Joanne

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Frenchic furniture paint and why I love it so much

Frenchic Logo

I rave about Frenchic every single day. In fact, I don’t think there’s a single day that goes by where I haven’t mentioned it. It’s the creme de la creme of furniture paint.

First of all, let me tell you a little bit of background information about the lady who founded and started Frenchic.

Frenchic’s founder

Pam has always enjoyed painting furniture with chalk paint but she wanted paint that would tick all the boxes, she wanted paint that was safe to paint children’s toys, with no odour and that didn’t have to be stirred, shaken or that needed water adding to it.

In 2014 Pam gambled her £15,000 life savings to set up Frenchic. She did everything herself in the first year, She packed the orders, sent them, ordered new stock and brought in new stockists. Her kitchen was covered inboxes. After her first year, she turned her husband’s chiropractors clinic into Frenchic HQ and they’ve even had to move warehouse FOUR times to keep up with demand.

Her chalk paint business now is worth £16m and I am not surprised. Go, Pam!

Frenchic - Pam Gruhn

Frenchic – Why I love it and what I have used it on so far.

I have also always enjoyed painting furniture throughout the years, I had previously used a different brand of chalk paint which I wasn’t completely satisfied with. I didn’t like the odour or the finish and was limited with colours. I remember seeing my friends pictures on Facebook of her painting her tv unit in this amazing blue colour and asked her what she used, Frenchic, of course!

I did a search on Facebook and joined their fan forum and that was it, I was blown away by it all and the finish on the furniture looked incredible, I had to try it. You can buy it directly from their website or from your local stockist. Just go on Frenchic’s website, type in your postcode it will tell you who your closest stockist is.

I remember the first time I opened the tin and I could already see by the consistency that this was going to be amazing and I wasn’t wrong. The coverage is second to none and it goes on like a dream with barely any prep work needed. ( I say barely because I do like to do a little even though you don’t need to with this)

At first, I thought the paint was expensive but that was before I started to use it.

Since discovering Frenchic I have painted all sorts and I can tell you that it does go a long way and I can also tell you how much I have used and what I have done.

Dusky Blush 750ml and 150ml

  • x2 coats on my front door
  • x2 coats on my outside light lantern
  • x2 coats on my grandfather clock
  • x2 coats on my bike
  • x2 coats on my rattan planter

Dazzle me 750ml ( Whitest white)

  • X2 coats on my dressing table
  • Garden signs
  • x 2 coats on all of my downstairs skirting board and has really brightened them up

I still have most of the tin left.

Dazzle me 750ml

x2 coats on another grandfather clock project

x2 coats on a corner unit which I then sold on.

I still have most of the tin left.

Wise old sage 150ml

I used this one on little details in my garden like signs and little ornaments.

I have also used the copper frensheen which is a powder that you mix with a finishing coat to create a metallic look. Although I have not used this on furniture yet, I have used it on my daughter’s school projects and I will be using it on my bike to add some detail. It mixes beautifully and goes on an absolute dream.

There are so many different ranges to try which offer different shades of colour but I have only ever used the Alfresco and Frensheen.

  • Original Artisan range
  • The Lazy Range
  • Alfresco inside/outside range
  • Chalk wall paint
  • Trim Paint
  • Easy Crackle
  • Waxes

Then you can buy brushes stencils Frenhsheen, finishing coat, sugar soap etc

There are endless projects you can do with this paint. I have seen people paint their window fascias, fireplaces, garage doors, kitchen cupboards, floors, garden slabs, rattan furniture, light shades, sofas, chimineas, sofas, blinds, radiators and so much more.

I have seen people transform rooms from boring, dated and dull to exciting, clean, fresh and vibrant with just a tin of this stuff, it’s actually insane and deserves to be shouted about.

Why not read my post on how to make soft chewy cookies.

Wax melts – How to make beautifully scented melts

Why I started making wax melts

During the first lockdown, people spent their time either redecorating their homes, painting their fences or doing their gardens up. I was going to repaint my fence but could I for the life of me find blooming fence paint? nope! I was bored and wanted to learn something new but nothing was jumping out at me until I put a new wax melt in my burner. I had always wanted to make candles before but never knew where to start.

My friend even bought me a candle making kit for Christmas and when I had researched into it, it wasn’t as straightforward as I thought it would be. I thought all you would need to do is melt the wax, add the scent, pour it into a mould and leave it to set and voila! Nope!

