Creative Outlets (with giveaway of an ARC of The Emperor’s Conspiracy)

UPDATE: Giveaway winner: I used to pick a winner, and Blodeuedd’s name came out the hat, but as Blodeuedd is a reviewer who has reviewed my previous novels and I’d planned on asking her if she’d like to review a copy anyway, I picked another name, and so Janet Kerr, you are the winner. I’ll be in touch to get your address details!

A while back the lovely and talented Joan Swan made some beautiful ribbon bookmarks for me, with the cover of my debut novel, In a Treacherous Court, somehow shrunk into a cute, adorable ornament which was attached to one end, and a lovely crown on the other. I’m not sure how she creates the little cover ornaments, I’m both impressed and slightly envious, but when I got the ARCs for my upcoming book, The Emperor’s Conspiracy, I was struck by the lovely red ribbon in my heroine’s dress.

Red ribbons. Ribbon bookmarks. Click. A light went on in my head. My daughter and I went off shopping and after a bit of dabbling, made the beautiful deep red ribbon bookmarks you can see in the photo. I don’t have the means or know-how to make a cover ornament, but I did find some lovely alternatives and for every advance reading copy I’ve sent out so far, each has had a ribbon bookmark that matches the cover with it.

Making them was such a lot of fun. It’s creative but also practical, and something that really fits with the book.

Another thing that we’ve gotten into in the last couple of months is card making. My daughter in particular has had a lot of fun with it, and some of the cards she’s made have really been nicer than most I’ve seen in the shops.

So, do you have a creative outlet that you enjoy? Something that you do with your children or which is just for you? I have always loved cooking and baking, and I do that more and more with my kids as they’ve gotten old enough to participate, but making something like these bookmarks is wonderful because they last a bit longer than my cakes and biscuits 🙂

I’m giving away an advance reading copy of The Emperor’s Conspiracy (with a bookmark!) to one randomly-drawn commenter. I’ll draw the name on Friday evening. Looking forward to hearing all the wonderfully creative things everyone does!

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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28 Responses to Creative Outlets (with giveaway of an ARC of The Emperor’s Conspiracy)

  1. Berinn Rae says:

    What a perfect idea to go with your book cover. Brilliant! As for my creative side, I enjoy flying when I need a break. Thanks!

  2. Berinn Rae, flying is a very skilful art indeed. Good on you!

  3. Amy R says:

    Your covers are so lovely, Michelle! The bookmarks are very pretty as well. As for a creative outlet? I have none. Zilch. Zip. Zero. I am not a creative person in terms of material things. I don’t like to bake or draw or scrapbook or put things together. It does not come easy for me and I get easily frustrated and then realize I don’t enjoy it. I despise art projects that my kids bring home. Luckily, both of my kids got their creative spirit from my husband. He is the one we go to for art projects, good cooking, and to fix my jewelry. I would much rather be out enjoying an evening with friends over drinks/dinner or go to a movie or take my kids mini golfing or to a water park. The only time I sit still is when I read….which I can do for hours. But otherwise, I would rather be outside or enjoying some adventure. However, I do enjoy pretty things but I just don’t like to be the one making them. I really need someone to come in and decorate my house and go clothes shopping with me! Have a great day, Michelle!

    • LOL, Amy, at least you know what you do and don’t like! Finding what makes us happy is a creative skill in itself. 🙂

      And thanks for the cover compliments. I know how lucky I am, and you have a wonderful day, too!

  4. That’s such a neat idea!!! and I do love your covers.
    I was really into jewelry making for awhile, and then scrapbooking. Now i’m too busy to do much of anything but write!

    • Lori, I hear you on the busy, busy, busy side of things. I just finished my current WIP two days ago, which fortuitously coincided with my ARCs arriving. It’s been nice to turn my head to something creative like making the bookmarks instead of typing away at the laptop.

      As for jewelry making, that’s very impressive. I love jewelry, but wouldn’t have the first clue how to make it.

  5. Beth Watson says:

    I’m a writer so I guess I can’t say I’m not creative at all, but I’m not creative visually. Although I’ve been into decorating my house the last year, gave it a major overhaul. I have to say though I totally LOVE your cover Michelle, and the ribbons are a perfect fit. Covers sell, so you’re sure to do great with sales!

    • Thanks, Beth! And yes, renovations count as creative outlets. My husband and I totally renovated the house we bought two years ago, because it was too disgusting to live in without a major overhaul. It takes a lot of creative energy. And all other kinds of energy, too! 🙂

  6. Edie Ramer says:

    The bookmark ribbons look lovely! And how fun to do it with your daughter. This is something she might remember – and write about – when she’s older.

    I would love to write song lyrics. I think I’d be good at it – but if I had to choose, I’d rather write books. I’ve drawn and painted in the past and would love to do more. But right now my books take up most of my time. Kudos to you for doing so much.

    • Because I just finished a book, I could do without writing for a few more days. I’m already missing it, and I’ve only given myself a 36 hour break so far. It’s sad. LOL

  7. Cynthia Eden says:

    Joan is a talented lady!! 🙂 And have I told you just how much I love your cover? Love it!!!
    Cynthia Eden`s last blog was …AAD–Bag O Swag

  8. CateS says:

    Those are lovely… I’m not very creative but have many friends who are.. so I do get to admire a lot of pretty things.. from scrapbooks, cards, jewelry, etc.

    • Thanks, Cate. Creative friends are good too! I have a good friend who is an artist with icing. She makes the most beautiful cakes, which are like works of art.

  9. They’re beautiful, Michelle! Love the idea.

  10. blodeuedd says:

    I do love the ribbon…I want red ribbons too 🙂

    As for being*thinks* I do fear I am not that good at making things. But sure I can draw a weird looking monster or two
    blodeuedd`s last blog was …Review Tracking the Tempest – Nicole Peeler

  11. Misty Evans says:

    Joan is an inspiration. She made bookmarks for Soul Survivor for me and I loved them! The ones you made look beautiful, Michelle, and go perfect with your cover.

  12. Janet Kerr says:

    One of my creative outlets is growing African Violets. They are so beautiful & their bloom lasts forever.
    Please enter me in your draw. It sounds like you & your daughter had a lot of fun with it.


  13. bn100 says:

    Nice bookmarks. I like to bake.

  14. Joan Swan says:

    Oh, WOW, Michelle!! Those are gorgeous!!!!! ❗

    Your covers are just sigh-worthy and they deserve an extra special momento! I miss making my special bookmarks, but there just isn’t time now-a-days 😥 . Hope to get back to it once I get my life balanced a little better…unless I find something *new* to create. 😀

    Congrats on another fabulous release!



  15. Na S. says:

    What a gorgeous cover! Or should I say, another gorgeous cover as all yours books covers are.

    I like to get creative simply by drawing. I’ll start with a blank sheet and start creating shapes which turn into images. The fun part for me is coloring. It helps me relax as well.

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