Thursday, 27 January 2011

What's Real, What's Painted?

Carte Blanche are  often called on to blend a new piece added to a property into an old existing piece or to blend out damage. A client may want to block up a door and there maybe victorian panelling all around the door that needs to be matched; there may be damaged marble or stone that needs to be repaired but the original marble is no longer mined or a match can't be found or a cupboard door or a bath needs to match to make the room just right
Here are some examples of what Carte Blanche can do:

Travertine tub
Close Up

This bath is really quirky but it works, I loved executing this marble to match the tiles and I was really pleased with the results, the feet were antiqued and gilded and we toned the gold leaf so it matched the brass the fittings.

This next project involved an enormous abount of blending work throughout the whole house. There was a lot of repair and refurbishment that needed blending into the 100 year old existing timber. As you can see here there has been a door blocked up and new timber put in place. We used the timber itself as a basecoat by sealing it and then woodgrained over the top to blend it in with the original and you literally cannot tell what is old and what is new now.

Blocked up door
Blending In

 Here is the project half done, building up the layers

Project Completed

 Here is the kitchen  installed in the same house ...beautifully made by David Thompson for Ken Anderson Designs in Braco. This was to be patinated and blended to match the panelling surrounding it.

Brand New Cabinetry
And here you can see it completed, this is a wonderful way to blend the old with the new in an historic home

Completed Kitchen
The Bathroom Company Perth have asked us on a number of occassions to make certain things blend "disappear". This room set has cabinetry in a fairly distinctive timber and not easy to match so they asked us to woodgrain the countertop and the shelves to match.

A great room-set at The Bathroom Company Perth

These cupboard doors needed to blend in with the tiles, I think we did a good job with these considering they were competed off site  and had no idea where the veins would fall.....sheer luck there!!

Marbled to Match
This shows only a small selection of our capabilities, but it gives you a taste of how we can solve some quite challenging problems with paint. This is why when you have a problem about mending, matching, blending or patching on a project, think about talking to us first.

Monday, 24 January 2011

All About Me

Those that know me well, know that I am not really very good at being a girl, certainly not one for spending time on my appearance, but last week I surpassed myself.

At the beginning of the week I had a text from my hairdresser, 1/2 price on cut and colour....well, too good to miss. I have started going to a hairdresser in Auchterarder called Deja This new salon is situated in our old premises and it is really very strange having my hair cut there, but I am delighted that Jade McDonald is making a success of her new business there.

Deja Hair and Beauty

So Wednesday I was cut and coloured and I have short hair and highlights that you can see this time (last time I went so subtle you didn't notice them).

Thursday morning I headed off to Glasgow to see my old pal and occassional painting partner Emma Hardie. Emma and I met 25 years ago at Leonard Pardon's School of Specialist Decoration. After leaving we kept in touch occasionally painting together when either of us needed an extra pair of hands. Emma was always the most positive person I knew. Where I would go to a client on completion of a painting project and wracked with doubt in my ability say "is it alright? I hope you like say if there's anything you aren't sure about", then undercharge and apologise for wanting paid; Emma would bound into the room telling the client "isn't it gorgeous....I just love it, it has transformed your home" she would charge her worth, and bounce out with cheque in hand.
All the time that we were in London, unbeknownst to me Emma was actually very ill with ME and eventually working with paints and toxins, her body become oversensitised to the paint products she had an horrendous physical breakdown and later on her recovery had to think about a total career change.
Never one to do things by halves Emma trained at Champneys in aromatherapy, health and beauty in 1994 and went on to research the factual science behind natural cell healing.
Long story short she got FAMOUS in the beauty world (you have to read Vogue and Cosmo and the like to really know about these things) ....she got famous for being the best of course.

Emma Hardie
She treats the likes of Sophie Dahl, is written up and about all over the press and her own range of products "Emma Hardie Amazing Face" are one of the top selling new ranges at Space NK -Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm was hailed Best Cleanser at the 2010 Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards in June, she has dvd and she is about to launch on QVC.

On tour to promote her products Emma has been in Scotland offering treatments at Space NK teaching you how to use her products and giving treatments.  We were meeting for lunch and because her schedule was so crippling...and I still had Christmas money to spend, I booked a treatment. Space NK have a promotion where you pay £30 and £25 is redeemable against product.....thus getting my poor damaged and frail skin inspected and treated by a world respected beautician and giving me extra time with my lovely friend.

