Crafty Wednesday – anniversary

Hi, Crafty Folks! This will be another quick one as Grandson will be over soon and I will need time to play!

It was our 34th anniversary on Sunday, so I wanted to show you the card I made for Hubby:

2013 anny

2013 anny card inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the brown and turquoise flowered paper used as an accent. I only wish I had more of it, which came in a 12″ x 12″ paper pack.

I started with a brown card stock base, 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, folded in half. I cut a piece of turquoise card stock 5″ x 3-3/4″. To the bottom half, I created 1/2″ creases using my new Martha Stewart Scoring Board. I brushed on brown chalk pigment to the creases. I also brushed on the chalk around the edges of the card stock. I cut the flowered paper to 3-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ and attached it to the turquoise card stock with a glue runner. I attached a pleated ribbon across the seam, using 1/2″ Sookwang double-sided tape. At this point, I should have stamped the ‘xoxo’ pattern, but I didn’t think about it until after I had attached the hearts. That’s why it looks a little crooked. I stamped two hearts, using a red ink pad, and cut them out. Then, I cut a slit in one and slid the other heart into it. I attached them with 3D sticky tape. I attached the whole turquoise piece to the card base with Sookwang.

Inside, I simply cut a piece of turquoise card stock 3″x 2″, brushed around the edges with brown chalk pigment, and attached it with a glue runner. I printed out the sentiment using red ink, cut it to size and removed the corners with a corner punch. I attached two red heart brads to one side and used Sookwang to attach it all to the background.

Very simple, but elegant and perfect to give to the love of your life. 🙂

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Woo-hoo!

Wow! Today, I hit 200 followers! These are the ones WordPress considers ‘active’ followers, not the spammers, although it’s hard to say if any the email followers do any of that. One hundred & fifty of those 200 are WordPress-ers, so I figure they’re legitimate. As a thank-you, I’d like to offer signed copies of my Withershins & Spirit Quest bookmarks to anyone who is interested. Here’s what they look like:

bookmark front

front

bookmark back

back

 

If you’d like me to mail you one, & personalize it for you, let me know in the Comments section. I’ll get in touch with you for your mailing information and pop it in the mail for you. 🙂

Sunday Interview – Rhiannon Paille

Sorry it’s been awhile since my last interview. I’ve been trying to catch up with some reading and one of those stories was Surrender, which I reviewed on Friday. Today, I would like to introduce you to Rhiannon Paille, author of Surrender, the first in The Ferryman and the Flame YA fantasy series. She also was the coordinator for the C4 Lit Fest that I wrote about in April. She is a very talented lady, in more ways than one so without further ado, here she is:

Hi, Rhi! Thanks for joining us today!

For starters, would you mind giving my readers a glimpse into the life of Rhiannon Paille?

Crazy doesn’t cut it. I write books sometimes, read minds a lot of the time, organize events (I used to have 2 a year, now there are 4, and one of them is really really big) Plus I have 3 cats, 1 tiny chihuahua, and 2 cleaning fairies–I mean children, who are in elementary school. If that wasn’t enough I also teach Metaphysics, and my husband and I own 2 comic book shops. 

Did I mention the crazy part?

Crazy busy, I’d say!

Growing up, what were your favourite types of stories?

I was into Nancy Drew, Christopher Pike, Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High. While I write Fantasy now, I didn’t grow up on it at all. 

Before we talk about The Ferryman and the Flame series, please tell us a little about the first stories you wrote and what inspired you to write them.

I wasn’t inspired to write, so much as kicked out of English class and told to do “creative writing”. That was when I was 11, and I wrote a few short stories about creepy possessed dolls, forbidden love stories, and serial killer stories. 

Hahaha!

Surrender ebooksm

The world and characters in Surrender blew me away! Is Orlondir a mythical place or one you created in which to set your characters?

Aw, thank you so much! Avristar is actually the unique name I gave to the island of Avalon, and if you read it again with that in mind you’ll see a lot of the correlations to Celtic Myth. I suppose when writing, the island did take on a life of its own, but I felt like the land was just as important as the characters living on it. 

