Wow the workshop is a mess. There is stuff EVERYWHERE but at least it is now 100% work room and no longer 95% spare room and 5% rage and frustration. I decided enough was enough and I tore apart the spare bed – when I told Mother she was aghast – but where would she possibly stay on her quarterly visits??! The long and short of it is I finally have SPACE! Space which I am filling up pretty fast but space that has given me the freedom to tackle my to-do list.
I had a bonzarino weekend recently with the lovely Cait and Gibson from Carte Blanche on a decorative furniture painting course. I left with a swollen brain full of sweet ass ideas. During the day we learnt loads of different techniques, distressed finishes, stencilling, gilding and amazing effects with different thicknesses of Annie Sloan paints. Annie Sloan is a furniture painting Queen who developed a great range of chalk paints based on traditional recipes which go on nearly anything without prep (bonus for lazy people like me). Here is what we made.
1) Basic Gilding with Composite Gold Leaf
2) Beautiful lace stencil – the bee was a stencill I drew detail in – imagine a whole wall of bees!
3) Thickly applied paint, force dried with heat to create texture and then finished with a white wax – looks like marble!
4) Craqueler and Decoupage
5) Distressed paint effect – 2 different paints, sanded back and then waxed. Finished with 3 different wax tints, white, clear and dark – Je LOVE!
I had an idea for a piece of wall art which did and didn’t work but here it is anyway. I copied a drawing of a leopard on normal printer paper and coloured it in with a black soluble pen (first mistake). Then I painted this painting canvas black and drew a big circle in the midde. In the circle I painted on special gilding glue and then applyed the composite gold leaf. The leopard was stuck down in the middle of the gold circle and then I varnished over the lot. Being impatient I varnished too quickly before my leopard had dried from the glue and it went all smudgy However it seems to make it look quite aged and semi-authentic so perhaps it’s not quite as bad as I thought. If I did this again I would find a copyright free image and photocopy it – apparently printed images also run with the varnish so photocopying is best.
And just while I am at it here is a chair I am doing for the Association of Master Upholsterer’s exam – eeeek! Now I have to say this chair has been a royal pain in the jacksie. I had a great idea of using a Russian folk theme after spying a great book on Russian fabrics at interior designer Jess Buckley’s HQ and had eyed up the perfect vintage Nina Campbell fabric on Ebay. But then I accidently necked alot of wine and forgot to up my bid and was outbid by a cruel £0.60…rage. And then I spent about 200 hours – and I am not even exaggerating staring vacantly into my computer at fabrics online – it is so hard to comprehend a fabric online. Now if price hadn’t been a factor then easy peasy but as I have approximately 3 sherbert lemons and a bag of Wotsits to my name at this point, the idea of using an old beach towel to cover the damn thing was beginning to seem like an excellent option. I am usually about bold colour ways and quirky combinations but when I saw this grey velvet damask in my upholstery tutor’s box of tricks I decided that I really rather liked it and a deal was made. I got to work on the colour scheme of the woodwork and athough my chair frame was solid mahogany I was always going to paint it -here are a few photos of the process. I will post some more pics when I finish it next week. xoxo
Choosing the colours
Choosing the finish
Base coat painted - drying by the fire!