Life for us really hasn’t changed all the much since we went into lockdown back in March. We work here in the studios and in our offices and are used to NOT seeing other living souls for weeks or months at a time when we’re working on deadlines. The pups keep us entertained and hopping.
I have been working in the studio on Pearl and Pearl’s Lost Pearls but also writing more chapters in The Dark Secret of Wythe’s End. I have designed a few sample front covers just for fun as well as making antiqued documents and diary pages. I was thrilled to have discovered http://www.oldfonts.com where I was able to purchase a bundle of fonts that look very 17th, 18th, and 19th century in design and print!
Here are a few of the front cover ideas. As well as photos of some aged documents I made.
I found a fantastic leather smith down in NYC that makes these rugged distressed leather journals. She is making one for me without the regular journal pages and I will insert the replica 17th century diary pages that Phin discovers in the secret library.
Chapter by chapter the novel is coming together beautifully.
The living room is where we keep a cheery, cozy fire burning in the fireplace throughout the long, dark winter months. We snuggle up on the large leather sofa with warm fleecy blankets for the pups and watch old movies. A few of our favorite movies are: Christmas in Connecticut, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, A Christmas Carol, The Man Who Invented Christmas, The Homecoming, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and many other old classics.
This year we did NOT struggle with strings of electrical lights on the tree. Instead, we bought clip-on remote controlled LED candles and they are FANTASTIC! No fuss, no muss and they give the Christmas tree an old-fashioned Victorian look to it.
It takes about a week to get Henwoodie completely ready for the holidays. We put the last finishing touches on the decorations last night, got all the candles in the windows, and settled down with the pups and nice cheery fire in the fireplace and watched The Holly and the Ivy (1952 black and white Christmas movie). Now that the house is decorated I can concentrate on drawing and painting in the studio.
The dining room is always finished first. The Christmas china and silver will be brought out for the meals eaten in this room.
The best kind of weather when you are buying the Christmas tree is a SNOWY DAY! We got about 10″ of snow the day we bought our Christmas tree. It added more magic to the day and was just perfect!
I found a wonderful couple of artists in Michigan on Etsy that custom-made six coffins for the collection. Thank you Dan and Neysa! Three 13″ coffins and three 9″ coffins. The coffins are called “toe pinchers”. The craftsmanship is amazing on these coffins and I had a great time staining them. Ruby red shimmering velvet is used to line the coffins once the vampyres are placed in them.
The vampyre brood has been moved out of the studio and is crammed onto the library table in the living room for the month of October. Later we will do some serious photoshoots of the collection with select pieces taken out to showcase their beauty.
I’m having a great time searching for, and finding, odds and ends to go with my vampires: Nosferatu, Vampire Grygor, and Vampire Capolan. Bats, bat cages, keys, skulls, bones, miniature tarot decks, trunks, candles, lockets, rats, etc. I’m having several custom built coffins made for the 12″ Nostferatu.
It really is an international scavenger hunt conducted on the Internet and in person.
I am having a great time making the miniature maps, documents, bottle labels, relics, etc.
We have done a few photoshoots with John’s big camera and candlelight Great photos!
Here are a few of the photos from that photoshoot:
And with my iPhone here are a few photos showing the details of the collection: