Tag Archives: Books

Dismount and Murder Bookcover and Giveaway

Dismount and MurderBook #3 in Jacqueline Lynch’s Double V Mystery series is here! The cover is designed by yours truly and I can’t wait to read the third installment in the series. I’ve become quite attached to Elmer and Juliet and their adventures. Head over to Jacqueline’s blog for the complete lowdown on the plot and where to purchase your copy. If you are quick and send her an email tonight, you can even enter to win a copy of the book in paperback!

What are you waiting for? Go visit her!

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Speak Out Before You Die Bookcover

Hello, dear ones! Just popping into your world for a moment to announce the second installment in the Double V Mystery series by Jacqueline T. Lynch. Book number 2 is called Speak Out Before You Die, with another cover designed by me!

This book picks up with the same detecting duo we met in the first book: Elmer Vartanian and Juliet Van Allen, the ex-con and the society sophisticate who solve crimes on the sly. Speak Out Before You Die finds the pair sleuthing at a high society New Year’s Eve wedding. They have reason to believe someone will die before the new year rings in and it’s up to them to expose the plot. Head over to Jacqueline’s blog for the full official blurb and her special explanation of the characters.

Ebooks available here: B&N, Smashwords, Amazon

Paperbacks will be available directly via Jacqueline or on Amazon in a few weeks.

Let me know what you think of the cover! As always, creative feedback is most welcome.

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My Art: Handmade Boxes

Over the past month-and-a-half, I’ve been taking one of the most exciting studio classes of my college career so far: Bookmaking. We did indeed learn to actually sew books. Although, today I’m going to spotlight the equally thrilling paste-paper covered boxes we made at the same time.

Above you can see the fruits of my labor in all their glory. Allow me to explain them to you. Each piece starts with a cardboard under skeleton. I measured and cut all the cardboard for everything you see here. The cardboard used is a special kind with a denser quality than regular corrugated cardboard. (If you’re interested in exactly what kind of board I used, click here.)

Starting in the bottom left hand corner of the photo, the stack of green and yellow covered prisms are bookweights. “Bookweight” is a gloriously fancy term for a cardboard box filled with 4 rolls of pennies and covered with a lid. They are remarkably useful for holding pieces together while waiting for glue to dry. The escapade of obtaining those pennies was hilarious. You’d be surprised how hard is actually is to get your hands on $8 worth of pennies in rolls. You’d think they were solid gold the way no one wants to give them up. I went on a hunt for them with two other girls from my class and at one of the banks we visited, the teller informed us she wasn’t allowed to give away that many rolls of pennies without her manager’s permission. Since he was on the phone and we were late for class, we decided to just leave empty handed with nothing but tired, exasperated faces for our trouble. Wal-Mart was the friendliest place we found in our search, but they would not exchange pennies for all of us, because they understandably needed to keep some for the registers. The banks had no excuse, though. In the end, I collected half of my needed pennies from my brother’s change box and my own penny collection. The rest were a gift from Wal-Mart. Anyway….

Moving clockwise in the photograph, we next come to the deep red clamshell box. It is exactly the same kind of box as the black and green one in the foreground. I found the clamshell boxes to be difficult to get right, so that is why I’ve made two. :) A little practice never hurt anyone! The clamshells are meant to be protective cases for special books. I haven’t finished the matching books yet, but they are in the works. The book for the red case is going to have oyster colored resume paper for the interior pages. (I found an old box of it in my stash, so it’s rather like recycling!) Here’s an inside view of the red clamshell.

Up next are the Japanese boxes. These are crafted in a special way. Each side piece is laid end to end on the pastepaper and covered. The button and string are sewn on next. Then the box gets folded up and the right and left sides are covered and glued in separately. Getting those final sides just right is tricky, so I’ve made four of these to make sure I could master it. :) Here are some closeups of the Japanese Boxes:

The large blue and yellow Japanese box is a 5 sided box and has two lids. It looks so neat when opened:

The final collection of boxes in the top photo are basic lidded containers. They are covered in paste paper inside and out. These are constructed completely different than the Japanese boxes. The cardboard skeleton is assembled first, 4 sides and bottom all glued together in box shape. Then, it gets covered in paper through a series of intricate snips and cuts. They are still easier than the Japanese boxes, though!

