share later.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying this pretty bow pot.

I've read heaps of articles about propagating succulents and some say to cut the stems and put them in solution but my friend says to just shove it in the dirt. That's what I did and it seems to be doing just fine. Fingers crossed anyway.

Fiona xx

Monday, May 30, 2016

The weekend and Pretty Pieces

Lilyfield Life dining room

Good morning lovely people! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Saturday was freezing and wet and I felt for our kids playing sport. It was cold enough standing all rugged up on the sidelines. Their little hands were so old they could barely catch the ball. I actually had to bribe Jonty to go back on the field for his last quarter of AFL. He didn't actually want anything for himself but had been asking to buy his friend a present so that was his motivation to brave the rest of the game and I'm glad he did as he had a cracking quarter with a fantastic kick to a fellow team member resulting in a goal. 

Sunday on the other hand was a beautiful day. Sasah and Phil went to the Swifts netball and Jonty and I headed up to meet my family for brunch at Brooklyn. It was superb looking over the water. So close to Sydney and so peaceful.

In the afternoon I had a load of furniture picked up by happy customers.  This chest of drawers below has been sitting in the corner of my dining room for about a month while the buyers were waiting to move house. Now my dining room looks very empty without it.

washed grey vintage drawers by Lilyfield Life

I painted these vintage drawers in a soft layered grey with a wash of white. I love the shape, the finish and these unusual handles.

washed grey vintage drawers by Lilyfield Life

washed grey vintage drawers by Lilyfield Life

These bedsides painted in a soft Dulux grey and waxed. I will be finishing the matching chest of drawers today.

hand painted bedsides by Lilyfield Life

These sweet drawers painted in ASCP Paloma. These are off to a little girl's room and the dad said to me thanks so much, her room is just beautiful now. Always nice to have lovely feedback.

ASCP Paloma on chest of drawers by Lilyfield Life

ASCP Paloma on chest of drawers by Lilyfield Life

This chair was also bought by the family for their daughter's room. A low Victorian chair I painted in a Porters french blue and upholstered in fantastic designer brand clock fabric.

upholstered chair by Lilyfield Life

upholstered chair by Lilyfield Life

And this little coat stand I made from a piece that originally would have been the back of a cabinet. I love quirky pieces like this. 

Vintage coat rack by lilyfield Life

I also spent the late afternoon finishing up our study and we are so happy with it all. I will share tomorrow. 

have a lovely day
Fiona xx

Ikea sink full of flowers Lilyfield Life


Friday, May 27, 2016

2016 so far -short video

While I may not have been blogging much I have been productive with my paintbrush.
It makes me so happy working on beautiful old furniture and giving these pieces a new life.

Here's a quick video of my work so far in 2016. 
I can't believe how quickly the year is slipping away.

My little girl (who is now almost as tall as me so not so little anymore) is off today to race her first high school cross country. She's been training so hard for months so I wish her the best of luck.

have a great day everybody

Fiona xx

Thursday, May 26, 2016

White Bedside tables - French Style

I picked these lovely bedside tables up from a lady in Point Piper. She had a divine french style chest of drawers for sale also but wanted a ridiculously high price (and it needed a lot of work) so I passed. I can see on Ebay that the drawers are still for sale months later and the price is steadily being lowered. I may be in luck yet :)

These bedsides were a disgusting dirty yellow but offer great storage and are a beautiful shape. I gave them a very good scrub with soap and water, a thorough sanding to remove all flaking varnish, two coats of Zinsser BIN and then three coats of white, and then a top coat for durability. It's always a lot of work to paint with white. I used a lovely Porters Paints white for these and I am really happy with the colour and finish.

White painted Bedsides by Lilyfield Life

White painted Bedsides by Lilyfield Life

White painted Bedsides by Lilyfield Life

I can't find a before photo but seriously they were very grubby and dingy. One of those pieces that you momentarily think why did I buy these but then you remember the magic of white paint.
These have sold but I do have a great pair of large bedsides coming up next week.

