Thursday, June 26, 2014

shanty chic

All of the beautiful images for Seaside Tinkered Treasures were done by a brilliant team assembled by my publisher: stylist Nel Haynes and photograper Claire Richardson (who I sadly just learned passed away recently; link to fundraising campaign).  :(

In an email, Nel let me know that much of the book was shot over "very happy, if busy, two days at The Battery in Seasalter - it's a very special location and when you shoot in a good space things tend to go right!"

TINKERING RUSTIC RECYCLABLES: Shopping Bag Bunting and Sandcastle Flags
I'd like to share an excerpt from my first draft of the book's introduction. (Note the different title)

For as long as I can remember I have been smitten with beach cottages -- not opulent new-construction houses with tall views of the ocean but the old, un-winterized types furnished frugally with simple odds and ends. Small, modest places that conjure images of beds made with floral sheets soft and faded from years of use, where sun-bleached towels hang by the back door on a row of weathered hooks, and woven baskets hang at the ready to serve blueberry muffins when not adding rustic charm to walls.

Like many, I have fond memories of summertime that I summon for warmth and peace on cooler, busier days: mental snapshots of striped umbrellas dotting stretches of beachfront, lunches laced with gritty sand despite best efforts, and inexpensive roadside souvenirs fashioned from sea shells.

Welcome to Summer Treasury, my second craft book which builds upon the premise of Tinkered Treasures of tinkering wonderful somethings from everyday nothings. Consider this a sort of guidebook for a never-ending summer camp. Most materials are things you either might already have or are not difficult to find (because what fun is that?) and projects are easy to make.

Whether you have fresh sand in your sneakers or snow caked beneath your boots, the projects in Summer Treasury aim to become prized souvenirs of sunny, happy times spent creating.

In a nutshell (or clam shell) this is what I like to call Shanty Chic.

Happy summer tinkering!


Available at all good booksellers

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

my rhode island state secret for country living

Philadelphia-based writer Catherine Strawn
Through my publisher I was approached by Country Living to share a Rhode Island "state secret" for their Country Living Across America series. I was so excited not only for the opportunity to contribute to the esteemed publication but to promote my beloved Ocean State.

Visit link for information or Visit Rhode Island
I tried to think of a destination that would appeal to almost anyone, not be a niche, be easy to access and have nearby places to discover en route. After much consideration I landed on The Duck and Bunny, a cozy restaurant in Providence that calls itself a snuggery.

Marisa in action!
First step: Ask my talented photographer pal Marisa Bettencourt (Marisa Pictures and M Studios) what her schedule looked like because I wanted this submission to shine! Next, contact The Duck and Bunny to see if they were interested and schedule the shoot.

Baker Brandy Schwalbe, whipped up a beautiful cake garnished with fresh flowers, along with a few signature dishes and drinks to highlight.

Marisa and I enjoyed a morning of styling (me) and shooting (her) in the pretty rooms of the snuggery. Afterwards we stayed for a yummy lunch!

The glass-topped cupcake drawer
Fun fact: See those strawberry-topped cupcakes? I surprised Fifi (also in RI for a photo shoot at the home of my friend) with them for her birthday! Her photographer Mark Lohman became an instant-fan.

As it turned out, I kind of blended in with the surroundings so Marisa took a photo of me just for fun.

Despite the elegant decor, the upbeat music and nice staff keep the D&B feeling relaxed and not at all stuffy, and of course the menu offerings are delish!

The selected image
Photo credit: Unknown/Google
I also gave a shout-out to nearby Wayland Bakery, one of the suppliers of JFK’s wedding cake. I should call and let them know because I have a hunch they're not very active online.

Snippet from the Country Living page on Facebook
The result!
Where to find the best dessert in Providence, Rhode Island

Related: Providence's Duck and Bunny featured on Country Living Website

And meanwhile ...

June 29 at 12:30 p.m.: Curiosity & Mischief, Narragansett, RI
June 30 at 6 p.m.: Greenville Public Library, Greenville, RI
July 5 at 1 p.m.: Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
July 14 at 7 p.m.: East Smithfield Public Library, Smithfield, RI
July 21 at 7 p.m.: Mohr Memorial Library, Johnston, RI
July 26 at 2 p.m.: Island Books, Newport, RI

Happy June!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

seaside book party

Seaside Tinkered Treasures Book Party: The Craft Buffet
Ever have one of those days ... when everything went as planned?! That's how I feel reflecting upon last Saturday's Seaside Book Party. After months of scheming with the awesome Nancy Chace of decorative paint and vintage shop Sea Rose Cottage, we found ourselves with the right amount of everything -- from decorations to food to weather to guests!

