Wednesday, 31 December 2014

It was the best of times. It's to be the most wonderful of times!

What a Year it has been!

Awesome. Busy. Challenging. Creative. Delightful. Exciting. Fulfilling. Fun. Glorious. Humbling. Inspiring.  I can easily work my way right through the entire alphabet here!

We have had so many new students join us and it has been a joy getting to know them and helping them with their projects.  In the process we've made fabulous new friends. 

The completed projects that I have seen this year, have been fantastic and the feedback we received has been so overwhelmingly positive. One student sent me this a few days ago: "I absolutely enjoyed this online class.  It's a brilliant and unique concept.   It really made it doable being able to do it on my own time. I learned so much more than I ever imagined I would.  All of the videos were very helpful with clear instructions. I think the cost of the course is a real bargain for all that is learned. I don't know of anything like what you have but there are classes teaching only one class that will charge that. If you get another course together I would like to to take it.  Thank you for this course and your help." E.K.

It is comments like this that have inspired us to add more to the existing course and develop new course material, which we plan to launch in 2015.

It truly has been the best of times and it is with a bittersweetness that I wave 2014 adieu ...

... but happily welcome 2015. May it be the most wonderful of times for us all.

Happy New Year to you!


#mirror #paintfinish #onlinecourse #gilded #frame #patina #distressedpaint

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Merry Christmas from FARRAGOZ!

We are enjoying the Christmas cheer in the FARRAGOZ studio!

Santas and Christmas trees seem to magically appear all around us.

We would like to wish each and every one of our students, followers and friends around the globe a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year. 

See you in 2015!


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Trumeau Mirrors

The French word trumeau originally referred to the space between windows. In the 18th century, the French started manufacturing trumeau mirrors to hang in these spaces, providing a decorative element and bringing more light into the room.

 Antique trumeau mirrors range from carved, unpainted wood to painted and partially gilded, all the way to highly ornate and entirely gilded.

The mirror is almost always rectangular and if old, most often the glass is tarnished with grey and black spots. The decorative portion above the mirror glass may even include a painting.

 Those designed to be placed above a mantelpiece, rather than between windows, would have had candles placed in front of the mirror to increase ambient light.

Reproductions of 18th-century trumeau mirrors became popular in the Regency period and in the 1950's when French furniture was popular. Today, with the increasing interest in French style interiors, trumeau mirrors are highly sought after. A genuine antique trumeau can cost between US$2000 and US$20,000.

Making your own trumeau mirror and finishing it to look like a real antique trumeau, is not an impossible task.  It could be a large floor standing piece or a smaller overmantle trumeau. The colours and finishes can vary, but the process remains the same.

In Module - Trumeau Mirror of the FARRAGOZ Patina PROJECTS Online Course, students are given the opportunity to learn the basic process of how to make a small trumeau mirror and the decorative ornaments to apply to it, from scratch. Alternatively, they can start with an existing mirror and build on that. Finally, they will learn how to paint and distress it to look authentically old, using original homemade paint recipes.

With the skills and knowledge acquired in completing this project, students can move on to designing and producing their own trumeau mirrors in whatever size and finish they desire.

In my next post, I hope to share my recently completed shell trumeau.

Happy Painting!


#mirror #paintfinish #onlinecourse #gilded #frame #trumeau #homemade #milkpaint #overmantle #antique #patina #distressedpaint #french

Friday, 28 November 2014

Mood boards for paint inspiration #3

If you love painted furniture with rich patina, then this is for you.  

Join me for some end of the week painting inspiration!

I would love to hear which is your favourite finish.

Happy Painting!


#mirror #paintfinish #onlinecourse #frame #french #furniture #homemade #milkpaint #antique #patina #daybed #distressedpaint

Friday, 21 November 2014

Mood boards for paint inspiration #2

How about some end of week inspiration for lovers of patina on painted furniture?

Happy Painting!


#mirror #paintfinish #onlinecourse #frame #french #furniture #homemade #milkpaint #antique #patina #daybed #trumeau #distressedpaint #wornpaint #oldpaint #howtopaint #chippedpaint #LooksOld #howtopaint #paintlikeapro #furniturefinish #wornlook #scuffedpaint #farragoz #howto #paintlessons #bluebaint #greypaint

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Mood boards for paint inspiration

How about some midweek inspiration?

