October 30, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014, Day 4 - Spooky Party!

It's Day 4 of Halloween in Miniature 2014 and the party is in full swing! 

(If you missed the beginning, go to Day 1)

Let's cut through the hall. I want you to meet some of the guests. 

Oh, dear. The twins seem to be wandering the house again unsupervised. We insist their nanny stay with them after they tried scaring guests with that representation they did last year  of the ghostly girls in the movie based on Stephen King's The Shining. Scared half the guests back to their graves!

(Scene and dolls by Patricia Paul, PatriciaPaulStudio.com)

Please, keep walking. We don't want to encourage their behavior. I'll have cook check where the nanny went. Maybe you should take a seat...

WAIT! No, not there. Oh, I'm terribly sorry, Mort, Finney, and Darryl, our resident ghosts, already claimed those chairs. Quite handsome, aren't they? I mean the chairs. No, guys I wasn't slighting you. It's just that the guests can't see you yet. Yes, yes, please forgive them for trying to sit on your laps. It's rude, I know, I know.

I'm sorry, the Specter brothers are quite touchy. I hope we don't have any other surprises. . . 

Well, we won't complain about a pleasant surprise! Why, it's the Skellie Sisters! Such a fun trio they are. They insisted on coming  out this year as they said they had some jokes that just couldn't stay buried! (groan!)  (Chairs and scene, including hand-sculpted skeleton ladies below also by Patricia Paul.)

 Artisan Patricia Paul says she's been making minis "forever," but professionally for about 35 years. Growing up, she made cardboard houses and clothes for Barbie, played with clay and had a dollhouse with Renwal furniture, which sadly, her mother "gave it away when she figured I was finished with it. I probably could have done a lot with that had she waited," she says. "I have always loved tiny things all my life and discovered as a newlywed a catalog of miniatures and could not believe that grown people did this."

Patricia studied art in school and thought of being an art teacher except for some parental interference... "I really should have studied fine arts but my dad was nervous that I might starve," she says. "I really hate that starving artist meme."

Amusingly, she got into haunted stuff when her son fell in love with a pop-up book. ..."I had a weird little kid who loved skeletons from a very tiny age. He learned by heart that pop-up book 'In a Dark Dark Room' and was thrilled to see the reaction of people he was ‘reading’ it to when the ghosts pop out at the end. I made him a haunted doll house along with some things to go in it. He wanted and got an articulated skeleton which he promptly broke so I sat it in a chair with a book in its hands to cover the break. That’s how the posed skellies started. I took those things to a show promising him no one would buy them and they flew off the table. I just saw one of my earlier pieces sell on eBay for $699. So maybe I should look into making those again."

She's now clearing out a stash of chairs by transforming them into "gothic delights" with sculpted decorations and hand-printed fabrics altered from full-size designs. She also will be selling some witchy things and really wants to sculpt more animals. "I guess I can include black cats, hounds of hell and gargoyle creatures," she says. "There is a nice gargoyle that sits on Notre Dame that looks like it might make a nice haunted house pet."

Speaking of pets... Little Witch Julie wanted to know if you saw her pet spider? No? well, she says to look out for something fuzzy and the size of a small puppy (If you haven't seen it - beware. Yikes! Yes, it's real). 


Such a sweet girl to have such a gruesome, I mean, uh, a nice pet. And she seems so innocent with all that candy, too. (Doll by Julie Campbell, JulieCampbelldollartist.co.uk). She has the most proper of manners and wanted to ask the guests if anyone was thirsty?

Lisa Parker Clark brought over the absolute perfect refreshment.... her bubbling delight. What flavor is it, you ask? Well, er, it may have some Ear of Toad, or Eye of Newt, but I know there's some peach flavoring, too, to cover the after-taste. 

How about a cup? No? Alright, then we best move on. Gosh, the party can't be nearly over! Why we have many more stops to make, people to meet, and ghastly, I mean yummy, things to eat! 

 ** Easy Miniature Halloween Project: Make a mini skellie mummy **

Come back tomorrow for next post. 

 ** DAY 5 - The Big Party! ** 


* Author Heather Graham just released a new book in her Krewe of Hunters series - The Betrayed (Krewe of Hunters). (Just started reading this series and I love it! Great suspense and paranormal stories, each in different time periods and locations.)

