Friday, February 14, 2020

Painting With Watercolor.


A page from the book Beautiful Faces
I'm working on designing my book cover!!
My Messy Creative Space
My Jane Davenport Art Supplies

To my dearest friends and followers,

I finished going through the manuscripts from my beta readers last Sunday!! I finished several days ahead of schedule, which I was pretty excited about. Next, I'm having another set of eyes (my husband) read through the new revised version. Still a long way to go, but I feel like I can see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Once I've worked on a few other projects related to finished my book for publication, I'll be reading through the manuscript again to really polish it up.
However, this week has been all about watercolor.
It's a medium that I am not super familiar with. I use mostly pencils, color pencils, pens, and on occasion, charcoal. Watercolor is something I used to see my sister use a lot, but I wasn't really one to take part in it. Early last year, I was gifted a watercolor set that I used maybe twice or three times. It was a set that I picked out, though I didn't really take the time to play around with it and learn how to use it.

That has changed though! I have been wanting to try my hand at it due to being inspired by artists Toni Burt and Jane Davenport and being encouraged by my husband.
I have painted several different pieces, mostly playing with colored backgrounds and just getting used to the feel of the brush in my hand and how the paint reacts with itself. I have been looking through the book Beautiful Faces for color pallet inspirations. I've actually been working in a Jane Davenport watercolor journal I bought.

I've been really enjoying painting. I find it so relaxing. It's also very inviting (at least to me). When I use color pencils, I'm like, leave me alone, I'm drawing. But when I use watercolor, I'm like, come paint with me! 
I eventually want to buy large sheets of watercolor paper to try painting on a larger surface. I've also been getting a feel for the types of brushes I like and don't like and thinking about some that I'd like to get, since I've just been using a cheap "starter set" of brushes I got at an art store.
Next week I want to focus on drawing faces.

It is my intention to design my book cover with a watercolor background with the face of my protagonist, Hollyhocks, on top of that. We'll see how it goes...

Yours truly,
Me

Friday, February 7, 2020

Writing Through The Week.



To my dearest friends and followers,

First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to read this.
I hope all of you had an amazing week!!

Mine was pretty decent. I've been to Barnes & Noble twice this week, got 4 new books, and have already devoured one of those books.


Yesterday I found myself in a cute little shop called Handmade Market. It was really quaint, stocked with enamel pins, small purses, adult and child sized aprons, little decorative pillows, jewelry, and other trinkets. One thing I got there was a pair of fingerless gloves!! They are really cute and comfy and perfect for chilly hands that love late-night writing.

Something I learned about this week is an app called Libby. It's a great app for book-lovers!! Some of you might already know what it is, but I just learned about it from a friend. It's essentially like audible, but it's free!! I don't usually like audiobooks, but I started using audible last month mainly because a book club account on Youtube that I was a part of was removed and I wanted to feel like I wasn't reading alone. XD
Anyhow, Libby is like an online library. You have to have a library card and then you can stream or download audiobooks AND ebooks. I'm not sure how it all works because I've just downloaded the app myself, but I'm excited to try it out.

On another note, as I said in my post last week, I received all my manuscripts back from my beta readers. I began working through those and I am editing my book accordingly!!
It's been going really well. I gave myself 12 days to work through 36 chapters (it wasn't until later that I realized my book actually has 39 chapters...but I'll make it work XD).
Currently I am finished with the first 23 chapters and I have yet to work on any today. So basically, I am ahead of schedule!! In just a few days, I'll be finished going through my book!! AHHHHHHH!!

I'll probably give it another go-over, and I still have a few other things I need to work on before publishing...

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Handmade Market 
Libby 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Five Manuscripts.

To my dearest friends and followers,

I am so excited to begin working on my book again (I have been working on a few other things since November, while my book was in the hands of my beta readers).
Today I am happy to say that ALL FIVE OF MY BETA READERS have returned my manuscripts to me (with the latest one arriving only earlier this week)!!! 
I have yet to begin going through them (I was finishing up the book I was reading), but I am ready to start now!

