Saturday, June 24, 2017

San Gimignano, Tuscan beauty

We have spent the last few days in Tuscany. So beautiful and very hot. I have been to San Gimignano a few times before when I was studying in Florence but only ever for day trips so we decided to stay a couple of nights. I really wanted to show Phil and the kids this beautiful old town. It is so beautiful. See for yourself ...

San Gimignano Torre Grosse 
If you want to avoid the dreaded crowds here, stay over night. By early evening the crowds have thinned and they don't arrive till late morning. We actually had lunch then retired to our room for the afternoon, away from the people and the heat. I actually had a sleep for 3 hours which I normally never do (I have massive FOMO so hate sleeping especially in the day time.  😂)

This morning Phil and I got up at 530 for a peaceful walk and early coffee. We head for Florence today and it's quite likely that we will never be here again so we are soaking it all in. 

How very beautiful. 
 San Gimignano   San Gimignano  
If you are interested in where we are staying it is Donna Nobile. I booked through Such lovely people, a quiet spot with nice aspect and easy walk into the main square. You can drive your car to unload then park close by for free. You wake to the town bells ringing and birds chirping. Divine. There's a kitchen to use also which makes it easy with kids. We aren't fans of eating at restaurants every meal so it's good to be able to cook. 

San Gimignano  
Have you been to San Gimignano? What was your favourite part? 
Fiona xx

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Patina of Rome

I am so in love with all the patina of Rome. Beautiful old details where ever you look. I had forgotten how beautiful the buildings are here.  So many ornate details. 

I like these details more than the tourist attractions. I hate the crowds and "being a tourist". Maybe it's having grown up in a touristy town. I just like being a local and shopping and eating where the locals are. 

I was thinking this morning that it's so funny how we love patina on old buildings: crumbly paint, a bit of grime, damage; but these things of new building just look terrible. Even the little apartmentwe are staying in has old chipped marble shelves on the bedroom and it looks so good. At home people just hate it when their cesaerstone chips in their kitchens. 


We leave for Tuscany tomorrow.  After dealing with the huge crowds today in Rome we are quite happy to move on. The first time I came to Rome was in winter and the second time was right after 9-11 so both times Rome was much quieter with no queues. Even St Peters Basilica had a 3 hour queue today. Needless to say we didn't go in as Phil and I have each been beforw several times and the kids will be back and can line up when it's not over 30 degrees :). The piazza is so beautiful though so it's still was worth the visit. 

And we have had a lot of fun :)
Fiona xx


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Siamo arrivato a Roma



We have arrived in Roma and are staying in a cute little apartment in Trastevere. It's such a great location and lovely little place. If you are interested the link to AirBnb is here.

I am really in heaven here. All the crumbly buildings and paint patina. Beautiful old shuttered windows and everyone speaking my favourite language. I have to say my Italian is rusty but this morning I was asked if my parents were Italian as he thought I spoke well for an Australian. 


This morning Phil and I got up early and walked to the Gianicolo for a beautiful view over Rome. It's such a short walk up the hill from Trastevere (maybe 15-20 minutes) and well worth it. The photos above are from the Internet as the sun was shining in the wrong direction. We will go back with the kids for sunset one day. 

Here's our photo

We bought a stack of veggies at the markets as we've had a long journey and need some good food after all the airplane food. Phil also found an amazing little biscotti shop. Apparently the best in Rome so he and Sasha have some little treats for their cup of tea tonight. Happy days. 

Hope you are happy to see our travel photos. I'll also be interspersing it with furniture blog posts so please keep reading. 

buona giornata

Fiona xx


Friday, June 9, 2017

Vintage chest of drawers

Good morning once again, from a slightly damp Sydney. Actually it's less wet than I expected. Which is great news as I have lots of furniture pickups and deliveries today and I hate moving furniture in the rain, especially if it's already painted.

I'm slowly finishing up everything before we head off. I am almost finished a large bedroom dresser that lovely customers have brought up from Canberra for me to paint. The base is all finished, today I just need to wax the large mirror frame. For this piece I painted a grey primer then several coats of off white, then a brighter white wash then finished with white wax. The finish is really lovely and subtlety complex in real life. 

The dresser was Sean's parents and is a sentimental piece and is now freshly painted for their daughter's bedroom. Nice to see old pieces given a new life and used for the next generation.

