A few things which may interest you…

Happy Monday!

Today I don’t have a lot to say, but wanted to pass on a few things I found in my blog wandering, this morning. Firstly, for those of you who have been following the ‘Write A Story With Me’ saga, my next ‘episode’ will be coming up next Monday. If you’re behind or just joining in on the fun, head on over to Jennifer M. Eaton‘s site. She has links to all the contributers where you can start reading our fantasy tale and/or catch up on segments you may have missed.

Secondly, while perusing Tim Kane’s site, I came across his post, ‘Authors Are Software Developers’, about how authors can take advantage of the new technology to sell their work. He has a great idea and you can read all about it here.

Tim also had a post about Patricia Piccinini’s unusual sculptures. In my post, Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination, I wrote about Patricia’s exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery that I visited with a friend and showed you a few of her imaginative sculptures. Tim talked about some of her other sculptures and gave his impressions of her work, which you can read here.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Have a great day! 🙂

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Sunday Interview – Megan Cashman

Happy Sunday, Everyone! I hope, wherever you are, Spring is finally on its way!

Today, I’d like to introduce Megan Cashman. She was the first to respond to my call for writers to interview a few weeks ago. You may remember the snippet she sent me back during Scary October. Without further ado, here’s Megan:

Hi, Megan! Would you please begin by telling us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a freelance journalist from Staten Island, NY. I’ve been writing here and there for years, but last year I decided to finally become a serious author – and I did!

Glad you did! 🙂

On your blog you mentioned you are an NA author. Please explain the difference between NA and YA.

YA is when the main character is under the age of 18, usually in high school. NA is when the main character is between the ages of 18 – 26. This is a time period when someone is adjusting to the adult world and discovering themselves as adults and not as children. This would include first real jobs or internships, first real relationships, and everything in between.

The Dark Proposal Book Cover

Tell us a little about your first novel, The Dark Proposal.

It is the first book in a trilogy. It is about how college graduate Claire McCormick deals with her boyfriend – who reveals he is a bloodthirsty vampire – forcing her to choose to become a vampire herself. The follow-ups will be about what becomes of Claire and the vampires. 

What inspired you to write it?

A couple of things. One was when I used to daydream about a sexy vampire coming into my life, but then I realized vampires are evil so that fantasy wouldn’t be good. Also, I’ve always wondered how vampires deal with modern technology and everything used to track murderers these days. I decided to combine the two stories. 

Do you rely on a beta reader or writer’s group to help you through the editing process?

Both. Writer’s groups are good for interacting with other writers and also to submit work as you produce it. Beta readers I believe are best for when the whole draft is done and you need someone to read the piece in its entirety in order to critique it altogether, not just chapter by chapter.

What was the publishing process like for you?

I chose to self-publish, mainly because I liked the idea of being in control of my product. I did a lot of research on how to go about the process. There are many good resources online, mostly from self-published authors who offer no-nonsense, practical advice.

What do you find so fascinating about vampires?

Their longevity. Immortal, centuries old characters are fun. Their supernatural powers. I also find it fascinating to wonder how they live separate from humans, yet lurk in our shadows. How do they see humans? What do they think of our world? It’s like another dimension, only it isn’t.

Were there any particular vampire myths that you referenced when writing this or did you create your own mythology about the vampires in your story?

I was strongly influenced by YA author Christopher Pike’s take on vampires in his The Last Vampire series. I read the books in junior high and really got into them. I liked the idea of a vampire being able to venture into sunlight on occasion – which is how Bram Stoker also portrayed Dracula, by the way. Pike also had his vampire to be able to consume human food and drink, only she didn’t really need it. I did the same for my vampires; they do it for necessity to hide their vampireness from humans. But I keep the pale skin, the ability to read minds, the ability to move around in mere seconds (think True Blood), and of course the fangs are there. Furthermore, I have a part in my book that explains who were the first vampires and how they came about.

Is there anything else you’d like to add before we say goodbye?

I have plenty of story ideas in mind – fantasy, historical fiction, even fiction about everyday life in our world. This trilogy is not going to my last work. 🙂

We look forward to your future works. 🙂

Are there any social media sites you’d like to share with my readers?

