October 31, 2014

Halloween in Miniature, Day 5 - It's Halloween!

 Welcome to Day 5 of Halloween in Miniature 2014!

(If you missed the beginning, go to Day 1)

Finally! It's the day of the big party. I hear everyone's been cackling and trading their best witch's brew recipes for the Halloween bash today and they've been cooking up a storm! Let's see what they have to offer...

We'll start in the kitchen. Oh, look, it's Witch Lucie and she's invited us for tea! (Doll and scene by Lucie Winsky, Lucie Winsky dolls. Doll kit - Nancy Cronin.)

She said it's been one of those days, you know, when the mice keep running off with things and the ghostly helpers simply won't pour into the cups and not all over the table!

Have a spot of willow bark tea while you wait?


All right, we'll head to the back now to... wait... do you feel like you're being watched? (Original oil painting by Lucie Winsky.)

Oh, don't worry. Esmeralda insisted that Mona goes by the motto of "what happens in the haunted house, stays in the haunted house."  

Now, watch your step in case the cats are about... no, that step on a cat thing is NOT true!

Wow, that's quite the gathering! Looks like everyone is having fun. Don't tell me, Uncle Ernie wants to play strip skeleton poker -- again! Ignore him, please! (Though judging from their lack of clothing, we're already a little too late!)

Lucky for us, Witchy Wanda has a spell to take care of such things. Oh-no, now what? What is that smoke?

"Sorry," she says. "Guess I'm a little rusty."

(Witch doll and party by Lorrie's Little People. Lorrie has been selling individual dolls like Wanda from her collection to help homeless cats. Since the shelters are so full, she's built a space in her garage to house them come winter. She also gets them spayed and helps find homes for others. She recently found five abandoned, starving kittens and has helped them survive.  The party scene is not for sale.)

I think we better move on.  

Wait. did you hear that? A-a screeeeeam? It looks like Esmeralda is torturing pumpkins again. Don't look, hurry, keep moving! (Kitchen witch by Nancy Cronin.)

Maybe we can visit with Hagatha, who says she's been slaving over a hot cauldron for hours, just waiting for us to come out.  Yeah, she does tend to exaggerate!

luciewinskydolls-nancy cronin

 (Witch doll and hand-sculpted frog by Lucie Winsky, Lucie Winsky Dolls. Rat/cat  - Nancy Cronin.)

Do you think we dare ask what's in that pot?

So, Hagatha, what have you been cooking for us? 

Oh... "Frog Stew" you say? You're not going to use that frog in your pocket, are you?

Whew, that's a relief. I'm glad to hear the frog is actually the rat/cat's play companion. I'm really glad for the frog (on both counts!)

Sit down and have some snacks now. I hear Hagatha has some other goodies cooking up in the other pot... 

Wait, where are you going? Come back - come back!!

Heh - heh.  That's one way to get guests to not overstay their welcome!  Bye! Thanks for stopping by!


    Death stalks the night... and the day. Psychic detective Abraham Stroud faces a lonely battle against monsters no one else believes in.

 Werewolf's Grief: Archaeology vs. Supernatural (Bloodscreams Series Book 2) - by Robert W. Walker 
    A madman heads to Chicago, leaving behind a trail of corpses Only psychic detective Abraham Stroud dares to think the most forbidden names, and faces the most terrifying truth of all - wolves travel in packs. 

 Kingdoms of the Dead: Chemical Rot zombie -  Ian Woodhead - Every survivor has the zombie virus in their bloodstream. How far will one scientist go to save the human race?

  Duplicity duplicity - The creatures took their form and their memories... they became the humans they ate. Now this place becomes a killing ground.

** Here are a couple of miniature book covers for your dollhouse bookshelf! (*Personal use only! Covers (c) of artist and author, used with permission. Do not pin or re-post.)

Thank you for visiting this year's Halloween in Miniature 2014!

I hope you enjoyed this year's tour. Please be sure to check out the authors' books and the artisan's websites. Don't forget to leave a review for the authors, as well. 

Thank you for coming by and see you next year! - Chris Verstraete, author, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

(Print and ebook - Amazon US - Amazon UK

(Please do click like on the author's page - my name link - on Amazon!) 

What happens when you're 16 and turn part-zombie?  

