Elyse Major

author page: Elyse Major

Writer and self-proclaimed “tinkerer” ELYSE MAJOR, is the author TINKERED TREASURES (CICO Books). She also contributes to publications such as Romantic Homes and Romantic Country and is currently at work on a second book due for publication in spring 2014. Elyse lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two boys. Visit her at tinkeredtreasures.com.

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Easy DIY Project: Tissue Box Tags

Easy DIY Project: Tissue Box Tags

[ 3 ] December 3, 2012 |

I love paper products and so my head is easily turned when even tissue boxes with festive holiday images appear on the shelves at Target. This year’s patterns are especially adorable and feature simple and cheerful motifs. So cute in fact, that I find myself unable to place them in the recycling bin. And that’s how this little project started.

Other uses:
Also makes a fun non-breakable ornament
Find baker’s twine at post-holiday clearance sales at stores like Crate & Barrel
Use this idea year-round for gift tags

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Just add googly eyes. Simple crafting with kids.

Just add googly eyes. Simple crafting with kids.

[ 1 ] October 23, 2012 |

Buy a pack of googly eyes and buy a pack of fun. Just the words “googly eyes” easily invokes a chuckle (to silly me). These little plastic shells that contain a loose disk or black ball can quickly transform any inanimate object into a toy. Inexpensive and available at craft stores or even some craft […]

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Hidden Gem: Apple Valley Minerals

Hidden Gem: Apple Valley Minerals

[ 3 ] August 23, 2012 |

When my boys were toddlers, it seemed a bit easier to turn a nothing day into a something day. At two and four years old, even a trip to the pet store to look at parakeets and hamsters was enough to wow them but now at nine and eleven, sometimes it takes a bit more … or does it?

The other afternoon we stopped by our local library and there was a display case filled with rocks, minerals and even petrified poop courtesy of Apple Valley Minerals. Many afternoons the boys and I have passed that small business, housed in a quaint slate blue cottage with a hanging sign on 7 Homestead Avenue in Smithfield. We decided to investigate.

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camp tinker: sandscape terrarium

camp tinker: sandscape terrarium

[ 0 ] August 8, 2012 |

Welcome back to Camp Tinker! As mentioned in my previous post, Camp Tinker aims to be a series of summertime posts featuring simple and enjoyable craft projects. It also serves as a little “craft lab” for me to try out new ideas and twists. This post’s project is a sort of no-fail terrarium.

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camp tinker: easy peasy summer craft projects

camp tinker: easy peasy summer craft projects

[ 1 ] July 23, 2012 |

Elyse is always full of fabulous clever crafty ideas. This summer, she created Camp Tinker – a series of projects you can do with (or without) your children. – Anisa

As you probably know, I enjoy putting a shabby-style spin on simple craft projects. This summer while between book deadlines, I thought my blog would be the perfect sunny location to try out some ideas.

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Springtime Projects with Paint Chips

Springtime Projects with Paint Chips

[ 2 ] March 29, 2012 |

Here’s a fun idea that doesn’t require many tools and the main material is not only free but provides a little field trip! These projects are made from paint chips, the free cards displayed at paint departments that show ranges of related colors available from manufacturers. The white lines that divide the colors and the sturdy card stock make them perfect candidates for crafting. And did I mention they are free?

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Today’s Home Work: Eric Bulmer, “Science Guy”, Owner and Program Director of Pow!Science!

Today’s Home Work: Eric Bulmer, “Science Guy”, Owner and Program Director of Pow!Science!

[ 1 ] February 16, 2012 |

We love getting to know parents in our community. In our Home Work series, we ask moms and dads how they juggle their work while raising kids, hoping to get some insight on how to better balance our own work/playtime while being introduced to our neighbors and their cool businesses. Today Elyse Major interviewed Eric Bulmer. Meet the “Science Guy.” He is the Owner and Program Director of Pow!Science! a leading provider of Elementary Science enrichment programs in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts with two locations that are part toy-store and part-workshop/party space.

Kidoinfo: What inspired you to start your business?
Eric Bulmer (EB): A couple of things. Although I loved classroom teaching, I was not enjoying the administrative aspects of the job and felt I was being held back. Teaching to a test has never been my style. Also, during my last year as a classroom teacher, I began performing science birthday parties and workshops for another company and saw the potential to take science “performance” a lot further. When Keith Michael Johnson, one of RI’s top enrichment performers, told me I “had the stuff” to go it on my own, I believed him.

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Afterschool Special: Make Comics! Workshops

Afterschool Special: Make Comics! Workshops

[ 1 ] December 19, 2011 |

Make Comics! is run by the Providence Comics Consortium, a group founded by educator/comic enthusiasts Walker Mettling and Andrew Oesch. Sessions held at library program rooms take place two afternoons per week, two hours per session. As a former art student and crafty mom, I was impressed by all facets of the classes: the obvious planning, the materials offered, the instruction of using panels for storytelling, inking and using details such as facial expression to succinctly convey emotion; there was even a healthy snack! To close the session our instructor Walker presented each child with a bound anthology of student work from both sessions, assembled with great care.

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So Many Uses: Vinegar

So Many Uses: Vinegar

[ 6 ] December 11, 2011 |

Vinegar easily makes my “what would you bring to a desert island’ list – the practical version anyway. At less than four dollars for a gallon jug, white distilled vinegar offers a myriad of uses that can easily replace costly and harsh pesticides and chemicals.

Vinegar can be found throughout my home whether in its original jug in the basement, the filled spray bottle in the cupboard or the dainty cruet on the kitchen counter. Even more than its low-cost, I like the idea of cleaning with something that has no warning-paragraph. There is no fear from vinegar accidently getting sprayed on foods or tooth brushes, in fact, you can spray it on foods and toothbrushes.

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Spa Time

Spa Time

[ 0 ] October 18, 2011 |

Elyse Major and I were recently invited to sample services at The Spa (formerly the Red Door), located in the Providence Biltmore in downtown Providence. Having the opportunity to spend the afternoon at a spa is a luxury that never seems to fit either of our budgets or timetable. But after spending an afternoon at The Spa—I had an amazing manicure and pedicure while Elyse enjoyed a massage, followed by relaxing in the quiet room with candles and magazines and ending with a delicious lunch and glass of wine at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant—we both felt like we had gone away for the weekend, forgetting any stress or pressures of everyday life.

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