April 08, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: G for #Miniature Gardening

* Go to Day 1 

One of my favorite projects was working on my half scale dollhouse and adding a small potting shed on the side of the building. (The bench is from Sdk Miniatures; the boots are Polly Pocket boots! The cabinet is my design.)

I just found a glass case at the thrift store that I'm thinking of making a 1" scale potting shed in as I don't have a larger one. 

I really love miniature plants so I guess I'll make a setting. I'll be making the furniture myself and am thinking of sharing the how to's in the updated version of In Miniature Style II.  (The link is for the old version, I have print copies only. The new version will likely be a combination of some of the projects from books 1 and 2, plus new projects, tentative title, The Best of In Miniature Style.) Stay tuned for details!  * If you sign up for email updates in the left column of this blog, you'll get blog updates as I post here.  I appreciate your interest!

In the meantime, here are some free vintage veggie packages for your own potting shed! Here's a large one to use as posters and a small one - simply cut out and glue to a piece of folded paper with an envelope-like flap cut out on top.

Other freebies:

* Cute original design seed packets. There's also a folding pattern to show the shape for making other packets.

* 1 inch seed packets at PrintMini.com -Half-inch and 1/4" packets

* Free printie plant leaves

* Pretty free flower images for wall art from Graphics Fairy - full selection of flower images

April 07, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: F for Miniature Food

 (Hot dogs by C. Verstraete, from In Miniature Style II

* Go to Day 1 

The fun of decorating a dollhouse or room, at least to me, is adding the food! Even better, no calories! haa!

I enjoy making miniature food and also have quite a few items saved that I got from swaps in the past.

** This is one of my favorite cookout scenes I made for my wallhanging Rooftop Garden.

** A favorite scene I made that duplicated the food on the cover of a vintage cookbook. That's a fun challenge to try!

** Get all kinds of free food (& other) printables pages via Yahoo search. Great assortment!

** See J -K on Saturday, 4/11 for my mini groceries and mini kitchen in progress! 

Miniature Food Books (Real Life):

I've enjoyed making some of my own items in the past using the directions  from two of my favorite books. Angie Scarr's book, Making Miniature Food & Market Stalls is a good reference book to have on hand, with directions for an assortment of foods. 

Making Miniature Food & Market Stalls, Angie Scarr - Updated cover on the classic book for making 100 polymer clay food projects and a market stall, fruit boxes and vegetable baskets, plus a color mixing chart. One of the best books for learning mini food making with polymer clay and caning.

Another book I've used a lot in the past is Dolls House Do-It-Yourself Food Displays by Sue Heaser - Instructions for 40 projects in Tudor, Georgian, Victorian styles and more.  Easy instructions to make food with good results! 

For me, making miniature food is something I do in spurts. I do a bunch and then don't make any for a long time. But this is a book I spotted from 2017 that has me wanting to try some different foods. So this is one I want to pick up yet.


 Making Mini Food: 30 Polymer Clay Miniatures, Lynn Allingham - I hadn't seen this one. Always great to find new books on making mini food! (209 pages). It has some different items to make from pancakes, to a banana split, cakes, roast chicken, pastry platter, lobster, hot dog, cheese board and more!

April 04, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: D-E for Dollhouses Everywhere

Wall garden roombox

* Go to Day 1 

* Today is a double post for Dollhouses - Everywhere!

If you're a collector, well, then you know how it is. You save stuff - in case. You have boxes of supplies, lots of crafting items, paints, wood, etc. And then there's the projects themselves.

I've sold a few houses here and there, but many I keep as I enjoyed making them. So yes, they're everywhere. Dollhouses are part of the decorating scheme.

There's a rooftop garden I made in a small bookshelf cabinet on my wall in the family room.

BBQ scene in rooftop garden below.

I have several roomboxes in a bookcase and the Half Scale Country House on the bureau. You buy real-life furniture to fit the houses, of course.

On bookshelf: bought the half-scale house years ago. The table was made by my friend Gigi.

I have more roomboxes in a niche, in a shelving unit and on the bookcase in the living room.

In progress: lady's shoe store and men's shop in an old glass cigar box.

Oh, there's the double sitting room and writing room (not pictured) sitting on top of the hutch in the kitchen, too, along with a couple cabinets on the wall. You make them, so might as well decorate with them, right?

Old medicine cabinet with holidays on each shelf.

There's more not shown....

