If you've been following Upcycled & Co. for a while you will know how much I love quick and easy projects.
This urn had been sitting in my studio for quite some time, until I got my hands (and paint brush) onto it recently.
The colour I chose is a custom mix of Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint in Mustard, Jet and Tangerine, and I love it! It's one of the colours in our dining room chair fabric so I've used it as an accent colour in our decor.
Now when I say I like quick and easy projects, this really was quick. I'd finished painting my chair in the same colour and I had enough paint left to do this urn, so I set to work. With no need for preparation, apart from a quick wipe over with a damp cloth, I knew I could get this done in under an hour.
Here's what I did:
1. Applied two coats of Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint.
2. Dried each coat with a hairdryer, making sure they were completely dry before applying the next coat.
It really was that simple!
A real transformation.
I love how this looks in our lounge.
Now... what's my next project...
Question: What have you been painting lately? Head on over to my FREE Facebook group and share your pictures, and get inspiration and ideas from others.
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...
I love getting out and about to look at home decor stores, and quirky little creative cafes and spaces.
This is something I want to do more this year, so I'm about to set myself a mission to scout out as many of these little spaces as I can.
A couple of months ago we had a day out in Waihi Beach, which is just 40 minutes from our home. The Secret Garden is a quaint little cafe with gorgeous gifts that are truly inspiring.
THE SECRET GARDEN CAFE, WAIHI BEACH, NZ
The three things I wanted to achieve with Upcycled & Co. was that any product or service I offer is QUICK, EASY + AFFORDABLE.
A few months ago I had an idea that started with this thought: I wonder if I can create the same waxed (dark, black, white and other colours) look, using only paint?
With that thought in mind, I set to work experimenting and testing my idea. I knew what I was going to try, I tested it... and it worked! Using only paint, I was able to recreate the look of an aged waxed piece. I was over-the-moon. This meant that I would be able to bring my customers processes that were QUICK, EASY + AFFORDABLE as there would be no need for wax.
This table is an example of a waxed look, using only paint. And, Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint takes only 7 days to fully cure, and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Painted with Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint in Vanilla with Chocolate
This was a very quick, easy and satisfying project that only took about an hour all up.
For this particular project I used an old oak headboard, however you could use any type of wood at all for this. You will get a different, but equally beautiful look, depending on the colour and grain of the wood you choose. Take a look around your home for something you could upcycle, or take a trip to your local hardware store for some new or timber off-cuts.
Here's what I did (or should I say we did):
1. Asked my husband to cut an old damaged oak headboard into squares for me (lucky me!).
2. Mixed up my 50/50 Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint and water wash as in my FREE Online Paint Workshop.
3. Applied the paint to one side and the edges of each square.
4. Left them to dry.
5. Painted the other side of each.
6. Left these to dry.
And that... was it!
So quick... so easy!
I'd love to see your table mats. Come on over to my FREE Facebook group and share your photographs.
Something I love to do is gather ideas for future projects.
So, this afternoon was one of those afternoons where I sat down with my pile of magazines, my scissors and my four scrapbooks - Kitchens & Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Lounge & Living Room, and Exterior & Outdoors.
With a cup of tea, a couple of cookies and our cat Cleo beside me for company (totally her choice of course, she is a cat after all) I set about cutting and pasting my favourite images from old house and garden magazines I seem to have always collected. A couple of years ago a friend from the UK gave me an enormous pile of House Beautiful magazines so those came out today too.
GATHERING HOME DECOR PROJECT IDEAS IS BOTH INSPIRATIONAL AND FUN!
This is something I find very relaxing, and inspiring too.
MAKE AN AFTERNOON OF IT
If you like the idea of gathering home decor project ideas, get yourself some scrap books and start your collection.
I absolutely love what I do, and my business is expanding and growing right now, so taking time out is not really something I want to do. It is however, something I need to do. Often I find myself thinking that I just want to get things done, tick more off my list, and keep working, but there is this voice telling me that I need to slow down and get some space between the doing. And, I know this is important.
Being driven is a wonderful thing, and so often I get people commenting on how much I achieve, and how well I've done. But really, what use is all of that if I'm going to end up unwell. It's absolutely no use at all.
