Friday, December 2, 2011

Crafting the Holidays

My apologies for the late posting. Blogger was having technical difficulties with loading pictures last night and this morning. I finally used a different browser and it worked. Yay!

My guest is romance author, Tawny Weber.
Tawny has a new trilogy with Blaze, Undercover Ops, and I’m enjoying the shenanigans of Tobias Black, former con man, who is determined to bring his three strong willed children home. They’re not inclined to oblige and so Tobias gets creative.
Tawny shares some of her crafting ideas for the holidays with us. Hope you enjoy her creativity—both with the craft projects and her new story.  

One of my favorite things about the holidays is finding craft ideas to make as gifts and decorations. 

I hope I pass this love of crafting gifts on to my children.  Neither are quite as crafty and into making things as I am, but they’ve been known to put together a scrapbook, painting or ceramic figurine from time to time.  If nothing else, they know that Christmas time means giving from the heart. 

For my crafting fun this year, I’m doing few gift projects.  One is an advent calendar.  I used my oldest daughter’s new puppy for the photo on the first one, and a picture of my youngest daughter and our shepherd mix when she was a pup for the other.  Keeping with the pet theme, the other gifty project I’m doing are pet ornaments.  I made one last year for myself and figured it’d be a great present for the pet-loving people on my list (at least, if I have pictures of their pets, it will *g*)  I used an old CD, covered with paper and punched holes all around.  Super simple and quick, and a gift I’m hoping my youngest daughter will help with J 

I don’t think there were a lot of crafty sort of gifts in the Black home when my hero, Caleb was growing up.  But even deprived of glitter and paste, this is a family that embraces traditions.  Of course, their traditions fall more toward ways to con people (especially each other) but still... ya gotta love a family that keeps tradition alive, right?   Caleb didn’t celebrate the holidays much after he left his hometown.  Instead, he entered the dark, dreary world of undercover DEA work.  So coming home at the holidays is more than just a demand to deal with his past, it’s also a chance to reconnect with the joy of the holidays.  And small, eccentric towns like Black Oak do the holidays up right! 

  • So how about you? 
Are you a fan of holiday crafts? If not, what traditions do you tend to follow? 
And I have a question... what kind of goodies and treats would you suggest I fill the advent calendars with?  I can only give my kids a certain amount of candy before I start seeing visions of dental bills dancing in my head :-D 
  • Share your thoughts, and I’ll draw a random name from the comments to win their very own signed copy of Caleb’s story, SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE!

SEX LIES AND MISTLETOE—available in stores and online

He sees her when she's sleeping... 

Undercover DEA agent Caleb Black is home for the holidays—possibly to bust his own father. But maybe Caleb's con man dad isn't the one running drugs through the small town of Black Oak. Maybe it's the green eyed goddess who runs the New Age shop and has Caleb under her sultry spell.
Pandora Easton saved the family store with two words: sex sells. And her delectable aphrodisiacs really work, as she's proven with notorious bad boy Caleb again and again and again.
Little does she guess that, in the end, her most potent potion will be the truth...EXCERPT

Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin Blaze since her first book hit the shelves in 2007.  When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.  Come by and visit her on the web at  

In December of 2011 Tawny launched her Undercover Ops series with SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE.  The second book in the series, SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT is on shelves in January 2012, quickly followed in February by SEX, LIES & VALENTINES.  Be sure to follow Tawny on her Holiday Survival Tour as she celebrates these three books with contests, giveaways and lots of fun.  You can read the first chapter of SEX, LIES & MISTLETOE on her website, all you have to do is join the Reader LoveFest!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Tawny, my apologies for the lateness of this one. I had to wage battle with Blogspot gods. They did not want to let me put in pictures. Sigh...Hard battle but I finally won. Yay!

You know I love reading your books. I don't think you've written one I haven't liked but, I have to tell you that this one is your best yet. You have a great set of characters here!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not entering to win, but you could always use gum or mints as treats.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Great idea, Alex.

Mason Canyon said...

Tawny, I'm going to be completely different and say use treats for the pets. That way you don't have to worry about overloading the kids on sweets and include the pets in the celebration. BTW, I love the pet ornaments. I'll have to give that a try.

Sia, I understand about Blogger and its battles. Glad you won and thanks for sharing Tawny's interesting post.

Ladies, hope you both have a great weekend.

Thoughts in Progress

Tawny Weber said...