Twitter: @MeganCashman
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MeganCashmanBooks
Blog: megancashmanbooks.wordpress.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009AL4RKE
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/276775

Thanks you for taking the time to talk to us, Megan. Good luck with your writing. 🙂

Chapter By Chapter

Hi, folks!

Just want to steer you over to Chapter By Chapter, a pair of book bloggers who have a book giveaway, including MY books. There’s only about 34 hours left for the Rafflecopter giveaway so head over here to enter! (Sorry, I just learned about it a few minutes ago)

chapter by chapter

They’ve also re-capped their adventures at the C4 Lit Fest with lots of pictures. So, please head over there! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – some scrappy examples

Hello, Crafty People!

Before we get started, I’d like to WELCOME all my new followers! 🙂

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be crafty to check out some of the things I do here on Wednesdays. Mostly it’s cards, but on occasion, I do display scrapbook pages I have done. It’s all done for fun, so I hope you enjoy what I have to show you. 🙂

Feb22

Let’s start with the card above. It’s colourful and pink but uses up some of those paper scraps you might have been saving. I started with a base of pink card stock (5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, folded in half). The banners were made with 1″ strips cut various lengths and I snipped the ‘V’ into the one end, and lined them up rather helter-skelter, attaching them with a glue-runner. I tore a white piece of card stock approximately 1-1/2″ wide and stamped the right hand side with ‘Happy Birthday’ (from a Recollections clear stamp set) in purple ink. Before attaching it to the card, I tied a piece of purple and white ribbon into a bow around the card stock strip. I use Sookwang double-sided adhesive tape to adhere the strip across the banners.

Feb12

This second card uses much the same process, except I put it on blue card stock to show you that it can also be appropriate for a boy or a man on you birthday card list. I had some fuzzy ribbon that I adhered to the top of the card to hide the edges of the banners. A while ago I picked up a package of self-adhesive foam birthday shapes, including balloons, so I used three of them, tied white embroidery cotton to them and stuck them on the card. I created a label that was cut and embossed using my Cuttlebug and the Fanciful Labels cut & emboss folder. While still in the folder, I lifted the film covering it and sponged navy ink over the exposed areas. The sentiment (Curvy Verses from Stampin’ Up) was then stamped onto the label. I used 3-D sticky squares to affix the label to the card.

Mar 13

For this masculine card, I started with brown card stock this time (same dimensions as above) for the base of the card. I cut three small squares out of white card stock using my Stampin’ Up Postage Stamp punch. The binoculars, plane, and sentiment were stamped in brown ink. The picture designs were from Stampin’ Up‘s Plane and Simple stamp set. The ‘Happy Birthday’ is also from Stampin’ Up, but it’s a single one I got at some point, probably from a bargain bin, somewhere.

While this card did not use scrap strips, I was able to use some left-over brown card stock, which I cut into squares that were just a bit larger than the stamped squares, about 1/4″ more on all sides.  The contrasting strip behind the squares was cut from a wallpaper sample page. I used a turquoise and brown ribbon to embellish the other half of the card.

And there you have it! Three simple cards using paper scraps you probably had lying around the house. Feel free to use these photos like a Sketch Challenge and design your own cards. If you don’t know what a Sketch Challenge is (or forget), click on the link to bring you back to my post where I talk about the Sketch Challenges I took part in at the Fall Creative Gathering last October, where you don’t have to use the same colours at all or the same stamps or ribbon. Be creative! These are just examples of what you crafty folk can try at home, if you are so inclined.

Even if you don’t make your own cards or scrapbook at all, I hope you liked this post. 🙂

C4 Lit Fest – Part 2

my table

About 8:30 Saturday morning, Hubby dropped me off at the Place Louis Riel with all the stuff I’d brought with me to set up in Author Alley. I’d designed a poster board to draw in the crowds. Despite some compliments, I felt it wasn’t quite as professional-looking as some of the others, but it did the job. I made full-size copies of my book covers for the side flaps and added pictures of St. Andrew’s Church, the Big House at Lower Fort Garry and the teepee that sits outside the fort walls.

