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!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

field trip: valentine workshop with matthew mead

"Do you mind if I take a photograph of the bathroom?"

Yup, I had to ask.

Yesterday my friend Nancy and I took a road trip to Matthew Mead's studio in New Hampshire to attend one of his Valentine's workshops and yes, even the bathroom was breathtaking.

Our project was the decoupage wall plate and the skill-level was just-right for encouraging lively conversation.
I would've been happy playing tic-tac-toe because the real treat for me was to see Matthew's studio and listen to stories from his brilliant career. I met Matthew and his wife Jenny once before over the summer when they were shooting and styling around Cape Cod.

Our hosts served the most beautifully presented array of snacks including this chocolate pretzel tart from his Autumn with Matthew Mead publication (2011).

I actually said, "Matthew Mead is serving us desserts from his books!" How crazy-awesome!

As you may know, Matthew was style editor of the much-loved CountryHome magazine. I told him about my very favorite issue which featured plastic chairs slip-covered in Annette Tatum fabrics on the cover and how it inspired my playing in the backyard blog post. Turns out that was all him and he still has the slipcovers!

Some of his collections were on display by color in open shelving, from giant bowls to the teeniest vessels in vibrant greens, yellows, white and glass.

See some beautiful styling up-close...
I found myself in awe not only in his talent but inspired by his relaxed, sincere and friendly demeanor.

And of course I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other workshop attendees and making my plate.

Look for Matthew's newest publication (featuring my friend Danielle) on newsstands soon and check-in with him on Facebook to learn about upcoming workshops and events.

While we crafted, Jenny prepared heart-shaped brownies for each of us to take home. So delicious.

Happy workshop alums!

 Oh, one more pic from the bathroom...