Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Another Week

Not much new to report this week, except that I'm hopeful of meeting my June 1 deadline for Barkery & Biscuits Mystery #4.  I'm finalizing the current edits before sending it on.  But I'm not making much progress daily on it.  As I mentioned last week, pain meds make me sleepy.

But I am making progress with my broken knee.  I've had surgery, and also had follow-up x-rays and replacement of the dressing over it.  The pain's somewhat less than it was previously.

Meantime, my Great Escapes Virtual Blog Tour to promote BAD TO THE BONE, Barkery Mystery #3, was completed and remained fun, since I've been able to visit my computer at least in small segments each day.  I'm hoping to become a bit more mobile since I haven't been able to do my usual bookstore visits, but that'll happen eventually.

And the June publication of my PROTECTOR WOLF, my next and possibly last Alpha Force paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne is fast approaching.

Am I learning anything from my medical experience that I can use in a book sometime?  Heck, everything can be used as research.  I'll just have to determine who to torture, and why, sometime in the future!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


The slow-motion demolition of The Club Room is underweigh.  (And yes, it's "underweigh," as in anchors aweigh!) The owner is retiring because of illness and everything in the store is half off.  I picked up an adorable hand-painted canvas of a rabbit and am collaborating with my sister in Florida in choosing the colors of floss for it as a gift for her.  There is a sweetly-sad expression on the rabbit’s face an incredibly hard thing to draw in any case, and particularly in this case, where the lines must match the grid of weave so it can be stitched.  And all for half price.

The weather has turned chilly and wet again – maybe those decades-back forecasters warning of a new ice age were right after all?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Room Boxes: A Great Way to Enjoy Miniatures

Many people shy away from miniatures because they find dollhouses too expensive. Also, dollhouses can take years to finish! If you are just getting started in miniatures, room boxes are a better choice. A room box can be any size or type of container, devoted to just one room or scene.

By being creative, by seeing ordinary things with a "miniaturist's eye," and by experimenting, you can save a lot of money when you make a room box.  I made this one for less than $10.

Here's a breakdown of the pieces:

1. The container -- I bought this box from Beall's Outlet store for $5 and change. Boxes like this can be found at almost any big box craft store, but outlet stores such as Tuesday Morning and Home Goods, as well as Beall's, are terrific resources.

2. The fireplace -- The basic triangular shape was built with old cereal boxes and a piece of foam core board from an old science project display. Then I dipped pieces of newspaper into a mix of glue and water (a cheap sort of papier mache) and coated the structure. I painted bits of pressed paper egg cartons to look like bricks. I cut the carton pieces into the right shapes and glued them onto the form. I used Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler as mortar. Then I touched up the paint again.

3. The "fire" -- I buy strands of LED moon lights from Amazon, six for $9.99. (Normally, if you buy them from a craft store, they're $7 a strand.) At this price, they're a great bargain! For the "flames," I use pieces of plastic painted with nail polish. The plastic can be from any leftover packaging.

4. The chair -- I built the chair out of layers of corrugated cardboard, wrapped with masking tape. Then I glued on faux leather and added black cord trim. The legs are small chunks of wood, but I could have used beads.

5. The "throw" -- This started as a cheap washcloth. I pulled all the curly strands out. That left me with this loosely woven fabric.

6. The bookshelf -- I used foam core board covered with paper toweling soaked in glue.

Stay tuned and you'll see how I decorate this room box! Do you have any suggestions for what you would like me to add?

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Too Fast

    The week went by in a flash. I finished my computer class and now don’t freak out when I look at the home screen of QuickBooks. I was very happy with the class and made sure to let the teacher know and to call Pierce Extension to tell them as well.

    I spent mother’s day giving my daughter in law a much needed break and my son, Jakey and I went out for brunch. Jakey sat on my lap the whole time watching my food go by. Even though he is still just on formula, he opened his mouth each time my fork passed and he tracked the fork with his eyes. I think he is going to be a foodie.

    After that the days began to flip by and melt together. I’m working on a big scene for the 12th crochet mystery I am calling GET HOOKED or HOOKING UP for now. I have been so focused on the details, I won’t really know if the scene works until I get a chance to stand back and read it over as a whole.

    Thrown into the mix, I had to deal with the air conditioning on one side of the house going out and having to get it replaced. We had a seminar which meant preparing all the handouts and then doing my work the night of.

    A nice surprise was the arrival of my copies of the big print version of SEAMS LIKE MURDER. I also got the news there is an offer for a big print version of A TANGLED YARN.

    Sometimes I just wish I’d get bored so time would seem to standstill.