I am moving! Not from my house but my blog is going to have a new home! My new website is almost finished and should be up and running in the next few days. So my blog will be moving to the new site. The last two weeks in particular have been very busy trying to get photos up and check details etc. Charlotte my website designer has been doing a fantastic job with the site and blog, (thank you Charlotte!!!) you can visit Charlotte's own webite here. So now moving day is nearly here, I think the site will be 'live' and moved to it's new home in the next few days!!!!!
It's SO exciting! It's going to be great to be able to showcase all the furniture that is available to order through the shop (I don't have enough shop space to show it all!)! My current blog is a Blogger blog. The new blog will be Wordpress. I'm hoping that I'll be able to move smoothly from one format to the other but there are differences so fingers crossed! Wish me luck!
Look forward to welcoming you all over at my new address!
For years I've been admiring Kate Forman Fabrics in magazines. So when it came to deciding which fabrics to stock in my new shop I knew Kate Foman would be one of them. I adore these fabrics! Muted colours, subtle florals, faded with a French shabby feel - they fit perfectly with the vision I had for the shop. I could hardly wait til the fabric books arrived and I could start ordering.
The collection has florals, stripes, ticking and velvets . . .
Isn't this such a pretty dressing area?
I love the relaxed feel of this entry . . .
The velvets are luxurious and in the most perfect colours, the chair below is in a heavenly shade of duck egg blue . . .
Kate also has wallpaper and has recently added a furniture collection to her range. This bedroom is just SO romantic . . . sigh . . .
And I can imagine myself hiding away in here with a good book . . .
The wallpaper is beautiful, it would give a room an antique-ey feel instantly. Pretty yet elegant . . .
This is such an elegant space . . .
Romantic . . .
Heavenly . . .
All photographs from Kate Forman's site - you can visit here. Practically the minute I received the Fabric books I had chosen some fabrics for some upholstered chairs I was buying for the shop. They just came arrived today!!! They are GORGEOUS! I'll be taking some photos and I'll post them to show you! Night night!
The Finalist list for the 2012 Irish Blog Awards is out! Unfortunately, La Vie en Rose (I was shortlisted in the Lifestyle category) didn't make it through :( Yes, I am disappointed but living 'La Vie en Rose' means finding the positive in every situation. The silver lining in this little cloud? I am SO happy that I was nominated in the first place! Some lovely person took the time to nominate my blog in 3 categories (no mean achievement). Then I was shortlisted - I was sooooo excited when I heard the news. Now that my blog hasn't got through at this stage it just makes me want to try harder so maybe I'll make it through next year!! So, upwards and onwards!
So congratulations to all the finalists in the Lifestyle category:
A special BIG congratulations to Dee (a good blog friend of mine) of the Greenside Up blog. I am THRILLED that Dee's blog made it through (in 2 categories!). Dee works SO hard at her blog that this recognition is just so well deserved. It's almost as good as getting through myself - (almost!!) :) I don't know any of the other blogs but I am going to visit them all! There are lots of other categories and lots of other blogs I want to check out - I never realised how many other bloggers there were in Ireland! So hopefully lots of new friends to make aswell.
So now how do I make my blog better? There is always room for improvement and I have some ideas but I thought I would ask the people who know my blog best - my lovely readers!! Thank you, thank you , thank you! Without you, there would be no blog, no comments and no nominations!!! So would you please give me your ideas and suggestions. eg What type of posts do you like?? About what subjects?? I really would appreciate your feedback and constructive criticism on this. And this will just make La Vie en Rose a better blog all round. See - it's ALL GOOD!!!! :)
No, I'm not talking about the sexy book that everyone I meet is talking about, I'm talking about the vast array of different paint colours I have tried in my quest for the perfect shade of grey! I have been on the hunt for this perfect shade of grey for years! I think I've tried them all. French grey, blue grey, shale grey, pale grey, silver grey etc, etc, etc. I have finally found it!!!!! At last. It's an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint mix of Paris Grey with Louis Blue. It is THE ONE!!!!
So now that I've found it I've been itching to paint something in my home in this colour (I've already painted half of the furniture in my shop in this mix!). One piece in my dining room which is open to my kitchen was crying out for a make over. I've had this lovely French style Armoire for years, lovely but bland and in serious need of a spicy transformation! Up to recently it had a pink toile hanging behind the chicken wire but I have built up a small collection of various white pieces and I wanted to display them so thought this was an ideal piece to paint in my new favourite colour. Here she is - a little drab and decidedly unsexy!
The problem with displaying white on white is that everything kind of blurs together so that nothing stands out. Bland! Then I saw this beautiful dresser (below) on my good friend Loi's blog Tone on Tone. Not only is Loi's cabinet divine but the dark background inside the cabinet makes the white pieces stand out so well which got me thinking about my own piece. Loi is the master of display (well actually Loi is the master of many things, interior design, gardening, photography . . . but it was his mastery of display that inspired me here!) for more inspiring display ideas and general all round inspiration you can check out his blog here.
You can see here my white cake stand is lost against the white background - time for some paint!
I opened a large can of Paris Grey (1litre) and mixed in a Sample pot of Louis Blue (100mls) and gave it a good mix.
I then gave the Armoire two coats of my perfect grey . . . (sorry for bad photo - took on iphone in dark - left camera in shop!)
When the grey paint was dry I then got a small brush and applied some Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint on the raised carving on the Armoire to make the detail stand out. The minute I started painting the raised moulding the details just came alive, I hadn't realised how pretty it was! I just dabbed a small paintbrush in a tray of paint and wiped most of it off the brush and then wiped the brush along the carved areas as I wanted the beautiful grey to show through.
