Monday, March 31, 2014

interview with prairie founder fifi o'neill

Prairie is back by popular demand! Followers of Romantic Prairie Style founder Fifi O'Neill, are sure to swoon over the 144 pages of beautifully photographed stories and nine fabulous homes from coast to coast and Canada. More book than magazine and printed on high-quality paper, this publication is a real treat!
Fifi and me, Barrington, RI, fall 2013
I was fortunate enough to visit Fifi during while she was on location in Barrington, Rhode Island. Last week while chatting on the phone (Somewhere in my youth or childhood ... I must've done something good ...) I proposed the idea of posting an interview to talk about the return of Prairie and the style in general. Fifi graciously provided not only answers but sneak peeks!
For behind the scenes info and more, visit Fifi's post Catching Up
In a nutshell, how would you describe the decor style you have coined Prairie Style?
From taking stock in the environment, respecting traditions, and honoring the past, Prairie Style is the reflection of the American spirit of ingenuity and individuality. These enduring qualities translate into a unique aesthetic in homes with character and grace, refined rusticity, primitive charm and country flair wherever they may be located.
Prairie Style can be colorful!
What are your favorite elements of Prairie Style?
It has been said that what goes around comes around and nowhere is it more evident than in the manner in which Prairie style embraces humble materials, handcrafted objects, and homespun accessories. Reclaiming, reinventing, repurposing, and resourcefulness are among the hallmarks that define and make Prairie style uniquely current and exemplify the new American country.
What are the best places to shop or look to bring a Prairie look to one’s home?
You can easily find inexpensive furnishings and accessories in secondhand and antique shops, flea markets, barn sales, architectural and salvage outlets, and even yard sales.
I love how the new magazine includes homes, people, places food and more! Your round-up of artisans for this issue is so interesting – from beekeepers to woodworkers, farmers and more. Traveling for photo shoots must have felt like a field trip at times. Did you try your hand at any activities that were new to you or sample a new dish?
Yes, you are so right! Many photo shoots have a wonderful 'field trip' feel but, unfortunately, I don't get much of a chance to experiment with the activities! However, I do get to taste some of the yummy recipes.
My article!
I’m also excited to have written an article for Prairie about the Grilli home right here in my beloved Ocean State. It just shows how this aesthetic can happen anywhere. Do you have any tips for infusing this style in an unlikely place? Like, how could a tiny city apartment achieve a Prairie look?
I am not going to give you all our secrets but when you read the issue you will see how well people incorporate Prairie style in their interiors. In the issue, we celebrate the unbridled creativity with which homeowners instill personality and their own brand of sophistication into their homes in ways that elevate each from basic to beautiful, regardless of their location. You will be surprised to discover how easy and effective it is. But, to sum it up, the Prince of the Prairie himself said it best: "There is a way of living that has a certain grace and beauty. It's not a constant race for what is next, rather an appreciation of what has come before."-Ralph Lauren
That's beautiful.
Thank you so much to the fabulous Fifi for answering my questions, providing these gorgeous peeks and for being such a special presence in my life!

Limited run on newsstands soon, or visit this link to order your copy.


seaside tinkered treasures signed copy giveaway winner announced

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway of Seaside Tinkered Treasures. I am so honored and heart-warmed by your lovely comments and sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for your ongoing support!

Source: Seaside Tinkered Treasures, photography by Claire Richardson, styling by Nel Haynes

Using the winner is Julie Light of the beautiful new-to-me blog Fabulous Finds Studio by Julie Light!

If you're reading this and you're not Julie, I hope you will consider buying a copy for yourself from your favorite bookseller or suggest that your local library purchase a copy or two. Can't find it on the shelf? Just ask for it to be ordered.


Friday, March 21, 2014

{first} signed copy giveaway of seaside tinkered treasures

Hello again! I am so excited about the release of my second book Seaside Tinkered Treasures! It turned out so beautifully thanks to the stellar team assembled by CICO Books! 

Photography by Claire Richardson, styling by Nel Haynes and color illustrations once again by Qian Wu combine to make this book extraordinarily pretty but don't worry -- projects are  easy-peasy. Foreword provided by the brilliant Selina Lake, who is busy launching her fifth book, Selina Lake Outdoor Living.

You may enter to win a signed copy of seaside tinkered treasures in any/all of the following ways:
1. Leave a comment at this very post
2. Subscribe to my e-newsletter for all my updates in one quiet, little place 
3. Follow me on Twitter
4. Follow me on Facebook at either tinkered treasures and/or elyse major writer
5. Share about this giveaway on social media and tag my sites(s) or comment so that I know

Gosh, remember when all we had were our blogs?!

"Hey! How come we didn't make it into the book?"
A winner will be chosen at random and announced at this blog on Monday, March 31, 2014. Entries will be accepted up until a winner has been announced. Please be sure that I am able to contact you if you win.

Thank you as always for all of the support!

Happy spring!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

me and seaside on tv

How crazy is this? The press release for my just-released Seaside Tinkered Treasures made its way to Rhode Island PBS and they responded generously by not only using it as a pledge-drive gift but by having me appear on television between an evening of seaside-themed programming. (And it will re-broadcast a total of three additional times!)

me and the pretty and talented Bianca Nastari
Knowing I'd be super nervous, I prepared as best as I could by planning what I would wear, reviewing a set of questions (which as it turned out, weren't used!) and scheduling an appointment to have my make-up done.

Photo credit: Jodi Mesolella
As I knew it would, my two-minute segment went by in a blur. Everyone at Rhode Island PBS was wonderful, helpful and encouraging to silly/nervous me.

I just hope the exposure to the book results in lots of interest and sales because I have big ideas for a third!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

sign-up for e-news from e-lyse

I started a newsletter! A couple of author-pals suggested the idea to me months ago and I kept putting it off thinking that it would be difficult to create but it wasn't (well, at first it was) and now it's actually pretty fun!

What I like about the newsletter is that it will allow me to share a bunch of stuff all in one place. Still a work-in-progress, I'm not quite sure of the frequency -- maybe weekly, monthly?

Seaside Tinkered Treasures featured on Rhode Island PBS!
And just like here at my online clubhouse/diary, I'll be sure to keep content post-worthy and fun (like the above photo slated for issue #2), similar to what I share on my tinkered treasures pages on Facebook and Twitter but all in one bundle. I plan to share publishing updates, events, tinkering tips and quick projects, and giveaways!

Now I just need subscribers. I hope you'll consider signing up (see below) and telling a friend.

Many thanks!


subscribe today!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

seaside blog tour: giveaways and more!

I'm so excited because today kicks off the blog tour for seaside tinkered treasures! Each of the blogs listed will feature posts that can include an interview, review, tutorial and even book giveaways. Each date of the tour, I'll be sure to update this post with a link.

Thank you so much to the wonderful Lauren at CICO Books for orchestrating the tour and to all of the lovely participants!


blog tour links
Day 1: Cut Out and Keep
Day 2: {oc cottage}
Day 3:
Day 4: Decor-Art 
Day 5: Torie Jayne 
Day 6: Christine Chitnis
Day 7: Such Pretty Things 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

tinkering video!

Publicity is beginning for my second book Seaside Tinkered Treasures! Recently my home state magazine Rhode Island Monthly visited to tape this how-to video for their newsletter. Sure, it was easy to tidy-up the Girlie Office and decide which project to make, but the speaking in front of a camera part was a bit daunting for me. Thank you to Jen at Rhode Island Monthly for trekking to my house on an icy day and doing a fantastic job! Visit this link for full article.

Well ... here's me!