Friday, June 17, 2016

It's so hard to keep a secret- Now with 100% more Foreign Body!

Way back in March, I started the process of putting the 6 Tory Bauer Mysteries back in print, through CreateSpace (the same folks who published The Nut Hut, and the two paper doll coloring books). It has been a long, slow process, and I had to keep quiet about it because I wanted to surprise the artist who did the wonderful new covers for the series. That artist also happens to be my son, Curtis Taylor

Though Foreign Body is still in the pipeline (I think it'll be ready next week), the first 5 books are ready, and I absolutely could not wait one minute longer to show off these amazing new editions.

The books are the same as the original paperbacks from Avon/Harper Collins, but in trade paperback format (larger than mass market pbs), with all of the covers Curtis did for the eBook editions.

I am absolutely thrilled.

Lemee tellya, it never gets old.

Foreign Body is now up and running!!!. And in case anyone needs a reminder- this is the series reading order (they were originally published out of order).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Tie Dye Shoes #2- It's a learning process, lemee tellya

Okay, so I wanted to try Sharpie tie-dyeing colored shoes.

So far, so good. I was envisioning soft blues and greens, spreading and touching to make a nice all-over pattern.

Well, that didn't turn out the way I expected. The darkest blue wicked, but most of the colors just sort of softened at the edges.

These shoes have a more tightly woven canvas, so that might have impeded the color blending.

After they dried, I tried dotting more of the darkest blue and applied more alcohol.

Better, but still not what I had in mind. I let them dry, rinsed, and let them dry again.

And then I took an opaque white pen and drew little spirals all over. That would have been perfect except that the white ink wasn't as opaque as I hoped it would be. So I then used a fine blue Prismacolor brush marker (alcohol base ink in that one too, so it won't wash out), and drew more spirals.

I can live with this- in fact I like it. It's not what I had in mind, but it's a learning process....

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tie Dye Canvas Shoes with Sharpies and Rubbing Alcohol!

You can use any Sharpie colors. You probably want to make sure that any colors that touch will blend properly. I was careful to ROYGBIV all of my colors. If you draw purple and orange together, you'll get blended brown (which you may want- I don't know your life). Same with red/green, blue/orange, and purple/green. 
 Any canvas shoes will work. White is nice, but not necessary. As long as the ink shows on the fabric, you can work with any color ink or base.

Draw. Make them match. Or not. Up to you.

Use a pipette or spray bottle to apply undiluted rubbing alcohol to the shoes. Sharpies have an alcohol-based ink, so the alcohol dilutes and blends the lines, and softens the edges. The colors will start blending almost immediately. It's fun to watch.

Left is before alcohol, right is after

Prettiest shoe insides ever.

Wear gloves

Let the ink cure for 24 hours, then rinse in cold water to get rid of any residual alcohol. Allow to dry.

Lace 'em up, and WOOT!

Sharpie ink is not water soluble, so my feet will not be tie-dyed if the shoes get wet.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Introducing Nora and Nell- A Paper Doll Coloring Book with fashions from 1914

Okay, I had planned not to release this until April, but approving the proof means listing it for sale (something I did not realize), so...

drum roll....

Here it is! Nora and Nell, A Paper Doll Coloring Book with Fashions from 1914.

This book has the same format as Jan and Karen: two dolls (and again, for free-standing dolls, either copy and print the uncolored dolls on card stock, or color the dolls and then glue them to card stock before cutting them out), 7 pages of *design your own prints* outfits, 7 pages of embellished outfits, and 7 pages of full color outfits, ready to cut.

All of the fashions were inspired by old catalogs and Delineator magazines from my own collection. My friend Susan Smith said this book might appeal to Downton Abbey lovers- and for sure, the styles echo the early seasons of that show!

 They knew hats in 1914!

And skirts you couldn't walk in...

 The time for hip tassels has returned, I think.

  (photo, not scan- will not print to size)

I hope you have as much fun with this book as I did putting it together!