May 29, 2010

A Pink Saturday Party!

What fun! Beverly at How Sweet the Sound is having a party!

Congrats to Bev on her "second" birthday for Pink Saturday! Let's bring out the cake and balloons!

Well, what better way to celebrate than a barbecue?

Here's part of the scene in my rooftop garden roombox built in a wall-hanging bookshelf.

Happy Memorial Day! Let's eat!

May 22, 2010

New Miniature Finds for May Flowers

I made a few new plants from some artificial plants I had bought a while ago. I like the shape of the leaves, which I painted a darker green.

The great find were these neat beads at Hobby Lobby for half off. (sale ends today!) I love the designs for vases! The package says Metal Beads. Aren't they fantastic? Unfortunately, they only had the one package of the larger bead which is my favorite. I'm making some new plants to make an arrangement in it.

And since it is also PINK SATURDAY at Beverly's blog, How Sweet the Sound, I went and visited Kathy at Reimagined Treasures who makes the cutest little kids' outfits!

And this is my dog, Shania, who has this funny habit of chewing on her leg when she's lying in the chair. Well, not really chewing, but she seems to think her leg tastes good or something. I finally was able to catch her on camera before she moved. ha!

** In the mood for a quick read?
Check out
- a story for less than a cup of coffee! See link at right column.
... A mother's love is eternal...

May 21, 2010

Miniature Food that Looks Good Enough to Eat

Some neat videos to be inspired by. I can only wish to create such realistic food in miniature.

Amazing isn't it? These are 1/12th scale (1" = 1 foot). Most cakes are around or under 1" in size. Hungry yet?

May 20, 2010

Book blog tour: KJ Roberts, author of Pieces of the Star

Today I welcome author KJ Roberts, author of PIECES OF THE STAR, a YA suspense/thriller from FIDO Publishing. (Highly appropriate, I thought! Cool cover, too!) - And don't forget to check out the contest at the end!

In PIECES OF THE STAR, ex-cop and brain tumor survivor, Vincent Maxwell has been recalled for a special assignment: Capture a killer.

With no obvious common links or clues, Maxwell must work fast before another body turns up.

What he discovers suggests that more than his reputation is at stake. Wrapped up in an unbelievable world of superpowers, he’s dragged in deeper with a connection he never thought possible. Can he use the information to his advantage and stop the killer? Or will death strike before he finds answers?


The man's mouth gaped open and his eyes were wide in terror. Something horrible had happened to him, yet only a small gash existed in his right ear.

Vince looked around the area. The local police force hadn't found any clues since five o'clock this morning when he'd gotten the call. Now the sun had begun to rise and people gathered around the yellow tape, murmuring worries about a possible serial killer.

Could anyone blame them? This was the second killing this month. Both victims had the same cut on the side of their head, but so far, they seemed to have nothing else in common. (Read more at above links.)

As part of her tour, KJ shares how one special dog turned her into a cat - and dog - person...


I’ve never been a dog person. Hey, don’t boo me. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, a dog person. My husband is notorious for dragging home strays. It all started years ago, and we’ve been through a few pets. Mostly cats, but dogs too.

About a year ago, we were down to one dog, a Blue Heeler and Malamute mix. My husband walked her every day, feed and played with his Princess. But one day he comes home from his walk with a puppy wagging behind Princess. A little dirty Yorkie.

I figured this puppy was someone’s pet, so I posted fliers. Sure enough, someone claimed him. We were sad, because we had come to love him, but took him home (all the way to the end of the street). An hour later, the man is back asking us if we wanted him. His granddaughter was scared of him and hadn’t stopped crying since he came home. (He was supposed to be a present for her.) So, we took him.

Now, like I said, I’m not a dog person. I like my cats, and I have a couple of them. But this little boy has wiggled into my heart. He is the cutest thing ever, does the funniest things, and loves the cats. He’s sweet and has so much personality I wanted to share these funny stories about our Boogie.

I have this knit jacket with the drawstrings in it, the ones that always come out. So, he grabs this drawstring in his mouth, pulls it in front of the cat and tries to get it to chase him. Once he has the cat’s attention, it’s on! He starts running around the coffee table and sofa with the cat on his heels. They’re about the same size too, but Boogie runs a bit faster. He’ll slow down and look back to make sure the cat is still chasing him, and then start running again. This game can go on and on while the family laughs. It’s about the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Currently we have another stray cat, well not really a stray - the neighbors moved out and left this cat behind. He’s not fixed and wouldn’t you know it, a female cat turns up pregnant. We have the momma and six kittens in the house in a box right now.

