Sunday, 8 January 2012

decorated alcoves

So while I am waiting for the dear old geezer to find a smaller radiator for the hall, I have been playing in the lounge. I wanted to do something in the two alcoves beside the fireplace and also to look at my home the way I would look at a client's house, and see if I could do some sort of paint effect.
Also - me dear old geezer has been asking me, to bring a little of what I do professionally, into our home. And he has been asking me for years (literally years).

This is the before, with my 'fish' photocopies, stuck on the old canvases, to see how they would look.
As you can see, there needs to be a bit of decorating here, even if it is just white. And sorry about the picture quality.

The first two stages are now finished, and I am super pleased !!!

I did a colourwashed background and stencilled a repeat pattern, then got some frames for the fish and extra mounts and put a little colour on them as well.

While I was doing this, I also painted 'the beast' - the big lack spidery wonky chandelier that I didn't used to like, looks alot better now (although I'm still going to give it more of a funky finish, like I posted here).
So, this is what I did. First, the colourwash - scumble glaze mixed with universal stainers to give a warm background to my stencilling.

The uneveness is due to the walls, that have had years of different wallpapers, patching up, re-painted, filled etc. It is all due to how porous the walls are. But this is exactly what I needed to create the effect I was after. I just dragged the glaze vertically, and didn't brush in any other direction. Normally I would work in all directions - see the pictures on the left side bar.

The next step was to draw up a stencil. I was inspired by all the coral I see everywhere in blogland, and thought it would go with the fish. I needed it to repeat easily, so I drew it in a diamond. Then spent an hour cutting it out from a sheet of acetate.

Then I mixed up a darker glaze and marked a central line with a level, under the light, and
started with the first 'piece of coral'.

 I used torn up pieces of a very cheap sponge to do the stencilling - so that I got a mottled effect, and used different pressure, to get a variety of tones.

I then used matt white emulsion and went over each 'piece of coral' again, leaving some of the darker areas to come through, especially around the edges. 

On each 'piece of coral' I added more white, (after I had removed the acetate stencil), to give more body and because the nature of stencilling is to have 'joints' which I wanted to hide.

I'm loving how the background comes through the pattern and sort of gives it a faded silk feel.

I got large cheap frames with a white mount and found another double mount, to crop the pictures neatly.

I painted the middle mount ( between the black inner mount and large white outer mount)
in the same colour as the first layer of the walls, and used a little technique I know.

I think I will do a post on this one day, as it's quite fun.
Just so you know - the walls cost me next to nothing. I had all the paint etc. I just needed a sheet of acetate, about 40p. The fish prints were 75p each. The biggest cost were the frames and mounts, which were £13.00 each, but I would have had a hard job finding a pair of matching frames at a charity shop.
Plus, I'm going for the eclectic look, and wanted some clean lines against the stencilling.

So, there it is for now - my ugly fish ain't so ugly any more, and I've named them (just between you and me folks ok). You need to read their names whilst chanelling Cap'n Jack Sparrow from The Pirates of the Carribean or Miss Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady !!!

We 'ave - Jim, 'Enry, Jack and Fred,
then - George, 'Arry and Geoff.
'N now you know their names, ya shouldn't be so scared of 'em.

Tomorrow the shelves, and later the radiator covers.
I know - you're thinking, TOO MUCH, but there definately ain't no minimalist here, and you know the saying 'less is more', well in my book, 'more is more' lol.

Bye for now xxx

 linking up with
Debbiedoos Newbie Party @ Debbiedoos
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Tuesdays Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Show me what ya got @ Not Just a Housewife
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff and Nonsense


  1. Hey, you're pretty good at that~wink~ WOW!! it looks amazing and you are insane! hehe! I'm not quite sure i have that much patients you must really love what you do and it shows!!

  2. Holy, moley, I'm pinning this! Beautiful! ~ Maureen

  3. Fiona not only the wall is great and you gave life to it, but I'm also amazed with your skills! You drew the stencil all by yourself? And you did all that work after that? How much time did the whole process took you? Wow... really great job!

  4. WOW!!! You did an awesome job. I probably would have stopped at the first glazing because that looks great- but with the coral stenciling its just lovely. You've got some mad skills!

  5. I MUST have your walls! ('Tho I need them without the stenciling for my attic.) Thanks much for stopping by my blog and commenting--I am going to subscribe to you so I can keep up with your walls. (The new "Sherlock Holmes" movie has some incredible walls, as well.) I guess I need to import Scumble?

  6. Wow that stencil is AMAZING!!! Thanks for stopping by Harrison Home, I am glad you did so I can now follow your blog too, love it!

  7. Your walls look seriously incredible and I'm so impressed! Thanks so much for sharing this at Inspiration Friday this week and I can't wait to look around your blog some more! :-)

  8. Very well done! The walls are fabulous! Have a wonderful day, Kellie xx

  9. Gorgeous wall redo--your picture looks perfect with the background colors.

  10. Going to try to leave a comment again; hope this goes through! Love that wall--amazing job and your artwork looks gorgeous against the colors you chose. Beautiful!

  11. Oh man. This is just too gorgeous!! That had to be a lot of work but let me tell you, it was worth it because I'm totally envious now. That wall is so much warmer and just so beautiful. The color was perfect and the fish look great against it. The whole thing looks like very expensive silk wallpaper. I'm going to have to try this when I get a house of my own. You make me want to run out now and start looking!!

  12. Holy cow! That was some crazy involved project. Looks fabulous ...

    And now I'm going to put out some shameful self-promotion here -- so sorry I really do hate it when it happens to me -- but I've joined up with a few new bloggers on an "Imagine the Impossibilities" Challenge that culminates in a multi-blog link party on Jan. 31.

    Though, looking at the wall I can't imagine you have an impossibility ... or maybe its fulfilling the geezers wishes and decorate your own home!

    I hope you can join us!


  13. iv been thinking about using a stencil on my wall but im not sure i have the patience lol it looks great xxx

  14. It looks wonderful.My first visit to you special space here and its amazing. I know I am going to enjoy many visits. Thanks for sharing. I will follow on my way out and hope you can find the time to come visit me and do the same. I look forward to engaging throughout twenty twelve with you. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  15. That looks great! I have a stencil that I bought to do on at least one wall in our new place. I just need to get up the courage to actually do it.

  16. wow. I am loving this. What a chic and different idea! xo

  17. I love coral and your stencil is fab!!

    I hope you will link up to our Imagine the Impossibilities multi blog party on Jan 31 where we will share our "impossibles". Mine is purging and organizing 16 years of "stuff" buried in my basement!

    Here's the link

    Following along!


  18. It looks fabulous. The details you achieved with paint are so great looking. I am impressed!

  19. Come and do my Foyer! You did a wonderful job! Pat

  20. Fiona I-AM-IM-PRESSED!
    The wall looks amazing!!! Oh my God, you have a hidden talent!!
    What are a few shelves to hang after all this work!!
    Not only am I impressed by the fact that you did the wall on you own but also by the details, the fading of the wall, mixing the glazers, going over each coral with white, and drawing and cutting the coral!!
    It looks like such a tiring a tedious job and you sound so easy going!
    Please DO show us more of your work!

  21. The stencil turned out wonderful!! I Love the fish prints too. Thank you for linking to the Open House Party. xo, Sherry

  22. Found it lol..... I love this sooooooooooooo much. X


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