October 31, 2021

#Halloween in #Miniature 5: Happy Halloween Surprise!

 Welcome to Day 5 of Halloween in Miniature!

I hope you enjoyed this year's event as much as I did in planning it. And thank you again to all my guests who shared their work! 

    If you missed it, start at Day 1: https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2021/10/halloween-in-miniature-2021-party-begins.html

Pop in a movie. (My favorite! Right click to save for your dollhouse den wall!) And how about some dancing to end the party?

(And a free gift! Get the album cover in miniature! Download Halloween album cover printies pdf at my website Miniatures page!)


The guests have gathered... well this trio said they don't quite feel like dancing... no bones about it. haa!
(By Patricia Paul Studio - sign up for her NL and get some free book printies!)

And don't forget to have some pie! There's a couple pieces left, I see... Or make your own! (Ghost pie by Lauren Bathory, Too-Damned-Cute-Bakery/Etsy. See Day 4 for "recipe.")

Go, Frankie, Go! At least someone likes to dance! Who knew the big lug could boogie that well? (By Sharon Cariola, See Day 2

Whew, that was fun. Did you enjoy yourself?


Last minute that I am, I began working on the new Halloween book I'd mentioned before, but I  didn't get really serious about it until the beginning of yes, this month. 

My idea was I wanted to offer a small collection of books on themed projects, so I think you'll like the dozen projects I've included in this one. These are some of my favorite projects and things I haven't shared how to make before. The bonus is you don't have to stick to the Halloween theme. Change the colors and fabric choices to fit into any of your other projects. 

Ta-Dah!  Up on Kindle:

Make a dozen accessories for Halloween - and all seasons!
   Don't like Halloween? (What?) The projects included here are easily adaptable. Change the colors or themes to fit your own project!
       BUY:  Pre-Order Kindle/Print, Amazon US - Amazon UK - Amazon CA - Amazon AU  - Amazon DE  

Note:  It takes time to get to other online bookstores once the print comes out.) Also check at my website for updates. https://www.cverstraete.com. There's a sporadic newsletter signup if you want to join. Put dollhouse in the entry so I know.

** Sign up for the giveaway below to win either copy.  (BONUS! One person will also win a copy of my handmade mini spellbook!  Instructions are in In Miniature Style: Halloween! ) Please include your email to contact you and to be included in newsletter notices on updates. (Actual print book is US shipping only and it may time time for me to get the proof and then actual copies.) 

Halloween in Miniature 2021 Schedule:


** Happy Halloween! For more book updates, see my website.



(Enter here if display not working: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f1cf9a545/?)

* a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 30, 2021

#Halloween in #Miniature 4: The Party's Dying Down

 Welcome to Day 4 of Halloween in Miniature!

* Be sure to start at Day 1 and get some snacks! https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2021/10/halloween-in-miniature-2021-party-begins.html

*See schedule at end for other days.

* Back to Day 3: https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2021/09/halloween-in-miniature-shop-till-you-drop.html


Wouldn't you know it? The party's winding down and finally - at the stroke of midnight - who shows up? Why's it's Marley... You know, Mr. Scrooge's longtime, and long-suffering, former business partner?

A sad soul he is, so we'll let him "hang around" for a while as we move on... (Marley is hand-sculpted by Sharon Cariola. See more of her work and about her on Day 2's post: 


Hungry? Let's stop and have a snack. Mmmm, how about some Ghostie Meringue Pie? It has just a "hint" of flavor!

 (Pie by Lauren Bathory, See more of her fun & creepy offerings at her Too Damned Cute Bakery on Instagram. Find the pie pic there for more instruction photos.)
👻 Want to Make One? 👻

Materials- Bottle cap, Liquid polymer clay, dough and yellow colored polymer clay; chalk pastels in terra cotta and dark brown,  Liquitex modeling paste gel medium, Black acrylic paint, Clear varnish (one compatible with polymer clay).