The latest has FBI paranormal unit investigator Mo Deaville and new agent Aiden Mahoney going to Sleepy Hollow as they explore both past and present events to figure out who killed Aiden's friend Richard--and wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait—the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that's as intense as it is unexpected…if they live long enough to enjoy it!

* Coming soon in November!  Two Must Reads (and some great book covers!) 

bobthezombie- http://www.jaimejohnesee.com/
 Early November - Author Jaime Johnesee is releasing a new collection, The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie, which contains not only her three novellas, but a new novella and bonus short story, plus great new art featuring Bob, the Zombie with bad luck! 

Fun, funny humor and zombies! Watch her website for news!

(Aren't these the coolest covers??)

  Coming Nov. 14! Who can resist a story about a haunted house? Author Chantal Noordeloos has a scary new book coming out.  In Angel Manor, Freya sees inheriting her mother's old childhood home as an opportunity. It's a chance for a new life with her best friends as they transform the crumbling mansion into an exclusive hotel. Instead, they'll barely escape with their lives...  

Be sure to check her website for release news! * Read more about the book.

 ** BONUS! Here's a mini book cover printie for your dollhouse shelf! 

(*Personal use only! Cover (c) of artist and author, used with permission. Do not pin or re-post.)

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 29, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014 - Day 3, Let's Eat!

Glad you arrived safely! Welcome to Day 3 of Halloween in Miniature 2014! 

(Latecomers, please go to Day 1)

We are so glad you decided to stop for the tour. We have... wait, what is that delectable smell? Let's take a peek in the kitchen, shall we?

Mmm, homemade cookies and rotted cake and bone dip... oh yum! But, who-who is pouring and serving???? (Goodies by Patricia Paul, PatriciaPaulStudio.com)


Um, let's hurry on. Move ahead now. Quickly now, quickly. There must be someone here to greet us.... Oh, there she is! Why, it's Matilda the Candy Witch (by Julie Campbell Dolls)


"Hello, dears. I am so sorry I frightened you. I had to pour the wine and hurry back here. I truly thought my de-materialization spell would work better. I hope I didn't frighten you?  I have the perfect solution. Have some treats. These have a bit of magic in them. No, don't worry, it's good magic. This is all good candy. There are no calories, you see!"

Now don't eat too many treats. We have some other wonderful appetizers for you!

Mmm, the fresh fruit surely will hit the spot after our candy splurge. That's quite a selection. 
(Food by Kiva Atkinson of Kiva's Miniatures.)

Kiva makes such amazing foods that we insist on inviting her back every year! Doesn't that look tasty?


Well, if you don't care for the fruit, you can go right to the main course instead, if you prefer. We have some fresh-caught fish, so fresh, in fact, you best watch out for their bite!  Or maybe you'd rather have some cheese and toast... if the toast agree, of course. This is one house where the food has a say in their future! 



All right, well, let's continue with the tour. Oh, I'm sorry. Some of our guests may be feeling a bit tired, let's go into the hall. 

Do you hear something? 

What is that commotion?

** Miniature Halloween Project: Make a vintage witch hat

** (Make Gina Bellous' leather witch hat)

Come back tomorrow for next post. 

 ** Day 4 - The Hall and Guests **

Spooky Reads: 

 Ghost in the Guacamole (Ghost of Granny Apples) (pre-order, Jan. 2015 release)  - Sisters fighting over the family business want their deceased father to intervene, but he has his own bombshell - his death may not be an accident, and one sister's life may be in danger if they don't sell... 

  Just released!   Hallowed Horror - limited edition box set collection of 10 paranormal stories sure to make your skin crawl.
The Spirit Clearing - Mark Tufo
All the Little Children - Christine Sutton
Fangs in Vain - Scott Nicholson
The Unsaintly - Lisa Vasquez
Generation Evil - Eric A Shelman
Pride - Chantal Noordeloos
Whispers - Heath Stallcup
Shifters - Jaime Johnesee
Tool Shed - Armand Rosamilia
                              Dust to Dust - Eden Crowne 

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 28, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014 - Haunted Party 2

Welcome to Day 2 of Halloween in Miniature 2014!

* If you arrived late, go back to Day 1. 

(NOTE: All items are 1" scale dollhouse miniatures - 1" equals 1 foot unless specified otherwise.)

