Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


I just requested my second free book from Booksneeze (see sidebar for link to Booksneeze).
 Booksneeze is a very cool site...bloggers request a free book (with free shipping!), then review it after they get it (and read it, of course).  When the book has been reviewed (and the links to the review have been posted to Booksneeze), you can request a new book.

I requested this book, "Let's Do Lunch", by Troy Wilson, for my second book.
My options were between this book, and a bunch of Christian books.  I have nothing against Christian books...I own a whole bookcase full...but I need to lose weight so I figured I'd give this book a try.

I'm looking forward to reading it...I wonder how long it will take to come in?  I'm in Canada, and the first book I requested took awhile too get here...by the time it got here, I had forgotten that I had requested it, lol.  Hopefully this one won't get caught up in customs.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Book Review of Venom and Song

If you like fantasy, buy this book, and buy it now.

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but in this case, you can.  Venom and Song, Book 2 of the Berinfell Prophesies, by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper, has a gorgeous cover with beautiful graphics:  a spooky tower, people flying on the backs of either giant dragonflies or giant birds, a dark and mystical sky.

The back of the book blurb promises adventure in the lyrical sounding land of Allyra, a land with Elf Lords, Spider Kings, and a secret.

Who could resist picking up a book like this?

The interior of the book is as beautiful as the outside, with thick, off-white pages that feel rich.  This is not a cheaply made book by any means...it is luxurious.

Once I started reading, I forgot all about things like font size and graphics....the authors immediately draw readers into their world with prose that sounds like poetry. The book is beautifully written.

The action and adventure start immediately.  The Elf Lords... 7 regular kids from Earth who found out that they aren't exactly "regular kids", are travelling through Allyra, and it is a dangerous journey.  There is a traitor among them...which adds to the suspense.  There is a battle almost immediately.

I don't want to give away the plot, but I will say that readers are in for a treat.  Besides the action, adventure, and suspense, of which there is plenty, there is character development as we watch the 7 young teenage Elf Lords learn about themselves and each other.  Each teen has special powers, and they must learn how to hone these powers, use them, not only alone, but cooperatively.  They must act as a cohesive group, and they must trust one another...a task they first learn while in a deep, dark cave.

The setting...I should say settings...are spectacular.  There are caves and caverns, underground rivers and waterfalls, treetop hideaways, a "Thousand-League Forest", hills and valleys, fortresses and towers.

The characters are amazing...Elves, Gnomes, Drefids, and spiders...lots of spiders, to name a few.

There is spirituality in this book too, but there is no sermonizing.  Readers won't feel like they're being preached at, but will rather see how the characters learn to to have faith in something or someone greater than themselves.

This is a fun read, and I am looking forward to reading the first book in the series.
Buy this book; you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Humility and Ants

"The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah..."
Hurrah?   I think not.

Just in case I was feeling too good about starting a publishing company and self publishing my book, the ants came marching...straight through my side door, up my stairs, and into my kitchen...to feast on the little drop of creamer that I spilled this morning while pouring my coffee.

It seems I'm not the only one partial to French Vanilla.

So, OK, I guess I should have cleaned that drop up BEFORE having my morning coffee, but I was half asleep and I tend to make matters worse when I try to clean while half awake (trust me on this).

So I had my coffee, and the ants had their cream...and i guess those first few ants were scouts, and by the time I had finished my coffee they had gone back to their colony and told all of their friends.

If I could somehow generate as much interest in my book as that drop of French Vanilla creamer generated interest in a colony of ants...I'd be rich.  That ant scout must be one hell of a marketer ;-).

Now, the problem is that I hate to kill anything.  I think ants are neat...the way they have scouts and workers and a queen...the way they dig tunnels and are so organized...very cool.  I don't want to kill them, but I do want them out of my house.

So I googled "humane ant removal"...and read that the best way to remove ants is to not let them enter the home in the first place.  Well, geez...I wouldn't be looking up "ant removal" if I had managed to bar them entry in the first place, now would I?

Note to self:  if I'm ever asked to do an article on ant removal...do NOT...I repeat, do NOT tell the readers that they should have barred their entry in the first place.  That has nothing to do with removal, and it's annoying.

OK, so onward.  I read that ants HATE the smell of black pepper, and that if I pour a line of black pepper along their route, and if I follow them to see where they're coming in (the door!), I can just pour a line there too and they won't come in.

Nope...not my ants.  True, they don't seem to care for the pepper, but they soldiered on through it, dedicated to find food for their queen.

