Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m Elyse and I like to make things and write. I live in a tiny Cape Cod style house in Rhode Island, U.S.A. with my husband and our two sons. If we met in person I would probably try to make you laugh. I have curly hair that I straighten, I love to listen to music when I tinker and my favorite thing to drink is strawberry seltzer.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Readers of Seaside Tinkered Treasures can expect projects along similar lines of my first book Tinkered Treasures: easy to make crafts using easy to find materials. Projects range from variations on trinkets found at souvenir shops like cover girl/seashell lady “Marine Antoinette,” to things you might make to furnish a beach cottage on the cheap, such as the Summertime Clock.
What was the inspiration behind it?
Years ago I spent a couple of summers at a friend’s beach cottage and was smitten by the entire experience: the furnishing of a place on a shoestring with painted curb-side finds; making sure items serve more than one function due to space limitations; even keeping oneself occupied on a rainy afternoon by writing postcards. Every project in this book harkens back to that sunny, sandy place. I think of this book as a sort of all-ages summer camp handbook but for anytime and anyplace.
Which is your favourite project?
Hmm. I have to say that the photography and styling showcase each project so beautifully but if I have to choose a fave, today I might say the Craft Stick Cottage. Tomorrow I might have a different answer!
What is your craft space like?
My craft and writing space was given the title The Girlie Office by my boys. Like my projects, the room is decorated in pale pastels and floral prints. It’s a very sunny space and the first full room I ever painted or decorated. I’m constantly struggling with how to best organize my ever-growing collection of supplies, magazines and books and so it’s always a bit messy.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, I have always been creative but as a child of the seventies there were no craft super stores and so you made things from whatever crazy things you could round-up: tiny acorns, empty spools, socks, small matchboxes. Some of the projects in my books are slightly grown-up versions of favorite crafts from childhood.
When did you first start crafting?
When I was about six years old I used to collect these small pompom animals and remember trying to make one by gluing a handful of chopped yarn into a ball shape and then adding little eyes. I actually made a bunch of them.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Selina Lake who graciously provides the foreword to Seaside tops my list of favourite author and craft hero! I met her last February when I visited London and she was the loveliest person. I’m so impressed and motivated by all she does. She’s on her fifth book! She hosts craft fairs! She is always sure to give vendors shout-outs online. Brilliant!
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere but oddly enough, I find many ideas by looking through home furnishing catalogs and thinking: I wonder if I could make this from craft sticks or noodles? For Seaside some ideas are things from childhood that I can’t find today like the Water Flowers project reminiscent of the dime store novelty.
What's next for you?
I am looking forward to promoting my books through events. I continue to write home and décor articles for magazines and I’m compiling notes and ideas for future book ideas!
Transform your beachcombing finds into charming reminders of summer. Elyse Major has created a second charming collection of the easy-to-make projects that she calls "tinkered treasures". Using items from the seashore, holiday essentials, and things you will already have in your home, she has recreated the feeling of summer in these beautiful souvenirs of days spent by the sea. Mermaids made from laundry pegs, shell-topped jars, a beach cottage built from lolly sticks, or a windchime constructed from sticks and shells, are just some of the unique ideas to help you keep your happy summer memories alive throughout the year. Many of the projects use recycled materials, and "tinkering" requires no specialist tools, equipment or techniques - anyone can do it! As well as the 35 projects, there are "Fancy This" alternatives for many of the items, substituting different materials or changing the colours for a different look.