Now that you've arrived, let's step into the parlor, shall we? My, it looks so cozy and spooky with those new curtains by Linda Wooten (of Wooten's Miniatures; see her Facebook page). She has such a spectacularly gruesome way with fabric and I love what she's done with the room! (I heard even Morticia Addams orders custom made curtains from her!)

Now, how about some appetizers? The chef has been cooking all day and night getting ready for everyone. I'm sure there is something to whet your appetite. Maybe some "finger foods" perhaps? heh-heh. Or  how about a little eyeball or brains salad? Washed down with a Bloody Mary, of course. (Food: C. Verstraete)

haunted miniature food cverstraete.com

Well, if that isn't to your liking, we have many other things to eat, so.... why did you hear something? Oh, look, who it is! 

kerri pajutee miniature cat

The owner loves her cats and miniature "breeder" Kerri Pajutee has made sure the house is full of cats - black ones, of course.  After all, what's a haunted house without a black cat, or two, or three? My, isn't she regal?

Kerri, who received artisan status with the Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA) in 2001 and became a Fellow in animal figures in the Guild in 2004, has been sculpting for over 37 years.  Her work has been featured in various magazines, and is in private collections and specialty museums. (Be sure to check out her darling dogs and other animals at her website.) The polymer clay sculptures are formed over an armature, and then are built and baked in stages. The bodies are covered with natural fibers like wool or alpaca to achieve realism. Read more about her technique

Although Kerri makes all kinds of animals, she admits to not making too many with solid black coats. "They tend to get lost in a miniature setting and are hard to get any detail when taking photos," she says. But that seems hard to believe looking at her cats, doesn't it?

kerri pajutee spooky cat

While her cats look as regal as ever, if you look close, you may see a slight difference. "
I recently started to make the eyes of my cats different and you can see that the first cat (made last year) has pale green painted eyes that are glossed, while the recent sitting cat has yellow eyes that are made from dyed paper, paint and a UV resin. The latter version tends to look more realistic with a lens that catches the light much better in this tiny scale. 
Both have applied coats of blended baby alpaca and silk (which is why they have that gorgeous sheen)." 

The truth is.... these cats do have "magical" qualities and tend to get "lost" on purpose. They may show up anywhere, so be sure to keep your eyes open.

Next, let's greet some of the guests who've been patiently waiting for us, shall we? 

** Miniature Halloween Project: Free printies, Harry Potter potion pages **

Come back tomorrow for next post. 

** Go to Day 3 - what's cooking?

Spooky Reads:

Author K.F. Kirwin offers six spooky Haunted Bedtime Stories that'll take you near and far, and introduce you to some ghosts and spirits, plus a surprise sure to keep you up at night.

Purrrrrfect! Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty - Attacked by a radioactive field mouse, Tiddles wakes up undead. But the cat is decomposing rapidly and all he wants is to live out the apocalypse with his owner, Jake. But will Jake take him in or will ZC be forced to roam the streets and try to avoid his undead yearnings?

 Blood Art - Margot Justes - The beauty of Leonardo's art entraps a demon when vampire Nickolai seeks to have a special portrait done. Can he destroy the demon before she destroys his life and kills the once woman who matters most?

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 27, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014-Welcome!

Welcome to Halloween in Miniature 2014

Wow, it's hard to believe I've been doing this event since 2009! Where does time go? (Yeah, it flies - on bat wings! ha-ha!) Be sure to check the Mini Holidays page tab on top of the blog and check out previous years. Lots of good spooky mini stuff and some short profiles, too.

On each day of the tour, come along and enjoy some amazing spooky work in miniature from some of my favorite artisans! And be sure to check out some spooky reads, too! What's Halloween without a scary story or two? Enjoy! Chris Verstraete

Check your clock?

Time is running out!

Well, on this tour, we're on a different time schedule. Boo-time. haa!
 (Hey, no one said the jokes would be great!)

So, come on in. Go ahead, knock on the door. Don't be afraid...heh-heh-heh...

 To start the tour, please let Witch Ewelina check your ID's. Have to be careful who we allow to enter, you know. We don't want any trolls sneaking in! 

(Witch-Ewelina Hasnik of  Ewelina's Amazing Clay World has been making dolls and other figures, including some very realistic dogs and pets  for the past year and calls it "her passion.")

