May 30, 2011

Miniatures Monday: Pink Room Items





Found a fantastic tabletop curio cabinet at the flea market, only $3! So I decided it was a perfect place to put the pink items I've been collecting for my future Ladies Shoppe.





I made the screen, chaise, ottoman and boxes in a class a couple years ago at the Bishop show. I still have to add some trim and a couple items to finish it off. The fireplace and plant stand were actually ornaments I found at Hobby Lobby. My friend Kitty made the cupcake; more pix to come! Wait until you see all the cupcakes!

May 26, 2011

Happy Memorial Day: Picnic anyone?




Sharing another of my all-time favorite miniature scenes. Though it is cold and rainy here today, it will get warmer, a better day for a picnic. I made this scene based on a cookbook cover. The food is made from FIMO polymer clay.

May 19, 2011

In Miniature Style II Giveaways & Contest - Patriotic and cupcake mini rooms

* Today's Special miniature scene from IN MINIATURE STYLE II by Christine Verstraete. *

Here's another view from my friend Kitty's cupcake shop. She made all the mini cakes and cupcakes from FIMO oven-bake clay.



This is my Uncle Sam room, which is featured in the book. It was inspired by the patriotic furniture I found some years ago of all places in the gift shop at Old World Wisconsin. There's a matching country-style table on the step that is out of view.





Continuing the blog tour for my new book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.

** Winners are Chell, Dale and Marisa... if I didn't get your entry contact me via the email at my profile here on the blog.**


** Stops are over, and I thank all for coming over. Now you can answer ALL the questions and send me the answers to see who's won...

Big HINT: All the answers are on my website. Very easy to find if you concentrate on two pages relating to the book and the hobby. Email answers via website (remove 1) or to chrisATcverstraeteDOTcom.

See previous post for the full contest details or click here.

Recap: here are the questions:

Contest Questions:

Question 1: Who is the lovely lady of the sea?

Question 2: What is my "sweetest" miniature scene?

Question 3: What is the dog holding?

Question 4: He sees you when you're sleeping... but he solves the crime. (Dual answer, two sections on website. Either one is right. Bonus for both.)

Question 5: What's to eat? Name one food how-to from "In Miniature Style II."

Question 6: Name one of the flowers in the book (other than the hydrangea on the cover! Too easy!)




Question 7: Name one project from IN MINIATURE STYLE II you'd like to make - and share how you'd change it (colors, style, etc.) and what project you'll use it in.




I want to thank all the gracious hosts for letting me take up space on their blogs! Also, thanks to everyone for participating and playing the game! Entries will be accepted all weekend through 5/23 then I'll try to get the winner's names up. If I don't get a response then I'll pick another winner.


** IN MINIATURE STYLE II is available in eBook/pdf, Kindle and other formats at Smashwords, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Nook, and print.

"Easy to read, the book is a bit like having a miniature club to yourself," says Lesley Shepherd, About.com Miniatures Guide.

** Read the rest of her full-page review at Miniatures.About.com **









May 18, 2011

In Miniature Style II Giveaways & Contest continues; New miniature Victorian scene

* Today's Special miniature scene from IN MINIATURE STYLE II. *

This is my Victorian room, part of a double roombox, which is featured in the book. It has hand-made curtains, which have a hand-beaded trim on top (never again!). The unique part is the room contains miniaturized photos of my family.



Continuing the blog tour for my new book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.

** Today, I'm at Victoria's Dark Squirrel Miniatures blog. (Check out her cool house and the amazing potion cabinets. I love the detail!)

You can get the latest contest question and see the new post at Victoria's blog above. Scroll down to previous post for the full contest details -- and where to find the answers! -- or click here.


Recap: here are the questions so far:

Contest Questions:

Question 1: Who is the lovely lady of the sea?

Question 2: What is my "sweetest" miniature scene?

Question 3: What is the dog holding?

Question 4: He sees you when you're sleeping... but he solves the crime. (Dual answer, two sections on website. Either one is right. Bonus for both.)

