Monday, December 29, 2008

Enter My Give-away!

I have exciting news to share. Thanks to the warm encouragement of so many of my blogging pals (especially Cynthia of Cynthia's Cottage Design, I have opened a shop on Etsy. It's called tinkeredtreasures. (My friend the troll is there, too.) To celebrate this venture I am having a "grand opening" give-away and hope you will enter. The prize is one of my pretty organized sets (pictured). The set includes a decorated tin can, three painted and decoupaged clothespins, and one painted pencil. The cans are handy for pencils, scissors, spare change, even small plants or flowers; the clothespins are nice for papers, receipts and small bags.

To enter the give-away simply leave a comment about 1 of the 3 questions:
- Any advice about my Etsy shop (pricing -- too high or too low?)?
- What is your favorite color combination?
- What do you do to keep pretty organized?
A winner will be drawn at random this Saturday, Jan 3


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While my husband wraps gifts for me in all greens and reds
To get me downstairs he suggested I blog
So I happily agreed and think I'll pour some egg nog

Guffaw! Well, after a very busy (and snowy) week, I'm happy to have a little time to blog and say hi. Today I actually cooked our entire Christmas dinner. I started doing this last year after always feeling like I spent the best hours of the day in the kitchen, emerging tired and hot. It's all cooked and cleaned up from turkey to cranberry sauce. Tomorrow when everything is heated, it will feel like a caterer delivered it all to us. Well, that's the idea, anyway! Here's what else has been going on ...

Our backyard blanketed in snow

First attempt at roasting chestnuts (kind of mealy -- undercooked?)

Working on a gingerbread house with my boys

Happiest holidays to all of my wonderful blogging pals!

Book credits:
Photo from a favorite book, A Very Mice Christmas by Wendy Wax. How can you not love a mouse wearing glasses? The top photo is from Toot & Puddle: I'll Be Home for Christmas by Holly Hobbie (yes, that Holly Hobbie). Unbelievably beautiful illustrations.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Just one week ago while visiting one of my favorite blogs Shabby Scraps, I read Tiffany's enjoyable post Shabby Scraps Shame. Scrolling down I saw a small bottle filled with glitter, beads and a small pink bottle brush tree; its cork cap covered in glass glitter; the bottle tied with a pink satin ribbon with letters spelling out wish. I GASPed. I’d never seen anything like it and immediately emailed to see if it was for sale. It was!

Feeling guilty about buying myself a treat during the holiday season I got up the nerve to ask Tiffany (Shabby Scraps Boutique) if she would be interested in a swap, and if she wasn’t I would put the bottle on my Christmas list. I was thrilled when Tiffany agreed and even more excited just days later when my package arrived. Thank you, Tiffany for all of the wonderful treats! Everything was packaged so beautifully. I had to take lots of photos to share ...

Tiffany sent many surprise treats all tied with ribbons and garland. Look at the card she made!

As adults we don't often get surprised with a box full of sparkly treats. How much fun to find all of this. I began to "play" immediately ...

I tied the letters to some twine and displayed my card. I love how the roughness of twine can offset things from getting too-too girly (in my home).

Why yes, that is another Bonne Maman jar filled with candy canes (beside a Vlasic pickle jar!).

I tied ribbon to the snowflake and hung it up to add a little sparkle.

And of course the beautiful jar. So seemingly simple yet so creative, inspired and special. Thank you so much Tiffany. I will treasure all of this always! (I hope you receive your package soon!) xo

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Add Salt

In my house we all like Bonne Maman strawberry preserves. Not only are they delicious and very much like homemade but they come in wonderful, sturdy little jars with red and white gingham lids. Being the mom of boys, I never throw away a good jar. You never know when a bug might need a home, right?

Bonne Maman jars can be found in almost every room of my house. A virtual I-Spy of glass and gingham. In the kitchen they hold sugars; in the playroom-googlie eyes and pom poms; in the girly office-craft odds and ends; just to name a few uses and places. I have even tinkered with some of them (shown below).

On Fridays I have office hours as a communications consultant and a sweet coworker brought in cupcakes for everyone (thank you, Isabel!). Probably the prettiest cupcakes I have ever seen. Each one was frosted pale blue and topped with red and white sprinkles, a snowman ring, and GASP a tiny plastic tree. I had to have a tree! (But did I really have to eat the enormous cupcake? File that under: Resolutions '09 post)

Back at home with my little tree, I set out to display it. A-ha! I will put it in an empty Bonne Maman jar (lid spray-painted pink) and add a little salt. A few saved elf cupcake toppers later and we have a whimsical vignette (and a lengthy post)!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Playroom Tree

Ours is a Cape Cod-style house so in addition to having two bedrooms upstairs we have two bedrooms on the main level. One bedroom is used as the Girlie Office; the other is a playroom for my two boys. I love the playroom. To me it embodies so many dreams of mine that have come true: being happily married, having children, owning a home. I love that there is this space in our home where the kids can play and make a mess and (theoretically) leave it behind until the next day. The playroom is packed with toys and games and books and craft supplies. As you can see, there is even a little tree. This year my son Jonah decided it should be decorated only in blue. Some ornaments were swiped from our living room tree and others are items from around the playroom, like a blue pencil sharpener, a blue Post-it note pad, even a ball of blue painter's tape! Someday when the playroom is very neat, I will take more photos to post!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today's Top Story

