This weekend I drove all the way to Selby in Yorkshire to attend a Frenchic furniture painting course run by the fabulous Linda Karslake from Drab to Fab fame.DRAB TO FAB

It reminded me of why it’s so important to do courses. FIND OUR COURSE DATES HERE

It renews and reinvigorates your enthusiasm and you learn so many new techniques and pick up little tips from like minded people.

We arrived on the Friday morning and were shown round Linda’s lovely studio and had the opportunity of getting up close and personal with her work. Yes we see them in photographs on Facebook but it’s not the same as seeing them in real life. They really are awesome and so inspiring.

Linda is cheerful,  friendly, welcoming and after coffee gets us started on “mood boards”.

This was excellent actually as we didn’t see a finished one to start off with so literally went in blind with no preconceived ideas of what we were aiming for.

It was so clever how it gradually all came together and included, decoupage with fine art, blending, crackle, raised stencilling and finally waxing.

It totally absorbed us and allowed to us to get to know one another as we got on with our boards.

Each one was so different and they were each works of art in their own right.

I love mine.


We had a sensational lunch all laid on by Linda and delicious gooey chocolate brownies dropped in by Paul, Linda’s lovely hubby.

We were staying at a near by hotel for the night but as we were so close to York and I hadn’t been there before we drove in and had dinner there and a few drinks. What a beautiful place. Will definitely go back and spend a few days there again in the future.

Day two was about painting our piece of furniture we’d taken to do.

Six people, six different pieces of furniture and six different ideas of what we wanted to do on them.

Linda effortlessly got us sorted and on track and we set to work.

Funny how quiet it goes at times just because everyone is concentrating and engrossed in their work.

The beauty of working in a group is that you can see what other people are doing and how they’re achieving it.

I learn best by watching so for me it’s excellent.

I wanted to work with the “metallics” so set about undercoating my side table before shading with “Grey Pebble” and “Hot as Mustard” using a synthetic “natural” sponge to help minimise brush strokes.

Then came the layering of “Sexy Silver” Frensheen followed by “Gorgeous Gold” and then a final pulling it all together coat of “Cool Copper”.

Then the “ageing spots” followed by Browning Wax to complete.

Somehow in between all of this Linda managed to produce another wonderful lunch and even scones with jam and cream (to die for).

Paul turned up towards the end when we’re frantically applying finishing touches before Linda staged each piece so professionally and photographed them.

It’s not until you get to this stage that you realise what amazing work has been carried out in the time scale.

For me these courses are food for the soul. There’s the group energy for starters. Then there’s the teacher who wants you to learn and who is only too willing to pass on some brilliant tricks of the trade. She wants you to benefit and is generous with her knowledge and full of enthusiasm.

And then there’s the actual “doing”. No interruptions, just time for yourself and your passion.

It’s tiring but liberating and so motivating.

I feel as if I’ve been plucked from normal everyday life and been put in a time warp of pure enjoyment. Feels like I’ve been away for months and it’s been so good for me to have this top up.

Sooooo, do I recommend courses? You bet I do. Pick someone whose work you really admire and see if you can do a course with them. You’ll be so glad you did.

So to Linda,  I thank you for being so happy to impart your knowledge and to the other lovely ladies on the course it was just fabulous to meet you and I look forward to next time.


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