I have decided to go through each copy of the manuscript together, to compare each beta reader's notes. So I'll read through chapter one (from each copy) and then make the necessary changes to the document on my computer, then read through each version of chapter two and so on.

Once I have finished editing my book, I might write out a list of the main characters (as one of my beta readers pointed out), and explain some of the folklore behind them (sprites, pixies, pillywiggens, dryads, hobgoblins, banshees, etc.). I thought this was a good point and would allow the reader a better understanding of the world I created and the creatures who inhabit it. 

Another thing that I still need to work on is a cover for my book. I have played with several ideas and created a few potential book cover possibilities, but I still haven't found quite the right thing.
I have thought of hiring someone, but I'm not sure who and I'm not sure what style I want, etc. A few months back I discovered artist Toni Burt. I was so captivated by her work that I reached out to her and asked if she would be interested in doing the cover for me. She kindly declined to my disappointment. 

My husband and I have spent some time looking at other artists and illustrators, I have made a list of a few potential people. None of them grabbed me the way Toni Burt's art did, but I was willing to look into other people. Recently, I discovered another artist by the name of Jane Davenport whilst going through the clearance bin at Michaels. Her work really grabbed me in the same way Toni Burt's did, since their styles are so similar. I believe it was the next day that I reached out to Jane Davenport and, like Toni Burt, she also kindly declined.

I was inspired by Toni Burt's style and tried my hand at it a few months ago. I thought I could keep trying to create something I like for the cover, so in the past two weeks, I have gotten my pencils and charcoal pencils together, my watercolor set together, I got a Jane Davenport art journal with watercolor paper, a Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces art workbook by Jane Davenport, and I am going to play around with that style and see what I can come up with.

Things might take longer than I hope them to, but ideally I would like to be able to begin the publishing process by March 31st. 
I'm really looking forward to having my book out in the world!!
As always, thank you for reading.

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Toni Burt 
Jane Davenport 
Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces by Jane Davenport

Related Posts:
Exploring the World of Fairy in Art.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Fairy Journal DIY.



To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I am going to share with you how I made my journal for this year!! (As some of you are probably aware, each year, I make a new journal that sort of functions as my brain outside my brain. I write ideas, important dates, doodles, etc. I shared how I made my journal last year, but I believe I've learned a thing or two on how to make a better journal. That being said, here's how I made my journal this year...

...first of all, I think I should say, I actually forgot to document the journal that I made for myself (take pictures for instructions, write notes, etc.). So, I made another journal exactly the same as the first one (except for the design on the cover) specially for this blog so I could show all of you how I made it.

Supplies needed are as follows:

Paper Cutter a.k.a. Paper Guillotine
Paper
Cardboard
Pearl Cotton (size 12)
Needle
Thimble
Ruler
Scissors
Fabric Scissors
Pliers
Glue
Folding Bone
Pencil
Metal Book Corners
Binder Clips (not shown)

1. The Cover.
So the first step is to decide what size you want your journal. I made mine 9''x6''. Two sheets of cardboard must be measured and cut to that exact size (one for the front cover, one for the back). Next, you need to have ready your cover paper (two sheets for front and back). I used ivory cardstock paper, 80lb, measuring 8.5"x11''. Cut this paper exactly 1/2inch larger ON ALL SIDES than your cardboard. So your paper should measure 10"x7". 
Design the cover. Have fun with it. I put a fairy on mine. Once the design is complete, attach the paper to the cardboard by applying the glue to the cardboard, NOT the paper, to prevent the paper from wrinkling. Make sure you do this to the front cover and back cover. 
I like to then press those covers between some heavy books or a heavy box until the glue dries (about two hours). This prevents the cardboard from warping, as it is prone to do with so much glue on it.

