2016 Advent Calendar Designs

We are so excited to announce our new calendar designs for 2016 are NOW available in our ETSY SHOP. Two new designs join our line up… A Whimsical Gingerbread House and a more serious one, ‘A Child is Born.’ Order one (or two) today and continue a family tradition that has been enjoyed for years!

Gingerbread House Advent Calendar Nativity Advent Countdown Calendar

Past year’s designs are also available… Nutcracker, and Ornaments

Nutcracker Advent Countdown Christmas CalendarChristmas Ornament Advent Countdown Calendar


And The Winner Is…

Congratulations Jean Reistle!! You WON the Beach Themed Mini-Canvas!!! Please private message me via Facebook with your mailing address so I can mail it out to you.

Hand-painted Beach Scene Mini Canvas

FREE Giveaway!!!

Thank you to all who commented on my site, and Facebook pages. Also thank you for the kinds words! You guys ROCK!!!

Keep watching this site as FREE giveaways will become a monthly thing for the entire year! Sometimes it will be art work, other times it might be a small quilted piece… and who knows, maybe another time it will be a book. Even I don’t know what will be offered!

Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Creative and Happy New Year! May it be your best year EVER!!!


December Giveaway!

Happy Holidays to one and all!

In the spirit of the Holiday Season… Unique and Novel is offering a FREE GIVEAWAY!!! An original hand-painted Mini-Canvas… painted by yours truly.

Hand-painted Beach Scene Mini Canvas

Measuring an adorable 2″ x 4″, this little cutie will bring that summer beach feeling straight to your door.. Painted in shades of clear ocean blues, with a touch of soothing beach sand, it will certainly bring a sigh of relief to your hectic holiday life. When you feel overwhelmed, just gaze at the painting, take a deep breath, hold for the count of 4 beats, slowly let it out and imagine you hear the rhythmic ocean waves and smell the salty air. Ahhhhh…

On it’s own this little masterpiece is adorable… but the cuteness factor has been bumped up a few degrees by the packaging. It comes with it’s own tiny easel, wrapped together in a clear cellophane bag and tied with raffia. Although the presentation is FABULOUS… I urge you to tear it open and place the artwork on your desk, your night stand, near the kitchen sink, or wherever you need to take a deep breath for a moment.

Ready to ship Mini Canvas

All wrapped up as pretty as can be

All you have to do to earn a chance (or two) is visit the Unique and Novel site and leave a comment… any comment. Feel free to subscribe while you are there. No pressure… but if you decide to subscribe you will be assured of never missing new product announcements, in addition to more wonderful GIVEAWAYS.

If you REALLY want to win this artwork… you can earn another entry by visiting Unique and Novel’s Facebook page and leave a comment there too. Again, follow if you feel so inclined, but honestly there is no pressure to do so. It would be nice… but not necessary.

On Sunday evening, December 20th… at 10:00pm EST… RandomPicker.com will be used to choose a winner! The winner’s name will be posted both on the website and Facebook page. At that time we will ask for mailing instructions via private messaging. IF the winner does not contact us by Midnight (EST) on December 27th… then a new winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!!!

PS… Don’t want to play games and jump through hoops, but still want the painting??? Go to my ETSY SHOP and buy one!!! It’s a little bit different than the GIVEAWAY painting… but the exact same quality and features.




Advent vs. Countdown vs. LIFE Calendars

Advent Calendars are so much fun!!! It’s exciting to wake up each morning and open a new window wondering what could possibly be behind the little door.

The meaning of Advent has changed over the years. Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany. Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration. Today however, Advent is celebrated as the 24 days before Christmas… The Birth of Baby Jesus.

The idea of a paper poster or card with 24 small doors to open began in Germany in the late 1800s… and soon spread throughout Europe and North America. Originally pictures were from the Hebrew Bible… or words of Scripture. Many calendars today have no religious content.

This year Unique and Novel is excited to offer 2 new designs in addition to last year’s Snowman, with the choice of three completely different inside surprises. Depending on the style… it could be a cute picture, a Random Act of Kindness, or a Riddle. A 25th door has been included as the ‘Ta-Dah’ moment.

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars

A Countdown Calendar differs from an Advent Calendar in many ways. Most importantly the idea behind the Countdown Calendar is to create excitement for many of life’s upcoming celebrations. For example… a Wedding, Birthday, Retirement, Vacation, Return from Deployment, Graduation. These are only a small sampling of ideas on our design boards here at Unique and Novel.

In essence, the two calendars are designed the same. Both are essentially a picture with 25 windows and a surprise behind each one. The designs and purpose are what set them apart.

In addition to Advent and Countdown Calendars… Unique and Novel is in the process of developing LIFE Calendars… Daily suggestions and happy thoughts to help you achieve a better life. Want to lose a few pounds, or to live a calmer life? Want to giggle every morning for 25 days in a row? How about reading an Inspirational quote to start your day??? All of these and MORE are in the works.

Subscribe to this website to be the FIRST to know about these UNIQUE and NOVEL Calendars!!! Just click on the ‘subscribe’ button in the top right corner.

All calendars will be available for purchase in my ESTY store as they come off the design table.

Choose from:

Ornament Design…

Ornament Design

Ornament Design

Or Nutcracker Design:

Nutcracker Design

Nutcracker Design


How to place a CUSTOM ORDER will be available in my ESTY SHOP soon!!

New Direction!

This website has taken a new direction… AGAIN!

Originally it was decided this site would be used to promote books. Well… this is accomplished by me on so many other sites… www.belmarbookcon.com for one, and www.recycleyourbook.com for another. So I’m going back to promoting items I make and sell in my etsy store.

