October 31, 2019

Happy #Halloween in #Miniature! 6

Well... sadly, it looks like it's the end of our 2019 tour! (If you missed it, go back & start at Day 1.)

(Ha! I couldn't resist this photo of The Asylum's Morgue by Debra Hinton.)

Before you leave, be sure to join the party!

"Ooh, such great snacks. Even Uncle Ed decided to hang around for the goodies. haa! " (Table and food, C. Verstraete. I bought the ribs.)

"Mmm, don't forget to have some pie, too. Cook just made it. All fresh! heh-heh." (Pie, Linda Cummings.)

"Don't be in  a hurry to leave... Stick around. I hear Mr. Skellie has some drop-dead jokes to share. haaa!"

"Okay, okay. Here are  a few of his favorites. Hey, no groaning!"

  1. Who is the most famous French skeleton? Napoleon Boneapart. (Get it?)
  2. How did the skeleton know it was going to rain? He felt it in his... bones.
  3. What song do skeleton crooks listen to after a heist? Why, what else? Bad to the Bone.
  4. What do skeletons order at restaurants? Spare ribs!
  5. What was the skeletons favorite rock band? The Grateful Dead.
** Be sure to visit the websites and pages of those who were featured! Thanks to them for making this week special! **

💀 Christine Verstraete, miniatures and books.

💀 Debra Hinton, Darkside Morbid Miniatures and The Kangley Hill Asylum

💀 Georgia Marfels of Germany. Spooky minis on Etsy.

💀 Haunted Orchid Dollhouse Club on Facebook

💀 Linda Cummings, IGMA artisan - Etsy page  

💀 Mary K (HalloweenGirl) on Instagram

💀 Patricia Paul Miniatures (Sign up for her newsletter and get some free book printies, too!) - Check out more of her cool work on her Etsy page and visit her Facebook page.

💀  Sharon Cariola's Facebook page - hand-sculpted miniature figures

Thanks for voting! 

(**** Don't forget - Please VOTE for my Mr. Skellie's Porch 

at Miniatures. com - click HERE - Or see all, Mine's on Top of Pg. 2
Please vote daily through today Oct. 31 ***** )

**** COMMENTS MAY NOT BE WORKING - Enter rafflecopter (day 1) or send comment to me at my website page. I'll pick a random winner for a book, ebook or a mini Halloween goodie bag. (Gifts US Mailing only.) ****

WINNERS: I ran the random number generator and based on comments - #4 and #8 - Irina and Nadine won! I'll be emailing you!

I hope you've enjoyed all the posts and photos this week. It really is a treat (no trick!) to share the amazing work of fellow miniaturists! I just love Halloween minis!-- Chris Verstraete

 * Free Halloween animations: https://www.fg-a.com/halloween.shtml

BONUS: Don't forget the giveaway on Day 1. - Back: Day 5. 

 *** Plus -- A little treat for you: Some Freebie Halloween Printies!

💀 Crayola.com has some fun Halloween coloring pages. (Bonus: Right click to save the thumbnails at the site as minis. Here's a couple I made a little smaller, too.) 

HINT: Make some mini colored pencils by cutting down a toothpick. paint the body and end with a matching color acrylic paint. Seal with Mod Podge, gloss or matte.
   Crayon: You can make a crayon in the same way but cut the toothpick tip down slightly to the fuller point to make a bigger tip. Paint the whole toothpick with matching acrylic paint. Seal with Mod Podge matte. Find a crayon label online and shrink it down. Find more crayon and pencil box printies at printmini.com.

👽  Cute Halloween boxes  (Chinese blog; just save and follow the images. Right-click wasn't working so you'll need to use your snipping tool and save. Some may need to be resized.)
 👽 Elegant spell book covers (large size. I reduced them in the photo program to 342 pixels on the larger side to see how that size fits.)

 👾  Full page of different Halloween printies at Happiness is Home

💀 Potion labels on Pinterest (Some are for sale, some are free, and some you might need to save as the preview image (right click.)

👹 Tutorials, videos and printables page at My Small Obsessions.

💀  Simple box-style kid's dollhouse to download and build.

** I have freebie Halloween record album covers and mini books on my website Miniatures page.  Follow the printables links from there.

👀 Here's a fun video to give you some ideas:

💀 Mrs. Skellie's Reading List:

* There also are a few spooky and other books relating to miniatures in my 2017-19 Dollhouse Miniatures Books list. See the tab at the top of the blog under the logo or click here. New books added! I'll be working on 2020 books next so be sure to check back!