When the Armoire was dry I then started waxing. I wanted an antiqued finish so I used Annie Sloan clear and dark wax. I first applied clear was all over the front of the piece. I used a large Annie Sloan waxing brush, brushing on the clear wax on the flat bits and using a 'stabbing' action on the mouldings to get the wax in to the nooks and crannies. Then I got some old lint free cloths, in this case old muslin squares (from baby!!) and I wiped the clear wax in to the paint taking the excess off as I wiped. Now I getting somewhere . . .
When I had finished applying clear wax to the front section of the
armoire I started applying the dark wax. I used a mixture of 1 part
Annie Sloan Dark Wax and 1 part White Spirit. Mix these together well,
mashing the wax in to the white spirit with an old fork.
Then barely dipping the brush in the mixture I applied in small sections wiping away the excess immediately. You need to work quickly with the dark wax wiping as you go.
Again, I used a "stabbing" action to apply the dark wax to get in to all the nooks and crannies. Then when you wipe the wax off you leave the dark wax in the crevices which give a lovely patina to the piece.
I applied the wax in small sections working my way around the piece.
Here you can see a close up of the moulding, isn't it pretty?? completely lost when the whole piece was white.
Work in progress . . .
Rose detail . . .
Close up of the difference between a piece finished in dark wax (on left) and clear wax (on right)
the full piece antiqued on the left . . . so you can see the difference . . . In some areas I put a little too much dark wax on so just got a cloth put a little clear wax on it and wiped off some of the dark wax until I got the right colour. When finished I then applied a final coat of clear wax all over the whole piece and wiped off the excess with a lint free cloth.
AFTER . . .
The finished Armoire . . . from drab to . . . something with a little more va va voom!
As you can see my white pieces look SO much better against the grey background.
I love that I can also now see the pretty details on the carved mouldings. . .
I had great fun arranging my French white dinnerware! I cut a few hydrangeas from the garden (Hydrangea Limelight), I love hydrangeas - do you??
I've also painted a few other pieces lately but haven't finished waxing them yet?? Yes, a few of them are in various shades of grey! And no, I haven't read the book - . . . yet . . . have you?? what did you think??
I am very, very happy to announce that La Vie en Rose has been shortlisted for the Blog Awards Ireland 2012 competition for the Best Lifestyle Blog!!!!!!
The finalist list will be out September 29th with the awards being held in October. I can't quite believe we were shortlisted! I am THRILLED! I've been thinking a lot lately about how far I've come in such a short space of time. I started this blog on January 1st 2012 in my pj's as it was on my New Year resolution list to start a blog. I was SO nervous writing my first post. I remember going over every word to make sure it sounded ok! When I got my first comment I thought I would pass out with excitement!!! And I almost wore out the refresh button checking to see if anyone new had 'visited'!!! Since then, I've met some of the nicest people ever who have become dear friends and who brighten my day with their blog adventures and are always there with words of support and encouragement. One dear friend, Paula from The Hill House Diaries commented on one of my posts that I should "open a shop - NOW" - which was the spark I needed to open my own shop. I did! I still can't believe that I actually opened it. Sometimes I look around and pinch myself as it's hard to believe I've come so far so quickly - all thanks to my blog!! We've been open 7-8 weeks now and it's flying! and now my blog has been shortlisted!!! I am SO happy. So thank you to all my blog readers, those who comment and Paula!! Without all of you there wouldn't be a blog! Thank you!!! So thought you might like to see some before and afters . . .
La Vie en Rose . . .
The minute I set foot in the unit I knew I was going to take it! Sometimes, you just know!!!
Even though it needed a LOT of cosmetic work, I knew with some paint and some love it would look cute.
Work begins . . .
The new floor made a HUGE difference - as did a lick of paint!
My husband made the shop counter for me as I wanted something rustic/reclaimed and then we finished it Annie Sloan Paint and Wax!
The shop to the left - Before . . .
Aran framed in around the window as I needed a deeper ledge for display . . .
much better . . .
This corner is now home to our display of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint . . .
I really love my counter. Knowing that Niall made it for me makes it even more special . . .
After - Shop to left . . .
The floor was made of three different materials!! Three!!! Lino, tile and a small section of wooden floor. This was a pub for years the little cupboard on the wall used to house the dart board!!!!
To add a little more character and cover the uneven old walls without using wet trades, we used tongue and groove panelling.
Before - the shop to the right . . . the white shelving unit that goes to the ceiling on the left used to house optics for spirits and glasses for the pub!
Instead of dumping it I painted it with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and
moved to the other side of the shop beside the counter and it now
displays scented candles and soaps!
Before . . .
During . . .
After . . .
This vintage wardrobe displays some Cabbages & Roses fabrics . . .
After . . .
I really like the stable door, very cute . . . Before . . .
After . . .
The building itself is an old village house on the main street in Ballinspittle . . . The main jobs on the outside was to paint and to elongate the sign to cover the length of shopfront as the sign makes it look like the shop only comes to the door when in reality it covers the whole bottom floor . . .
After . . .
Still to do - build flower boxes under windows and get topiaries for either side of the door . . .
The hardest part of the whole job was picking the front paint colour! But my blog friends came to the rescue and helped me by picking a beautiful blue grey colour! I'd like you all to know that people who were just passing through the village have stopped and come in to the shop and complimented me on the shop's lovely colours!!! saying that the shop looked so nice they made their husband, partner, friend stop so they could come in and have a look!!!
Hi! My name is Sharon and I'm living La Vie en Rose with my husband and two sons in the countryside here in County Cork, Ireland. We bought our new house two years ago and now we're turning it into a cosy home with French, Country and New England influences and trying to turn the field around the house into a country cottage garden complete with white picket fence and roses around the door!