Saturday, January 9, 2016

boho style: behind the screens

Way back in June my dear friend (and fairygodmother) Fifi O'Neill, asked if I'd be interested in creating a project for a new magazine she was developing called Boho Style. Of course! Fifi envisioned a portable multi-patterned backdrop that could be used to create a cozy space indoors or out.

I decided to use sturdy plywood and roped the hubs into helping.

I looked through my own stash of fabric and found some lively prints from Annette Tatum and Amy Butler that I thought would work well.

I also discovered a cool shop in Providence specializing in Boho called Restored by Design. The shop features A WALL of trimming and notions by color (which I knew in an instant must be from Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods, a seller I had remembered from a visit to Brimfield years ago)! I picked up some ball fringe, appliques and ribbons in a palette of dusty mulberry.

The uber-talented Matthew Mead signed-on to be the stylist and photographer. I decided the Cape Cod Lavender Farm would make a stunning backdrop. Turns out by the time our calendars allowed for the shoot, most of the lavender had been harvested but the grounds still made for a rich location.

Even in the shade, I swear it felt like 100 degrees shooting on that July afternoon on Cape Cod. I have to admit that I wilt in the heat but Matthew was so nice to work with. For the indoor part of the shoot, Matthew and I decided that he would bring "the prop" back to his studio in New Hampshire. I will never forget Matthew passing me on the highway and seeing the fabric-covered screens perched on the back of his pick-up truck, the silk flowers and ribbon flapping in the breeze. Makes me chuckle.

And now here it is -- all pretty in a two-page spread in January on pages 144-145 in the first-ever issue of Boho Style! Find the other page and the complete tutorial in the magazine.

If you look closely, you'll notice lime green lace draped over the screen: it's a MYRTEN lace curtain from Ikea. The best method (I found) for coloring these polyester panels is to soak them in a mixture of water and acrylic paint. Once there is even coverage, gently wring-out and hang outside to dry, then finish in the dryer alone.

Also look for my article Paint Magic about artist Debbie Dion Hayes of My Patch of Blue Sky, on pages 8-17!

Find Boho Style on newsstands (any minute now) or visit this link for ordering information. Find updates and additional peeks at the magazine on Facebook at BOHO STYLE, the Magazine by Fifi O'Neill.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

cozy cocoa reads + makes

It's December and Winter hasn't quite shown up for the party but when it does, I'll be ready, craftily speaking anyway.

Along with hot cocoa, scissors and glue (and maybe a sweet treat or two), courtesy of RPS/CICO Books, I have three new books that are sure to keep me happy as a clam with their inspiring images and enjoyable text. Join me for cups of cocoa and cookies and I'll share some pretty peeks of all three!

Whenever I pick up Winter Living the word sumptuous comes to mind. There are pages that are as lush and luxurious as others are pared-down and simple. Selina Lake's sixth book is an inspirational guide to styling and decorating your home for winter. Sections cover a range of styles, colorways, and sensibilities but they all have her imprint, like the pink candle shown above, which to me is such a Selina-pink.

Once again, Selina has teamed-up with photographer Debi Treloar and the results are stunning. As always, the prolific stylist shares design tips, project ideas, and pleasant musings written in her sitting-right-there-with-you conversational style.

Who else would think to soften metal bistro chairs with faux fur or use sparklers to light up a table in the dark of winter?!

Next ...

If you are as smitten as I am with minty-fresh folkloric patterns, you are sure to enjoy Sew Scandinavian by Kajsa Kinsella. Before you jump into making a Dala horse or lingonberry motif, Kajsa sets the creative stage with tales and stories from her Swedish origins.

Like my first two books, Sew Scandinavian is published by CICO Books and follows a similar format of 35 projects with step-by-step images and snappy text. Even a sew-a-phobe like me is considering digging out a needle and thread for some of the simpler projects like these tiny Matchbox Pets!

Next ...

Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint® Workbook: A Practical Guide to Mixing Color and Making Style Choices is a journal divided into themed chapters. The ASCPWAPGTMCAMSC (aka Workbook) offers a sturdy spiral-bound place to scribble ideas. My favorite part is the pocketed card dividers which are perfect for keeping project clippings, swatches, even receipts, at the ready and organized.

The book also features tips and inspiration pics from Annie. The Workbook is a handy resource that will not only spark ideas but keep the process well-documented.

