Tuesday, January 31, 2012



I am a self-proclaimed "penny-foolish and pound-wise" girl. What I mean is that while I can rationalize occasional GASP-induced purchases for things like oilcloth or dishes, I drive a car that has a casette player and my old cell phone is sans-apps. This brings us to my recent splurges from Cath Kidston and if this post reads like one long rationalization, it just might be. Blame the coffee.

Perhaps you recall my swooning over this image from overdue library book thriftychic?{Which I now own thanks to my crazywithglitterandseashells and extremely generous pal M of tales from an OC cottage. I kept thinking what is making me so bananas over this photo? It's the Cath Kidston (CK) fabric. So who did I call? My sister Betsy who is equal parts cheerleader and decor-wants-enabler (a value that I dutifully reciprocate). When I told her I was daydreaming about ordering some oilcloth from CK ($$$), she assured, "You will smile every time you look at it." Yes I will! {Click click click. Send!}

MEANWHILE Just a few weeks ago I had bought this sweet blue gingham oilcloth but once wrapped to the table, the checks seemed to pop-up like optical illusions. {Remember "Magic Eye" prints?} No good.

I now have the oilcloth I've really wanted all along (bottom right) -- since here actually -- and I am so happy with it. No remorse.

I'm truly delighted at how the CK oilcloth finally brings together the smoke blue chairs and pale green walls (an unplanned pairing).

While I awaited the shipment from London, I tinkered a bit in preparation for the Complete CathKitchenization to be.

Betsy had given me this wooden rack from her cabin. First I painted it blue, then red and finally white. Edges were gently sanded for a worn look, revealing both underlying colors as if the rack had "many lives." To complete the transformation, small circles of floral paper were decoupaged to the flats of each peg to add some charm.

Now I can display my favorite cups.

To complete the vision, the final item in my order of three (oilcloth + small dishes) was a meter of fabric, which is displayed/hung temporarily (Hello, my Shellie!) with a tension rod.

More playing ...

I rearranged some wall decor, like switching a China dish for a metal M to keep things from getting too sweet. (Think my guys will agree?)

Gathered some flowers both faux ...

and real ...

and placed scraps of the oilcloth here and there.

Some collected wisdom from my Complete CathKitchenization experience:
  • It is very true how personal home decor comes together best over time
  • It is worth splurging on a few items that you really, really love
  • When you're not sure if you should buy something or not, call Betsy
  • When you really like a style, just go for it, top to bottom and revel in it
Thanks for reading!


I have a bunch of things in print right now. Visit here to see what's on newsstands!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

just in time for valentines giveaway

Greetings! I haven't been online much lately due to computer problems. In some ways the down-time is nice but gee, it's great to be back! And, I'm back with a giveaway of $50.00 to spend at NOVICA.

I hosted a NOVICA giveaway last April (details here) and was very pleased with the selection, customer service and packaging. NOVICA is a fair trade website that works with National Geographic to provide artisans around the world with a place to sell, similar to an Etsy.

To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment on this post by Saturday, January 28, 2012. In your comment, please let me know which category from the list further below you like best.

Please note that this giveaway is open to anyone with an email address. Please also note that the winner must be sure to factor s&h costs when using their $50.

I plan to select and announce a winner
(using random.org) on Sunday, January 29, 2012. {This way the winner will have time to order something and have it shipped in time for Valentine's Day. Perhaps some lovely pearl earrings for yourself? How fun!}

In the meantime, I'll continue to work out these computer issues and prep new post ideas!



NOTE: January 29, 2012
Using random.org, a winner has been selected. Congratulations to Jenny of Elefantz! Enjoy!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway.


Monday, January 16, 2012

overdue + unfinished = fabulous

When people describe a book they are passionate about, they'll always say, "I couldn't put it down!" However, I have come to the conclusion that
if a home decor book or magazine is truly great, you will put it down so that you can try things immediately!

I am always reserving stacks of decor and craft books from the library and just realized that the really great ones get returned without ever being finished for the reason mentioned above. This is the case with the currently overdue thriftychic. Each time I pick it up and begin to leaf through, inspiration hits, the book gets put down and I begin to rummage and rearrange!

Great ideas such as a trellis-turned-organizer. Cheap and charming!

Draped and clipped muslin as a curtain. Perfect for us no-sew types.

Fairy lights to add a warm glow.

Painted stairs (top) which I am considering for my own home for the grungy carpet replacement project that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list.

A bench with pillows beneath a window. So beachy!

