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FiFiChic in the press...hurray!

Posted on 14 June, 2012 at 14:31 Comments comments (0)
  Hi there everyone! Its been a very busy couple of weeks, we have been sorting out our garden and turfing, decking,planting so the kids have somewhere nice for summer, if we get one! They now have a 14ft trampoline which is rather larger than i was expecting...must have been tired when i ordered it.. hehe! There is still a fair amount to do but its certainly looking more like a garden and less like a wasteland so that can only be good!
     I will put some proper photos on when its finished but in the meantime there are some of the`work in progress` on my facebook FiFiChic page, please do feel free to go and visit for lots of photos, i`m always on there and happy to give advice about first time painting etc!! If you do want to `LIKE` my page that would be fab too!! hehe!
  I had a busy week but spent my birthday on the sofa under my sons buzz lightyear duvet with a cold...eating smarties!! I`m so grown-up!!  I did have some lovely people over to do a lifestyle shoot about FiFiChic for a yorkshire based lifestyle magazine which was slightly nerve wracking ,as a totally new experience for me, but they where lovely and I hope I didn`t waffle on too much! I`m also hopeing that any pics with me are done with a flattering lens hehe, If I don`t sound crazy in the interview and look scary I will see if I can post a link when it comes out in July! My tabby cat Toto managed to squeeze into some of the pics too!
   I did some furniture sets too! One was a farmhouse table and 6 chairs in a mix of `old ochre` and `old white` which makes a stunning pale cream when mixed, I like it so much I did 2 ornate carver chairs for my lounge in it,I dont think they will survive long with kids, cats and pasta sauce but hey!..Life is short! I used a stunning floral i have used before which seems to work so well with the colour of the chalk paint! I also put up the louis blue set in the corner of the shop, its such a fab colour!
Anyway, I`m off to get my daughter sorted for bed ,so will be back blogging soon with my garden deck picks..including a shabby chic gazebo!...XFiFi

Annie Sloan paint and Cath Kidston Fabric...

Posted on 31 May, 2012 at 15:26 Comments comments (0)
Well good evening all! Its nearly the weekend and I can`t tell you how tired I am this week!! Its been a tiring few months actually! The weather has been lovely though so I can`t complain too much!! I really do need an extra couple of days in each week, that way I could have a tidy house, cook, find time for getting better at photography and get some ironing done on top of the furniture renovations, who knows maybe I could even fit in a workout...though actually I do a lot of furniture wrestling- does that count?!!! I do find time for the kids at least- hehe, which is the most important bit!! Maybe I can teach them to tidy the house!
     I sold my favourite gothic revival dresser which was the backdrop to my furniture pics so have been working on getting my shop set back up this week! Its mayhem, its so full of furniture waiting to be painted...I really need a big workshop shed but every time i`m about to get one some new biill seems to pop up...isn`t that always the way!!
    I have done my new shop dresser in annie sloan `old white` chalk paint as its a lovely neutral colour to live with and for a backdrop! I also renovated a  cute little hexagonal table in antoinette pink underneath old white with lots of distressing, it acts as a pedestal for my little warrior statue who I love!
   My Cath Kidston Rosali fabric sets seem to sell so fast that I have done another set, they have a pretty fresh Alice in wonderland quality which is fun, complete with hearts of course!
    Well my husband is putting the kids to bed now, so I`m going to put some Cheesy rock ballads on and cover some fabric seat `the dream`xFiFi

summertime and the colour is Louis Blue...

Posted on 25 May, 2012 at 3:56 Comments comments (0)
Well hello everyone...nice weather..actually feeling quite summery....Summery enough for an outside photo shoot no less!! Now the begginning of the week could have really killed my summer buzz...we had a problem with wasps this week, when i say `problem`, if you can remember the film `swarm` then you might get the general picture of what life has been like over here! My daughter had been off school sick and at one point we had to lock ourselves in the shop ...i`m embarrassed to say I did selotape the doorframes... and we had to call my husband to come and rescue us...2 days of hearing a bzzzzzing noise and trying to plug all the entry points to the house with filler etc and when we rang to get them dealt with we are told if they hadnt been there at least a week they woundnt have a nest to destroy yet so we would need to wait!!
       After wasps constantly getting into the house my husband made a gadget out of a hoover...some tubes and a jar of honey!!! So now we appear to be wasp free!! Clever husband!  Hence I`m feeling summery again and have taken back the garden!(which needs some serious work done!) I bought a new colour of annie sloan chalkpaint in Louis blue which I had been dying to try and its a really fun blue for summer, my daughter and husband where quite suprised when they saw me painting with it as i`m quite a fan of neutrals but I love this blue.. Its like a lovely strong country blue and it just had to be photograhed outside with the contrast of the green overgrown grass!
      I covered the chairs in a pretty blue and cream toile and even made some hearts...i`m not much of a sower!! I think the blue is nice when its used with dark wax which ages and tones down the brightness and it looks great when distressed with the warmth of wood coming through from underneath, for the right kitchen i think a dresser and farmhouse table would look amazing in it and if I was feeling brave i`d probably put it in a room with something painted green for a contrast!
Anyway,the sun is out , the sky is blue and now theres no wasps to spoil the view hehe! Have a lovely summery weekend ...if theres no sun where you are....skip this post...get a video to watch and buy some chocolate, i`m sorry I mentioned the sunshine!! XFiFi