And admit it. I know I'm not alone in this.... 

April 03, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: C for Miniature Cabinet Dollhouse

* Go to Day 1

Today I have a special treat. If you're not friends on Facebook, then you've missed the progress as Georgia miniaturist JP Sligh transformed a family heirloom into an amazing miniature project.

 He said the former china cabinet, which had been in the family for years, had also been stored away in the attic for quite a while. While it needed a bit of repairing, Sligh could already see the potential.

"Because it had solid side walls and not the usual glass, I really liked the idea of using it as I could have exterior scenes on the sides with windows and light," he explained.

He wasn't quite sure of the age though his ideas ended up fitting well into the cabinet's time frame. The cabinet is fitted with individual room boxes made by his brother, Chuck.

"I had always assumed it was circa 1930's however recently having it repaired and French polished, the furniture restorer told me it is older and more like 1905 due to the use of old hand blown glass, " he said. "What I have really enjoyed is studying houses of this period and also life during the early 1900's. They have just had a telephone installed and electric lights as well as a new bathroom."

The results are a real life mansion, but in miniature in the spirit of 17th century cabinet houses like the Petronella Oortman cabinet house at the Riksmuseum in The Netherlands.

Sligh made many of the items himself, re-purposed and used many antique pieces, and also sourced items from top miniaturists. He also has done several other interesting miniature projects like a scene in an old clock case and Marie Antoinette walking to the guillotine.

He also designs needlepoint and stitched many of his own designs for the house like this adapted design on 24 count congress cloth. The pattern is painted on the fabric for stitching.

See the video of the cabinet house construction progress, and the decorated rooms and furnishings. It's worth a look! 

Love  the detail in this attic of the cabinet. More items were added since this photo.

The foyer with a burl wood, ormulu chest with a marble top.

April 02, 2020

#A to Z Blogging: B for Miniature Dollhouse Books

* Go to Day 1

** See top tabs here on blog for real-life miniatures books. Just added: 2020 and 2021 book list!

There's something addicting about books - I mean lots of books!

In miniature, the fun is having piles of books all over (like real life!) or shelves filled with various tomes.

Or filling that room with dozens, hundreds of books! 

Spooky book setting by me.

** Where to find book printies?

* Google antique books and you'll find lots of covers you can download and shrink down in your Word or photo program. You can find books on Pinterest, too, but be careful as many links head to bad or non-existent websites. 

* * Hint: To fit most miniature shelves, the books should be under 1" high. I've been making most about 7/8" tall and others are smaller of course. Watch the size when you are printing on some purchased or free printie sheets, too, as I've had to resize some by printing at a smaller than 100% print size.

* Advice on printing: use good paper and your top photo setting. I like to spray the finished printies printed out on matte paper with a fixable matte acrylic to seal it. You can then coat the sheet with gloss or several coats of matte Mod Podge without smearing. 

* Emboss: Trace lines and designs on coated and dry book covers with a ball tip stylus to make the design stand out. Inside: I like to cut picture framing mat board to fit. Color edges with gold paint as desired (I use a metallic gold fabric paint) or leave plain for an old, used look. Layer pieces of board as needed for thickness. Here's the how to. --Chris V

** Mini Book Printie Sources:

* Patricia Paul has a great sheet of dollhouse book printies on her website. Simply sign up for her occasional newsletter. 

* I also have some free book printies shared with permission from fellow authors on my website's miniatures page. Please remember that all these are for personal use only and can't be resold or reposted. 

* Printies list at MySmallObsession (The book link there doesn't work.)

* Books and other items in various scales at Small Stuff's PrintMini. They also have a set of books that fit nicely on bookshelves. 

* Book printies on some of the printable pages at cdhm.com

* Costume design and other book printies

* Selection of kids' books to shrink down. 

* LeeAnn Borgia has a great selection of miniature books at v
arious prices. I used her Raggedy Ann books in my RA roombox. (See her ebay store and Facebook page.)

   While there are quite a few freebies out there, it's always nice to get some different designs. Check out a number of nice book printies for a reasonable price on Etsy. Search with dollhouse book printables at the site to find more. Here are some I like: 

* EverAfter Miniatures has a set of 28 magic book covers, $6 or 28 vintage cookbooks, #$5. For fun, she also has a coffin-shaped bookcase printable, $3, if you don't want to make one from wood. 
* Nice pretty, romantic set of book covers from AdikaBoxCovers, $3

April 01, 2020

#A to Z Blogging - A First Day in #Miniature

So it begins!