I brought my laptop and, at first, had my book trailer playing for those who wanted to stop by and look at it, but it’s only a few minutes long and I didn’t know how to put it on a continuous loop so I had to press the ‘play’ button all the time. Since I had my flash drive with all the pics I’d taken of the St. Andrew’s Church and Lower Fort Garry area, I set up a slideshow which could play continually. I also had some music playing in the background; music by ‘ A Celtic Woman’ (beautiful haunting tunes), ‘The Dust Rhinos’ (a local band whose bawdy music sounds a bit Irish), ‘Simpson’s Folly’ (a group that sing songs from pioneer days), ‘Spirit Flutes’ by Tomas Walker, ‘Tribal Voices’ (various Aboriginal artists sing traditional songs), and ‘Speaking Winds’ by David R. Maracle whose song O K A Da was the one I chose for the book trailer, with his permission.

bookmark front

bookmark backI’d also made bookmarks for the occasion and business cards to hand out. I managed to sell six books, mostly Withershins, even though I was giving a deal if they bought both of them: $15 for 1 or both for $25.

 

 

Here are shots of some of the other tables:

Craig Russell's table

author alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Russell was set up beside me with his book The Black Bottle Man. In the center was a round table for displaying everyone’s wares. In the far corner you’ll see the sign ‘Chapter By Chapter’. That’s the name of a book blog run by a mother/daughter duo. Later this week, they will be reporting on the event and giving away prizes through Rafflecopter, including my books. Once I get the link, I will pass it along so you might have the opportunity of winning a prize! 🙂

Jodi's poster

Also across the room were tables where Jodi Carmichael was selling posters representing her e-book ‘Spaghetti is not a Finger Food (and other life lessons)‘. Proceeds for the sales were going to the Asbergers Foundation. Unfortunately, the hard copy versions of her book were en route and did not get to Winnipeg before the Lit Fest. I’ll be speaking with Jodi at a later date, maybe closer to her official launch in May.

AP Fuchs

A P Fuchs' table

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of A. P. Fuchs self-published works. He had some fascinating things to say about how he got published during our panel, ‘Self Pubbed vs. Indie vs. Traditional’. I hope he will share some of his knowledge at a later date.

Rhi's banner

Rhiannon Paille was set up near the door and had the most adorable banner made up to display her ‘Ferryman and the Flame‘ series. Isn’t it cute?

Chadwick

In addition, Chadwick Ginther was there with his book Thunder Road. We had a good time discussing ‘Fairytales, Folklore & Myths, Oh My!’ with Kelly Armstrong. It was fascinating to hear how they incorporated various myths into their stories, mostly to do with Norse Gods. I talked about how I worked in native myths and legends in my books, Spirit Quest and Withershins.

Samantha Beiko, author of The Lake in the Library, and Sierra Dean (Secret McQueen series) were there in Author Alley selling their books. I also had the opportunity of speaking with a teen author and her mother, who found a company that would produce her books along with a whole slew of promotional items, like bookmarks, business cards and posters – for a price, of course, but they also provided an editor. I have plans to interview all of the participants and will post their photos then.

Until that time, I hope this display will suffice. 🙂

Sunday Interview – reruns & C4 Lit Fest

I’m sorry if you came by expecting to read an exciting NEW interview, but I hope you will enjoy this blog post just as much. 🙂

Being a writer gives one many opportunities to share their passion with other aspiring writers. Such was the case this weekend (hence, no time to set up an interview). I was asked to participate in the first annual (we hope) C4 Lit Fest. The ‘C4’ stands for Central Canada Comic Con, of which this is a branch, that deals directly with and for writers. Before I say another word about it, I want to thank Rhiannon Paille for all the time and effort she put in to make this an awesome weekend. THANKS SO MUCH, RHI! She managed to pull together a terrific group of writers and plug them into some fascinating workshops, panels & discussions.

The Rising

Many speakers were local writers. There were a couple of book bloggers and our special guest (drumroll please!), KELLY ARMSTRONG! Some were authors I have already interviewed: Craig Russell (The Black Bottle Man), Chadwick Ginther (Thunder Road) and Gabriele Goldstone (The Kulack’s Daughter). [If you don’t remember, or are reading my blog for the first time and want to learn about these Manitoba authors, click on their names to take you to my interviews of them.]