There are many different waxes you can buy and they all meltdown at different temperatures and they need to be at a certain temperature when adding things like your colour and your fragrance oil and don’t get me started on CLP labels if you are wanting to go on to sell your creations.

After a short, while I got the hang of making them, so I thought I would create this “how-to” to help others who have a love for wax melts and want to give it a go themselves.

This is just how I make them but there are many different methods you can use.

Things you will need to get started:

  • A metal jug -I got mine for a quid in Asda
  • Scales
  • lollypop sticks – These make great stirrers.
  • A digital thermometer – I brought mine from Amazon
  • Wax – For wax melts you will need a type of wax specifically for melts and if you want to make candles you will need to buy container wax.
  • Fragrance oil – There are so many different scents out there.
  • Moulds – I use silicone as they are easier to remove the wax once its set.
  • Mica powder, liquid, chips – This is what you use to change the colour of the wax, I use powder and chips.
  • Cello bags – to package your melts in afterwards

When making wax melts you should use the ratio of 100g of wax to10ml of fragrance oil and you should always weigh your fragrance oil because some are heavier than others. For example, if you are making a bigger batch and are melting 500g of wax then you can add 50ml of fragrance oil.

I use the double boil method which means I add the measured wax to the metal jug and sit it inside a pan of boiling water and melt it down this way. Some people use slow cookers and soup makers but I have no idea how to do it that way.

Wax melts made by me

Step by step:

  1. Measure your wax – I use golden wax 494.
  2. Measure out your fragrance oil. I use an egg cup.
  3. Fill your kettle up, boil it and add it to a saucepan. Place your metal jug with the wax in inside it.
  4. Use your lollypop stick to stir the wax as it’s melting down/
  5. I remove the wax jug from the heat when the temperature hits around 80
  6. Add a little bit of the colouring. Dont add to much or your finish piece will have little holes in where the colour has sat and set.
  7. When the temperature gets down to around 70 I pour in my 10ml of fragrance oil and stir for two minutes.
  8. Pour the wax into the moulds when the temperature is around 65-60 and leave it to set. – I leave it over night to make sure its set properly.

With the type of wax I use, it’s prone to frosting which happens when hot wax is poured into a mould that isn’t quite at room temperature. It looks like little specks of frost but it doesn’t affect the smell of the wax melts at all, it just looks a bit different. Some people pop their silicone moulds in the oven to warm them up before pouring them, I only make them for myself so only do this when I can be bothered.

With Golden wax 494, the cold scent throw is amazing but, you do need to leave them to cure for two weeks before burning them which can be a right faff. When I made my first batch I was so excited to burn one because it smelt incredible, but the hot scent throw was very weak. I left the rest of them in a tub in a cupboard for the next two weeks and when I went back to them they were a hundred times better and the hot scent throw was much stronger.

When storing your wax melts, make sure they are in an airtight container with a label on the box so you don’t mix them up or you can package them straight into a cello bag. I usually pop a sticker on stating which scent it is as I only make for myself.

Wax melts and how to make them
Some of the wax melts that I have made

The legal stuff- Clp and warning labels and where to get them:

When making candles and wax melts and you are planning to give them to family and friends or sell them then you must be CLP compliant. What the heck does this mean you ask?

You can read all about CLP and warning labels here. The website where you buy the fragrance oil will have its own CLP information on each fragrance for you to download if you want to make your own labels, but make sure you get the correct website that your fragrance oil comes from.

There are so many different waxes out there to choose from all with different temperatures that work well with that particular wax.  So my advice is to play around and find what works best for you, this is just what works for me.

These are just a few of the main suppliers:

  • Craftovator
  • Craftastik
  • Stansteads
  • Supplies for candles
  • Livemoor
  • Stansfield
  • Truly Personal
  • Fizzy whizz

CLP stickers – I use a lady on Facebook called Labels by Rebecca. You can also make them yourself using a website called Avery.

There you have it, it is literally trial and error and can take a long time to perfect them but give it a go and let me know in the comments how you get on. 

People love receiving wax melts as gifts and they make fantastic thank you gifts for teachers, check out my other thank you gifts for teachers.

12 simple tips to keep your kitchen tidy and organised.

You are here because the subject of this blog post interests you, doesn’t it?  I am not going to lie and tell you that this is what I have always done to stay on top of my kitchen because that’s utter crap. I have a small kitchen with minimal storage space so if I don’t stay on top of it, it becomes messy and cluttered very quickly. – to the point where, if I don’t stay on top of it, I might need to call someone like these arkansas exterminators out to deal with any unwelcome visitors who have made their home among the clutter.