Tools- Pasta machine or something to roll the clay flat, small cutters or punches, even the end of a plastic straw will work, Stiff paint brush or a tooth brush.

Roll out the dough colored clay to form the pie crust. I rolled it out on the medium setting of my pasta machine. Put a little dab of liquid polymer in the bottom of bottle cap (this helps keep the clay in place) and press the clay in to form the pie crust. Texture the crust by dabbing at it with the stiff brush.

Roll out some more dough colored clay to the same thickness, and texture with your brush. Use your small cutter to cut out little shapes to form the edge of the pie crust. Use a little dab of liquid polymer to ‘glue’ your cut out shapes in a ring on the top edge of your crust.

Lightly brush the terra cotta chalk pastels onto the pie crust to develop a nicely baked look. Bake your pie crust according to the directions of your polymer clay. To make the filling, mix together the yellow polymer clay with the liquid polymer until you achieve a custard consistency. Spread this into your pie crust and bake again according to the directions.

Put some of the Liquitex modeling paste into a small plastic bag and snip off the very corner of the bag. Carefully pipe the Liquitex in little piles forming your ‘ghosts’. It is a good idea to do some test ghosts before you start piping them onto your pie to get a feel for it. Once the ghosts have set (I like to give them overnight to fully dry) use a wet paint brush to lightly ‘toast’ your meringue ghosts with the dark brown chalk pastel. Paint on your tiny ghost faces, and then coat your entire pie in a clear lacquer to protect the chalk pastels. 

About the Creator: Lauren had a creative dry spell after being diagnosed with MS, but was inspired to start creating again by YouTube videos. She recently relocated to Georgia where she now works on miniatures full-time. She has a growing collection of various cabinets to house her haunted bakeries full of  "ghoulish goodies" and hints that there are likely more to come! 👻

 Back to the guests... Look who came in! Now this is more like it, talk about contrasts!! Look at that smile! (Mr. Bones also by Sharon Cariola.)

Mr. Bones is a rather notable entertainer. At the graveyard, he has guests just "dying" to hear his act. Get it? haa!

As the party excitement "dies" down, I hear that Mr. Bones has added some new jokes to his repertoire. Jokes "to die for." Seriously.

Okay, okay, let's hear some:

* Why didn't Dracula have any friends?
 - He was a pain in the neck. (groan)

* Who won the skeleton beauty contest?
- No body. 

* What's the tallest building in Transylvania?
- The Vampire State Building (haaa!)

*  What kind of shoes does a ghost wear?
- Booooots

Okay, okay, hey got you to chuckle a little, right? (See free printable Halloween jokes for kids.)

OOps! Watch out for that web. Please excuse the spiders hanging around, too. Honestly, they're friendlier than they look!  
(Spiders by Georgia Marfels/Etsy. Georgia, who lives in Germany, started working in miniature at age 9 and fell in love with making spooky items since it's more creative. "It gives you more opportunities and freedom than just creating real stuff in miniature," she says.)

Uh-oh! Oh, never mind. This ghostly fellow won't have any trouble getting around the webs!  

(1/24th scale figure by Lisa Tabboner. Read more about her and see more of her work here: https://miniatura.co.uk/the-enchanting-world-of-lisa-tabbanor/ and see her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.tabbanor.)

So, what else????

Ta-Dah! What I am Working On... Kindle up for pre-order: (Print in the works)

Make a dozen accessories for Halloween - and all seasons!
   Don't like Halloween? (What?) The projects included here are easily adaptable. Change the colors or themes to fit your own project!
       BUY:  Pre-Order Kindle/Print, Amazon US - Amazon UK - Amazon CA - Amazon AU  - Amazon DE  

* Don't forget to enter the giveaway on Day 2 and tomorrow Day 5.
** Be sure to come back tomorrow for more Halloween fun! (Links are not live until the day of post.)

October 29, 2021

#Halloween in #Miniature 2021 3, Shop Till You Drop!

 Welcome to Day 3 of Halloween in Miniature! 

* Start at Day 1 and get some snacks. (Don't forget to enter giveaway on Day 2; see below!)


* Back to Day 2https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2021/09/halloween-in-miniature-2021-2-meet.html

Are you enjoying yourself? Have you had enough to eat? I hope so...

For a "treat," I thought you might like to stop in our lovely Halloween Store. No, I'm not pushing you to buy anything, but I'm sure there'll be a few things "to die for," right?

Halloween Store by Christine Verstraete

There's nothing more fun, I think, then working on a themed project. As I have several of the Houseworks' Street of Shops kits, I had the idea to make them in matching Halloween colors of different shades of purple, lavender and orange.

Even my miniature record store is the same color range though the door there is a hot pink and the decor has more of a '60s  vibe. (Hey, ghouls like music, too! ha!) Here's the front of "The Broken Record" record store in all its tacky glory. 😈

I'll share other photos later.

I'm hoping to make one more store I've had in mind for a while, a Witch's Bakery. Maybe that will be open for next year's event (at the rate I work these days. ha!) (Click photos for full size)

So, welcome to The Halloween Store!

 I loved doing this project as I tried to be as bright and colorful as possible. The outside top decorations are dimensional stickers. The backgrounds are scrapbook papers. The second pumpkin rests on top one of those cheapie pumpkin lights as it can be turned on and off as needed.

The wreath includes colored plastic bones and a skull from a Dollar Tree necklace and some of that fuzzy yarn. 

The Apothecary was made in a wood case holding wood snowflakes. The signs were in a Ken Holtz package of signs. The top square jars are made by covering foam "beads" and topping with paper and metal paper fasteners. Handmade mums are planted in a hollowed-out foam pumpkin. Gotta have a Halloween tree, too, of course (The bones are from a Halloween necklace.) The back row large hats are made by the fab Katherine Hazelton (Kat the Hat) of England. The feathered hat is from my Dutch friend Kitty.  I made the other items.

 The walls are scrapbook paper. The coffin shelf is filled with Stephen King books - of course! The teapots (except end pumpkin) are made by my Dutch friend, Kitty.

The other wall features Halloween "groceries" and books. The light string (from Target) has  potion bottle shapes. There also are snacks on a table by the front window (not shown.)

Speaking of snacks... Hungry? Let's stop for something to eat before we move on. Oh... well, you may not like these but one of the monsters will! (These are really well done! From KatieAnneCraftsEtsy)


October 28, 2021

#Halloween in #Miniature 2021-2: Meet the Guests!

 Welcome to this year's Halloween in Miniature.

** Be sure to grab a drink and some snacks, starting at Day 1, The Party Begins:


Come in, come in, honored guests and friends. Make yourself right at home. (Click photos for full size.)

Oh, do try the Glog. It's simply delightful, I hear, with oil of bat, bergamot, herbs, eye of newt... Cook doesn't scrimp on the good stuff, you know. (Glog from Patricia Paul Studio.)

You'll be excited to hear we have some distinguished guests visiting with us this year, even some celebrities. (The hand-sculpted 1" scale (1/12th) figures are hand-sculpted by Sharon Cariola. See more at her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/sharon.cariola)
 Click photos for full size.)

Oh, look. Can it be? Yes! Frank? Oh, there he is!

Come say hello to Mr. Frankenstein...

"No, call me Frankenstein's Monster..."

"Sorry, how about Frank for now..."

"Very well. Tank you for inviting me. I, um, am hoping I can finally make some friends. You know things didn't work out so well with my wife-to-be. And those villagers, all those pitchforks... The fires. Oh! It makes me shiver... I mean well, honest. It's just... sometimes... my thoughts get... mixed up. Garbled. You understand?"

Oh dear, he seems nervous, doesn't he? Maybe...

"Yes, yes, I see. Come into the other room. Get some snacks for yourself. We'll be right back." 

There now. I think it's best Frank is by himself for a while. I hope he can control his anger... 

Now, oh, look who it is! Why, it's the Snail Lady. My, my, she is even more exquisitely dressed than the rumors I heard! 

Psst, please I heard her ask a couple people if this new shell makes her look, you know... big? She got very perturbed at the answers... 

She's rather sensitive, so please, be kind. Tell her she looks wonderful!"

 (The Snail Lady figure is amazing! She looks just like the movie character in the Italian-made version of the movie Pinocchio by Roberto Garrone, starring Roberto Benigni as Geppetto. See the trailer on IMDB. I've borrowed this from the library - well, kind of an odd movie, mostly good for the scenery and the strange characters. The Snail Lady is really interesting.)

Oh, my, now I am a bit flustered myself! Why it's Morticia Addams from The Addams Family! My, my, she is quite lovely, isn't she? I wonder what her beauty secrets are, though I'm sure she'll never tell!

The room is getting rather crowded. I hope there are enough snacks for everyone....

Oh, darn, catch that one, would you? Heh-heh, Morticia thought that was pretty funny.  (Crawling tentacles, Michael R. Miniatures/Etsy, UK)

Hey, look! There's Grandpa Munster from The Munsters TV Show... Now there's a real celebrity, thousands of  years old, I think. No flash in the pan...

Well, he's a good guest to have as he only needs a fresh decanter of blood. I think we have some... 

Has anyone seen cook? Ah, I'll be right back. I can't figure out where she went. It's so hard to get good help these days!

* About the creator: 

Sharon Cariola has been making 1/12th scale figures of polymer clay over a wire armature for about 19 years. She was inspired after seeing some hand-sculpted dolls at a local dollhouse show and learned about making them by watching videos from UK doll artist James Carrington

She's had no special training, although working as a dental assistant, she jokes, could've helped a bit: "All that looking in people’s mouths has helped when it comes time to sculpt that area." But she says, "I always enjoyed drawing and took what art classes were available in school, but had no professional training. I am a people watcher by nature. I observe hands, ears, how clothing drapes, how shoes show wear, so many things." 

She's since made literally hundreds of figures, mostly of typical "everyday" people or  character sculpts of well-known celebrities and actors. "I usually make more everyday type dolls, but once in a while something more unusual catches my interest," she says. The dolls range in price from about $700 to $900, with portrait-type dolls on the high end.

After about a year of making them, she had amassed quite a few and with the help of her husband, Cariola decided to open a store on eBay. "I was really surprised when one finally sold," she recalls. "Now I am kept fairly busy filling special orders." See her FB page for information and photos. https://www.facebook.com/sharon.cariola

The dolls, which she works on one at a time, take "at least a week" to make. Cariola starts by sculpting the head and face separately, then she does the hands, feet, and the torso. The body parts are then baked,  painted, and assembled on wires. Wired areas get padded for shape before she makes the clothes. 

 "I like to use old cotton clothes from second hand shops and I cut my fabric from those," she says. "I used to really dread the costuming, but now it has become something I enjoy."

The most difficult aspect of sculpting, she notes, "is the head, but I also really like to work at it. I often work three days on just the face." Her tip: "If you want the doll to look “human” use photo references. You can find pictures on the internet of people with some claim to fame. Good profile images are very helpful."

While she says her early dolls were much simpler and thus took less time to make, she's still amazed at how far she's come. Several of her dolls are in museum collections including a miniature Harriet Tubman and the painter, William Turner in the KSB (Kathleen Savage Browning) Miniatures Collection  in the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center.

Others are in personal collections around the world. But a few... well, they don't make it

 "I recently cleaned up my work area and tossed a few 'loser dolls' in the trash," she says. "I wonder what folks at the dump must have thought of them."  

(Of course, we often are our harshest critics. I can't believe her 'misfits' were that bad, even if they didn't measure up to her exacting standards. And wouldn't you like to dig in her trash?) --Christine Verstraete

** See what and who's next on Day 3https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2021/09/halloween-in-miniature-shop-till-you-drop.html

Some Creepy Fun:

Speaking of the Munsters... remember the coffin racer in the show? The Dragula racecar is for sale! See it in color on page here. 


* And some exciting news!! *
Yes, my new ebook - IN MINIATURE STYLE: Halloween is up for pre-order!
(Print version is in the works!) See details and photos at website.  More details on Friday!


*** GIVEAWAY: See all details on Day 5

* Or Enter Here if display not working: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f1cf9a545/?


October 27, 2021

#Halloween in #Miniature 2021: The Party Begins!



By Christine Verstraete

Your hostess Mrs. Skellie is looking forward to sharing her favorite Halloween things with you and inviting you in for  quite the shindig this year. She's made a few new friends, too, that you're sure to remember!

First off:

Now, no pushing, swearing, or taking too many goodies. Be nice, please.  

WARNING: There's a new cook and she's been in a nasty mood. Tick her off and well... let's say she's rather fond of that rusty, bloody axe she keeps close at hand!

(Lizzie Borden miniature axe, Debra Hinton. (If you like dark miniatures, check out her Darkside Miniatures group on FB. It's a private group so you may not be able to access it. Check out the Lizzie Borden post in a past Halloween in Miniature: https://candidcanine.blogspot.com/2019/10/halloween-in-miniature-2019-3-lizzie.html  )

(NOTE: I am adding full links to the name links also as, for some reason, I have been having trouble with old links like on last year's Halloween in Miniature not working. But it could be a Google glitch or something. Let me know if you have any problems. (You can contact me via my website.) 

On to the party!

Come in, come in.

 Please be sure to wipe your feet as the housekeeper (If you must know, that's me, since we can't seem to keep help around here) will get mighty grumpy if you track dirt all over that clean floor! What do you mean it doesn't look clean? Hmpf! The nerve of some people. (Photos: tama 66, smeeshane/pixabay.com. )

** Right click the rug to save and print/reduce for your own dollhouse doormat!)

Oh, shhh! QUIET! Please, whisper, and don't  walk too heavily. Whatever you do, don't wake the baby! She and her brood can be quite irritable (a bit bitey, too!)  when woken suddenly.  (Baby rat, Patricia Paul Studio/Etsy -Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PatriciaPaulStudio) 

FB: https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaPaulMiniatures

 Website: https://www.patriciapaulstudio.com/  (Psst: sign up for her newsletter and you're sure to get some cool freebies and printies!)

Yes, yes, everyone seems cranky this year. Must be that awful plague out there. Why, we had the doctor out a few days ago, just to be sure. Luckily, no one was infected, so don't worry. 

(Plague DoctorAgne Mikalauskiene from Lithuania; Cosy Dolls/Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/listing/1080565797/112-scale-doll-plague-doctor-doll

Now, on to more cheerful things. Mmmm! We're offering some scrumptious goodies from a few new caterers this year...  Did you see that delicious-looking candy? Yum! Hey, put some back! I saw you fill your pockets! Please leave some for the other guests due to arrive soon.

(Candy and pumpkins, Michael Robbins, Michael R. Miniatures, UK)

Now, I formally want to welcome you all with a toast. Of course, you must try the house wine. Has quite the kick, I hear. haaa! (C. Verstraete www. cverstraete.com). 

OOH! There's the doorbell. Someone's here! It's so exciting!! Now who could it be???

Some Halloween mood music: Play along!

* NEW! Fun projects for any season! BUY:  In Miniature Style: Halloween ebook here. * See more photos and links at website.

** Be sure to come back tomorrow for more Halloween fun! (Links are not live until the day of post.)

Day 1, Today - The Party Begins


Day 2: Meet the Guests


Day 3: Shop 'Till You Drop


Day 4: The Party's Not Dying


Day 5: Happy Halloween Surprise!