Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making Beautiful Cards #5

Here's another card I made using blue card stock. The horse part is stamped on glossy paper, which absorbs the ink so incredibly that it ends up looking and feeling like a photograph. You absolutely cannot smear the thing once it's done, even if you run your finger across the checkerboard surfaace.

I inked the checkerboard stamp first, then used a paper towel to rub away the ink from one part of the stamp. Then I stamped it on glossy paper. I then sponged a small amount of topaz ink off-center, for drama. Next, I stamped the horse.

Then I glued the glossy card onto dark blue paper, and glued that to the blue card stock

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Free Books for Reader Groups

Do you belong to a reader group or book discussion club? Do you know of any such groups? I am looking for legitimate reader groups that I can send free books to. My client is a well known NY Times bestseller. She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and the free books are brand new reprints of her popular backlist. At the back of each book is a teaser chapter from her next book, which will be released in September. It is hoped that these books will introduce the client's work to people who haven't read her before, as well as create interest in the new book.

If anyone knows of a reader group I can send books to, please contact me privately at sholmes (at) (Replace "at" with the @ symbol, and no spaces before or after.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Loretta Chase at Book Smugglers

Come join the fun! Over at The Book Smugglers Loretta will be their guest for the next several days, starting today with a review of her latest book, Your Scandalous Ways. Today and tomorrow will be open for comments, and on Saturday The Book Smugglers will interview Loretta, and again, it will be open for comments.

Ms. Chase will be dropping in now and then to respond to reader comments, so if you've ever wanted to go one-on-one with Loretta, now's your chance! Bonus: leave a comment and be eligible to win an autographed copy of Your Scandalous Ways. Loretta will be giving away three copies. See you there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Friday I had 2 tons of hay delivered. It was so beautiful that I ordered another 2 tons, and today they delivered those extra 2 tons. But first, I had to clean out the barn to make room for the extra hay. I nearly killed myself doing it. The picture above shows a small portion of the 4 tons.

I'm not a packrat, but I had accumulated far too much "stuff" in my barn. Some of it I'm hauling to the dump. Some of it I'm burning. Some of it I'm giving away (my 2-wheeled horse cart and harness--sob!). It's liberating to get rid of junk, but it's depressing when your body just doesn't act like it's 27-years-old anymore. My feet hurt. My back hurts. My knees hurt. Getting old is not for the faint-of-heart.

To end on an upbeat note, here is a picture of Lord Byron, my cat. He is Official Hay Inspector. He likes to climb all over the bales, poking around and, I suspect, looking for mice. He sits on the bales and talks to me as I work. He's great company!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Making Beautiful Cards #4

This card I made for my best friend, Carol. Oddly enough, the darling little dragon blowing out a candle was a freebie given to me when I purchased some other rubber stamps at a stamp show. Vendors often tuck a little freebie in the bag with your purchase. It's a nice touch, and while the freebies are often something I wouldn't normally purchase (like the little dragon), I frequently end up finding many uses for them. This dragon is my "birthday" stamp. I've made many birthday cards with it.

Everything except the smoke is a stamp. The dragon and candle are one stamp. The stone floor is another. I made the smoke by tapping a Q-tip on my ink pad and drawing the smoke freehand with the Q-tip. Then I added "Happy Birthday Carol" with a gold ink pen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Come Join Us & Win Free Books!

This is the official me doing my official duty. I have two announcements for today, 6/9:

1. Edith Layton is being interviewed today over at the Word Wenches blog in connection with the release of her latest, His Dark and Dangerous Ways. Come join us, and if you leave a comment you'll be eligible to win a copy of her book!

2. Today, Loretta Chase is joining The Romance Bandits blog to talk about her newest book, Your Scandalous Ways. Visit the blog and leave a comment and you'll be eligible to win a bookmark or a copy of Your Scandalous Ways!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Awwww . . .

I just had the cutest thing happen. I bent down to pet my cat, Christopher the Assassin, and he stood on his hind feet and reached his arms up, just like a toddler wanting to be picked up. I realized that's how I always pick him up: a hand under each armpit, fingers circling his chest, and up he comes, nice and comfortable. It's how I put him down, too, so he's very comfortable with that method.

He's actually been doing this for some time, now, and I just didn't realize it. I think it's so endearing, and shows a level of trust for a cat. Christopher is the Bwana, the Great White Hunter (thus the assassin part of his name), so it's a double pleasure to know that such a fearless hunter likes his cuddles so much that he practically begs for them.

How do your pets let you know they want a little affection from Mom? (Or Dad!)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Making Beautiful Cards, #3

This is a card I made for my friend, Jacquie Rogers, who writes totally fun books about faeries and dragons, and pirates and such. I printed out a copy of her most recent book cover and designed a card for her. She promptly commissioned me to make a couple dozen more! Now I have a sideline doing author cards featuring their book covers.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Making Beautiful Cards #2

Shock! I'm back the next day with another card to display. Not much news in my life except to say that while unloading groceries I opened a bottle of new shampoo I'd bought and sniffed it to see what it smelled like. Got a dab on my nose and wiped it off. Now I can't get the perfumey smell out of my nose! Have scrubbed & scrubbed with tissue. Headed for the shower now. Hopefully the smell will stay in my hair and not my nose.

This card shows my love of the Asian influence in art, and also my love of combining textures and patterns. Oh, and my love of monochromatic color themes.