My latest newsletter!!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and because my family is divided throughout the Midwest, it’s easier for most of us to get together then as opposed to Christmas.
Fall foliage makes for a brilliant display here in Illinois, and decorating for the holidays is a pretty big thing in our area of the country. So, as both a former wholesale and retail florist, I’m sharing some methods for preserving greens.
PRESERVING FALL FOLIAGE
Glycerin/Water Method keeps the leaves fairly flexible. This preserving method works because the natural moisture present in the leaves is replaced by the glycerin solution, maintaining the leaf’s texture and form.
- Flat pan or disposable plates
- A weight or something to keep leaves submerged
- Mix the glycerin and water so that it is one part glycerin and two parts water. You only need enough to submerge the leaves — about one cup.
- Pour the solution into a flat pan, place the leaves in the solution, and then put the weight on the leaves to keep them submerged. (Tip: try using two Styrofoam or other disposable plates. Put leaves and enough glycerin solution to just lightly cover the leaves in the bottom of one plate. Then put the other plate on top of the leaves and solution. Now you can put a weight of your choosing on the top plate without getting the weight in the solution.)
- Keep the leaves submerged in the solution for 2-6 days.
- Dry the leaves gently with a paper towel. They should feel soft and pliable.
Pressing between wax paper.
- Wax paper
- Thin towel or paper
- Ironing board
- Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper.
- Put a towel or a piece of thick paper over the wax paper.
- Press on the towel or paper with a warm iron to seal the wax sheets together. This takes about 2-5 minutes on each side, depending on how moist the leaf is. Once you have finished one side, flip the leaf over and do the other side.
- Cut around the leaf, leaving a small margin of wax paper to ensure that it will stay sealed.
- Rather than cutting out the leaves, you may want to try to peel the wax paper off the leaves, leaving a coat of wax behind to protect the leaves. Try this on one leaf first to see if this method works for you.
Using a microwave:
- Fresh leaves that have not dried out
- Paper towels
- Acrylic spray from a craft store
- Arrange the leaves on top of two paper towels. Lay another towel over the leaves to cover them.
- Microwave the leaves for 30-180 seconds. Be very attentive and careful. Leaves that are cooked in the microwave too long can catch fire. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need. Leaves that curl after removal from the microwave have not been in long enough. Leaves that are scorched have been in there too long. Only dry them for a few seconds at a time.
- Let the leaves sit for a day or two and then finish by spraying an acrylic sealant on both sides of the leaves.
Learn more (includes some other cool projects): https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-preserve-leaves/
And how does something like designing relate to my writing?
Sometimes the easiest way to come up with a new story is to write about what you know, and since I have a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, Tales of Dragonfly includes a heroine who’s not only a florist, but a wedding planner and designer.
In Flight: A Tales of the Dragonfly Novel
A woman who’s afraid to trust. Successful designer, Penny Wentworth has arrived from New York to take charge of the wedding flowers for the new owners of the Dragonfly Pointe Inn. As a single parent of a severely autistic and mentally impaired son, she has no romantic illusions; her experience with an abusive husband has left her wary of relationships.
A man who’s afraid to love. Haunted by his past since discovering a six-year old girl brutally murdered at Dragonfly Pointe over twenty-two years ago, Sam has intentionally avoided returning home. But after resigning from his job as a homicide detective in New Orleans when his marriage fell apart, Sam is now the chief of police in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin.
An undying passion that’s endured throughout the years. Penny’s escort for the wedding, Sam had once been the object of every single one of her teenage fantasies.
When Sam’s search for a killer leads him back through his tarnished past, will a woman who’s afraid to love be able to forgive a man who feels undeserving of her love?
I hope everyone have a beautiful Fall!!
And a fantastic Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S.
Connect With Tamara Ferguson
Sweet Heat – Where Romance & Suspense Meet 6 NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors come together to bring you romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99c Passion, suspense, m…
Social Media & Me #mgtab
As a relatively new author, one question I get asked a lot is how much importance do I place on social media.