Question 5: What's to eat? Name one food how-to from "In Miniature Style II."



** Today's Question:**


Question 6: Name one of the flowers in the book (other than the hydrangea on the cover! Too easy!)

** IN MINIATURE STYLE II is available in eBook/pdf, Kindle and other formats at Smashwords, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Nook, and print.

"Easy to read, the book is a bit like having a miniature club to yourself," says Lesley Shepherd, About.com Miniatures Guide.

** Read the rest of her full-page review at Miniatures.About.com **



May 17, 2011

In Miniature Style II Giveaways & Contest continues; new miniature scene

* Special miniature scene from IN MINIATURE STYLE II. *

My "Raggedy Ann Room" featured in book, In Miniature Style II, by Christine Verstraete.






Continuing the blog tour for my new book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.

** Today, get the latest contest question below. Scroll down to previous post for the full contest details -- and where to find the answers! -- or click here.

Recap: here are the questions so far:

Contest Questions:

Question 1: Who is the lovely lady of the sea?

Question 2: What is my "sweetest" miniature scene?

Question 3: What is the dog holding?

Question 4: He sees you when you're sleeping... but he solves the crime. (Dual answer, two sections on website. Either one is right. Bonus for both.)



** Today's Question:**
Question 5: What's to eat? Name one food how-to from "In Miniature Style II."

** IN MINIATURE STYLE II is available in eBook/pdf, Kindle and other formats at Smashwords, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Nook, and print.


"Easy to read, the book is a bit like having a miniature club to yourself," says Lesley Shepherd, About.com Miniatures Guide.

** Read the rest of her full-page review at Miniatures.About.com **

May 11, 2011

In Miniature Style II Blog Book Tour, Giveaways & Contest!

** Today's Featured Mini Scene: Cupcake Shop by Kitty Balke**


To start, for fun, thought I'd show a photo of my friend Kitty's latest project, her cupcake shop. We both did tea and teapot shops at the same time a few years ago, sharing ideas. This time she sent me a bunch of cupcakes and cakes, so I'll work on that soon. I'll share more pix of her project probably on Friday, so be sure to stop back

Now on to the blog tour for my new book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.

** Today, Monday 5/16 I'm at Kat the Hat Lady's blog. Check out her cool hats!

** Be sure to read to the end of this post for contest details -- and where to find the answers!

Recap: here are the questions so far:

Contest Questions:

Question 1: Who is the lovely lady of the sea?

Question 2: What is my "sweetest" miniature scene?

Question 3: What is the dog holding?

** Today's Question:**
Question 4: He sees you when you're sleeping... but he solves the crime. (Dual answer, two sections on website. Either one is right. Bonus for both.)

IN MINIATURE STYLE II is available in eBook/pdf, Kindle and other formats at Smashwords, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Nook, and print.


"Easy to read, the book is a bit like having a miniature club to yourself," says Lesley Shepherd, About.com Miniatures Guide.

** Read the rest of her full-page review at Miniatures.About.com **


The book includes updated and new features, photos & dozens of new how-to projects in various categories by talented miniaturists and IGMA artisans. See book title link for photos, details and where to buy, or buy at direct links.

Huh? What's a blog tour, you may ask?

Well, consider it a virtual house-to-house, er, blog-to-blog visit. I'll be stopping at different blogs, talking about my new book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II, answering some questions, holding contests... ahh, that got your attention, right?

Ok - first the BLOG LIST:
Visit the blogs (see list in left column) for the day's question.

**NOTE: On 5/17, Visit Kathi's blog on the list and come back here for the day's question:
5/17 Question 5: What's to eat? Name one food how-to from "In Miniature Style II."

So, on to... The Contest!
Each blog on the tour features one question for a kind of online scavenger hunt. The answer may be here at my blog (type the words in the search box in left column), but will most likely be on my website. (Hint: click miniatures, a good place to start, or see the IN MINIATURE STYLE II book page and video.)