In addition to meeting those writing friends, I got the names and contact info of several more authors that I want to interview in the future, including Rhiannon Paille, author of The Ferryman & the Flame series as well as the C4 event’s organizer. I met a teen author and a self-publisher, too. My panels went pretty well, for the most part, and I think everyone who took part had a lot of fun. I even sold a few books! 🙂

I promise to go into more details later in the week. I took lots of pictures that will take time to process before I can download them into this blog and co-ordinate them with interviews and book reviews. You see, the card reader we have in which my camera’s SD card fits isn’t compatible with my MAC. As a result, I have to Photoshop each picture I take using our older PC, reduce the image so it is a more acceptable size to import and share on-line. Then, I must save it on my thumb drive, bring it to my laptop and finally download it into my posts. Gotta love the older incompatible technologies! I guess I have to sell more books so I can afford an i-Pad or something! lol

Anyway, consider this C4 Lit Fest – PART ONE. Stay tuned for PART TWO. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday

Yay! I finally got it on the right day! lol

Before we get started, I want to tell you about last weekend. I took part in the Spring Creative Gathering put on by the owner of The Scrapbook Cottage in Steinbach. To check out some of the pictures of our event that Sharon posted on the The Scrapbook Cottage Facebook page, click here. Around 3:30 Friday afternoon, I headed out to the community centre in Friedensfeld, a small Manitoba town just outside of Steinbach where the gathering was held. It’s about an hour-long drive from my place.

Once there, I dragged in a large suitcase on wheels, a rolling backpack and 2 carry-alls into the hall, found my spot and began to set up for crafting. Moments later, my two sisters-in-law came in, so I helped them bring in all their craft supplies. After chatting for a few minutes as they set up, Sharon announced the first sketch challenge and the evening began. We stopped to eat around 6:00. Sharon has some amazing volunteers who cook for us and the chicken-baked potato-salad dinner-with brownie for dessert was terrific! We stayed until midnight. Then, trusting our craft supplies would be safely locked away in the hall for the night, we headed to my sister-in-law’s place (about 10 minutes away) and slept a few hours before heading back to the hall around 8:30 next morning.

Saturday was a full day of crafting with small meal breaks. I even took part in a card-making class. We made the most beautiful fold-out card, which I will show you another day as I haven’t taken pictures of it, yet. I might even do a pictorial tutorial at a later date because I have a special friend that I want to make one for, so I will take pictures of each step to show you how it’s done.

Photo: What I see Sat am BEFORE the ladies all arrive:)

Here’s what the hall looked like before participants arrived. We sat at the far corner near the stage (where the white circle thingy is). This gives you an idea of the size of the event. If you want to see more pics of the event, click on the picture to get to the FB page.

Throughout the two days, at various times, Sharon announces some special deals, things like pads of paper, sets of fancy brads, ribbon and other embellishment sheets, that we can get for about 1/3 or 1/2 of the actual retail price. Then there’s a mad dash to get the colour/style of whatever is on special before anyone else! She also has a table set up with discounted items, some up to 50% off! She provides tables filled with all kinds of stuff from her store, too, in case we run out of adhesives, need a particular embellishment for a project or want to pick up an idea magazine. It is a humongous amount of work for her to set everything up for these events, not to mention the tear-down afterwards, but she has some fantastic ladies working/volunteering for her! This year, for all her hard work – and because we are scrapbookers – it was decided to create scrapbook pages of the event. Someone snuck around taking pictures of the gathering, downloaded them, printed them off and had everyone sign the pages so we could present them in an album for her at the end of the event. Sharon was touched to the point of tears by the thoughtful gift.

All-in-all, there must have been about 100 participants and a dozen workers/volunteers to make the event memorable for us all. I managed to make 10 cards and 4 scrapbook pages during the weekend, too. That may not seem like a lot to get done, but when you consider it takes about 1-1/2 to 2 hours per card/page, that’s not too bad. I sometimes think what takes the longest is deciding what the colour scheme will be and then taking stock of what supplies I have to use in the way of stamps and embellishments. Even with a sketch challenge, where you have a better idea of layout, I still have to decide on colours and everything else before I can really start cutting things out and attaching them to the card.