When I was studying with the Grove of Dana College for Druidry, we talked a lot about spirits of the land, marrying the land, true kings, ecopsychology, and rites of passage. A lot of those lessons went into the world building for Avristar. 

How did your two main characters, Kaliel and Krishani, evolve as your writing of Surrender and the series progressed?

Aw, well Kaliel and Krishani came to me as pre-built characters in the sense that I knew what types of people they were, what was important to them, and how they perceived the land they lived on. 

I always knew Kaliel was a Flame, and I also knew her fate, which is actually what I built Surrender around. Krishani was quieter, giving me subtle clues about who he was. For the longest time the things I knew about Krishani I only knew because of Kaliel. Then when I began writing Justice I had to bond with Krishani and that was when I found out more about what he was and what it meant. 

Kaliel and Krishani are in their mid-to late teens so I assume the story is considered YA. You wrote several intimate scenes between them. Do you have any concerns regarding the subject of intimacy and sex in YA? Do you think it’s okay to have explicit sex scenes or should the subject be handled more discretely? (This is something I struggle with in my writing, so I’m interested in your thoughts.)

Ahhh, I do have quite the opinion on this subject. I struggled with the sex too at the beginning, not wanting it to come off creepy, but romantic. My characters were actually the ones who kept pushing me in that direction, so I went with it, but tried to keep it tasteful. There’s a difference between sex and making love, I tried to make it sexy but appropriate for the characters. 

In this case, I did think more about the characters than the readers. I have two arguments when it comes to readers. The first is that reading a dirty book is not the same as watching porn. A book is non visual, making the reader envision what’s happening more than seeing it on screen (as in movies and television.) 

My second argument is that teens learn everything from what they see in movies, television and books. Let’s face it, when I was a teen, I didn’t know the first thing about what was good and what wasn’t good when it came to sex. Books are a great way to know what to do and what not to do in that category. And the final argument is that a lot of teens are going to experiment with sex whether you include it in your book or not. Another argument is that if you don’t include it in your book, someone else will. 

We could have this same conversation about all the violence and brutality in the Dystopian novels that have hit the shelves.

That’s very true!

Please describe some of the mythology around the characters, The Flame and The Ferryman. What attracted you to these particular myths and where might one find more information about them?

Ahh, you give me good questions, Susan. I love it! 

The Ferryman is traditionally from Greek Mythology (that word at least) but they are known by many names, Valkyries, Grim Reaper, Death Walkers, Archangels even have been known to help a soul on their journey through death. 

In Krishani’s case I discovered that the reason there was such a dire need for Ferrymen, Valkyries and the like were due to the fact that if the Ferryman did not send them to the after life, there was a chance other entities would come and take them to places like Hades and Purgatory, or a chance that these entities would consume the soul altogether and that person wouldn’t be reborn again.

Sadly, a lot of what I research isn’t easy to find on the internet. It’s in books like Walkers Between Worlds by Caitlin Matthews and The Druids by Jean Markale, Celtic Myth by Peter Beresford Ellis, and The Mabinogian

Ferrymen haven’t been at the forefront of many fictional series before, and when there is a Ferryman present, he’s never depicted the way Krishani is. 

In some ways you have to take Kaliel and Krishani and the mythology surrounding them as something you’ve never explored before. 

That being said, there’s even less on The Flames. Eastern myth speaks of a Violet Flame, but thinks of it as a spiritual energy– a thing, not a girl. It also fails to recognize the other eight Flames, but I’ve explained in the series that Kemplan, The Great Librarian worked very hard to erase the Flames from existence. 

So again, the mythological references out there are scant and you’ll have to read the series to get to know more about Kaliel and Krishani.

It will be my pleasure! 🙂

With regard to the magical elements in the story, did you research magic, wicca, &/or alchemy to make it ‘real’ or did you create your own ‘rules’ about how it should work in the series?

I’m a Druid, and I have studied for roughly eleven years now. I also have a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. I’m a world renowned Metaphysical Therapist, so I, um, read minds when I’m not reading books. 

