Beary Tidings

To start off the 12 days of Christmas, I thought I’d welcome it with a warm coloring page.  Be sure to check in again tomorrow and the next elven days. 


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Pell Shade!!

Hello there! I’d say good morning, but not everyone is in the same time zone as I am so hello instead!


L pell shade coverI’m reading “Pell Shade and the Mysterious Paper” today on Blog Talk Radio and World of Ink Network’s, It’s Story Time, Gather ‘Round soooooo…..


To listen in at 10am EST or later on it will be archived….


For this weekend only you can download a free copy of the ebook (pdf style) at Lulu:


Also, here are two origami instruction pages so you can have a bit of fun. They’re two characters, Nibs and Quills, from the book:

cat origamifox origami






REVIEW! Woot!!

———-Pell Shade and the Mysterious Paper
Rating:  5.0 stars
Reviewed by Author Anna del C. Dye for Readers Favorite
What a riveting tale is found in Pell Shade’s story! It is a must for elementary age, tween and young adult homes. It will receive their parents’ and teachers’ complete approval. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the most interesting plot I have seen in a long time. It has a refreshing new concept, one that will be loved by many readers as they discover this new well-written series.
Aunt Syne is looking for a gift for her niece Pell. She wants something special and finds it in the “Rare Find Store.” The owner doesn’t want to be paid, and he knows exactly what she needs. When she gives it to her niece, the girl isn’t very impressed. The gift only consists of origami paper and a thick, probably very boring, instruction book. Everything changes when Aunt Syne makes a bird with it, and the creation starts flying. Well, all is swell and fantastic until a very disagreeable man wants Syne to give him the stack of paper. He says the papers belong to him and he won’t give up until he gets what is his back. More problems arise when the man kidnaps one of the two heroines and wants to exchange the papers for the person in his hands. Their only hope lies with two unlikely friends they find in kids that have nothing but each other.
This tale is quite unique and will be very compelling to many readers. I know you will love it, as I did. It is, without a doubt, a page-turner. I can’t wait for the next piece in the series. Well done.

The following are optional personal comments from the reviewer that will NOT appear in your review:

I am without a doubt utterly, inexplicably pumped!  Can’t tell you how much this makes all those times that I’ve fallen into the deepest, darkest abyss worth while.  I may crawl my way out of it, but I’m always battered and worn–this makes all those times far worth it.  To know that I connected with a reader and they enjoyed my characters and my tale is happiness.

Here’s links:

Ebook on B & N:

Paper back on Lulu:

‘Twas the month before Christmas…

Hehe, couldn’t find any Thanksgiving themed pages, so…  Besides, I love trees.  Just thought to put in a wee little post with some upcoming activities plus it’ll push the Halloween posties down so it doesn’t look like I’ve gone holiday mad.

I’m currently working on a pressie for Christmas for the blog.  ’12 days of Christmas’ I shall dub it.  I love giving.  Small gifts are the best, because they usually mean more than some big flashy thing that costs oodles of money.  I have found that when I send off a ‘goodie’ package in the mail to someone, I feel like I’m on top of the world–because I know the person who gets the package wasn’t expecting it and that it’ll make them smile.  Everyone needs a good surprise once in a while, especially when life drags you so far down–I’ve been in that dark abyss many times.  Ohhh, I love making goodie packages with little treats and such!  So, from the 13th to the 24th I’ll have something of that nature here.  I have an advent calendar at home (2 to be exact-hey, one for each kid) that I find little gifts and put in for my boys (who are actually teens now).  So I’ll have a mini one here so be on the lookout for them!