With over 150k followers on twitter between 2 accounts, along with at least another few thousand between Facebook and LinkedIn, I’d have to say that social media is necessary these days to get yourself out there, but shouldn’t be as important once you’re moving along and actually selling books.
My first sales platform was twitter, and at one time it was my favorite place to post. I’ve met a lot of great people there. And because I was promoting other authors as well as myself, I began getting sales every week from being so visible.
But I’m not as enthusiastic about Twitter as I used to be. Mostly because my account was suspended when I had around 80k followers in the summer of 2016. It can be very disappointing to build up followers and set up tweets, spending hours and hours online, and then suddenly have it all taken away from you by some unknown decision maker and still not totally understand why. You begin to think about all the other things you missed out on, even if you know what you were doing was in an attempt to be helpful to others.
With the help of another author, who prefers to remain anonymous, I did get my account back. But life is just too short to spend the amount of time I was spending there. And really? It’s all about writing, which I decided I needed to be doing more of (although that’s easier said than done sometimes!)
How important do I think it is to connect with other romance authors and help each other?
If I hadn’t made friends with other romance authors in the community, I would never have been asked to write a novella for my first anthology. And with the success of these anthologies, came the success of my stories independently.
Many of the friendships I’ve made have been lasting and invaluable. Not only have I received help and great advice from my fellow authors, I’ve been able to share what I’ve learned with others who’ve needed help.
It’s pretty amazing to look at how my life has changed as both a person and as an author since I began using social media to start connecting with other authors of not just romance, but other genres.
HOTSHOT CHARMERS: Men Women Love (Hotshots Book 2)
The kind of man who charms you has more than a suggestive smile, more confidence than a king and the kind of muscled body Michelangelo would dream about sculpting. He knows what you want, what kind of flowers you like, your favorite perfume. He knows how to make you smile and how to make you melt from the inside out.
He’s the hero in every one of these stories. They will make you sigh while they make you hot. And make you dream…
Here are 7 stories about these special men written by NY Times and USA Today, best-selling, award-winning authors where one lucky woman will capture a hotshot charmer’s heart.
Sweet Heat: Where Romance & Suspense Meet
6 NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors come together to bring you romances guaranteed to make your blood run hot! Only 99c Passion, suspense, mystery. Something to suit every reader’s taste. Grab a blanket and curl up with us for an unforgettable escape. Get yours today before it goes away. LIMITED TIME ONLY.
Becoming part of an anthology is what really worked for me as an author.
Selling a bundle of stories at an inexpensive price can get your name out there if the anthology does well, and can even turn you into a bestselling author, like it did for me.
Plus it’s really exciting to have fans!
Coming on September 26
TWO HEARTS’ CHRISTMAS WISH
Seventeen-year-old Jason Matthews made a wish when he’d shared a kiss with Katherine Conlin under the mistletoe at Dragonfly Pointe fourteen years ago. Now an Air Force Captain and wounded warrior, he awakens in the hospital in Germany where his dreams have been invaded by the girl from his past.
Once he returns home to the states, he finds out approaching Kat might be a little more difficult than he’d thought since she’s been in a long term relationship for nearly two years.
But another year later when Jason discovers she’s on her way to the Dragonfly Pointe Inn for the Christmas holidays without her boyfriend, he seizes the opportunity to become reacquainted.
Kat had been expecting a proposal this Christmas, and when her boyfriend backs out yet again on the carefully laid plans she’s made for them, she realizes she probably wouldn’t have been happy with him anyway.
Kat has often wondered what happened to Jason Matthews, the boy she’d made a wish with years ago, and the last thing she expects is to run into him again at the Dragonfly Pointe Inn.
Will there still be that special Christmas magic between them to make those long ago wishes come true?
Want To Connect?
I STILL spend way too much time at Twitter and Facebook!
Genre: Sweet Romance