When it came to magic in books, some of it is the unexplainable type, like Kaliel blooming flowers with her touch, and some of it is the methodical magic, like when Kaliel can astral project, or has visions of the other Flames. 

I like working with all types of magic in the series, but I don’t make magic a focal point of the series, as in, magic is just there, it’s part of everyday life for my characters, and in some ways it’s not as important to my characters as say, being with each other and not being magical is. 

A major theme in Surrender is that of choice and temptation, something young readers deal with on a daily basis. You also explored the consequences of giving in to temptation and what can happen if one chooses the wrong path. Was this a conscious thing when you began writing the story, or was it something that evolved as the story developed?

Funny, I set out to write a tragic romance that would break hearts. The idea of temptation was a bit of a detour to that, but definitely became woven into the entire series as things progressed. 

There was definitely a sense of choice in this story but I suppose I was always rooting for the happily ever after with my characters. I wonder if anyone else felt that as perfect as Avristar was, its views on love were imperfect, and perhaps that one small flaw could turn it from a utopian society to a dystopian one. There really is a fragile balance between right and wrong in Surrender, and I definitely wanted to keep readers on the wire. 

Justice-by RIP ebooksm

You certainly succeeded at that! 🙂

Are there any other media sites you’d like to share with my readers? (ie. Facebook, website, etc.)

You can find me:

www.facebook.com/rhiannonpaille

@rhiannonpaille

www.yafantasyauthor.com

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

I always tell people that Surrender is a nice book that reads like a nice book, that isn’t a nice book. I hope you love and hate it for everything it is and isn’t. 

I did love it but I can’t say there was anything about it I hated! 

I appreciate you spending some time with us, today, Rhi.

And, readers, if you want to read a fun adventurous fantasy, I highly recommend Surrender. Personally, I will be heading on-line very soon to purchase the sequels! Good luck with all your endeavours, Rhi! 🙂

Rhiannon Paille:

Author, Cookie Burner, Mind Reader, Karaoke Singer, Nerd, Wonder Woman
Follow Me: TwitterFacebookBlogWebsite
YA Fantasy:
Surrender (The Ferryman + The Flame #1) on Amazon
Lantern & Poison (The Ferryman + The Flame #1.5) on Amazon
Justice (The Ferryman + The Flame #2) on Amazon
Blood & Gold (The Ferryman + The Flame #2.5) Amazon
Non Fiction:
Integrated Intuition: A Comprehensive Guide to Psychic Development on Amazon
Follow Me: TwitterFacebookBlogWebsite

Surrender – a review

Surrender ebooksm

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Surrender by Rhiannon Paille, the first in her The Ferryman and the Flame series. While it has elements of quest-type stories and those about star-crossed lovers, I found the characters to be quite unique.

Kaliel and Krishani are in their mid-teens learning about themselves and their roles in the future. They are at a crossroads, their decisions impacting their lives and those of their kinfolk. They feel an uncontrollable attraction to each other, but despite their knowing a relationship between them is wrong, their desires cloud their judgment. Temptation is hard for them to resist and, yet, giving in to it could result in dire consequences. Such is common among teens everywhere, which is why I think the young adults who read it will easily relate to their struggles, despite the fantastical elements found in the story.

Their world is separate from the ‘Lands of Men’, although those from Orlondir can cross the lake and ‘marry the land’, living among the people without magic, learning their ways. Orlondir is filled with mythical folk; an elven race interspersed with feorn (satyr-like creatures), fairies, gargoyles and witches. The island itself has both a male and female spirit protecting the people. Dreams tend to be visions of the future or sights of occurrences happening in other realms. Those with abilities can speak to the flora and fauna, hear the thoughts of others, as well as affect the lives around them. Some can even transport themselves through space with just a thought. Love for the elven folk is unheard of because they are supposed to be more logical than emotional.

All of these elements pale in comparison to the story of our to main characters, Kaliel and Krishani, who struggle with nightmares about Flames and Ferrymen. I have heard myths about the Ferryman, the one who brings, or sends, souls to the Underworld, but I am unfamiliar with the Flames. The connection between these two elements in the story is explored to some extent, but not everything about their relationship is clear. There is still so much mystery about them, making it imperative that I continue reading the series to learn more about how their relationship will affect the lives of Men!