Comment on that day's blog (DO NOT post the question's answer!) to be eligible to win the day's prize. Then collect all 7 answers --- EMAIL all to me with Blog Tour in subject line to chris @ cverstraete.com (remove spaces or click contact at website or on blog) - DO NOT POST ANSWERS ONLINE!!. There's a new question and prize each day. Names will be drawn from correct entries submitted by 5/20.


Prizes:
1. A plain bust kit to paint and dress as done by Bonnie Glazier in IN MINIATURE STYLE II

2-3. One of two swatches of fabric to make the sundress on the cover by IGMA Artisan Kathi Mendenhall.

4. A plate of miniature cupcakes and a mini cake. Bonus: plate of Christmas cookies. (Can never plan too soon!)

5. One eBook/pdf copy of "In Miniature Style II"

6. Kit to make a chef hat, apron and accessories from Bonnie Glazier.





7. An eBook copy in pdf or other format of "In Miniature Style II." (If other format, cost paid to winner by author via Paypal so they can download own copy at site.)


(NOTE: make sure to list an email or way to contact you in your comments; if you're from an online minis group, please list which one. Come back to check here too as I'll put winners' names by each category, then email me your mailing address.)

***Have fun! Visit the IN MINIATURE STYLE II page for links to buy, photos and details! Thanks for visiting, participating and reading my book!



























May 09, 2011

Welcome to Douglas Corleone, author of NIGHT ON FIRE



Today I welcome Douglas Corleone, author of the legal thriller NIGHT ON FIRE (Minotaur Books, April 2011), second book in the Kevin Corvelli crime series set in Hawaii.





Corleone's debut novel ONE MAN'S PARADISE (Minotaur Books, April 2010), was the winner of the second Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award. A former New York City criminal defense attorney, he now resides in the Hawaiian Islands, where he writes full-time.




About the Book:


Former NY defense attorney Kevin Corvelli, practicing in Hawaii to dodge the spotlight, is deep in his mai tais at a resort when he hears an argument between a pair of newlyweds. He dismisses the argument until a fire breaks out later that night, and he barely escapes his hotel room. That new husband is dead; the wife, prime suspect for arson and murder, becomes Corvelli's newest client. She also has motive opportunity...and a history of starting fires.






What inspired the book? How was writing this different than your other works?



"The inspiration for NIGHT ON FIRE was a frightening night from my childhood. My family was vacationing in Canada and we were staying in a high-rise hotel in Toronto. In the middle of the night, the fire alarm went off, waking everyone up. I was terrified. We escaped the building, and the fire, which started two floors below ours, was put out before anyone was seriously injured. But that night remains emblazoned in my memory, even though the rest of the trip was lost.


"Writing this book was different from any of my other works because this was the first book I wrote that was already under contract. It gave me tremendous confidence knowing the book was already sold and that it would ultimately reach my readers. I think that confidence shows in my writing and it’s a better story because of it. I realize many authors suffer through their sophomore novel, but for me, it was a joy to write. Hard work, yes, but still a joy."



What's your favorite part of the book, and why?


"My favorite part of the book is when defense attorney Kevin Corvelli is trapped in his hotel room trying to escape the blaze. He’s every bit as terrified as I was as a child, but he now possesses the wherewithal to take control of the situation. I’ve now read that part countless times, yet I still feel a sense of dread as I peruse those pages."


Share how you got your book deal and your path to publication?


"My debut novel ONE MAN’S PARADISE won the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award. It’s a fairly new competition. I was only the second winner. The inaugural winner Stefanie Pintoff went on to win the Edgar Award for Best First Novel for her historical masterpiece IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM.


"Winning a competition is an unconventional way to get published, but some of today’s best crime writers got their start thanks to competitions like Minotaur’s. My editor felt strongly that Kevin Corvelli should lead a series, so we entered a deal for the next two legal thrillers, NIGHT ON FIRE and next year’s CHOICE OF EVILS."


Where or how do you write? What's your writing schedule like?


"I write on a laptop in my home office, usually first thing in the morning after breakfast until sometime in the late afternoon. My work clothes are shorts and a tee shirt year round, no shoes. I’ve tried in the past to give myself word goals, but they never seem to work. So now, I write as much as I can, and then stop."