2. The Pages.
The paper I used for the pages is the exact same paper I used for the cover (ivory cardstock paper, 80lb, measuring 8.5"x11"). I wanted to make 8 signatures, so I took 8 sets of 3 sheets of paper and folded them exactly in half, folding three at a time with the (plastic) folding bone. To make that more clear, each signature is three sheets of paper, folded in half. This step is pretty easy for me since I'm not cutting or measuring any of the paper.
Next, I'm taking each signature (which measures 8.5" down the middle), and marking it one inch in at each end, then again another inch in. To find the middle two points, I then measure 1 3/4" in from each of the innermost points. I'm now able to connect three pairs of dots into 1" segments. Make sure to do this to each signature, both on the inside and outside of each one.
Next, I took the thread (Pearl Cotton) and (starting from the back of the signature), stitched along the lines that I just created. The inside and outside should look like the photos I took once the above steps are complete. After that, I take another sheet of paper and cut it 2"x6". This is the paper that will bind all the signatures together. I added a lot of glue along the entire center. I then made sure that each of the corners have glue. I then attached this to the back of the signatures, held firmly in place by the binder clips. I keep this standing on end until it dries (about an hour).


3. The Bookmark.
Once the binding on the signatures is dry, I wanted to add a bookmark. So, I took some ribbon that I have (1/8" thick) and glued about 4" of that to the binding, allowing at least 2-3" to hang past the FULL LENGTH of the book (making the bookmark 12" in length with a 9" journal). Once that dried, I wanted to add a fish tail to the bookmark. I folded the end of the ribbon between my fingers and cut it, angling the scissors away from my thumb to get the shape I wanted. I added a tiny bit of glue to the end of the ribbon where I cut it to prevent it from fraying.

4. Finishing the Cover.
Once the pages are complete, bookmark and all, I take the covers out that have been drying until this point. I cut all of the corners off and fold the excess paper over, gluing it to the cardboard, creating mitered corners. I usually have to hold these until they're dry enough to stop popping back up (about 3-5 minutes each). The same process is performed on the front and back cover. 
When that is finished, I take a full sheet of 8.5"x11" paper and cut it in half, making both halves measure 8.5"x5.5". I glue these sheets to the inside of the front and back covers, covering up all the cardboard that was still showing. The covers both need to be pressed again for a couple hours to prevent the cardboard from wanting to warp again.



5. The Book.
Almost there!! Ok, so when the covers are completely dry, it's time to attach those to the pages!!
I put glue on the inside of the covers (the side with the mitered corners), and then put it down, glue side up, on a table. I then took the pages and put it down on top of the glue, making sure the back of the pages are even with the back edge of the cover. I then put glue on the top outer page of the signatures and placed the other cover on top, making sure they were evenly placed. This creates 1/4" of space between the pages and the edge of the covers on both the top and bottom, with 1/2" of space between the pages and the edge of the covers in the front of the book. The book needs to be pressed once more to ensure the cardboard stays nice and flat.

6. The Binding.
When the book is dry, I then attach the binding to the back. So I take another full sheet of the ivory paper and cut it about three times the thickness of the book. For example, the pages in the journal measure about 1/2", so the paper I cut needs to be 1 1/2", but I cut mine a little longer than that...
The length is the same length as the book, 9". I put a very thin line of glue near the edge of the paper on the sides that will be touching the covers, but no glue in the middle. I attached this to the back, pressing it with my hands until it dried (about 2-4 minutes). As shown in the photo, there is space between the paper I just attached and the cover. This is intentional and allows the book to open and close properly.



7. The Corners.
Last but not least, I like to add metal book corners for some extra...extra. XD I like being extra.
I have metal bronze book corners that I put a bit of glue inside, then pressed it onto the corners of the book, using the pliers to firmly clinch it on once it is in place.

Finished!! I'm extremely happy with how both these turned out. The aching moon fairy is the journal that I initially created for myself. The solemn forest fairy is the one I created for this blog post. Please let me know in the comments if you followed this blog and made a journal of your own or if you learned something from this. XD Thank you so much!!


Yours truly,
Me





Thursday, January 16, 2020

Talking With Authors: George Yorba.

Getting to know us:
Author Interviews #4

Filled, Lit and Ready.