 New! The History and Haunting of Salem: The Witch Trials and Beyond, Rebecca F. Pittman - Over 600 pages with history and new photos surrounding the history of the infamous witch trials in 1692 in Salem, Mass. 

 Weird Tales Magazine #363 - Return of the classic horror magazine with new stories, now edited by Jonathan Maberry. 90 pages.

Happy Halloween!

 Hope to see you again soon! Please stay in touch as I hope to update my miniatures books and hopefully add a new one in the future!
 * You can also subscribe to the blog updates  in the first box in the left column. *  -- Chris Verstraete

October 30, 2019

#Halloween in Miniature 2019 - 5 - The Cemeteries

 * Welcome back to HALLOWEEN IN MINIATURE! * 

(Start at Day 1 )

(Photo: pixabay.com)

By Christine Verstraete

Now that everyone has toured the house, it's time to head outside. What's better than a walk in the cemeteries on a moonlit night? Ah, hear the wolves howling in the distance. So comforting! (Double click photos for full size.)

No, the dog won't bite. Really. Trust me. Never mind that leg bone he has... 

(**** Don't forget -  Please VOTE for my Mr. Skellie's Porch 
at Miniatures. com - click HERE - See all, mine's on top of pg. 2
Please vote daily to Oct. 31 ***** )

Nice night. Take your time so we can give chef a chance to make some of her delectable desserts. Watch your step. Look out for that tombstone there! (Cemetery, C. Verstraete)

Someone screams. "What's wrong? Did someone get killed? Oh, no. Him again!" She lowers her voice to a whisper. "Just run past, hurry. Do NOT look at him! DON'T LOOK! RUN!" (Cemetery section of personal project, Chris Verstraete.)

"There. We're safe now. No, he won't follow us. He'll stay over there. Now, please follow me..."

Someone else screams. Mrs. Skellie looks over and laughs. "Oh, never mind. It's only one of the rats. Don't worry. They're actually quite friendly - and smart! He likes to hang around the Pet Sematary. Why, of course we have one. Oh, it's perfectly safe. Just, um, don't go over the wall there!" 

 (Rat by Georgia Marfels of Germany. See her Etsy shop She has some fantastic animals and spooky items! - Pet Sematary, Nury Larissa Romero)

"Come along, now. No dawdling. The quicker we finish the tour, the faster we get in for some of those delectable goodies!

"Don't be frightened. We know it can look a bit scary out here, but you're perfectly safe. Trust me... heh-heh...."

(Full view of The Asylum by Debra Hinton. (I think this view would make a great Halloween postcard! Ii'd love one!)

The amazing Asylum project was scratch-built by Hinton and her husband. The huge project has 28 rooms plus hallways. There are even embalming rooms and a morgue under the table it sits on! The project is 3 meters/over 9.84 feet in length. It includes a hospital wing on the left adapted from the Laurels kit. The center has the asylum with the doctor's surgery and apothecary at the right. This isn't a project for the weak and has some dark aspects, but it really is well worth a look. The creativity on this is incredible! (See photos and more of her work at Darkside Miniatures. Warning: it can be gory at times. Also see more photos at The Kangley Hill Asylum FB page)

"Don't worry, it's perfectly safe to walk around," Mrs. Skellie adds. "Just watch where you step!  Uh-oh. Uncle Herbert has popped out again. He insists on greeting visitors. Don't worry, he's harmless. Be sure to say hello. He says haunting can be a lonely business..." (Graveyard, Janet Whittig.)

"Now over here we have the mausoleums and... Ah, here we are. Surprise! Isn't this wonderful? We're going to have a picnic in the cemetery!" (Graveyard picnic  and ghost by Janet Whittig.)

"Did you know the Victorians used to do that all the time? They designed cemeteries as park-like settings where people could walk around and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. See, Gus Ghost has the right idea getting out a book! 

"Everyone, gather 'round, take a seat. Let's all take a moment to reflect, then we'll pass out some desserts! Mmm, stale donuts and moldy cake. Now that's quite the treat!" (Food table, C. Verstraete)

"Coffee, anyone? No, of course we don't have any decaf, sorry. I'd be an absolutely horrible host to offer that! What, you don't want to stay up all night with the rest of us and see the ghouls rise?" (Coffee by Patricia Paul.) "When you finish your dessert, we'll continue the tour."

