December 31, 2016

Mini Year in Review 2016

Happy New Year (almost!)
 (And wishing you the best in 2017!)

With 2016 coming to an end, I thought I'd share a few of the miniature projects I completed this year. You forget what you've worked on until you actually see the photos together. (Click photos to view full size.)

In no particular order:

* Finished re-decorating the Tudor Half Scale house  - first floor bakery; second floor living space. * See more inside photos and the front exterior.

* Finished decorating the outside of the Half Scale Garage. (Won Grand Champion ribbon at the summer County Fair.) * See fair photos and full outside of garage.

* Also finished the flower bed on the side of the garage. I'm still finishing up the outside to display a "mini" garage sale scene. I set it aside for a while.

* I did come out with a new book, Dollhouse Decor & More, with co-author/miniaturist Joanna Campbell Slan.  (It includes the flower box and wisteria wreath shown above.) See Amazon link - website.

* Built a new Half Scale Potting Shed kit from Mini Etchers
 * Photos of inside of shed.

* Almost done:
Right now, I'm finishing up a few little decorations inside in the redecoration of the Half Scale Porch. Started it a long time ago, didn't like it, the roof fell off! and I finally decided to finish it. It turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself!

  I wanted to use things I mostly had on hand so that worked out pretty well. Here's a preview... so far. I'll do another post soon when I finish the inside and will share all I did! Happy finally with how it's turning out. I love the colors!  (I still have to add the porch rug and door mat here, and probably some wall and door art. Maybe a couple hanging plants yet, too. As you can tell with most of my projects I like them to be well-decorated and kind of busy! There is a small room I added on the back of the porch, so I'm finishing a few more decorations in there, too.)

* I also renovated and redecorated a Halloween Market Stall I made a while ago. It turned out pretty cute, too. (There's been a couple changes since this pic - the cat looks better now with a collar and whiskers!)

* I have some other cute things I finished... a few I can't share as they are Christmas gifts for a friend to be opened yet as we're getting together late!

I know I've forgotten some others, but this is a start. Makes me feel like I got something done. ha!

*What projects are up next? 

On the agenda, though it doesn't mean I'll get to them all:
* Mini Camper  - I think it'll be a shabby chic cafe - coffee shop.
* Finish the Half Scale Garage sale scene
* Finish the shoe store roombox and a dress store roombox. (Renovating a used box I bought.)
* I have a new room box - thinking of maybe using it for the Tudor hall I planned a long time ago.
* Build the A-frame Half Scale Beach house.
* Build a half scale Victorian Halloween house.
* Still have things saved and waiting for the men's shop in an old cigar humidor box.
* Two Greenleaf dollhouses are pre-built and need to be decorated, electrified, painted and wallpapered. One is the general store kit, which I was thinking of doing totally white as a shabby chic setting for my Ladies' Shoppe items. I have a ton of stuff made and saved...
* Of course there are other ideas, too! 

** What miniature projects did you finish this year? 
* What projects do you hope to get to next year?

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Hope your Christmas is wonderful and blessed, and your New Year is just as special!

** See Christmas in Miniature 2016  - Day 1

* Read the annual Christmas Story, "Thief of Christmas Present" by Robert W. Walker
Part 1 - Part 2

* Don't forget some books under the tree (or on that Kindle!)

In Miniature Style II  - 40+ how to's, interviews and great photos

Dollhouse Decor & More - How to's and tutorials 

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter - fiction - (mystery, horror, historical) 

Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become... zombies? 

(Print, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited)

 GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie -  Young adult zombie fiction 

Becca's life is changed forever when she's scratched by her cousin -- and turns part-zombie!

December 24, 2016

#Christmas in Miniature 2016 Day 6

Merry Christmas Eve!

See Day 5 of Christmas in Miniature and Part 1 of the Christmas story, "Thief of Christmas Present" -  See last day - Merry Christmas!

Today continues part 2 of the annual Christmas story...

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

(Photos: Christmas Santa House by C. Verstraete, see more pix at my website; Festive gold and white holiday scenes featuring the miniatures of Lissu, used w/ permission. Visit her blog)

Today we conclude our original Christmas tale by Robert W. Walker, author of more than 30 novels including his latest Chicaghosts series with Gone Gorilla and The Monster Pit.

TO RECAP: the family are watching the film to see who is stealing the Cluewellens' Christmas from Julia's dollhouse.

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.

" 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.

(c) 2008-2016 RW Walker, published by

Hope you enjoyed the story and this year's Christmas in Miniature! 

December 23, 2016

#Christmas in Miniature 2016 Day 5

More Christmas in Miniature! 

* See Day 4

Christmas in the Half Scale Country House

** And today's treat: A special annual Christmas story I've been running since 2008 by fellow author, Robert Walker. Robert W. Walker is author of more than 30 novels including his latest Chicaghosts series with Gone Gorilla and Monster Pit

Part 1: "The Thief of Christmas Present"
( ** See part 2

The Thief of Christmas Present
By Robert W. Walker

(Photos: Christmas Santa House by C. Verstraete, see more at my website.)

Julia rushed into her mother's room, her eleven-year-old arms flapping as she said, "Joannie stole my Christmas presents! I just know it was her!"

"Your big sister wouldn't do that, Julia."

"Then its one of her girlfriends."

"I've talked to Joannie, and she's given the third degree to every friend who has been visiting the house since Thanksgiving."

Julia's eyes filled with tears. "Musta been that boyfriend of hers then!"

"He seems like a nice, respectful boy, and whatever would possess him to steal your miniature Christmas presents from beneath your miniature tree?"