I have a little vintage chest of drawers for sale. The timber top is lovely so I have cleaned it up and sealed it. The base is painted off white with a white wax finish.

Available: old solid timber dressing table. Painted in an off white chalk paint and treated with white wax to create a subtle washed look. I really love the finish on this. Stunning original hardware. Timber top has been cleaned and finished with wax for a lovely sheen. Dovetail drawers all slide smoothly and are unpainted inside but very clean. 
107w x 47d x 95h (bench top is 78cm h) 
Pickup Lilyfield or delivery may be possible

please let me know if you are interested. 
regards Fiona

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Duck Egg Blue Drop Leaf Table - custom job.

Good morning! How wet is it in Sydney. I hope your houses are holding up to all the rain. I stayed up way too late last night watching a silly series on Netflix about some killer virus in the Arctic (Helix) and I couldn't believe the crazy rain at 1pm. I see on facebook that one of my friend's bedroom ceiling has caved in overnight so that's a drama filled night for them.

drop leaf oak table painted in Duck egg and off white base chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

Yesterday I finished a beautiful oak drop leaf table for Graeme. This is a job that took forever. I had so many problems with it as it's a very old table and had been stored in a garage for many, many years. The varnish on the top was all peeling and something had spilled all over it, I'm sure it was petrol. I did a lot of repairs on the base, such as re-doweling the timber and tightening and replacing screws and gluing and clamping. To paint it I fully dismantled the top from the base which made it a lot easier. 

drop leaf oak table painted in Duck egg and off white base chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

By the way, how lovely is the artwork - my aunt gave it to me as a birthday present (next week, can not believe I'm turning 50!)

drop leaf oak table painted in Duck egg and off white base chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

Because Graeme and his wife will use the table to eat at I have top coated it with three coats of a clear sealer and I just don't think wax over a painted finish is strong enough to withstand hot plates, wine spills etc. I know some people may disagree with me, but I need to be confident with my work and the longevity of my pieces so I'd rather do extra work and be happy with my finishes.

I delivered it yesterday as Graeme live locally and everybody loved it, and they've given me more custom painting jobs for when I get back from Italy. I love happy customers :)

drop leaf oak table painted in Duck egg and off white base chalk paint by Lilyfield Life

Have a great day.
I am finishing up a big chest of drawers for Sean and Rochelle who have brought up their furniture from Canberra for me to paint. The weather is making work go slow....

Fiona xx

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pressed tin and chicken wire cabinet

Good morning, our house is a little quiet this morning with Sasha off on music camp. Funny how much the dynamic can change with one less kid in the house. Today I wanted to share a cabinet makeover that I nearly didn't do. I sourced this cupboard last week and then because the doors needed some major repairs and I'm pressed for time with our holiday coming up and a lot of custom work to finish before hand, I thought I would pass the cabinet on to a friend who also paints furniture. My friend said she'd get her husband to come pick it up on the weekend but he forgot so I decided to tackle it myself and I'm so glad I did. Sometimes you just need to get stuck into a project. Feel the fear and do it anyway :)

Lilyfield Life painted furniture

I picked this cabinet up from a house that was being demolished in Chatswood. When I got there the lady said Oh sorry I can't help you carry it and please don't ask my neighbour to help you, I don't want to bother him. I wish she had told me she wouldn't help carry it before I drove there in Saturday morning horrendous Sydney traffic. I decided I wasn't leaving without it (the traffic had been especially bad) so I lugged it out the house and across the yard all by myself - no wonder my back is sore. It wasn't especially heavy - just tall and awkward. (1.86 cm)

Lilyfield Life painted furniture

I had to do a lot of repairs to the doors and I decided to replace the tin with wire mesh. Not only was the cabinet missing a piece of tin, the wire mesh gives the cabinet a lighter feel to it anyway.  The doors don't sit perfectly straight but it's the best I could make it. Old pieces always have their problems.

Lilyfield Life painted furniture

Lilyfield Life painted furniture

The right hand door was also missing a piece of trim so I went to several timber yards and Bunnings but couldn't find a matching piece. In the end I decided to just use a similar piece of trim and have it perfectly imperfect. Sometimes that's all you can do.

Lilyfield Life painted furniture

and here's some shots of before and in progress

It seems my customers don't mind perfectly imperfect either as there is a queue of people to buy this one.

Fiona xx