Sixteen-year-old Rebecca Herrera Hayes faces every teenager's biggest nightmares: bad skin, bad hair, and worse . . . turning into one of the living dead.

Becca's life changes forever when her cousin Spence comes back to their small Wisconsin town carrying a deadly secret—he's becoming a zombie, a fate he shares with her through an accidental scratch.

Thank you to all of this year's participants: 


Kiva Atkinson of Kiva's Miniatures.

Ewelina Hasnik of  Ewelina's Amazing Clay World

Linda Wooten, Wooten's Miniatures 


Hallowed Horror  - 10 paranormal stories by various authors

Horror 101: The Way Forward - various authors, Crystal Lake Publishing

Margot Justes  - Blood Art

K.F. Kirwin - Haunted Bedtime Stories 

Jamie Johnesee  - The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie

Chantal Noordeloos  - Angel Manor

C.A. Verstraete - 
GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie 

Robert W. Walker  - Werewolf''s Grief/Bloodscreams, etc. 

Ian Woodhead - Kingdoms of the Dead, Duplicity, etc. 

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 30, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014, Day 4 - Spooky Party!

It's Day 4 of Halloween in Miniature 2014 and the party is in full swing! 

(If you missed the beginning, go to Day 1)

Let's cut through the hall. I want you to meet some of the guests. 

Oh, dear. The twins seem to be wandering the house again unsupervised. We insist their nanny stay with them after they tried scaring guests with that representation they did last year  of the ghostly girls in the movie based on Stephen King's The Shining. Scared half the guests back to their graves!

(Scene by Patricia Paul, PatriciaPaulStudio.com; dolls - Amanda Skinner)

Please, keep walking. We don't want to encourage their behavior. I'll have cook check where the nanny went. Maybe you should take a seat...

WAIT! No, not there. Oh, I'm terribly sorry, Mort, Finney, and Darryl, our resident ghosts, already claimed those chairs. Quite handsome, aren't they? I mean the chairs. No, guys I wasn't slighting you. It's just that the guests can't see you yet. Yes, yes, please forgive them for trying to sit on your laps. It's rude, I know, I know.

I'm sorry, the Specter brothers are quite touchy. I hope we don't have any other surprises. . . 

Well, we won't complain about a pleasant surprise! Why, it's the Skellie Sisters! Such a fun trio they are. They insisted on coming  out this year as they said they had some jokes that just couldn't stay buried! (groan!)  (Chairs and scene, including hand-sculpted skeleton ladies below also by Patricia Paul.)

 Artisan Patricia Paul says she's been making minis "forever," but professionally for about 35 years. Growing up, she made cardboard houses and clothes for Barbie, played with clay and had a dollhouse with Renwal furniture, which sadly, her mother "gave it away when she figured I was finished with it. I probably could have done a lot with that had she waited," she says. "I have always loved tiny things all my life and discovered as a newlywed a catalog of miniatures and could not believe that grown people did this."

Patricia studied art in school and thought of being an art teacher except for some parental interference... "I really should have studied fine arts but my dad was nervous that I might starve," she says. "I really hate that starving artist meme."

Amusingly, she got into haunted stuff when her son fell in love with a pop-up book. ..."I had a weird little kid who loved skeletons from a very tiny age. He learned by heart that pop-up book 'In a Dark Dark Room' and was thrilled to see the reaction of people he was ‘reading’ it to when the ghosts pop out at the end. I made him a haunted doll house along with some things to go in it. He wanted and got an articulated skeleton which he promptly broke so I sat it in a chair with a book in its hands to cover the break. That’s how the posed skellies started. I took those things to a show promising him no one would buy them and they flew off the table. I just saw one of my earlier pieces sell on eBay for $699. So maybe I should look into making those again."

She's now clearing out a stash of chairs by transforming them into "gothic delights" with sculpted decorations and hand-printed fabrics altered from full-size designs. She also will be selling some witchy things and really wants to sculpt more animals. "I guess I can include black cats, hounds of hell and gargoyle creatures," she says. "There is a nice gargoyle that sits on Notre Dame that looks like it might make a nice haunted house pet."

Speaking of pets... Little Witch Julie wanted to know if you saw her pet spider? No? well, she says to look out for something fuzzy and the size of a small puppy (If you haven't seen it - beware. Yikes! Yes, it's real). 


