You may remember that I wrote about Elyse Major's fabulous first book, Tinkered Treasures, last year. It was such a wonderful book, so I was absolutely thrilled when Elyse announced that she was working on a second book, Seaside Tinkered Treasures. Well, I am happy to tell you that it has just been released and it is every bit as lovely as Tinkered Treasures. This time, Elyse has come up with lots of fun projects - all with a beachy, "seaside" theme. And once again, they are all things that you can easily make with simple items found around your home. I was fortunate to be able to catch up with Elyse and ask her a few questions, so today I am so happy to share my interview with her...
Q. Elyse, Seaside Tinkered Treasures is obviously inspired by the seaside and makes one long for warm, sunny, summer days at the beach. How did your idea for this book come about?
Elyse: Hi Jessica! I’ve always loved simple summer-camp types of crafts, cheap souvenirs and the idea of furnishing a beach house. Two-thirds through the first book, I was already scribbling ideas for Seaside.
Q. The pages are filled with pretty project after pretty project. How do you come up with so many wonderful ideas? Do you ever get creative blocks? Or do the ideas just continually flow?
Elyse: I most definitely get blocks but then thankfully the floodgates open and ideas come pouring out. I think this is why I’m such a messy crafter: I’ll start working on one idea and then it will detour into something else -- next thing I know, practically every craft bin and box is open and rifled through. Walking through a pretty shop will usually trigger ideas, too (How can I made that out of popsicle sticks?).
Q. I know that “tinkering” by its very nature involves using inexpensive household items that you can find in your own home, but do you have any places/shops that you especially love to source your other supplies?
Elyse: I do and it’s the little bits of special supplies that can make all the difference in a project. Both books have a suppliers list that include my go-tos: little brick-and-mortar shops, online sellers, and even “big box” stores like Michaels. I actually find wonderful craft supplies at TJ Maxx in the paper section – it’s a great resource for trimmings, baker’s twine and cupcake liners.
Q. As a lover of pastels, your books are pure eye candy for me. Such gorgeous styling and photography! Is this a consistent palette for you? Do pastels carry over into your home décor and wardrobe?
Elyse: Thank you! That is a huge compliment because as you know, I am such an admirer of your style. Pastels have definitely made their way into my home but I attempt to temper them for my guys by pairing them with rough finishes or the occasional graphic element. In my studio aka The Girlie Office, there is no compromise – it’s all yellow, pink and aqua! As for my own wardrobe, I wear pastels in spring and summer but for fall and winter oddly enough it’s all gray and black.
Q. After being Facebook friends with you for many years now, I know that you are more than just a talented author and designer - you are a mommy, too! How do you balance the demands of a creative career with motherhood?
Elyse: Yeeks. Check out the thank you to my patient husband and boys at the close of Seaside and you’ll get a hint that I don’t yet have it all quite figured out. My boys are super proud of me and I like to think that I’m showing them by example that you really can turn what you love to do into a career that you love. Oh, and take-out from Chipotle is a big help, too!
Elyse, thank you so much for sharing with us today. I can't wait to see what you come up with for book number three!
Seaside Tinkered Treasures by Elyse Major is published by CICO Books and is available from rylandpeters.com.