Sew Deadly – Issue 99

Posted on Jul 23 2014

mr owlieMarcy’s Musings

Hi, there! Today I’m sharing some vintage embroidery patterns with you, like this owl pattern that was originally in a late 1960s crewelwork set. The owl pattern is courtesy of Stitchy Britches, and you can read all about it at the link.

The Dotted Butterflies pattern (circa 1945) from Knitting-and.com would make a beautiful candlewick pillow.

Needle ‘n Thread shares two beautiful patterns: a scroll design and a decorative pillow top.

We also have a lovely pattern from Knitting-and.com circa 1920 called Fantasy Flowers.

There’s a beautiful dogwood pattern at Drap Cushions.

And, finally, here’s a floral pattern from The Old Design Shop.

I hope you enjoy these patterns and that, if you make any of them, you share photos with us in the comments!

Killer Cakes – Issue 94

Posted on Jul 14 2014

frcupcakeWelcome!

I found a wonderful recipe/tutorial that I just have to share with you. It’s Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes. I’m posting the recipe below, but you really should click the link and visit the tutorial to get the full effect.

How to make Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

1. Bake chocolate cupcakes
2. Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe one layer of hazelnut buttercream
3. Sprinkle crushed hazelnuts on top of buttercream
4. Swirl two more layers of hazelnut buttercream
5. Drizzle Nutella on top of buttercream
Top the cupcake off with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate
6. Enjoy!!

Sweetened by Kagi

 

Excerpt from The Portable Writers’ Workshop

Posted on Jul 09 2014

PWCHi, everybody! Marcy here. I couldn’t let Daphne Martin outdo me by giving up one blog post for Gayle Trent’s new writing book, THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP. After all, Gayle (as Amanda Lee, in my case) writes about our adventures, so we have to help her out where we can.

So today, I present you with an excerpt from THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP:

Characterization

 

One way to get to know your characters is via a character sketch. I’ll use characters from both Anything For A Buck and Photo Finish [two of my earlier works] to demonstrate.

 

Roxanne Weatherly from Anything For A Buck

First, let’s look at the name. I needed a name that would fit a sophisticated young woman but also one that could be given a male derivative since she will be posing as a boy at the construction site. I chose Roxanne–”Rocky” to the guys at the site. “Weatherly” has a certain “old money” sound to it that fit her and her situation too.

 

Next comes the physical description. Roxanne has to have a boyish figure in order to pull off the charade at the construction site. She’s fair, has shoulder-length ash blonde hair and green eyes.

 

Then I needed to establish some character traits that would make Roxanne who she is and/or who she will become by the end of the story. She’s a spunky, loving mother who is a tad paranoid.  Her greed brought her to the point she is today (when the story begins), and she’s determined not to make any more mistakes—especially where her daughter is concerned.

 

 Jay Andropoulis from Photo Finish

 

Jay is a secondary character. I gave him the first name “Jay” because 1) it’s not complicated, 2) I wanted to Americanize him a bit, and 3) since he’s filthy rich, I wanted to create a little “initial recognition.” (J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, etc.) 

 

Since Jay is Greek, I listened to Greek language tapes in order to get a feel for the cadence of the language. I also gleaned some words Jay could use to give credibility to the nationality of his character. For example, he calls the heroine “oraia” throughout the book. “Oraia” means “beautiful.”

 

As a secondary character, Jay didn’t need an extensive character sketch. I did have fun with him, though, and made him gorgeous and accomplished in business as well as the arts (classical piano) so he could be a good foil for the two major male characters who are “regular guys.”

 

Julia Weatherly from Anything For A Buck

 

Julia is Roxanne’s two-year-old daughter. If you aren’t around children very much, I suggest you tread carefully here. This is one area where writing what you know is crucial. If a child is vital to your plot but you’re still treading on unfamiliar ground, have a friend or critique partner who has children read the first draft of your manuscript for accuracy concerning the child’s speech and actions.

 

In physical appearance, Julia is a lot like a miniature version of her mother. In temperament, she rides that emotional roller coaster that comes with being a two-year-old. In one scene (where Roxanne is picking Julia up from day care), I describe Julia like this: “She [Roxanne] opened her arms wide and braced herself as a thirty-pound bullet in a pink romper crashed against her chest.”  I took this incident directly from experience.

