Tuesday, November 24, 2015

my special evening at blithewold

Signing a book for my supertalented friend Karen Harvey Cox, who also tinkered this photo!
One of Rhode Island's many gems is Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum. It's a breathtaking horticultural and historic attraction and it was the recent setting of Crafting Night at the Museum with Elyse Major. {How fun is that!?}

Photo credit: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
The name Blithewold means "happy woodland" in Old English and that evening I was quite the blithemaken {which may or may not translate to "happy maker" but let's go with it ...}.

Wouldn't a line of tinkering supplies be a dream come true!? Wish Out Loud!
I prepared for the event by gathering supplies to make three tinkering projects: cans, clothespins, and tags. I decorated supplies and take-home bags and ordered buttons. I wanted everything to be perfect especially since this was my first event where attendees had to pay.

I designed and ordered buttons from Zazzle.com
Books and cupcakes: a perfect combo!
Blithewold is reknown for its brilliant Christmas displays where the entire house is decorated by dedicated volunteers and it had just been set-up the day before. To have the glowing lights, boughs and baubles as a backdrop to my event was beyond words. {It made me miss my parents so much, wishing they were there.}

Pretty be-ribboned delicious cupcakes from Fatulli's Bakery & Deli fit the order of MAKE THEM GIRLY;
shown festooned (!) with tinkered flags
Blithewold's Education Progams Manager Julie Christina, and Jill Cleveland, ensured that every detail was taken care of from tablecloths to cupcakes ...

Tinkered touches included millinery forget-me-nots wrapped on stemware
to champagne flutes and selections of bubbly ...

to rose-patterned china for my tinkering buffet.

Everyone had such a lovely time tinkering, talking, sipping and nibbling.
My dear dear dear longtime blogging friend Karen made an hour drive with her friend Joyce to attend! Karen also surprised me at my first-ever booksigning, too! A multi-talented artist and generous sweetie, Karen wrote her own blog post about the event which is so perfect I almost didn't write my own. Read Karen's post here. What a happy-cutie she is!

The paint and scrap table
Attendees got to play with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint courtesy of my friend Nancy Chace's shop Sea Rose Cottage

One of the evening's projects
It was a magical evening for me and hopefully the first of many events like it. Many thanks also to my awesome friend Maureen Ricci for all of her help that night!

My wish 4 U: A peaceful, healthy and happy everyday.

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

$50 novica giveaway

If you follow my blog you may know that while I love to promote and support small businesses, I don't often do product placement pitches for large companies (although, if anyone wants to offer me a shed, I'm in!). However, since 2011 I have been happy to host giveaways for NOVICA.

NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites. They work with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market.

I tried to quickly assemble the above collage of insta-faves to showcase that they have a variety of items including: new arrivals: http://www.novica.com/new-arrivals/; chess sets: http://chess-sets-games.novica.com/chess-sets/; anklets: http://jewelry.novica.com/anklets/; jewelry: http://jewelry.novica.com/ and "gifts for him": http://unique-gifts.novica.com/mens/. Learn more about NOVICA here.

NOVICA has generously offered a $50.00 gift certificate for me to give away.

Here's how to enter:
Please leave a comment on this post stating which department of the NOVICA site you like best. It's that simple.
For additional entries, please like/follow Tinkered Treasures on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter or subscribe to my free e-newsletter and leave me a comment letting me know. 
This giveaway is open internationally. A winner will be chosen from the comments on this post using Random.org. 
The winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 on this blog.

Thanks so much and good luck!


UPDATE: November 24, 2015
The giveaway is now closed.
Thank you all for taking the time to enter and share!
Using Random.org the winner is sandyhills x

Monday, November 2, 2015

tinkering is tinkering no matter what size

Whether I'm crafting something large or small, my go-to supplies are pretty much the same: foam brushes, low-tack (painter's) tape, decoupage medium, a glue stick, paint and paper.

