Stepping Stones Covers



The Circle C Stepping Stones were a lot of fun to help design. Julie modeled nine-year-old Andi, most of which were in front of a white sheet on a porch. The exception is the first book, Andi Saddles Up. Julie stood on a fence but there was no horse in the background. Taffy was added later. Read about other fun modeling sessions.

Andi Saddles Up

At the time, my daughter’s family went through a couple of palomino horses: “Loca” Luna, who was a crazy and dangerous horse, and Sunny, a horse with some arthritis, but at least she was safe. Here are a few fun scenes trying to come up with both a front cover and a small circle for the back cover. Cover photography is a lot of work!


Andi Under the Big Top

I spent money on this photo shoot. I bought the newsboy hat online. The suspenders, shirt, an knickers came from China, and yes, I worried that the outfit would not get here on time. I also bought Victorian-type fabric and sewed Julie’s dress to make it look like a late 1800s Sunday-go-to-meeting dress. Why? Because everybody dressed up to go to the circus in those days!


Andi Lassos Trouble

I could not find a real lasso to borrow or buy, so I bought an old-looking rope that Julie (Andi) could hold for the pictures. The trouble is, it doesn’t look much like modern lasso. But that’s okay. Cowboys used ropes and tied their own honda knots to make their own lassos, so this lasso would work fine, as soon as Andi learns how to tie a honda knot to keep the loop in place.


Andi to the Rescue

This was the easiest cover of all. A white sheet, a cold winter day in Colville, WA, and a fuzzy Victorian coat. All the girls had these authentic Victorian coats and hats. I’m thankful my daughter loves Victorian. We curled Julie’s hair and hauled her outside. It was pretty cold, but that made it real. Snap, snap, snap, the pictures were finished in record time. I found a picture of the cabin. It was just as I imagined it. Stone fireplace, log walls, few windows. Kregel designers put it all together.


Andi Dreams of Gold

A fun trip into the Sierra foothills one afternoon to pan for gold. The front cover was shot on the front porch, although a few takes were out in the field. But I wanted a better background instead of a field, so I sent in the separate pictures and let Kregel work their magic. For the back cover inset, we took pictures up in the woods near our own homestead in the Okanogan Highlands.


Andi Far from Home

The last cover = the last photo shoot. Hurrah! It was a really cold day we shot these pictures too. Snow, but no warm coat to wear. Plus, we had to take about a million shots because we wanted to have “Cleopatra” the cat on the cover for something fun and different. Three cats auditioned: Bella, a black cat like “Licorice,” who debuted on the back cover of Andi Saddles Up, Vader, a dark Tabby, and Garfield, a tabby with bright-orange eyes. Her eyes were so bright as a young cat that I darkened them just a smidgen so they would not be the first thing a reader sees when they pick up the book. Lots of possibilities with this cover, even a “beach” alternative. Vader did not want anything to do with this (last picture). Fun trivia: I sewed the 1800s puffy hat.

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