Sunday, September 23, 2018

My weekend thrifting haul--check it out!

Just a few things I got this weekend while thrifting. The little candle rings with the bird ornaments were in a $1 bag along with little mercury glass balls that I will transform into earrings for my November craft show. I think they look adorable and I’m going to use them as is to decorate one of my coffee tables. (Um, doesn’t everyone have five separate sitting areas?) The tray is unusual in that it has feet.

IMG_3845
The little vase was choked with roots and dirt. That took a little work cleaning up. The mug is Syracuse China and I already had a small bowl that matches, so this was something I wanted.  Mr. L collects vintage cocktail shakers, and he didn't have anything this one, which looks like it might be from the 1950s.

IMG_3848
This darling little needlepoint pillow came from the good rummage sale for a buck. It really needs to be cleaned, but I’m not sure what to use. This is where a girl needs her Mother. My mother had so much knowledge, especially about the “domestic arts.” She did every kind of needlecraft there was, from sewing, to cross stitch, to knitting—she did it all and well (although quilting was her favorite). The back is velveteen and the pillow inside is going into the washing machine with my towels. My Mum had this special detergent (very gentle) for washing sweaters and you don’t even need to rinse. Just soak. I wondered if that would be something to use on the needlepoint. Please, let me know what you think about that. Thanks.

IMG_3867

This adorable little bucket and the two pumpkins were part of two displays at one of the sales and the sign said, “10¢ to $1 – Pay what you want.” Holy smoke, did they have a lot of cute stuff. I paid $5 for everything and the woman was happy to “get rid of some of mom’s crap” and I was happy to get so many silk flowers and other cute stuff. I love the little bucket. It’s adorable and something cute (and probably silk) will go in it.

To see everything else I found, check out my Facebook Group page, Lorraine's Perpetual Tea Party Page. Here's a link.

So, what's your favorite?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

What's with this pumpkin spice thing?



Hey, it's pumpkin spice time! Um...I'm not into pumpkin spice. I have tasted pumpkin pie, but didn't like it. (Tried more than once, so you've gotta give me that.) Never had a latte, let alone a pumpkin spice one. Never had a pumpkin spice cookie, muffin, cupcake, or meat pie.

I like the idea of pumpkin spice, but can't think of anything that would entice me to eat/drink it.

What do you think the whole pumpkin spice thing?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Baking with my characters

I was speaking with my hairdresser the other day (got my roots done -- I'm YOUNG again!) and she was telling me that her husband doesn't like to eat. She has to remind him to eat.

A person who doesn't like to eat??????????

I smell cake/cookies/muffins/Yorkshire pudding and I gain weight. Therefore, I live vicariously through my characters who love to bake. Among them: Katie Bonner, Kathy Grant, and most recently Tricia Miles. These ladies are baking up a storm--and they can do it and not get fat because they have an audience they can feed. Katie has her vendors at Artesans Alley, Kathy has been experimenting with recipes for her B&B and feeding her friends Tori, Anissa, Noreen and Paul. Tricia has her employees, Pixie and Mr. Everett (and when you read A Killer Edition, which will be out next year, this will become really obvious.)


But I like to bake, too. And the other day my neighbor, who has a huge garden, put out a little stand for veggies his family can't eat. It's so cute with a colorful umbrella to shade the veggies during the day. And I picked up a zucchini, tomato and a chili pepper. The zucchini was too big for stir fry, but I knew when I picked it up it was destined for zucchini muffins.

Who's my audience? Mr. L. He loves baked goods for breakfast and this will be my second batch of zucchini muffins this summer. In fact, I will need to make a double batch because it is such a big zucchini. That doesn't worry me!  Here's my recipe.

Zucchini Muffins
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried currants or chopped raisins

Preheat oven to 350° In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and currants. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

Who do you bake for? (And care to share a recipe, too?)

==========================================

Recipes to Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook, was the first companion book I did for my New York Times bestselling  Victoria Square Mystery series. In it, Katie Bonner shares her favorite recipes, and those of her vendors and the merchants on Victoria Square, plus each contributors signature drink and anecdotes about their lives on Victoria square.

Treat yourself today!

