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Friday, November 14, 2014

Alluring Swag for Romance Authors, by a Romance Author

 
Hi everyone! My name is (Ca)’Lisa Selfridge, aka author Calisa Rhose. I write contemporary romance, am trying my hand at suspense on my current WIP and dabble with light paranormal. I have a contemporary book out with Kensington Publishing Corp.- Lyrical Press titled Risk Factors (more about that later) and I just got rights back on a Vintage historical this last winter from the Wild Rose Press, where Cheryl Pierson and I “met.” I’m also a former editor for Lyrical Press. I chose not to work for Kensington when they bought Lyrical last year and went freelance instead.

The reason I’m telling you my real name is because that’s who I’m here as today, and this post might get a bit long-ish. I apologize in advance for that, but when Cheryl asked if I would like to come tell her authors about Fanciful Allure, I was thrilled at the opportunity to get this venture noticed.

As ’Lisa Selfridge, I’m the owner-founder of Fanciful Allure, a craft and jewelry company I’m just starting. It’s so new I don’t have a website, Facebook page or Etsy account set up yet, but that doesn’t prevent me from creating what I think is an unusual specialty line for romance writers.

I’ve been making bead jewelry off and on for about ten years, but never considered selling anything. I was too busy getting my writing off the ground. LOL In fact, until this spring, I hadn’t even looked at a bead since moving back to Oklahoma in 2007. They were still packed…somewhere.

In spring this year I had a major writing burnout with a lot of personal things going on in my life, so I took a long, really long, like three months, hiatus, just returning in September to my WIP I simply let go of in May. During that time I renewed my fascination with beadwork and expanded my talents to more intricate works of art. Native American beadwork designs take hours to create one earring! I began scouring crafting websites and blogs and came across a site where the girl was trying her hand with Polymer clay for the first time.

Clay? I’d never heard of Polymer clay and, apparently, it’s been around for years. Okay, this is where I admit I get a little tunnel vision with my chosen crafts, like beading and writing. I don’t think to explore other avenues until a rock hits me in the head.

Anyway, I checked clay out on a few sites, and then forgot about it for weeks. One night I decided to google Poly clay on YouTube, and spent hours—literally!—scouring what this wonder medium could be used for, and became hooked on the idea of giving it a try. The next time I went to Michael's for beading supplies, I decided to get a sample 12-pack of Sculpey III to try out. It’s a very soft clay, which my arthritic hands loved, but texture-wise I wasn’t happy with it.  Being so soft made it harder to work with for me. Once clay gets soft it’s pretty malleable and every little touch could change it, or mess something up—which I seem to do a lot. LOL

I was officially hooked on polymer clay! It very quickly became my favorite craft medium, even over beading (which I still love and do). I soon bought more, in a hardier clay after some more research, Premo! I still prefer this brand today, months later. Since that day I’ve learned all kinds of things to do, and some DON’T DO THAT, things with clay.

But…I’m a writer first and foremost, even regardless of the time I was taking off from it. I wanted to show my love of writing in my other craft, too, so I began toying with ideas to incorporate the two loves of my crafty life. Then it came to me, not on a bolt of lightning, but slow and easy. No shell shock here!

After a few months of experimenting, I decided to surprise a few author friends with what I call “book totems.” What are book totems, you ask?

I began to make jewelry and trinkets, knick-knacks, dust collectors, totems—call them what you will—that go with author brands, books or series.

This bass guitar necklace was first, for my friend Sarah Grimm, because she’s got a rock-n-roll band of heroes I’m absolutely crazy about. I want to marry. every. one. of her British heroes! Especially Dominic Price, the bass player, for whom this guitar was made. His initials are engraved on it. ;) I’m currently making book pendant necklaces and key rings for this same series.


Unfortunately, I can’t show you those at this time since they aren’t completed, but I take a book cover, shrink it to about 1.5 inches tall, 2” for key rings, and stick that onto a clay book I make. Doodads are added to garnish it, then it gets sealed and coated to make it last. I will share the bail of one because I love this wire detail! And the bookmark has a nice touch too.
                

Of course not all bookmarks will work this way if there isn’t a theme or something like this to link to a book. In those cases I will think of something fitting for the book. Music is easy in this respect. Lots of little things to play with.