Such a sweet girl to have such a gruesome, I mean, uh, a nice pet. And she seems so innocent with all that candy, too. (Doll by Julie Campbell, JulieCampbelldollartist.co.uk). She has the most proper of manners and wanted to ask the guests if anyone was thirsty?

Lisa Parker Clark brought over the absolute perfect refreshment.... her bubbling delight. What flavor is it, you ask? Well, er, it may have some Ear of Toad, or Eye of Newt, but I know there's some peach flavoring, too, to cover the after-taste. 

How about a cup? No? Alright, then we best move on. Gosh, the party can't be nearly over! Why we have many more stops to make, people to meet, and ghastly, I mean yummy, things to eat! 

 ** Easy Miniature Halloween Project: Make a mini skellie mummy **

 ** DAY 5 - The Big Party! ** 


* Author Heather Graham just released a new book in her Krewe of Hunters series - The Betrayed (Krewe of Hunters). (Just started reading this series and I love it! Great suspense and paranormal stories, each in different time periods and locations.)

The latest has FBI paranormal unit investigator Mo Deaville and new agent Aiden Mahoney going to Sleepy Hollow as they explore both past and present events to figure out who killed Aiden's friend Richard--and wants to kill them, too. As they work together, they discover that they share an unusual trait—the ability to communicate with the dead. They also share an attraction that's as intense as it is unexpected…if they live long enough to enjoy it!

* Coming soon in November!  Two Must Reads (and some great book covers!) 

bobthezombie- http://www.jaimejohnesee.com/
 Early November - Author Jaime Johnesee is releasing a new collection, The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie, which contains not only her three novellas, but a new novella and bonus short story, plus great new art featuring Bob, the Zombie with bad luck! 

Fun, funny humor and zombies! Watch her website for news!

(Aren't these the coolest covers??)

  Coming Nov. 14! Who can resist a story about a haunted house? Author Chantal Noordeloos has a scary new book coming out.  In Angel Manor, Freya sees inheriting her mother's old childhood home as an opportunity. It's a chance for a new life with her best friends as they transform the crumbling mansion into an exclusive hotel. Instead, they'll barely escape with their lives...  

Be sure to check her website for release news! * Read more about the book.

 ** BONUS! Here's a mini book cover printie for your dollhouse shelf! 

(*Personal use only! Cover (c) of artist and author, used with permission. Do not pin or re-post.)

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 29, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014 - Day 3, Let's Eat!

Glad you arrived safely! Welcome to Day 3 of Halloween in Miniature 2014! 

(Latecomers, please go to Day 1)

We are so glad you decided to stop for the tour. We have... wait, what is that delectable smell? Let's take a peek in the kitchen, shall we?

Mmm, homemade cookies and rotted cake and bone dip... oh yum! But, who-who is pouring and serving???? (Goodies by Patricia Paul, PatriciaPaulStudio.com)


Um, let's hurry on. Move ahead now. Quickly now, quickly. There must be someone here to greet us.... Oh, there she is! Why, it's Matilda the Candy Witch (by Julie Campbell Dolls)


"Hello, dears. I am so sorry I frightened you. I had to pour the wine and hurry back here. I truly thought my de-materialization spell would work better. I hope I didn't frighten you?  I have the perfect solution. Have some treats. These have a bit of magic in them. No, don't worry, it's good magic. This is all good candy. There are no calories, you see!"

Now don't eat too many treats. We have some other wonderful appetizers for you!

Mmm, the fresh fruit surely will hit the spot after our candy splurge. That's quite a selection. 
(Food by Kiva Atkinson of Kiva's Miniatures.)

Kiva makes such amazing foods that we insist on inviting her back every year! Doesn't that look tasty?


Well, if you don't care for the fruit, you can go right to the main course instead, if you prefer. We have some fresh-caught fish, so fresh, in fact, you best watch out for their bite!  Or maybe you'd rather have some cheese and toast... if the toast agree, of course. This is one house where the food has a say in their future! 



All right, well, let's continue with the tour. Oh, I'm sorry. Some of our guests may be feeling a bit tired, let's go into the hall. 

Do you hear something? 

What is that commotion?