Amazon (trade paperback)

Kindle | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Decorating for fall


Happy Tuesday! I haven't hauled out all my "fall stuff" (and I haven't got much more than this), but this is the start of my fall decorating. I never thought to do this before I saw "Hillary from Old World Home's" seasonal $5 Goodwill Thrift Store Challenge on Youtube. Basically you spend $5 and add something to your decor. Everything here except the fabric pumpkin (which belonged to my Mum) I got at yard sales. The flowers and vase were bought within the past couple of weeks. You might remember the little "boo" and the gold tray were found this summer, too.

Here's a link to Hilary's challenge.

Do you decorate for the seasons?

P.S. My Mum made the runner for me.

Monday, September 17, 2018

When you're thirsty, drink tea!

If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE tea. I start every day with a cup (and usually drink an entire pot) and often have another cup or two in the afternoon.

I am a tea addict, and I'm not ashamed.

That said, I mostly drink English Breakfast (black) tea, and not much else. The fun part comes because I have a lot of teacups and tea mugs. Choosing one every day makes the day start with a lot more whimsy.

Not long ago, Mr. L and I visited the Buffalo area and visited the Millard Fillmore house. I was surprised at how many artifacs were available from our 13th pesident, a man who only served two years after the death of Zachary Taylor.

That's a cardboard cut-out of President Fillmore on the porch.

For such a small house, which Fillmore built with his own two hands, there were an astonishing amount of presidential artifacts.






The teapot above belonged to Fillmore's first wife, Abigail.  I wonder how many wonderful cups of tea she delighted in from that pretty pot.





This teacup belonged to the Fillmore family. It was probably used by the President. Think of the history!




The above tumbling-block quilt was made by the first Mrs. Fillmore. The stitching was exquiste. The bedframe was the bed they took to the white house and slept in for their two-year tenure.

The docents at the Fillmore house were fantastic and kept us spellbound with their tales about the last Whig-party president.

I went to visit the Buffalo area because I needed to reconnect with my character, Jeff Resnick, for an upcoming book, but I'm pretty sure he never visited the Fillmore home. Still, it never hurts to visit the rich history of any area you write about, and I'm sure glad I visited the Fillmore House.

This makes three presdential homes I've visited. The first was Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. The second was James Buchanan's home (Wheatland) in Lancaster, PA, and now Millard Fillmore's home.

Have you ever visited a home of a president?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

To decorate my neck


The Yard Sale Season is winding down, but yesterday it was smoking hot. I scored these four necklaces.  #1 and #4 look like the kind my friend (and fellow cozy author) ElleryAdams wears. I'm having a hard time deciding which I like best. 

What's your pick?

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Just what I asked for

WA couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how I wanted a golf cart. (In case you missed it, click here.)

It turns out, Mr. L actually does read my blog because he decided to do something about it.

IMG_3799
Of course, the golf cart Mr. L bought me was only about three inches tall. Not a problem. We don't have room in the garage (and don't have a shed) so where would I put a bigger one?

When my folks were alive, they lived seven houses down the street from us. A golf cart would have been handy because I would go and visit them once or twice a day, and they would have dinner with us pretty often. It would have been handy (and fun) to drive up and down the street.

I wish I could have had a real golf cart, but this one made me smile and it will for a long time to come.

Luckily I have a sense of humor--and so does Mr. L ... maybe that's why we've been together so long.

So, have you been on the receiving end of a joke present? Tell all!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Nothing says lovin like something from the oven

I was speaking with my hairdresser the other day and she told me that her husband doesn't like to eat. She has to remind him to eat.

A person who doesn't like to eat??????????

If I smell cake/cookies/muffins/Yorkshire pudding and I gain weight. Therefore, I live vicariously through my characters who love to bake. Among them: Katie Bonner, Kathy Grant, and most recently Tricia Miles. These ladies are baking up a storm--and they can do it and not get fat because they have an audience they can feed. Katie has her vendors at Artisans Alley, Kathy has been experimenting with recipes for her B&B and feeding her friends Tori, Anissa, Noreen, and Paul. Tricia has her employees, Pixie and Mr. Everett (and when you read A Killer Edition, which will be out next year, this will become really obvious.)

But I like to bake, too. And the other day my neighbor, who has a huge garden, put out a little stand for veggies his family can't eat--and everything is FREE. It's so cute with a colorful umbrella to shade the veggies during the day. I picked up a zucchini, a very nice tomato, and a chili pepper. The zucchini was too big for stir fry, but I knew when I picked it up it was destined for zucchini muffins.