Learn more about THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP at http://www.gayletrent.com/about-the-author/writing-book/

The Portable Writers’ Workshop

Posted on Jun 30 2014

PWCHi, there! Daphne Martin kindly agreed to give up her KILLER CAKES spot to me today, so I could promote THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP.

I was speaking at a creative writing contest ceremony this past weekend, and I mentioned that I would be publishing THE PORTABLE WRITERS’ WORKSHOP this week. One attendee asked, “What’s a portable writer?” I explained that it’s the workshop that is portable…although, I suppose we’re all portable writers in that we write wherever we go.

This portable writers’ workshop is designed to give you all the information you’d receive at a regular writers’ workshop without the hassle, inconvenience, and expense. Part one of the workshop is directed at novel writers. I’ve written eight (and counting!) novels in Obsidian’s embroidery mystery series under the pseudonym Amanda Lee. I’ve written four novels in the cake decorating mystery series—two for Bell Bridge Books and two for Simon & Schuster. I’ve written a few standalone novels, and I even had my own publishing company for a few years. While operating the publishing company, I managed to get my mystery imprint’s line featured in Woman’s Day magazine in October of 2005 for a giveaway.

Part two is designed for freelance writers. There is a great need for content and a variety of places that hire freelance writers. You might think that a slow economy would make it difficult to find freelance work. In fact, the opposite is true. Some companies downsize and eliminate full-time employees and then hire freelance or independent contractors to work on a project-by-project basis.

Part three is a collection of articles I’ve written as features or blog posts, and I thought you might find them helpful. I wish you all the best in your own writing and hope I can help you achieve greater success! 

Sew Deadly – Issue 98

Posted on Jun 25 2014

Marcy’s Musings

Today I want to give a shout-out to Knit Purl and some of The Seven-Year Stitch’s other “neighbors!” Knit Purl is having a special event this evening (June 25, 2014) from 6 – 8 p.m. with Lantern Moon. Knit Purl is located in Portland, Oregon.

Black Sheep at Orenco invites everyone to join them at the Orenco Farmer’s Market to crochet, knit, spin, or tat. The store is also planning a Stitch and Pitch event on August 24.

Happy Knits is offering a free pattern for the month of June. The pattern is described as a “one-skein wonder that’s a perfect addition to your summer evening outfit.”

Knitting Bee is hosting a teddy bear costume contest to benefit Camp Erin, a free camp for bereaved children. The costumes must be hand knitted or crocheted and include a hat or headband.

For the details on any or all of the above, plus additional events, sales and information, check out this article from Oregon Live at http://www.oregonlive.com/knitting/index.ssf/2014/06/contest_sale_at_knitting_bee_b.html.

 

Killer Cakes – Issue #93

Posted on Jun 16 2014

Welcome!

Today Toni Kuntsman is showing us how to make two-toned roses.

 

Sew Deadly – Issue 97

Posted on Jun 11 2014

Marcy’s Musings

Today I’m seeing RED! As in, free redwork patterns, of course! :) I love redwork and blackwork embroidery.

chickens Here is a tutorial on how to turn a digital photograph of your house into a redwork keepsake!

And here are more cute patterns (click on the photos): ladygirl

scottie

We have a winner!

Posted on Jun 04 2014

The winner of the $25 Etsy gift card (see details in Marcy Singer’s latest newsletter) is DEAN YOUNG! The random number generator picked lucky number seven, and Dean, that’s you! :) Please send your email address to me at gayle@gayletrent.com, and I’ll get your gift card to you ASAP!

 

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Killer Cakes – Issue 92

Posted on Jun 02 2014

Welcome!

Tomorrow, my friends Marcy Singer and Amanda Lee are celebrating the release of Marcy’s latest adventure, THREAD END. I want to make them a cake for the release party, so I headed to Pinterest for some ideas. What do you think of these?

Sew Deadly – Issue 96

Posted on May 28 2014

Thread EndMarcy’s Musings

BIG NEWS! THREAD END is releasing JUNE 3! To celebrate the big event, Amanda Lee is giving away a $25 Etsy gift card to anyone who comments on this blog between now and June 3. The winner will be chosen from the commenters on June 4, 2014. The winner will be notified by email, so please include your email address with your comment.

What will you choose if you win the gift card…one of the choices below or something else?!