Emma's very grown up products

Oh goodness.....Em's products are soooooo wonderful. I have had such horrendous problems with my skin and 5 days later and I have no discomfort, the nasty hard carapace-like layer on parts of my face has broken down and is disappearing WOW. I bought her special cloths and her award winning cleanser. While waiting for our lunch I was offered a free make-over by Adele in SpaceNK. My makeup buying process is normally to hover in Boots hoping someone will help me, to try lots of things on the back of my hand (why I'm not sure) and then leave with yet another mascara. Adele just did fantastic things, she gave me a completely natural look and it stayed on my face all day....while I didn't buy anything then and there I will be back, it was a lovely experience and definitely the way to buy makeup...knowing that it will work.

She may be famous my old friend, and fearfuly growed up with products and packaging and photocalls and all but she's still just Em-Pem, bubbly and positive and it was wonderful to see her. I had also forgotten how good it is to spend time with a really positive, determined, entrepreneurial female friend......I miss her!!! She'll be back in Scotland soon so look out for her appearances at Space NK in the future.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Slapping on the Annie

For nearly 2 years we have been working with, teaching classes in and selling Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It says on the tin – the best paint in the world” and we can verify IT IS!!!!!

So what makes it so good? First of all it is the easiest paint to use in the world – no preparation required...let me say that again NO PREPARATION REQUIRED!!!! No stripping or heavy sanding, no chemicals, dust, no primer; this paint will go over wax (yes it will...amazing),  it will go over varnish, old paint, concrete, metal, it will go inside, outside! This means that painting projects are far more fun and achievable than with conventional paint, and even complete beginners can pick up a brush and get great results. It is also based on natural materials, non-toxic, virtually odourless, water based and it comes in a wonderful range of colours formulated by world renowned interior designer and writer Annie Sloan.
One of the things that we love about our paint is that so many of our students and customers send us wonderful pictures of their projects. Many of them get completely hooked on the  paint and nothing in their home is is doesn't move it gets [painted.

George is a customer from Aberdeenshire who has a home in Portugal. He is one of a number of customers who buy paint from us specifically to take it out to Portugal. George had a lot of furniture in his holiday home that he wanted to unify and make look like it was all meant to live together. Like many second homes it had been furnished with items that were no longer needed at home or had been inherited. We were thrilled to get this wonderful card from him by email showing us what he had been doing and even more thrilled to see the results of his painting.

The email came just as our world became encased in snow, so  this picture of George painting in the sun made us so jealous

refurbishing rattan

display cabinet

Display Cabinet Detail

George tells us the beams are next!

Clever crafter and sister-in-law Katie Whitson aka The Vintage Squirrel posted her first projects some time back and very recently her latest  GORGEOUS projects on her blog. Katie has a fabulous, regularly updated blog, worth following
She has coined a new phrase that we all love (including Annie) "I slapped on the Annie"...way to go!!! We intend slapping on the Annie a lot.  Here is a detail of some shelves she painted and decoupaged...

painted and decoupaged
and this fabulous chair...

both have recycled wrapping paper for the decoupage, the shelves have Cath Kidston tissue on them that I gave Kate I think last Christmas and the decoupage bird on the chair is from a sheet of gorgeous Cavallini wrapping paper...waste not want not!
Read more in her two painty posts and learn about her methods; paint, wax and here stencils too all bought from Carte Blanche

We will bring you more inspiration as it comes, and why not give the paint a try A litre is normally £16.95 and is enough to paint a small dresser. Carte Blanche are offering the paint for £15.95 per litre for January, February and March.
Call 01764 684324 or 07771663015  or email for more information, colour charts and details of upcoming classes.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Snow Clear, New Year

At LAST the snow has gone. On Monday for the first time I could walk Rosie dog on a surface that I didn't crunch  through or skite on...phew, it really is a joy. We hadn't seen green for 7 weeks. There had been a period of about 3 hours 2 weeks past Tuesday I think it was, when we saw some lawn but the snow snatched it back again


It finally felt like we could start the year,  up till then the snow had almost frozen time. So now to make our New Years Resolutions. My first resolution is to network more; I used to do business networking a lot but l have let it slide. I am a pretty gregarious person but it is all too easy to get stuck in front of the computer screen and pretend that social networking is enough, but there is nothing to beat face to face networking and so time to get out and about. My first networking opportunity is a group called Let's Network Perth that I found on Linked seems very friendly and have been a member of the group for a while so I am excited to finally have committed to going to one of the meetings.
Just as I made my resolution I got an email from my mother with this sweet prayer:
New Year's Prayer

Dear God,
My wish for 2011 is a big, fat bank account and a slim body.
Please don't mix these two up as you did last year.

So my resolution number two is to get back on the this end I was back at Slimming World last night to find I have put on 4 pounds since the snow first impeded my visits to class. Not too bad given that I did not stint in my feeding over the past few weeks