Who's my audience? Mr. L. He loves baked goods for breakfast and this will be my second batch of zucchini muffins this summer. In fact, I will need to make a double batch because it is such a big zucchini. That doesn't worry me!  Here's my recipe.

Zucchini Muffins
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried currants or chopped raisins

Preheat oven to 350° In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and currants. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

Who do you bake for? (And care to share a recipe, too?)

==========================================

Recipes to Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook, was the first companion book I did for my New York Times bestselling  Victoria Square Mystery series. In it, Katie Bonner shares her favorite recipes, and those of her vendors and the merchants on Victoria Square, plus each contributors signature drink and anecdotes about their lives on Victoria square.

Treat yourself today!

Amazon (trade paperback)

Kindle | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | iBooks


Friday, September 7, 2018

Dolly Madison has Grape Expectations

My 4th Tale From Blythe Cove Manor, set on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard, is out today.

With the advent of Labor Day, the "season" on the island is now over,but you don't have to wait until the end of next May to visit. It's waiting for you right now in this series of stories about a unique bed and breakfast, and its hostess, Blythe Calvert. The place? Blythe Cove Manor ... where just a little magic awaits all its guests.



Young heiress Dolly Madison arrives on Martha's Vineyard with an agenda to discover and taste the great wines of this picturesque island off the coast of Massachusetts … only to learn there are none. What she will find, however, is far more compelling√Ďand could just change her life.


Monday, August 27, 2018

Where are my glasses THIS time?

I used to wear glasses for distance. Then as I got older, I didn't need them anymore.  Now I need glasses for close-up work--like reading. The problem is ... I can never find them.

Well, that's not entirely true. I do find them--all the time in fact, but that's only because I have to hunt for them. Hunting gets pretty tiresome when you end up doing it ten or twelve times a day. Yeah, yeah, I do have a couple of pairs on a chain, but often I'll take them off and then they'll be among the missing.

By among the missing, I mean missing as the other ten or twelve pairs of cheaters. Yup, The Dollar Tree is my best friend when it comes to cheaters--and sunglasses, too. I have a tendency to go from the car into the house with my sunglasses on and then take them off and leave them...somewhere. That's why I have 3-4 pairs of sunglasses in both cars--or at least are supposed to be in each of our cars..

But I have come up with a bit of a solution for my my glasses and that is (are) relish trays. I get them at yard sales and pay between 25 and 50 cents a piece. I have them in the kitchen, my office, the living room, the dining room--anywhere I tend to read.

I must admit, I like the ones with patterns on them best (usually some kind of flower), but I do have a couple of clear glass ones as well. These days, not many people use/have relish trays. That's another thing I've done recently...I often add a relish plate to our evening meal.  Pickles, relishes, crudites, whatever is in the fridge. It reminds us of a couple of restaurants we used to go to that offered that delight of days gone buy. (Of course, we haven't found a corn relish that can compare to what they served at the old Cinelli's. Or the pickled watermelon rind they had at The Royal Scot. Hmmm...these restaurants are long gone. Was it because of the relish trays?)

But for me, relish trays play an important part of my daily life. And sometimes they do double duty. Like this one also has a couple of rubber bands and a screw in it. Just in case I need them, too!

So, what's your solution for corralling objects you don't want to lose?




Friday, August 24, 2018

Kobo 40% off sale


Woo-hoo! Kobo has a 40% sale and have selected 11 of my books to participate. WITH BAITED BREATH is the first full-length novel in The Lotus Bay Mysteries. Don't miss my cookbook, Recipes to die For from The Victoria Square Mysteries, and Love & Murder is a collection of my short stories. The Jeff Resnick Mysteries are all on sale, too. Don't have a Kobo reader? Download the free app so you can grab these bargains.

 Use promo code 40AUG at checkout.