Currently available are:  Advent Calendars!

Advent Calendars

Advent Calendars

Designs include Graphic Ornaments, Nutcracker, and a Snowman. Three choices of inside art is also available… Cute Holiday Drawings, Riddles, and our best seller, Random Acts of Kindness. Here’s a sneak peek:

Inside options for calendars

Inside options for calendars

For availability and TO PLACE AN ORDER please go to my etsy store.

DIY Kits, a tutorial, and custom calendars are ‘in the works’. Check back often for updates.

On My Way to Book Expo 2015!!!

I just signed up to attend Book Expo America 2015 in New York City!! I have been many times before… but this is the first time I am attending as a blogger.


For those of you not familiar… Book Expo is the once a year conference extravaganza for the book industry. Publishers, authors, booksellers, and media professionals all converge at the Javitz Center for 3 days of non-stop book talking!! Trust me when I tell you your eyes glaze over, your feet throb, you get cranky, and you have the biggest smile on your face when you leave.

In years past the publishers handed out so many galleys (just written yet still un-published books) you needed suitcases to haul them all home. Currently with the invention of the e-reader and printing costs escalating not as many are available. However… there is much to see and do at this event.

Although many celebrity authors are on hand to sign the newest copy of their book, I tend to steer clear of those long lines. Shifting my weight from one foot to the other for over an hour just to spend 2 seconds with an author is not, in my opinion the best use of my time. Besides… you get a more personal interaction by bumping into them on the elevator (ahem… Michael Connelly and James Patterson… not that I’m name dropping).

My focus this year is to attend the Blogger’s Conference to listen and learn from the top book bloggers on the net in hopes of pushing this site to it’s limits and become one of the very sought after sites for book information.

I have noticed there are hundreds of sites out there blogging for the Young Adult genre… as well as Romance, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy…. none of which I read. I’m hoping to blog about more ‘main-stream’ titles and self published authors (the unsung heroes of the industry)… in addition to small independent publishers. A lot of well written and interesting books come across my desk that YOU are not going to hear about unless I tell you about them.

Keep watching this site as it grows. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite author just by reading a review here.

Busy Reading…

There are so many GREAT books out there, I can’t keep on top of reading them all!! I would love to take an Evelyn Woods Speed Reading course, but I think that would make reading become more of a ‘job’ instead of the enjoyable experience it is supposed to be.

Oh wait… I DO read as a job! I read so I can direct you all to the best new authors. Duh! Aren’t I lucky to have such a peaceful and stress free job?

To that end… I have just finished the two books I will review this month.  Portion of the Sea, written by Christine Lemmon, and When Shotgun Goes Off Watch Out For Bear Trap by Rick Sterry (yes, that’s really the title). Speak about opposite ends of the spectrum!!! Any way. I will be posting those reviews late tonight.

Do YOU have a book I should read and review? If so, drop me a line at: deb (at) uniqueandnovel (dot) com.


Belmar BookCon

Finally!!! Something to write about!!!

The big news here in New Jersey is the upcoming BOOK EVENT in Belmar, NJ. BELMAR BOOKCON is the FIRST EVER show designed to showcase SMALL INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING HOUSES and AUTHORS!!!

Today’s publishing is changing… and great books are being written that you will never hear about. #belmarcon2014 hopes to change that by promoting these talented authors and the smaller houses that take a chance on them.

Mark your calendar IN INK for October 12, 2014 and plan to join them for a wonderful and exciting day.

For further information please check out their website www.belmarbookcon.com or drop an email to: belmarbookcon2014@gmail.com


Hmmm… What Should I Read Next?

Next read??


I am such an eclectic reader. Some times I’m in the mood for a book that will teach me something new… other times I just want to sit back and be totally entertained. I’m dying to read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series… but keep putting it on the back burner to read something quick and less involved… telling myself the summer is a better time to read a series. Besides… Fall of Giants by Ken Follett is calling my name and I will eventually have to cave in and set time aside to read the trilogy.

Back in middle school and high school my teachers assigned books like J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Watership Down by Richard Adams… I never read them. I was not interested in reading anything ‘assigned’ to me. Being a stubborn teenager, I wanted to choose for myself. Writing reports for books I hadn’t read wasn’t difficult for two reasons… 1. Cliffnotes and 2. Creative writing skills. I always received high grades. Seriously though, I think the effort I put in to writing a report on something I knew nothing about was probably greater than had I just read it in the first place.

Now as an adult with the ability to choose any book my little heart desires… I rely on suggestions of others to broaden my world. See… I learned a lesson after all.

A friend of mine reads a lot of Science Fiction. I scrunched up my nose one day when he mentioned his current read. Realizing I wasn’t being fair to that genre, I challenged him to suggest a book I might like, and I promised to read it. He chose The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Getting me to sit down and read that book was like swallowing a spoonful of the most foul tasting medicine… but in the end I had to say I LOVED it! Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was the next foray into a genre that made me squirm. There’s no going back now… as I plan to read The Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin some time in the next year.

What is YOUR current read??? What book do you want all of your friends to read next??? What should I read next? Give me your best. I promise I will put it on my night stand as  a future possibility. Hey, you never know… it might become one of my very favorites too.

If I have sparked an interest in any of the above titles, and you are thinking of purchasing from Amazon, I would appreciate it if you would use the Affiliate Links below if at all possible. The links take you straight to Amazon where all of your one click settings still work. I never get any of your information… it’s all very hush, hush. I do however get credit for the sale and Amazon thanks me in pennies. I hope to earn enough one day to purchase a book of my own choosing. Thank you for your consideration.

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