Today it's no April Fool's Joke but the first of a full month of Blogging from A to Z - but in Mini! (There are 200+ blogs signed up. Check them out on the master list here.)

Stop by for new posts daily (except Sundays) throughout the month. I'll try to have some surprises, maybe even some prizes, too! But lots of minis for sure!

I'll include the links ahead of time here in case you miss one. Links go live the day of the post.

* Here's the official A to Z Blog Challenge site.

*** As for minis: What I'm working on and should be done by now that I'll be sharing photos for soon: Ladies Shop Cabinet, kitchen wall shadowbox, record store (well hopefully more progress there!) Who knows? Maybe I'll be starting another project too! 

BONUS: to see if you're reading this! Tell me what you're working on via my contact page on my website -Subject: Projects - and I'll send you a little mini surprise! (Sorry, US shipping only!) International and any winner: I'll be glad to send you some email printies! Contest ends 12 noon 4/30.

** I added some ITEMS FOR SALE. See Minis for Sale on Top Tabs.

Thanks for playing along!--Chris 

April 1 - A - A First Day and Links
4/2 B - Miniature Books
4/3 C - Miniature Cabinet House
4/4 - 4/6 D - E- Dollhouses Everywhere

4/7 F - Miniature Food
4/8  G -  Miniature Gardening 
4/9  H -  Halloween Miniatures    
4/10  I -  Paris Miniature Project Interior
4/11  - 4/13  -J - K - Just My Miniature Kitchen 

4/14  L -  Miniature Lady's Shop
4/15  M- Half Scale Miniatures 
4/16  - 4/17 N - O - Not Only One Inch Scale
4/18  P - Dollhouse Show Plans

4/20 -4/21 -  Q - R Quite the Record (Store)
4/22 S - Farmhouse Country Style Miniatures
4/23 T - U - Totally Unexpected Miniatures 
4/25  V - Miniature Valentines

4/27 - 4/28 - W- X  - What an EXciting Hobby
4/29 - 4/30  Y - Z - You use Zoo animals in miniature?

March 05, 2020

Blogging A to Z in Miniature Coming in April!

For those who've stuck with me as I slowed down on blogging, I'll be featuring a mini a day, (except Sunday), maybe some guests and more (so I hope!) next month for the annual A to Z Blog Challenge! There may be some giveaways and prizes too so be sure to follow along! We'll see what I can come up with! 

I did this for a couple years and totally forgot last year, so glad to be joining in again!

The first day's post on April 1 will link to the badge in the left column and will have all links to check out along with the master list link. Stay tuned! See you then!

January 08, 2020

#Miniatures Year in Review 2019

It's always fun to look back and see what you've worked on. Gives you a boost, too, when you feel like you've gotten nothing done! 

It doesn't look like a lot, but I know I've worked on quite a few single items, too, but I'm not sharing them all. ha!  (Click photos for full size.) Thanks for looking! ☺
(Free animations: https://www.fg-a.com/)

Here are a few of the projects I've worked on this past year:

New small scene I did in a small niche box I bought at the flea market. Sometimes it's fun just to do a small scene and use some extra stuff you have on hand.

Finished exterior of Half Scale Haunted House. Added roof porch trim from Alpha Stamps (cut off part of a larger fence.) Added some plants and figures. Still have to do lights and decorate the inside. 

Working on a Lady's Shop cabinet. (Cabinet from MiniEtchers.) Added top trim and flowers since this photo. 

Raggedy Ann shadowbox made in an older NAME
 (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) kit.

Redecorated the Half Scale Shed kit (from MiniEtchers) and moved it next to the orange Halloween house.

Made fuchscia flowers. Easier than I thought. (Bonnie Lavish plants kit.) I added some sparkle paint on the top pink stamens for an extra fun touch. Nice kit. I'd like to get some more of these.

Made these half scale chairs. 

Finished painting the outside of the shop from the Houseworks Street of Shops for the record store. Partially assembled since this photo. Inner window trim added also. Have lights, stone and outside decorations to add next. 

Added  - I found the interior pic so far. Lots of color! Love this scrapbook paper. The window sills are an iridescent cloth. 

Still making lots of mini books as they're so addicting. 
Top: Half scale books

January 06, 2020

Happy New Year! #Miniature #Paris Project Preview!

Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays were splendid. Getting back on track here, so today is a big treat!

If you've been following my friend Gigi's Miniature Paris Project, her entry and version of the Serendepity Shed for the Hobby Builder's Supply contest, then you'll be happy to know it's completed and entered. (See the last blog entry. You can still click the Paris photo in this blog's left column to see all the posts from day one. Click photos below to see full size.)

The result? Magnifique!! She did a stupendous job and here's a glimpse of the finished building. She will be sharing more photos and the story about it soon as well.

As you may recall, the main shop is called, The Key to HappinessLa ClĂ© du Bonheur, based on a real locksmith shop in Paris run by fictional Locksmith Artisan (distinguished tradesman) Louis Gustave.

The building is three stories, with a souvenir and key making shop on the first floor. A sitting room is on the second floor, with the guest bedroom on the third floor. Let me say, I'd love to stay here! All the details are so fantastic and sooo romantic!

Side and garden courtyard.

There have been quite a few modifications to construct the whole project, but I'll leave the explanations for an upcoming post.

Street view.

Let me say for now, Gigi was thrilled to get her project done and entered, though I know she thoroughly enjoyed all the building, decorating, and planning.  She did quite a few original elements to this project, so I am hoping she wins something in the contest! She did an amazing job!

Guest bedroom, third floor

Thanks for following along and taking a peek. Be sure to come back for more photos and details.

Also, Chris will be updating to share some of her latest work and she realized, she hasn't done a year in review yet! It's always fun to look back and see that yes, you actually got a few miniature projects done! See you soon!

December 25, 2019

#Christmas in #Miniature 2019-12: A Christmas Story 2

12 Days of Christmas in Miniature

Today we feature the second part and conclusion to an original Christmas tale by Robert W. Walker, author of 70+ novels including the fabulous gaslight thriller, CITY OF THE ABSENT, featuring his detective, Ransom.  Check his website for his latest thrillers and novellas. 

While Robert is known for his spooky and often creepy-gory horror books, he has a soft side, too! Never fear, this two-part story is rated PG. 

(Go to Day 1  - See part 1 of story)

Part 2: Continued, "The Thief of Christmas Present"
By Robert W. Walker

(Photos: Christmas Santa House by C. Verstraete, see more pix here - click miniatures; Festive gold and white holiday scenes featuring the miniatures of Lissu, used w/ permission. See more pix and visit her blog

To recap: the family are watching the film to see who is stealing the Cluewellens' Christmas from Julia's dollhouse. (Part 1 is in the previous post, the 11th Day of Christmas)

Shortly after, Stevie entered the room, asking, "What kinda movie is this?"

"The movie that's gonna prove you stole the Cluewellens' Christmas!"

"I didn't touch that stuff! I didn't do it, mom!"

Joannie came down from her room and asked, "Are you still blaming that on Stevie? He wouldn't do that!"

"We got you on tape this time, Joannie...or Stevie...whichever one of you guys did it, so there!" Julia set her jaw, determined to watch every hour of the unmoving movie frame by frame. "Mom and me...we gotcha good now. Liar."

Joannie came at her sister. "Who're you calling a liar? Me?"

"If the shoe fits!"

"Enough, both of you! Stop it. Either sit down and watch the tape or leave the room, but please, no more accusations, Julia, and no more shouting, Joannie-and you, Stevie, stop crying."

"I didn't do it," he complained through tears. "I always get blamed for everything!"

"All I know is somebody stole the Cluewellens' Christmas tree now!" Julia shot back.

"Hey, what's that?" asked Joannie, pointing at the screen. "I saw movement-a shadow-back of the miniature."

Julia, Stevie, and Mother Waldron stared at the slight squeaking noise, too, and in a moment, they all watched a pair of whiskers and a brown button nose rise over the back of the miniature at the chimney.

"It's Newton, my ferret!" shouted Stevie. "He's escaped again."

Newton lived up to his name, always finding ways to escape his cage, and often, Stevie allowed him 'free run time' but Newton always returned to his cage. Newton had even found a way out of the house one night.

"What's he doing?" asked Julia. "OMG-he's going down the chimney."

"Like Santa," said Stevie.

"No...more like The Grinch," replied Joannie. "There's your Christmas thief, Julia!"

"But...I mean how...why?" she asked. "Why's he terrifying the Cluewellens and destroying their Christmas?"