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Renovations Before and After

Posted on 14 May, 2012 at 11:18 Comments comments (4)
Hi there, i have decided to do some before and after pics for you today! I think we all love before and after pictures, the best form of inspiration and i`m having a lazy day today!
  I had a very busy weekend and unfortunately had to leave my georgous family for a couple of days to get some work done in London, I hate spending a night away from them- I think when you are a mum you feel like you`re leaving the best part of your heart behind with all the people you love the most!
     I also managed to hurt myself....I really should know better...i`m not sure if its growing up with an older brother -but If you dare me to do something it becomes a matter of family honour!!!! I managed to misjudge jumping a fence and now have a black swollen leg, scratched elbows and a cut painting hand!!! It was an embarrassingly low fence too (if you are imaginig something rather more impressive!) So note to are not athletic and really should know better... so no `comando rolls` or fence jumping in the future!!!
  I am putting on some before and after pictures of past renovations with Annie sloan chalk paint. I am also going to put down some of my thoughts on colours I use often (not necessarily in order with the pics!)as I have had quite a few questions about them recently-they are just my opinions and so do bear that in mind, if you want to know more about the chalk paint do go to annies website (
 I haven`t used all of the colour range yet ( I believe there are 30 and counting so far and will get through them eventually!) the number of shades you can get out of each individual colour is amazing! They can also be mixed to create new colours which i need to try more of- the inspiration from the stockists pictures is great to see what can be achieved! I particularly love the shades you can make with the `duck egg` mixed with old white, it can become such a delicate colour!
 The paris grey is a fantastic colour and I think a huge favourite with lots of renovators! Grey is so hot at the moment(apparently!)
and it is suprisingly hard to find a really good grey for furniture, but this one `paris grey`is just so soft and perfect and excuse me for repeating myself but it covers so well, often 1 coat!
    The `antoinette` chalk paint (pink) is an amazing colour. I`m not a huge pink fan, but this one is soft and pretty and not too sweet,its like a `grown up` pink and I think Antoinette herself would certainly have approved of it!!
  `Old ochre` is georgous and has a buttery richness to it when left plain but when dark waxed it can be made to look ancient and is just a great colour to play around with, or as a great `accent` colour to some of the other colours!
  `Old White` is just a fantastic `staple` white. I use it on its own all the time as white is so fresh, easy to live with and also very popular with my clients.
   Its a great white and when it is clear waxed it tones down to a slightly more `aged `looking white, that is still bright but not too bright for antique and vintage pieces- which wouldnt suit a `brilliant white`! It can be `aged` really dramatically with dark wax which is endless fun on ornate details, and you will impress yourself with the results you can get! It also mixes really well to get different tones out of all the other colours!
   `French Linen ` is just a lovely colour! It just feels like it belongs in farmhouses and beautiful barn conversions (very country chic) and the texture is really silky to paint with. The colours all seem to have slightly different textures and this one has a velvet oilyness when it goes on and is a favourite of my husband who likes to call me in when he paints really shiny surfaces to show me `how well its covering`!!!
   I have plans for some more new colours to try soon! the `graphite` is fantastic and great fun for turning anything you can think of into a `chalkboard` my kids love it!!!
  While I was away over the weekend my husband let the kids paint one of my sideboards, and i have to say they did a great job!!! The paint is water based and washes out(always a bonus) and I do think it is more gentle on the skin which is great when letting the kids use it (put dust sheets down first!!) and it doesnt effect my ezcema like other paints i have used in the past for which I will always be grateful!
Anyway, its time to cook some dinner for tonight, I promise to be careful in the kitchens and wont jump off any worktops!!!XFiFi 

Annie sloan Paris Grey chalkpaint ...

