Tuesday, June 23, 2015

field trip: the vintage bazaar


Saturday I took a road trip with my BFF Cindy to The Vintage Bazaar held at Pettengill Farm in Salisbury, Massachusetts. The fair featured 175+ vendors selling antique and vintage finds and re-purposed goods. Lucky Cindy won us a pair of tickets from Coastal Windows & Exteriors!

with Matthew Mead, Danielle Driscoll, and "Urnie"
Topping my reasons for wanting to attend were seeing and supporting friendors {new word alert: friendors = friends who are vendors!} Matthew and Jenny Mead and Danielle Driscoll.

Matthew Mead's signature style of collections grouped by color made for a display worthy of one of his publications. In addition to being a vendor, Matthew was a special guest and did a series of demos on creating summer centerpieces. Alongside Matthew was his partner in crime, Jenny.

Photo credit: Danielle Driscoll
Danielle and Luke Driscoll's Finding Silver Pennies booth was like a beautiful coastal furnishings store. Visit this link to read Danielle's account of the weekend on her blog.

The bazaar was nicely done and reminded me of a mini Country Living Fair.

Cari Cucksey and Joanne Palmisano were also special guests on-hand to give demos and share tips.

There was live music, rows of food trucks and cool things all around!

I had a nice time despite a series of mishaps which included tripping over a food truck's cable and falling to the ground, hitting my head on a low-hanging window display, and losing an earring (which as it turns out, Jenny found)!

Besides leaving with my ankle swollen to the size of a tennis ball from my fall (I'm okay), I returned home with this pretty framed paint-by-number of yellow roses for the Girlie Office

and this lovely vintage jadeite plant pot from Matthew, among a couple of other little things.

If all this sounds like a good time to you, The Vintage Bazaar returns in September and November!

Just wear good footwear and watch for exposed cables.

Happy summer wishes!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

a fête for fifi to celebrate prairie-style weddings!

Just about a month ago, I had the honor of co-hosting a truly lovely event with my friend and frequent collaborator Nancy Chace, owner of Sea Rose Cottage: a celebration of Fifi O'Neill's newest book Prairie-Style Weddings.
Me, Fifi and Nancy
The idea was the brainchild of Nancy's, who brought the idea to Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in her home town of Bristol, Rhode Island. Before long a date was set and the wheels were in motion.

Nancy and I each took on different tasks so that all Fifi would need to do was bring her sweet self and a pen!

I always like the idea of SWAG bags and so we put out a call to action on social media and were so happy with the generous response!

Prairie Pouches from Sew Extra-Ordinary Sewist
Beautifully wrapped bracelets from Chanel's Shabby Rose
Appliques from Efex U.S.A.
Lovely lavender sachets (more like pillows!) from Vintage Lizzie
Lots of little extras from Blithewold!
In addition to bag-fillers, artisans offered their time, efforts and supplies to make our event extra special...

Carol Riley of Bristol-Cottage created this lovely wedding dress inspired by the book
A make-and-take table of vintage supplies from Hearts of Assemblage
Julie Christina of Blithewold added her special touches to the celebration with an elegant selection of nibbles and sips...
Cucumber sandwiches with fresh dill, a simple cake turned stunning with raspberries, lemonade-pomegranate punch served in a flipped cake pedestal! I proclaim raspberries are the glitter of the fruit world! They elevate anything to swoonworthy!

Nancy gave dollar store frames a quick coat of paint and propped them in easels to post collages of book images at related stations throughout the venue. Genius!

It was one of those rare occasions that went even better than planned!

Cocktail napkins from Oriental Trading
Thank you to the fabulous Fifi for being such a mentor to me; she demonstrates such a pay-it-forward, gracious, love what you do life, and I'm so happy to have her as my Fairygodmother. Thank you Nancy, my co-host and pal in this and upcoming projects. It's nice to have friends that are as crazybusy as yourself (and still willing to take on more despite the restriction of 24 hours in a day)! Thank you to our many sponsors, attendees and well-wishers near and far. To The Providence Journal for the great press. To Julie and her team at Blithewold (rhymes with "old") for making elegance look effortless and to Allan Millora Photography for these stunning photos!

Um, I think I've covered everything! If not, there's always the Edit Post button.

Happy June wishes!


Saturday, March 28, 2015

patterns of behavior, somerset life, april/may/june 2015 issue

A few months ago, my friend Morayo Sayles of Piper Brown Photography and I hatched a plan that I would style the Girlie Office and she would take photos. I shared a few right away in January's girlie office: 2015!

Photography by Morayo Sayles of Piper Brown Photography
I assembled a pretty display of real and millinery flowers in a myriad of vessels ranging from tinkered cans, to painted jars and fabric-banded bottles, to petite china cups.

Photography by Morayo Sayles of Piper Brown Photography
Morayo snapped nearly 160 photos and they all turned out beautifully! Admiring the images as a set, ideas for an essay began to flow.

Photography by Morayo Sayles of Piper Brown Photography
Before long I had written a piece -- musings about my surprise-to-me style preferences -- and sent off a query along with a few photography samples to Somerset Life.

Photography by Morayo Sayles of Piper Brown Photography
To my delight, I received the answer right-away that every writer hopes for, that my submission was not only accepted and but would be slated to appear in the April/May/June issue! Recently an advance copy arrived in the mail with a congratulatory note:

Stampington & Company gets it! The inclusion of this seemingly small touch of a congrats made it even more special. There's something very magical to me about seeing my work in print. Even though I have created two books and written many magazine articles, it's still as thrilling as it ever was. I know it always will be.

The issue is lovely through and through, just as they always are.

