Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Pictures Are In!!

I just got my hot little hands on my author pictures I told you about a few posts ago. I’m sooooo excited! They turned out so well.

 If you live in Edmonton and you need some photography done, I would recommend NareStudio Photography. They were great and really listened to my ideas and shared their own.

My problem is that so many of the photos turned out well, I don’t know which one I should use. They all have a different feel. Would anyone care to help me decide?

A note about this photo with the gun, I remember seeing a horror author's photo where she was applying her lipstick while looking at her reflection on a cleaver. I thought it was so cool. There are guns in my novel so I wondered if I could do something similar. Is it funny or ridiculous? BTW, it's really just a BB gun.

And there were so many other nice ones but I think these were the best.
Leave me the picture number you like best in the comments.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Pair of Captains

I was looking to upgrade the seating situation in my office/library.

There was nothing wrong with what I had, but I was tired of the black and it felt like college dorm furniture to me. I had bought these chairs for a really good deal over nine years ago so I didn’t feel bad about replacing them. I was even able to sell them for more than what I had originally paid. SCORE!

The Inspiration:

These cane back chairs are really hard to find without purchasing a whole dining room set. Add to that the reality that the cane is often times damaged in vintage pieces and I was lucky that I found not one but a pair of chairs.
It is also super rare that they were both captain’s chairs. DOUBLE SCORE! I sanded down the finish, primed, painted, and clear coated the wood.

Have you ever been inside Chintz and Company?

I could spend hours in there. I like to sew and they have a huge selection of fabric there. It is the only place in Edmonton that I’ve been able to find oil cloth.

After drooling over all the fabric choices, I selected three: a black and white oil cloth with a matching cotton version, an antique faded blue and cream print, and a blue bird print.

After some simple reupholstering and sewing some pillow covers, the chairs had a new lease on life. I sewed the cotton version of the seat cushions fabric on the backs of the pillows. I love how fresh the white paint makes them.


I had originally planned on antiquing them, but I couldn’t bring myself to scuff up the clean white paint. I’m such a wuss. :S

Next up is this vintage early 50s Gibbard mahogany dresser I found in an antique shop while I was out with a friend. It had an extremely shiny red finish that didn’t come through in the picture. The finish made it look kinda cheap but it had great lines.

Until next post.

Stella out!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dirty Little Secret

This little secret of mine won’t be very interesting for my Facebook friends, but to my writing buddies and Book Nerd Herd it may be. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it but I am a DIY lunatic.


I just can’t help myself.

This sick obsession of mine took an especially firm grip of me this summer. In the midst of working on my second novel and while I was debating self-publishing, waiting to hear back from literary agents and a publisher, I decided I needed a repose. So I spent every waking moment thinking up projects to keep me busy every day off,  and sometimes after work, doing furniture refinishing and reno projects around the house.

Sounds relaxing…doesn’t it?? >_<

To recap my summer projects I thought I’d share them with you peeps. I’m kinda proud with how they turned out. :D

It all started one day as I was slugging away at my new manuscript. I had this huge desk in my library that I rarely used. I found I prefer to write while sitting on a chair with my feet up on an ottoman and my laptop, well, on my lap.


I needed to get rid of the monstrosity of a desk and down size to something more reasonable, and admittedly, with more personality.

I can’t remember how I came upon the idea but one day on the Google machine I discovered vintage steel tanker desks from the 50s and 60s. I found a few websites for businesses that specialized in restoring these iconic desks. Said desks were beautiful but I experienced a bit of sticker shock. They could go for $1000-$2800 and that’s before shipping. :O

The inspiration:
So I figured “If some other monkey can fix up these desks, why can’t this monkey?”

I found me a steel tanker desk on Kijiji (my new love) and brought her home. I decided to send it off to get the paint soda-blasted off, which took forever. It took longer than a Wal-Mart checkout. :S


So in the mean time I started the search for a new chair to go with the desk. Finding a vintage metal chair to go with the desk at a decent price was impossible. So I then looked to wooden chairs.

I love the barrel backed banker’s chair from the 30s-40s. Restoration Hardware had a beautiful replica, but again I suffered some serious sticker shock at $500.


Kijiji came through for me yet again and I scored this lovely vintage piece for a song. It was over 70 years old and in great shape. Yoga works wonders. ;)

It needed some work. Don’t we all? ;)

I sanded it.


Filled it.


And stained it with a white oak stain to look like a white wash. I like that one can still see the wood. I love that white distressed furniture look, but I confess that I like my wood naked. Wow! That is some serious innuendo. LMFAO!! I’m a bit of a wood exhibitionist! ROTFL! Hahahahahaaaa!


Ha ha, ha. Ahem…now then.

I’m over the moon with how it turned out.

Next post I’ll show you how these little gems, my next project, turned out.


 What have you been up to this summer?

Stella out!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Dreaded Author Photo

Ah yes, the dreaded author photo. As I near self-publishing my novel into an eBook, I look for ways to make my online profile look professional. I did design the novel cover myself but am very happy with the result and hope it looks more pro than many eBook covers I’ve seen. But when it came to the author photo, I decided to go with a pro.


I decided to fork out the dough for a pro because I was afraid of the cliché photo I’ve seen a million times on the backs of many a novel: the overly posed GQ chin-resting-on-closed-fist pensive and cheesy author photo.


It screams, “Look how deep and smart I am.” In reality, to me anyways, it says ,"I’m trying way too hard to be interesting."


When I’ve read a book I’ve deeply connected with or enjoyed, I want to know more about the author and how they were able to write a novel that has affected me so. When I see this GQ pose, I’m immediately disappointed. I was hoping for some spark of personality in the photo, for some hint of the mind behind the prose.


Even worse are the photos of authors wearing ball gowns and heaps of expensive jewelry, or sitting in expensively furnished rooms.

Really? Is that who you want to be to your readers?


I would like to take an author photo that helps me connect to my readers. For a photo that humanizes me, a perfect stranger, to my readers. A photo that tells a bit of a story in its self.


So, I did a photo shoot a few weeks ago with a really talented photography team and am currently sorting through all of the photos. I’m excited. I can’t wait to share some photos with you and hopefully you can tell me if I reached my goal.


So excited!!



Stella out!
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