Fiona xx

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A few pieces in ASCP Louis Blue

Coincidence always makes me wonder at the world and how it works. I notice it a lot on Instagram when you scroll and tree people in a row have a random photo of almost the exact same thing. Maybe it's just that my IG feed is full of home and furniture photos :) 

French Bed head in ASCP Louis Blue by Lilyfield Life

Recently I had a spat of people asking for pale blue furniture - a colour I have only ever before painted the interior of cupboards with. I used ASCP Louis Blue straight out of the can and Louis Blue mixed of grey and whites to create beautiful blues for these pieces.

French Bed head in ASCP Louis Blue by Lilyfield Life

French Bed head in ASCP Louis Blue by Lilyfield Life

I offered these beautiful French bedheads (king single) for sale available to be custom painted and Kimberley requested that they be painted a lovely pale but bright blue. She has a lot of colour in her house and wanted something bold for her daughters' room.  I painted them in ASCP Louis blue and waxed them. They turned out beautifully and I just love how the blue complements the silk tufted upholstery.  I had them shipped to Canberra for Kimberly and was delighted to hear her feedback when they arrived: "Bedheads just arrived!!! They're lovely!! Thank you!! Can't wait to set them up!!!"
I'm assuming from all those apostrophes that she was really happy with them :)

A few days later I offered up a huge pair of pine bedside tables for sale also with the option of custom painting. Deb from the northern beaches wanted a coastal look in pale blue. She had some cushions on her bed that she sent photos of and I thought a mix of ASCP Louis blue, pale grey and white would be perfect to tie the room together.

Coastal Look Bedside tables in ASCP Louis Blue by Lilyfield Life

and before:

You might notice that I also sprayed the handles gold as they were very dull and gritty. Deb was thrilled with them.

My last ASCP Louis Blue piece that I am sharing is a French Hall table that Mary who runs an event planning company had tried to spray paint. She really struggled as the old timber was bleeding and the spray paint was turning powdery and with each minute her husband was saying "put the spray can down Mary and just call Fiona!" So at 9pm on Friday night she called me in a panic and said Can I drop the table to you at 7am tomorrow morning as I need it for an event on Sunday?" So I agreed, even tough it meant a hectic day and night of work. I had to completely sand back the spray paint as there were paint runs, grit and powdery sections. I then used 2 oats of Zinsser BIN to contain any bleeding from the old varnish and mahogany and then three coats of Louis blue and top coat. I ended up getting up at 4am on Sunday morning to finish it. Talk about customer service ha ha :)

Antique French Hall Table in ASCP Louis Blue

(the photo was taken at 7am under my yellowish lights so the colour is all washed out but it's a lovely soft blue)

...but it looked fantastic at the christening event.

Antique French Hall Table in ASCP Louis Blue

Antique French Hall Table in ASCP Louis Blue

So that's my run on pale blue furniture. I probably won't be asked now for another piece in this colour tone for ages.
Have you used Louis Blue much?
Would you have pale blue furniture in your house? 
and just quietly how over the top is that Christening event:)

Fiona xx

PS Thank you for all your lovely emails and comments on my last post. I'm still replying to each of you but I very much appreciate your beautiful and supportive words xx

Monday, May 23, 2016

Catching up - latest pieces

Oh it's been so long since I have posted, thanks to those people who have checked in on me. I have grand plans on regularly updating here but I get very busy and other things take priority. Anyway thanks for reading when you do stop by. I always appreciate your comments and thoughts.

I finished this lovely vintage secretaire today. I haven't been painting very much in the last couple of weeks because I've injured my arm and hand and am trying to rest it as much as possible.

Vintage French style secretaire desk painted in my beautiful French sage grey with crisp white interior.
106h x 75w x 46d 
(80cm deep with desk front extended)
Pick up Lilyfield
SMS me on 0405766445 or email me if you are interested.

This is very similar to another one that I painted for a customer recently. I just love this soft grey and have been using it a fair bit on pieces.

This is the interior of one that has already sold

and this little side table

and these gorgeous drawers

I had a full on weekend with just family stuff and am tired still tonight so it might be an early night for me. Sometimes it all just hits you doesn't it. Perhaps I'm coming down with a cold. Feeling flat...

I have a back log of work and a studio full of furniture so I need to get busy tomorrow.
I have loads of finished pieces to share with you though so I'll make sure I blog more regularly.

I'd love to hear from you if you are still reading
Fiona xx