Tuesday, December 17, 2013

tinkered rapping

'Twas days before Christmas and with so much to do
Still I couldn't help tinker and share it with you.
Let's start with some gingham and rip it to strips
To add festive touches --
Keep reading for tips!

Gather some greens from a tree or the ground
Prop in a vase and with gingham surround

Let flatware shine in a jarring display

Refuel with hot coffee and continue away ...

Hang holiday cards from the rungs of a ladder
Or even a hook, it doesn't quite matter

Tie even the short strips wherever you can -- a chandelier arm or the chain of a fan

Festoon all around you with leftover tags
Place bottle brush trees amidst bright knotted rags

Unexpected details are sure to delight

Add broken ornaments and give them new life

So, back to the list to get some more done
But tinkering is playing and playing is fun!
And playing reminds us to laugh and to pause
To enjoy all that's little
Perhaps that's my cause ...

enjoy the season!


Monday, December 9, 2013

nina campbell interiors

Ever drive by a fabulous house or even a manse or mansion and think: Who lives here? or what is it like inside?! This is how I felt page after chic page of designer Nina Campbell's latest book, Nina Campbell Interiors. Like I was peeking into another world.

This lovely book allows the reader to tag-along with Nina as she travels from New York to China, Jordan and more on missions to decorate magnificent homes for her international client list. Along the way, Nina shares interesting details large and small.

What I enjoy most about this book is that all of the rooms depicted, no matter how exquisite, seem like places one could imagine themselves relaxing comfortably with a book.
Or sitting down to enjoy a meal. Elbows off the table, of course.

Regardless of scale, spaces feel liveable, organized, unfussy, unstuffy, colorful and lively.

Nina Campbell Interiors by Nina Campbell (photography by Simon Brown) is published by CICO Books and is available from Ryland Peters & Small.

I hope to share some peeks of what I've been up to lately, too!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

creative family home

Happy December!

This blog post has two purposes: share an update on the {s l o w} progress made on the boys' playroom/study room (see blogcountability) and tell you about a cool book called Creative Family Home.

Robot print source: Sandy MacDonald Studio
Taken on a rare tidy day, the room is coming along nicely. Let's see what's been done since I posted a list back in August:

a chalkboard wall: thinking of painting an accent wall instead framed artwork of the boys and of comics covers: check! paint or decoupage the wood bookcase: using the white piece (sans bins) instead more lighting: still to-do hooks! shelves!: need more add a window treatment to the existing white blinds: undecided did I say hooks? see above a sleep-sofa: check! TV or computer? stay tuned

Of course, the space isn't being utilized by the boys as much as I'd hoped and that's where Creative Family Home comes in ... inspiration!

Creative Family Home by designer, stylist and writer Ashlyn Gibson, is a lovely, hardcover book filled with brilliant photographs by Rachel Whiting (the 'tear sheets' section of Rachel's website is a GASPthology of favorite magazine covers).  

This book isn't just about decorating rooms for children but how their presence in a home can create a playful and cheerful vibe throughout. {I figure that line was worth highlighting!}

They had me a tee pees and Playmobil ... The vivid pages offer peeks of real homes that include please-touch accents such as ladders, hula hoops, an indoor swing and more.

Clever storage ideas are shown like this greeting card rack turned showcase for flat books, prints and post cards.

Pins, Pez dispensers, drawings and crafts are all on parade in this book sure to spark ideas on how family members can express themselves while keeping a home that is stylish and enjoyed by all.

Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson (photography by Rachel Whiting) is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available from www.rylandpeters.com.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

holiday preview winner (1 of 3)*


A brief post to cut right to the chase and announce one of the three lucky winners of the Holiday Preview Giveaway. Congratulations to Debra Lee! Debra please email your mailing address to nan(at)searosecottage(dot)com and this gift basket of treats will be yours!

*The two other winners are being announced at Finding Silver Pennies and the Sea Rose Cottage blog.

