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Showing posts from July, 2013

New Item in Etsy Shop

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Slowly, I have added new items to my Etsy shop partly because I am deciding what should go on the site or what I should keep for fairs. It's summer time, and while I only attend a handful of fairs, I do try to keep my inventory up.

That being said, I have added a set of six placemats onto my Etsy site Bridgette ní Brian. The Midnight Colorscape Placemat Set:

The photo below shows the placemat without the dishes.

Then two close-ups of the placemats.


I'm starting to delve into handwoven clothes as well. My first project was a shrug for myself which has turned out well. Some of my first projects were shawls, but the shrug was my first attempt at something with sleeves. Researching time periods has inspired me to learn more about weaving for clothing. While I make no attempt to weave fine silks or brocades, I want to attempt some clothing even if it is only a basic skirt or dress. The best part about weaving, of course, is that I can design the fabric with the end product in mind…

Editing Shamrocks of Stone

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Writing is a process of ups, downs; meandering ways and screaming speed. All art is this way, and it is both the addiction and the frustration therewith.



Currently, I'm on the downhill process of editing my latest book: Shamrocks of Stone, due at the publisher's on August first. The estimated release is March 2014.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

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This summer's nearly over, and I, for one, will be thankful when September comes. It hasn't been the worst of summers, but in my personal life, it's been a roller-coaster. Granted, in a few years, I'll look back and wonder why I thought it was so terrible, but at the moment, it's hard.



The emotional part of writing, I think, can be one of the hardest portions of being a writer. Loneliness is a part of the arts even as vulnerability is a portion of art. For some artists, their artwork can be vulnerable (think of those powerful paintings you've seen or that heart-wrenching novel you read). For many artists, simply offering your art to the public is difficult then add selling and each time someone rejects your items it hurts. Then there is the day-by-day work of being an artist no matter the craft. It takes commitment to wake up in the morning and write, weave, draw, paint, sculpt, dance or whatever art you do. I doubt if art was ever meant to be easy for it was …

Orchid Transparency for Sale

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A few weeks ago, I discussed weaving transparencies. I'm happy to announce that the first one is up for sale at my Etsy shop, Bridgette ní Brian. Click here if you want to purchase the transparency.

Writing Family History

At the end of a hot, humid week, it is wonderful to feel cool air once again. Earlier this week, I published my story Helen Goes Down the Hill loosely based on my grandmother's childhood. Today, I focus on using family history for inspiration.

Using family stories as a treasure trove of ideas is often beneficial to those looking for a quick story since through the nature of re-telling a story, the pertinent information is given in a short format. Others who have story-tellers in the family might have a longer story already created. Other locations to find family stories are through journals, newspapers, letters and other published or unpublished materials.

Once you have the stories collected you have a few choices how to use them. Some stories are at best sketchy - my ancestors arrived in the Colonies therefore we have little information about their origins or reasons for coming. Other stories are more common: eating breakfast at Mommom's house or baking Christmas cookies. So…

Helen Goes Down the Hill

Since it is a hot week here in the Northeast USA, I thought everyone might be interested in reading a sledding story. This is one of my short stories based upon family history. While not everything in the story is true, the aspect of location, main character and the sledding incident are true. I hope you enjoy the story:

"Why are there skis on the bus, Helen?" Mary tugged on Helen's red wool coat. They were going to go sledding near Lake Simcoe, the big lake near Barrie, Ontario. It was cold - perfect weather for sledding. "So they can go through the snow easier," Helen explained. It was the year 1920. “Would you want to shovel out the roads?"Olive had told Helen the same thing when Helen asked her the same question when Helen had been Mary’s age. The hill beside Lake Simcoe towered over them. The lake looked large and dangerous. Boys sped down the hill, ditching into a snow bank before they crossed the road. Alongside the road, buses dropped people off so…

Woven Transparency

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I talked about my first attempt at woven transparencies a little bit last week, so I decided to show you one of the transparencies finished and hanging in a window. Hope you enjoy it.



