April 30, 2011

Z Award: A to Z Blog Challenge

It's over. Finito. Done.


I didn't visit as many blogs as I wanted, and missed a couple posts, (got sick at beginning) but it was an experience. Great blogs out there.

Elizabeth Mueller shared this final award and is ambitiously visiting all - gulp - 1282 blogs! in the challenge. Wow. She deserves an award just for that. And another for leaving me off the hook for thinking up another blog idea. haa!

** And ThelmaZ at WidowSphere picked my blog as 1 of 26 of her favorites - and that's after visiting over 1,000 blogs. Wow! Thanks, Thelma!

April 29, 2011

No Zzzz: Rising Early for a Royal Wedding, A to Z Blog Challenge

Well, the event is over, and I have to say, well worth watching.

Kate, now Princess Catherine, was beautiful, regal, stunning. Her dress was simple yet elegant, as lovely as the bride. And as photos have shown, she did have a regal look of Princess Grace about her. It was charming to see the glances between Prince William and his bride.

Fantastic scenery, great pageantry, really something to see. And the Queen wore yellow, which for me, was the icing on the cake! (My favorite color!)

Wishing the couple the best in the future and a happy life.

April 28, 2011

W to X: Tornadoes, what gives? A to Z Blog Challenge

Holy cow.... hundreds of tornadoes in one day? Hundreds for the month? What gives?

This is nothing like Dorothy's trip in The Wizard of Oz.

Interesting details and map about tornadoes at the Washington Post.

Fascinating, though frightening, but I never want to see that swirling mass too close. On odd weather days when it's cool, then suddenly warm, you just wait to see if the sirens will go off.

Living in Wisconsin, we've had our close calls. The closest was some years ago when a tornado went through, violent winds, sudden hail and storming. It tore off a bunch of trees a mile away. Scary stuff.

We still are arguing about the safest spot to go: under the deck? I'm thinking the closet, but then I'd have to move all the junk first. And get the dog in with me. a big stubborn German Shepherd. I can see how that would go.

** What's your scariest weather situation?

April 25, 2011

The Latest for Miniatures Monday: A to Z Blog Challenge

A couple of the latest pix on my half scale (1/2" to 1') Tudor style dollhouse. The bottom floor is a garden shop; the top floor is a cafe/cake/book shop.

The cakes were made by my friend, Kitty. Most are about 1/4" in size; the larger cakes are 1/2" on the bottom.

The chairs were made from a kit. I made the table from a mat board folded into a cone. I might try another one but from sturdier material. I'd like the top a bit larger.

April 22, 2011

S is for Steampunk'd and Steampunk Romance Anthology

Cool new cover for upcoming anthology, Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance - coming June 7 from DAW Books.

The anthology contains my second story,"Kinetic Dreams" about my character Alva Edison and her family. The saga of Alva Edison and her famous brother, Thomas, continues with newly married Alva realizing her life isn't as she thought it was. Can she help Thomas get back to the past and escape a threat from the future?

About the book:
From the co-editor of Steampunk'd comes an all-new collection of adventure and romance amid Victorian steampunk settings. Sparks fly in these original stories of a steam-driven airship searching for a lost city, a crazy inventor in a powered wheelchair with a plot to take over the world, and a love story set in an alternate history version of America. Adventure abounds in these stories of love, loss, and danger- and there is plenty of steam!

The first story,"Kinetic Light and Steam Power" appeared in the anthology, Steampunk'd, also from DAW Books.

In the story, an unexpected accident has Alva Edison assisting her brother Thomas in developing some of their time's most amazing discoveries, and improving on some of H.G. Wells' work.

April 21, 2011

R and S - Books to Read at Mysterical-e Author Snapshot: A to Z Blog Challenge

I wanted to put up two S posts so thought I'd add one today.

In case you didn't see it - check out the latest and new mysteries from authors Donis Casey, Vicki Delany, Neil Plakcy, Jacqueline Seewald and various authors in the new Mark Terry anthology, Deadly by the Dozen, at my Spring Mysterical-e Author Snapshot column.

April 20, 2011

Q-R: A Royal Wedding, A to Z Blog Challenge

Yes, I admit to being a royal watcher. I loved watching Princess Diana and was saddened at her tragic death. I've been to England a couple times and love the atmosphere and history, so of course, I've loved watching Prince William grow up and now find his Princess.

It does seem that he and Kate have had enough time for her to grow into her prospective role, and you hope that she is getting some say in all the planning and her future life. She's stepping into a formidable role, albeit a gilded one which still comes with many restrictions. You can only hope they have a long and happy marriage.

See: * Royal Wedding site * British Monarchy photos

April 18, 2011

A to Z Blog Challenge: Oh, Please! oDDities

Well, what better topic for the letter O than Oddities?