Hey, no pushing back there! No need to push a head in line... heh heh. There's plenty of time to see it all...

First, let's have a drink, shall we? The hostess insist on the house wine. (A little old, I know, she trots it out year after year, but it supposedly has a kick "to die for." heh-heh. Humor me.)

(Head and wine - C. Verstraete - See my miniature haunted house)  

Step lively now. We want everyone to come in and enjoy the party.  There's plenty of food and drinks, and....

Wait....what was that? Did you see anything? I swore something moved... (or was it that wine? Wow!) Come back tomorrow to learn more...

** Miniature Halloween Project: Free spooky mortuary printie labels ** 

Come back tomorrow for next post. 

 ** Day 2. Next: The Parlor **


(today only! get it for 99 cents or $1.99 10/28) 

(Print and ebook - Amazon US - Amazon UK

What happens when you're 16 and turn part-zombie?  

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

 * Young Adult winner - 2013 Halloween Book Festival

 Horror 101: The Way Forward
Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear. 

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 14, 2014

Recent Half Scale Dollhouse Updates

It's been a while since I posted some photos though I have been sharing them on Facebook so friend me there too! 

Past posts:  (See  house Trimmed -  Lights -  First pix/pantry/hutch)

Some recent updates: 

The biggest change is I now have the shed attached and the wood siding is almost done. It's starting to look how I wanted. Funny as it probably cost as much (if not more) to do the individual wood sticks but I wanted that look instead of siding. I painted it two-tone, rust brown with a leaf green over it.

 I have a few more pieces of wood to put on since this photo and then I have to do the roof. It will be held on with sticky dots so I can remove it if needed. I also have window boxes with multi-colored flowers and shutters to add to all the windows. I"m now working on the stone foundation.

Various flowers I made.

The bed is from a past Half Scale Yahoo group annual swap. It was stained so I painted it my matching green, added some art to the front and footboard, and made the sheets and top. The toy dog was a swap gift too. I also cut the posts down slightly.

Inside shell main wall. It is a pantry, bath and laundry area. I made the potatoes from white Model Magic air dry clay, painted and then sprayed them with a matte sealer. The walls are all stucco (lightweight spackle) that I tinted slightly and painted over with tan paint.

Side inner wall of shed. The toilet roll is made by gluing part of a napkin around a long bead that is indented in the center. I made the toilet paper by wrapping paper around  a smaller size pony bead and adding a label. The sweater (which I wanted to look old and worn out) was cut from an old shirt to the shape, sleeves glued on top each other and seed bead buttons added. I shaped the hanger from a piece of cloth covered wire painted silver.

Vanity made from a children's kit from SDK Miniatures. I had to cut a new lower back to make it talle and made it narrower to fit the space on the bedroom wall. It's covered with the provided wallpaper which I added a layer of Modge Podge. The bottom lace is pre-pleated narrow lace, which was perfect. There is braided trim on the edges. The bows were made with Bunka. 

Really happy with how this is turning out.

October 06, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014 Coming Soon!

Stay tuned for this year's Halloween in Miniature 2014!

All kinds of Halloween goodies from various miniature artisans, fun miniature Halloween scenes, and spooky reads!

 ** Coming October 27 to 31! ** 

(mini witch, C. Verstraete)

September 25, 2014

New Artisans in Miniature (AIM) Mag!

The latest Artisans in Miniature (AIM) Mag #52 is out!

Includes some great pix, how to's and my feature on my Victorian and Writing rooms, and some Victorian decorating tips. (Pg. 78)  Download the PDF. Enjoy!!

Click to Open Door.

September 12, 2014

Dollhouse Book In Miniature Style II Top 10!

Just a little plug. I normally don't check, but... IN MINIATURE STYLE II is in the Top 10 (#9) in the Crafts-Hobbies-Home category on Amazon.  It also had a discount so check it out.  (You can also get it in pdf or downloads, and see other Amazon links on my website page.)

Profiles of other miniaturists, how to's, photos and more, a "little" something for everyone! 

(I was in the process of loading a new video preview of the projects for my website; lost my computer so have to start over!) 

July 18, 2014

New Historical Dollhouse Book - The Miniaturist

Just came across an interesting new historical fiction book, The Miniaturist: A Novel, which is about Petronella Oortman - the original owner of the  beautiful Cabinet House housed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Description from Amazon.com: 
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
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