Thursday, 2 June 2011

Annie Sloan Activity

I hadn't posted here for a month.. my last post had been brewing for about 2 weeks and and then my poor laptop got sick and had to go to hospital. It came back home all sparkly and working brilliantly with a new battery that lasts hours and doesn't heat up to the point where it burns my legs and a new motherboard ...oh it makes me happy and I can get back to blogging. Soooooooo before I forget the LAST SHABBY CHIC CLASS OF THE SUMMER is on Sunday. Only 2 places left ...class details are HERE or call to book 01764 684324

Antiqued Antibe Coathooks on an Old Ochre Table
All my photos were on here ...I have been dying to show you the last Annie Sloan class.....and other Sloany activity, but could access nothing till the laptop came home.

So...we changed our classes a little...added in a few new things, stencilling, not tweety 80's stencilling of ivy leaves and apples but funky quick stencilling allover patterns that are fun!

Class Samples

and cracking the paint so it looks like leather and decoupage and craqueleure (cracks like on an old plate or like the varnish on an old painting). We still do the two colour distress with antiquing wax and clear and we do a rough distress too. The rough distress is for those pieces that will never look perfect because of the way they have been treated previous. Maybe a piece that had bad paint jobs and the paint is all lumpy and horrid or maybe misuse with lots of dinks and bumps...this finish is perfect for using existing texture to enhance a piece- in this case it has been done in Barcelona Orange which is due to come back into the range really soon (Hooray!!).
Here we are just at the start...thank you Moira of Rustiques our Aberdeenshire stockist for snapping this.

and the prize goes to Moira for the photograph of me looking like I have the biggest bosoms EVER!!!

In this class Moira and Anne from Rustiques and also Eleanor and Margaret from our Edinburgh stockist of Annie Sloan Paint Laurel Gallery and the sister company Pink Pavlova also Helen and Wilma who were our uninititated painters.

We had lovely letters following the class, from Helen -
"I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed the course.  I have painted a couple of pieces, and have plans for many more, but the garden has taken priority lately.  The pieces I have done have come out very well, but more practice is necessary! I'll be on for more colours shortly.
Interestingly, a friend who currently lives in the South of England has also been on a similar course, the xxxxxx & xxxx one.  She was very disappointed with it, all they did was strip & paint a small piece of furniture which they had to take with them. One lady walked out half way through!!  It cost £150.00 for the day.  I felt very smug."

So do we Helen. Thank You!!!!

And Wilma sent me this lovely testimonial that we will use on our website:
"Cait has done wonderful work for me in the past - a ceiling full of cherubs in our romantic holiday home.  It was great fun taking part in one of her courses the other day and I've now got sample paints and can't wait to get painting.  Would highly recommend Carte Blanche courses."

So what have our friends been painting? Check out this delightful occassional table from Pink Pavlova - Eleanor and Margaret have been is an absolute steal at £40

Pink Pavlova

and what about this lovely piece which Moira from Rustiques completed almost immediately on her return and popped on their Facebook page


She just as quickly sold it so you need to go and visit her shop at Milton of Crathes near Banchory to see more or "Like" her page on Facebook, or keep up with the blog to keep up with what she is doing

And here is Eggshell and Chalk - Gillian is a student of ours from a while back, who is revisiting the class this weekend since we have changed the class since she last came. She has opened "The Bothy" home to her beautiful collection of hand painted furniture and lots of gorgeous vintage homeware. She opens in a "Pop Up!" fashion...running a business, family and being a farmers wife is a little bit of a juggling act so contact her for when she is next going to Pop Up!

Gillian Morris
The Bothy, West Balgersho Farm, Coupar Angus, Perthshire, PH13 9LW
t: 01828 670628 m: 07719920074
Talking of Popping Up....that is what I shall be doing, popping up all over the place.
For those of you that know our studio ....the roof has been leaking for an age and an age and gets worse with every gust of wind and very soon (not sure when yet) we are getting a new roof and the disturbance will be great. It's a big old roof.
On that basis I am not teaching any more formal classes in our studio until the Autumn. So if you want to join this class grab a spot I said 2 places left.

However I shall pop up in Edinburgh (date tbc) to teach with the Laurel Gallery - Phone 0131 226 5022 for more details and I will pop up in Aberdeenshire on the 23rd June to teach with Rustiques 01330 844000.

W are still looking for a stockist of Annie Sloan Paint on the West Coast or in Glasgow, get in touch if you know anyone who might be a passionate painter of pieces!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Mary Poppins of The Paint World

Maintaining an historic home is an onerous task at the best of times. When faced with the devastating effects of dry rot as well, there is sometimes less money in the pot than you would like. Restoring mouldings to their original gilded splendour is an expensive extra item over and above having the plaster mould recreated and fitted. Here we see the original gilded molding and you can see that the majority of the molding was just left in the bole (ground paint for gilding) and only the highlights gilded. This is a technique that used the gold to best effect as from the floor who could tell that only the highlights were gilded and this would have saved a considerable amount of gold.

Original gilded mouldings

Original Gilded Molding

About a 5th of the moulding on this ceiling were replace after dry rot and when I saw it first the client explained that the cost of gilding and returning it to it's original finish could not be covered, and I was asked to come up with a suitable alternative that would blend beautifully with the original. 

Completed Restoration
I was really pleased with the result of some careful research into the best products and I do love to be able to mimic things. This work wasn't carried out by me but by a very talented painter and decorator Les Green who's work is really of the highest nature. I was able to hand him the right product and know that he and his assistant would get a great finish.

Old Joins the New...can you tell where?
One of things I love to do is match ...hadn't you realised LOL...and there was a fair amount of timber to be matched in this room, old pitch pine had been the original and this is impossible to get these days without considerable expense. I had spent months a couple of years back blending new timber into old in a lovely Arts and Crafts home and I brought recipe to this project leaving Les the necessary ingredients to blend successfully. We were also able to compare notes on traditional paperhanging - this wallpaper is a Brunschwig and Fils which is a hand blocked paper from the USA and has a selvedge so every drop had to be hand trimmed. I had the theory and Les had the ability.

I was delighted in the recommendation that this client gave me:
'We were really panicking when part of the Dining Room ceiling collapsed, and with it a section of the decorative plaster work, which was finished in gold leaf.  These Victorian plaster rosettes had had to be replaced and needed to match the gold of the original on the rest of the ceiling. However Cait from Carte Blanche sprang into action and managed to provide us with some gold paint that matched so well with the old gold leaf, that we only had to paint the newly restored part and not the entire ceiling.  She was also really encouraging and helpful to our painter decorator as he struggled to hang our chosen wallpaper which needing trimming, which was complicated by the unusually high ceilings he had to contend with. The Mary Poppins of the Paint Finish World.'

I like that.....

Just before I leave this beautiful room, I must show you my favourite piece....and there are so many beautiful things here that it is hard to choose but I think that many a decorative finisher would love this too. An embossed gilded leather screen in the most exquisite colours.

Decorative Screen

It is always a privilege to be invited into peoples' homes whatever the project but this type of challenge is very satisfying and to even have been a small cog in the process of such a lovely  refurbishment brings a smile indeed.