Here's one:

Paint your house like a big, bright billboard Why? They pay your mortgage! Good reason but you have to like yellow and purple (I do) and chances are the budget won't be big enough for a lot of houses. Okay, okay, maybe not too odd. Don't worry, read on, it gets weirder...

Why I thought of this topic, I'll never know... (The mind works in mysterious ways...)

I remember staring in fascination at all the weird, freaky stuff in Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. The weirdest, of course, were the shrunken heads... so indulge at this strange site complete with pix: Doc Bwana's House of Shrunken Heads

In Chicago, we had the Riverview Amusement Park- an amazing place of roller coasters, the house of mirrors and what in those pre-pc days was the freak show. Persons with unusual physical characteristics....

* See Chicago Tribune Riverview photos

* Sideshow banner art (How times change! Check out the tattooed lady banner!)

* Check out this fascinating display of Victorian freak show posters

Okay and maybe the oddest category of all: (Not for the squeamish!) Post-Mortem Photos (cabinet cards, card de viste)

I happened upon this section on eBay one day by typing in de la morte or post mortem photos. From Civil War to Victorian times, people who didn't have access to photography as in modern times regularly had that one last portrait made of a beloved child or baby that had died, or of a loved one or a war hero. It also was a custom of European families to take that final portrait of a loved one in their casket.

The photos are sad, stark, even kind of creepy (I have to wonder sometimes what nightmares the little kids had after posing with their dead baby brother/sister.) And it seems odd to see the Civil War portraits of a soldier posed upright, the only giveway his sunken eyes. Morbidly fascinating, though I had some whopper nightmares when I first saw these. And they are highly collectible. Take a look, if you dare...

April 16, 2011

K to N, Lizzie Borden and Macabre Nursery Rhyme, A to Z Blog Challenge

Posting a combination as I was sicK aLL Week with the flu so I got behind.

As for M and N... remember that macabre nursery rhyme: Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks...

I'd been reading about the infamous accused murderess before it was featured on TV this morning. A story that continues to fascinate with plenty of info if you scout around.

Well, if you're really curious, you can book a night or two at the Lizzie Borden B&B in Massachusetts - yes, the home where Lizzie supposedly did in old mean dad and her evil stepmom with an axe back in 1892.

The house has been converted back to its original look, inside and out. Some furnishings, of course, are reproductions but... is that the original carpet where stepmom met her demise? Sure matches the photo...

Wow, if you owned such a house, wouldn't you play up the famous history?

So, the question remains: though Lizzie was pronounced not guilty at the trial, what say ye? (Given she inherited everything, sounds like a case of greed? I say guilty.)

Some interesting sites:

* Lizzie Borden trial records * Lizzie Borden site * Lizzie Borden Virtual Museum - Victorian era topic magazine, The Hatchet *

April 12, 2011

A to Z Blog Challenge: Just got....

Posting a new mini I just got as a gift from another miniaturist. A great set of mini books with a feather 'pen.' Susan also makes a great assortment of "magical" miniatures under the name Tabitha Corsica.

April 11, 2011

A to Z Blog Challenge: I'm a collector! Miniatures Monday

Since I'm a collector, I'll share the latest step in finishing a half scale Tudor-style house. the house is 12" tall at the front peak and 10" wide. I'm decorating the bottom floor as a garden shop and the top floor is a bakery/cafe/bookstore. Not much but it made a big difference - just finished trimming the window, putting frame around it, and putting trim around the walls by the floor. Also thought I'd share the new cabinets I got at the dollhouse show. I split the cabinets on right side from a tall bookcase. Fits perfect! I had made a counter but this one is smaller and does fit better. Hopefully will have more progress soon! Just sharing the outside to show those who haven't seen it. I still have to glue in bottom window and door, and add door trim.

April 09, 2011

A to Z Blog Challenge: Dollhouse Show Must- Haves!

Hopefully will try to post a few of my new items I found and had to have from the dollhouse show. Not that I don't have enough stuff saved or waiting to be assembled. but if you don't buy it, then you never find it again, it seems!

April 08, 2011

G: A to Z Blog Challenge! Gone to the show!

Gone to the IMA Dollhouse Show today and Saturday!

Will try my best to get some show pix on here late Friday or for Saturday!

April 07, 2011

F: Faberge eggs in Miniature - A to Z Blog Challenge; In Miniature Style II new project!

Came across something that I had to mention.

A display of fascinating handmade Faberge-style miniature eggs is being held by a Bellefonte jeweler.

The eggs from the 800-piece collection by Russian artist Ilya Abelsky measure 3/4" of an inch long. The sterling eggs feature 24-karat gold, multicolored enamels, many with precious and semi-precious gem decorations. And check out the jewelry! See link above for the photos.

** New Mini from In Miniature Style II:

** An addition: adding some pix of a new chair I made from my pattern in In Miniature Style II. Just have to add some bunka trim.

