March 26, 2012

Talking about Writing at Acme AuthorsLink...

Today I'm talking about that limbo between writing projects over at Acme AuthorsLink. What do you do between projects?

March 15, 2012

Welcome to miniaturist Camille Minichino - Margaret Grace, author of MIX-UP IN MINIATURE!

Today I welcome back an old friend and fellow miniaturist/writer, Camille Minichino, who as Margaret Grace, is coming out with another book (#6!) in her Miniature Mystery Series. (Love the new cover, don't you?)

** Mix-up in Miniature: A Miniature Mystery (Miniature Mysteries Series) comes out April 2! **

About the Book:

Geraldine Porter is thrilled to meet bestselling author and miniatures enthusiast Varena Young. The celebrity seems to seek friendship with Gerry and her crafts group, and makes a generous offer of a house from her collection for a library fund-raiser. But Young is suddenly murdered, and Gerry is left to investigate the crime. She and her eleven-year-old granddaughter Maddie delve for information on Young's mysterious past, and they find a clue to her murder in a secret room...
of a dollhouse.

Margaret Grace (aka Camille Minichino) compares writing fiction to creating miniature houses and rooms. "In each case,” she writes, "I'm creating a model of reality, a fictional world where things can be easier and often make more sense than in the life-size world.... In the world of dollhouses, there's no laundry to do, and a houseful of carpeting can be changed in a matter of minutes. In my mystery novels, the good guys always win and justice is always served. What could be more satisfying?”

Outside the Box
By Camille Minichino

Nothing stretches the imagination like doing a craft.

I like to think miniaturists are especially good at this.

I'm posting a section of a hospital reception desk scene I showed on Candid Canine a while ago. (The scene has since been donated to a hospital fundraising raffle.)

My niece and I worked on the free-standing scene and desperately wanted to include specimen containers, both empty and "full."

After an exhaustive search of all my supply boxes, we were ready to give up. We found no tiny cylindrical containers among the jumble of plastic pieces, metal rods, and other cast-off parts that my friends dump in my lap and that I keep, just in case.

As I was straightening the area after our frenzied search, I noticed my stash of glue guns and glue sticks. Aha! The glue stick was just the right diameter. It wasn't hollow, but, of course, it didn't have to be. We weren't actually going to fill them!

We simply cut a couple of glue sticks into the appropriate length and painted the exterior, leaving some "empty" and "filling" others. You can see empty ones in the box in the cabinet and a full one on the desk by the keyboard. The authentic orange "caps" are also just painted on. They look for all the world like the tiny jars we couldn't find in my inventory.

(Chris adds: Neat idea!)

"This is really what you call looking outside the box," my niece wisely said.
We agreed on the message of the day: if you're looking for something shaped like a jar, don't restrict yourself to the jar collection.

(And of course you never find a jar anyway, Chris says.)

I'm sure Christine and all her crafter friends who visit this blog have their own stories of thinking—and making minis—outside the box.

Here are a couple more of my tricks:

1. Instead of tossing the handles of those disposable brushes and razors, create a sculpture garden. The photo shows an exhibit outside the mini museum in my living room. (The exhibit is in the works, set in NY, naturally.)

2. I've used a bullet casing (don't ask!) as a vase.

(Uh, leave us hanging? Who'd you shoot?)

3. Seeing champagne toppers as chairs is as old as the hills; my latest is shown here.

There are mini tips at the end at all of my Miniature Mysteries (#6, Mix-up in Miniature: A Miniature Mystery is due April 2!).

I would love to hear some of your tips. If you give me permission to use one in my next book, I'll surely acknowledge you in the book and send you a signed copy.

Thanks to Christine for giving me space on Candid Canine!

(And thanks, Camille, as always, for stopping by. We all love your books and your tips!)

** Readers, be sure to come back on 4/16 for another visit with Camille!

Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.

As Camille Minichino, she's the author of the Periodic Table Mysteries. As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, based on her lifelong hobby. As Ada Madison, she writes the academic mysteries featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, college math teacher. "The Probability of Murder" was released March 6.

Soon, every aspect of her life will be a mystery series.

March 12, 2012

Miniatures Monday: Card Corner Room

Thought I'd share a project I made awhile ago. The Card Corner is a small scene made using a large greeting card for the outer walls. The chair is the third chair I made from my pattern in IN MINIATURE STYLE II. The books are printies on my website.

Loved this project as it's quick and uses easy how to's. I'm trying to figure out where to share this yet...

March 09, 2012

In Miniature Style II Sales!

Buy a PRINT version of IN MINIATURE STYLE II this weekend (March 9-12) get a free Valentine's screen kit. See CAV Miniatures at online mini show page.

* The ebook version is also 50% off to March 10 at Smashwords.