We’re working with a local shelter to find homes for all the cats, daddy too. The kittens are big enough they’ve started climbing out of the box and exploring. But Boogie’s right there to follow them around and make sure they don’t get lost. He makes sure we know where they are and helps herd them together. He’s pretty good at watching two at a time as they roam. So if you ever need a cat-sitter, Boogie’s your guy!

(Boogie sure sounds like a one-of-a-kind dog! Thanks for sharing, KJ!)

** Your Turn: Comment and you can win a copy of KJ's book, PIECES OF THE STAR. Share a funny story about your own dog (ok, cats too!) ha!

May 19, 2010

New Ebook: Motherly Love

New ebook: Motherly Love.

Maria's family had a secret: an ancient tradition she'd always thought was nothing more than superstition. Then her little girl fell ill. Now, just like her mother and grandmother before her, Maria vowed to do anything to save her daughter--even the one thing she feared most.

** BUY: Download at Smashwords for less than a cup of coffee!


Motherly Love - C.A. Verstraete

Chicago, 1929
The kerosene lamp on the table flickered faintly, the feeble light enveloping the kitchen of the small flat with an eerie glow.

Normally, I would've jumped up at the increasing duskiness that masked the worn linoleum beneath my feet and the bulges in the excessively plastered walls. I hated the dark, and usually rushed to find some old candle stubs to dispel the shadows and augment our meager fuel supply.
Now, such things didn't really matter. Instead of feeling uneasy about the approaching shadows, I almost wished I'd be swallowed up by the malevolent beings I imagined hid unseen in the thick blackness.

A hoarse croak floated out of the small bedroom a few steps from the kitchen and stopped my musings. "Maria?"

"Yes, mother. I'm coming."

The dry hacking coughs that followed my mother Anna's call hurried my preparations. The pieces of silverware clattered against the chipped china bowl and plate I set on the tray and carried to her closet-sized bedroom.

For several minutes I stood mannequin-like outside the room, my heart hammering against my ribcage at the raspy sounds and the sickly scents that assaulted my senses. I sighed, struggling to cope with my mother's rapid decline. It was a burden that felt horribly heavy on my fifteen-year-old shoulders. I shifted uncertainly from foot to foot, my two-step of insecurity making the worn kitchenware clank some more.

"Honey, is that you? Come in and sit by me."

I braced myself and went to her bed. "Here, Mother. I made you some chicken soup and some tea. Better eat while it's hot."

She did her best to murmur her thanks, her words of appreciation now wrapped in hoarse whispers and phlegmy coughs that I wished I wasn't hearing.

"Sit, sit." She patted the worn chenille spread covering the small iron-framed bed in welcome.

"No, no, I don't want to shake the bed," I said. "You should eat before it gets cold."

"Cold, hot, it won't matter." She sighed and reached to reassure me when I gasped aloud. "Don't worry. I'm not giving up yet. The soup'll be just fine once it cools a little. We need to talk."

I hesitated but did as she asked and eased myself onto the lumpy mattress without jiggling the bed. She hadn't complained of any queasiness since yesterday; I hoped it stayed that way.

From my vantage point, the sharp angles that had replaced mother's once heavily padded frame were clearly noticeable. Her smile put me at ease until she leaned forward. Her jerky motion caused the necklace tucked beneath her floral patterned nightdress to spill forth.

The s-linked chain flowed out of mother's gown in a fluid motion like a golden snake, and then stopped. A low moan escaped me as I watched her skeletal fingers pull the rest of the chain into view. I glanced uneasily at the decades-old wooden amulet attached at the chain's end.

** BUY: at Smashwords for less than a cup of coffee!

(c) 2010 C. Verstraete

May 18, 2010

Witch hat swap

I was lucky to do a swap with Kat the Hat Lady (be sure to check out her cool hats!) - and got this neat face hat and broom. Thanks, Kat!

Giving me an idea to do a hat shop I think! (Like I don't have enough ideas to do yet? ha!) Well what's a few more, right?

* Coming up: more odd plants

May 14, 2010

Another EBook Reader: Borders jumps in with Kobo

So Borders is jumping into the ebook fray with its new e-reader KOBO, coming in June. Good news is that it will only be $150 - kind of bad news is it has no Wi-fi. You hook up to the computer to download. No big deal but does that mean you can't hook up right in a Borders? What about B&N letting you read free ebooks right in the store?

The price, though, is sounding more realistic. Eventually these things should come down enough to more reasonable levels. Then you'll start seeing used models on eBay and more clones on the market. For someone who carries a book everywhere and is used to reading books on computer, I'm intrigued. Eventually this might get to the point where almost anyone can get one.