What will they do? How will it end? Will they survive? Will their love blossom or end in fire?

Surrender is a fast-paced, whirlwind of a ride. I highly recommend it to those who love magic, mythology and tragic love stories. This and the other of The Ferryman and the Flame series are available for Kindle through Amazon.com. Clicking on the book cover will bring you to the site. Also, join us here on Sunday for my interview of Rhiannon to learn more about the world and characters she created. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – redesigning creative spaces

Sorry I won’t be showcasing my scrapbook cards or pages, today. I am busy trying to re-organize my craft room. It was originally my writing space, but all the paraphernalia I have accumulated to craft different and better cards and pages, completely inundated my writing space. The original computer that I used is no longer functioning. It and the speakers attached to it are taking up valuable shelf space that I can be using for paper storage, among other things. Hubby or Son will have to help me unhook everything and clear it out of the way.

craft room plan

I now use a laptop in the living room, but the space around my recliner is getting cluttered with books and I can’t really concentrate with people coming and going, the TV blaring (Hubby’s getting a little deaf, I fear) and the cat jumping into my lap or curling up in the chair beside me. That is part of the reason I haven’t been able to finish any of my writing projects, I surmise. I also don’t have the space to spread out all the research materials my story requires, without having to put them away whenever visitors come over. I need separate spaces for both activities.

Now that my brother-in-law has vacated our spare room (he now has his own apartment), I can concentrate on re-designing it as a writing space, leaving more space in the crafting room to organize all the stuff that has been stacking up, with no place to put it. It literally looks as though an angry fairy has flown around the room, tossing papers and books and craft supplies all over the place! I’ve taken out some graph paper and, as I did when planning our kitchen renovation, have started plotting out where everything should go.

spare room

That, in itself, is a crafty activity, I suppose. The plans are still pretty rough with no real details, yet, as you can see. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out. 🙂

Do any of you have any helpful ideas on what should be in either space?

Crafty Wednesday – something for the new neighbours

I will have to make this a quick post, today, as I get to visit with Daughter & Grandson this afternoon and this evening I will be attending the Awards Ceremony for the Winnipeg Free Press Writing Contest winners. I was one of the judges for the short story contest, reading 15 shorts by Senior High students and 21 in the Middle Grade category. It will be nice to meet all the talented contestants. 🙂

I will only be featuring one card, today, one I created for our new neighbours. When we moved into the neighbourhood 33 years ago, the established neighbours made us feel welcome, so I wanted to pass along the tradition and be welcoming to the new homeowners. The previous neighbours, who moved in three years after we did, moved away at the end of April. It was very sad to see them go as we have been friends all this time. We’ve watched each other’s children grow from babies & toddlers to grown-ups & parents. Now, that he has retired, they wanted a place in the country, near water, so he could go fishing and she could commune with nature. They have always loved camping, so this seems like the perfect place for them. As much as I will miss them, I wish them all the best in their new home.

Now, onto the crafting!

CtmH Around the Block

I recently won this Close To My Heart stamp set, called ‘Around The Block’. I thought it would be perfect for the new neighbours’ card. Unfortunately, the card I had in mind was one that opened from the middle of the card. I had planned to have a house on each side, but the house frame that came with the set was a little too wide for the flaps, as were the roof pieces. After two attempts, I finally gave up and made a landscape-oriented card. Instead of using the narrow house frame, I placed the 2 roof stamp pieces on the card where I wanted them to be and, with a pencil, drew straight lines down from the eaves. I then traced the lines with a thin-tipped permanent marker. These lines became the walls, giving a similar effect to what the stamp would have made. I stamped the rooflines onto orange textured card stock and cut them out.

neighbourhood

Each ‘house’ was stamped with the different door and window stamps from the ‘Around The Block’ set and black ink. The second story window is one I drew freehand to match the decor of the rest of the house. Once the house features were inked, I coloured them in using my shiny paints and a fine brush. The stamp set also comes with two different types of brick patterns, so I stamped the house on the left with ‘brick red’ ink and the bricks on the right were done in a sandstone colour. I had a little trouble with the bricks on the right hand side, stamping beyond the wall outline so in order to hide my mistakes, I thought I would cut out leafy pieces with my bird & leaf punch set from Stampin’ Up. I used Sticky Dots to attach them to the sides of the houses.

