The Ballad of John Bach

YouTube flip-thru:
Chapter 1

   “Well, this is a fine kettle of fish, John.”  He said to himself as he stared down at the pile of putrid, mostly dead crabs in his bunk.  John wondered if he would laugh about this later.  The ship suddenly pitched and he grabbed the edge of the small desk.  He took a deep breath and was rewarded only with the odor of the decaying crustaceans.  John clenched his jaw and willed the nausea to subside.  Sitting down, he removed a journal from a black lacquer box, dipped his quill in the ink pot and began to write.

June 12, 1887

   Land ho!
   In the distance I see palm trees and beaches with little rocky outcroppings.  When I pressed, the captain gruffly admitted we had “an errand” to run.  An errand?  In the West Indies?  Whaling waters were far north, this seemed unreasonably out of our way.

   Another ship is sailing fairly close to us.  The crew seems on edge.  I overheard the younger men talking in hushed tones when they did no…

Seraphina Prologue and Chapter 1: Forlorn

     By the light of a dying fire, Seraphina replaced the missing coins on her dancing skirt.  Money was hard to come by these days.  She hoped Budapest would yield a better wage.
The camp was resting now, lights in the tents and caravans had gone dim.  But, Seraphina could not sleep, her mind continued to spin on the events of the day.
A kind, but somewhat misguided shopkeep mistook her for a thief.  To avoid the constable, she ran through the crowd to escape.  Now, Seraphina was an innocent woman with a guilty face.  Reaching for her quill and ink, she turned to the next blank page in her journal. 

Chapter 1:
    The next morning she woke to the sound of heavy hooves pounding into camp. Joseph barged into her tent with panicked, wild eyes.  “The bobbies are here for you, they think you killed that shopkeeper!”  Seraphina grabbed her tattered bag, shoving a pair of shoes inside. 
“Go!” Joseph pleaded.
Seraphina kissed the young boy on the forehead and slipped out the back of …

Seraphina Chapter 2: Vagabond

"Gypsies are only good for two kinds of work,"  he scoffed, "telling fortunes and picking pockets."
Seraphina's green eyes betrayed her disdain for the greasy toad of a man.  (No offense to toads.)  Typically, she had no tolerance for such treatment, but these were desperate times.
She held her tongue as the young girl next to her pleaded her case.
"Uncle, she is a skilled dressmaker and she can shoe horses, can't we find a place for her?"

Shoe horses?  Seraphina looked at the girl, then the man, lifted her chin, trying her best to look confident about the recommendation.  Luther, the toad, sighed heavily and nodded.  Obviously irritated, he barked at the young girl.
"But, she gets no wage until she proves she can make a profit for the company.  I ain't runnin' no charity here.  Make room for her in your tent.  She'll share your rations."  With that, he grabbed his filthy hat from the table and crammed it atop his grimy head an…

Seraphina Chapter 3: Into the Fire

“What do you mean Celeste has already been measured?!  That is my gown, Mina!”  Magda spat the words at her like venom from a viper’s fang.  Mina stood her ground, toe to toe with the actress.   “Learn your place, woman, I can make your life insufferable.” 

“Uncle told us to measure Celeste, Magda.”  Bonnie shot back.
“I TOLD you not to call me that, you willful brat, that’s not my name!”
Bonnie smirked and lifted her chin defiantly.
“Don’t test me, child.”  Magda warned.  “Just measure me, Mina, before I lose my patience, detestable gypsy sc..”

A kitten mewed from just outside the tent door.  They all turned to see Rye step in with a small, grey striped ball of fur.
“For me?!”  Bonnie squealed and ran for Rye.  She scooped up the kitten and nuzzled it against her cheek.  “Oh, thank you Rye, I love her!”
Immediately, Magda’s face softened.  She looked almost demure.  Well, as much as a snake could manage. 

“Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?”  Magda looked up at Rye through her eyelashes.…

The Booksmith Classics Challenge

Hey kids!  Thanks so much for taking an interest in this most challenging of challenges!  Please see the YouTube video for more details:  Booksmith Classics Challenge Info Video

p.s....there will be a drawing for non-students, too.  The winner drawn will be able to pick out any 4 digi kits out of my Etsy store, big kits included!

But, here are some basic rules and a link to a Freebie for you!

Nik the Booksmith online studies @ Teachable
Freebie Ephemera Page Link to Flickr:  Full-resolution ephemera page

Three new Digi kits on Etsy

I've finally gotten around to finishing some of the kits I've started in the past few months. 
Yesterday, "Elementary!" Journal Pages  and Ephemera Kit was launched at The Booksmith Shop.  Bringing back London at the Victorian age and a little strangeness with it.

Today, I am pleased to announce another ephemera kit... Checked Out.  A bookish set for the bibliophile in all of us.  SIX high-resolution pages full of bookish images, quotes, dictionary definitions, clip art and bookmarks.  I hope you find something you like in this unique set!

Welcome to the Booksmith Blog!

Hey kids!
Thanks for dropping by and checking out the blog.  Its been a while since I've neglecte....I mean...wrote in a blog.
I hope to be able to share things here, goodies to download, projects to refer to, etc.
Blogger is a little different since I was on here last, so please bear with me as I navigate through the technologies of it all.
For the first post, freebies for one and all!  Enjoy my lovelies ;)
Let's use our scraps to make a bill organizer, Booksmith style!

*Just follow this link below to to upload your images for print.  Click on desired image and follow instructions in screenshot.*
Nik the Booksmith on

You will need to print out 1 copy of the first and second images and the third image needs 3copies print out.  They print out on 8.5 x 11 inch standard sized copy paper.

YouTube video:

Booksmith YouTube Channel
Nik the Booksmith Online School
The Booksmith Shop on Etsy