Another fun project, for the fantastically fan-tab-ulous, and dear friend, Vonnie Davis, was this fire station-specific helmet brooch and pendant ribbon necklace. She has a new fireman series that just began its release last month. I absolutely LOVE firemen. Heck I love first responders of any uniform! My own hero is an EMT-P who works on a helicopter.

These items are personalized with her fictitious fire station number and Fire-Marine Rescue title. She hasn’t even gotten these yet, though I had to show them to her before writing this post so I could share them with all of you here today. My husband made that itsy-bitsy fire engine. I love it! I made the rest. I can add some of these little things to a bookmark too.




I have, however, sent her Creighton, the bear-shifting Scotsman who came with a stand. But not much I can do on a bookmark with this theme.
               
I read this short excerpt from book 1of her bear shifter trilogy and got inspired: When [Paisley] upended the white velvet bag, a silver chain and pendant tumbled out. The pendant was a silver outline of a heart with a pearl flanked by sapphires and emeralds on one side. The word “Beloved” was engraved in bold letters on the other.


I’m in the process of making four more of these titled “Creighton’s Heart” necklaces for her as prizes for a giveaway. Though they won’t look exactly like this one. She asked me to add little white owls to go with the tiny glass bears on the bottom, so… I did, with clay.

Another friend, AJ Nuest, has a series titled The Golden Key Chronicles and my daughter is a HUGE fan. When I started claying she got an idea and, with my help, made a pendant/earring set with beads and clay as a gift for AJ. I’m in the process of making some bookshelves with the four series books from the sequel series Golden Key Legacy, about to begin releases starting on Thanksgiving day. Those books are about 3/4 inch tall each. I made them the same way as the book pendant, sort of, but they sit inside a clay shelf. I can’t show these off in full yet because they are an order in progress, as the book pendants are. But here’s a sample one to show their approx. size. And this theme also has bookmark potential in the keys.


And last, but certainly and by no means least, because this is getting really long and Cheryl is gonna want to chop it down by now, I’ll close with these cacti I made as a sample totem to show Kathleen a while back for Prairie Rose Publications’ very own Reader of the Month.


Basically, I can try to make most anything and/or as long as I have publisher permission for any book cover for jewelry and totems. If I can’t make something, I’ll say so. If anyone is interested in ordering something for a release party, reader gift, or just for yourselves, you can reach me at fancifulallure@gmail.com or let Kathleen know and she can reach my by phone.

I also make non-writerly jewelry and totems, and Christmas is coming up on us really fast. So email me and we’ll talk. Because these are handmade artisan pieces, no two will be exactly alike in appearance or size, though I do my best to get as close as possible, and each item will resemble what you want it to. Most items will be two inches and smaller. Did you see that ¼ in or 10.5cm owl? It’s smaller than my pinky tip and I have very small hands!

Thank you Cheryl for inviting me here today, and Kathleen for reaching out to me for UnCover Mondays. My cover showcase feature on my blog is always taking submissions, so feel free to check it out on my author website  and contact me through the site or at calisa.rhose@gmail.com if you’d like your covers to be posted. I’m full through February right now and taking submissions from March on, so now is the time to submit for spring.


If you’d like to check out my book, Risk Factors, it’s on my website.

Love, like life, is not without risk.

Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of  Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their  footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.

Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.

Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play the possibilities?

I’d love it if you want to keep up with me:
Twitter: @CalisaRhose
Facebook/Calisa Rhose
Facebook/CalisaSelfridge
Goodreads
Amazon
Pinterest
Google+: Calisa ‘Lisa’ Selfridge
Google+: Calisa Rhose

So what crafts are you into if any? What do you think of my idea for miniature book totems? Let’s chat.

 



27 comments:

  1. Calisa,
    These are lovely. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I'm glad you liked them, Kristy. Thank you for visiting me! :)

    I can't comment as 'me' apparently, so I'll comment as my author self. lol

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  3. Calisa, thanks so much for sharing these with us today! Everything I saw just made me go, "OH, MY GOSH!" I love everything. You've done a great job, and I like that every one is different--just a tiny bit. So glad to have you here today and thanks to Kathleen for getting this all together and posted.
    Cheryl

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    1. It's a pleasure to be here today, Cheryl! I have to say these were all so fun to create. I actually began as a personal therapy while on hiatus, to keep my craft side of my brain active. I simply fell in love with clay. lol But what better way to put it to use? Right? Thanks Kathleen for helping me get this up.
      ~Lisa

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  4. Those are neat ideas! My daughter (age 11) works in clay, and this may be an idea for her to mess around with. She's always looking for new ideas.