** Miniature Halloween Project: Make a vintage witch hat

** (Make Gina Bellous' leather witch hat)

 ** Day 4 - The Hall and Guests **

Spooky Reads: 

 Ghost in the Guacamole (Ghost of Granny Apples) (pre-order, Jan. 2015 release)  - Sisters fighting over the family business want their deceased father to intervene, but he has his own bombshell - his death may not be an accident, and one sister's life may be in danger if they don't sell... 

  Just released!   Hallowed Horror - limited edition box set collection of 10 paranormal stories sure to make your skin crawl.
The Spirit Clearing - Mark Tufo
All the Little Children - Christine Sutton
Fangs in Vain - Scott Nicholson
The Unsaintly - Lisa Vasquez
Generation Evil - Eric A Shelman
Pride - Chantal Noordeloos
Whispers - Heath Stallcup
Shifters - Jaime Johnesee
Tool Shed - Armand Rosamilia
                              Dust to Dust - Eden Crowne 

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com

October 28, 2014

Halloween in Miniature 2014 - Haunted Party 2

Welcome to Day 2 of Halloween in Miniature 2014!

* If you arrived late, go back to Day 1. 

(NOTE: All items are 1" scale dollhouse miniatures - 1" equals 1 foot unless specified otherwise.)

Now that you've arrived, let's step into the parlor, shall we? My, it looks so cozy and spooky with those new curtains by Linda Wooten (of Wooten's Miniatures; see her Facebook page). She has such a spectacularly gruesome way with fabric and I love what she's done with the room! (I heard even Morticia Addams orders custom made curtains from her!)

Now, how about some appetizers? The chef has been cooking all day and night getting ready for everyone. I'm sure there is something to whet your appetite. Maybe some "finger foods" perhaps? heh-heh. Or  how about a little eyeball or brains salad? Washed down with a Bloody Mary, of course. (Food: C. Verstraete)

haunted miniature food cverstraete.com

Well, if that isn't to your liking, we have many other things to eat, so.... why did you hear something? Oh, look, who it is! 

kerri pajutee miniature cat

The owner loves her cats and miniature "breeder" Kerri Pajutee has made sure the house is full of cats - black ones, of course.  After all, what's a haunted house without a black cat, or two, or three? My, isn't she regal?

Kerri, who received artisan status with the Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA) in 2001 and became a Fellow in animal figures in the Guild in 2004, has been sculpting for over 37 years.  Her work has been featured in various magazines, and is in private collections and specialty museums. (Be sure to check out her darling dogs and other animals at her website.) The polymer clay sculptures are formed over an armature, and then are built and baked in stages. The bodies are covered with natural fibers like wool or alpaca to achieve realism. Read more about her technique

Although Kerri makes all kinds of animals, she admits to not making too many with solid black coats. "They tend to get lost in a miniature setting and are hard to get any detail when taking photos," she says. But that seems hard to believe looking at her cats, doesn't it?

kerri pajutee spooky cat

While her cats look as regal as ever, if you look close, you may see a slight difference. "
I recently started to make the eyes of my cats different and you can see that the first cat (made last year) has pale green painted eyes that are glossed, while the recent sitting cat has yellow eyes that are made from dyed paper, paint and a UV resin. The latter version tends to look more realistic with a lens that catches the light much better in this tiny scale. 
Both have applied coats of blended baby alpaca and silk (which is why they have that gorgeous sheen)." 

The truth is.... these cats do have "magical" qualities and tend to get "lost" on purpose. They may show up anywhere, so be sure to keep your eyes open.

Next, let's greet some of the guests who've been patiently waiting for us, shall we? 

** Miniature Halloween Project: Free printies, Harry Potter potion pages **

** Go to Day 3 - what's cooking?

Spooky Reads:

Author K.F. Kirwin offers six spooky Haunted Bedtime Stories that'll take you near and far, and introduce you to some ghosts and spirits, plus a surprise sure to keep you up at night.

Purrrrrfect! Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty - Attacked by a radioactive field mouse, Tiddles wakes up undead. But the cat is decomposing rapidly and all he wants is to live out the apocalypse with his owner, Jake. But will Jake take him in or will ZC be forced to roam the streets and try to avoid his undead yearnings?

 Blood Art - Margot Justes - The beauty of Leonardo's art entraps a demon when vampire Nickolai seeks to have a special portrait done. Can he destroy the demon before she destroys his life and kills the once woman who matters most?

c.verstraete - candidcanine.blogspot.com