Just a little backstory here: One year, I snuck into my mum’s car (I was in my young thirties) and placed a wee gift in it everyday leading up to Christmas eve.  It was more fun than the time I stuck a big rubber spider on her steering wheel column at Halloween!  I left everything from sweets to homemade items (ie candles, potpourri sachets, etc).  I really had a blast doing that.  Hey, I even played Santa to her one year–I snuck in her house and stealthfully snuck some gifts and a stocking under her tree.  Heh, ninja-style!  When she woke Christmas day and called me she asked if I’d been there.  Nope, it wasn’t me, it was SANTA-I was bringing my gifts to her house later that day for dinner!  Even her cat had a wee stocking from the sneaky old man *wink*!  Wish she were still here with me, there’s soooo many cool things that I think she would get a huge kick out of now.  Ah well, whenever I see something I think she’d appreciate, I smile for her.  Ohhh, the treats I’d make for her now–she always loved my mad cooking skills!  Potato candy, cream-cheese pumpkin log (her fav), jello squares (the kind that has the condensed milk), my oyster-cornbread stuffing (old fam recipe), my corn beef and cabbage, my zuccini bread, my cinnamon candy, and the list goes on.  I will never have any low confidence when it comes to my cooking-I get that gene from her side of the family!  Ah well…hug those you love NOW because they can go from you very quickly.  Do little things for people and watch them smile!  That’s what it should be about-the smiles.  My mum was gone in 6 months so I don’t get to think of a little gift making her smile anymore.  I still find it odd not to see or hear her even though it’s been near four years.  It’s like walking by a hole-it was once filled, but now it’s there and it stays empty.  It’s the way of life I suppose and I’m not really liking it no matter how I think it out.  Although the world would get really crowded if we all stayed around…still, I don’t like it and I don’t really have to.

Well, speaking of gifts and such…remember in your gift buying that books (ahem, HINT) make really good gifts.  They don’t need batteries, they don’t get taken up at school, I don’t think too many people steal them (heh, a book thief), and they can be hugged (yes, I hug good books).  I’ve six wonderful little morsels that you can give at my lulu store: -whether you need electronic or the really good ol’ reliable, my favorite, paper kind I have them there.  I really would like to have my latest project finished and out for readers, but we’ll see.  If you’ve a chapter book reading kid–my Pell Shade will keep her/him entranced with its quirky characters.  Of course my pic books have loads of great color and characters.  Hehe, shameless promote huh?  Ah well, how else will you know if I dont’ mention it?  Of course, you could be a really nice person and mention it for me by pointing people to my books.

Happy Halloween!!

13 days of activities have passed and I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you.  Now, I’ve a treat.  For today only, you can download (for FREE) an ebook copy (PDF) of my third children’s book, ‘Something Greater Than Fear’-written by me (of course) and illustrated by my wonderfully talented friend, Chris Goguen. Now, no worries if you don’t have an ebook thingy–if you click on the link below, it’ll take you directly to Lulu and to the page where you can download thebook. When on the Lulu site, scroll down and look to the right side and you should see a box that has the Adobe Digital Editions Installer for your computer in it-it is FREE as well.

So go on now, Figs the mouse is waiting for you to join her inside the book!

Stitches the Cat (Pull)

I love making these, even after making over fifty! I like to give them out at readings, book signings, or sending them out with my books. My chapter book, “Pell Shade and the Mysterious Paper” and “The One Sock Princess” both have cats so it works out as a nice little extra. It’s also my final activity for my 13 days of Halloween. What would Halloween be without a black cat?


Black Felt sheet

Plastic zipper pull/fashion key clip

Green embroidery thread

Embroidery needle

Cardboard sheet (to create the cat head template)




1) Cut a cat head design from the cardboard sheet. This is your template.

2) Use the template and cut out your two cat heads. Once finished, cut out a five inch long x 1/2 to an inch wide strip.  Set strip aside.

3) Thread your needle and knot it.  Insert the needle into the bottom of one of the cat head felts and pull your thread through. You will want to keep the ‘knotted’ end on the inside of the cat head so once you push the needle through, pull the thread until it stops, turn the felt over and place it on top of the other felt head. Now begin your stitching. When stitching, try to keep a small ‘edge’ as you use a ‘straight stitch’ to go around the cat head.  You will want to stop a few strokes from the top center of the head. This is where you will add the strip and key pull.

4) Take the felt strip and thread it through the key pull loop. Tuck both ends of the strip between both cat head felts and continue to stitch until are almost all the way around.  Just before the final few stitches, stuff your cat head-just a few tufts will do. Continue your stitching until you are all the way around. Insert the needle one last time, only don’t pull it through both pieces-just the one because you will knot it and tuck it inside.

5) Now you can attach your black cat to a bookbag, a purse, or a gym bag.

Spinner the Spider

This is really a fun project to do.  It’s pretty simple and cheap to make.


2 Styrofoam balls (different sizes-the larger one is for the body and the smaller one is for the head)

6 Black pipe cleaners

Black paint

Glue (I used rubber cement)


Google eyes


1) Cut the small styrofoam ball in half (this will be the head).

