Monday, 30 April 2012

a beach junk mantle

So, I needed to change up the mantle - little Easter chicks couldn't stay there forever.

I put out the frame with the rusty mesh and just layered up driftwood, shells, dried seaweed, and odd finds.

I used a couple of little cloches - I have loads of this seaweed, it's all over the beach.

Job done !

Linking up with
Sunday's Best @ My 1929 Charmer
Saturday Nite Special @ funky junk interiors

Friday, 27 April 2012

decoupaged tray

I've finally finished one of my 'unfinished projects'.

I think one of my favourite crafts is decoupage and I used to do quite a lot.
These are just a few.

I don't remember where the shells came from, but the 'brown' kitchen things were actually from a paper bag.
I sometimes gilded the tops of the insides and the handles, then used a crackle glaze or antiqued them.

I often found the best things to decoupage from wrapping paper, as with these great fruit pictures.
I did a lot of gilding then as well !

As you all know - blogland provides an almost infinite source of things to decoupage and for a long time I had admired the lovely graphics and layering techniques of other bloggers.

When I found this tray for £2, I had the perfect piece to try out my idea. I wanted a tray to look as though I just thrown things on it. Sort of like an in-tray that has stuff waiting to be sorted out !

And it would be so great if I could show you the before shot, but I can't find it anywhere - sorry. The tray was a pale yellow with a floral picture stuck in the middle.

So the after shot - I painted it with a few layers of cream paint, then after sticking everything down and varnishing, I rubbed in raw umber artists oil colour, to age. 

The plain postcards on the right are from Knick of Time Interiors  
The letter and the french postcard are from the The Graphics Fairy 
The stamps are real - my brother and I collected them for a while. Not that we had a clue what we were doing, so hopefully they're not worth anything.
The keys and coins are  photocopies of actual items I have. The keys I have been collecting to frame, and the coins are not old - just left over from trips abroad. I simply laid them in the old geezer's printer and photocopied them. 

I love the folds in the letter, that make it look more 3-dimensional.

I blame the cutting out of that key, on my failing eye-sight - I've been in denial for about 6 months.

The reason why this remained unfinished for so long was because it went wrong the first time around. 
I was impatient and glued everything down at the same time, and of course it all puckered up.
So I had to glue all the larger pieces down separately and leave each one to dry properly.

Patience is a virtue (it's just not a virtue I possess !).

Linking up with
Brag Monday @ The Graphics Fairy
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Cowgirl Up @ The Farmhouse Porch
Knick of Time Tuesdays @ Knick of Time
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Primp Your Stuff Wednesdays @ {Primp}
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff and Nonsense
Sunday's Best @ My 1929 Charmer

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

the thrice painted cloakroom !

So carrying on from the last post, this is the smallest room, and possibly a tiny bit smaller because I have painted it so often !

(sorry, it's a photo from a photo)

First time around, I just painted it in colours I had left over from the rest of the house. The red was much closer to the blind than in the picture, then there were two blues (used in the bunting in the boys room) and a gold (which I also used in the master suite and en suite, and living room).
The original client had chosen 7 silks (the two blues, deep red, gold, a very old gold, sage green and mushroom) from this company and we based the house on those. Although we added pink for the daughter's bedroom and the basecoats and woodwork were all cream.

My new client wanted it updated and we went back and forth with ideas.
Because my client is quite quirky, he took me up on the idea of scrabble letters. This came to me because of the light switches - they are flat metal plates with uneven edges and painted with a dry brush effect.

I know it looks like I'VE done them, but they can actually be bought like this, as well as a number of other finishes.

So, we chose some fun words, in different languages and I did a deep background to match the blind, so that the 'scrabble letters' would pop. I also graduated the colour slightly, painting a darker shade at the bottom and lighter at the top.

You can see the light switch just above the 'F' of Foo (for the Foo Fighters). There is also OCD Rules, because he is seriously obsessive and compulsive about tidiness and cleanliness (not a bad thing in a man, I hear you say).

I don't think my client ever really loved this room. Personally I wanted to do scrabble words everywhere -  mirror, wash basin, hand-towel, taps and tiles all in different languages. I think it would have been more fun.

So, I did the scrabble cloakroom last summer and last week I went back and below is the third incarnation.

All the hardware, light switches and curtain poles are from the Jim Lawrence, the same place that the original silk colours came from.

Better ? I guess it's nice and bright and fresh, and it suits my client much more.
He has quite a few 'delicate' pieces in his home, that I thought his daughter may have chosen, but the choices were all his !

Sometime I may go back to change more things or do touch-ups. Luckily I'm able to leave some of my paints there, in the old bread oven. If air-tight, they last for years.

Hopefully, my client won't be inclined to take up bread-making.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

the metamorphosis of a house

I have worked on this house three times now for two owners.

It's in the countryside near a pretty little village called Hurstpierpoint.

The original house is a tiny cottage built in 1789 and hidden behind the section on the right - you can just see the stepping stones that go to the front door.

I originally decorated the house from top to bottom about 10 years ago ( just the glory bit, not the base coats and woodwork etc.). 
About 18 months ago those clients sold the house and last summer I was asked by the new owner to change a few things.

Harry's old bedroom was to become a guest room, so I needed to paint out the bunting I had done. Luckily I managed to touch up the colourwash without having to paint the whole room again before doing a freehand design.

The before -

And after -

The bedroom as Harry had it - I didn't paint the furniture.


The new seating area for guests (the throw and the cushion belongs on the bed. I need to tell you this because I know my client wouldn't like the idea that I photographed this room with something out of place !).


This is the only other part of the room, that I put decoration on.

The room is in the original part of the house from 1789 - hence the beams.


The new bed is here now and the owner decided to keep 'Harry' written on the wall above the bed.


It's just such a lovely room.

I also needed to take out this very individual coat of arms in the living room and replace it with something completely different.

I actually learnt Latin at school, but it was my worst subject - I just didn't get it at all. I made up the words with help from the internet, but have no idea if it really makes sense or not .
Painting over this was hard - I stood with the brush in my hand for what seemed like ages because I just felt bad covering it up !

But of course I did and this is the result.

I based my design on the damask type sofas.

The whole point of this post was to tell you that I was asked back this week to change this piece AGAIN.
My client didn't like the central shape and wanted it extended over the arches a bit more.

In the picture below the Persian type symmetrical shape has gone.

And  the new extended ends !

It does work better like this, but I didn't like admitting it to the client !
He told me men are always right !

Not only was I asked to change this, but I was also asked to change the downstairs cloakroom completely (which will be it's third metamorphosis).
I told my client that he just feels sorry for me and wants to give me stuff to do - he denied it !!

However, I'm sure you've had enough and I'm all posted out, so I'll show you that next time - I'll leave you with a few more pictures of his home.

Enjoy your week - Fiona xx