FIND THE BALANCE
Lately I seem to be thinking a lot about about getting my life back into balance. With my recent product launch, taking my workshops on the road, and the fact that my business is only a little over 12 months old, there has been a lot to do. And, at times, it feels as though life is a bit out of control.
PUT SPACE BETWEEN DOING
A few years ago I was really good at putting space between activity. Whether it was coming home from an outing to sit with a cup of tea and ponder my thoughts, time to meditate, or time to sit with a book, I really enjoyed the space I created. Over the last couple of years I've not been practising this, and I now realise that I have gotten into the habit of always doing, doing, doing, and I don't like it. Realising this, I'm now on a mission to create space once more.
One thing that has been helpful lately for me is switching off. I find myself constantly looking at my phone or computer, and with social media, there are always new notifications coming through from my Facebook page, Facebook group, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. So, what I have been doing over the last couple of weeks, is having a few hours at a time when I don't look at my devices. Doing just this gives me a feeling of having some time out.
DELEGATE WHERE POSSIBLE
In a start-up business, which mine is, I need to be careful with expenses. Before I can outsource too much I need the income to support that. I'm very fortunate to have an awesome Virtual Assistant who has just this week taken over a number of administrative tasks. It feels wonderful to have her help, that's for sure.
Next on my list is to look at what I can delegate at home. With being so focused on my business, there is little time or energy for housework or gardening. And, of course these things just keep piling up, they don't do themselves do they!
MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS & OUTINGS
I've always been good with keeping in regular contact with friends, and I continue to do this when I can. Catching up with a friend for morning tea or a glass of wine to have a good laugh and share what's been going on is something I really, really enjoy.
Getting out and about to events and community goings on is not something I'm particularly good at, but I'd like to be. Yesterday, Craig and I, took the day off to head into the annual Tauranga Jazz Festival held here each year. It was such a lovely day out, wandering around without rushing, having lunch in the park, and listening to the music.
I guess we are all in 'life school' aren't we? If you're finding it challenging to get balance in your life I hope you've found some of these thoughts helpful. And remember, there are many of us in the same position, so talk to others, and start thinking about how you can ease up on yourself a little.
Have a wonderful Easter.
It's been an incredibly busy, and exciting few months as I've prepared to launch Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint.
Some months ago, I had and idea... If I could create the same waxed, aged, distressed, and rustic looks ONLY using paint, it would be way more affordable for people, way more!
So, I set off on a journey of talking to paint manufacturers, testing ideas (with some failures too!) until I came up with a product, and processes, that achieved the outcome I wanted. I'm absolutely delighted to be able to offer a QUICK, EASY + AFFORDABLE for way people to be able to enjoy the creative process of furniture painting, and to make their homes beautiful.
Both my studio and office have over the last few weeks become a 'factory' and 'warehouse' with boxes of paint cans, and a production line of canning and labelling taking place to bring the brand to the market... It's been challenging, fun and busy!
In the last week since launching the paint I've been overwhelmed with the positive response, support, and sales that have come in.
Right now, I'm in the middle of another small project for myself; a brown wooden bookshelf for my office which I'm painting white. It's nice to have a paintbrush back in my hand. And, I'll be sure to show you the end result when I'm done.
You will find all of the information you need to know about Upcycled & Co. Furniture Paint here, and if you're interested in learning furniture painting techniques, then check out my Furniture Painting Workshops (online, my Tauranga studio or other New Zealand towns and cities).
If inspiration is what you're after, come on over and join my FREE Facebook Group!
Have a great Easter Weekend!
p.s. If you're in New Zealand, stay safe in the wrath of Cyclone Cook that is lashing us right now.
So, why am I writing this blog post?
If you've been thinking about painting your furniture, please do it - It's way easier than you think!
Part of my plan this year is to take my workshops to other New Zealand towns and cities, starting with Pukekohe in April and Hamilton in May.
You can find out more about my face-to-face workshops, my online workshops or those in other centres.
Question: Have you already taken one of my workshops or learnt furniture painting techniques? If so, I'd love to know your thoughts.
Many people who upcycle using paint do large furniture items, however there are a lot of smaller items around your home you can transform too.
Some of my favourite projects are small pieces I've either already had or that I have picked up at a charity store for very little cost.
