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January 2012 (8)

Alice in wonderland...shabby chic style..

Well hello, i have been painting chairs all day and sorting out some of my little knicknacks for the shop to stage my dressers etc, i love pretty clutter and have some ideas for some alice in wonderland inspired pieces later in the year. I love the original book of Alice in wonderland and the pictures from it are just fantastic. I recently came across a shop on ebay called La Vintage Maison who do amazing little printed cushions which are so stylish and  I think fantastic value at £5.99 each. I bought this Alice one with a deer and another little vintage french inspired one but having just looked at her new stock i have a feeling i will be back again soon!!!
 I do think there is something fantastically whimsical about Alice in wonderland that lends itself to shabby chic rather well!!
Just a quick post today but i will be back soon with the pics of my daughters new princess room(but on a budget!!).
Good night and thanks for readingx FiFi
(rabbit picture curtesy of La Vintage Maison)

annie sloan and sundays!!

Hi, its sunday afternoon, i`m still covered in paint, i`m sure it used to be a day of rest!.. I have painted, juggled the kids and made a feta,cherry tomato and pesto tart as we seem to be eating to much processed rubbish at the moment and now i feel like i`m getting a really bad cold, so i`m blogging on the sofa and feeling sorry for myself!!! Still, blogs...great place to whinge!!! Not sure how good it is for the rest of you to read my complaining but for me its great! Haha!
 Anyway, i have to say i`m completely in love with Annie sloan paint, I have spent so many hours of my life sanding...not great for the ezcema, and i usually have to paint about 4 coats on my furniture but have tried annie sloan paint on a sideboard of mine and its done in 2 coats and no sanding!!! its like magic paint,the finish is so chalky my husband was laughing at me because i got so excitied using it!! It just sticks to surfaces perfectly and when you`ve finished painting you wax over it and it deepends the colour slightly for a slight aged colour which looks great!! I did my sideboard in old white and then used clear wax.
Anyway thats enough from me, better stop or i might just start complaining again.... you`ve been a great listener!! xFiFi
 

The Shabby Chic Bedroom...

Hi, its friday, and I am in the middle of ..yes you guessed it..painting furniture! Taking time out for tea and a biscuit and thought i`d take a quick picture of my new bedroom as i have actually made the bed this morning and it looks tidy!! We had the bed for a while(ebay find at approx £100) but have only recently got round to painting it, it had a nasty very 80`s looking orange varnish but it was so well made i knew it was worth saving!! We had a roll of laura ashley oriental garden in linen colour(which is actually more like a pale gold as it has a sheen, they do a version they actually call gold but its not as nice!!)it was in my old basement left over from doing my hallway at my old house, they have started doing it again though! Our bedroom had a black and white feature wall from the previous owner and so we painted it twice and papered over it with this! I do like restful colours in bedrooms and from experience have realised they need to have a slight warmth..think pale taupes and creams mixed with whites, we had a pale grey in our old bedroom and though it looked stylish it always felt slightly cold!
I have an ottom at the bottom of the bed which is great for storage though it needs some work!! Huge mirrors are fantastic everywhere, its like adding windows and i love they way they bounce light around, theres something rather decadent about huge mirrors in small rooms, people often think you cant have anything to big in a normal size room, but i say break the rules!
My favourite item that has followed me round about 5 houses now is  my pencil drawing of a beautiful french girl, i got her in london at a market in islington and shes fabulous,the frame is very shabby and is made of smashed china that is cemented onto a wooden frame which was apparently quite common to do with old broken pottery etc in france,its very old and delicate but i love it!
BEFORE
This was the room before, i have some more pics to put on later but i have waffled on long enough back to work!!
 
 

The shabby chic lounge!!

Well the lights going in yorkshire...and i`m snow blind from painting chairs, so I decided its best to sit on the computer looking at pretty pictures on other peoples blogs before realising i should just update my own!!I took some before pictures of the lounge etc at the new house which, though you cant tell from the pics had pale purple walls before, which didnt look bad but just wouldnt have gone with my shabby chic look! My husband has run off with my camera (just for a few hours!!)and as i`m now hellbent on blogging i`m putting on a picture i took of the lounge a few days ago, though i believe it has been slightly `tweeked` since then,even my daughter has started rearanging cushions and fluffing!! Interior designer in the making!!
 I have always had a bit of a problem with coffee tables...not that i want to hurt them or anything!!! They just often seem uninspiring pieces of furniture! In the past i have often used pouffes,trunks etc to avoid anything too sensible but i found this indonesian rocking cradle about 8 years ago and loved the shape so i painted it and its been following me around ever since... its so pretty! When i first got it i was living in a warehouse conversion in london and i dont think shabby chic/vintage was as popular as now so i know some judgements have been made about my shabby objects in the past,most people thought my lounge tables where bought to be painted when i got them!
Before and after  
The shop is now working quite nicely as a backdrop for pictures which is great and when i`m finished the space should be good for various backdrops and style variations though i must admit i have been sticking with my trusty old neutral shades, my niece nearly died of shock when i admitted i was thinking about painting a french style bedside cabinet a deep pink and distressing it!!!!! I`ll keep you posted on that one.  I have to mention a lovely pressie i got sent recently with some bits i ordered off ebay,they are the letterblocks spelling out FiFiChic on the dresser,they are 3 fabulous mums who handmake lovely craft items and do craft fairs etc `Handmade by us 3` they have a facebook page of the same name and they make fantastic items at very reasonable prices,check out their customised items,you can have your own pretty shabby chic keyrings, letterblocks etc. Anyway the kids are about to come in...so bye for now xFiFi

Wardrobes and dressers!