**** COMMENTS MAY NOT BE WORKING - Enter rafflecopter (day 1) or send comment to me at my website page. I'll pick a random winner for a book, ebook or a mini Halloween goodie bag. (Gifts US Mailing only.) ****

** Back: Day 4 - Go to Day 6 - Happy Halloween!

💀 Mrs. Skellie's Reading List:


 199 Cemeteries To See Before You Die, Loren Rhoads - Information and more than 300 photos on unique cemeteries across the world and in the US. 

Pet Sematary, Stephen King - Some things, like old Indian burial grounds, should be left undisturbed. A favorite book!

October 29, 2019

#Halloween in #Miniature 2019 - 4: Food & Don't Touch That!


(Back: Start at Day 1 )

The tour continues....

By Christine Verstraete

Mrs. Skellie directed everyone through the house, inviting guests to one of her favorite places in the house, the library. 
(Click photos for full size.)

(Mini spooky library by Mary K. Visit her on Instagram. - I love this project. I have this  kit and will definitely make mine spooky!)

Mrs. Skellie looked in the stacks. "Why weren't those books shelved properly! I wanted everything straightened up before we had guests!" A crash sounded on the other side of the room. "Oh, now what was that?" 

She hobbled over to the reading area on the other side of the wall. 

"The books!" she yelled. "Who threw them on the floor again!" (Book display above and half scale books, C. Verstraete)

She stomped her foot and frowned (not that you could tell the difference from her usual dour expression.) "I keep telling those ghosts to put things back when they push them off the shelves. The housekeeper (well, it's me, if  you must know!) gets terribly angry when she has to keep redoing things!"

She let out an ear-curdling screech. "WHAT? No food, either? Oh! I'm sorry, excuse my yelling! Where is that servant of ours? She's completely forgotten her manners in not serving everyone the refreshments!

"I'll be back in a moment. While you're waiting, please, do go down the hall and visit my sister, Henrietta Bones. She gets lonely sitting by herself."  (Room, C. Verstraete)

"Hello, welcome everyone. Please come in. What am I reading you ask? Well, I have a copy of a delightful book, Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. The author still has a few print copies, I hear. Quite entertaining. I'm waiting to read her next book about Lizzie Borden. I hear it's bloody wonderful! heh-heh."

"While I'm waiting for my sister to return, can I offer you some snacks? I have some special goodies made by my UK  chef, Linda Cummings. They are simply, shall I say, to die for? Heh-heh."

She spun around, her bones creaking with the effort. "You there, kid. If you put your fingers in that cabinet again, well..." She points to a jar on the shelf. "See that? That's what happened to the previous nosy visitors. Now... Well, I hear my sister calling. She's waiting for you in the other room. Thank you for stopping by, but I'm quite tired now. Good day."

Mrs. Skellie came back, wondering at her sister's angry expression.

 "This way, please," Mrs. Skellie cautioned. "My sister can be a bit curt, but never mind. She needs to get out more. Now... I think we all need a little fresh air. Follow me. We'll take a walk out in the cemeteries. Shall we?"

(Food: IGMA Fellow Linda Cummings, Lin's Minis on Facebook. She also makes incredibly realistic non-Halloween food! * Visit her on Etsy. * See more of her work on Pinterest.) 

**** COMMENTS MAY NOT BE WORKING - Enter rafflecopter (day 1) or send comment to me at my website page. I'll pick a random winner for a book, ebook or a mini Halloween goodie bag. (Gifts US Mailing only.) ****

(**** Please VOTE for my Mr. Skellie's Porch 

at Miniatures. com - click HERE - (or see all - mine's on top of pg. 2
Please vote daily to Oct. 31 ***** )

*  Next: Go to Day 5  - Back to Day 3 *

* Some freebies for you:

Build your own library. (Right click to save.)

** I also have several pdfs with free book printies on my website miniatures page.

💀 Mrs. Skellie's Reading List:

 100 Word Horrors Book 3: An Anthology of Horror Drabbles -  A collection compiled by Kevin J. Kennedy of over 100 short-short horror stories.  Includes my story, "A Mother's Love" by C.A. Verstraete. 

October 28, 2019

#Halloween in #Miniature 2019-3: Lizzie Borden

Halloween in Miniature continues with a different take on a real life event...

The Lizzie Borden murders... 

* Start at Day 1  

By Christine Verstraete

They say that ghosts of the past continue to linger in certain places, especially when something awful like a murder happens. That's why sites like the original Lizzie Borden home in Fall River, Mass., where Lizzie supposedly axed her father and stepmother to death in 1892, is said to be haunted. The home is now the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.