Sia,you rock :-) thanks for battling so hard to make the blog let me in today LOL. I always love visiting with you - it's a warm, cozy welcome every time.

And I'm not just saying that because you say such amazingly awesome things about my books *ggg* But thanks tons for that, too!!!

Tawny Weber said...

Alex, that's a great idea!! Those are always welcome little treats, aren't they. Thanks :-)

And are you sure you don't want to be in the drawing? *g*

Tawny Weber said...

Oh wow, Mason!!! I love that idea. The pets all get stockings, but i hadn't thought to put treats in the advent calendar.

I'm glad you like the pet ornament. It was super simple, and one of those great crafty things that could be done with any picture. Now that thumb drives are so inexpensive, and so much easier (and reusable) I have a stack of CDs that will never get used for anything but crafts LOL

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Sia! Hiya Tawny! Tawny, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the sound of the new series. But then as you know, I'm a huge fan of your books. And you write the most delish heroes! Better than hot plum pudding and custard! Oh, man, I so admire someone who is crafty (in the making things sense, that is). I'm absolutely hopeless, can't even cut a straight line. It's me with the credit card at the shops for Christmas although in previous years, I have baked. This year, sadly, my oven has died so it's definitely me with the credit card!

Joan said...

Hey Tawny!

So.....I've got some hot Irishmen running around (in my head anyway) send me some Mistletoe!!! Can't wait to read this!

Tawny Weber said...

LOL Plum pudding AND custard, Anna? Thank you!! Now maybe if we mix the custard with the hero... hmmm. :-) Sorry, got distracted.

Thank you so much for the lovely praise. Since I'm a mondo-huge fangirl of yours, that means tons!

Hey, credit cards are great for the holidays. I'm relying on mine way too much this year, because somehow the entire window to make gifts slid right past me (again). I do love baked yumminess at the holidays. Yikes that your oven is busted. How will you cook your Christmas feast?!?!

Tawny Weber said...

LOL Joanie, I think mistletoe would come in quite handy with a bunch of running Irishmen!

Nancy said...

Hi, Sia and Tawny--

I'm about halfway through SL&M and enjoying it a lot. Tawny, you know I am seriously not craft-y, but I admire people who are.

As for the Advent calendar, I figure chocolate is always a winner and peppermint is seasonal.

Laila Knight said...

Sounds like a lovely book. And with mistletoe in the name it's here just in time for Christmas.

Oh that you mentioned candy I can't get it out of my mind. Especially chocolate. Beautiful crafting, btw. :)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Tawny! Hey Sia! I LURVE the sound of this new book and seris, Tawny! WOOT! Can't wait. I also adore the advent calendar and the ornament. How fab! As to what to fill it with, it depends on who it's for! If it's for the pup, that's one thing. For peoples, candy, chocolate, dollar coins, kisses, gift many options...

I'll be looking for the new book to hit the stands at my B&N!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Speaking of chocolate, I don't suppose you have the recipe to that scrumptious four layer Foreplay cake, do you Tawny? And do you add raisins or chocolate chips to the Orgasmic Oatmeal cookies?

Of course, I think I'd also like a side of Caleb Black...

Just sayin'

VA said...

My daughter decided on a perfect Christmas last year--so we went tree hunting, wrestled off the roof and set it up. Then she proceeded to string enough popcorn for garland. It became a group TV watching activity. We also like to have a holiday themed puzzle to do out on a table. Dozens of dozens of cookies and homemade filled pasta on Christmas day. Yeah...a lot of food.

Tawny, you didn't mention ages or gender for advent treats so here's a few:
matchbox cars
hair clips or doodads
decorative shoelaces
USB stick, empty or with mementoes
movie ticket or pass
clue, to find the gift somewhere in the house

Tawny Weber said...

Hi Nancy :-) YAY, another Bandita in the house :-) And thanks, tons, for checking out Mistletoe. I'm anxious to hear what you think.

So I'm wondering, as a non-crafty person, do you like crafted gifts? And YES! Peppermint is a great addition to the candy stash in the advent calendar. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks :-)

Tawny Weber said...

Hi Layla :-) thank you - it's a very holiday-ish series for sure. The next one, SEX, LIES AND MIDNIGHT is a New Years celebration and for February, of course, SEX, LIES AND VALENTINES.