Happy Painting!


#mirror #paintfinish #onlinecourse #frame #french #furniture #homemade #milkpaint #antique #patina #distressedpaint #wornpaint #chippedpaint #farragoz #howtopaint

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Can you make a new table look like a painted antique?

Yes and it's not nearly as difficult as it looks. 

Here is a good example. This table belonged to Danish sculptor and folk artifact collector, Gunnar Hammerich (1893-1977).  Whether he painted this table, is not clear, but it is the focal point of this living area where he entertained many friends in his time. The ceramic mugs above the table are part of a large collection. Every time a visitor came to stay, he would make a mug with the visitors name and the date on it, to commemorate the occasion.

In 1967 he presented his house, Hammerichs Hus, and it's contents to the town of Ærøskøbing, Denmark and it is now a museum. 

To recreate the finish of an old piece like this table, is a journey of discovery. Studying the surface would be the first step in your journey. You need to look very closely at the piece to "see" it's history.

In this case it is a kitchen table that was used regularly.  It took a lot of  wear. What do the marks look like? Where are they the most prominent? Note that the paint is almost entirely worn off on the top.

Then analyse the colours. How many different colours were used through the years?  How did the colours fade? Mix the paint and make up a sample. Once you are satisfied with your finish, you are ready to tackle your piece of furniture.

This is the fun bit. Take your time and let the surface come to life right before your eyes. It is an extremely satisfying process and quite addictive.

So even if your table is newly made from a different wood, your marks and paint will be as authentic as the original.

Happy Painting!


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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Thank you for sharing your passion for patina with me!

Today we're getting up close and personal. I woke up this morning, thinking how blessed I am to be able to help others create beauty. How wonderful it is to share my passion with my students and how fulfilling it is to see them achieve their goals.

Meeting our new students online is always very exciting. Each one has her or his own story and reason for enrolling in the FARRAGOZ Online Course, but the bottom line is always that they have an urge to enrich their lives by doing something creative and different and they want the end product to look like a real antique.

We firmly believe that the only way to get results that will look truly old and not fake, is to use original old recipes and just speed up the ageing process. 

What would artisans have done 200 years ago? Certainly not walk into a store and start loading a trolley with ready made stuff, costing them a few limbs and then go home and slap on a layer or 2 of factory produced chemicals on a piece of furniture. Those modern products are made to last and withstand the elements and won't age naturally. The artisan, or his apprentice, would have mixed the paint, using basic materials and pigments at hand.  There simply were no products in tubes, available in all colours of the rainbow. Colours would be mixed using anything like ground rock, soot, charred wood and even blood.  

This is what people painted with for hundreds of years. A great many of those painted pieces have survived and after all this time, we still stand in awe of those incredible works of art - the objects we "Ooh" and "Ahh" about and all strive to imitate - those exquisitely painted, crusty, flaking antiques.

We are so passionate about this stuff. When we put together this course, we just wanted to share our knowledge with other like-minded people and give them a shortcut to the perfect solution for creating patina on furniture through paint - the original and authentic way.  Little did I realise how life changing it would be for our students, as well as for  me.

I have made so many wonderful friends while guiding them through their projects. A great many of them going through an extremely rough patch in their lives, be it illness, divorce, taking care of their elderly relatives or dealing with the loss of a dear one. What is so very heartwarming to me, is hearing how this course is their escape from reality and helps carry them through their turmoil.

We have received numerous awesome comments about the FARRAGOZ course from students and I would like to share a few with you. Some of them are very personal and touching, and out of respect for those students, I decided to exclude those comments.


"I am having so much fun with this course and especially learning how to layer paint to get an aged look. The DIY paints and stains are easy to make and cost less than the commercial ones."

"... the customer service is one of the best I have seen."

"Many thanks to you and your wonderful, thorough and well thought out course."

"This course has unleashed my creative juices and now I am hungry for more."

"I just loved the WHOLE process! It is definitely addicting. Your instructions are very complete and extremely easy to follow."

