Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Painting Tableware

Decorating ceramic and porcelain tableware with paint can be traced back to the 9th century in the Orient. Through the trade routes, the painted dishes gained popularity in Europe, and by the 18th century, England had several manufacturers of fine bone china, using the powdered bone to strengthen the pieces and help hold their shapes.

When a piece is originally cast with the pourable slip, the seams from the mold are cleaned off then it is fired the first time. A kiln typically reaches temperatures ranging from 1000-1500 degrees. When fired, the delicate piece turns hard and white and is called bisque at that stage. Next, it’s painted with the underglaze for its base color. 

That paint has tiny particles of glass in the pigment that melt during the second firing, causing the slick glass-like finish to bond to the piece.

This is when the artists go to work, decorating plates, cups, teapots, and sugar bowls. That paint is a special concoction called an over-glaze and is brushed on, then the piece is fired for the third time for the finished product.                                           

In AT LIBERTY TO LOVE, book seven in the historical Texas Romance series and my newest novel, the hero, Marcus Ford returns to his childhood home in New Orleans where his parents—long since estranged—once had a fine dishes manufacturing company. As a teen, he’d excelled in the hand painting of the wares.
     Never enough to please or receive any accolades from his hard taskmaster of a father though. Then the yellow fever plague (1800s) had stolen the lives of his wife and baby girl, so the town only held bad memories. He’d left vowing never to return.
     In my storyline (1865), he needs traveling money and went back, He found the business being run by the old woman who’d once been owned by his family before the war. She offered him the work and wages he needed.                                                                     And so he went to hand decorating the porcelain dishware and earned his fare…or part of it any way.

I'd like to offer a free copy of VOW UNBROKEN, book one in the series! Leave a comment here then go to BookBub (link below) and follow me there! #Giveaway #ChristianFiction

Bio: God directed Caryl McAdoo to the DFW Writers’ Workshop in ’93 where published authors mentored her, and she learned well the craft of writing creative fiction. In April, 2012, Caryl met Mary Sue Seymour at a writers’ conference, and wrote her first historical Christian romance for the agent—whose maiden name was remarkably ‘McAdoo’! Of the meeting, she says, “I knew right away our meeting had a divine purpose, as though God hit us both on the head so we’d pay attention.” The Seymour Agency offered representation in August and sold VOW UNBROKEN in early October to Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. 
    Caryl, also known as Grami, has sixteen grandsugars now, and she and Ron (O’Pa) have been rearing four of the grandsons for the past thirteen years. She also writes for mid-grade readers and is dedicated to serving God through her writing and praise and worship—He frequently gives her new songs. She believes all good things are from Him and prays that her books will minister His love, mercy, and grace to all of her readers, young and old. She lives in Clarksville, Red River County’s seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with Ron and the two grandsons still home…the older two are off to college.

Links:  All Books   At Liberty to Love   BookBub   Website   Newsletter   Facebook    Blog   GoodReads    Google+    LinkedIn    Twitter    Pinterest   YouTube Hear the new songs God gives Caryl!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fighting God?

I’m so honored to be joining this amazing group of authors! Thanks for letting me tag along.

 A few months ago, I hit a brick wall in my writing. I’d started and not completed three different manuscripts in three different genres. (Yeah. My critique partners are patient beyond belief!) I kept falling into the comparison trap, wishing I could write more like this author, have the prose and depth of that author, the incredible imagination of that author over there. Then I’d read my own work and doubt what the Lord has been nudging me to do.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. (I refuse to tell you how long as I do not want to date myself!) I’ve dabbled in everything from poetry, personal essays, women’s fiction, historical romance, suspense, and yes, even grizzly thriller. Not one of those genres is who God created me to be, though. Me? I’m a romantic at heart…a bumbling, clumsy, funny romantic. A romantic comedy writer. But I fought God in that.

How often have you fought God when He’s called you to do something? I haven’t just fought Him on writing. I’ve fought Him on a lot of things (insert my eyes rolling here…why can I be so stubborn?). And I know I'm not the only one. The Bible is full of people who were stubborn or chose to do the opposite of what God called them to do. Take Jonah, for example. He was called by God to travel to Nineveh and call them out for their evil. Jonah, however, chose to go the opposite way and ended up getting himself into trouble. Eventually, he was vomited out from the fish’s belly onto land, and he got up and followed God’s calling. The people of Nineveh then believed God and were saved.

We often are called to do things we don’t want to do, but be encouraged! When we’re obedient to that calling (listening for it through prayer and study of His Word), God will always work it for good. We may or may not see that good in our lifetime, but we can trust His plan and trust that He will provide us the gifts, talents, and tools to fulfill His calling on us.


Mikal Dawn is an aspiring inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military wife. She also blogs for Takin' It to the Streets, works as a virtual author's assistant, and volunteers as a Key Spouse for her husband's squadron. When she isn't writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee and chocolate in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Mikal lives in Nebraska with her husband and their three children, and one ferocious feline. Find Mikal on mikaldawn.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Finding Good in the Now

I hadn't planned it this way, but God knew. Then again, doesn't He always? 

My mentor, a sweet woman from my old church in Kansas City, and I had planned our phone conversation nearly a month prior. Three weeks before my startling, confusing, and flat out discouraging hiccup had hit. My inclination was to mope, to retreat, a default tendency God is working out of me. 

But then, in our conversation I learned my precious friend was dealing with much more than a hiccup. She was, in fact, awaiting news that had the capacity to level her family. Knowing this, her words to me held such power and challenge. 

She said, "Recognize this moment, where you're at, is good."

Chew on that. Chew on it in light of whatever you are or might soon be facing, and chew on it in light of God's character.

Where you're at, wherever God has you in this moment, is good.
You did nothing wrong. You're not being punished. God's not done with you, or displeased with you. To the contrary, He's passionately in love with you and only has your absolute best in mind. Even in the hard, disappointing or painful. 

So I say to you, live in the good of now. Soak up every blessing that comes your way. Don't let the hard or disappointing keep you from the beautiful. And use every moment, every event, as an opportunity to lean harder on Christ as you recognize your utter dependence on Him. 

Meditate on this promise, spoken by God Himself:

"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you: He will neither fail you nor abandon you" (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT).

At this moment, regardless of where you are or are not, God is going before you, working everything out for your good and according to His perfect plan. So relax, trust, and keep moving forward, remaining fully present in the present. 

If you're in a time of waiting, rest. Relax. Enjoy each moment, knowing God will reveal your next step, in His perfect timing.

If you're trudging through the mundane, rest. Relax. Ask God to
open your eyes to the hidden blessings He provides each day.

If you're in the hard, rest. Draw near, and let this time, as painful as it is, be a sweet, intimate moment between you and your Savior, a chance to come to know Him on a deeper level. 

If you're standing at the top of a mountain peak after a long treacherous climb, pause, rest, and rejoice in the God who brought you through. 

When you read God's promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, what thoughts came to mind? How does it feel knowing, at this moment, God is going before you, leveling mountains, breaking down gates of iron and cutting through bars of iron. (Isaiah 45:2) Share your thoughts or insights with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another. 

Before you go, fun news! I have a pen name! Visit http://jenpheobus.com to learn more!