I’m taking a bit of a crafts break today and have invited author Beth Groundwater to do a craft related guest post. Beth writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series To learn more about Beth, visit her website. -- AP
When Anastasia Pollack invited me to be a guest blogger on Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers, I decided that I’d provide a very different kind of recipe, one for a gift basket, since I write the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series. The first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, A Real Basket Case, was originally released in hardcover and large-print in 2007 and was a finalist for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award. It is being re-released by Midnight Ink in trade paperback and ebook this month, complete with a jazzy new cover.
Some important things to keep in mind while designing a gift basket are to stimulate all the senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight), to pick one main color and two complementary accent colors and use them throughout, and to tailor the contents to the recipient’s interests. Here I assume that you’re making a gift basket for a friend who loves mysteries.
Recipe for a Mystery Lover's Gift Basket
black, red, and white/gray
black-painted basket, bucket or box, with a lid or handle sticking up, from which you hang some spider webbing
dried Spanish moss or red-dyed tissue paper, paper shreds, or wood shavings
Mystery book(s). In keeping with the gift basket theme, I recommend my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery books, A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket.
CD of eerie music such as Mystery Movie Scores or Mystery Sound Effects
Pocket-sized mystery party game or travel Clue game
Movie DVD: Clue, Mousetrap, Alfred Hitchcock or Sherlock Holmes movie, or movie collection (Mystery Classics: 50 Movie Pack)
Chocolate/bubble gum coins or other mystery-related chocolate shapes such as blood drops, knives, or guns (see http://www.chocolatepen.com for a sample vendor)
If your recipient is a tea drinker, include an antique tea cup and saucer, a selection of teas, and a tea cozy, in keeping with a cozy mystery genre theme.
And an assortment from:
Bookmarks from mystery authors
Pair of play handcuffs and/or sheriff's badge
Rubber knife or plastic pistol
Glasses, nose, mustache disguise
Spy Gear toys from http://www.wildplanet.com
Skull-shaped/logo item: tealight candle holder, squeeze ball, notepad, etc. (see http://www.orientaltrading.com/)
Bottle of stage blood from Halloween/theatre costume/makeup supply store or make your own (see http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/fakeblood.htm)
Thanks for stopping by today, Beth! I recently won a cupcake gift basket at a raffle. What a treat that was! I love making gift baskets and hope some of our readers will now enjoy making them, too. -- AP