Back to google.  I read that they ABSOLUTELY HATE the smell of cinnamon and that if I pour a line of cinnamon....well, you see where I'm going with this.

I poured the cinnamon, which was of great interest to my dogs because they associate that smell with baked goods...and watched the ants.

Nope...they could care less about the cinnamon...they did seem annoyed, but they marched on.

I was annoyed too.

Back to google.  I read that ants ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY HATE baby powder.  You know what happened next, right?

So now the ants are marching one by one on a trail of black pepper, cinnamon, and baby powder.
My kitchen and entrance are a mess.
I'm annoyed.
My dogs are annoyed because the smell of cinnamon didn't lead to treats.

So now what?
I read that a line of chalk might work, but first I'd have to sweep up the pepper/cinnamon/powder trail...and in doing so, I'd kill the ants who are determined to keep going.

I did clean up the spill so there's no longer a French Vanilla drop...aka pool, to the ants.

I even sacrificed a brand new jar of honey...I opened it and put it outside, hoping to distract the ants.

If all else fails, I guess I could get a jar of earth and drop some French Vanilla in there to lure them in, and hope to trap them that way.

What to do, what to do?

A few days later:

It worked!  They swarmed the honey!

I accidentally killed a few ants by feeding them  honey...they went right in the jar instead of feeding from the surface, and they drowned.  I put a thin branch inside the jar and they started using that as a bridge, so there haven't been any more ant fatalities, thank goodness.  Every day I moved the jar a few inches away from my door, and the ants followed, until they were not near my door anymore.

My house is ant free!

They're still swarming the honey jar outside, and the honey level doesn't seem to have gone down at all, so I'm guessing the honey jar will last until winter.

I'll just have to sacrifice a honey jar to the ants every year to keep them out...maybe they're more an ant mafia than an ant army...I have to pay them to stay away, lol.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Woohoo!  Here's my book!

Signed copies of my book now available for order

If you would like a signed copy of my book, The REAL Poop, you can get it here:

The REAL Poop!  A Cassandra Matthews Adventure
Name of recipient goes here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book now for sale

The REAL Poop!  A Cassandra Matthews Adventure, by Katharine Schopp is now available at the following website:
It will also be available on Amazon.com by mid August, perhaps sooner (I was told it takes up to 15 days for Amazon to build my page).
The book will also be available for order at bookstores and online bookstores, soon.
I will also be making the book available on Kindle.

New Proofs are in!

Well, my new proofs are in, and my Dad went across the river to pick them up (I have them shipped to the US side of the border because it's half the price).

My Dad is going to bring the books here after he has his lunch.  He's also going to put my new air conditioner in for me, and I can't wait to have it up and running; this heat wave has been hell on my asthma.  My poor house looks like a tornado hit it, as I can't even sweep the floor without having trouble breathing, and when I have to choose between a neat house and oxygen, well, breathing wins every time.

I hate asthma, but I guess I should be thankful for it because it's the reason I became such an avid reader.  I've always loved books, and reading was the one thing I could still do, even when I was sick.  Maybe I should dedicate my next book to my poor lungs, lol.

I sure hope my book sells.  I know it won't be easy because I'm still learning about publishing and marketing, but I really felt like self publishing was the way to go.  I love having control over every aspect of the book.  I'm using createspace for now, but eventually I would like to use lightning source as a printer.  They charge too much for proofs though; createspace is a lot more forgiving, which is great, as I completely changed the cover design.

I originally wanted something that looked hand drawn by a child, but then I decided I wanted something more professional looking.  I can't wait to see how it turned out.,  If all goes well, I can start selling on Amazon right away.

I'll also have to sell via my website because all of my online friends want autographed copies.

After this book is up and running, I'm going to rewrite my time travel novel and publish it. It was originally entitled "The Mystery of the Magic Maple", bu then I changed it to "The Owl Pearl:  Through the Roots of Time".

I like the first title better, but my main character is named Marty MacPherson and when I wrote query letters it seemed like their were too many M's, lol.

I should probably put the book up on authonomy first, to get feedback there. It's a great way to get reviews too.

Well, I'd better clear a path through the clutter in my office so that my Dad won't trip while carrying the air conditioner.  The dogs took every one of their toys out of their toybox; sigh, so I'll have to go pick them up first.  I wonder why they always empty their toybox?

PS:  Anyone reading this may wonder how on earth I can write, considering the way I'm rambling in this blog, lol...you should know that I'm writing with a migraine and therefore not thinking coherently.