Photo credit: Marisa Bettencourt

Welcome to my blog where I enjoy keeping track of tinkering and writing endeavors, sharing favorite things and places, and using made-up words.

When I began my blog "cottage" (fall ‘08), I sort of envisioned it to be an instant venue for my DIY adventures: funny stories about stripping wallpaper and sweating over applying crackle medium. Somehow along the way I rediscovered my love of creating and writing. I credit much of my artistic reawakening to the sparkling inspiration, warm support and generous encouragement of my cherished friends in the blogging community.

I live in beautiful Rhode Island, U.S.A. with my patient husband and two amazing boys.

Thank you for visiting and happy blogging!


Official bio:

Elyse (Press) Major is an award-winning lifestyle journalist and editor-in-chief at Providence Media, publisher of Rhode Island's premier award-winning lifestyle magazines Providence Monthly, The Bay Magazine, SO Rhode Island, and Hey Rhody. Since taking the editorial helm in 2018, Elyse has overseen the development of editorial content across all of the publications. Additionally, she writes for the magazines and assigns cover stories, life & style, and art & culture features.

In 2021, Elyse was named co-president of the Rhode Island Press Association. That same year, she was awarded honorable mention for her story on honor system farm stands for Hey Rhody. In 2022, she was awarded first place in the Arts/Niche Columnist categories for her home tours in that same publication.

Over the years Elyse has contributed many dozens of articles and craft tutorials to shelter magazines and is a regular contributor to Country Sampler's Farmhouse Style magazine. For the July 2022 issue of Yankee, she provided the Rhode Island section of the cover story on Best Ice Cream Shops in New England.

An author, Elyse released her first two books Tinkered Treasures and Seaside Tinkered Treasures back-to-back in 2013 and 2014 (CICO Books), and is the co-author of a third book of DIY home furnishings released in the U.S. as I Modify IKEA (Ulysses Press), Australia as 50 Flatpack Hacks (Murdoch Books), France as Je customise Ikea (L'Inédite, 2017), and South Korean as Make Your Own IKEA (RIDIBOOKS, 2017). Additionally her branding efforts are featured in the book How to Show and Sell Your Crafts (St. Martin's Griffin); Craft Show & Sell (Search Press, Ltd.). She started her blog Tinkered Treasures in 2008.

Elyse has been a presenter at the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY, led workshops at libraries and venues like Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, and held book signings across the country. As the face of Providence Media, she appears on local TV and radio broadcasts, conferences, and events.

Her home and studio ("the girlie office") will appear in the upcoming book Small Homes, Big Appeal: The art of creating a cozy, compact home by Fifi O’Neill (July 11, 2023), and have been featured in the following magazines: Cottages & Bungalows, Making, Mollie Makes, Romantic County, Romantic Homes, Room to Create, and Somerset Life. Elyse was profiled in USA TODAY HOME for her original wallpapered blinds project, and has developed blog posts for Laura Ashley USA.

When not writing, Elyse is busy exploring beautiful places and small businesses on photo-taking jaunts which of course turn into articles. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons.