December 28, 2021

#Halloween #Dollhouse Update

Getting there! I'm at the not-so-fun part of the building - putting in trim and floors. The floors are easy; the trim, ugh, all that cutting and measuring. But.... seeing progress! (See archive in left column for previous posts! Click photos for full size.)

Ok not so exciting, but the front door's in and turned out good. I know, the pic isn't great, but I don't want to take it again. I'll get a better one after the wall is papered and the trim's on. Yes, I'm using duct tape this time to hinge it since it's strong and won't tear. 

Here's the door from the inside in the front hall. I got the stairs and wall in too. (Finally, after also having to glue the handrail several times!) I had to add a light in the hall as it seemed too dark, so I used a bead and a glass flower petal that I touched up with black paint. There will be two small part walls on each side of the left dining room for dividers. The wood floors aren't in yet. I have to darken them more. I have to find more of the thin wood-sheet flooring. Almost out! Test-fitting. But I like how this looks kind of old.

Right side of the wall in the living room. I used painted card for the bottom of the walls. The wall trim is strips cut from a bamboo mat. Have to decide on some raggedy curtains yet. Probably going to use dirtied-up cheesecloth.

Curtains in the upper left bedroom. Made the lace rather raggedy. I love the look of painting the textured ceiling a coppery-gold! I'll be adding more "dirt" on the walls plus trim. And hang cobwebs in most of the rooms, too. I hate all the trim I have to cut. I want to get to the good part -hanging pictures and decor, ha!

I have a lot of outside trim to paint yet as well. One good thing is I don't have to be neat. It's all black trim that'll be sanded to look worn. Next, I have to paper the outside. I'm using the textured brick paper on the whole house. 

That's it for now! Hopefully some better stuff (and better photos!) coming. Stay tuned! 

December 25, 2021

A Mini Merry #Dollhouse #Christmas Part 2


* Start the story here: Part 1 

Today we feature the second part and conclusion to an original Christmas tale by Robert W. Walker, author of nearly 87 novels including the fabulous gaslight thriller, CITY OF THE ABSENT, featuring his detective, Ransom.  Check his website for his latest thrillers and novellas. 

While Robert is known for his spooky and often creepy-gory horror books, he has a soft side, too! Never fear, this two-part story is rated PG. 

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

(Photos: Christmas Santa House by C. Verstraete, see more pix here - click miniatures; Festive gold and white holiday scenes featuring the miniatures of Lissu, used w/ permission. See more pix and visit her blog

To recap: the family are watching the film to see who is stealing the Cluewellens' Christmas from Julia's dollhouse. (See part 1 in the previous post.)

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.

The End.

(c)2008, 2021 RW Walker published by

** I hope you enjoyed this Christmas tale like I do in presenting it every year. 
Merry Christmas and the best in the New Year to everyone! 
As Tiny Tim said, "God Bless us, every one!"

December 24, 2021

A Mini Merry #Dollhouse #Christmas Part 1

 It's become something of an annual tradition that I've been sharing this little Christmas story my friend and fellow author Robert W. Walker penned for me. It first ran here in 2008. Enjoy!

Today I have the pleasure of presenting an original Christmas tale by Robert W. Walker, author of - gasp! - now going on 87 novels including the fabulous gaslight thriller, CITY OF THE ABSENT, featuring his detective, Ransom. Check his website for his latest thrillers and novellas.  

While Robert is known for his spooky and often creepy-gory horror books, he has a soft side, too! Never fear, this story, which will run in two parts, is rated PG. 

(Come back tomorrow for Part 2.

The Thief of Christmas Present
By Robert W. Walker

(Photos: Christmas Santa House by C. Verstraete, more photos see website, Santa's House page.)

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....

(c)2008, 2021 RW Walker published by

* The story continues tomorrow, Christmas Day - see Part 2.

December 18, 2021

New #Christmas Mystery Out Now!

 It's Out!!!! 

My short Christmas mystery, now titled A Killer Christmas, is in the Dec. 20 issue of Woman's World - on newstands now! Get it while it's out there!

December 14, 2021

Lights! #Miniature #Halloween #Dollhouse Update

Let there be light! 

(In case you're wondering, the yellow "house" in the back is a sectional cookie/storage jar!)

Yes! I know it's been a couple weeks since the last update, but finally I have some progress to show!! (Click photos for full size.)

Remember the Half Scale Greenleaf Van Buren kit I was building for a haunted house? (Yeah, I'm so slow. I see I started this back in August. ha!)

(site stock photo)

I admit, I was kind of stuck. There are parts that are NOT fun to do in dollhouse building (at least for me!) I don't like doing trim and papering, but yesterday I finished up papering walls and trim I needed to do before I did electric. Truthfully, I don't like construction much, either; I enjoy the decorating and planning the most.

Finally! This morning got the rest of the lights installed and everything soldered. And they work. Yay! (Okay, laugh. Only seven lights as the rooms are small.) 

As this is kind of an "older" Victorianish house, I decided to use some square jewelry findings I had as bases and some smaller bead caps for the lights. (Yes, it's crooked here; every time you take a photo that happens. ha!) 

I like the effect so will be doing this again in the Fairfield. I really like the result of painting that textured scrapbook paper a bronzish-gold too so will repeat that also. I only wish I had more of that Halloween cat print paper. I do have a small scrap left that'll have to do for some shelves or something.

For something different, I had a pair of bead cap earrings I'd found a while back. It had a smaller and medium sized cap with tiny keys hanging from the edges. Had to use one for the parlor ceiling light. The other will be in the FF house. (Shades of that creepy house and show, Locke & Key on Netflix?)

Another element I had to try for something different was making a wall sconce using some octopus-shaped buttons (think the horror monster Cthulhu from HP Lovecraft.) I cut the back off and glued a larger bead cap on for a sconce. As this cap absorbs most of the light, I added a ceiling light in this room, too, which will be the dining room. The light is another idea I plan to duplicate. These will be near-twin haunted houses, I think. 😀 I can swap things between them. ha!

That's the fun of it - trying to think up different things to make to make it unique. More to come! Next will be adding raggedy curtains, some lace and some cheesecloth (black and white), and then adding some cobwebs in, too. Also have to add the interior trim and do the outside. Door and window trims to be painted yet, too. I can't make it totally run down, (I admire the look of an abandoned dollhouse, but can't get myself to wreck it like that. ha!) but I'm doing some things here I decided I won't do in the FF house.

And the Fairfield? Oh, that's another story. Lousy, confusing design besides the lousy wood. I was really fed up with it. Got a few pieces figured out, so hopefully can get some walls glued and papering done. Maybe I'll feel better about it if I make some progress on it. In the meantime, I also was working on my pieces for the annual half scale group swap. About done which is good as I'm ahead for once. More on that later when I can share.

I still plan on doing a Miss Havisham kind of dining room (and still haven't come across the first table I'd already decorated, so I'm doing another one!)  I'm using the Gothic table kit from SDK Miniatures covered with lace. (I love this set!)

For inspiration, I saw this wonderful Miss Havisham figure made by the amazing James Carrington of England. His Etsy shop is empty at the moment, but some photos of other works are there. 

So, that's it for the moment. Stay tuned for more as I get things done. At least I feel like I'm getting somewhere now. 😁

December 02, 2021

Where'd the year go?#Dollhouse #Miniatures of 2020

 Wow. December already? Where'd the year go? Where does time go?

A good time, I guess, to do a looking back post on what I got accomplished in minis this year. When you feel like what have I done?, it's always nice  to see a full list of things completed.

(I try to connect posts but you can also search Half Scale Victorian or look in the archives list in left column for previous posts. NOTE: I'm being lazy and just copying/pasting photos so I hope they show right.) 

There is much more I got done. Scroll through the posts in archive to see lots of other photos.

January: The Half Scale Victorian House got started, or rather restarted since it had sat for some 10-15 years at least. 

March: By this month, construction made good progress and I decided to try something new with those wooden fans. 

April: I was working on windowbox plants and got the dreaded (dollhouse) shingles. But I also got the travel den bookcase done and the outside window and tower decorations done.

May: Big accomplishment! The roof was finished; den bookcase underway; kitchen pieces started; and love that swap mailbox as a neat addition!

June: Moving in! Also some views of the deck, attic and kitchen. A neat idea for the deck table umbrella. I love this fuchsia plant!

Summer means there's lots to do outside, but I still like to do a few mini things here and there. This was a long project getting everything done and put inside. My favorites were filling the double dressers and decorating this beautiful bed. 

July: Besides finally getting to go to a dollhouse show, here's a view of the kitchen, dining room, and a few other rooms, and my front flowers, all before the final touches. (I mentioned in a previous post about my show finds and mentioned the filligree carved shelves made by Ron Chase/D-Tales from last year's HS swap, which I put outside the bedroom. I love that wall decoration, too.)

August: I started the new Halloween dollhouse, the HS Greenleaf Van Buren, (still underway). Plus some of my great dollhouse finds at Goodwill and some of the updated rooms (parlor, craft room table, dining room, Monticello house items. That swivel chair fits perfectly in the den.) I love how the parlor came out, too.

September: I finished a video of the Victorian dollhouse. It's posted at my website miniatures page. 

October: A favorite time of year! I posted five days of Halloween in Miniature. See day one here. Besides some fabulously spooky guests, I also shared my Halloween shop on day 3. (Photo: hats by Kat Hazelton, Kitty and me.)


 I also finished a new Halloween version of my dollhouse book, In Miniature Style: Halloween, with projects you can adapt for any season! It's available on Kindle and will be in print soon. Some unique things to make here. See photos and details
at website.

November: Went to the second dollhouse show of the year. One of my finds there: got a HS Fairfield dollhouse kit. I've always admired the style of this kit. And the building has begun; also some progress on the Van Buren Halloween house. (The FF fireplace is built and I'm starting the stairs now. Have to fit some walls to see what goes where and what to paper first.)

So, that's it for now. I'll be posting some more house updates and Fairfield construction updates soon. Thanks for visiting again. 
Keep checking back for further progress this month (I hope.)

November 29, 2021

#Halloween + Fairfield #Dollhouse Update

 A "little" progress on the half scale Halloween house I started -The Van Buren dollhouse from Greenleaf. (Stock photo from site.)

The frame is together, door and stair walls are papered/built (not shown). Here's the papers I have in so far. Also putting brick on the alcoves on third floor and news print style paper on the slanted walls. I use scrapbook papers mostly as they're heavier and offer good variety.  (Click photos for full size.)

The room on the right will be the sitting room. There'll be a stair wall going to the hole/stairwell above. The bottom brown part is box card painted lightly for a weathered old look. I'll put a rail above it.

The room above the sitting room on the second floor will be a library den. Yeah, I can't seem to get away from making a zillion tiny books. ha! But they look so cool when they're done! The paper (scrapbook paper) is cool as it has a kind of spooky skull and cat print.

At left is the dining area. I'm thinking of a kind of Miss Havisham spooky table. It may hold a compact kitchen/cooking area on the front brick wall. Have to see how it fits. The room above (not done) is a bedroom with gray wallpaper. 

Progress is ongoing.

And.... The Fairfield box (also half scale, 1/24th) has been opened. (Hey, that's a start!) And... oh, so many shingles and sheets. haa! (Run! You can turn back now!!)

Well, it gets to be a looooong winter with no outdoor work to do and not much to do inside, so a dollhouse project seems like a good idea. (Everyone to their corners. Let the fights begin! I am not kidding. haa!)

Here's the foundation floor. Hubby is still cutting out the foundation pieces, so he hasn't given up... yet. (Oh the horror of this already...) A TIP : To get the foundation to line up -and stay lined up - wedges of 1/2" square pieces of wood were glued in against the foundation pieces to act as braces on the underside.)

Well. Took all day as have to glue, let it set, wait... But.... so far, so good. The foundation so far:

One word of caution on these kits - sure laser cutting may prove to be a smoother-finish wood BUT it also is thinner, and cheaper. The Van Buren (laser cut) is 1/16" thick. The Fairfield (an older kit from 1979) is 1/8" wood, but this type of wood also splinters a lot. The VB does have some warping and the FF also is prone to warping but thicker wood is sturdier.  (Photo: VB on top compared to FF.)

Yeah, I know, sooo boring, unless you are building and/or curious about these kits. So fair warning given. Stay tuned for progress updates if we (hopefully) don't give up. 😉

November 25, 2021

Happy (#Miniature) Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving to all!

At some point, I'll have to make a half-scale scene to fit in my houses, but for now, here's some 1" scale items. I got these in a food swap a while ago.

November 17, 2021

A Heartfelt #Christmas Promise Blog Tour!

 It's nearly Christmas and what better way to get in the mood than with a Christmas love story,  A Heartfelt Christmas Promise! Welcome back to USA Today Bestselling Author Nancy Naigle!

 About the Book: 

Vanessa Larkin was supposed to be spending Christmas in Paris, France on a business trip she hoped to enjoy as a working vacation. Instead, she’s been assigned to Fraser Hills, North Carolina—home of the Best Fruitcake in the USA—to convert her company’s property into warehouse space and shut down Porter’s, the fruitcake factory. Offering retirement packages and selling locals on new job opportunities may not spread holiday cheer, but Vanessa believes she’s helping secure the town’s future.

Mike Marshall’s family founded Porter’s. For decades, the factory served as the lifeblood of the community until his grandfather sold the business to a Chicago corporation. The sale cost the town its independence—and the Marshalls their family ties. A horse farmer, Mike was never involved with his grandfather’s company, but still felt Fraser Hills lost part of its identity. And as a widower raising a teenage daughter, he’s suffered enough losses in one lifetime. News of the factory’s closing means losing another piece of the town’s legacy.

Far from the skyscrapers and rapid pace of the city, Vanessa finds herself enjoying the easygoing rhythms of rural living. With Mike as her guide, she learns to appreciate the simple pleasures found in shared holiday festivities among friends. Fraser Hills is a town she is growing to love—and Mike is someone she is falling in love with. Now all Vanessa needs is a Christmas miracle to give her newfound friends and home a gift they’ll cherish for many New Years to come.

* Learn more at her website. -- Get some fun freebies, a coloring page and trivia questions here. -- Catch her on Twitter - Instagram *

* Review: I've become a fan. I read her last book, The Shell Collector (see post), and am enjoying this one just as much! Nancy has a light, warm style and this is another good-feeling, fast-reading story that you'll finish too fast and wish there was more!

 About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author NANCY NAIGLE whips up small-town love stories with a dash of suspense and a whole lot of heart. Now happily retired, she devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and the occasional spa day with friends. A native of Virginia Beach, she currently calls North Carolina home. Nancy is the author of Christmas Joy and Hope at Christmas, both of which have been turned into film for Hallmark Channel. Follow her at Goodreads and on Bookbub

* Check out the giveaway!  

A Heartfelt Christmas Promise

Blog tour!