Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cover art love

I am in love with the dress pictured on this romance book. Thankfully there was a text-free version on the interwebs, so I could see it without a great big "Sabrina Jeffries" and a book title getting in the way. The colour is a bit different between the two images, particularly the sheen of the dress and the landscape behind the couple.

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady - Cover art by Jon Paul Studios

One of my favourite series also has some of my favourite cover art: The Parasol Protectorate. This steampunk/paranormal/alternate Victorian era comedy of manners extravaganza has covers built around gorgeous photos of a model who closely resembles the heroine. The images are then photoshopped them to include other design elements. Holy cow, is that a technical and tedious process. I bow to graphic designers. Check out the video of the making of the Blameless cover:

These covers are the reason I purchased the paperback editions, not the ebooks. The colour of Alexia's dresses, and the titles, really pop against the misty gray skies, the masonry, and the pyramids.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Music I'm loving now

Prepare for YouTube clip overload.

Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk feat. Nate Ruess
"It's in the stars; it's been written in the scars on our hearts... Our tear ducts can rust; I'll fix it for us | We're collecting dust but our love's enough..."

I love the lyrics, the story, and the ramp-up in the chorus. Just to be different, here's a live version. Who needs autotune? Not P!nk !

For a softer take, I can't go past Madilyn Bailey's cover with Chester See. I like how her phrasing is just different enough, and also how her voice sounds in the lower notes.


 I'm slightly obsessed with Madilyn Bailey at the moment. My other favourites:

I can't stop listening to this cover. And I love Madilyn's hair so much that every time I watch it, I think about making a salon appointment.

Is Anybody Out There? is a song that Madilyn sings in collaboration with Corey Gray. Gray's part makes me think of the opening to RHCP's Dani California but that's a good thing. I like it much more than the original, by K'NAAN (whoever that is) and Nelly Furtado.

And this is an original song, Crescent of the Moon. It's good! Factor into your judgment that she wrote it when she was fifteen and it's even more impressive. I believe she's 20 now.

I'm definitely planning to buy the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby. My two favourites are Lana Del Rey's Young and Beautiful...

and Emeli Sandé's cover of Beyoncé's Crazy in Love.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Creativity with heart

I finally finished a project I've had in my bead box for awhile. It's a gift for my mother - a charm bracelet with a Swarovski crystal heart, butterfly, and cancer ribbon. My mom's best friend, who is as dear to me as any blood-related aunt, is fighting cancer for the third time. Aunt Debbie is an amazingly talented watercolour artist, a daughter, a sister, a nun, a nurse, and among the best people I have ever known. Her love for God, positive outlook, and giving spirit are defining characteristics that I have always admired.

Now that she is facing that insidious disease again, these same characteristics are giving her strength. She is still positive, despite the pain and nausea that plague her. It is truly amazing how she has continued to defy science and even my mom's expectations. (Mom is also trained as a nurse.) We thought we'd lose her a year ago. I am so glad I got to see her again on my recent trip back to Canada.

A bracelet is a small thing, but I wanted Mom to have something tangible that connects her to Debbie. In early 2012 I made bracelets for Debbie, myself, my sister, and my mother.
This is actually the second bracelet I've made for Mom, because she gave hers away to Debbie's mother. That's just the kind of person my mom is. I had trouble sourcing the crystal hearts and a tiny cross to represent faith, so eventually I ordered Swarovski online and chose a ribbon in place of the cross.