Winter Living, Selina Lake (RPS); Sew Scandinavian, Kajsa Kinsella; and
Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint Workbook (CICO Books)

Find all of these great titles at all good booksellers.

Okay, time for a hot cocoa refill.

Thank you for reading and happy tinkering!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

my special evening at blithewold

Signing a book for my supertalented friend Karen Harvey Cox, who also tinkered this photo!
One of Rhode Island's many gems is Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum. It's a breathtaking horticultural and historic attraction and it was the recent setting of Crafting Night at the Museum with Elyse Major. {How fun is that!?}

Photo credit: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
The name Blithewold means "happy woodland" in Old English and that evening I was quite the blithemaken {which may or may not translate to "happy maker" but let's go with it ...}.

Wouldn't a line of tinkering supplies be a dream come true!? Wish Out Loud!
I prepared for the event by gathering supplies to make three tinkering projects: cans, clothespins, and tags. I decorated supplies and take-home bags and ordered buttons. I wanted everything to be perfect especially since this was my first event where attendees had to pay.

I designed and ordered buttons from
Books and cupcakes: a perfect combo!
Blithewold is reknown for its brilliant Christmas displays where the entire house is decorated by dedicated volunteers and it had just been set-up the day before. To have the glowing lights, boughs and baubles as a backdrop to my event was beyond words. {It made me miss my parents so much, wishing they were there.}

Pretty be-ribboned delicious cupcakes from Fatulli's Bakery & Deli fit the order of MAKE THEM GIRLY;
shown festooned (!) with tinkered flags
Blithewold's Education Progams Manager Julie Christina, and Jill Cleveland, ensured that every detail was taken care of from tablecloths to cupcakes ...

Tinkered touches included millinery forget-me-nots wrapped on stemware
to champagne flutes and selections of bubbly ...

to rose-patterned china for my tinkering buffet.

Everyone had such a lovely time tinkering, talking, sipping and nibbling.
My dear dear dear longtime blogging friend Karen made an hour drive with her friend Joyce to attend! Karen also surprised me at my first-ever booksigning, too! A multi-talented artist and generous sweetie, Karen wrote her own blog post about the event which is so perfect I almost didn't write my own. Read Karen's post here. What a happy-cutie she is!

The paint and scrap table
Attendees got to play with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint courtesy of my friend Nancy Chace's shop Sea Rose Cottage

One of the evening's projects
It was a magical evening for me and hopefully the first of many events like it. Many thanks also to my awesome friend Maureen Ricci for all of her help that night!

My wish 4 U: A peaceful, healthy and happy everyday.

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

$50 novica giveaway

If you follow my blog you may know that while I love to promote and support small businesses, I don't often do product placement pitches for large companies (although, if anyone wants to offer me a shed, I'm in!). However, since 2011 I have been happy to host giveaways for NOVICA.

NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market.

I tried to quickly assemble the above collage of insta-faves to showcase that they have a variety of items including: new arrivals:; chess sets:; anklets:; jewelry: and "gifts for him": Learn more about NOVICA here.

NOVICA has generously offered a $50.00 gift certificate for me to give away.

Here's how to enter:
Please leave a comment on this post stating which department of the NOVICA site you like best. It's that simple.
For additional entries, please like/follow Tinkered Treasures on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter or subscribe to my free e-newsletter and leave me a comment letting me know. 
This giveaway is open internationally. A winner will be chosen from the comments on this post using 
The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 on this blog.

Thanks so much and good luck!


UPDATE: November 24, 2015
The giveaway is now closed.
Thank you all for taking the time to enter and share!
Using the winner is sandyhills x

Monday, November 2, 2015

tinkering is tinkering no matter what size

Whether I'm crafting something large or small, my go-to supplies are pretty much the same: foam brushes, low-tack (painter's) tape, decoupage medium, a glue stick, paint and paper.

Lately I've been tinkering some large-scale items. I had the idea to turn a children's wardrobe and chair into a desk suite. You might even call this endeavor an Ikea Hack.

Click on image to enlarge for detail
I found color inspiration from a package of floral/khaki PiP Studio napkins -- a superfind discovered at a HomeGoods store. At the time, the vibrant choice seemed bold for me but looking at it now, it's pretty much aligned with my favored colorway. I had small pots of interior paint mixed to match the colors of the napkin.