Book Review - July

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After a quick scan of the last few book reviews, I thought I would provide a non-weaving related review for all of those out there tired of weaving. Currently, I'm working on two projects, one of which involves researching a series set in the Georgian era of the 1740s. Originally, the series was set in the 1760s, but due to some other research and reading, I opted to move it back right before the Jacobite attempt in 1745. One of the books I'm using to research the series is A Great and Monstrous Thing: London in the Eighteenth Century by Jerry White.

The book begins with two architects: James Gibbs and Robert Adams providing a general overview of the century including how the city expanded from the late Tudor/Stuart time into London as we know it now. After the first two chapters, he dives into four more parts: People, Work, Culture and Power. Each of the remaining sections involves someone's London for example, under people the first chapter is Samuel Johnson's London…

Busy Weekend

Fourth of July (and subsequent weekend) is rarely this busy for my family, but the past four days have been rather unusual: first the Picnic in the Park then Heritage Arts at Wyoming Free Library and lastly, I finished up my first class in my master's degree.

Whew!

Therefore, I never posted the first of the month book review.

Oops.

So, tomorrow I'll post my first of the month review. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Continuing the Process: Marketing

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July yesterday. I spent the day at the Picnic in the Park in Batavia NY. It rained considerably while there - I even had a puddle in the center of my area, but eventually the sun came out as did the inhabitants of Batavia. I spent my day talking with people, teaching them about weaving and discussing Azure Maris. While I did not sell a great deal of items, I did manage to tell people about what I did which is a basic portion of marketing.

One of the aspects that surprised me with publication was the marketing portion. I knew that one needed to market oneself to magazines in the cover letter as well as keep the name out in the public. Blogs, websites, Facebook accounts and other items are brilliant for this aspect, but the constancy of it can overwhelm anyone.

Every artist must market himself through whatever he does. Sometimes it might involve doing something as a volunteer, sometime it's negotiating a price down. Sometimes it is maintaining a…

Continuing the Process: Editing

Before I begin today's post, I wanted to wish everyone an early Happy Fourth of July since I'll be at a fair tomorrow and will not post anything until Friday. If anyone is in the Batavia NY area, come to the Picnic in the Park to talk and see some of the other arts I do.

Having my book accepted for a year now, I am slowly finding it easier to adjust my schedule for writing, researching and editing. Last year, though, I poured myself into my books and wrote for six hours a day, sometimes more. If you want to write, you need to learn how to edit. If I could find some older novels that I wrote, anyone could tell that my writing voice remains, but my grammar and style has improved. I will admit that I don't always write well therefore having someone else to look at the manuscripts helps. Currently, the person who does most of the initial editing is my mom.

Once that editing stage is completed, and I submit my novel, I go through a secondary editing stage with the publisher. T…

Continuing the Process: Cover

This week, for those just coming to the site, marks my first anniversary as a writer. In July 2012, my novel Azure Maris was accepted for publication. This week, I'll return to some of the steps that I went through on my way to publication.

After accepting the manuscript, the next step involved the cover and editing process. I'll focus today on the cover then tomorrow on the editing. I've had several people ask me who did the cover art, and I have to direct them to the wonderful team at Ambassador International that took care of the work. The only part that I had in the design involved the layout. They sent me three layout concepts from which I chose the one that best suited Azure Maris then they took it from there. I gave a few pointers such as Azure's blue hair and her tail's texture, but the design was theirs. I think they did very well.

The stage for the cover coincided with the editing process, but took less time since I had little to do other than approve the…

First Anniversary!

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Hard to believe, but a year ago today, I was on my way to being a contracted author! I'm taking the time this week to review the changes over the past year as well as give some of the aspects that I went through to create Azure Maris.

I submitted the manuscript of Azure Maris in June 2012 to Ambassador International then waited. For many submissions, you submit either the first three chapters or so many words (one submission I recently did was the first 500 words, roughly 2 pages). After submitting the manuscript I waited for two weeks give or take before Ambassador e-mailed me back requesting the entire manuscript. At that point, it went fairly quickly for within a week they had accepted Azure Maris for publication.

I will be the first to admit that the process of becoming a published author has not been without it's frustrations ... and fears. By nature, I'm an introvert so putting myself out here such as I have can overwhelm me sometimes. The irony is that I enjoy ta…