The party was festive and fun and part of a larger event held throughout the business district of Bristol, Rhode Island, to kick-off the holiday season (details here). Shop owner Nancy, who holds frequent events and workshops makes hosting a sparkling event look as easy as painting an armoire and it was a delight to meet Danielle of Finding Silver Pennies in-person to find that she is just as dear as she appears to be. (She even brought along her Union Jack table!)

I'll be sure to post more details about this event soon.


Local to beautiful Bristol, RI? Visit Sea Rose Cottage and tell Nancy that Elyse sent you!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

holiday preview giveaway: tinkered treasures and more!

Click to enlarge
Not long ago I blogged about my visit to Sea Rose Cottage, a renowned specialty paint shop and studio in the idyllic seaport of Bristol, Rhode Island (post). The owner Nancy, and I hatched this idea of doing a book and tinkering event and thought it would be even more fun if we pulled in Danielle of the DIY furniture painting and decorating blog Finding Silver Pennies.

Planned around Bristol's annual Holiday Preview where luminaries line the historic downtown -- and similar in theme to my Book Party -- this event will feature "nibbles and sips," a craft buffet and festive atmosphere. And ... a chance to win one of three baskets loaded with goodies!

Nancy thoughtfully assembled three fabulous prize baskets to give away, each valued at over $170! Baskets include painting supplies from her shop Sea Rose Cottage, sparkly handmade ornaments and note cards from Danielle, and my book Tinkered Treasures. Pretty dreamy, if you ask me.

Click to enlarge for details
Three fabulous baskets will be given away!

How to enter:

1. Attend the Holiday Preview & Book Party! Find event details and location on the further image above.

1. Leave a comment on this blog
2. Follow tinkeredtreasrs on Twitter; leave a 2nd comment letting me know
3. Visit Nancy's blog Sea Rose Cottage and tell her Elyse sent you
4. Visit Danielle's blog Finding Silver Pennies and tell her Elyse sent you

The giveaway will end November 22, 2013 at 9 p.m. EST. You must be 18 to enter. Open to those living in the continental U.S. only. Winners to be selected randomly and announced online and in-person at the location and sites mentioned.

Good luck and I hope to see you or hear from you!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

torie jayne: tinkered treasures by elyse major

Happy November, Tinkerers!

Torie Jayne has posted a beautiful review of my book at her blog. I love how Torie creates palette swatches for images. I hope you visit this link to take a look:
Torie Jayne: Tinkered Treasures by Elyse Major

Warmest thanks to Torie and congrats to her as well! Her first book How to Show & Sell Your Crafts is now available for pre-order. I'm so looking forward to seeing this book especially since I'm an honored contributor. Torie is a brilliant curator of cheerful style and organization. Her book is sure to be a treat!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

book review: farrow & ball decorating with colour

I have long been a fan of Ryland Peters & Small and CICO Books so you can just imagine how happy I am to be one of their authors (pinch me!). When I got word of their coordinating blog book tours, I instantly raised my hand (or sent an email) for consideration. As you may have noticed (see: Rachel Ashwell book post) my reviews come straight from my gut or my GASP! Today I happily present Farrow & Ball Decorating with Colour by Ros Byam Shaw, published by RPS and available here.

Farrow & Ball is an iconic British brand of wallpaper and paints that have wonderfully poetic names like Borrowed Light, Yellowcake and Mouse's Back. The book's beautiful images by Jan Baldwin and words by Ros Byam Shaw, take you through different architectural styles which serve to highlight how to use color and pattern concepts in your own home. Here are just a few of the many striking images that resonated with me.

For over seven years now I've been wondering what color to (re)paint the shutters of my Cape Cod style home. I love the fresh feel of this Georgian house with it's Green Smoke shutters that "may not be strictly authentic but has the right period feel." Sort of opens my mind about choices for my house.

I really want to paint my stairs and dig the unexpected use of the vivid Eating Room Red against the faded whites. Note to self: Painted floors!

