Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cold Front is now Available for Nook, Plus other Big News!

Cold Front is now available at B&N for Nook!

It's also available at Scribd and Smashwords!

I have the file for Foreign Body, the 6th Tory Bauer Mystery, on my Kindle. I need to proof it, but it should be up and available in a month or so, with yet another wonderful Curtis Taylor cover.

And while I'm at it, I want to announce that Knit One, Felt Too (my first knitting book) is now available for pre-order for Nook from Barnes & Noble. It'll be released August 22. I honestly don't know if this is an exclusive Nook deal, or if the book will be available from Amazon too. I'll get back to you on that.

And tomorrow, I will have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Something that has been a long time coming (over a decade), which has me dancing in my chair! Stay tuned!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cold Front is now available for Kindle

Cold Front, the 5th Tory Bauer Mystery, is now available from Amazon for Kindle download! I'm so excited! I assume it'll be up and running for Nook tomorrow, and for Sony and at Smashwords within a few days.


Thanks, as always, to Ryan Boettger and his students for the formatting, Abby Reilly at Dystel and Goderich for wrangling the uploads, and Curtis Taylor for the amazing and wonderful new cover!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sort of Wordless

I'll have a pretty big announcement maybe next week, plus the release of Cold Front (the 5th Tory Bauer Mystery) across all eBook platforms, so stand by...

In the meantime, here are some pretty pictures:

And progress on the Mucha Needlepoint...

...and more shilling for my son's Kickstarter Project. Please check it out- pledges as small as $1 are gladly accepted:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Tab- Saalfield Hatbox Dolls 1954

I love this set- especially the triangle cat-eye sunglasses. And the hat forms look like pitchforks...Thanks Dottie!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Needlepoint Bonanza

My friend Ann is a needlepoint expert. Unfortunately, her eyesight is deteriorating and she can no longer see well enough to do the needlework herself. So when she learned that I was giving needlepoint a whirl, she sent me this batch of amazing books!

It's like Christmas!

At the moment, I'm fascinated with representational projects, rather than textural. But I do love the look of Bargello, and I will be able to learn a lot about technique from this book, which appears to have been published in 1977 (first edition about 5 years earlier). This book has a few color interior pages but it's mostly black and white photos and graphs.

This one might really come in handy for me, given that I almost always prefer to design my own projects. It looks to be an excellent technique book, and there are lots and lots of color pages. A little updating of the colorways is all it needs.

The colors are really vibrant in the projects in this book. It's from the same era (early '70's) and just looking at the cool designs makes me want to try some Bargello.
There's no real info from Amazon on this book, which appears to have been privately produced in 1972.
But this actual photograph is glued to the title page, and though I would change the colors, it's actually quite pretty. Working it would give me a lot of practice in general Bargello techniques. I thumbed through the book, and it was literally hand written- the pages are copies of hand written notes and instructions, and hand drawn charts- they're all written and drawn quite well, and are totally legible, but you just don't see that kind of thing much these days.

See what I mean? Her handwriting is much neater than mine.

But though the Bargello books are fascinating, and I suspect I'll eventually give it a whirl, at the moment, I am far more interested in this book, which was published later than the others, in 1993.  I love love love tapestries and I especially love Medieval tapestries.
 Right now, I'm having a lot of fun with designs drawn on the canvas, but I'm a Chart Girl from way back, and some of these designs are really intriguing. This unicorn, for example.
 And these oranges.
And these flowering vines.
But the New Me finishes one project before starting another, so it'll be awhile before I have to decide.

Thanks Ann!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blatant shilling for a very talented son

My son Curtis The Artist (creator of the wonderful new eBook covers for the Tory Bauer series) is also the head honcho at HopHeadSaid. Curt is a a beer expert (he's now a certified Cicerone, one of only 400 in the country) and home brewer. He's also a writer, with a regular beer column in VC Buzz, a Ventura county magazine, and his series of beer videos is great. Oh, and he taped the pilot for an internet talk show on beer.

He's started a Kickstarter project in order to fund more and better videos- this time, a series on the proper glassware for individual beer styles. Go and see what he's up to, and if the notion intrigues you, you can pledge, as little as $1 up to... well whatever. The way Kickstarter works is that projects have a set amount of time (in this case 30 days) to achieve the desired amount of pledges. If the amount is met, the pledges (this time through Amazon, but any credit or debit card will work) are processed. If the amount is not met, the project is disbanded and no cards are charged.

I think this is a marvelous project, and I hope you will too.

Here's the Kickstarter page for Curt's project: beer pour'n  (pronounced Beer Porn... heh).

And here's his video intro:

P.S. Every pledge over $5 gets a cool gift

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Old adventures in DMC

I don't know if I ever mentioned that I was part of the DMC corporation's Designer Bank back in the 80's and 90's. I don't know if you can apply for membership, or if they just choose you (they chose me), but as part of the Designer Bank, I could design any sort of needlework I wanted (using DMC products of course), and send it to them, they'd buy it from me, and then place it in a magazine, either as an ad or as an article. Designs could also be used a promotional giveaways. They paid well, and I never had to worry about submitting projects to individual venues. They weren't so great about notifications, so I don't know how many of my designs ever saw light of day, but that was fine too.

The best part of being in the Designer Bank was the freebies. Not only could I have any DMC product (in any amount) that I requested, I continually got freebies. They were great at putting together promotional goodies for designers and retailers, so every few months, I'd get an amazing gift in the mail. Sometimes the promo things would be new products, sometimes reminders of old things- no matter what was featured, presentation was always amazing.

For the most part, I left the freebies intact and ordered additional supplies for my designs, but now that I'm doing needlepoint with embroidery floss, I figured I might as well use what I have on hand (still Stash Busting, you see), because I have plenty on hand. Here are some of the goodies:

 This incredibly cool hatbox has old maps on it.
 Inside was the entire (at the time) line of Rayon embroidery floss. I learned pretty quickly already that Rayon embroidery floss is not so good for needlepoint, but it's still gorgeous.
 Underneath the embroidery floss, was a layer of Rayon Perle *cotton* for Hardanger work. I must have bought a few of the skeins (they have Ben Franklin tags), but the rest was all promo freebies.
 This cotton case has an Aida cloth band on the front for embroidery. I have no idea why I shot the back side... sigh...
 Inside were all of the new (at the time) cotton floss colors. It's a pretty snazzy case, with room for a project and all of the flosses and a chart.
 This padded cloth pouch has a satin lining. You can tell how old it is by the colors... and the dust...
 Inside was a full set of their cotton Flower Thread (single strand embroidery floss). DMC also had a line of wool Flower Thread, but I actually used a lot of that for design work, including this sampler.
 But I saved the best for last- this little wooden trunk
 carried every single DMC embroidery floss color that they sold. All 378 of them- a full set. Think of that. And until now, I'd never used any. In fact, I mostly forgot that I had them at all.
I'm glad I remembered- I have more than enough colors to do this design justice. Now to see if my skill can keep up.

BTW, I have no idea if I am still part of the Designer Bank. When I started writing fiction, I stopped designing individual projects, and I haven't done any embroidery designing for a really long time because I've concentrated on knitting. I haven't gotten any shipments for a long time, so I'm *inactive* at the very least. I wouldn't ask for more freebies for personal use, but I am sure going to have fun using what they sent me already.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Tab- Saalfield 1944- Festival Paper Dolls

Once again, thanks to Dottie for the marvelous scans. I actually got the giggles when I saw the Corn Costume, with the silks rising from the shoulders like gravity defying mustaches...