Monday, August 15, 2016

Needlepoint Flasks and Wallets

Graphic designers who create repeating patterns dream of seeing those patterns on products. I've been lucky enough to see my designs on Kleenex boxes, rugs, fabric, paper, sheets and blankets.

I'm certain, though, for every 500 pattern designers, there's one client looking to buy. This means the odds are not great in making a sale. Do you give up being a graphic designer in the surface art arena?

Heck, no.

I took on freelance jobs that were a bit outside of what I normally did, and learned a ton of new skills that I now put to use for a list of great clients.

One of those clients is Seth at Needlepaint.  I've blogged about Needlepaint before when I did a series of Christmas stockings.

My recent contribution is the wallets and flasks which turned out to be some of the most fun I've ever had designing professionally. There's just something about pixel art, which is basically what it is, that appeals to me. Elements in an image are pared down to the most essential, and the color palette is limited, too.

As of this posting, all the flask designs at Needlepaint are mine. I'm so proud of this work. And there's scarcely a repeating pattern in sight.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Loveweaver and Tablet Weaving

Finding out about tablet weaving was the genesis of my historical romance, Loveweaver. The more I read about it, the more interested I became.  My heroine, Llyrica, a tablet weaver, was conceived and my book began to take shape.

Here's a great 5-minute video that gives you a great idea of tablet weaving.  Gosh, he's good!

At the time of my research (15 years ago) internet research was not what it is today, much less You Tube tutorials, so I learned to tablet weave via this book, Card Weaving. It taught me all I needed to know about building my little loom, how to make my "tablets",  how to read a pattern, and even how to create my own designs.

The design you see on the images of my loom is the design that Llyrica wove for Slayde, the hero of Loveweaver. It is a design that goes quickly since the tablets turn forward 4 times and backward 4 times to form one motif. There are designs where tablets are turned in groups in opposing directions and you really need to pay attention or things can go wrong pretty quickly.

My favorite historical romance novels have heroines who have strong talents and can use them to shape their lives. I know what I'm talking about: I was a dressmaker for 35 years, raising my two children as a single mother.




Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Most Negative Book Review on the Face of the Earth

The most negative review in the world was awarded to my book, Loveweaver.

It was a chance I took,  making the request of the reviewer to read and review my book. She has both a written blog and a video blog that she posts on YouTube.

But, I had no idea just how much she would hate my book. Really hate it! Hate it so much that her video took 30 minutes to describe all the ways it sucked, and reasons she gave it an F.

She consulted a notebook that seemed to have countless pages of notes to be sure she touched on every aspect of my writing style, the story, the research, and of course my cover.

The main thing I really want to defend IS my cover, which she said is dated looking. This is more of a compliment since that's what I was going for. Overall, with the writing and the writing style, I made specific choices that I stand behind.

As for her review overall (after I got over the initial devastation, about 3 minutes in duration.) I began to ask myself what I could learn from this. It's rather simple to look upon this experience objectively since I don't depend on writing for my livelihood. Heck, I don't even need to make one penny from it.

First, my heart goes out to everyone with great intentions in every creative field who gets this kind of bad press. They suffer greatly thinking they've accomplished something of worth, and find out that maybe they haven't.

I also need to remember that this is one person's opinion. I have read books that I hated which others loved, and loved books that others hated.

This kinda thing messes with your self-worth, so I've reminded myself of all the ways that I AM truly talented and successful. My work as a graphic designer is highly appreciated, valued, and rewarded. There is where my creative heart is.

If you happen to come across the review I speak of - and there will be no mistaking it - I invite you contact me with your thoughts. You can find me via my website tracymillerdesigns.com contact us page.









Thursday, July 7, 2016

Loveweaver is FREE Until July 10!

As a graphic designer, I certainly want to make a living from it. But, almost as important is that people see what I do. What good is it to have hundreds of designs on my hard drive that will never see the light of day?

Artists and designers all feel this way. Few of us will be discovered as the next big thing, or even make a ton of money.  I imagine it's the same for musicians, dancers and actors.

What does it mean,  this human need to express ourselves and then share it?

The same goes for writers. It would be a fluke if anything I write, including Loveweaver and my next book, To Love a Viking, make any money. But ...

I feel the deep need to have my words and story read.

So, if you read historical romance, read mine!

Oh, and I tweaked my cover.




Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Book, Loveweaver, is Published!

A love story between a Viking woman and a Saxon man in 9th century England, it's a historical romance in the most classic sense.


There's built in conflict between our hero and heroine, but they also generate considerable romantic heat when they're together.

The fictional tale takes place in England among well-known English historical events. The hero, Slayde, is a military man working to put a stop to Viking raiders led by Haesten, a notorious warlord. But, when Slayde sleeps he awakens as a different man.

Our heroine, Llyrica, is a talented weaver, who seems to be able to weave blessings and spells into her braids that are sewn onto garments. She is on a mission to find her father and make him pay for the death of her mother.

Slayde and Llyrica will either keep each other from accomplishing their goals, or will find a way to use each other to do so.

It's a fast read, with some mild erotic scenes (a head's up in case you don't read explicit romance) and you'll enjoy how Llyrica uses a female art form, weaving, as her power.

Contact me if you'd like to read Loveweaver for free via your Kindle app, and write a review for me.


Friday, April 29, 2016

The Softer Side of Tracy Miller Designs

Like most repeating patterns designer, I have SO MANY florals!

I've pulled 18 of them together in my current favorite format, which is sample swatches accompanied by a vectorized vintage image. In this case, the two ladies were from the cover of a 1935 issue of Home Notes Magazine.