In my house, both upstairs bedrooms have sloping eves and I am smitten with the interplay of colors and pattern shown here. Very fun!

I could go on and on! Images on each page are like magnificent still life paintings -- composed so brilliantly without being over-styled. Farrow & Ball Decorating with Color is fabulous and inspiring without being intimidating and with a range of decor preferences, there is something for every taste. 

Should I have a rating system? How about 5 pots of glitter (out of 5)? A GASP? A swoon? Ideas welcome!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

tinkered treasures book party

I'm finally getting around to write about my book party, which took place nearly one month ago.

Since its release in February, people had been asking me if I would host a party to launch Tinkered Treasures. I wanted to but wasn't quite sure where to begin and then one quiet moment, a location popped into my mind: Kreatelier! An inspiring design/decor shop in Providence that holds workshops. I met with the dynamic duo, owners Line and Pernilla, along with my friend Anisa, and immediately ideas were flying and a party date was set!
party planning team!
 I've already blogged about the preparations so onto the party ...

flowers in tinkered cans
tinkering at the craft buffet

festooned treats
book sales
place setting at the craft buffet

ready to sign books
anisa and me seen toasting the event

me and my friend ellen
The party was a great success and thanks to spreading the word via social media, I had many friends and new faces in attendance from all over! Like most special occasions it all went by way too quickly despite my efforts to pause and stop to smell the flowers (and eat the cupcakes)!

Many many thanks to all for being with me that day whether at the party or in spirit!



Monday, September 30, 2013

book review: rachel ashwell couture prairie and flea market treasures

Sigh. Finally an evening that finds me awake enough to sit at the keyboard and compose a blog post! I had intended to write about my book party, a festive event that exceeded my expectations, but will save that for another time. Tonight I must share about a recent acquisition ...

Upon my request, I received a review copy of Rachel Ashwell's hot-off-the-presses book Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures and it is phenomenal.

Rachel Ashwell is like The Beatles to me with her own Earth-shaking British Invasion of style. Self-made, talented and inspiring, her pretty stamp on decor is without question. Rachel and I share a publisher in CICO Books (!) which means by one degree of separation, I could know her (and gee, if Rachel knows Paul McCartney that makes just two degrees to bringing my Beatles analogy full circle).

As you've probably guessed by now, this isn't going to be your everyday sort of book review. There's no real journalism happening, not even a Q and A with Rachel and many of the images were taken in a dimly lit Girlie Office. Allow me to explain ...

For me the very best decor books are the ones I don't get to read -- or can't read -- because the ideas presented are so very wonderful and motivating they cause me to leap from the couch even after dark to do things and try things like forage closets for forgotten rolls of wallpaper and then wander through rooms contemplating and visualizing.

Note this beautiful and yet very attainable idea of unframed watercolor paintings posted to a delicate background of vintage wallpaper. Imagine creating a similar effect with an assortment of note cards or even inspiration pics torn from magazines?

What I love so much about Rachel's signature style of dusty pastels, worn finishes and charming florals is that it's truly design within reach. One doesn't have to scrimp and save and long, one needs only visit a flea market or keep their eyes open for curbside treasures and voila, Shabby Chic decor can be yours.

This favorite page shows an unexpected stacking of GASP-inducing furniture and as you can see, I'm using the top dresser as color inspiration for an old wooden chair on which I plan to give a deliberate treatment of distressed white over a sort-of dirty pink. {Paint shown: Chalk Paint by another CICO Books author, Annie Sloan; source: Sea Rose Cottage}

I'm tickled to see these stockings "made up from scraps of last season's fabrics" (p. 158) because when I visited Shabby Chic in London in February, I purchased two over-dyed cloth napkins in the most charming print and they are the two fabrics displayed!

As a writer and author I know how important the words are to even the prettiest book and I know I will enjoy reading each and every word someday but for now, Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures has me tying ribbon on horseshoes, trolling antique shops for chipped furnishings, and daydreaming of a visit to The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell in Round Top, Texas.