The hubs helped by using the existing shelf as a template, and cut a second as a work space from a sheet of plywood and installed it at desk level.

I covered the top-back of the MÄLARÖ chair and inside-back of the SUNDVIK wardrobe with open napkins, adhering with glue stick and sealing very gently with brush strokes of decoupage medium aka Mod Podge. I first tried using spray-mount but found that it was just too fumacious (and the wardrobe was too bulky to bring outside for that step).

I was going for a paint-dipped effect for the chair legs. I might re-do them using spray paint for better adherence to the metal legs.

I painted the inside of the wardrobe the khaki of the napkin background and once dry, began to outfit the piece with other Ikea items such as these SOCKERKAKA baking cups thumb-tacked to the inside door as small supply catch-alls.

Using hook-and-loop tape, I mounted SKURAR metal candle dishes for use as a magnetic board and a mini chalk board (with a cut circle of chalkboard oilcloth affixed with glue) for messages.

Hardware source: Primrose and Company and Sea Rose Cottage
The idea is that for a small space, everything can close when work is done.

But when open for business, provides a compact space that is charming and inspiring.

Isn't the mini chandelier so fun?! It's meant for a locker, is battery-operated and is secured using hook-and-loop adhesive.

No matter what size project you're tackling, just remember that it doesn't have to be perfect. Enjoy the process. Mistakes can be disguised and will add character -- and stories -- to your one of a kind treasure!


{Find details of my favorite supplies, methods and suppliers in both of my books} 
Tinkered Treasures and Seaside Tinkered Treasures

Friday, October 9, 2015

beekman 1802 meets blithewold 1907

Brent and Josh display Beekman 1802 Style
Pinch me! Yesterday I had lunch with Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, also known as the Beekman Boys. Yup, all kind of cool stuff is always happening here in the Ocean State.

See the fork and napkin at 6 o'clock? That's where I'm seated!
There's Brent signing a copy of their latest book Beekman 1802 Style, The Attraction of Opposites.

A completely swoonworthy book -- not only is it beautiful with a substantial weight and inventive styling and photography, it's filled with original ideas and useful advice that has me reconsidering my own decor notions but in the best possible way.

Hooray for books!

So how did this all come to be?

In early spring not long after a site visit to stunning Blithewold {for this event}, I was invited to join the planning committee for the return of the venue's Gardener's Day. Without hesitation, I was in. Being part of the proceedings was a treat in itself. Meetings were held at the mansion over fresh baked scones with a talented group assembled and lead by Education Programs Manager, the wonderful Julie Christina (see below). Gardener's Day, Style-Inside and Outside the Home, took place yesterday, October 8, 2015 and it was a success!

Blithewold sweeties, Julie and Dan Christina
Lately the weather has been very-October-fickle (sweater on, sweater off) but yesterday was glorious! Pleasant and breezy with dappled light across the grounds met with unobstructed views of sparkling Narragansett Bay. Spectacular.

The event was staged under a tent on the grounds

The large tent was outfitted with fairy lights, and centerpieces of vessels filled with fresh flowers, herbs and plants, were anything but garden variety. Each banquet chair was festooned with a burlap bow -- a few I tied myself once I got the hang of it. Many thanks to Blithewold's esteemed Margaret Whitehead, for being a patient instructor!

LUCKY ME! I was seated at the table with the special guests! In addition to a delicious lunch, we were treated to an informative agenda filled with planting tips and demos. After dessert the true treat was listening to Brent and Josh playfully shared the true tale of how Beekman 1802 came to be. It's an amazing story! So inspiring and demonstrative of how sometimes when life throws you lemons, not only should you make lemonade but share it with others.

Still with me? A few more deets:

Warm apple cranberry hand pie with cinnamon ice cream by Russell Morin of Russell Morin Fine Catering
Ed Bowen of Opus Nursery gave a lively talk followed with a demo by Katherine Tracey of cleverly named Avant Gardens, which featured how to top pumpkins with succulents.
Artisans, growers and vendors such as Newport's Cottage & Garden were on-hand with displays
My signed copy!
Brent, Josh, me, Style, and the dappled light
I'm now so taken with Brent and Josh that I feel like their number one fan.

The magazine! On newsstands now .

But I'm just one in a billion... just like they are.

Thanks for reading.


Find me returning to Blithewold next month for Crafting Night at the Museum!