Death by Association


DIY Diva Laurel McMillan learns that the high walls and guarded gates of Hawkeye Haven can't protect her community. When Laurel takes her pampered, chocolate Labrador retriever, Bear, for an early morning walk, she finds her friend, security guard Bessie, bleeding and unconscious at her guardhouse post. If the attack on Bessie isn't enough to set the residents' nerves on edge, the murder of Victor Eberhart, the unpopular president of the powerful homeowners' association, certainly does the trick. Despite teaching DIY classes and writing project instructions for her latest book, DIY for Dog Lovers, Laurel manages to squeeze in time for some DIY detective work. But as she gets closer to the truth, Victor's killer would like nothing better than for the DIY Diva to take a dive.

Available in both e-book and paperback editions!
Kindle E-Book 
Paperback


Praise for Death by Association

Fun and interesting characters, an original setting in a gated community (Oh, the trials of an HOA), Bear the dog, and great writing all make DEATH BY ASSOCIATION a story worth reading, and a great debut for Darnell.
~Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Death by Association Paula Darnell is a different cozy, and it’s excellent.
~Baroness' Book Trove
I loved the small town vibe of the gated community and our Protagonist Laurel is a great addition to the Cozy Family.
~A Wytch's Book Review Blog
A refreshing read. A great cover that is attractive and beckons the reader to purchase and turn those pages!
I enjoyed Death by Association.

~My Reading Journeys
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and pulled me into the community from the very beginning.
~MJB Reviewers 

Death by Association, A DIY Diva Mystery, is published by Cozy Cat Press


DIY Vintage Hanky Vases


Here's a quick and easy DIY project that can add some colorful vintage vibe to a tablescape. To make your own vintage handkerchief vases, you'll need the following items:

1. Vintage hankies in matching, contrasting, or coordinating colors.
2. Small empty bottles. Bottles from supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter medications work well. The bottles I used ranged in height from 3 1/2 inches to 4 1/2 inches. It adds more interest to your tablescape if the bottles are different heights.
3. Rubber bands, one for each bottle.
4. Ribbons in matching, coordinating, or contrasting colors.

The first step is to remove the lids. I usually save them because they come in handy when I draw circle templates for the centers of fabric flowers.

Next place the bottle in the center of the hanky, hold the four corners up above the center of the bottle, and put a rubber band around the neck of the bottle. Double the rubber band if necessary to obtain a tight fit. 

You can arrange the gathers or pleats, if you like. 
Now, finish the vase by tying two ribbons around the rubber band and making a bow. 


This is a nice, decorative touch, which has the added advantage of hiding the rubber band.

Now your first bottle is complete. Make as many as you like for your tablescape. It's usually a good idea to use an odd number of items in a tablescape.
Fill your hanky vases carefully with a small amount of water if you're going to display fresh flowers. Otherwise, display dried or silk flowers. I used the only flowers that were in bloom in my backyard for this tablescape--orange lilies and a small purple flower.
 


DIY Suede Wrap Necklace

Here's an easy DIY suede wraparound choker that can double as a lariat necklace.
There are lots of ways to wear this choker. Pictured below is the same choker with a bow tied in the center.
You can also wear it as a lariat necklace. Just fold it in half, drape around your neck, and drop both ends through the loop that forms from the fold.
Here's how to make the necklace. The only materials you will need are suede lacing and two large-hole 8 mm brass beads. The only tool necessary is a pair of scissors. The first step is to cut a 64-inch length of suede. Cut both ends diagonally. I used genuine leather suede for this particular necklace, but you can use faux suede instead, if you prefer.
Next, make a simple overhand knot about two or two and a half inches from one end. Straighten the knot, if necessary and tighten it. Slide a brass bead on the cord from the other end, and position it next to the knot.

 
 Make another overhand knot on the other side of the brass bead, snug it next to the bead, and tighten the knot
String a brass bead on the other end of the cord, and repeat the process.

 
And that's it! Your suede wrap necklace is all ready to wear.