BUY: In Miniature Style II ebook

In Miniature Style II print

April 06, 2011

E: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor: A to Z Blog Challenge

I love old Hollywood movies and Elizabeth Taylor was one of the stars that I always found fascinating.

Not only was her beauty and talent admirable, but as someone recently mentioned, she typified old Hollywood style. Unlike today's stars who walk around in sloppy clothes or no makeup, Elizabeth always looked like a star when she appeared in public.

I was always interested in the life of Cleopatra, so that film (even if it was bad) is a favorite strictly for the amazing scenery and costumes.

** Something neat: some vintage Elizabeth Taylor paper dolls

April 05, 2011

D is for Dog of course! A to Z Blog Challenge

This is my German Shepherd Gracie not long after we brought her home. Now she's a much bigger baby. ha!

One of my favorite projects was making what I call "The Dogcatcher's House" in miniature. You can see photos here.

April 04, 2011

Miniatures Monday: C is for Cookbook in Miniature! A to Z Challenge

Some new visitors wanted to see more miniatures, and I am only too happy to oblige!

This is probably one of my favorite scenes that I made. The fun was trying to make something I'd never done before. The fruit and watermelon bowl were great to make and try to get as close to real as possible.

I handmade all the food from FIMO oven-bake polymer clay. The idea came from copying a cookbook cover as part of a miniatures group challenge. See more of my miniatures at my website, click miniatures.

April 03, 2011

6 Sentence Sunday: Excerpt In Miniature Style II

For fun, I thought I'd participate again in 6 Sentence Sunday. This time, I decided to do something different-- my six sentences will be taken from different chapters of my just-released nonfiction book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II. The book features profiles of miniaturists, photos, and over 40 how-to projects.

Here are a couple sentences or quotes from a few of the persons profiled; others will be excerpted on the blog later. (Click their names to see some of their fantastic miniature creations!)

Miniaturist Fern Rouleau:

Rhode Islander Fern Rouleau grew up inspired by art, thanks to her mother, Alice Singer, a sculptor and painter. What Fern didn’t know was that the mini food magnets she was making from bread dough would be the basis for her later fascination with dollhouses and miniatures.

Doll maker Bonnie Glazier:

Texan Bonnie Glazier originally dressed large porcelain dolls and made costumes at doll shops. When mass produced dolls made the hand-made dolls too costly to produce, Bonnie discovered a whole new creative outlet through miniature dolls.

Doll costumer Kathi Mendenhall, La Petite Belle Patterns:

This Tennessee resident initially wanted to make dolls to sell, but it was too much to keep up with while working full-time. Then she began teaching weekends at a Nashville miniatures shop and realized she enjoyed it. “I found teaching rewarding and fun,” she says.

April 02, 2011

B is for Books! A to Z Blog Challenge

I'd be remiss in this challenge if I didn't post the obvious - B for Books, my books. ha! Note that most of the books are also in e-format so a good price and you can try out something new for a fraction of the price! See more at my books and Ebooks pages at my website. There's also short stories in DAW's steampunk anthologies, other short horror and holiday short stories.

* Collectibles: photos, profiles, and over 40 how-to's (pdf, Kindle/mobi, etc. and print) In Miniature Style II

* Short Horror:

* The Killer Valentine Ball - Every girl dreams of having a night she'll always remember... forever... (Kindle, various Ebook formats)

A young woman faces her greatest fear, and her family's darkest secret to save her own daughter... (Kindle/mobi, other formats, Smashwords Ebook) - Motherly Love

* Kid's fiction: Sam, her BFF Lita, and a friend's mischievous Dachshund named Petey, face an angry housekeeper, a dog-hating gardener, and an ancient family curse as they search for a missing miniature replica of Van Gogh's famous painting, "Starry Night." Ages 9-12. * (Kindle, other ebook formats, Print): Searching for a Starry Night

April 01, 2011

All About Collecting: A to Z Blog Challenge

I'm a collector meaning I collect everything: paper, glues, paints, scraps, miniatures, houses, kits, colored pencils, and probably much more I can't think of at the moment. It takes up a lot of room. It's everywhere.

I love making dollhouses as I can combine different crafts in one project. But my real house is small; not a lot of storage. So...


I've decided to give up on miniatures. Clean off the table and counter. Give away the projects and supplies. Want some?

NOT! To hubby's regret. And if you didn't catch on, today is April 1 - HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY!!! haaaa! I couldn't resist!

It's also the first day of the A to Z Blog Challenge. All month I and others will be posting by letter, so be sure to stop by and add your comments!

** BUY: In Miniature Style II ebook (pdf)

** Author page (eBook Vol 1 and II)

** Download other formats: Smashwords In Miniature Style II ebook

** See project info and photos In Miniature Style II

**BUY: Print