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Holiday Blog Hop Starting December 11th

Holiday Blog Hop

Blog Hop begins December 11th. Click on the graphic above for a schedule and list of giveaways, including a $60 Amazon gift card.

Monday, June 8, 2015

#CRAFTS WITH ANASTASIA--GUEST CRAFTER AND ROMANCE AUTHOR CHERI ALLAN

Cheri Allan is the Amazon Romantic Comedy bestselling author of hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. She's a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she's grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. Learn more about Cheri and her books at her website

Okay, fess up. Who here has a ‘crafts closet?’ <raises hand>  I knew when I found Lois’ blog, that I’d found kindred spirits, because I’ve been a crafter my whole life (ever since those macaroni Christmas ornaments, you know what I’m talking about.) Today, I’m sharing with you a craft that I started with my very first novel: book cover necklaces! These have been a great way to celebrate the impending release of each novel as well as to motivate me to write the next one. If you’re not an author, never fear. These would work equally well with a favorite photo.

First, I purchase photo frame charms (I get mine on eBay) which come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, then I take images of my book covers to Staples and have them printed on photo paper. Then the fun begins! After cutting and gluing the image into the frame, I start collecting beads that complement the colors in the image and play around with design. You’ll note that most of mine have either a dropped center portion (formed by putting both ends of the same wire through a few beads before splitting them up for each side of the necklace) or a double-stranded center (I use two wires strung in parallel--beaded separately and then together--for that style). This is because the photo frames can be heavier than a standard charm or focal bead, and I found that without doing that, the necklaces hung in a sharp vee which wasn’t as pleasing to the eye.

I tend to wing it when beading, letting the image and the beads tell me how long the necklace should be and whether it all works. And, just like in writing, there are times I get to ‘the end’ and realize it’s NOT working… and tear it all out to start over. Ultimately, I’ve got a little wearable keepsake that’s a great conversation starter!

My newest release, All or Nothing, is about the aftermath of a reality dating show… because I’m a crafter AND a reality dating show junkie. But you’d never catch me on a reality show.  Then the world would see the sorry state of my crafts closet. ;)

All or Nothing, Betting on Romance Book 3
When finding Mrs. Right goes, oh, so wrong…
Self-made tech millionaire Ian McIntyre has suffered through a reality dating show only to return home to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, empty-handed, swarmed by paparazzi, and hounded by a Hollywood producer determined to deliver a Happily Ever After. But then his home is invaded by a sexy, snarky local staging it for the season finale, and Ian finds himself more interested in the cute and scrappy hometown girl dusting off his action figures than the audience’s favorite southern belle.

Auto mechanic Bailey Adams grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and is struggling to patch together enough odd jobs to buy a garage of her own. When the Golden Boy of Sugar Falls entangles her in his disastrous season of Happily Ever After, they both discover that some long-held dreams are only as ‘real’ as ‘reality’ TV.  Now, with the deal on her dream garage in jeopardy and her unlikely love affair with America’s favorite geeky hunk playing out on national TV, Bailey must decide if she’s willing to risk it all for love… or be left with nothing.

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15 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Those necklaces are lovely...I wish I had your talent!

Cheri Allan said...

Aw, thank you, Angela! And thank you to my lovely blog host for having me visit today! I actually started doing beading crafts with my daughter--more of a grown up version of noodle necklaces we could BOTH enjoy creating. ;)

Peggy Jaeger said...

I've seen those neckalces in person on you, Cheri dear, and I will truly say, they are lovely. I lovelovelove crafting, too, and it's so nice to know there are people out there who appreciated the fun things in life crafting brings. WHen my own daughter was young we would make things every weekend together, and some of my most treasured objects are from those times.
Oh, and BTW - love your books!

cj petterson said...

What a great and lovely idea! Thanks for sharing. (And best wishes for super sales with your books.)

Marilyn (and cj)

Cheri Allan said...

My writing desk area is full of little mementos from my daughter, Peggy, so I know what you mean. (And thanks for the lovely compliments! <3) Ooh! You should share a pic of your book cover boxes! (Anastasia, you have to see these! Another crafty author! ;))

Cheri Allan said...

Thank you Marilyn (and cj ;) )! These are fun, because you could use any photo, really, and they'd make a fine key chain, too. I've seen smaller ones used as bracelet charms; although, if you wanted it more durable, you'd probably want to coat the picture with resin. (I haven't bothered, so YMMW.)

Marianne H. Donley said...

What a great idea. Do you wear them to book signings or give them away as cool book bling?

Cheri Allan said...

May I confess, Marianne, I haven't done an official book signing yet? I *did* give one away as a clip-on tag for a newsletter giveaway not long ago, so sign up at www.cheriallan.com, because I'm likely to do so again in the future! Mostly, I wear them out and about and to writer's conferences. It's my little personal celebration for finishing each book! LOL

Jodi Hale said...

*Raises hand* Yes, I am crafty. I would rather make it than buy it. I have an italian charm bracelet where I created many of the charms the same way you did. Except they are tiny! I have software to size the images and then print them out, cut, glue and cover with clear resin. Once I have a book cover I will definitely be making once of these necklaces and a matching bracelet. :-)

stanalei said...

I'm always so envious of those who can design and make such beautiful jewelry, Cheri. And these items are so lovely. The story sounds great!

Red L. Jameson said...

Oh, the book and necklaces look amazing! Off to Amazon I go!

Cheri Allan said...

I'm lucky enough to live close by to an amazing gem, stone and beading store. It's like opening a treasure box each time I walk through the door. I can literally lose HOURS there. :) (Thanks, Red, and I hope you enjoy the story!)I haven't tried the resin yet, Jodi. Is it difficult to apply, and how does it affect the clarity of the image?

Jodi Hale said...

The resin is tricky. It's a two part mix, then pouring it on, getting out any bubbles and covering so no dust and keeping it undisturbed while it dries. I haven't seen any issues with the image after applying. I have tossed some charms because the resin wasn't right.

Melissa Keir said...

Very beautiful. I love making jewelry but I've been so busy! I'll have to get back to it. :)

Congrats on your latest release!

Cheri Allan said...

Thanks, Melissa. I admit that I tend to "binge" bead when I do get to it, because life takes over the rest of the time, but it is such a great craft for when you don't have a lot of time. You can finish a necklace in an hour or so, and the supplies don't take over your entire storage space.