As for the pastepaper, it started life as regular sketchbook paper from those large drawing pads (if you’re an artist, you probably still have one of those Strathmore pads around somewhere!). By applying a mixture of acrylic paint and gel painting medium, the paper becomes something special. The designs are created by swirling afro picks, combs, plastic forks and plastic milk jug templates through the wet paint. The dual color effect is achieved by painting the paper a single color first and allowing it to dry before creating the design over it in a contrasting color.

So, I hope this is some kind of explanation for my absence of late. It is tremendous fun, and I foresee myself making books and boxes for eternity! And if you enjoyed this peek into the art in my life, remember to stay tuned for the handmade book unveiling. :D

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My Art: Jackie’s Catalog

For the final project in my Layout and Design Class, we had to design a 16 page catalog.  We could choose any products we wanted to showcase, but preferably something we had easy access to.  I wanted to pick items that had personal meaning for me, but would be easy to get images from.  I decided on the collection of classic children’s books we have from when me and my brother were little.  It was a fantastic opportunity to revisit childhood memories and use some of the books I love so much for a project.  I am beaming with pride about this project now, because it is currently on display in my school’s art gallery in the Juried Student Show.  I entered three pieces and two were accepted into the show (you’ll see the other piece tomorrow).  It’s a great honor to get pieces accepted into the show, because the judging is tough.  Well, have a look and see if you agree with the judges.

From the beginning, I wanted to use the jacks as the connective element to tie all the pages together.  I also wanted to integrate it into the logo as the dots for the letters.  I was trying to come up with a catchy name until I finally realized how neat it would be to just call the catalog Jackie’s. The jacks in the logo were originally yellow (to match the jacks inside) but it was too hard to read from a distance. So, with some tweaking the logo became what you see now. I think it’s one of the best logos I’ve made so far.

Just one last shot to prove it really is in the show.  I gave them copies of all the spreads, but the Corduroy one is the only one they chose to display.

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English Joy

This has been one hard, cold, tiring day.  Really. Here in the good ole Midwest, we are suffering with below zero temperatures (-6° F but feels like -20° F with the windchill.  That’s -21/-28° C).  We were warned on the news this morning that skin exposed to the cold air for 10(!) minutes would be subject to frostbite!

Then, I’ve spent my whole day working in one of my studio classes.  (It’s an all-day class.)  Needless to say, I was beat.

So, when I checked my mailbox and found a cardboard sleeve with a sticker that said “Royal Mail” on the corner, my heart skipped ten beats.  You have to understand that for a little American girl, a package from England is like the be all and end all.

Look at this logo. Talk about good graphic design!

I have been expecting this package for some time and I was beginning to give up hope of ever seeing it.  It is so fitting that it arrived today.

My English mystery package was an impressively fat, vintage knitting and crochet “Bible” that I purchased with the last of my Christmas money.  It’s called A Stitch In Time and was authored by Jane Waller and Susan Crawford.  I am terribly happy with how big it is.  It measures 8 1/4 in. by 11 3/4 in. and it’s nearly an inch thick!

Knit on the Net has a great logo too (click photo to see it)

I found out about this little gem because of the Diary of a Vintage Girl blog.  The lovely writer is a model, and she modeled many of the sweaters (or jumpers – I just love that word) for this re-creation book.  Here’s a link to her post about it, complete with buying instructions: Knitty Gritty

The book is gorgeous, honestly and truly.  It’s worth buying for the spectacular photography alone.  I knew the minute I saw it I was going to have to learn to knit (I’m a crocheter, but somehow the joys of knitting have always eluded me).  I was right.  The patterns for vintage sweaters are so exciting, I’m just dying to get out those knitting needles and try, try again.

Aside from the new photographs of the sweaters, bathing suits, gloves, purses, belts and lingerie, A Stitch In Time also has copies of the original vintage patterns before each new, revised pattern, with the original photographs.  It’s divided into 5 sections spanning the golden years of fashion: 1920-49.  At the beginning of every new section, the authors have a short essay about the fashion of each particular year span.

Look at this cute little card that was slipped between the pages of the book:

What a day-maker!

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