* Your thoughts?

* Kobo details on PC World.

* Sample/BUY my NEW ebook: Motherly Love (you may have to sign in).

May 12, 2010

Almost 100 followers! Win a "Little" Something!

Since I'm nearing 100 followers, I guess I'll have a contest.

** Follow me and comment ON THIS POST about a book you're reading, share a line from your latest work in progress, or tell us about your latest mini. Make sure I have a way to contact you via blog, group or email.

* One winner will get a few mini books, journal, and a pencil.

* The 100th winner will receive a mini plant and book set. Yes all prizes are minis. Or if you prefer, I'll send you a (real) paperback mystery to read from my collection in good but used condition. * The 125th person will win a set of mini books and bookends.

NOTE: Message will show up later; I approve them manually.

May 10, 2010

Miniatures Monday: Make a Note of It

Thought I'd share another pic of my miniature journal and pencils. I had fun making these and am tickled the pencils came out so well! I still want to try some yellow pencils and maybe a set in a cup. And I'm thinking of trying a set of colored pencils next, (glutton for punishment? ha!)

May 08, 2010

Miniatures for Mom: New Designer Tote Bags for Sale

New CV Designer "Croc" Tote Bags - original designs.

Includes some magazines, flowers, newspaper, journal to write in and a pencil. (Well you have to use your own pencil to write with. ha!) All handmade.

(Note: only journal front page opens and 1 mag is open; other books/mags are closed for display.)

Red Croc tote with red plaid interior, or black croc with leopard or purple print interior plus contents.

Other colors and cloth outside available. Contact me for colors. (Pictured bags on hand; others made to order.)

Also coming:

* Witch/wizard tote (with witch mags and witch or spells book (nonopening), journal and pencil;

* Gardening tote with green stripe exterior, garden book and mags, seed pack set plus journal and pencil.

* Wedding tote: white set with brides mags and book, sample flowers, journal and pencil.

$15 each plus $2 shipping; additional shipping overseas. Contact me chrisATcverstraeteDOTcom (or contact page on website) for paypal address or mailing address.

May 06, 2010

Summer Garden Miniatures

Thought I'd start showing a few of my miniatures that I don't have online yet. This garden room is in a shadow box on my living room wall. The flowers are handmade. The birds and a few animals (I know there's a squirrel in there) are by Barbara Ann Meyer at Mini Gems.

May 03, 2010

Book blog tour: Cindy Bradford, author of Promises Kept

Today I welcome Cindy Bradford, author of PROMISES KEPT, part of the Keeping Faith series.

About Promises Kept:

After finding the father she never knew and graduating from law school, Faith O'Brien's mission is to bring down the priest who abused her father as a child.

To do this, the neophyte attorney must take on a shrewd, veteran Boston lawyer who will go to any means to win a case. But he underestimates Faith's passion for justice and her fight to right a wrong.

Who is Faith?

To Bradford, Faith is part of the bigger picture. She is and was the glue that held her father. Patrick, Sue (her mother), and Alice (her aunt & surrogate mother) together over time and place.

"To me, she represents so many East Texas women who are strong, determined and even aggressive sometimes. So often, females from small, rural settings are seen as needy and weak. I wanted to change that image with Faith because many of the women I have known from that part of the world are anything but. They are perfect examples of 'steel magnolias.' Perhaps, that characteristic was innate in Faith; maybe it was strengthened by her adversities; the reader can decide."

What makes Faith special and memorable?

"To her, there is nothing more crucial, more important, more pressing than this cause... until she meets and falls madly in love with Tyler England. Soon, her fighting instincts are called on like never before. Only this time her intelligence, perseverance and resolve may not be enough."

What inspired her story?

"I’m a big newspaper and magazine reader, and portions of her story evolved from my spin on contemporary events. I have traveled to 40 countries and numerous places in the U.S. Several of those places are woven into the story."

* * Post a comment on any of the posts during the book's virtual book tour, to be entered into a drawing for a copy of the first book in the series, KEEPING FAITH.

** BONUS - download an excerpt.

May 01, 2010

Pink Miniatures & Pink Saturday for May

Pink is the color today as part of this month's first Pink Saturday for May at How Sweet the Sound.

First, I stopped by Tales from an OC Cottage, who had some beautiful shell work. How pretty! Great ideas for that sea/beach cottage I was thinking of doing in miniature. Thank you!

My pink entry today is kind of summery - thought I'd share my funny little flamingo lady again. She's dressed for garage saling, and looks like she got some great finds!What better way to spend a Saturday!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check back as I'll be scheduling some giveaways soon too!