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    1. My 9 yo granddaughter loves to make things for her cousins, so we have 'claydates' so the girls can play together in clay. I keep Sculpey III around just for those days because it's softer, it's easier for little hands to condition..

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  5. Very cool, sweetie. I'm amazed at crafty people. I get a rash just driving past Michaels. :-)

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    1. LOL Mac! I get hives when I go 'past' Michaels too! For different reasons, I'm certain. ;) Thanks for stopping by, doll. See ya on the ST. :)

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  6. Lisa's "Creighton's Heart" is so, so perfect for the book. So does fabulous work. The detail is very intricate. I used to do scrapbooking until I started writing full-time a few years ago. All that stuff has been packed away.

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    1. Aw. I'm so pleased you love it V. I love when a book inspires me. I love it even more when it's such a good friend's book. :) I've tried scrapbooking but it wasn't my 'thing' I guess. Thank you for coming over.

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  7. Calisa,

    So nice to meet you and to read about your 'crafty' talents. *grin* My feeble attempts at crafts tend to look like something my dogs chewed up. 0_o And making things with clay... well, I don't want to brag, but I can make a pretty good looking snake. *wink*

    All joking aside, your work is beautiful, and I'm looking forward to reading your stories.

    Kaye

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    1. LOL Kaye. I love your humor and I can make a snake or two myself. lol Thanks for coming to meet me and I hope you like Risk Factors if you get a chance to read it.

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  8. Enjoyed reading about your clay creations and seeing the photos!

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    1. I so appreciate you stopping by Liz! Thank you.

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  9. I didn't know you were so crafty. Wow! I love the book cover. Now how did you manage that one? Another post. Best to you on this new venture and on your return to writing. May this year prove to be a better one.

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    1. Ah there are many sides to me you don't know about yet, Sandy! lol The book cover, the mini book? Lots of time and careful manipulation. lol Thanks for the kind words and I'm very happy to be back writing! Thanks for dropping in. :)

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  10. Very cool jewelry! You are multi-talented. :)

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    1. Thank you Cate! I'm glad to see you here. :)

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  11. I'll check back in later tonight and catch up again. I'm going out with my daughter for a girls' night out. :)

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  12. I'd like to thank Kathleen and Cheryl for inviting me to visit today and setting this up. I've had a great day meeting your authors and I'll check in through the weekend in case more late comers drop in. :)

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  13. Brilliant. There are so many things we can do and make, once we set our minds to it. You do beautiful work. Doris

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    1. You're right, Doris. Once I started it never stops. :) Thank you for visiting me.

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  14. Hello Caisa, 'scuse me for being late, but being so far away (UK!) I sometimes miss these posts. I do like what you have been creating, lovely work. I am a crafter also, I have a little tip for the clay, (maybe you are doing it already, in which case, forgive me!) For little fingers or arthritic fingers these polymer clays can be hard to 'knead', Many clay crafters here in UK use a past maker to roll the clay a few times which makes it more malleable.
    Like I said, sorry if you are already doing it, but it is a good idea and makes the clay more even too!. Great post anyway, and cute ideas. Thanks.

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  15. Sorry, couldn't find how to edit my comment. SPELLING MISTAKE!!! its a pasta maker, not a past maker. Apologies.

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  16. Hi Jill. Thanks for joining us! I don't believe in 'late' unless there's a giveaway (in which case I often miss out on lol). Yes, I'm very familiar with my past ( ;) ) machine! It's been well used and appreciated. ;) Great tip still. I should have mentioned that I use one. lol

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  17. Thank you again for having me, Cheryl. It's been a fun weekend! Everyone can feel free to continue commenting or email me. :)

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  18. Hi, Calisa. I love the way each of your creations is so creative and unique to the story it was made for.

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