Lately I've been tinkering some large-scale items. I had the idea to turn a children's wardrobe and chair into a desk suite. You might even call this endeavor an Ikea Hack.

Click on image to enlarge for detail
I found color inspiration from a package of floral/khaki PiP Studio napkins -- a superfind discovered at a HomeGoods store. At the time, the vibrant choice seemed bold for me but looking at it now, it's pretty much aligned with my favored colorway. I had small pots of interior paint mixed to match the colors of the napkin.

The hubs helped by using the existing shelf as a template, and cut a second as a work space from a sheet of plywood and installed it at desk level.

I covered the top-back of the MÄLARÖ chair and inside-back of the SUNDVIK wardrobe with open napkins, adhering with glue stick and sealing very gently with brush strokes of decoupage medium aka Mod Podge. I first tried using spray-mount but found that it was just too fumacious (and the wardrobe was too bulky to bring outside for that step).

I was going for a paint-dipped effect for the chair legs. I might re-do them using spray paint for better adherence to the metal legs.

I painted the inside of the wardrobe the khaki of the napkin background and once dry, began to outfit the piece with other Ikea items such as these SOCKERKAKA baking cups thumb-tacked to the inside door as small supply catch-alls.

Using hook-and-loop tape, I mounted SKURAR metal candle dishes for use as a magnetic board and a mini chalk board (with a cut circle of chalkboard oilcloth affixed with glue) for messages.

Hardware source: Primrose and Company and Sea Rose Cottage
The idea is that for a small space, everything can close when work is done.

But when open for business, provides a compact space that is charming and inspiring.

Isn't the mini chandelier so fun?! It's meant for a locker, is battery-operated and is secured using hook-and-loop adhesive.

No matter what size project you're tackling, just remember that it doesn't have to be perfect. Enjoy the process. Mistakes can be disguised and will add character -- and stories -- to your one of a kind treasure!


{Find details of my favorite supplies, methods and suppliers in both of my books} 
Tinkered Treasures and Seaside Tinkered Treasures

Friday, October 9, 2015

beekman 1802 meets blithewold 1907

Brent and Josh display Beekman 1802 Style
Pinch me! Yesterday I had lunch with Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, also known as the Beekman Boys. Yup, all kind of cool stuff is always happening here in the Ocean State.

See the fork and napkin at 6 o'clock? That's where I'm seated!
There's Brent signing a copy of their latest book Beekman 1802 Style, The Attraction of Opposites.

A completely swoonworthy book -- not only is it beautiful with a substantial weight and inventive styling and photography, it's filled with original ideas and useful advice that has me reconsidering my own decor notions but in the best possible way.

Hooray for books!

So how did this all come to be?

In early spring not long after a site visit to stunning Blithewold {for this event}, I was invited to join the planning committee for the return of the venue's Gardener's Day. Without hesitation, I was in. Being part of the proceedings was a treat in itself. Meetings were held at the mansion over fresh baked scones with a talented group assembled and lead by Education Programs Manager, the wonderful Julie Christina (see below). Gardener's Day, Style-Inside and Outside the Home, took place yesterday, October 8, 2015 and it was a success!

Blithewold sweeties, Julie and Dan Christina
Lately the weather has been very-October-fickle (sweater on, sweater off) but yesterday was glorious! Pleasant and breezy with dappled light across the grounds met with unobstructed views of sparkling Narragansett Bay. Spectacular.

The event was staged under a tent on the grounds

The large tent was outfitted with fairy lights, and centerpieces of vessels filled with fresh flowers, herbs and plants, were anything but garden variety. Each banquet chair was festooned with a burlap bow -- a few I tied myself once I got the hang of it. Many thanks to Blithewold's esteemed Margaret Whitehead, for being a patient instructor!

LUCKY ME! I was seated at the table with the special guests! In addition to a delicious lunch, we were treated to an informative agenda filled with planting tips and demos. After dessert the true treat was listening to Brent and Josh playfully shared the true tale of how Beekman 1802 came to be. It's an amazing story! So inspiring and demonstrative of how sometimes when life throws you lemons, not only should you make lemonade but share it with others.

