Being Creative for Christmas: Welcome Conda

Today I'm delighted to have mystery writer Conda Douglas as a guest on my blog. Check out her Dora Starke mysteries. Her creativity goes beyond writing. Read more about her unique talents.

Us authors are creative types, and what better time to get creative than around the holidays? In my cozy mystery series (the first of which, Starke Naked Dead, is out now), the main character, Dora, is a jeweler. In the next upcoming book, Starke Raving Dead, Dora scrambles to quickly create cheap jewelry to fill her empty shelves before the opening of the season. Bottle cap pins to the rescue!

Bottle cap items can be wonderful as gifts for all sorts of occasions. A baby shower? Give a bottle cap pin with the photo of the new mom as a baby! Maybe pins for all the attendees! How about making a bunch of Christmas bottle cap ornaments? Give out a bottle cap magnet for a Halloween treat! A project for your child's class? The limit is your imagination.

It's possible to do bottle caps the old fashioned way, cut out the image with a pair of scissors, recycle used bottle caps if not bent, glue and then use clear varnish on the top, but most of these supplies are inexpensive and if you're like me you'll keep coming up with new uses for these.

Materials (check Beadaholique or Amazon, links are to Amazon, the punch and Glue Dots are available in office and craft stores too):
50 Mixed Color Bottle Caps (or collect your own throughout the year and they're FREE)
Craft Scrapbook Jewelry 1" Circle Epoxy Stickers for Bottle Cap Pendants
EK Success Papers Shapers Nesting Punch 1" (or any brand, as long as 1")
Glue Dots Super Strength Multi-Use 1/2" dots (or use super glue, but you have to wait longer, however, sometimes the glue dots "let go" after a couple of years)

Images: use photos, images from magazines and greeting cards, draw your own, stencil, use stamps, stickers, glue small objects that fit within the 1" circle, there are inexpensive bottle cap images for sale, or use your imagination!

How to:
Take your 1" paper circle image and press it against a Glue Dot. Press the circle into the bottle cap. Place a 1" Circle Epoxy Sticker on top. DONE. Then attach whatever to the back, whether it be a pin back, or hanger for pendants, or magnet. DONE.

I got into making bottle cap pins when I saw the cover for the first in my tween fantasy series, The Mall Fairies: Exile and knew I wanted to wear the image as jewelry! Here's the result:

And here's me wearing a demi-suite of earrings and pin.

Growing up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho, my childhood was filled with authors, artists and other creative types. I grew up with goats living in the kitchen, buffalo bones in the living room and rocks in the bathtub (long story). I've traveled the world from Singapore to Russia (in winter!) and my own tiny office, writing all the while. Now my life is filled with my cat, dog, permanent boyfriend and writing.
The rare times I'm not writing, I love to read, teach exercise classes, bike and swim, hoping to stay in physical and mental shape for more writing and sometimes succeeding!

In my popular tween fantasy Mall Fairies series the first two in the trilogy are out now: The Mall Fairies: Exile, followed by The Mall Fairies: War, and a cookbook full of dessert recipes plus fun fairy short stories The Mall Fairies Sweet Tooth Cookbook. The fairy inspiration for my Mall Fairies came from the sparrows that live in the Boise Towne Square Mall in Boise, Idaho. When not rescuing fairies from humans, cats and themselves, I work on the last title in the Mall Fairies trilogy, The Mall Fairies: Destiny.
I also delight in writing my Starke Dead creative woman mystery series with jeweler Dora Starke. The more Dora discovers cursed jewelry, her aunt digging graves, and a rampant poisoner, the more fun I have—although sometimes Dora complains about her plight! First up and available now is the award winning Starke Naked Dead, with a necklace worth millions and  a stark naked body! Next up, Starke Raving Dead, in which Dora's mad Aunt Maddie proves the aptness of her name.

My links:
Blog: Conda's Creative Center:
Amazon author page:

What do you do, dear readers, to foster your own creativity?

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