Okay, enough about the weekend! I think today I will go down my birthday list, beginning with this fun card I designed for a young lady we played Yahtzee with, a couple of months ago, who had a really good game. Unfortunately, I didn’t have her score sheet to copy because she took it with her for bragging rights!

Jan29

So, I simply photocopied a blank score sheet onto white card stock and used my die stamp from my Recollections set of gambling-themed stamps. I angled the score sheet onto the base of navy card-stock and trimmed the corners to fit. Then I cut out the dice to create the Yahtzee of fives, attaching them with pop-up squares so they’d stand out. I stamped the “On your birthday” in blue ink, trimmed it and used a ticket-corner punch on the corners. I also used pop-up squares to attach it to the card.

Feb11-3

In an effort to hurry spring along, this second card is bright and cheery. I started with a base of orange card stock, trimming the corners with a corner punch. I found complimentary swirly-patterned paper for the second layer. I trimmed the corners and sponged all the edges with orange ink. I picked up this ‘Black-eyed Susan’ stamp from a bargain bin, but think it’s quite pretty. I used the Versa Mark sticky pad to stamp the design onto white card stock, then sprinkled on the black heat-emboss powder. After heating the image to set the powder, I added colour with my shiny paints. I did the same thing with the ‘Happy Birthday’ sentiment and carefully cut out around the letters. I cut around the flower image with my paper trimmer, punched the corners and sponged the edges with orange ink. To make the bow, I simply tied a shorter piece of ribbon around the first and trimmed the ends. I attached it with Sookwang double-sided tape.

Feb21

On this next card, I started with plain white card stock and sponged around the edges with turquoise ink. The next layer is a pretty patterned paper that I also sponged around its edges. I attached the pink ribbon to the patterned paper with 1/8″ Sookwang tape, wrapping the ends around the edge and securing them on the back. I attached the whole sheet with wider Sookwang tape to hold it in place. I used the ‘Butterflies’ die-cutting plate on my Cuttlebug to make the butterflies.

When I first bought the die, I had fun cutting out a lot of butterflies on plain paper, then tried patterned paper, but I hadn’t really done anything with them until now. I decided to emboss the plain-coloured ones using the ‘Victoria’ embossing plate for the Cuttlebug and adding a smaller patterned butterfly on top. I attached them to the card with pop-up squares. I stamped the small ‘happy birthday’ with Versa Mark and heat-embossed with black.

Next week, I’ll feature cards that use up scraps you might have lying around your craft room. See you next time! 🙂

Sunday Interview – Julie Czerneda

Julie Czerneda author photo credit Roger Czerneda Photography

Hello, my faithful readers and anyone else who may have popped in today to join us!

I am pleased to be involved in another blog tour. Many of you may know Canadian author, Julie E. Czerneda, as the former biologist turned science fiction novelist published by DAW Books, NY. You may have read her Clan Chronicles series or you’re a fan of Mac or Esen from her other work. Maybe you’ve heard she’s an editor. Also, true. This spring, however, prepare to meet the Julie you don’t know. After three years of work, she’s letting out her whimsical side with the release of her first fantasy novel, A Turn of Light, also from DAW.

Hi, Julie! I know you don’t have a lot of time these days as you launch your latest book, so I would like to jump right in and talk about it.

What inspired you to write, ‘A Turn of Light’? 

I was hungry for the kind of fantasy I remembered and loved, but couldn’t seem to find any more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s likely out there on someone’s shelf, just not mine. As a writer, I tend to write for myself anyway, and I have specific tastes in dragons I wanted to indulge. Add that to my distaste for the fairytale about the princess and the frog prince? The whole thing became irresistible and I succumbed, gladly.

Did you notice, my dear readers, she mentioned DRAGONS (among other things)! Sorry for the aside, Julie, but I have a few very loyal readers who absolutely LOVE dragons – and so do I! 🙂

A Turn of Light Cover

I also love history and was excited to learn your story is set in pioneer times. What kind of research did you need to do for it?

