Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hello! You may know me as Crafty Superstar #47! My name is Elyse and I'm a craft/DIY author, home decor magazine writer, and tinkerer. I like to think of my projects as dressed-up children's crafts -- easy enough to enjoy the process of making -- using uncomplicated tools but with special embellishments. I live in the lovely state of Rhode Island on the East Coast of the U.S. with my husband and our two boys.
Tell us a bit about the book?
I Modify IKEA is a round-up of fresh ideas on how to personalize standard furnishings and home accents. The book does a great job of giving readers information up-front on materials, time, and difficulty and offers clear instructions, step-by-step illustrations and final photographs. And of course, these ideas can apply to things beyond everyone's favorite Swedish superstore.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The premise came from the publisher who teamed-up Charlotte Rivers and myself to develop projects and seek contributors.
Which is your favourite project?
I like the rolling bar cart for a few reasons: it looks nothing like it did originally as a white night stand; my husband Jeff and I worked on it together, proving that we can indeed tackle a project without getting all cranky; and I especially like the bottle opener as a drawer pull -- Jeff's clever idea.
What is your craft space like?
My "girlie office" is a cozy sunny room with pale yellow walls, a comfy yellow couch, and pink and aqua accents. It's generally messy despite my best efforts and is crowded with projects in various stages. Two bookcases are filled with beautiful home decor books and magazines, souvenirs and special things; jars and cans of often-used supplies are kept within grabbing distance on the desk and table. When it's time to write, I head upstairs to my bedroom to a desk and computer tucked away in a nook behind an armoire (which just happens to be a piece from IKEA that I "modified" years ago).
Have you always been creative?
For as long as I can remember I've been making things and drawing. My mom used to joke that I "ate paper" meaning that no scrap was safe.
When did you first start crafting?
I remember being little and making a house for a tiny acorn using a small box and found bits of fabric and paper. Back in the seventies, I don't recall there being the access to craft supplies like there is today. If I had a few pieces of felt or some chenille sticks or googlie eyes, they were, well, treasures. I still feel like that today -- use every scrap!
Who are your crafty heroes?
I have many! I have all of Selina Lake's books and am so happy that we got to spend an afternoon together when I visited London for the release of my first book (Tinkered Treasures, CICO Books). I'm a fan of Christina Strutt and Cath Kidston. In the U.S. I admire Serena Thompson, Fifi O'Neill, and many friends who share brilliant ideas every day on social media.
Where do you find inspiration?
A stroll around a home store can really do the trick. I might see something and it sparks the idea of -- how can I make that for myself and using what?!
What's next for you?
I have a few magazine articles coming out soon (Prairie Style; Rustic Weddings) and I'm busy working on a book proposal, so please cross your fingers for me. Lately I've been doing some home improvement projects, mostly documented on Instagram.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR FAVORITE IKEA® HOME FURNISHINGS WITH DIY PROJECTSYou love IKEA® for its affordable, high-quality home furnishings. Now thanks to this book’s DIY decorating projects, you can easily transform those furnishings into fully customized decor. Packed with 200 step-by-step illustrations and instructions, I Modify IKEA® offers a range of inspiring ideas to reflect your unique style.Featuring projects for every room of the house:� Living room: appliqué pillows� Dining room: a rolling bar cart� Kitchen: embroidered dish towels� Bedroom: decorated nightstands� Closet: an adorable jewelry box� Bathroom: unique shelving� Kid's room: a box set dollhouse� Office: a cozy reading bench