#AuthorDIY with Michelle McLean

My New Bling-worthy Obsession


I blame my new hobby obsession on Sarah Ballance. I used to cross stitch a lot. Back in the days before I had kids and wrote full time LOL I really enjoyed it and was able to complete some designs that I thought were really beautiful. So when Sarah told me about this thing called Diamond Painting—similar to cross stitch but gluing crystals instead of using thread—I definitely wanted to try it.  


I bought a small one on Amazon, waited impatiently, and started it within minutes of it arriving. And was HOOKED. I had ordered three more before I was halfway done with the first. I also purchased a bunch of accompanying paraphernalia, much to my husband’s dismay ? I was soon fully set up with special applicator pens, organizer cases for the crystals, a magnifying glass with a light (because I’m blind as a bat and those crystals are small yo), and several canvases just waiting to be blinged. 



The canvases come pre-glued with a sort of contact paper covering them which you peel back a little at a time as your work. The picture is color and symbol coded, very similar to a cross stitch pattern. Only instead of stitching thread through it, you glue the crystals to the little squares. 


My husband would probably gouge out his own eyes if I made him do this for more than 30 seconds, but I really love it! I put on a favorite movie or tv show to play in the background and go to town. I’ve completed 4 so far and have started on my fifth (and have 3 more ordered and on the way plus one waiting on my desk LOL But I can stop any time I want, I swear!)


One thing I did learn was that the smaller sizes are really only good if you are doing a simpler picture with few details. Anything with a lot of detail, you need in a larger size or it just looks like a pixelated blur. 


This is the first one I completed. It’s supposed to be a book with a fairy tale castle and forest scene erupting from the pages. Way too much detail for its small size. I learned my lesson and upscaled.


The kitty with the books turned out much better.


Even more beautiful was the Japanese garden I made for my daughter’s room. This picture really doesn’t do it justice.


So I got really ambitious and just finished this Japanese palace scene (also for my daughter). This one is 100x50cm. 


And I am currently working on a scene of Hogwarts with an owl flying overhead that will hang above my desk once I’m done. I can’t wait! Of course, now I’m thinking I need to align my diamond painting pursuits with my fiction writing…I’m going to go search for some Scottish Highland scenes!



Check out Michelle’s new release How to Forgive a Highlander!




William MacGregor will lie, spy, and happily die to protect his clan from their greatest enemy. But when he kidnaps the wrong woman, he triggers the very events he’d been working so hard to prevent. And puts everyone in danger.

Rose Thatcher will do anything to protect her lady and return them both safely to English soil. But the damn Highlander who snatched her off the docks has done nothing but get in her way. She’d love to ditch the bastard, but if they want to save their respective loved ones, they are going to have to stay together.

Somewhere along the grueling journey to Scotland, their constant bickering turns into something more. Something worth fighting for. But how can an English lady’s maid, who longs for the safe, comfortable life she had in London, find love with a Highlander who can’t wait to wipe England’s dust off his feet? If they can’t defeat the enemy they accidentally led home, they might not live long enough to find out.






Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and loves her romance with a touch of suspenseful mystery. She resides in PA with her husband and two amazing children.

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