Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Eve dinner French style

A lovely evening spent with friends and their family on Christmas Eve. There were 11 of us and in addition 4 dogs, 5 cats and an assortment of various other animals all behaving very well and entertaining. The food just kept coming and it was difficult to do all of it justice having started with "Amuse Bouche" then a starter of Oysters, Foie Gras and Smoked Salmon followed by Escargot and for the main course Goose and all the trimmings. Plus, ofcourse cheese and dessert.

The Christmas presents were opened at midnight! We arrived home at 3.30 am, can't remember the last time that we were out so late.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year.

I cannot believe that it is nearly 3 months since I last did my blog, what have I been doing? I have to say that I'm not sure that I have been doing anything of interest. Well, actually I did get a bit carried away by selling some things on eBay - that can get a bit obsessive as well as lucrative (sometimes).

We have been doing some restoration and decorating so I suppose I can use that as an excuse. Did do a little ASP'ing I have to admit.

But the main reason for the break in blogging was because we went to visit family in the UK, however only for 2 weeks but it somehow unsettled me and got me out of a routine. It was very enjoyable and just wonderful to see all our girls, their husbands and the grandchildren as well as in-laws and my mother. The weather was kind as was the traffic, travelling quite a few miles visiting in England and Wales.

As the shortest daylight hours have passed we can look forward to slowly lengthening days and opportunities to be more active. Anyway, just a few photos to bring the last three months into focus.

Christmas decorations to bring a warm glow to these dreary winter days. Sometimes I wish we could keep them up all the time but then it would make them seem ordinary. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baking pizzas in the village bread oven. Getting ready for winter and another little painted table.

Good company, good food, good wine and amazingly good weather. What more could one want?

Things are beginning to show the first signs of Autumn in the garden and the stack of logs is growing  to keep us warm this winter.
A few views of the countryside surrounding the village where we live.

And inevitably another small painted project using Paris Grey and Aubuson Blue, clear wax and also used Aubuson Blue mixed with clear wax on the top to give it a cloudy look, the blue is not quite so strong in reality


Friday, September 23, 2011

My first commission - very stressful but satisfyling

It's one thing doing a makeover for oneself but quite another for someone else. Especially when the colour and finish requested was chosen from quite a small spindly piece that I did before.

I love it and I hope she does too. Annie sloan paint mix with clear and dark wax. No before photos but the items were pine. All being well there are some more items to do in the same finish.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Well here are more of the finished fireplace photos, well not quite finished but you get the idea.

and here a few more of the before the Annie Sloan makeover

and this is what it was like when we moved in

So another project completed but restoring an old house is never ending so many more opportunities for impoving our skills.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

AS paint to the rescue on the fireplace.

This fireplace has been  a bit of a nightmare since it was at some time years ago painted in yellow gloss paint, underneath that is brown varnsh and who knows what else. I had started to use paintstripper but all that did was to make the paint soft and distribute the paint into all the stonemasons carving marks. We also tried sanding - no joy. I eventually just sat there for hours with a small pickaxe chipping away at the paint. However, over the centuries, apart from the gloss paint there was also some fire damage and long term soot and smoke exposure. So the stone which is Pierre de Bourgogne looked more black than stone coloured. Well, we thaught about having it sand blasted but were concerned with the damage already done and also the mess. Anyway having messed about with all my AS paints I eventually made a colour that I thaught would pass and here is a little preview as I have not finished it yet.

This is the transformation

from this.

More to come when finished.

I seem to have come to terms with Annie Sloan dark wax at last.

Just a little old pine stool that had seen better days. I used the same Lavender colour I made from Scandinavian Pink and Aubuson Blue plus Old White. I then clear waxed it and highlighted (lowlighted might be a better description) with dark wax.

Quite sweet I think and I like the colour, I may have to use that on something bigger soon.

Also want to show you what the other half has been up to. A stand for the hi fi units, including a drawer for cd's and at the bottom space for LP's. Was not allowed to use ASCP, spoilsport!

And now ready to rock and roll!

He does have his uses.

Friday, September 2, 2011

In your face stencil on AS painted chest of drawers, cannot be ignored!

This is not actually what I had in mind when I started this. Normally when I stencil anything it is very subtle and rather in the background. This is something different for me and strangely enough I do like it. What do you think? Now be honest I can live with some constructive critisism although it's too late to do much about it now!

The paint is a mixture I have used before, 2 chateau grey, 1 scandinavian pink and 4 old white. Clear waxed.

The stencil is from the Stencil Library. This is the before state, not particularly noticeable but you can no longer say that!

Will post further pictures when it has found a place in the house.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The dressing table

This is the biggest piece I have done so far and I must admit that I am giving painting a bit of a break for a few days, well a day or so!

The before, rather a sad and dusty looking piece with knobs missing and generally uncared for.

Nearly there, Annie Sloan's Paris Grey with Old White wash on the edges.

In place in the bedroom

Very lightly distressed.

Looks lovely with the Gervaise Yellow walls (Farrow and Ball). Next the bed.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More of the same, painting with Annie Sloan paint.

This is the before (obviously), if it was the after you should be worried!

This is the after (hopefully obviously) although the colour is somewhat distorted.

This is more like Paris Grey.

Very lightly distressed

With a customised "Lavender" interior. A mixture of Aubuson blue, Scandinavian Pink and Old White.

In situ, but once again not the best photo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Paris Grey and Old White bedside table - one down 4 to go!

This is one of two bedside tables in Paris Grey with Old White wash detailing. Forgot to take photo of original but will try to remember when I do the other one.

Too hot to paint at the moment the paint dries as you put it on!

Yellow and Grey

I was browsing some blogs a couple of days ago and came upon Shantygirl ( a creative and inspirational blog) and her post which you can see here that reminded me that I also have a liking for this colour combination. The colour combination reminds me of a pair of curtains that my mother made in a very modern and typical 60's style with pale grey, dark grey and yellow. I recently painted a little cabinet that I have in the bathroom in Annie Sloan Cream and Paris Grey with clear wax finish and I love it. The cream is actually more yellow than cream once waxed.

It is in fact more yellow than it appears in this photo. Also check out her inspirational photos of a Lakeside Home in Alabama, here, now that I could live with.

Also put up the shelf that I gave a new life to in AS Chateau Grey with a little Scandinavian Pink in the drawers and the heart shape. I used to have this full with cookery books before it got relegated to the attic but as you can see it has now been brought back into good use.

And now a few photos of an afternoon out on Thursday at Ancy le Franc and Tonnerre in Burgundy. It was a gorgeous day and is a part of Burgundy that we have driven through but not at stopped before.

Well off to do more painting, 2 bedside cabinets a dressing table, stool and blanket box in Paris Grey. Might be a little tired of that colour by the time I have finished and yes, it is to go in a Gervaise Yellow (Farrow and Ball) bedroom.

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