In order to add a little texture to the ‘garden’, I strung flower beads onto green embroidery thread, knotting each bead so that if the thread broke, all the beads would not slide off it. I pierced the card so I could push the string through to the inside of the card, where I tied a slip knot. Since the new neighbours have a little girl, I thought she might like to use the beads as a bracelet.

I stamped the clouds onto white card stock with pale blue ink, cut them out and placed them along the top of the card. I finally attached each roof with pop-up squares. I stamped the sentiment onto white card stock, cut it out with my paper cutter and ticket-corner punch, attaching it to the centre of the card with pop-up squares, too.

I am quite happy with the result and hope the new neighbours like it. Now, I just have to find the time to do some baking to take over to them, along with the card! 🙂

YA in the Classroom

Grad1

I figured it was about time I posted a writing-related post. I know it’s been far too long!

Today’s post was inspired by one of the panels I hosted a few weeks ago, at the C4 Lit Fest, which was entitled YA in the Classroom. As an educator and a writer of Young Adult fiction, it seemed a pretty good fit for me to talk about this subject. A lot of the matterial is geared for local educators, but I hope it will help out teachers in other locations, as well.

Some of the points I brought up to encourage teachers to use YA in the classroom were:

– kids relate better to stories involving kids their own age

– the subject matter is likely to be more relevant to students than literature aimed at adults

– if the kids like what they’re reading, it will encourage further reading, stimulate their imaginations and they are more likely to want to write like their favourite author

– Manitoba has so many wonderful local YA authors, whose work can be more meaningful to students than something written in the United States or England because the language & spellings are more familiar, there are more recognizable settings and there can be historical or geographical references that support other curriculum studies

– using YA written by local authors helps support the literary community in their own province, the authors are more available for school visits, and school literary visits excite the students & encourage them to write, too.

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YA over the past 30 years, as I mentioned in a previous post, has literally exploded onto bookstore shelves, especially in Manitoba. Publishers are now seeing this as a unique opportunity to reach a new audience. It is a resource of which teachers should make full use. There is such a variety of books to choose from; contemporary, comical, romance, speculative fiction, and graphic novels. Each one has its own unique stories and perspectives that a teacher can use within the class, depending on the needs of his/her students and the subject matter the teacher is trying to teach.

Speculative Fiction – encourages critical thinking with the ‘what if?’ scenarios To learn more, read interviews and book reviews on this subject, check out http://speculatingcanada.wordpress.com. It’s a great website that explores all kinds of Canadian fantasy, Sci-fi, dystopian/Steam Punk/alternative history stories, Monsters (vampires, werewolves, etc), all the types of stories that are popular with young people, today.

Here’s a quote from Speculating Canada by Jerome Stueart, who states one of the most important reason for using YA and in particular, speculative fiction, in the classroom: “I would put MORE speculative literature in the classroom starting with Kim Stanley Robinson’s climate change series, Science in the Capital—or his Three Californias. I would teach kids to imagine their own futures—what will they be doing 20 years from now, and what will society be like?  What do they WANT society to be like?  And where do they see the forces in control trying to lead us?  Kids can be taught to think speculatively and use it wisely.”

This is just one of the ways YA can be used in a classroom.

– Historical Fiction – can be taught alongside the history curriculum in a much more enjoyable way than simply stating/memorizing facts & dates. It brings history to life.

locks3

Locks system on the Red River created because of the the difficulty boats had traversing the rapids

– Romance – can initiate discussions about relationships, good and bad

– Contemporary topics (cutting, suicide, friend’s death, etc) – help students realize they are not alone with some of those subjects and opens discussions about how they can cope with similar situations

– Comical – Who doesn’t like humour at some point in their life? It can lighten the mood in a class and provide a pleasurable experience, encouraging students to read more.