Thanks for the crafting compliment :-) I love making things, it's an addiction. And sorry about feeding your chocolate addiction LOL. I hope you found something yummy to snack on.

Tawny Weber said...

Awww, smooches and thanks, Jeanne :-) And thanks, too, for the help with brainstorming the 3rd book in this series.

I like your advent filler ideas, especially the gift card/certificates. Did you know 711 has gift cards? I got one for each calendar for my girls to get Slurpees!

Tawny Weber said...

Sia, Sia... You know chocolate makes everything more orgasmic *beg* Especially when it comes with a side of Caleb Black :-D

And thank you so much for asking about the Foreplay cake. I'm getting the recipe together now and should have it up in the Reader Love section of my website by the first of the week. And if anyone's interested, the entire first chapter is up there now, too. Just in case they wanted to peek :-D

Tawny Weber said...

VA your holiday plans sound divine! What a wonderful, relaxing and memorable season that must make. I love the cookie part of it most, of course :-)

And WOW!!! Talk about a fabulous list of ideas. I can totally finish filling those little drawers now - you've given me so many great ideas :-) Thank you!

Nancy said...

Tawny, my favorite kinds of crafted gifts are Christmas decorations for the house or personal items like the scarf my sister-in-law made. Other types if home decor don't always fit our taste.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I like ornaments. You can make some lovely things with a little forethought. I like to make colored fabric balls to hang on the tree,garlands, or even making a bowl of colors and pine cones--if your theme is old fashion then patchwork or quilted.

But I love getting remnants of velvet,sparkly laces, or satin--all the sumptuous fabrics and getting creative with ornaments. Different sizes and shapes, glitter, a bit of glue, a lot of imagination, and a lot of fun.

As for gifts this year, there are many things I'm making rather than buying. I enjoy it.

Jo Robertson said...

Hi, Sia and Tawny! It's great to see both of you at the same place. Wait a minute! I'm having a Jason Momoa moment -- bit of a distraction there!

I used to be so into crafts. I think it was the way my creative side was nutured during the years I stayed home with my children. When I started teaching, most of that went by the wayside except for scrapbooking, which I dearly love, but haven't had much time for with the publication of my (almost) three books.

I guess I'm not such a good multi-tasker after all!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Kaelee said...

Hi Sia and Tawny ~ I'm following Tawny around a bit. I love the advent calendar and the doggy ornaments. I know my niece gives out McDonald's gift certificates to her kids sometimes. Also you could make your own gift certificates for something like a special dinner of treat. I know that my great niece really likes to go out to lunch with just one of her parents and not have her two brothers go as well.

Tawny Weber said...

Nancy, I love handcrafted holiday home decorations. A lot of the things I put around the house this time of year were made by friend and family. I think that adds an extra touch of love and happy memories that suits the season nicely :-)

I've made knitted scarfs and hats for the family, but they didn't get much use except when the whole lot of us travel to the cabin for a snowy winter vacation. Scarfs in California are more a fashion thing, and apparently the ones I made weren't quite fashionable enough *g*

Tawny Weber said...

Sia, the patchwork decorations sound so lovely. I adore the shabby chic look, combining luxury fabrics and lots of textures :-) You'll have to share pictures! I'd love to see them.

Tawny Weber said...

Jo!! :-) Hi there. Jo? (waving my hand between Jo and the photo of Jason Mamoa ) Ahh, hi Jo :-)

I think you're totally on target with the idea that we craft like crazy until we find writing :-) I was the same way. I've done it all, from macrame to ceramics to oil painting (poorly). The things that stuck were, like you, the scrapbooking, and knitting.

But like you say, its so hard to find enough time! More hours, please, Santa. Just a few more a day. I've been a good girl... oh wait.

Tawny Weber said...

Hi Kaelee :-D It's great to see you here *g*

I like the coupon idea, especially it being a homemade one. That could be so fun. A lunch with mom, movies on me, get-out-of-chores free card... hmm, you've sparked a lot of ideas :-)

And thank you for liking the crafts :-) I love doing them, and it's always fun to share the results.

Jowake said...

Enjoyed the post, nothing to add, everyone has said it. I had a few probs with Blogspot too Sia. No, I am not in to crafts. Cooking is my thing, but I don't make cookies.

Tawny Weber said...

Hi Jowake :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and love to hear cooking ideas, too :-) If you don't do cookies, what is your go-to treat for the holidays??