Friday, May 31, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Bonus Material #4

Copesville Site Map

Image above is built, created, drawn, by me, The Paisley Butterfly.
Ivy's description in:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 11

Chapter 11, The Piece of Paper
I just finished recounting the vision I experienced upon my collapse into Todd’s arms, when the bookshelves moved to reveal a hidden room. It is the following morning; we are at Jittering Joe’s, where I am enjoying a wonderful Irish Cream Macchiato, with an extra espresso shot. Todd is sipping a caramel Frappuccino. He had been wonderful the day before…
…Once I came out of my stupor, he escorted me to the family room where he built a calm fire and brought me a cold glass of water. No words were shared. They were unnecessary in our silent bliss. I have always wondered what it would be like to find that one person you could commune with in spirit and mind, words absent. I believe it would be like this: A silence so comforting that a mere look or brush of the hand conveys emotions, feelings, and thoughts, enough to write a novel. I have that here with Todd. I choose to just enjoy it; revel in it; not over think it. In fact, I choose to give up control of thought from here forward. Lord, harness my mind; yield it to your will. Amen.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Bonus Material #3

Ivy's Cabin Site @ Golden Bluff Cabins

Image above is built, created, drawn, by me, The Paisley Butterfly. 
Ivy's description found in:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Bonus Material #2

  Ivy's Cabin @ Golden Bluff Cabins

1st Floor Plan
Image above is built, created, drawn, by me, The Paisley Butterfly.
Ivy's description found in: CHAPTER 1

2nd Floor Plan
Image above is built, created, drawn, by me, The Paisley Butterfly.
Ivy's descriptions found in:

BONUS MATERIAL #3 found here!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 10

Chapter 10, The Bookshelf
“Ok, so walk me through last night.” Todd and I were standing in the middle of the locked room. I walked through the series of events from the night before: the force of a mysterious wind slamming the door…the shock of darkness…the creak of a rocking chair…candles aflame flickering wildly…window open with billowing sheers…incessant banging on the door…shadow figure hightailing it around the cabin…the abrupt end to it all.
Moving toward the bookshelf, half in this world, half in the memories of last night, I recalled, “It all started with the book. Just as I was about to pick it up, everything changed…And I remember seeing the book when it suddenly ended. The book seemed to have a glow about it.”
Todd listened. I was falling in love with his patience. With slight trepidation, I reached out slowly pulling this book that suddenly had much meaning from the shelf. It felt heavy, its weight a presence in my hands. There was something special about this book. It was a very old book, almost possessing a personality of its own. I was unable to make out the title on the cover. The binding creased, the corners frayed.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Bonus Material #1

Site Map

Image above is built, created, drawn, by me, The Paisley Butterfly. 

Many years ago, I attended college. My major was Architecture, though I did not finish - I completed three years in the program. I just didn't have the passion for it as a career. However, for fun I can't help but design houses, inside and out, for the dream home I would love to build...

That said, I also love creating the drawings for the stories and books I write. One reason is I must know that what I describe can truly exist in real life. I do not want to contradict myself as I write, and it also helps me to keep my locations, directions, and layouts straight. For my first novel, I drew out floor plans for the houses that were incredibly prevalent within the story, along with the site map covering the entire property explained within those same pages. I start out by creating a rough drawing by hand, copying the images in my head. Then, I recreate those drawings on the computer, furthering the details. 

I do not have the money to purchase the programs like Architectural Desktop (Auto Cad) or Photoshop, though I would love to own them. So, the resourceful person residing within me has found a way to create all of these graphic designs -- that's what I should have majored in, but you know what they say about hindsight  -- using only Microsoft Word and Paint. Both of which come with the computer. I used these two programs to design everything you see on The Paisley Butterfly: The wallpaper, my profile pic, and even that little picture at the top of the internet tab. It is hard and long work taking layers upon layers of creating the exact finishes I want, often going back and forth between Paint and Word. But it is a wonderful sensation to see the finished product! I have learned so much about the capabilities within these programs just by trying. And quite frankly, I absolutely love the process!

So, here for you today, I have created the fictional locations of The Secrets Held Within Site Map. I hope this helps! I personally love seeing this kind of stuff added to the novels I read, because it adds to the realness of the story line and characters, and I want to pass along that same joy to you. Besides, I do it any way and now I can share what I have built :) Feel free to ask any questions!

P.s. Saturday I will reveal Bonus Material #2! Think you know what it is? ;)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God Too Big? Start With Jesus...

My husband and I have invited God into our child's life from before we decided to get pregnant. Truth be told, we had been married one month when we came up with a boy's name. We both picked the same name...

Fast forward four years later, we have a conversation about trying to have a child -- we both heard God tell us it was time. When we tried, it just happened. It was God's will. We were elated to find we were having a boy, seeing as how we had known his name since the beginning of our marriage. 

Prayer has been a vital part in our parenting style. We want Kit to carry Jesus in his heart, know God intimately, and be the person God needs him to be. I do not want to subject my child to my ideals of what he could or should be based on my selfish needs. So, I pray that God raises Kit through the use of me... 

