As we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, let’s not get so caught up in the every day that we forget those who’ve given their lives for us—the American soldier and Jesus Christ.
On the author front...We are on the final countdown to the launch of Not a Corpse Was Stirring July 11th, and I’m so excited! I’m celebrating with a week-long Christmas in July Launch Party! I’m gathering ideas, and I would love to hear yours! What author/book swag do you love to receive?
From the barn...Ned says hi! We are in search of a Ned companion. It’s a challenge to find another little ball of fire within driving distance, but we’re not giving up! He really needs a friend to occupy that little mind of his.
What’s on your To-Do list that brings you joy?
We’ve been surviving rolling blackouts, zero degree temperatures, and snow for days. West Texas definitely isn’t built for this! We’re thankful we have a fireplace and jugs of water.
It’s the perfect weather for a good mystery and some art supplies this evening. I looked at my Instagram stats, and no surprise, these were the two most popular posts of 2020.
Not only do I love art journaling about books I’m reading, so do my characters in my Cedar Wells Mysteries series! You should join us in the fun...that might even keep me from talking to imaginary characters. Probably not.
I’m reading The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams (which is free right now on Kindle). It makes me want to bake scones...and I don’t think I’ve ever even eaten one. I went so far as to find a recipe. We’ll see how that pans out.
Want to be part of the Book & Brush Club? Grab a pen, some markers, paint—whatever supplies you have on hand— and show us what you’re reading! #bookandbrushclub
Faith, mystery, and art commingle here at the Cabin. I love a good mystery where the good guys and gals always win! I just finished reading a cozy set in a tea shop where the owner serves lemon tea cakes. I was contemplating how my own characters might take on the project of art journaling the story in one of their B&B (Book and Brush) Mystery Club meetings, so I asked them! Sarah Stone, owner of the Brush and Plume and lead artist of the group, said she'd be delighted to share their project with us.
One of the hardest things for emerging artists is facing the blank page! When we meet for B&B meetings, it's always a struggle to get Trudy to break loose and start adding some background. Elizabeth, on the other hand, paints like she dresses--bold colors that dare you to tell them don't go together!
There is no right way to start a journal page. Maddie always likes to begin a new journal page with a wash of light watercolor as the first layer. We've been reading a Daisy's Tea Garden Mystery--Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes--so I thought I'd demo a few techniques we used to get started. The Tea Garden definitely suggested a vintage, light and airy feel, but, of course, with any scene of a murder, there will be ominous shades mixed into the color scheme! With Lemon Tea Cakes center stage, yellow was Maddie's color of choice for the background, but you can choose anything that calls your name.
I, on the other hand, always like to start with a sketch. I like to paint with bright, mismatched colors, but I also wanted to capture the cozy feel of the Tea Garden, and I definitely wanted a teapot on the page. Wondering what you should add to your page? Think about parts of the book that affected your senses. In the book, Daisy smelled the mustiness of fall. Fall leaves immediately came to mind when I read this. Anytime there are recipes in the book, Trudy adds them to her page. One of these days she will have the most beautiful recipe book ever done!
You can see I started with by adding a light pink watercolor to my teapot sketch.
Once a layer dries, add another. Don't worry if this doesn't come naturally. Adding layers takes a certain relinquish of control because it's likely to get ugly before it gets better. Daisy, her mom, aunt, and daughters are all named after flowers. Can you guess their names from the journal page? Oh, and a mysterious unicorn. Hmmm...
I always love to add text to my journal pages, too, but I just couldn't settle on anything. I'll call it done for now.
If you'd like updates on my debut novel and to hear more from Sarah and the ladies of the Mystery B&B Club, sign up for my Mailing List HERE!
How are you surviving the stay-at-home orders? I have to say complying with the safety regulations doesn't bother my little, introverted self at all. While my work-from-home job providing teacher support is in overdrive, the fact that I actually get to be at home affords me a little cozy mystery art journaling time at lunch and in the evenings when I leave the office and walk six steps to the craft table.
I broke out the paints, and I'm art journaling with the Cedar Wells Book&Brush Club gang again. Those of you whispering over there in the corner....yes, I know Sarah and her friends are fictional characters. However, they’re always having conversations in my head, anyway, so why not join them!
FOMMF? Fear of Missing Mystery Fun? Do you have it?Of course, the stress is real, but not to worry! Grab that cozy mystery you’re reading (you are reading one, aren’t you?) and some art supplies—watercolor or mixed media paper, markers, paints, colored pencils—whatever you have on hand and create an art journal page about the book.
Sarah’s friend Trudy always creates journal pages that include recipes from the books they’re reading. Taking a lesson from Trudy, I created some art for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke. Maybe I’m done with this one...maybe not. :) I think it needs a few more references to the book, although part of me wants to stop with the dairy cow and the recipe for Hannah's Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies. By the way, did I say I love cows?
How many clues and references to the book can you hide in your journal page without giving away the mystery? Think all five senses when you read, and jot down some notes to help you remember until you’re ready to get creative!
I created a Backgrounds 101 video to help you get started with your cozy mystery art journaling page. In the video, I talk about some inexpensive supplies I use and two ways I paint quick backgrounds.
Do you have any favorite journaling techniques? Be sure to share your ideas and mystery art journal pages with us!
And, as always,
May God's Word be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.
It's never a dull moment around Sherry's Cabin! Grab a glass of tea, pull up a chair, and let's share a story.