Graphic Novels – encourages poor readers to read in an easier format. It can also be used as a teaching tool for art lessons, bringing out the use of colour, perspective, movement, textures

Carol Matas

Anita Daher

These are only a few examples of how YA can be used in a classroom. It’s up to the teachers to research the numerous titles out there, read the blurbs on the backs of the books, listen to their students to see what the current reading trends are and follow book blogs like Chapter by Chapter to discover what’s available. Find out what books people are talking about to see if they would work in their class.

I’m not saying one has to spend a fortune on book sets so each student gets a copy to study, although I’m sure each author hopes they will! It can be enough to have a copy of the books available in the class, allowing numerous choices for students to read during silent reading time, use for reading programs, or book reports. The teacher could also read the book, chapter by chapter, to their class and have discussions after each chapter to make sure that the students:

1) understand and difficult vocabulary appropriately

2) comprehend the main concepts in the story

3) discuss pros and cons about the subject matter as well as their own opinions

4) make a connection between the story & other areas of curriculum study

5) meet the book’s author, if possible (contact local writer’s guild or art council to see if there is a program that will fund author visits)

6) visit places mentioned in the story, if it has a local setting

All of the above deals with using YA fiction in a classroom, but doesn’t touch on the subject of the writer getting their work into the schools. These days, a writer needs to be involved in their own PR. So, how does a YA writer make themselves known to teachers?

– Send an email or letter to the local school divisions. Introduce yourself and your published work, telling them why you think your book(s) would be appropriate for use in the classroom. Ask them to pass the information to their teachers and librarians, letting them know you would be willing to talk to students about writing or do a reading.

– Find out when library conventions are being held and ask if you could participate and flog your book(s). You may not sell any at that time, but it gets your face and books out there, so when the librarians get their grant money and are wondering what books to buy, your name and book title will pop into their minds (with any luck!)

– Look into grant programs in your area and put your name on the list of people interested in participating. Sometimes, these grants can provide you with more income than the royalties on your book(s)!

Here are some resources both teachers and writers may find helpful:

Association of Manitoba Book Publishers (AMBP) gives a list of members here: http://www.bookpublishers.mb.ca/index.php/member-publishers/

Manitoba Writers’ Guild Public Readings Grant Program:
http://www.mbwriter.mb.ca/public-readings-grant-programsubventions-de-lectures-publiques/

Canadian Library Association’s list of Book Award Winners:
http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Book_of_the_Year_for_Children_Award&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2501

Manitoba Arts Council’s Artist in the Schools Program:
http://artscouncil.mb.ca/arts-education/artists-in-the-schools/

The Writers’ Union of Canada National Public Readings:
http://www.writersunion.ca/content/national-public-readings

Do you have a great YA book you think would be the perfect addition to any classroom?

Please mention it in the Comments section so teachers browsing through here might find it. Hope this has been informative to all you teachers out there who want to reach their students in a unique and satisfying way. 🙂

Crafty Wednesday – a Mother’s Day tutorial

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d show you how to make a very special card, like the one I made at the Creative Gathering a few weeks ago. It is a beautiful fold-out card that isn’t too hard to do as long as you know how to use a cutter and scorer. Here is the one I made at the Gathering:

green card closed

closed

green card open

‘Double Z-fold card’ open
*Notice the sleeve (on the lower right)
that held the card closed)

Materials List

materials

2 sheets of same-coloured card stock (8-1/2″ x 11″) for base
1 sheet contrasting card stock for sleeve
1 sheets of patterned paper (12″ x 12″) coordinating with card stock base
Paper cutter
Scoring tool
Border punch
Ruler
Pencil
Scissors
Glue runner
Sookwang (or strong, double sided adhesive tape)
Pop-up dots or 3D squares
Embellishments, like small flowers and curly-cues
3″ x 2″ coordinating label

Decorative labels set #4
I cut my label using this die-cutter set (‘Decorative Labels, set #4’) from Sizzix for the base, cut out the center from contrasting card stock, and used my 1-1/2″ scalloped oval punch for the centre. I sponged a bit of red ink around the edges of the cream-coloured card stock and stamped ‘for you’ onto the scalloped oval using the same red ink.