2) Push two toothpicks into the body about an inch and a half away from where you plan to place the head or where the ball first meets the surface (this will help the spider to stand). Paint the ends of the toothpicks, the large (the body) and the half ball with black paint.  Set aside and let dry.

3) While the paint is drying you can prepare the legs. Fold the pipes into ‘fourths’. Cut about a 1/4 off the length of all the pipes.

4) Once dried, take a toothpick and push one end into the flat side of the styrofoam half. Connect the two styrofoam pieces by using the other end of the toothpick and press the together.

5) Unfold the pipes and push one end down into the body of the spider (at an angle and near the head)-it doesn’t need to go to deep, maybe an inch. Push in another pipe about an inch away. Place one more toward the back end of the spider (a little more than an inch away from the second one).  Repeat these steps for the other side.  Now to ‘shape’ the legs. Take two and half inches of the pipe and bend down.  Then at the end of the pipe, bend about an inch-you’ll want to bend that piece once more – you’re making the feet.

6) Once the legs are all in place, glue on the eyes.

….and here we have our spider!

Haunting Bags

I made some similar bags like these a few falls ago–my way of welcoming fall and sent them to a few friends and family. So I thought I’d make a few for Halloween.  They are super easy and cheap to make and no sewing involved-what could be greater!

What you need for the ‘Ghost’ bag:

Black Felt

White Felt

Glue (either hot or a good glue that can handle felt material)


1)  Take the black felt and fold in half.  Trim off a 1/3 from the side so that it has a ‘box or square’ shape to it-the excess will be used for the handle so set that aside for now.  Turn the square so that the folded part is toward you.  This will be the ‘bottom’ of your bag so you won’t need to apply glue. Unfold the square.  Squeeze one or two lines of glue along the side edges of the bottom half only–this way when you re-fold it, the top portion is open. Press the sides gently (don’t want the glue squishing out the sides) and then let dry for a few minutes (or longer-depending on the glue you use).

2) Take the excess strip and trim it to the thickness you want for the handle.  Then squeeze about two or three lines of glue at the tip end of only one side of the handle and press the glued edge against the middle of the inside of the bag–repeat actions for the other end.

3)  Cut a ghost shape out of the white felt.  You can either cut holes out for the eye or you can cut two circles out of the scrap left over from making the handle.

4) Glue the backside of the ghost and press gently onto the bag.

5) Let the bag sit for several hours and then fill it up with goodies.

I also made a ‘Franky’ bag–just neon green felt, some red and black felt scraps, and googly eyes.  Let your imagination go-witches, goblins, etc.

Nib’s Story Weaver

Being a story teller, I always try to encourage others.  There are stories all around us waiting to be told-you just need to open your eyes.  Statua Magis…imagine more.

Now, here’s how this works…I’ve provided subect and action.  They are not in any order whatsoever.  It’s up to you who does what.  Hey, why couldn’t a vamire drink apple juice? Who says that ‘Graff the hairy troll’ can’t ‘ride the kitchen broom across the sky.’?  Switch ’em ’round a bit and be creative.  Once you’re finished, maybe you can make a story with the sentences you made.  Whatever you come up with, I’d love to read it.  With your parents permission, emal your story to me at and I’ll post it here and on my author site with your name (first only-just to keep you safe).



Glena’s Potion Mix-up! Puzzle

Oh dear!  Cobwebs are threatening to overtake the lab of poor little witch in-training, Glena.  Blu looks over her shoulder and helps her frantic search for the spell that will clear them away.  To make matters worse, the spell has turned them into a jigsaw puzzle!  Can you help them out by piecing them back together?

So excited to bring this puzzle to you in two versions.  One, is digital! Yup, I found a cool website that you can upload pics and have them turned into puzzles that you can solve via your computer.  So thank you so much to  for exisiting!!  Now, the second choice is a ‘do-it-yourself’ one (print page, color, and cut into pieces).

Since you can’t color on the digital site, here’s what it should look like once you have finished putting it together! <–use this link to go to the digital puzzle site.

Now, here’s the ‘do-it-yourself’ one.  Just print (remember to click on the picture and then right click-select print) on regular paper, color, and then cut into pieces. If you want to make the puzzle pieces more sturdy…once you’ve printed and colored the picture, you can paste the picture onto either heavy cardstock or cardboard.