These two glass candleholders cost me .50 cents each at a secondhand store. With layers of paint, and
texture (created using my brush), and a little gilding wax they came up beautifully.
This large mirror was one we had at home that needed modernising. With one generous coat
of Mocha paint and white wax applied straight over the top, this really looks beautiful in our
A cute little pine table from an opportunity store for just $10, this project was fun. With layers, texture,
and a secret ingredient, this rustic technique is one I teach in my Rustic Paint Workshop(online or
in our studio).
4. Wooden Knife Block
Again a charity store find, this little block was just $2 and took about 10 minutes to transform using the
smooth distressed finish taught in Painting Workshops (online or in our studio).
5. Rustic Tray
A very untidy and very old serving tray could have been given up for the trash, but with the rustic
painting technique applied, it's as good as new, and completely on trend.
I do have to admit that I'm a starter. In my studio there's nothing I LOVE more than starting a new project - the anticipation and initial excitement is what I love the most. Smaller projects are really what I enjoy the most.
So... needless to say, our dining room suite has been a bit of a challenge.
Now for those of you who follow me closely, you will know that this has been dragging on way too long. I think I started it around 4 or 5 months ago (she says with embarrassment), but I am getting there. It's almost done now with just the final chair seats to be covered.
With this project I decided to polyurethane the chairs and the table top, to provide extra protection.
Here's what I did:
1. Painted using a textured painting technique.
2. Finished the chairs with a dry brushing effect using White.
3. Applied white wax to the table legs and base.
4. Polyurethaned the table top and chairs for added protection.
If you'd love to see more projects, head on over and join our Facebook Group, the Upcycled Community. We now have over 800 members who are sharing their projects all the time.
If you're lucky enough to get a break over the Christmas and New Year period like I did, then you too might have had some time for upcycling.
With summer upon us here in New Zealand you'd think there was more time outdoors, but the weather has been kind of unsettled so far this year. But of course this meant that on the rainy days I could upcycle without feeling like I should be spending time outside.
These little glass candleholders I found in a charity shop were one of the small projects I did. A quick and easy transformation, and at a total cost of under $5 when completed (including the candleholders at .50 cent each), I was pleased to say the least.
Layering the paint to create a textured finish, I used two different shades of grey, and a silver gilding wax to highlight areas to finish up. And, this was all done in about 30 minutes.
This technique is one I experimented with many years ago. However, recently I have worked with it more, and I'm in love!
Allowing for the ultimate in creativity, this process is fluid and flexible. What this means is that you can create whatever you want to, and you can make it up as you go.
But what if I make a mistake I hear you say.
To my mind, there are no mistakes when using your own creative licence. Creativity is about having fun, it's about expressing your unique self, and because of these two things, there are no mistakes. You will learn by doing. Yes, you will have some projects that are more successful than others, everyone does. And I mean everyone! The most important thing is that you are doing it. Do and you will learn.
All of the items below have been created using The Rustic Technique.
Keep watching my YouTube Channel and my Facebook page because I will be bringing you more about this technique.
For now, if you're interested in joining a like-minded community, head on over to my Facebook Group, Up-Cycled Community.
Until next time... Happy up-cycling!
So often I hear people saying, I just need to find some time or I can't do it because.... Well, you know what? You can do it. You do have the time. Yes you do. You have to make it happen!
Like anything in life, we have to make it happen.
We are the master of our own destiny. Yes, life deals us things - situations we would probably not choose and experiences we would rather not have, but that is life.
There is however another part to life; the part that we do have control over.
We all have this wonderful ability to shape our life the way we want it. To create a life we love. A life that feeds our unique soul. What have you always wanted to do? What's on your bucket list? Are you going to wait until you're 60, 70, 80 or 90... or even worse, are you going to wait until it's too late, and therefore have regrets?
Do it NOW! Please. Please. Please. Don't wait.
Do you love your home, relationships, job, business, attitude, thoughts, body... your life?
If you don't, change it! Start now. Create your life.
Here's what I want you to do:
1. In the comments below, tell me, what is one thing you'd LOVE to do? Just one thing. One little thing.
2. Go and DO IT!
3. Come back and tell me when you have.
p.s. Don't wait! Please.