Now, let's fast forward another four years. My son is almost four. We have talked about God and Jesus to him since his birth, in an effort to share the ultimate in love with him. I have sung Jesus Loves Me, This Little Light Of Mine, and Amazing Grace as his lullabies at night. He understands that the representation of the cross is Jesus; meaning that when he sees a cross he calls it Jesus -- it's a start. I ask him where Jesus lives, he points to his chest and says, "Here, in my heart." 

This all warms my heart...

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 9

Chapter 9, The Trail
Bewilderment was at the forefront of my mind. After following the seemingly forgotten hiking trail from the cabin for about a mile and a half, I stumbled upon the Overlook Pass. Little sunlight filtered through the thick trees to the trail comprised of curves, downward and upward slopes; there was even a tunnel. Images of my cabin, the village, and the attraction swam through my mind trying to organize themselves into a coherent map…Golden Bluff Cabins; Copseville; Overlook Pass…
By road, the village is only about ten minutes away. The cabins are nestled within their own paradise carved out of the woods. Winding roads lead visitors through the maze of trees to the open highway, the retreat entrance on the west side of the road. Turning north, Copseville is found about two miles out. Thinking back on my first day in the village, I realize we passed the Golden Bluff Cabins on our way south out of town. I remember a sharp turn toward the east and continued winding roads. I also remember it took us about a half hour to reach Overlook Pass…but, did we go straight there from town? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 8

Chapter 8, The Door
“…The rocking of his house/ had me holding on/ but I knew that I was safe/ from there on out/ The waves that hit his face/ marked the past/ and the furrows on his skin/ Oh how time goes fast…/ But we are all far from home, but we are so happy/ Far from home, all alone, but we are so happy.”
I have become a crumpled mess, like rags thrown in the middle of the locked room. Ear buds streaming the lyrics of From Finner by Of Monster and Men from my iPod had tears strolling down my face. There was a truth paralleled in my life within those lyrics, yet half of the song is so far from anything I can even begin to attain at this time: happiness. I am not happy.
Looking back on my life I realize how quickly time has passed, numbness settling within my core as I realize a glaring truth: I am all alone. This ‘house’ has been rocked; Hard. I feel as if I am clinging onto my delicate mental and emotional state by my finger nails. I feel marred by the decisions I have made, my battle scars visible to all who are willing to see them. One only needs to look and I freely bear my mistakes…or so I fear.
I have become self-deprecating, embarrassment and confusion taking up residence. I am not sure how much time has passed since entering this room, with me staring at the bookshelf wall. How could I have painted this exact replica of a wall in a room I have never set foot in? Or is Stella right and I have been here before?

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Mother's Day Bouquets

 Since I had to work Saturday evening and all day Sunday, The Rustic Knight and Kit left Saturday afternoon to visit my mother-in-law, resulting in our celebration of Mother's Day on Saturday. 
I came downstairs Saturday morning to a beautiful lily bouquet (my favorite flower) chosen and arranged by my husband :) The vase was surrounded by chocolate (Yum!) and two cards 
(one from The Rustic Knight, and one from Kit).

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 7

Chapter 7, The Afterthoughts
It was early evening, the sun just below the horizon. After Todd dropped me off I showered, dressed, and brought a glass of water out to the back deck. The breeze was light, the deck in shadow. Before me the pergola still bathed in sunlight. So many things were swirling around in my mind I was beginning to have trouble latching on to a single thought and taking it anywhere relevant.
My memory took me back to one month prior. I am unable to recall many of the details leading to my perceived fall from grace. I guess I cannot say I fell from grace, if the life I was living was a lie. The fall had to have taken place much earlier. Trying to sort out the lies I have been telling myself, for who knows how long, is quite arduous. Disappointment has settled within my bones, making a cozy home for itself. I lived in superficial innocence, resulting in a deceitful life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 6

Chapter 6, The Locked Room
“Huh?” Did I hear him correctly? He can unlock that door? “How?”
Todd grins like the Cheshire cat, rubbing his paws together – OK, his hands…but it brought to mind…Anyway, he clearly has a plan, “There is a key on the floor just inside the door.” He actually squeals. Maybe he has no concern for my mental wellbeing. Maybe I should have concern for his. Haha! I laugh to myself. His face becomes puzzled.
I shake my head in hopes he ignores the laugh. “Wish I’d have thought to look through the key hole, or even under the door. I could have saved a ton of time…” Especially his, though I keep that part to myself. Of course, if that had been the case he would not be here with me now, involved in solving a very bizarre mystery of which I have no idea how much I’ve shared or what the mystery truly is. Sigh.

Tank Top Alteration

This entire process has not gone as I had hoped. As far as the alterations are concerned, they went quite well. The issue lies in the pictures I took to show before and after...