 

 

 

Directions

1. For the card base, cut 2 rectangles that are 10″ x 6″ and one strip that is 1/2″ x 3-7/8″. From the contrasting card stock, cut a 9″ x 2″ strip, two strips that are 1/2″ x 5-7/8″, and a 2″ x 3″ rectangle*
*Note: this 2″ x 3″ rectangle is the background for the journaling strip. If you don’t have appropriate stamps or don’t want to write out the sentiment by hand, you could print out a sentiment from your word processor onto cream-coloured card stock and then cut it 1/4″ to 1/2″ smaller than the background colour.

first cuts

2. On each of the 2 large rectangles, score three lines 2″, 4″ & 6″ from the narrow end & fold accordion style so that the last outside sections meet at the centre of the card. Don’t worry if they don’t meet up exactly. On the 9″ x 2″ strip, make score lines 2-1/4″ from each end.

Directions: follow bottom row of numbers for folds (top numbers are for a larger card)

Directions: follow bottom row of numbers for folds (top numbers are for a larger card)

 

3. On each of the 2 large rectangles, draw a diagonal line starting 1/4″ from first fold down to the outer edge, measuring 2-1/4″ up from the bottom. Using a paper cutter, cut along the diagonal line.

border punched diagonal

4. With the border punch, clip the diagonal edges of the large rectangles starting at the first fold at the top. Also, punch out the top & bottom edges of the 9″ x 2″ strip and one of the long edges on both the 1/2″ x 5-7/8″ strips and the 1/2″ x 3-7/8″ strip. Trim as necessary.

sleeve borders punched

5. Out of the patterned paper, cut 4 strips that are 1-7/8″ x 5-1/2″, 4 strips that are 1-7/8″ x 4-1/4″ & 4 strips that are 1-7/8″ x 3″ and two* rectangles measuring 5-7/8″ x 3-7/8″.
*Note: If you only have enough paper for one rectangle, you don’t really need to put the patterned paper on the back of the card.

patterned paper diagonals cut

6. Cut off each 1-7/8″ strip’s corner (from top corner down 1-1/4″ to edge), making sure that you have the diagonals of two strips that are opposite to the other pair, as shown above.

red card sides attached

7. To begin card assembly, place the wide sections of card base together, making sure that the fold is not blocked by the overlapping segment, and stick securely with Sookwang.

red card back

8. Attach strips to corresponding sections of the card, making sure that the top diagonal does not obscure the lacy pattern of the border. If the segment is a fraction too long, it can always be trimmed. Either glue runner or Sookwang can be used to attach the strips. If there is a segment on which you will be attaching a heavy embellishment, I’d recommend the stronger adhesive of the Sookwang, otherwise the glue runner should be sufficient.

Inside with pattern strips attached

Inside with pattern strips attached

9. To the centre segment, add the 1/2″ lacy strips that you punched out earlier. Place the two contrasting colours along each side and the base colour along the top. Affix the sentiment background in the centre.

open red card

The lacy borders can face either direction,
depending on your taste

10. Take your 9″ x 2″ strip and wrap loosely around your folded card and attach ends together, making sure the sleeve slides easily over the card. Center the label and affix to the sleeve.

red card closed with sleeve

11. Add embellishments to the middle segments of the card and onto the label, as you desire. If you use fabric or paper flowers with a wire stem, instead of cutting the wire short, wrap it around a thin paintbrush handle for a vine-like appearance.

curled wire

Note the curled wire to the lower left of the flower

Here is the inside of the completed card, including the sentiment, which I printed from my computer. Unfortunately, ink smudged the edges a bit so I had to trim the sentiment a little more than I like.

inside complete

 

I also cut out the curly embellishments for the top and bottom of the sentiment with my Cuttlebug, using the ‘Vintage’ mini die cutter set.

Vintage

I hope all you mothers out there have a wonderful Mother’s Day – and all you children, if you still have a mom in your life, show her you appreciate everything she does for you. Take her out for a meal or cook for her. Pamper her or make her something pretty, like this card! 🙂

Another of my installments for ‘Write A Story With Me’

Hi, Everyone! 