It has only been recently where I have gone through my kitchen and really sorted it out, these are just 11 things I have done to help me which I hope might help you to.

  1. Remove everything from the kitchen that does not belong in there.
  2. Sort and rearrange drawers and cupboards and donate or bin things that you don’t need or use anymore.
  3. Clear worktops and try to keep them clear.
  4. Stay on top of the recycling rubbish. I don’t have space in my kitchen for a recycling bin nor can I be bothered to take every piece of recycling to the big green bin outside every time I open something new. I used to let this pile up before taking it out but now I do it at lunchtime and after dinner and it makes a big difference.
  5. Wash up as you go along if you do not have a dishwasher, not only does it save you from doing a huge lot at the end of the day but it also keeps your sides clear.
  6.  Use storage baskets for the top of wall cupboards to hide away anything you don’t have space to store things elsewhere.  We have baskets for all sorts like batteries, charging cables, my sharpies pens so they are well away from the kids.
  7. I keep my laundry basket in my downstairs loo which gives me more floor space in the kitchen.
  8. Keep windowsill clear of clutter, I am notorious for putting stuff on mine and not clearing it, I am getting better with it now.
  9. If you have space, buy a microwave shelf and fix it to the wall to free up some workspace. We only use ours to make porridge, popcorn and beans and it takes up a lot of space. This is something we are planning on doing.
  10. As soon as the washing is done, fold it up, take it upstairs and put it away. Try not to let washing pile up as I think clothes are the main focus of a cluttered looking house. I try my hardest to stay on top of this and when I do, it really helps keeps the flow of laundry at a manageable pace, it also helps keep the kid’s bedrooms tidier and stops them from asking you where so and so is.
  11. I brought a kitchen trolley for extra storage. It has allowed me to remove things from my worktop and organise them neatly somewhere else. I would recommend this if you have minimal storage but space to put one.
  12. Do not print this out and put it on your fridge. It will look cluttered LOL I am joking, I love having my kids artwork on my fridge but it does look cluttered.

And there we have it, 12 simple steps.

Tales by mail book subscription for 8-12 year olds

***Disclosure – I was kindly sent this product, All pictures and opinions are my own***

From the moment my daughter Lydia learnt to read she fell in love with books. She has so much love and respect for each and every book she owns and it’s not just the stories or the facts written inside but it’s keeping them in good condition too. She loves nothing more than to cosey up on the sofa with a blanket and just get lost in her book.

The lovely people at Tales by Mail got in touch with us and asked if they could send Lydia a box to review and I managed to keep this a secret from her up until the day it arrived.

Tales by Mail offer a solo bi-monthly subscription which you can choose to pay either monthly, every 6 months or every 12 months. They also offer a sibling subscription which you can check out on their website.

Decembers theme is called WHIMSICAL WORLDS and inside, the box was jam-packed full of goodies which Lydia was very happy to receive. Each box is themed and you can check on their website to see what the next theme will be.

What was inside our box?

  • The House at the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs by Veronica Cossanteli
  • Signed author bookplates
  • Letters from the authors
  • Collectable Chronicle activity cards
  • A Whimsical Worlds themed badge & wooden decoration (artwork by Rachael Persky)
  • A Book-Lover Lives Here window sticker (artwork by Emmeline Pidgen)
  • Small and Wild Tea
  • A Dancer’s Dream, Tinsel and The Owl and the Lost Boy bookmarks

The letters are from the authors which I think is a brilliant idea and one that didn’t go unappreciated. Lydia is very inspired by authors and couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw these and on the back of the author’s letters you can fill in your very own book review of their book.

There is also a signed autograph from the author inside the books, something we only realised much later when reading the books. Lydia is currently halfway through her first book and is absolutely loving the story.

What did we think?

As a parent, I loved everything about this box. It has encouraged me to pick up the book and read so that we can then discuss the book/s together. One of Lydia’s favourite part of the box was the letters from the authors about the reasons why the books were written. It has inspired her to write and she is often thinking of her own stories as one day she would love to be a published author.

For anyone with children in their life who love to read, then this is a fantastic subscription for you.

For 5% off any of their subscription box, please feel free to use our code: KNIGHT5

 

You can check out the Tales by mail website for more information on their subscription packages.