Illustrations by Ethan

One of my favorite online places is Kidoinfo’s creator Anisa, describes her independent weblog as “a new hip guide for parents and kids … based in Providence, Rhode Island, and reaching out to the world.” Kidoinfo is packed with book reviews, creative ideas, things to do, places to go and links to family resources. I visit almost daily and in the Fall (notice that is when school started for the boys and blogging started for me!) I began to write and submit articles. Today I was happily surprised to see that my Around the House Boredom Busters article is the top story. (Links to my other articles can be found along the right margin) Even if you live across the country, I’m sure you will find Kidoinfo a great resource, too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Snowflake Success

Wow. After all the excited planning, painting, sanding, embellishing, printing and meeting, the Snowflake Bazaar is over. Shellie and I had a wonderful time. Our friends and families showed us amazing support with calls, and visits from Massachusetts (Cindy!) and New Jersey (Betsy and Andy!). We didn't really know what to expect for a turnout, especially with the current economy, but we were pleased with the results of our first effort. Of course even more fun than making any sale was seeing people react to our goodies and the fun time we had preparing. Later that evening it snowed -- the first of the season -- magical!

Anything wood or tin was made by me; anything with fabric was made by Shellie.

Packaging is everything!

Shellie and me. Note my cottage T! On to the next venture ...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting Ready for the Snowflake!

Just a few days to go until the Snowflake Bazaar. Yesterday, I finally put price tags on my items and today I will attempt to fit-in last-minute painting and glittering in between all of the usual Mommy stuff. The room we affectionately refer to as the Girly Office is looking more like the Girly Garage.

I love these little tags that Shellie made for me.

I am a big fan of branding (as goofy as that might sound) so I have (minty fresh!) cards and magnets ready.

My pretty organized gift sets. Sets include 1 tin can, 3 clothespins, 1 painted pencil and 1 painted seashell (perfect for paper clips).

My sister Betsy will visit from NJ this weekend and asked if I could do something with her plain wooden tray. A little paint and some decoupage and it is on its way to being shabbified!

While all the supplies are out, I thought I'd tinker with an autumn berry wreath that had seen its last Fall. Hmmm? Maybe some glitter? Is it working?

Any advice about being a vendor at a craft fair is not only welcome, it is being requested! Thank you to all my bloggerette pals for all of your encouragement and support! xo

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Visit to The Painted Cottage

I am back from my Thanksgiving trip. Full of turkey, memories, and photos! I must have taken sixty photos at The Painted Cottage between the studio, cafè and home store. Don't worry: I've narrowed it down to about seven pics (but that may change next time I'm re-reading my own post)! I am hoping to capture the inspired feeling I get when I walk through the Studio and workspace.

I can only hope that this photo, taken on the first floor of the studio (yes, there are 2nd floors in both the Studio and Home stores) gives a sense of the many amazing things for sale.

This exposed painted brick wall is so beautiful: it makes me want to build one inside my home!

Pale shades of aqua and pink are everywhere, as are mosaics, pillows, chandeliers, painted furniture, architectural finds, pretty hardware ...

The fabrics make me want to overcome my fear of patterns and finally use my "new" sewing machine (last year's Christmas gift from my husband)

More furniture upstairs at the Studio

Views of the workspace. GASP! Paint, fabrics, furniture, dishes!

Main level of the Home store (located in the Woolworth's building. See previous post for exterior)

Artist and co-owner, Valerie Boothroyd with her beaming fan: me! How cool and busy is Valerie? Well, she seated my party for lunch at the cafè and then was at the Home store willing to be in this photo afterward! Thank you. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving could be my favorite holiday. Each year, my husband and our two boys travel from the Ocean State to the Garden State to celebrate with my two sisters and their families. On Thanksgiving Day my brother-in-law Bobby and sister Dede cook the most delicious turkey dinner--my favorite meal of the whole year. On Friday, our new tradition is to all spend the day together in nearby, historic Collingswood, home to one of my favorite places: The Painted Cottage Studio. Thankfully there is a candy store in town to lure the boys along!

The Painted Cottage has three presences in Collingswood: a store (located in an old Woolworth’s building), a café (yum), and the studio (gasp!). The studio is located in a 9,000 square foot, late 1800s exposed brick factory, which is used as a work space and retail store. When I wander over to the work space, I get so inspired and excited! It is bursting with creativity. There are bottles of paint, pieces of furniture, stacks of vintage plates … It’s just awesome and it makes me want to make things, try to sell things, and of course, buy things (which I always do).

Whenever I approach artist and co-owner Valerie, I gush like a fan to a rock star. Check out their websites and you just might gush, too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Surprise from Shellie

Ever since my friend Shellie and I decided we would be partners in our first-ever craft fair, we have been meeting weekly to share ideas. How to display our items? What to charge? Even what to wear! At our recent meeting she surprised me with a banner! Shellie made each pennant from different, coordinating fabrics. The banner is amazing, just like Shellie!

It looks so perfect and festive in my "girly office."

To see more of Shellie's creations visit her blog at byathreadgifts.

(Hmm . . . what to make for Shellie?!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Before and After

In late October, I added a post and a poll (Vote 4 Vanity) so that my fellow bloggerettes could help me decide which colors to paint a vanity table. Turned out it was a three-way tie between white, pale aqua, and stripes. Well, I finally got around to painting the table. Thank you for all of your input. I went with all three!

While the paint can was still open, I figured I'd paint a picture frame to match the table.

Some "shabbified" details.

Putting together a little cottage vignette.