"... taking the course and loving every minute I spend working on improving painting skills. The patinas you can achieve are out of this world - or maybe old world!"

"I loved making each and everyone of the modules. Thank you so much for compiling such wonderful projects."

"This is awesome Tania.  You just keep giving and there is so much precious information.  I loved doing my first project and am so pleased with how my icon turned out.  My friends all say "You DID that??" and are very impressed.  Thank you for an excellent course and truly an amazing value."

"It has been fun learning to make my own gesso, paints and stains and it is amazing how simple and inexpensive they are."

"Wonderful tutorial, you explain everything so well, and the music is very soothing. I feel like I'm right in the studio taking a class. Thanks so much."

"I will always have deep respect for you for all that you have given me in this class! You have already changed my life and I am only on module 2."

"Thanks so much! I thought the instructions were very easy to follow and I love working with the milk paint."

"I am so happy with the results."

"... attending art school was something I had always wanted to do way back, when I was much younger.  This online course is truly fulfilling my dream of what it would have been like."

"... the process was so much easier than I expected and the results were better than I expected. I want to do another one (Icon) soon!"

"I am already coming up with Ideas to put some of these paint mixes in other projects thank you"

"Thanks so much, you're a great teacher!"

"The techniques you learn along the way are like an arsenal. Every phase I finish sends the wheels spinning.  I have about a dozen ideas percolating."

"Thank you so much for your guidance on this Tania. It was such an awesome learning experience and I am looking forward to my next project."

"... my instructor provided such valuable guidance and support all along each phase of my project."

"... your course has been such fun and a much needed distraction for me"


It's wonderful to find so many people who share our passion for creating "old paint" and so enthusiastic to participate and learn. I'm not sure who enjoys this course most - the students or the instructor!


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Although I may not always be able to respond to all the lovely comments here, I appreciate and love reading each and every one of them tremendously. 
Please keep them coming!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Finding Patina in Paris Museums ~ Carnavalet

Now, here's something that is long overdue. A few months ago I did a post on Where to Find Patina in Paris - No Entry Fees!  Since then I've been dying to share more with you.

So, here it is! This time we'll be looking at beautiful patinas I found in a Paris museum. Entry Fees were required to view them, but here you can enjoy them for free. My treat!

Musée Carnavalet

This museum is dedicated to the history of the city. It occupies two neighbouring mansions ~ the Hôtel Carnavalet and the former Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau.

Even before entering the museum, you are greeted by nature's beautiful patina in the courtyard.

Once inside the museum, more splendid patina awaits you, as some of the pieces here date back as far as the Middle Ages.

One of the first things that caught my eye, was this angel plaque. Students of the FARRAGOZ Online Course will recognise it as the inspiration for Module 3.

A great many of the rooms are completely covered in boiserie -  paneling with trumeau mirrors worked into the designs and embellished with decorative ornaments and mouldings.

There are also wall panels of which the details were painted on, instead of ornaments having been applied.

I was rather fascinated by this fire surround and mantelpiece. Note how most of the detail on it is applied ornamentation, but along the side, some of the ornamentation was actually painted on.

As you wander along through the domestic history of Paris, admiring the beautiful decorative pieces that people surrounded themselves with through the ages, you find yourself grateful that these treasures, like this miniature model of a coach in a glass case, were preserved.

And this architectural model mounted on an exquisite base. It is one of the two copies ordered by the Comte d' Artois, to be given as gifts to his wife and the Dauphine Marie Antoinette. All the elements, clock, barometer and furniture are removable. The base is probably nineteenth century.

This museum houses a wonderful collection of antiques, paintings and objet d'art. There is so much beauty to absorb.

Make sure you add this to your To-Do list if you're visiting Paris!

The Musée Carnavalet is situated at 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois in the Marais district and is very close to the imposing Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Who's up for another one soon?


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#paintfinish #onlinecourse #museecarnavalet #marieantoinette #furniture #milkpaint #antique #patina #distressedpaint #boiserie #paris #french #parismuseum #placedesvosges #maraisparis #paintings

Although I may not always be able to respond to all the lovely comments here, I appreciate and love reading each and every one of them tremendously. 
Please keep them coming!