It was also one of those special days where I felt so supported by my friends and family and community.
The Cath dress!
When I asked my friend Bridget of the fair trade flower and gift shop The Greenery if she'd be interested in providing bouquets in return for promotional consideration, she assembled arrangements that rivaled those of any wedding!
Beautiful arrangements by The Greenery in tinkered cans
A china plate holds flowers, twine and specially made project postcards
My friend Morayo of Piper Brown Photography arrived early and took the most beautiful photos!

Seemingly tireless Shanyn known in my town for her delicious treats quickly responded to my asking if she could whip up some pretty confections for the fete and did she ever!

Vendors from near and far offered goods and services to make the Seaside Swag Bags quite the lure! Please visit this link to see items and generous sponsors.

I think that the details are the best part of any event and really tried to make the time to enjoy the process of making, planning and assembling.

It was all hands on deck to get everything in ship-shape, even making sure there was sidewalk chalk outside for busy little tinkerers in tow.
"Wicked awesome"
Nancy planned a nautical-inspired buffet of mini lobster rolls, shrimp cocktail, potato chips and lemonade! And yes, I made paper bunting and flags of all sizes to festoon everything in sight!

To view even more of Morayo's party pics, please visit this link.
Decked out in aqua furnishings and pink-striped shades, Sea Rose Cottage provided the perfect backdrop for flowers, tinkering supplies, bunting and sweets all in the same soft palette.

Craft buffet make-and-take project

My "twin" Tracey gasping over one of Nancy's many cool acquisitions in aqua
My home away from home on the Summer Tour!
I adore this book. I really do!
Whether you were at the party or cheering me on from afar, thank you to everyone for the good wishes and support!!!

Nancy and me ... happy and pooped after the party!
Coming up:
Missed the party? Don't be blue. Order your copy, make a pitcher of lemonade, gather some supplies and get tinkering!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

country living fair: road trip to rhinebeck

Presenting at the Green Stage
Over the weekend I took a beautiful road trip to Rhinebeck, NY to be a presenter at the Country Living Fair. What a true honor for me to be included amongst this year's stellar line-up!

That's me!
Table dress rehearsal at home
I arrived late-morning with my BFF Cindy and we were treated to VIP parking and a golf cart ride to the stage, which was great since I had a big ol' bin of stuff for my presentation.

Honestly, even though I prepared and rehearsed, I became very nervous while waiting for my turn on stage. I swear I was getting dizzy and then I turned around and who did I see but one of my dearest blogging friends, Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage!

Pretty Claudia and me!
We had met in-person once before and once again connected instantly. Blogging is amazing, isn't it?

My presentation went great and I ended up feeling very at-ease thanks to a smiling and attentive audience. Thank you!

What followed next was a beautiful afternoon and second day of walking and shopping and eating and meeting! Before I launch into a series of photos from around the fair I want to share what Cindy and I did that evening:

We headed to Rhinebeck's town center at quaint Montgomery Street where bright blue hydrangeas and outdoor seating with checked tablecloths instantly drew us to the Liberty of Rhinebeck restaurant. The food was very good but the surroundings and presentation are what impressed us most, especially the use of sugar cannisters as drinking glasses! Brilliant!

A highlight of the trip
After dinner we strolled into bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy where unbeknownst to us a book signing event was being held for fellow CL Fair presenter, Libbie Summers, whom I had met that afternoon. What fun to chat, buy her latest book Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude and have it signed while sipping my new favorite way to enjoy seltzer -- with fresh mint leaves and watermelon slices (mmmm!).

Dresses are fun but ahhh ... comfy on Sunday in a T-shirt and jeans
I have noted vendors whenever possible but didn't catch 'em all; if you recognize a seller, please cite in a comment. I hope you will find the images as inspiring as I do.

A vintage seed box adds a pop of rich color to a rustic table setting on display at South Porch Antiques
Bandanas abounded adding western charm
One of many stylish signs
Reflections of colorful bunting against the bright blue sky via Red Door Antiques
Items in perfect "dirty pink" at the shabbilicious booth of longtime blogging pal Jen of Cottage Flair / The Nosey Goose
Making a case for how to best display pretty dishes
Cindy looking adorbs
A sparkling and unique light fixture

And what did I buy? The usual: lots of little tinkering supplies!



The summer tour is underway! Hope you can attend a date or two!