Last month I took a couple of days off to visit a friend in Whitianga, a seaside town in the Coromandel region of New Zealand. This area holds a special memories for me as it is one I visited with my parents as a child.
A two and a half hour drive from our home, it's windy and hilly in places, but very, very beautiful.
After a night at my friend's house catching up, I took a trip into town before leaving to head back to The French Fig, a cafe I'd visited last time I was in Whitianga. I remembered it being a particularly inspiring space, not only for the scrumptious food, but for their beautiful French style collection of homeware and giftware, and once again, I was not disappointed with either.
Of course I had to have a wee bit to eat with my coffee, and both were absolutely delicious. Then a wee wander around, and after a few photographs (kindly approved by the owner), I went on my way.
A gorgeous collection of French inspired homeware and giftware.
More beautiful pieces.
All of those delicious goodies.
Homeware and giftware.
Fabulous food and fabulous things.
Freshly baked too!
So, next time you're in the Coromandel, a trip over to The French Fig Cafe in Whitianga is well worth it!
A few months ago I was lucky enough to takeover our double garage as my studio. Craig and I spent an entire weekend, emptying, cleaning, painting and decorating the space and it was transformed.
Since then, I've been running my paint workshops, and having some wonderful painting sessions myself, from the space. It's definitely a work-in-progress with more decorating to be completed, but it sure is wonderful to have this dedicated area to work in.
Here are a few photographs of the space.
All set up for a workshop.
Paint, paint... and more paint...
Everything is provided at your paint workshop.
If you've got a workshop space or studio, I'd love to see it. Head on over to my Facebook group and show us.
In the meantime, if you're curious, check out Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint.
With newly developed processes, and my paint, your upcycling projects will be QUICK, EASY + AFFORDABLE!
p.s. Until 30th May, 2017 you can enter my Upcycled & Co. Paint giveaway too!
I'm so excited to bring you my brand new workshop, The Stone Effect.
This technique is one I created some months ago and I just LOVE it... and so do my clients. Every time I have a workshop at my home I take my participants on a tour of my home to look at the furniture and home decor items I have created, and this effect is one of the favourites.
So, I have decided to teach it.
The first workshop is set for Saturday 15th July at 1.00pm in Tauranga. This 3-hour workshop takes you through this process step-by-step, and you will have two gorgeous pieces to take home at the end. Of course we will be using Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint, including our new metallics.
I've had loads of interest in this technique so be sure to secure your place so you don't miss out.
I can't wait to teach you this awesome finish!
You're going to LOVE this!
Ooh I'm loving this new angle I'm taking with my blog because I get to visit these inspiring spaces all the time... and I like that!
Last week I visited Ooplah for the second time, and was just as inspired as the first. This cute store is packed with French vintage finds, from outdoor furniture to wine bottles, tins, leather suitcases and more.
After spending four years in the countryside of Poitou-Charentes in France, the owners of Ooplah, Bridget and Shane Laugesen, returned to New Zealand with a large collection of French vintage finds. Before their return, their weekends were spent visiting markets to gather mid-century French fabrics, old cinema seats, beautiful chairs, tables, road signs and more.
Every piece has been hand selected, packaged up and shipped from France to New Zealand to end up at Ooplah.
Take a look at the Ooplah Facebook page for even more inspiration. And, even better, visit Ooplah when you're in the Bay of Plenty.
Old tins and beautiful leather suitcases
Genuine French road signs
Vintage cinema seats
Cream cans and milk crates
Vintage pedal car from the early 1900s
If you're in the Bay of Plenty, Ooplah is definitely a place to call into.
With new vintage finds, and the large amount of items they're rotating all the time, you'll find something new and interesting each time you visit.
This is one inspiring space!
I used to love these brass plaques back in the 80s; in fact I had one just like this displayed on my lounge wall.
For a while now I have been looking at these in charity stores thinking, one of these might look good painted. So, I picked one up last week, and on Saturday morning I gave it a fresh new look in 30 minutes.
Here's what I did:
1. Applied one coat of Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint in Ash.
2. Dried it off with a hairdryer for a few minutes.
3. Painted a second, slightly watered down coat.
4. Used the hairdryer again to dry it off.
5. Applied a wash of Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint in White. You can learn how to create a wash by watching my FREE Furniture Painting Workshop in my Facebook group. Join the group, then search 'free workshop' once you're a member and you can see the video.
What do you have around your home that you could transform in 30 minutes?
If you'd like to learn how to use Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint, then join a Paint Workshop today (online, in Tauranga or another New Zealand town).
An inspiring creative, Fiona attended all three of my workshops, and gave me a lovely Facebook review. She has been going great-guns with her projects ever since.
This piece was one she created for her son as a housewarming gift. Isn't it beautiful?
Using Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint in Ash, Fiona applied two coats to the entire piece, then used a stencil to create a unique piece for her son.
With my paint there is no need for any preparation whatsoever.
NO SANDING. NO PRIMING. NO WAXING. NO VARNISHING.
Remember, Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint is an indoor and outdoor paint too!
From drab to fab using Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint in Ash.
This gorgeous stencil made this piece unique.
I LOVE visiting inspiring spaces!
Whether it's a cafe, garden centre, art gallery or exhibition or some sort, places where I can see the work of other creatives inspires me and lights me up.
Last week, my husband (who also works from home) and I took the day off on Friday to explore some of our local spaces. By far, my favourite was the Flatwhite Cafe in Waihi Beach.
We'd eaten there a few times, but back then it was a much smaller space. But nonetheless, the food and service was outstanding. This time, we again had fantastic food and outstanding service, but also a wonderful surprise seeing their amazing new space. Now, they're right on the waterfront of Waihi Beach with exquisite views of the coast, and the space, OMG the space is AMAZING!
With huge rustic beams (from a demolished North Island dairy factory), gorgeous cane light shades and plenty of painted rustic finishes, this was my dream space. I loved being in the space. As soon as I walked in I got my camera out, and of course I had to speak with the staff to find out about the decor. It's so well done!
Check out the shots I managed to get... And, take a trip there some day, you will not be disappointed.
Flatwhite Cafe, Waihi Beach, thank you for an awesome experience - it sure is one of a kind!
We will be back for sure, again, and again, and again...