"You really think Newton is thinking along those lines, Julia?" Joannie couldn't hold back her laughter.

"Shhh...watch him. Look, look," said Mom. "The little thief! He's dragging the entire tree out the front door."

With the tree clear of the door, it snapped closed, and Newton scurried away with the five-inch high tree, ornaments trailing. He truly did look like a miniature version of The Grinch except that he was brown and not green.

"Stevie's pet's the thief...the whole time," Julia muttered in disbelief.

"What's he doing with all the stolen goods?" asked mom. "Shall we find out?"

"I think you're gonna need a ferret whisperer or a pet shrink to figure that out, Mom," replied Joannie, still laughing.

"Nothing funny about that little rat destroying the Cluewellens' Christmas!" countered Julia.

"Why don't we all just go on a scavenger hunt?" began Mom. "To see where Newton is stashing all the decorations and presents."

"And stockings!" added Julia.

The four of them started for Stevie's room where Newton lived in a cage. Everyone in the family had gotten so used to Newton's escapes and escapades about the house that no one took great notice of him of late.

"What's going on?" asked Jack Waldron, their father, who'd caught them gathered at the foot of the stairs as he came through the door, home from the office.

Everyone spoke at once until Anna calmed them and pointed to the still action shot on the TV. "We caught Newton red-handed. "He's Julia's Christmas thief."

"Must be the shiny stuff attracts Newton, eh?" asked Jack.

"But he's never done this before!" Anna replied. "Any rate, we're heading up to Steve's room to see where he's stashing the goods."

"Say, did anyone read that book that came with the ferret when you bought Newton at the pet store?" asked Joannie, who was browsing the book for any clues.

"Who's got time to read?" asked Julia.

They all went for Stevie's room, and looked into Newton's cage, a made-over fish tank. There, amid the usual sawdust and toy shelters and fake greenery, was a stash of Christmas miniatures, from the tree, to the presents and the stockings. All of it lay in a neat, orderly circular design. The look on Newton's face said, "I confess."

Joannie handed the paperback book on ferrets and ferret behavior to her mother. "Take a look at the last section on page sixteen."

She glanced at the page. "Oh, dear...then this means..."

"What is it?" asked Julia. "Nothing in that book could possibly excuse this rodent's behavior, and as for you, Stevie-this is all your-"

"No, Julia!" countered her father, who'd now read page sixteen. "No way is this Stevie's fault!"

"You owe Stevie and me an apology," Joannie said to Julia, having closed in on her, nose-to-nose. "And all our friends, too!"

"You do owe everyone an apology, Julia," her mother agreed. "In the meantime, Newton is going to need a new name."

"Whataya mean?" asked Julia.

"New name?" asked Stevie.

"Newton is a girl, and she's stealing shiny objects to make a nest, because she's going to have baby ferrets."

"OMG!" replied Julia. "That's it! That explains the mystery."

"But if Newton's not a boy...what're we going to call Newton?" asked Stevie.

"Newtonia?" suggested Joannie, a snicker escaping.

"Why don't we make it Madame Curie," suggested mom. "I think she outsmarted us all. In any event, case closed."

Stevie lifted the flimsy lid and started to reach in to retrieve the Cluewellens' Christmas stuff-his sister's stuff, but Julia stayed his hand. "No, Stevie. She-Madame Curie-she needs it now more than the Cluewellens."

"Aren't you ahhh worried about the Cluewellens?" asked Anna of her daughter.

"They'll understand when I explain it to them," Julia replied and shrugged, "and besides, there's always next year."

Anna hugged Julia and Jack put a hand on his daughter's shoulder, and with the entire family looking on at Newton-now Madame Curie-every one smiled, and if ferrets can smile, Madame Curie smiled back, a knowing glint in her eye.

"I have an idea for the Cluwellens' Christmas," said Stevie.

"What's that? asked Julia.

"Why not give them a front row seat for Christmas?"


"Put their house under our tree!"

Everyone agreed it was a wonderful solution, and that Julia had a lot of apologies to make, and that she'd tell and retell Newton's story between now and Christmas quite often indeed.

The End.
(c)2008, 2019 RW Walker published by http://candidcanine.blogspot.com

** I hope you enjoyed this Christmas tale and the 12 Days of Christmas in Miniature. Merry Christmas and the best in the New Year to everyone! 
As Tiny Tim said, "God Bless us, every one!"