* Don't forget to vote for IN MINIATURE STYLE II for Best Miniatures Product at Voting ends March 21.

March 07, 2012

Do Knights Exist? Yes, says Jan Fischer Wade...

Today I welcome Jan Fischer Wade, author of the tantalizing VEILED VIRTUES.

One question: Do Knights Exist? Fischer Wade is quick to answer:

Yes, modern day English knights do exist...
and Paige desperately needs their protection to survive!

When Paige Stewart left America to house-sit in England, her only thoughts were to get away from her controlling mother and to have fun. Little did she know that her working holiday would turn into a battle between good and evil, or that she would be the epicenter of that battle. She certainly didn’t expect to be swept off her feet by a modern-day English knight. But when blood appeared on her keyboard and she discovered her childhood scars bleeding, her holiday took a turn for the eerie and dangerous, and when she ventured into the metaphysical shop run by Nathaniel Brightmore, she found much more than tarot cards and crystals.


Part One


“The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.” – Aristotle


I remind you, Brothers, our entitlement is clear. Long ago, vast lands were unjustly taken from our forefathers by an insufferable monarch whom they unsuccessfully sought to remove from power. As punishment, their blood was spilled, and their property given to loyal members of the royal court. Our duty to our ancestors to reclaim our rightful wealth and power remains to this day. It is our destiny.

The Brotherhood’s destiny depends upon our skills and power, bestowed upon us by the Dark Master. He gifted those with the power of a third eye to see beyond present reality, those with the talent to harness the energy of the spirit world, and those endowed with commanding and formidable physical prowess. The fortunate ones who possess these talents are obligated to craft their skill to its highest potential for our uses, ensuring our power grows stronger with each decade.

To fulfill our destiny, we have the power to claim others as our own whom we, by blood-given right, must seek out and use for our empowerment. We live among the weak only to identify those for whom our Brotherhood has a use, and those whom we must suppress. Our rights supersede the insignificance of a life that does not further our goals. Each of our Brothers maintains the responsibility for protecting the confidential nature of the obligation our existence and purpose has placed on us. Society knows there is power in numbers. Thus, to disguise our numbers is to veil our power. May the dark master bless us with the forces to secure our destiny.

Written in the Scroll of Dominion in the year 1787 in Badenfield, England By Robert F. Shickley, Eighth Red Lord of the Brotherhood of Cerberus

Chapter One

A picture is worth a thousand words. At least, that’s how the old saying goes. But the uninvited pictures which invaded my mind usually left me speechless. Often of unknown persons and places, they are a constant reminder that I’m different. I wasn’t always like that, though.

The morning after my high school graduation, I wandered around our house, trying to figure out what to do with myself. I sauntered into the kitchen, where my mom poured coffee into her travel mug before she left for work.

“Quit moping around the house. Why don’t you call one of your friends to come over for a slumber party?”

“Mom, I’m almost nineteen. We don’t call it a slumber party anymore.” I rolled my eyes. “And besides, all of my friends are on the campout you wouldn’t let me go to. Remember?”

She simply sighed and then left for work, closing the front door quietly behind her.

Why did my mom have to ruin everything? She made her way onto my shit list the previous day, and my annoyance with her had not waned.

Even a well-planned-out appeal to my dad about the camping trip didn’t work. I was leaving in a few short weeks to house sit in England by myself for the rest of the summer. Who was she to tell me I couldn’t go be with my friends in a tent for one harmless night?

I couldn’t wait to get out of Charlottesville and away from my mom. Two whole months of peace from her would be refreshing. It seemed like her life revolved around keeping tabs on my life. I don’t know why she didn’t trust me. It was essentially a miracle she’d finally agreed to my England trip, because generally, only divine intervention would have made that happen. It was as if my mom was scared for me to be out of her sight and control.

Thankfully, my dad came through for me on the England trip and basically put his foot down. He insisted it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I shouldn’t miss out on. I definitely looked forward to so much independence away from Mom’s suffocating presence.

** Watch the trailer:

March 06, 2012

In Miniature Style II Sale! And don't forget to vote!

I just noticed that the IN MINIATURE STYLE II eBook is part of Smashwords' 50% off sale. Sale ends March 10. Please be sure to add a review after you purchase. Thanks!

And don't forget to vote for the book for BEST NEW MINIATURES PRODUCT at - voting ends March 21.

March 01, 2012

New Artisans in Miniature (AIM) 40th Ruby Issue!

The beautiful new issue of the Artisans in Miniature (AIM) Magazine is now available.

The "Ruby" 40th issue offers a variety of beautiful projects and miniatures, especially red items for Valentine's Day!

Included are photos of my two new screens, a 1" scale and a tabletop version featuring vintage Valentines based on the pattern from my book, IN MINIATURE STYLE II.

** Download the issue via the AIM blog.