And again, this GASP-inducing image that prompted me to finally decide to go for it and order my first meter of ...

Cath Kidston fabric to be used in the kitchen/dining area someway, somehow.

And on the top of tomorrow's to-do list: return this overdue, unfinished and fabulous book to the library. (I'd renew it but it's already on-hold)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

being romantic

First, a heartfelt thank you to everyone for your blogger's empathy on my previous post. Multi-talented author and designer Gabriela Delworth even reached out to offer advice and help and lead me to a new header idea that I am at work on. Thank you also to the fabulous Ravelrer casapinka! I am always warmed by the generosity and camaraderie here in Blogland. It's a special place.

I must also thank Jacqueline deMontravel, Editor of Romantic Homes for asking me to be amongst this year's round-up of Romantics for the Valentine's Day issue.

An eraser

My first thought was, "Me?!" I don't have a hammock that swings besides a rose garden, I don't even like candles. But then I realized that what my home is filled with is humor: warm, fun humor that I share not only with my husband but with our two boys.

It's humor that adds playfulness and charm to the things we do everyday. Like serve meals on silly plates.

Place flowers in jars and buy dish soap because the packaging makes me happy.

It's a lovely issue through and through and I'm not just saying that because I also have a tutorial. Although that fact makes me extra happy, too.

Look for other bloggers in the issue such as sweetie pie Cynthia of Cynthia's Cottage Design and her 10 steps to a French Country kitchen, and Romantics Janet Coon of ShabbyFuFu; artist Jo-Anne Coletti; and my popcorn pal, Sharon of Pansy Cottage & Garden and Launch Your Creativity.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

tinkered blog

Last night during dinner my husband thought I looked stressed. He was right and so I excused myself to enjoy some blog-visiting time. I began my little session by opening my own blog and was met with this image! (I added the "yikes!" for this post)

- I am not at all technical
- I had won a blog makeover a few years ago and had barely changed anything since
- I wanted to act quickly

I began to putter around. My blog had lost it's rose favicon, it's banner, it's charm. At one point, my Members gadget was reset to 0! My heart pounded. It felt like I had lost my diary or even worse, dropped it in a puddle and stood watching as the ink ran.

Within an hour or so of tinkering, it was back to a new normal with a few changes -- the biggest being renaming my blog tinkered treasures.

When I started my blog, I named it "cottage" because at that time I daydreamed about owning a shop and that's the name I envisioned. My marketing background compelled me to add a tagline so I came up with Tinkered Treasures for Your Home. Somehow Tinkered Treasures became me and my "brand" and as I opened new accounts with Etsy, Twitter and Facebook, I used it instead of cottage. Soon, others referred to me and my blog as Cottage/Tinkered Treasures so when I lost my banner yesterday and typed "cottage" in its place it didn't feel quite right; I soon deleted it and typed in tinkered treasures instead.

my mascot: the tinkering troll

So, a new year, a new blog name. No banner but hopefully a bit more streamlined and thankfully, all of my sincerely Treasured Followers.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

first post of the new year

Reading many 'Best of 2011' posts and articles has prompted me to revisit my own year in review. How about you?

Last year ...

I began to write full articles for publication. My first assignment was Marie's aqua dream of a cottage for Romantic Country magazine

followed by writing about and even photographing my own home for Cottages & Bungalows.
Note: The very-top image was taken for the upcoming February issue due any day now!

I became a Contributing Writer for Romantic Homes

and finally made it into Artful Blogging!

I didn't get a ton of home projects done but I did manage to paint the armoire white with aqua stripes,

try some ideas,

take some photos,

and tinker!

image source: koralee of bluebird notes

2012 finds me
happily writing, making project lists (and trying not to overwhelm myself), swooning over ladders, and continuing to be a fickle pickle when it comes to decor -- still vacillating between cheerful/vintage style

image source: tracey of french larkspur

and the wonderfully subdued and simple French/Nordic.

January also finds me window shopping quite literally for another to hang indoors (the one pictured was just $15 at an antique store backed with a $10 sample of wallpaper).

and thinking of (re)covering the dining room table again!

For me 2011 also saw a quick rise in the popularity and use of Facebook. I know I can be found at my Tinkered Treasures page whenever I have a snippet of time. However when time allows, there's nothing like sitting with a hot cuppa and visiting inspiring blog friends.

Think I'll brew a cup of tea and grab a cookie or two and fit in as many blog visits as I can right now!

Wishing everyone a 2012 filled with good health, love, happiness and oodles of inspiration and creativity!