Posted on 9 May, 2012 at 18:06 Comments comments (0)
Good evening everyone!
 Its been a pretty stressful week ...and sometimes doesnt it just feel like you have the worse luck in the world, you really want to stamp your feet, sulk ,cry and throw some tantrums....then you manage to take a step back and realise that all the really important things are still ok in your life...amazingly your kids are really happy and very importantly -they`re well!... you still have a husband who loves you and everything else is really just a work in progress!!! So i`m not going to bore you with all the `other stuff` i`m sure one day i`ll look back on the last couple of years as character building...maybe not!
    This week I have been going through a `paris grey` phase again! Its such a great colour, not too dark,it covers really well, sometimes one coat! It just makes everything look stylish and expensive, white sells better,but my favourite is the paris grey! Annie sloan describes it as the `the colour most associated with furniture in an elegant french chateau` I think that describes it perfectly! I have done a fabulous set of chippendale style ribbon chairs  in the grey with black and white toile,much nicer than any of the sets I have had for myself, but isnt that always the way! I have also done two cute little round sets with quirky vintage chairs.
Well its getting late so just a quick blog tonight! Do feel free to leave any comments,I was quite suprised to find out how many have been reading this on the counter...there is life out there!! Nearly the weekend...XFiFi

Pink french princess bedroom...

Posted on 6 May, 2012 at 17:42 Comments comments (3)
Good evening everyone!
    Sunday evening.. on may bank holiday weekend, the kids are asleep and my husband is wrapping chairs for me... a usual evenings fun...such `rockstars` we are these days..! I have to say blogging is a great wind down in the evening!
I have decided to put some pics on of the `after` of my daughters bedroom! I have been waiting for it to be totally finished but alas...who knows when that will be so between us it is still a work in progress!! As I mentioned a while ago now.. we downsized from a manor house to a 3 bed...with a non existent budget to do my daughters `princess bedroom` and so I needed to recreate a look on a shoestring!
  The bed was an ebay find and worth buying as the pretty pink upholstery etc was in nice condition ..if you need to recover it can cost more than the bed! I appreciate these beds have got more expensive so if you want to recreate- my advice would be to buy a pine bed from a charity shop or ebay and paint it pink or gold and buy a ormolu/pediment made of wood to use like a crest on the top of the headboard...I think that way you could get the `princess look for well under £100. The canopy can be faked(as ours was) By creating a light box frame out of wood and nailing/glueing panels to the front which can be made from mdf and beading! Then painted in gold laquer, the curtains are two different sets of pink curtains stapled under the box frame!
 The toile wallpaper was a great find at Direct wallpapers for £7.99 a roll and could also be used for just a feature wall behind the bed or if you have high ceilings you could put a dado rail and just wallpaper the top half and paint the bottom half pink! for other items of furniture my advice would be paint paint paint! If you have pieces of mismatched furniture it works so well to use one colour of paint to tie it all together! You could even do a fun `feature wall` of blackboards out of any old frames you have lieing around, to give a fun place for your daughter/son to draw and `express themselves, I did one in our lounge! Annie sloans `graphite` chalkpaint is great for the black part and gold/white or pink could be used for the frame!
  Anyway, its getting late and my husband still seems to be wrapping furniture `Whoops`so i think I better go and help...Thanks for visiting! xFiFi

Annie sloan old ochre and duck egg chalkpaint.

Posted on 4 May, 2012 at 8:31 Comments comments (8)
Hi there!
Its friday and i`m looking forward to a fun and probably very `silly` bank holiday weekend with my 2 kids and trying to think of some fun things to do!(occassionally we like to have a `pretend` christmas in the middle of may!!! And my 3 year old and I like to sit and watch youtube videos pretending we are on rides at disney...or waterpark shoots get the picture!!!)
This week I have fallen in love with my Annie sloan chalk paint all over again! As you will know if you have been following me I have been trying out a new `autentico` chalkpaint and I had bought a fantastically shaped french style armoire/cabinet which I was determined to do justice to -as pieces like it just dont come up to renovate in my price range that often!!
I started off with the Autentico... and the colour just wasnt strong enough it was a bit watery looking and insipid and when I started to get bored of the drying time I just grabbed my `old ochre` and started to paint with it and the colour is just so luscious in comparison and it covers like a dream!!!! Then I had some duck egg I had watered down to a wash and mixed with lots of `old white` and started to apply it... and it just looks so great, dries so well and distresses like its been living in a french farmhouse for a few hundred years...i`m sorry but I just love Annie Sloan chalkpaint and theres nothing I can do about it!!!!
       I think it is perfect for mad, disorganised and passionate, messy painters `like me` as its just so darn fun to paint with and I just cant get the same creative buzz with anything else i`ve found!!! So I`m an Annie Sloan chalkpaint-aholic and I hope the first step is admitting it!!!
Anyway, have a fantastic weekend wherever you are and do feel free to tell me about your chalkpaint addictions...I hear talking about it helps!!..XFiFi

Pancakes and chalkpaint!