Let's go back into the parlor... Oh don't worry about the dog... he won't bite....

(**** Voting starts Midnight Oct. 29 or earlier if you're in a different time zone -----   Please VOTE for my Mr. Skellie's Porch 
at Miniatures. com - click HERE - or see top of pg 2
 Please vote daily to Oct. 31 ***** )

Wait! Don't go in there! Something terrible has happened!

While many real life crimes find their way into movies, books, and even miniatures, no other crime continues to be as fascinating as the shocking axe murders supposedly committed by spinster Sunday school teacher Lizzie Borden in Fall River, Mass. in 1892.

I'm sure you remember this famous rope skipping rhyme: 

Lizzie Borden took an axe, 
And gave her mother forty whacks.
 When she saw what she had done
 She gave her father forty-one. 

While the numbers are exaggerated when compared with the actual autopsy records, the crime is no less horrific. Then, as now, it seems hard to believe that on August 4, 1892, 31-year-old Lizzie Borden took an axe and brutally murdered her stepfather, Andrew Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden. Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders on June 20, 1893.

* We've all seen the photo of Lizzie Borden above. But here's an interesting new look at her, hand-sculpted in miniature of bees putty by artisan Sharon Cariola.  Amazing... and eerie, isn't she? Click photos for full size. (See other figures on Sharon's Facebook page.)

The crime is, of course, awful and hard-to-fathom. And while the photos have always been in black-and-white, it's been easier to stomach, I suppose. If you're of a stronger mind, you can see other actual autopsy photos here, including a more graphic post mortem photo of Mr. Borden.

I will spare you the color version in miniature, but suffice it to say that the miniature version is pretty close to the layout, though it doesn't use the actual color and patterns of the furnishings and clothing as in the real life crime scene photos. But this is an incredible recreation. (I'd been planning to do a mini Borden parlor scene, too, before I saw this though I still hesitate to ruin a miniature couch. ha! Still deciding on how to plan it. I have a cool cabinet I'd been saving for this and just got a beautiful Victorian furniture set. Even have the wallpaper picked out!) 

Miniature photos and scenes by Debra Hinton. (If you like dark miniatures, check out her Darkside Miniatures group on FB.)

As the crime is now over 126 years old, the horrific tale of Lizzie Borden continues to live on in various forms. Lizzie Borden lives on in infamy, and is also often part of Halloween lore.

**** COMMENTS MAY NOT BE WORKING - Enter rafflecopter (day 1) or send comment to me at my website page. I'll pick a random winner for a book, ebook or a mini Halloween goodie bag. (Gifts US Mailing only.) ****

* Continue: Go to Day 4  - Go Back to Day 2 * 

Halloween Animations: https://www.fg-a.com/halloween.shtml

👀 Mrs. Skellie's Reading List:

If you like to read, there are a number of books available on Lizzie Borden. My books have a more Halloween, ghoulish twist.

Reading the autopsy reports and looking at the crime scene photos made me think--what if there was another reason the victims were brutally killed in such a manner? The book is based on the real-life records and includes accounts of the actual events.

Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter by C.A. Verstraete, 

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? (See my website for more details on the book.)

* Read the continuation of Lizzie's story in Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall
 I also give another take on the story via the viewpoint of Dr. Seabury Bowen, Lizzie Borden's neighbor and doctor, who was one of the first professionals at the scene.  This book centers mostly on how the murder, and the town's bloody history might have affected him. It's a little spooky and sad with a bittersweet love story...

A ghostly, love story and mystery - 

 The Haunting of Dr. Bowen: A Mystery Set in Lizzie Borden's Fall River by C.A. Verstraete

Gruesome deaths haunt the industrial city of Fall River, Massachusetts.

Dr. Seabury Bowen—physician to the infamous Lizzie Borden—swears he’s being stalked by spirits, though his beloved wife thinks it’s merely his imagination. But the retired doctor insists that neither greed nor anger provoked the recent sensational axe murders in Fall River. Rather, he believes the city is poisoned by bad blood and a thirst for revenge dating back to the Indian and Colonial wars.

Now, two years after the Borden murders, Dr. Bowen is determined to uncover the mysteries stirring up the city’s ancient, bloodthirsty specters. Can he discover who, or what, is shattering the peace before Fall River runs red? Or will he be the next victim?

Part mystery, part love story, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen reveals the eerie side of Fall River as witnessed by the first doctor on the scene of the legendary Borden murders.