Stampington & Company has Magazine Calls and Challenges for submissions year-round.

Maybe it will be your turn next!

Photography by Morayo Sayles of Piper Brown Photography
Thanks for reading!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

save the date for fifi o'neill new england book signing event

WHEN: Saturday, May 09, 2015 at 11:00AM - 2:00PM
WHERE: Blithewold Mansion
Romantic Prairie Style Weddings
A Book Signing Event with Author Fifi O’Neil
Saturday, May 9, 2015
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Photography by Mark Lohman
Nancy Chace of the specialty paint and interiors shop Sea Rose Cottage in Bristol, and I are teaming up to host stylist-author (and my Fairy Godmother) Fifi O’Neill’s New England event to celebrate her latest book Prairie-StyleWeddings: Rustic and Romantic Farm, Woodland and Garden Celebrations.

The event will be hosted at Blithewold Mansion Gardens and Arboretum, the perfect setting to celebrate woodland and garden celebrations and the release of Fifi's latest book.

“Prairie-Style Weddings are the perfect blending of romance and pragmatism, of simplicity and embellishments. Handmade, sustainable, and accessible elements set a casual, welcoming, and celebratory tone that transform fantastic dreams into reality. Prairie-Style festivities embrace all sorts of humble materials in ways that elevate them from ordinary to fabulous."

Whether you are planning a wedding, event, or are just an admirer of Fifi’s timeless style, we hope you will join us!

Free with museum admission
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
101 Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809
An American Garden Treasure ... Come, and Be Inspired

About Fifi
Fifi O’Neill has established a novel international reputation for her particular sense of style. She is the single-most accomplished editor, photo stylist, blogger and best-selling author known for perpetuating prairie style. Visit this link to learn more:

Find updates on the Events section of the Sea Rose Cottage page on Facebook

Happy spring wishes!


Monday, March 2, 2015

sew pretty: torie jayne's stylish home sewing

I have a sewing machine, piles of pretty fabric, and trimming and buttons -- but as you may already know -- I'm a sew-a-phobe. Yep, afraid to sew. The precision frightens me away every time and sends me running for my trusty roll of fusible webbing aka Stitch Witchery. So, why did I want a copy of Torie Jayne's new book? Because!

Because Torie and I are longtime blogging friends. I adore her, I truly do. She even asked me to contribute to her first book How to Show and Sell Your Crafts. Here's pretty Torie in a feature from that book's press:

Okay, so why else would I want Torie's new book?

Because this book is as beautiful as I knew it would be. With Torie's fresh palette of seafoam, lavender and coral, details like ruffles and ball fringe, and photographs by Sussie Bell: it's a visual treat.

Because in addition to being a sewing book, it offers inventive decorating ideas like this padded headboard suspended with ties along a row of hooks. Brilliant!

Because there are projects like this rose garland that even a no-sew gal like me can handle with a glue gun.

Because with detailed instructions and a Getting Started section, maybe even I could try something like this bag for starters...

And work my way up to something like this!

{Or grab the Stitch Witchery... Or beg a friend who can sew... }

Congrats to Torie on Stylish Home Sewing and welcome to CICO Books {my publisher}!

Stylish Home Sewing by Torie Jayne, photography by Sussie Bell, is published by CICO Books. You can purchase your very own copy right here!

Thank you for reading


Friday, February 20, 2015

a do-able a-door-able makeover

We've been having quite the winter here in Rhode Island. When prepping for the last snowstorm, in addition to making sure we were stocked with comfort-food essentials, I also bought some paint.

Backstory: The door to the basement was painted in an unappealing "flesh crayon" color by the former home-owner. Back when I was refreshing this small hallway, the Hubs advised skipping the door because he needed to fix it or something. But recently I thought, "what an eye-sore," plus I wanted to install some hooks to have an accessible place to hang heavy winter coats.

Which brought me to Home Depot on the eve of a snow storm. Honestly, when I walked into the paint department, my mind was a blank canvas. First I thought of lavender but my eye was drawn to an aqua paint chip. Time was of the essence and so I just trusted this first-impression, asked the attendant to mix some up, grabbed some brushes and off I went. Minutes!

It snowed and I painted... After two coats the door looked great! When the roads were clear enough, the Hubs ran out and brought home some white paint so that I could work on the trim which was also flesh crayon.

Before packing up the paint, I covered some cans and clothespins (of course).

To finish the project, I wanted a "fun" doorknob and decided on a glass type or "Nana-style," as my grandmother had these throughout her home. Unable to find the hardware-finish I wanted in-store and impatient as always (I want this door pretty NOW!), it seemed easier to spray-paint than buy online and wait.

So I put my boots on, used a giant mound of snow as my work table, and spray-painted over the brass finish with a metallic spray.

 Not optimal conditions but it worked.

Tips: Cover the glass knob well with low-tack (painter's) tape and allow enough time to dry (24 hours).

I came across this piece at TJ Maxx and liked the shape but not the finish so with a dry foam brush, gave it a few coats of the same white interior semi-gloss paint used for the door trim.

And then like any good blogger, took advantage of the sunshine and tidied things up to take some pics.

Sure, it's the same door that still could be fixed or replaced but I'm happy with it just as it is.

And this is probably how it will look in the summertime but for now it looks more like this:

And the backdoor row of wooden hooks can be left to handle the lighter-weight accessories of winter.

On the summer project list: Paint the radiator
Paint: Echo Lake Aqua by Glidden in semi-gloss
Spray-paint: Bright Coat Metallic Finish by Rust-Oleum

I'll save sharing about my next project for another post...

Thanks for reading!