Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Scrapbook Pages

I love making new pages for my scrapbook. Not only because a new page means something new has happened in my writing life, but also because I get to visualize my stories in a new way, get to the heart of things--what the story is really about and what I'm trying to say--and...I get to play with stickers. :D

Today I thought I'd post some new pictures from two new pages I made this last week. (I have to admit, making the pages with my daughter is a lot more fun than making them by myself, and if I hadn't wanted the scrapbook to be ready for the book signing this past week, I'd have waited for her spring break to work on these pages.)

The first pages here are for my upcoming novella collection: Sagebrush Knights.

Here is the basic premise: Set in 1874, SAGEBRUSH KNIGHTS is the story of four sisters from Seabury, MA (fictional) who are in need of husbands. Their father, a medieval scholar, has passed away, and they have no means to support themselves. When one of the sisters discovers a copy of The Matrimonial News, a periodical devoted to facilitating mail-order matches, she convinces the other three to place an ad with her. The sisters stipulate that they must find men from the same town, so they will at least have each other as neighbors and support. An answer comes quickly from Wyoming Territory. When the ladies arrive in the little town of Sagebrush hoping to find their knights-in-shining-armor, they are disappointed in the serfs who greet them. While technically neighbors, the ranches are so far apart, the Gerhard sisters will have to learn to trust God and their new husbands if they are going to survive in the West.

As you can see from the above picture, I divided the page into fourths using sage-green papers and flower and rail-fence stickers. Each of the novellas gets a fourth of the page with a story description and some embellishments that go along with the story.

The first novella in the collection is called Knight and Day: EVELYN GERHARD STANFORD, eldest of the Gerhard sisters and a Civil War widow, keeps the knowledge of her ten-year-old son a secret from her prospective groom. Resentful that God made her a widow with a baby on the way, now ten years later she is angry that God would force her to move so far away and marry a stranger to survive. When she arrives in Sagebrush with her son in tow, she’s shocked to realize her groom forgot to mention his ten-year-old daughter. Where her son is bookish and quiet, his daughter is a mischievous hoyden, and Evelyn and GARETH KITTRICK are as opposite as the children. While she tries to teach Gareth’s daughter some manners, Gareth tries to teach Evelyn’s son what it means to be a man. And all the while, they are learning to be a family.

The background paper is old, handwritten postcards and letters, which I thought was appropriate since the hero and heroine exchange letters before they meet. I've also included a picture of St. George Slaying the Dragon, a cowboy hat, and a daffodil.

The second story in the collection is titled Lady in Waiting: JANE GERHARD is the invisible sister, the plain one. Overlooked, she longs to be special to someone. But the man she weds is a workaholic who spends all his time on the range. HARRISON GARVEY’S father has made him a wager. If he can’t double his ranch’s production within three years, he has to abandon his dream of being a rancher and move back east. And his time is running out. Jane tries to win Harrison’s attention by being the best rancher’s wife she can be, but it isn’t until she works herself to exhaustion and Harrison must tend to her that she learns he’d give up the ranch if it meant winning her love.

I used a softly patterned background and a cameo for Jane's story as well as some horse stickers and a cowboy hat for Harrison. Also, there are some baby chicks that will be in the story, and a picture
of a row of leather-bound books that shows Jane's love of reading. In the bottom left corner is a silver stamp that says LOVE.

Novella number three is Shining Armor: GWENDOLYN GERHARD, the youngest of the Gerhard girls is shocked to find out the man she intended to marry has died while she journeyed to meet him. Even more shocking is the fact that he was over seventy years old. His grandson, MATTHEW PARKER, shows up in Sagebrush determined to send the woman home, convinced she was a gold-digger preying on a dying old man. When he learns that she has no family to return to, he has no choice but to marry her and take her back to his ranch. But that doesn’t mean he intends to fall in love with her. He’s fighting a losing battle against the charming, sweet Gwendolyn until he finds out his grandfather intended him to marry her all along. Gwendolyn must convince Matthew that her love for him is real and that she wasn’t in collusion with his grandfather.

This corner of the page has a green 'crackle' background. It also has a picture of a wooden chess set (because chess will be an initial common ground for Gwen and Matt,) and a family crest. (Actually, this is my own family crest.

And the final story in Sagebrush Knights is called On A White Charger: EMELINE GERHARD has long dreamed of living on a ranch and learning to ride horses, herd cattle, and cook over a campfire. She’s thrilled to be heading to Sagebrush. Imagine her surprise when her cowboy turns out to have a ranch all right. A sheep ranch. With gentle persistence, JOSEPH BARRETT shows Emeline the reality of life in the west, and the special bond between a shepherd and his sheep. When area cattlemen threaten the flock, Emeline and Joseph band together—with the help of her sisters and their husbands—to save their ranch.