Posted on 29 April, 2012 at 9:56 Comments comments (0)
Hi there, hope you`re having a good sunday! The weather heres pretty grey and wet and we just didn`t feel like leaving the house today so its been a pyjama and movies day in wakefield!
I started the day with cuddles from my little boy, a nice way to be woken up! Then in an unusually wholesome and organised breakfast!!!! I made fresh american style pancakes...this doesnt happen often, dont buildup the wrong picture! The best idiot proof recipe ever, 1 cup self raising flour, 1 cup milk, 1 medium egg and whisk and cook in a frying pan with butter! First time i actually managed to flip a pancake too! Then more comfort food, roast dinner for lunch!
Its been a busy week and I have covered many chair seats with fabric and painted too many chairs! I do need to do some videos for my website to show some tips for renovating, my chair covering took ages and was very messy when i first tried it and once you work it out its so quick and easy to most things, it looks more intimidating than it is! I learnt how to tier a 3 layer cake off youtube in 5 mins so its amazing the skills you can pick up when you have a go! I have been building up my FiFiChic facebook page which i started in january and have found some fantastic blogs and some really amazing women on there. The support has been wonderful and my page is creeping up towards 1000 likes so i`m really pleased with that!
There are quite a few new paint brands coming onto the scene at the moment, no doubt there has been a huge surge in renovators looking for more from the paint they use, some of the old latex brands just didn`t offer the artisitic versatility that was being looked for, and didnt distress well enough!I`m always interested to try new ones!I have  been using `Annie Sloan` but `Autentico` have started doing a chalkpaint `vintage`! Another by cece caldwell has come to my attention the last week but its not in the uk yet-as far as i can tell and i have just read that the fabulous `miss mustard seed ` will be bringing out her own milk paint range,hope that arrives in the uk!
I do think its lovely that people are finding inspiration to update the tired old pieces of furniture in their houses, its affordable, fun and actually rather eco friendly -especially with the new low voc paints and its so nice to give pieces a new lease of life and a second chance! Its also the quickest and cheapest way to tie a room together! With paint you can renovate all those inherited pieces of tired furiture that dont match into a fab, unique and harmonious room that is as simple or bold as the colours you use! Plus with the chalk paints on offer the horrible preparation work has pretty much been eliminated! i dont miss it!
So have a fab sunday! Paint some furniture...and come and visit me again soon! And to you ladies in warmer climates...enjoy your porch swings and your iced teas and sunshine but spare a thought for us poor folk in the uk with our jumpers, rain and welly boots! Thanks for listening! xFiFi

Shabby chic, cath kidston and annie sloan old white!

Posted on 19 April, 2012 at 17:06 Comments comments (0)
Hi there, i`m so sorry I have neglected you and I promise i`m going to blog far more often again! Well, you guessed it, I have been painting many chairs ,probably using far to much toile fabric,I have chalk paint in my hair and a shop full of bubble wrapped furniture! Oh,and did I mention the long school holidays!...
I have branched out with my chair materials into Cath Kidston territory recently so have  put some pics on for your viewing pleasure! I accessorised with red gingham hearts  and cushions and seat pads are in Cath Kidston `Rosali` which looks really cute!
 I fell in love with a beige/taupe/cream floral by clarke and clarke that I teamed with a lovely annie sloan `ochre` chalk paint, my daughter wanted us to keep it too but I pointed out that it probably wouldn`t even survive 1 bolognese dinner in our house, I have some chairs I painted for us last month and they have so many painty fingerprints on its starting to look like a pattern!!
I have redone my kitchen recently too so I will be putting some pictures of that on over the coming week. I`m also waiting for some samples of a new chalk paint that has a nice colour range!  I will keep you posted so watch this space... Anyway Its time for bed so thanks for listening and check back soon, xFiFi 

springtime and shabby chic

Posted on 21 March, 2012 at 5:32 Comments comments (1)
Hi everyone, sorry its been so long! I have been busy renovating some lovely pieces and am posting a selection of what i have been up to!
Its so lovely to finally have some nice weather,its feeling more like summer than spring here in yorkshire! Still a slight chill in the air though! I have even been windsurfing a couple of mornings the past week just to let of some steam!! Great fun, and a lot less tedious than the gym!
I have renovated a fab couple of large dressers and some nice big farmhouse tables, i cant even tell you how many chairs i have painted in the last 2 weeks!! I will put some more pieces on soon,thanks for looking FiFix