Anna Waldron hugged her daughter to her. "We'll find the stolen goods. They're likely somewhere on a shelf. Thoughtlessly moved by one of your little friends."

"No, no mom! I don't let anyone reach into my dollhouse and take out anything, not the figurines, not the furniture, and certainly not the presents under the tree."

Anna wondered how this could keep happening to her daughter. Julia had put heart and soul into her miniature house this year. In fact, she'd begun creating the tree, the ornaments, lights, stockings hanging over the fireplace, and the presents beneath the tree since last Christmas.

She'd got it in her head that her dollhouse ought to have all the ornaments and decorations of any home, that Mr. and Mrs. Cluewellen and their three children who lived in the miniature house ought to have a wonderful Christmas too.

Julia had worked so hard to make it happen, and now, day-by-day, all her work was coming unraveled. The day before she noticed an ornament missing from the tiny tree. The day before that one of the stockings she'd labored so hard to make was gone from the mantel. Poof. Now two of the tiny presents from beneath the tree-gone. Stolen.

"At this rate," moaned Julia, "by the time Christmas gets here, the Cluewellens won't have anything left."

Anna patted Julia's hand. "And The Christmas Crook of the Present will have won!"

"We can't let that happen, mom!"

"We must act, set a trap."

"A trap?"

"Yeah, we'll wire up a trap that will snap on those sticky fingers."

"Then you think it's Stevie?"

"I hope not, but your little brother is at that age. I sure hope he hasn't lied about this."

"'s not a ghost. I asked the Cluewellens if they'd had any problems with anything like a poltergeist, and they said no."

"You believe them?" Mother Waldron laughed, but Julia stared at her, eyes saying, 'not funny'.

"They don't lie, cheat, or steal, mom."

"Neither does your brother or your sister for that matter, young lady."

"Well I'm not lying about it! Someone's stealing the Cluewellens' Christmas right under our noses."

"You set the trap," suggested Anna. "I'm going to set up a concealed camera, so we can get to the bottom of this before..."

Julia looked up at her mother, wondering why she'd stopped talking. "Before all of the presents and decorations are gone?"

"Before you make your sister and your brother angrier with you than they already are."

"Angry with me? I'm the victim here. Me and the Cluewellens."

"Honey, you have accused both of them of stealing and lying about it. Then you accused their friends."

Julia nodded, and for a moment Anna thought her child understood and agreed, but then Julia said, "It could've been one of Stevie's dumb friends."

"Well now, we're going to find out, aren't we?"

"You think it'll work, mom?"

"At the rate things are disappearing, my hunch is that whoever's behind the theft will be back."

They put the trap into play.

They wisely left the miniature house untouched and unmoved, the same enticement as ever.

An entire day and most of the evening went by with young Julia wanting to check the Cluewellens' living room and tree every hour, while her mother insisted they wait and see. When Anna decided the camera's battery would be in need of help, mother and daughter went into her room to determine if anything had been taken. They found the front door closed. Julia gasped when she looked in through the windows. The entire tiny Christmas tree had been taken! All about the front door and steps, glitter appeared like colored snow. Whoever was behind the theft, cleaning up after him-or herself-wasn't a concern.

"It's got to be Stevie or one of his goofy friends," Julia said, tears forming. "Maybe Stevie's too chicken to tell on Tad."

"Let's reserve judgment and see what the camera says."

They made popcorn and popped the film into the USB port of the TV and sat down to watch the unfolding events. Unfortunately, during the first hour, nothing unfolded.

"This is a real snore and a bore," Julia complained, tiring of the popcorn as well.

After a while, Julia began making up a storyline to go with the miniature people inside the house on the screen, and it was so vivid that her mom could almost imagine that the little Cluewellen family was as real as Julia believed them to be. She began to see Mrs. Cluewellen move that feather duster in her hand. But clearing her head and eyes, Mother Waldron thought better of saying she'd begun to see the miniature people roaming around inside their miniature house. Maybe the miniature was haunted at that....

(** See Part 2 of the Christmas Story, The Thief of Christmas Present, by Robert W. Walker

(c) 2008-2016 RW Walker published by

December 22, 2016

#Christmas in Miniature 2016 Day 4

Welcome to Christmas in Miniature Day 4! 
* See Day 3 

Christmas cakes and more in the greenhouse.

A Christmas Gift for You! 

 Some Paris print paper or designs to cut out. And a mini book cover, too.

* And how about a book?

** 60+ Tutorials and fun projects! Print or Kindle 
Dollhouse Decor & More -

December 21, 2016

#Christmas in Miniature 2016 Day 3

Welcome to Christmas in Miniature!! 

* See Day 2 

Christmas shelf with cakes, jars and teapots in the greenhouse. (Cakes and teapots made by my friend Kitty.)

A Christmas gift for you!

19th Century paper dolls

December 20, 2016

#Christmas in Miniature 2016 day 2

Welcome to Christmas in Miniature! 

* See Day 1

What's Christmas without a tree? (Christmas in the Greenhouse.)

(Christmas animations: )

A Christmas Gift for You!

* A "shabby" Christmas sign. Right-click to save. Print out and glue to picture framing mat board. Cut out and paint edges red to match. Glue yarn, twine, ribbon or embroidery thread to back for hanger.

December 19, 2016

#Christmas in Miniature 2016

Merry Christmas!! 

I missed doing this for Halloween, so I decided (last minute!)
 to do the annual Christmas in Miniature! (See Day 2

So enjoy! Hope you have a great Christmas and the Best in 2017!

I'm going to share some of my own Christmas mini scenes and anything else I might come across.

"Waiting for Santa" - Christmas bedding, Half Scale Country House

A Christmas Gift for You:

Mini Christmas Cards