Any writing tips and advice on getting published that you'd like to share?


"In terms of constructing a novel, do what works best for you. Dismiss advice that sounds too rigid, such as 'Don’t begin revisions until you have a complete first draft.' That’s nonsense. I revise as I write; many successful writers do. But I read that piece of advice in just about every writer’s forum and magazine that I stumble upon.


"As for getting published, develop a thick skin and persevere. The publishing industry moves at glacial speed, so once you type 'The End' on your first manuscript, don’t be disappointed if it takes you five years to get it published. And once it’s published, that’s when the challenges really begin."


Excerpt from NIGHT ON FIRE:


As I rise to consciousness I realize the prison alarm is just an alarm clock, maybe the loudest alarm clock on earth. Lying on my stomach I feel around for an extra pillow, place it atop my head and try to smother my ears.



When the cougar begins clawing at my back I realize this is no alarm clock. It’s a goddamn fire alarm, the kind of fire alarm even the dead could hear. I reach for another flat, lifeless pillow and tug it down hard over the first.


The cougar’s growling something at me.


“...time is it?” I shout.


I peek out from beneath my pillowed teepee and glance at the window. It’s still night, no light spilling in at all. My eyes flutter toward the digital alarm clock, which reads two-twenty something, the last digit blacked out by one of my socks.


Quickly I take inventory of myself: pounding head, burning stomach, a mouth that tastes like rum and coconut suntan lotion. So, nothing out of the ordinary.


The cougar meanwhile is on her feet, slipping back into her sundress, shouting at me to get out of bed.


“No way,” I say, lowering the heavy lids of my eyes.


Fire alarms, they go off all the time. Like car alarms, only louder. I’ve been putting up with this ever since my first semester at URI, some jacked-up resident advisor constantly chasing me naked out of the freshman dorm. Drills they called them. Drills held in the dead of night just to get the girls outside in their underwear, nipples instantly hardening under white cotton tank tops in the brisk New England air. Gossips loitering with their binoculars ready to report the following morning on who is sleeping with whom. Dorms, hotels, condos, apartment buildings, it’s always the same. Always a prankster, some joker or toker higher than an elephant’s eye blowing bong smoke up at the ceiling. Never is it a bona fide emergency.


Well, almost never.


The cougar smacks my bare back so hard that it stings. “There’s a fire,” she shouts.


I groan. “How do you know, baby?”


“Because there are flames out in the hall and there’s smoke coming in under the door,” she yells. “And stop calling me baby!”

May 05, 2011

Another Great Review for "In Miniature Style II" from miniatures site!



New review for IN MINIATURE STYLE II from Lesley Shepherd, About.com Miniatures Guide:




"...The book is full of good basic information for people who are starting out in miniatures, and want to learn some classic techniques and experiment with various types of miniatures across a range of themes. The photos illustrate achievable projects, items which are not going to take forever to plan and build.




"...Easy to read, the book is a bit like having a miniature club to yourself. The chapters feature formats that seem like club speaker topics, or club class sessions for beginners."




See full page review




BUY: Print (see title link for other formats)


May 02, 2011

New Reviews, In Miniature Style II



A couple of great new reviews for In Miniature Style II!





From Camille Minichino (author, The Miniature Mysteries series):




"In Mini Style II is an outstanding source of ideas and instructions for the miniaturist. All levels are accommodated, from the intrigued beginner to the expert craftsperson, from using found objects to crocheting the most detailed afghan. I especially liked the ideas around finding a "structure" in which to "plant" a miniature scene, like a soda fountain inside an empty ice cream container. The text is fun and inspiring to read and all the instructions are very clear."




And from a reader:





"Love the new book, it is so easy to understand even the "MINI Dummies" like me can understand all the amazing project ideas - Jam packed with so many easy to do projects, something for every miniaturist - Cant wait for book number 3...."
--Lianda, Kelirosh Studio, South Africa




BUY: (See Mini Style link above for ebook and other links):



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