Monday, March 23, 2015

Vintage Metal Steamer Trunk Makeover

I've always wanted one of those lovely, old, vintage metal steamer trunks and I had recently decided to try to find one from the local junk shops here in Athens. So, imagine my surprise when taking my dogs for their afternoon walk, I came across a fabulous old trunk dumped next to the rubbish bin near my house.

As you can guess, the dogs were taken back to my garden so that I could run to rescue the trunk before some other like minded person came by and grabbed it before me!!

Despite it being very rusty, it was in surprisingly good condition having all it's hinges intact and not really banged up.

Unfortunately, as usual I was a bit remiss about taking good "before" pictures and I had already painted the lid with the first coat and I had stripped off all the smelly, rotten, paper lining before I grabbed my camera to take a "before" shot, but at least you can see how rusty the case was.....

I decided to use chalk paint to paint the trunk as chalk paint goes on really well over rust. I didn't prepare the case at all, other than sandpapering the rust to make it smoother. I washed the trunk well to remove the dust and any loose rust and then I painted on two coats of a lovely turquoise chalk paint.

Once the second coat was dry I applied some furniture wax to the areas where I wanted to distress the top coat.

I used a vintage green top coat which complimented beautifully the turquoise under coat.

I painted and distressed all the clasps and even the handles

The interior of the trunk is wood and I didn't want to hide the wood by lining the trunk again. Instead I preferred to stain the wood a lovely walnut which really goes well with the distressed vintage green of the exterior.

I'm thrilled with the way the trunk turned out and it now has pride of place in my dining room and it stores all of our photo albums.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Refurbished Dining Room Furniture

I am absolutely thrilled! I have finally completed the refurbishment of my mother-in-law's old, seventies dining room furniture for my dining room.

I had never liked this furniture which my mother-in-law had handed down to us with its heavy, dark wood and old fashioned, velvet upholstered seats, saggy springs etc but I knew that that there was hidden potential and I knew exactly what I wanted to create.

Chair "before"

Table "before"
I painted the furniture in the same lovely egg shell which I had used previously, when I had refurbished two decorative chairs for our entrance. I also used vanilla cream to highlight some of the carvings in the beautiful wooden base of the table and on the chair legs.


Base of the table "after"

To complete the refurbishment I chose a beautiful cream fabric with deep red stripes which gave the chairs a fresh, elegant look.


Front of chair "after" 

Back of chair "after"

Table "after" 
I think that you will agree that it was well worth the time and effort involved - just look at the finished furniture - fresh, elegant and very, very comfortable.....

Friday, April 18, 2014

Look Mum what I made!

Last Sunday afternoon I held a decoupage workshop at my studio for two very special students, Addison and Judas who came to make their very own wooden treasure boxes using decoupage. 

The children started off by painting their wooden boxes their chosen colors.

While the paint was drying they set to and started carefully cutting out the images that they wanted to use on their boxes.

Addison chose images of horses, dogs, kittens and of course cupcakes!

Judas went for Cars!

I think that you will agree the boxes are amazing......needless to say the boxes were filled with treasures as soon as they got them home!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Open Studio Day

After months of preparation my Open Studio day finally dawned. The weather started off bright and sunny but unfortunately it poured buckets after midday. Luckily the weather didn't deter people from coming to visit my studio and view my work. My good friend Caterina brought me a bunch of beautiful flowers to brighten up the hall and greet the visitors to my studio with their gorgeous fragrance.

The flowers smell wonderful...

Posing for a photo in my show room....

Home made white chocolate cupcakes and sweet bread to sweeten up visitors to my studio....


Posing for a photo in my workshop....

A participant at my Easter candle workshop who made a deliciously Shabby Chic Easter candle for her daughter to light at the Resurrection....

Friday, November 29, 2013

2013 London Country Living Christmas Fair

While I was in London last Christmas, I thought that it would be fun and also really interesting to participate at a London Christmas fair and I really liked the idea of taking part in the 2013 London Country Living Christmas Fair which would be taking place from 30th October until 3rd November. So I decided to go for it and I submitted my application form in February and to my great joy I was accepted!  

I knew that I would need to work really hard to prepare enough merchandise to sell at the fair. I had nine months in which to create a diverse and plentiful selection of housewares ranging from tea boxes, serving trays, jewellry boxes, decorative signs, storage boxes and key holders etc.

Apart from creating my merchandise, I also needed to work my way through their huge exhibition manual so that I could comply with the various requirements expected of me as an exhibitor. Plus I needed to make the arrangements for the delivery of what would be a pallet from Greece to the UK and arrange my own flights. I also needed to enlist the help of my very good friend Stella, with whom I would be staying, to turn her house upside down in order to find me props for my stand. Coming from Greece all I would have by way of stand decor were my exhibition panels and shelves. Also in addition to all the paperwork, I had press packs to prepare to promote my business, which would include press releases etc. So I really had my work cut out for me!
Before long, it was time to send my pallet to the UK and I sent it off terrified that it would either get lost or my merchandise would be damaged etc....two weeks later, it was my turn to fly to London.

Now I was getting seriously excited about the fair! Opening day was on the Wednesday and Tuesday was set up day. I was on tenterhooks waiting for my pallet to be delivered. The exhibition center was huge, a really amazing building and it was absolutely chaotic with all the exhibitors unloading their merchandise and setting up their stands. Stella had come up trumps and found me a vintage trunk, a vintage suitcase, several wicker baskets and old wine crates. So armed with these props, plus my panels and shelves (which had arrived safe and intact along with my merchandise) I set about trying to create a warm, attractive and inviting stand. Of course I could not hope to compete with the other exhibitor's stands as they had the luxury of bringing complete showrooms with them and the majority of the stands were absolutely stunning! But as you can see from the pictures I think I managed to do a good job and judging from the comments of the visitors,  they liked my stand too.

 From the minute the fair opened every morning right through until closing time, the exhibition center was packed. I was really lucky to have some lovely neighbors who were more than happy to keep an eye on my stand for me when I needed to grab a coffee or go for a five minute break.

The Gala evening, which was held on the Thursday was nice - there were plenty of customers but the pace was much slower and more relaxed and there was the added bonus of several waitresses wondering around with trays full of complimentary glasses of wine, which needless to say I took advantage of.



All in all I was thrilled that the fair went very well for me. I got terrific feedback about my work which almost sold out (I returned with just two boxes) and I came back home to Greece with clear ideas as to how I want Fiona's Creations to proceed and I'm looking forward to the New Year with lots of new ideas and plans for the future.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Repousse Peacock Jewelry Box

Today, I wanted to share with you my tutorial which was included in a recent issue of the "Dialogue," the periodical magazine sent out by Decoupage Artists Worldwide to their members.

You can see more examples of my repousse decoupage boxes at my Etsy shop HandmadeByFiona

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beautiful floral wreaths for 1st of May

I just wanted to celebrate the 1st of May with you by featuring a selection of beautiful floral wreaths made by fellow Etsy sellers - enjoy......