First, let me disclose the fact that I have not a single clue as to what I am doing when it comes to sewing. Am I able to alter articles of clothing for myself? Yes. Am I able to deconstruct and rebuild clothing for myself? Yes. Is it perfect? No. Do I understand patterns? Absolutely not. Do I understand how to go about sharing the steps to create something new from something old when it comes to needle and thread? It turns out this is also a big whopping NO. 

My pictures did not turn out as well as I had hoped, teaching me to take more time during the process. For this, I would like to apologize. My goal was to get my shirt done in time to post this week as promised, but in my haste I allowed my photos to suffer. What I will be showing today is not my best work in photography. Please bear with me, as this entire blog process is still new to me and I am still learning more than I can express. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Very Long 48 Hours

While at work -- I am a server at a local restaurant, and I absolutely love it :) -- my husband (whom from now on shall be named The Rustic Knight) surprised me by stopping in for lunch with our three year old (to be named Knight In Training, aka Kit -- which is so perfect, for my husband loves Knight Rider). They had just finished grocery shopping and playing at the park, it was Sunday and I had already been at work for four and a half hours with six to go. His timing could not have been more perfect! It was the lift I needed to carry me through the rest of my shift.

The downside? My son was showing signs of a cold.

After picking me up from work around 8:30 p.m., The Rustic Knight and I took turns nursing our sick child throughout the night. To give my husband a reprieve, I took the first shift upon arriving home. This involved medicine, wiping Kit's nose frequently, helping him to stay in an inclined position, and much cuddling. The kind of cuddling that involves wrapping my arms around him as if I am his blanket; though, he must have his blanket. He began to fever, we drew a bath, our son was not happy once he entered. We made him stay in to drop his temperature and clear his sinuses. Ten minutes later we saved him from what became torture in his eyes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 5

Chapter 5, The Grounds
Why would this room be locked? Running back down the stairs, I grab the cabin keys. Back at the locked door, I look for the key hole realizing that the keys for the cabin are not the proper kind. I need a skeleton key. Frantic, I remember that many times the key to a door like this is hung at the top of the door casing so one does not lose it, only it is not here. And then it dawns on me that it would make more sense if it was hung inside of the room, not outside.
My next course of action is to call the sheriff, Todd. However, by the time I reach my phone I realize we never swapped numbers. With the way things ended yesterday, I probably should not expect to see him anytime soon.
But I am intrigued.  How do I ignore this? I must find out what is on the other side of that door. Deflation over comes me. I sludge my way back down the stairs to the kitchen, happy I brought espresso shots on this trip. My next cup of coffee needs a couple of those. Feeling wound up, I begin pacing with freshly poured coffee – and espresso – around the cabin grounds. Fresh air has always done wonders for the mind’s wanderings.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Secrets Held Within, Chapter 4

Chapter 4, The Stairs
I shut the door behind me, leaning my back against it as I slid down the wood panels. Tears slipped from my eyes, rolling toward my chin. I couldn’t stop it. I ran through the day in my head: Bad dream…Sunshine…Coffee…Stunning women…Woman freaked…Todd…Ah, the sheriff…Shopping…Lunch…Motorcycle ride–Exhilarating…Overlook Pass–me crazy?
~ ~ ~
“Ivy, are you OK?” Concern dripped from his lips. Why is he looking at me like that?
“Uh, yeah, I think…” I look around, feeling darkness very near. I hear a shuffle in the bushes. My head snaps. Is that a shadow? Is it the same shadow from the cabin? “Did you hear that?” I ask, voice beginning to shake. I’m not even able to appreciate the amazing view, though somehow it is a memory. I hear voices, hushed voices. Everything shifts. Wait, did it shift? The light seems diffused, edges of my periphery hazy.
Someone reaches out and touches me. I yelp, jumping out of my skin. The shadow darts from the bushes towards the trail. “Ivy…” What a beautiful voice…A voice that doesn’t fit with where I am. “Ivy, what’s going on?” I feel that I am teetering between two time periods…

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Cake...Mmmm!

I know I normally place my recipes under the On A Whim tab, but this cake really belongs under Tangents. My son and I were reading his Highlights magazine the other day. At the end, there is always an art project and a recipe. The recipe they provided was for oatmeal bran muffins with blueberries. My son wanted to make them. I didn't have 80% of the ingredients. The recipe called for the following (that I didn't have on hand and honestly didn't want to buy): oat bran, oats, wheat germ, blueberries, bananas, oil, and buttermilk. Determined to think of something to make with him, we walked around town running errands, stopping at the grocery store and finally purchased some much needed baking soda and baking powder. Of course, my child wanted frosting with confetti sprinkles, too :)

We walked to the bank, the library, and then the store all the while discussing our cake, among other things. Side note: my husband and I have realized that when we take our son for a walk, he really opens up about what's been going on in his life and in his head. He shares and asks questions. We have found that taking walks around town or in the woods offers a wonderful opportunity for learning. For example, we talked about before and after during our errand run: 
"We are going to the bank before the library, and we are going to make a cake after the store." 

Which leads me back to this cake!