For this one, there is a lamb, a sheepdog, and a rather modest sod cabin. I have a feeling I'm going to really have fun with this story because her expectations and her reality are so very far apart.

Another page I completed for the scrapbook is for the September release of A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas.

I must've been obsessed with quartering pages, because I divided this page into fourths as well, though two of the panels are the same brown polka-dot.  The other two panels are red floral to match the title color. I put the cover art in the center of the page and used a lace trim sticker to define the edges of each quarter.

A couple of my favorite things on this page are the photographs and the sign. (And the little wanted poster that is part of the story.)

This photograph is of Bat Masterson, one of the characters in the story. This photograph is part of the storyline. It's always been a favorite photograph of mine. Bat's eyes are amazing--so piercing. My heroine is a photographer, and I credit her with taking a photo of Bat similar to the one I used here for the scrapbook page. 

Another of my favorite bits from this page is the sign across the top of the page. I used some 'barn-board' patterned paper, letter stickers to spell out Reid's Photography. I 'hung' the sign using some black ribbon and some white beads. Rose stickers and white heart beads, as well as black picture corners comlete the page.

I never intended to become a scrapbooker (is that the right word?) but it has sort of grown on me. Have you ever fallen into doing something you never thought you would, only to find out you enjoy it?


  1. Very cool!

    I too love scrapbooking. I loved to touch different textures and write so scrapbooking fills all those requirements.

    Yes, I have fallen into something that I love- Boxing.

    I never would have thought...
    but I love it. Yes I compete. YES- I win :))

  2. That is so cool and I love the novellas. They sound like something I would love to read. When do you find time to scrapbook?????

  3. Oh my goodness! Okay, I barely looked at your scrapbook pics (sorry) but I read every blurb and I love each of those stories! Someday, someday, I'll buy one of your books to read. :-) They sound wonderful!

  4. Your pages are wonderful! I love the colors, papers you chose and of course, the cowboy stickers!

  5. This is such a beautiful way to add to your stories.

    I try to scrapbook (emphasis on the word try). ;)

    ~ Wendy

  6. Linda9:01 AM

    Your new pages are beautiful! What a cool way to tell the story of your stories.

  7. Great pages! You are so creative :D I am not a scrapbooker, but the kids are starting to do lapbooks. Glue and scissors are always fun.

  8. HEY!! There's that pesky pedestal! :-) I love all your work, Erica. Bride's Portrait was terrific!

  9. I just want you to know that one, I do not scrapbook, and number two I am scrapbooking because of you! I'm putting together a book of all my writing momentos because I want to be just like you when I grow up. ;) It's actually kind of fun.

  10. Erica, I love your scrapbook pages! What an inspiration for your novellas and your imagination.

    Makes me want to break out the glue and scissors and be creative.

    Loved it!

  11. Tabitha - Boxing? Yikes! That is something I don't think I'd jump into. I'm too much of a wimp! :D

    Sherrinda - I usually scrapbook with my daughter which is way more fun than doing it by myself. As to where the time comes from...I don't know. I guess I just sorta fit it in. (And ignore the housework.)

  12. Jessica - thank you, and I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy Sagebrush Knights. I can't wait to write it! :)

    CJ - I wish you could've been here to work on the pages. That would've been ACE!

  13. Wendy - I try to scrapbook too. I'm not very good at it. I've never taken a class or anything. I just sorta go with what suits me and the vision I see in my head. Since the scrapbook is for me anyway, I figure I'll be my least harshest critic. :D

    Linda - GREAT having lunch with you yesterday. I always enjoy our times together.

  14. Georgiana - James is doing an art class now and I'm amazed at the creative things he comes up with. Kids and art supplies! Yay!

    Rachel - Yep, that's the pedastal! :D Looking forward to your revision letter. :D

  15. Tana - LOL! Yay for dragging another non-scrapbooker into the fray! I hope you post some pictures on your blog of your new pages.

    Audra - jump on in! I have to say, scrapbooking has helped me clarify my vision for some stories and add bits of color and life to the plot that I hadn't anticipated.

  16. Your scrapbook pages are wonderful! What a lovely way to add to the permanent memory of your books and complementing the covers. I like to make collages for my stories, but since they aren't published I don't have a cover to include.