Thursday, August 16, 2012

fall for two homes

Last fall was a very busy time. Two articles that I had pitched got the go-ahead and so I was off with my camera -- and sometimes bundles of bittersweet -- to style, photograph and write about two extraordinary homes: an 1810 farmhouse in Princeton, MA and a 1906 American Foursquare in Providence, RI.

Currently, both articles are on newsstands! Yankee Ingenuity appears in Flea Market Decor, Fall 2012, pages 40-49; and A Handmade Harvest is in the October 2012 issue of Cottages & Bungalows, pages 46-55). The articles were actually photographed within a month but written several months apart. Now, reading both in print I am struck by similarities despite many differences.

Living Rooms
The room on the left belongs to Fonzie ... I mean Hilary of old house, true love; the image on the right belongs to author/blogger Christine Chitnis. What strikes me is that both women decorate their homes with pops of rich colors against never-boring neutral backgrounds; both are talented in the art of upcycling; and both use a variety of textures.

Watery wall colors, white ruffles, wood furnishings and the resourceful framing of florals are elements that connect both Hilary's and Christine's clever style. The photo on the left is probably my favorite from the shoot at Hilary's house -- this angle didn't make it into the magazine and so I'm happy to share it here.

One of the most enjoyable parts of any photo shoot is getting to style, which is very much like playing (to me). I used to wonder why rooms in magazines never show a box of tissues or a trash can and it's because they're styled or staged. Using tips I picked up from my Fairygodmother Fifi O'Neill, I draped a denim jacket or cardigan here -- set up a little baking scene there -- to create "lived-in" vignettes in each room.

Before I close this post, I'd like to share one photo of each home that didn't make the cut. This image is from Hilary's house and gosh, she has so many beautiful rooms I'm not quite sure what this one is called. The library? On page 46 of Flea Market Decor you can find a close-up of the "D" and surrounding pieces.

And here's a fave from Christine's house. I really love her color palette and this hall reveals in an instant her knack for showing off architectural details while effortlessly mixing old and new, color and pattern, style and practicality.

Warmest appreciation to both Hilary and Christine for welcoming me in to write about their lovely homes and to the editors at both publications for their ongoing support. Contributing to magazines is such a realized dream for me, as longtime blogging friends and readers know.

Meanwhile ... I have reviewed two sections of the book and eagerly await more! It's all getting so real and exciting!

Thank you for reading this lengthy post and happy summer wishes! Hoping to enjoy a few more lazy beach days (or at least more taffy) before school begins!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

camp tinker: picket fence vase

Well, Campers, with just weeks until school starts I want to post at least one more installment of my Camp Tinker blog post series. Today's easy-peasy project will be a Picket Fence Vase.

As usual, the supply list is short and the steps aim to be simple.

Begin with a tin can that is empty, clean and dry. The object is to cover the can with an even row of craft sticks. I found the best way to do this was to mark the can with zig-zags of glue, arrange sticks and then secure with an elastic band.

Once the glue has dried and all sticks are secure, gently remove the elastic and apply a coat (or two) of white paint to all visible areas of the craft sticks. Use any white paint you have on hand: craft, latex, or spray.

Allow paint to dry. Suggested activity: Make popcorn and watch the original version of The Parent Trap.

Once paint is completely dry, decorating may begin! Because I was modeling my can after a picket fence, I printed-out an image for reference.

My plan was to draw brambly rose bushes peeking in and out of "fence posts." I kept my design simple (curvy brown lines, leaves) and practiced on paper before marking the actual can.

If you plan to apply a coat of decoupage medium to seal your artwork afterward, be sure to only use permanent markers as any non-permanent markings will be brushed away. Believe me. :)

To finish my project I added paper rose embellishments in a nearly-random fashion, trying to mimic my picket fence photo.

If you make this or any of the projects from Camp Tinker, please feel free to share them on the Tinkered Treasures Facebook page.

{fill and enjoy!}

Happy continued summer, Campers!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

field trip: lower cape

My purchases from The Shell Shop all sorted and ready to play with

One minute summer is this vast blank canvas but yesterday's flip of the calendar page reveals just weeks left until school begins. Good thing we recently "got our summer on" with a couple of days spent in what is called the Lower Cape of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, another destination so lovely I have to share.

No trip to Cape Cod is complete (for me) without at least a few of the following items pictured. Fresh salt water taffy (a new fave), chocolate covered cranberries, fried clams, and lobster in some form, shown here in a lobster club (de-lish!).

A highlight of our visit was a dune tour in Provincetown, a beautiful town at the very tip of Cape Cod. Our guide John, was fabulous and pointed out the various "dune shacks" formerly inhabited by famous artists and writers like Eugene O'Neill. The ride was a bit bumpy at times, which the boys really enjoyed!

Later that day, a walk along MacMillan Pier lead us to views of the harbor

Along the pier are tiny shops and galleries housed in small cottages

like this adorable shop called Seashells in Bloom

Provincetown or P-town is a great place from which to depart for a whale watch.

This visit, we stayed in Wellfleet. The following day we headed to Chatham, which is a favorite spot I have blogged about before.

First stop: Picnic Fashion, the most picturesque shop inside and out with the most wonderful proprietress Becky, who always directs me to some great attraction or restaurant, like ...

seal-watching at the fish pier!

You may have heard about Chatham on the news because seals like fish and sharks like seals so there have been some shark sightings and reports.

We traveled to Harwich to ride go-karts and play mini golf and then -- for me -- highly recommended by a friend, we visited The Cape Cod Lavender Farm. Nestled sweetly among the trees, the little cottage shop was like something from a storybook, aglow with purple fairy lights.

Currently harvesting, lavender was everywhere. We arrived minutes 'til closing -- just long enough for me to purchase sachets of wonderfully fragrant lavender buds and meet the gracious owner, who invited me to stroll the grounds and visit the Enchanted Garden.

This shaded garden features a miniature stone replica of a medieval castle but what I adored most was the wee kingdom of delicate faerie houses, assembled from twigs, leaves and moss.

Hope you enjoyed this field trip. I tried to include as many links as possible if you are ever interested in visiting or shopping. {This is not a paid endorsement in any way}

Wonder if any taffy is left? :)