I got so busy editing a friend’s manuscript, I completely forgot about ‘Write A Story With Me‘ over at Jennifer M Eaton’s site. (Bad me!) My installment came out, yesterday. If you’d like to check it out, click on the link above (the blue ‘Write A Story With Me’). Jennifer has links to all the previous episodes for those who would like to start back at the beginning or catch up on segments you may have missed.

For those who are new to this blog, let me explain what’s going on. ‘Write A Story With Me’ is the brainchild of Jennifer M. Eaton. She is a talented writer and an awesome mom among many other things. On her blog, she talks about writing. She gives excellent book reviews, along with some cute ones by her middle son. She has the most unique author interviews on the web, I think, with the help of The Little Blue Lady from Mars. She recently had stories published in two anthologies. If you’d like to read my interview of her character, click here. If you’d like to read my review of her story, Last Winter Red from the Make Believe anthology, click here.

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 This image from Wikimedia Commons makes me think of The Gleaming Tree

Last year, on her blog anniversary, she suggested trying to write a story with all those in the blogging world who were interested. We’ve had 42 installments, so far. We’ve been through the list of authors about three times, now. There have been the occasional bit that doesn’t quite fit, but for the most part, we have a pretty cohesive story, I think. Jennifer started us off by introducing Marci and The Gleaming Tree and a fairy named Jenelle, for whom Marci plucked a leaf from the sacred tree. That act is strictly forbidden and has caused no end of trouble for Marci and her family, as well as the fairy world. It could mean a war between the humans and the fairies. To learn more, please visit Jennifer’s blog.

If you think you have a story idea after reading what’s been written so far, why not join us? Sign up on her site and Jennifer will send you all the story bits leading up to yours. She gives you plenty of time to come up with your part before it ends up on her site. Come on! Join the Party! It’s the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge to come up with a segment that’s only 250 words long and fits in with the story that’s been written so far, but it is a lot of fun! 🙂

I can’t wait to read what’s going to happen next! 🙂

I’ve become a foodie!

Since I haven’t had the chance to think up interview questions for those who showed an interest because of one thing or another (including the fact I feel a little brain-dead, these days), I thought I would tell you about a new feature my friend Linda and I have been considering. She actually got around to posting hers,  so thought I should do my part. You can read what she had to say about our outing here.

Last year, Linda introduced me to her Tai Chi instructor and now I try to join her every other Friday morning for a lesson. It’s been a wonderful experience, helping me loosen up some very tight muscles and help my balance, which has been getting poorer as I age. After an hour of Tai Chi, we have really worked up an appetite, so we head for a local restaurant. We’ve been trying the cuisine at a variety of places and discussed writing a blog post about our experiences. The last few times, we forgot to take pictures of our meal before digging into the delicious food, but last Friday, we remembered.

We decided to check out a little place called the Bonfire Bistro. It’s located at 1433 Corydon here in Winnipeg. They are open for lunch between 11:30-2:30 and close for a couple of hours in the afternoon to prepare for the dinner crowd. The reason for its name is the small wood-burning fireplace where they cook their pizzas. The portions were generous, delicious and reasonably priced.

Their specialty is pizza, but unfortunately I had planned to make pizza for dinner that night so passed. I will have to return and try it at a later date because I found myself drooling over Linda’s Daily Special – a meat pizza and salad combo:

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Doesn’t that look appetizing?

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I decided to have the Garden Salad with several types of lettuce, sweet currents and pecans. The dressing was a balsamic vinaigrette and it came with a side of crostini. This was just a half salad and I found it filling. The ladies at the table next to us ordered the regular size and shared.

After chatting for quite some time, we were tempted to try something from their dessert menu. Linda chose the Pear and Apple Crisp. She says the caramel topping tasted more like butterscotch.

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I chose the chocolate creme brule, which was pretty decadent. The top was crunchy burned sugar with a thick chocolate mousse base. I loved it.

Have you tried any new restaurants lately? I’d love to hear about it. 🙂