To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I am excited to have you hear from a very special writer, my dad, George Yorba!!
My dad was never really the type to read books unless it was the Bible. It's funny because my sister and I have such a love for books, but I think it was really my mom who encouraged us to read. Anyhow, eventually my dad began reading more and wrote his first book: Filled, Lit & Ready. It's been a few years since my dad published his book, but I remember feeling...almost proud, like wow, MY dad wrote a book!! I thought it would be really fun to interview him and talk about his book and give you guys a chance to hear from another writer. So, thank you Dad for taking the time to do this with me and thank YOU for taking the time to read this interview. XD

Tell me a bit about yourself?

I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, and most importantly a follower of Jesus Christ.

What made you decide you wanted to write?

I sensed the Lord wanted me to pass on some very useful and interesting information I had learned from years of studying. My daughters were also a motivating factor because of their love for writing. Ever since they were very little, they had been writing, illustrating, and building and binding their own books from the stories they had written.

Tell me, what is your book about?

The book is about an ancient Jewish wedding and betrothal. It coincides with the very acts and words of Jesus who is also called the bridegroom while on earth. It also talks about [how] we as the Church (also known as the Bride of Christ) [are] directly related to the parable of the 10 virgins waiting the bridegrooms tarrying return. The book will ultimately ask the reader the question, "Are you fully convinced, patiently expectant, passionately ready for Jesus Christ's return?"

How long did it take you to write this book?

It took years, because I thought someone else should do it. When I finally decided to publish, it took about a year. My wife and daughters were a big help.

Do you plan to write more books in the future?
If so, what can we look forward to?

I would like to write at least one more. I would like to write a book to my grandchildren. Passing on my faith in story form. The book is in the very beginning stages of existence.

What advice do you have on publishing to other people looking to publish?

Write it, put it down and pray about it. If you decide to go through with it, do a lot of research and choose what works best for you.

Did you learn anything about yourself or otherwise while you were writing this book?

I learned a number of things, but one worth mentioning. The scriptures talk of Jesus having all authority and being the author and perfecter of our faith. Our minds think well yeah, He is God, He is the sovereign creator of all things. But also, He is the author of my life. The story of walking hand in hand with the lover of my soul, Jesus, is still being written. Psalm 139:16 says "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them."

Do you have any writing advice for other indie authors?


Not really.


**Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Dad!

Additional:

Be sure to check out George Yorba's book on Amazon!
Filled, Lit & Ready 

Yours truly,
Me

Friday, January 10, 2020

Ready To Publish.

To my dearest friends and followers,

It's been so long since I've posted anything and for that I apologize. Christmas passed by so quickly and now 2020 is upon us!! Unfortunately, I spent the last week and a half of 2019 being really sick with what we think was a virus of some sort, but I'm nearly better now. 


That being said, I did make several gifts for people this year and I received some exciting gifts in return such as a Tim Burton Mad Hatter Nutcracker (whoever created this was a genius), a gift card for Barnes & Noble (!!!!!), lavender soaps and lavender lotions and lavender bath salts and a lavender candle (they know me so well :D), a beautiful calligraphy set, and a recipe book, amongst other gifts. Honestly, each gift I received was so me it was like I gifted each item to myself!! I'd love to hear what gifts you received!!

So to update you all on a few things, three of my five beta readers have finished my book!! I'm so excited about that!! The last two beta readers are nearly finished and I expect they will have my manuscript back reasonably soon.
Once I receive all of those back, I will begin going over each one and making the necessary changes. I am also looking for an illustrator whom I can hire to create the perfect book cover for me. After that, I'll be close to publishing my book!! I think I have decided on a publisher, but I am not going to reveal it on my blog just yet. I'm so ready to publish my book!! XD

One more thing I'd like to share is this:
Every year I make a journal for myself that I fill with notes and ideas and important dates, etc. It basically functions as my brain outside of my brain for that respective year. Last year I showed you how I made my journal for 2019 in hopes that it would serve as a sort of written tutorial. This year, I made another journal, but I've come a long way in how I made it. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see me write a post on how I made my journal this year. :)
Thank you so much for reading!! I'm looking forward to sharing my 2020 with you!!

Yours truly,
Me