Cozy
With Baited Breath: http://bit.ly/1Wz1Nra
Recipes To Die For: http://tinyurl.com/kymn4mo
Love & Murder: http://tinyurl.com/q7h6n5w


Hard-Boiled Suspense
The Jeff Resnick Books 1 & 2: http://tinyurl.com/ofv5fx8
Dead In Red: http://tinyurl.com/kymn4mo
Room At The Inn: http://tinyurl.com/kd2338b
Cheated By Death: http://tinyurl.com/kjr5h3y
Bound By Suggestion: http://tinyurl.com/nvcwkkz
Dark Waters: http://tinyurl.com/k3w74ku
Shattered Spirits: http://bit.ly/28ZVjP4
A Jeff Resnick Six Pack: http://bit.ly/1KpFlOh

Adventure-Fantasy
Tales of Telenia: STRANDED: http://bit.ly/1X0pFGG

Get the free Kobo app: https://is.gd/L7WWKF

Monday, August 20, 2018

Doesn't everybody want one?

For several years now, I've been wanting something I have absolutely no use for.

A golf cart.

Yup, that's what I want. I have nowhere to store one. I have nowhere to drive one to, but I still want one.

Mind you, I have never driven one. I just think it would be cool to have one and drive it around. Before my parents passed, it would have been cool to have one because I could have driven it up the street to their house. I used to visit them at least once a day (often twice or more--very handy when I was missing an ingredient for a recipe), but ... now they're gone and the house belongs to someone else. (Which makes me want to cry every time I see it.)

I don't have any place to store a golf cart, either. Our garage barely fits our two cars as it is. In fact, I can't park Mr. L's car in the garage because of the way we have to maneuver them in so we can open the doors, and he can't park my car because of how close I have to get it to the wall. The original owner should have had a 2.5 car garage because ... STORAGE. My parents' garage was 2.5 and it would have been dandy to store a golf cart.

Whenever we head to our cottage, we pass a place on the road where there is always at least one used golf cart for sale. The house has a BIG garage, and I figure the guy who owns it probably buys broken golf carts and then fixes them. There was a pretty blue one last month that I coveted, but somebody else bought it.

I don't play golf, but my sister-in-law does. She gets to drive a golf cart around all the time. She thinks nothing of it.  My brother has a friend who rents a site in a campground for the summer and he has a golf car. He let's my brother use it when he camps. Lucky people!

Do you have something totally unreasonable item on your wish list and of no practical use that you'd like to own?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I Got Swans


My family has had a cottage on the “real” Lotus Bay for over forty years. So I’m pretty familiar with the area, which is one reason why I’ve chosen to write about it.

Of course, my version is filled with fictional characters, and it’s not exactly in the same part of New York State as the real one is, and the names are all changed, but a lot is still the same. The seasons, the fishing, the lotuses, and the swans.

Swans are an important part of my Lotus Bay “universe.” Kathy Grant, one of my main characters, is opening a B&B called Swans Nest. (You can read all about it in the latest book, A REEL CATCH.)

But since I’ve been writing about Lotus Bay and the swans … I started collecting swans. Okay, I did have a few swan planters beforehand, but it didn’t become a collection (and you have to have three for a collection to start) until I started writing the series.

I’ve got tall swans, and itty bitty swans. Many white ones, but in pink, green, and orange. (I know! What’s with that?) And recently I acquired a lotus and lily pad salt and pepper shaker set. I mean, how could I resist it?

I’ve also got swan coasters, swan prints on the wall, and a couple of swan decorative plates. They’re such beautiful birds—how can one NOT like (love) them?

Have you got any swans?
=========================================

Swans Nest Inn is about to open, and Kathy Grant solicits her BFF, Tori Cannon, to help spruce up her property at the marshy end of Lotus Bay, only they didn’t count on finding a body. Who was he? What’s his connection to their friend Paul Darcy? Meanwhile, two entrepreneurs with vast business ties are interested in helping Tori reopen the Lotus Lodge, and their real motives are as murky as the bay after a storm. Will Swans Nest open on time? Will the Lotus Lodge reopen at all?

Trade Paperback:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million 
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Taking a dip and a drink


My mother had bird baths. So eventually, I got one too.

I admit it. I haven’t been a good bird bath owner … until this year. I read where birds have a hard time finding water all year long.

Really?

Okay, so I decided this year I would try to make a point of keeping the bird bath clean and full.

Holy cow—what had I been missing?

During the summer, I like to write in our screened-in porch. This year, I moved the bird bath from the outer yard to the area around our pool. Holy crap! Those birds are there all day long. Not only are they taking a drink (and I’ve seen sparrows, robins, crows, red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and others I don’t know of) and bathing. Holy cow, do they like to bathe!