Thanks! Once I’d chosen that time and place as the foundation for my world-building, I discovered a love of history too. While I’m curious about everything, I hadn’t ever scoured the history section of used bookstores, or gone to museums with writing about a place in mind. (Biologist, you see.) I started with the physical details. Structures, technology, what would be deemed worth carrying to a new home in the wilderness and what wouldn’t. That took me to pioneer villages and old barns. I needed to understand the daily life and occupations, which led me to the books the settlers themselves would have used as references (so cool!). At that point, I spent a few weeks pondering what would or could take place in a community the size of Marrowdell, and what they’d need to obtain from larger settlements. Hinges became a brief obsession.

Then there was the mill. My photographer-spouse and I toured every abandoned mill in reach, taking all manner of reference photos. We did the bulk of that at a working mill, Watson’s Mill in Manotick.

Aside from this kind of research, I became something of a voyeur, diving into the actual accounts by those settlers. The letters home, the dreams and plans they had, even the birth of Canadian publishing. I’ve written about this in an essay at the end of TURN. It definitely informed the characters as well as the world. 

You’re a girl after my own heart! I did a lot of the same things when I researched my own books. 🙂

Would you please introduce us to your main characters?

There are three: Jenn Nalynn, the miller’s youngest daughter; Wisp, the disgraced dragon who’s been her invisible friend since birth; and the stranger who arrives in Marrowdell, Bannan Larmensu.

Innocent and good-hearted, as the story begins Jenn is about to turn nineteen, her adult birthday, and wants more than anything to leave the valley of her birth and see the wonders of the wider world for herself. 

A former soldier, Bannan longs for a simple life, to be a farmer. Having inherited his family’s gift, he’s a truthseer, able to know if someone is lying or telling the truth. When he arrives in Marrowdell, he finds far more, for here his ability lets him glimpse the magical realm of the Verge and to see the true nature of Jenn Nalynn, for she was born by the light of both worlds and carries a growing power as her birthright. 

(I should mention that Bannan has also inherited the family warhorse, Scourge, who isn’t like other horses. For one thing, he eats rabbits.)

Wisp comes from the Verge, the magical realm tied to Marrowdell by some cataclysm years ago. He’s perilous yet plays with thistledown. Old, yet able to learn. Having learned to love Jenn Nalynn, he nonetheless understands his duty may mean killing her. For if she ever steps beyond Marrowdell, his world and hers will be torn apart.

Which is why it’s really not a good thing, when Jenn Nalynn does her very first magic and turns Wisp into a man.

You’ve got me hooked!

I’m always curious about magic in fiction. How does the magic work in your story?

It’s elemental. Primal. Wild. Part of the landscape and inherent in certain beings or forms of life. I don’t have magic users in TURN as such. There are those who know very well where not to go, or who’ve learned good manners. Marrowdell sits along an edge, connected to the Verge, where magic is everywhere.

That said, at the turn of light, sunset, what lives in Marrowdell that came from the Verge can be seen, if the watcher knows where to look. I love that part.

Without spoiling the story, I can say that there are beings of magic who use their power with great deliberation and impact. Choosing to do so, however, is something fraught with risk and consequence. I love that part too.

In your promotional photo, I noticed you had a statue of a frog (or is it a toad?) on your lap. What is the significance of that?

Ah, the house toad. I wanted something ordinary in the village that would, if you looked closely, be rather odd. Toads fit the bill. Harmless and small, yet so much more in Marrowdell. They’ve become iconic, really. I take one to each of my events to leave behind. Every one should have a house toad, believe me.

The one on my lap was a gift from our daughter, Jennifer Lynn. If you notice something familiar in the name, yes, it’s true. This is Jennifer’s first “tuckerization” and I’m very proud.

Very cool! I’m sure she’s thrilled. 🙂

frog1

I’m partial to frogs and toads, myself. Here’s one that I put out in my garden, each summer:

Are there are any other links you would like me to share with my readers?

My event calendar can be found at http://www.czerneda.com/events/events.html. Another link of possible interest is http://www.watsonsmill.com

I’m happy to connect with readers via twitter @julieczerneda, facebook (look for the Marrowdell page), and goodreads.

Thank you, Julie, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.

My pleasure. Great questions!