Still with me? A few more deets:

Warm apple cranberry hand pie with cinnamon ice cream by Russell Morin of Russell Morin Fine Catering
Ed Bowen of Opus Nursery gave a lively talk followed with a demo by Katherine Tracey of cleverly named Avant Gardens, which featured how to top pumpkins with succulents.
Artisans, growers and vendors such as Newport's Cottage & Garden were on-hand with displays
My signed copy!
Brent, Josh, me, Style, and the dappled light
I'm now so taken with Brent and Josh that I feel like their number one fan.

The magazine! On newsstands now .

But I'm just one in a billion... just like they are.

Thanks for reading.


Find me returning to Blithewold next month for Crafting Night at the Museum!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

crafting night at the mansion (with champagne, cupcakes and me)!

I've always wanted to do some kind of evening crafting event with champagne and cupcakes and here it is at stunning Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum, overlooking Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island!!! Learn all about the stunning venue here.

Crafting Night at the Mansion: With Author and Tinkerer Elyse Major

WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:00PM - 9:00PM
WHERE: Blithewold Mansion
Crafting Night at the Mansion
With Author and Tinkerer Elyse Major

Thursday, November 12, 2015
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Grab your best pair of scissors and head over to Blithewold for an evening of crafty fun with author and tinkerer extraordinaire, Elyse Major. During the hands-on, informal session, participants will make to take home various projects inspired by Major’s books and blog only with a holiday twist! Party favors to tinkered holiday tags will spring from your newly inspired crafter-self. Get a jumpstart on holiday preparations!

Cupcakes and champagne will be the cherry on top of this fun-filled evening.
Major’s books will also be available for sale and/or signing.

Member $40, Non-member $45

Click here to register.

Autumn view of the bay, from the mansion. Photo credit: Allan Millora Photography
Tinkering, cupcakes, champagne all in a glorious setting! Hope you can attend!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

i miss my couch

I suppose I have a long history of becoming sentimentally attached to furniture. I remember sobbing when my parents sold this chair. It was the perfect place to fall asleep, even during your own birthday party.

My husband Jeff and I purchased the cloud blue slipcover couch below soon after we moved into our house. Goofy ol' couch, it was never even comfortable! The stuffing was never right. The furniture store even sent someone to add stuffing to it and then it was too bulky. Our boys even removed some of the stuffing to make a craft project. To have to sit on it during family movie night was akin to losing a bet yet somehow the frame broke rendering it more sinkhole than seat.

A few months ago we scheduled a bulky item pick-up and Jeff actually hacked the couch apart to fit through the front door to get it to the curb. Good riddance! The coveted comfortable love seat remains, soft and faded, worn and stained. It will be heading to the boy's study room.

So what's in the living room now? An Ikea Ektorp sofa and love seat. I haven't mentioned this but I'm currently working on a book about altering things from the Swedish retailer and have ended up with some pieces in my home. Even before this project came to be, I had my sights set on this very couch.

The wallpaper-backed window stays!
I think I am blue over missing the pale wash of color of the big uncomfy couch and am now trying to figure out how to make the dark grey work amidst the soft hues.

Just now I decided to skip Pinterest and simply do a Google Image search for "grey Ektorp couch." I very much like this tone-on tone but the white cushions aren't going to work in my house.

Image: Comfort Works

Pillows, a throw and some sparkle will help. Perhaps I will paint my existing lamp bases in a shiny metallic?

This image from Ikea is very nice. Sparkle: check; smaller coffee table: noted; inclusion of woven chair and basket: nice. Rug: also noted.

I'm really liking all of this, too. Similar layout.

Okay. I think I'm feeling better now. If you have any ideas, please comment. Thoughts on window treatments? Should I paint the coffee table the pale blue of the old couch? That goofy ol' couch.

Gathering ideas at charcoal + cloud