The other day, there was a bath-a-thon. Five birds at a time were vying to clean their feathers (while others sat on the electric lines scraping their beaks clean). Suddenly there were twenty or more birds vying to take a bath. The overflow decided the pool might be a handy bath—but too many times Mr. L has had to fish out dead birds from the skimmers, so I ran out and made noise to let them know that the pool was a potential death trap. So when they all flew away, I noted the water in the bird bath was a disgusting brown. So I dumped it and started again. The first couple of birds decided the water was too cold and flew away, but an hour later, it was bird bath heaven once again.

I read where it’s really hard for birds to find water in the winter, so now it’s my job to figure out how to get water in the bird bath and not let it freeze. I know there are electric wires for horse troughs, so are there heaters for bird baths?

The birds have given me so much pleasure watching them do what we do—keep clean and drink. It’s such a small thing to help them to keep doing that.

Do you have a bird bath?
 


Friday, August 10, 2018

A Reel Catch -- just a little late


The days before a book launches are always filled with excitement and a lot of extra work, especially when you don't know if the paperback edition will be available in time, and the audio edition is taking longer than I had anticipated to get started.  So what did I forget to do on launch day?  I forgot to blog about it!  So, I'm here to remedy that little error.

The trade Paperback edition!
The reviewsare starting to come in. I was thrilled with the Fresh Fiction review (above, you can read the whole thing here), and there are at least three more reviews from bloggers, too.

Here's the description:

Swans Nest Inn is about to open, and Kathy Grant solicits her BFF, Tori Cannon, to help spruce up her property at the marshy end of Lotus Bay, only they didn’t count on finding a body. Who was he? What’s his connection to their friend Paul Darcy? Meanwhile, two entrepreneurs with vast business ties are interested in helping Tori reopen the Lotus Lodge, and their real motives are as murky as the bay after a storm. Will Swans Nest open on time? Will the Lotus Lodge reopen at all?


Trade Paperback:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million 
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)


Coming to Audio, too!

Have you ordered your copy yet?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

National Booklovers Day


Are you caught up with the series?  If not -- check out my books page.  Click here.

And, of course, POISONED PAGES is the latest installment.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Chapters | Book Depository

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | iBooks | Kobo



Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Teacup Tuesday on Lotus Bay


Happy Teacup Tuesday. Of course, my mind is focused on Friday and the launch of A REEL CATCH. While the title makes you think of fishing, a large part of the book is focused on Kathy opening her B&B, Swans Nest. She serves her first "official" tea-lunch during the course of the book, and I had a lot of fun planning that party--the menu, the dishes, how she folded the linen napkins....Yeah, I know. Anal to the max--but it set the scene for an important discussion between three of the main characters.

Can you guess what Kathy served
?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

From my garden


One of the hydrangeas in my yard. Most of them (other bushes) are pale purple. This is the best bloom on the bush. I'm trying to decide if I should pick and dry it so I can enjoy it for a few years.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Is life just a bowl of cherries?


It's the last of the sweet cherries season here in Western NY, and yesterday Mr. L stopped at a farm stand to get his yearly fix. I love this little vintage bowl that I got last week at a yard sale, and was the perfect size for the cherries. 

I must admit, I'm not a fruit lover, and that may be because it's so hard to find fruit that's actually ripe. I like bananas, can eat apples and grapes, but that's about it. I love vegetables, though. 

What's your favorite fruit?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Is this some kind of message?

Last week, I stopped at a couple of garage sales on the way to the grocery store. At one, I saw a brass bracelet that made my heart stop because it looked so much like one my Dad had made for me when I was in college. Mine is in silver, the one I got today is in brass.



Dad often worked in brass, silver, and stainless steel. When I asked the woman where she got it, she said a cousin had given it to her. (I should have asked her who her cousin was.)

 Dad probably didn't make the brass one. He never sold his jewelry, just making it for family. And he went to several jewelry-making classes at the Memorial Art Gallery here in Rochester, so this could have been made by a fellow classmate.

 Still, the lady said to me, "Maybe this is a sign from your Dad. Maybe he's saying hello."