If you want to learn more about Julie and her writing, Derek at Speculating Canada did a really in-depth interview of Julie, which you can find here.
And now, I have some exciting news! You may have a chance to WIN one of six copies of A Turn of Light donated by Penguin Canada for Julie’s contest, “Awesome Turn Blog Tour Scavenger Hunt”! Doesn’t that sound like FUN?
I hope you will check out her events calendar (link above) which will send you to the other blogs who interviewed her in order to find the answers to her questions, which you can answer on her website: www.czerneda.com or specifically, here. Sorry, but I’m afraid those who live somewhere other than Canada or the United States are beyond the limits of the shippers.
Good luck! 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – a day late, again

Sorry I missed posting this yesterday. I was hoping to get back into the swing of things, as I have a lot of cards to show you from all the ones I made over the past couple of months. However, as I was sorting through the pictures I took of them, I realized there were a few cards I neglected to take pictures of. Oh, well!

I thought I’d clump some of them together that have a similar theme. I chose a bird theme mainly because we’re still waiting for spring to arrive here in the frozen north!

I love that Stampin’ Up has come up with punches that go with some of their stamp sets. I especially like the bird punch that goes with the ‘Language of Friendship’ stamp set. While I didn’t use the stamp set with these cards, I did use the punch, which not only cuts out the bird shape, but also the wing and a branch for it to sit on.

Feb11-2

For this card, I also experimented with Martha Stewart’s stamp-around-the-page set that included this fern pattern. I heat embossed the ‘Happy Birthday’ in the centre and added the bird in the corner, with a flower-patterned ribbon along the bottom. With a small scalloped circle punch, I cut out a frame of music, then cut out a pointed section at the bottom to make it look like a speech bubble. Although it’s a little difficult to see in this shot – you have to click on the picture to enlarge it – I also used my shiny paint set to add copper-coloured ‘feathers’ onto the bird and used a fine-tipped Sharpie for the bird’s eye.

Feb11-1

The bird in the card above was created using my sister-in-law’s stamp and blue heat-emboss powder. The card’s base colour was a 5-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ piece from a wallpaper sample book that looked a little like a wood grain. For the next layer, I cut it an inch smaller in all dimensions out of a green marble-patterned paper to which I added a wavy green velvet ribbon along the bottom. I cut out a 3″ scalloped circle from textured green card stock for the next layer and the smaller scalloped circle was a left-over piece I had cut from another card where I had a sky-patterned piece on top and ‘grass’ below it.

Miranda '12

You may have seen the card above in a previous crafty post, but wanted to show it again because I really love the ‘Find Your Style’ stamp set from Close To My Heart. This card is beautiful in its simplicity. The background was embossed with the Cuttlebug‘s ‘Victoria’ embossing folder. The bird was heat-embossed on white card stock, cut out and placed onto a 3″ scalloped circle. The feathery bits were from a booklet of rub-ons. The ‘soar’ was from the same stamp set as the bird, also heat-embossed in black and cut out with a 1-1/2″ scalloped oval punch. I love the 1″ wide black polka-dotted ribbon accent, too.

Joce '12

The final card is also one you may have seen before, but wanted to showcase Jim Holtz‘s birdcase die cutter that can be used on the Big Shot as well as the Cuttlebug. For the cage, I used a glittery gold card stock. The bird was cut out of brown card stock, using the same die cutter. I added feathers to the bird’s wing and tail for an added touch. I happened to have 1/4″ gold ribbon to tie to the loop at the top of the bird cage and placed the cage, bird included onto blue paper (embossed using the Cuttlebug‘s ‘Swirls’ folder). I hand-cut the ‘tweets’ and used the scalloped oval punch to cut out the ‘for you’.

And there you have it – four bird-themed cards! Hope this post gave you some ideas for making your own bird-themed cards. 🙂

Wanted: Sunday Interviews

One of the reasons there have been very few Sunday Interviews in the past month or so is because I haven’t had anyone to interview. I’ve put feelers out there and invitations to be interviewed on this blog, but some either haven’t responded or haven’t had the time to answer questions.

I do have a couple of interviews being prepared, one that will be posted next week at her request and one who needs to work out some glitches before post time. In the meantime, I want to extend an open invitation to anyone interested in getting exposure for their writing. If YOU want to be interviewed, please express this desire in the comments section and we’ll talk – or at least communicate through emails. 🙂