Well, its been a very busy few weeks and I have lots of pictures i want to put on here once things are finished but for now just wanted to share a couple of renovated items! When we took the house we had no wardrobes for our room and the previous owner had left 3 battered wardrobes behind that my husband was ready to skip... but as we are on a non existant budget and ugly furniture is like a challenge to me i have refused to get rid of them and with a coat of paint and new handles i think they are looking rather better!! Maybe not the antique henri II armoire i would have in an ideal world but quite reasonable to be getting on with!
The shop is coming along nicely though still a lot to do, one of the other items i renovated this week was this old dark stag dresser. They
look so dark with the style of varnish put on them but i really like the character when they are renovated. The drawers and inside i lined with laura ashley josette wallpaper offcuts left over from the shop and put bags of dried lavender in the drawers to make sure they smell fabulous as well as looking good!
Well, work to do so bye for now
FiFix

FiFiChic...the showroom!

Well, have finally got internet so will start blogging again!! I have been getting the new showroom set up as well as renovating the house and moving and all sorts of other mayhem but things are slowly taking shape! I hope! I have at least one corner organised to use as a backdrop for my pictures! I will post some before and after pics over the weekend of the shop and house but still so much to do! For now,its about time i went to bed as the kids will be up early... a much longer commute to school now!
x FiFi

Christmas, vintage, french beds, cherub toile!

Well, its new years day and i have taken a moment out to put some pictures on of my daughters room, we are moving in 2 weeks and she is adamant she wants her next room to be very similar!! Except we are moving from a grand victorian manor house to a little 1930s 3 bed!!! But, it can be done and i will blog with pictures of the new room soon! In her current room she has laura ashley cherub toile and i`m determined to do this room on a much tighter budget so am swapping this £35 a roll wallpaper for a fabulous provencale pink toile from Direct wallpapers at £7.99 a roll!!
 I got them to send a free sample and its really lovely! Her french bed was an ebay find some years ago with original pink fabric in great condition! My advice with vintage and antique fabric covered beds is try and find one with fabric and upholstery that are in good condition because you can end up spending twice as much getting it recovered!
 The canopy of the bed was literally `knocked up` by me and my husband when the kids where at school, the curtains are from local charity shops and the panels where something made of a type of foam we had pulled off an old bookcase! Its amazing what you can do if you ignore the finish on items and just start looking at things in terms of shapes and what you can do if you paint etc! A bed fit for a princess..in fact my daughter has realised she has the closest bedroom out of her friends to the one in the disney `frog princess`!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I always love ellies bedroom when its done up for christmas its like girl heaven!! Do excuse my children squeezing themselves into all the pictures...they like to be involved!
 
When we needed a `big girl` wardrobe for ellie recently i picked up this wardrobe for £15 at a charity shop, it was tired and unloved and had a brown door and lots of marks, i used some of the leftover wallpaper we had in the basement and lined the inside and panelled the door with more of the wallpaper and then painted the rest, it took around 2 hours at the most and she loves it!!
 
 The dressing table was from a london auction which makes it sound very posh and if you have never been to auctions i appreciate it can seem daunting but there is a reason that antique shop owners can make a living and the simple answer is they are getting it cheaper and then selling it on to you, i have been to loads now, its fun, frugal and despite reservations i have never scratched my nose and accidentally bought a van gogh!!!! Try it out, on quiet days if there are no reserves who knows what you could get...just remember there will generally be an add on fee at the end around 20%!!
Anyway i need to go and entertain my children!!! So bye for now, happy bargain hunting...xxxfifi

Laura ashley josette and annie sloan paris grey!!!!

Well, here it is...its half an hour away from 2012 and i`m finally getting started on my blog...yes its about time!
Its been an amazing and sometimes stressful year but i am excited about the opening of my first shop/showroom...so grown up!!
I have had some lovely moments in 2011 probably the most important being my beautiful niece Krystals wedding which was such a fabulous day and we designed a vintage tea party theme for her that was stylish, laid back and very her! Pimms,cream roses in white jugs,vintage mismatched china (it took us ages to collect!)and shabby chic retro stacking chairs!
 
 
     We had a marquee in the back garden and a fabulous menu with an eclectic fusion of different foods! I got to do the photos and cake and i think we all agreed that the wedding cake took on a life of its own...i think we were aiming for understated.. i think it came out more Elton john!!
Well krystal..heres the blog and dedicating the first one to youxxx
I`m spending the evening drawing out plans for the new shop and have decided on anaglypta(google it!) oriental panel effect on the bottomhalf of the walls in annie sloan `paris grey` with laura ashley `dove grey josette`wallpaper above..i also had some left from doing my last house!! I will put some pictures on!
Anyway its now 12:06 in 2012 so Happy new year!!!xxfifi