That night, in the middle of the night, there was a BIG crash in my office.  A plastic shoe box filled with office supplies that had been in my closet was spilled on the floor. It hadn't been teetering, so ... how did it end up on the floor?

Since then, it's been quiet. But ... was my Dad trying to get my attention?

 What do you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Poisoned Pages is Now Available!

Like a box of a dozen doughnuts, the 12th Booktown Mystery is now available!

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, throws a housewarming cocktail party in her new apartment and has cooked all the food by herself--quite a feat for someone who previously couldn't boil water. Then one of her guests is poisoned and dies. Tricia's left to wonder if her cooking is to blame or if there's something much more sinister at play. Either way, Tricia's once again in hot water with her ex-lover, Chief Baker.

Meanwhile the charming town of Stoneham is being disrupted by a vandalism crime wave. It's the hot topic in the race for Chamber of Commerce president which sees Tricia pitted against two bitter rivals. With all that's going on can she find the killer before she's the next item on the menu?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | Chapters | Book Depository

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chalking it up

I watch a lot of Youtube videos on a variety of subjects. I like to watch DIY ones, especially about furniture refinishing. These days, a lot of DIYers are using chalk paint. Hmm. That sounded interesting. No sanding!  YAY! But man, have you seen the price for a quart? It can be as expensive as $30+!!!

What do to? I went to Etsy and found you could get sample pots of paint. I got five of them for $20. Of course, I got charged $7 for shipping, but they arrived in less than a week and I wasn't sure what to do with them. The site didn't show you the colors, just listed the names, so I chose what I thought would be "cool" colors. The ivory and sage green work best for me.



So far I've done three projects.  Yeah, no sanding. But what they don't tell you is that you need to do at least three coats of paint for everything. And then they have to be sealed with either wax or some of polyurethane product. Hmmm. For the first one, I decided to distress the little picture frame. It's plastic and looked way too shiny.



(FYI: This little framed piece of lace in the frame is about 5 inches across -- and it hangs on the nail that supports my calendar.)

Here's the second project.



Again, the frame was resin, and I just didn't like how shiny they were. I decided not to distress these.

I did one more project but it got scratched (I should have put more than one coat of the varnish on) so I have to start over on that one.  (It's the lid to a large glass (square) jar. I painted it sage green to make it look older and it worked. But like I said, now I have to start over.)

So, what do I think of chalk paint? It's a pain in the butt to use. It's time consuming, it has to be sealed or it scraches right off. Right after I bought the paint, I saw a blog post from a woman who is gutting and revamping her house (by herself!!!) and she wrote a long treatise on why she doesn't like/use chalk paint. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I'd found that blog post first.  But now I have all that paint and I feel obligated to use it up.  Oh, and by the way, a little goes a L-O-N-G way.

I've got a gold mirror (also plastic) that I thought I would like, but never did. I'm going to paint it ivory and distress it and I'll bet I still have a lot of paint left. How eager am I to start that project? Not so much. But it will be done later this summer.

Last weekend I bought a little shelf. It was in pretty rough shape, but I scrubbed it clean, bought a can of spray paint, and now it's very cute and will house some of my cookbooks.

Wow.  Spray paint is a lot easier to use. The paint hardens and is good for years and years. (Oops -- sorry. this is actualy the before picture. I forgot to take the after.)

So, what's your latest DIY project? Did it come out the way you thought it would?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

NOW AVAILABLE!!!



I know a lot of you have been waiting for Booktown #11 to come out in paperback. Well, today is the day!  Not only that, but the publisher has dropped the price of the ebook! You can't go wrong!

Here's the description:

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time. From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A MillionChapters | Book Depository | IndieBound

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

ENJOY!




Monday, June 4, 2018

Three months later

Grief can hit you when you least expect it. Yesterday, I opened the first can of tuna we've had since we lost Fred. Fred LOVED tuna water. He knew that if you cut up onions, that tuna water MIGHT happen. So if he smelled onions, he'd be dancing around my feet in anticipation. It would break my heart when I was cutting them for some other purpose.

So yesterday, I cut onions. No boy. Today I opened a can of tun and drained the water down the sink. Man, that was hard.

It's been almost three months since I lost my tiny son and it hasn't gotten much easier. We will have new cats sometime this summer, but they won't be Fred or Chester and that's really hard to wrap my head around.