December 02, 2022

A Victorian #Christmas in WI - Tomorrow


 Get in a Christmas mood!

Fellow miniaturist Peg Rousar-Thompson and I will be displaying some of our dollhouses and miniatures at the Victorian Christmas event, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, DEC. 3 at The Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave., (down by the lake) in Kenosha, WI

We'll have quite an assorted display! You won't want to miss it!

The event includes holiday music, demos, crafts, and more. Free gallery admissions. 

Sounds fun! First time I'll be there, so looking forward to it. I love history and this is a neat museum. It'll be interesting to see their Christmas present wish lists through the decades.

See link above for full details.

(Yeah, I know the photo isn't a very Victorian tree, but that's what I have for now without creating a whole new one!) You'd think they'd put some past photos on their website! Well, I'll try to take photos and post them afterward. 

Be sure to stop and say hello if you're there!

November 30, 2022

Fairfield Dollhouse: Ready for sleep

 The small wall sections will be glued in next in the attic, but for now I played with some other things. Here's the last post. Also check in the archives list in the left column for older posts.

The Bedroom - 

Ta-dah! The bed is done. I just love the swirly pattern on the sheets. I put some bottom supports in so the drawers don't fall out, but they do slide through! I'll add some more stuff - like a toy car and some comic books - in there later. But if you peek close, you'll see the boy hid some candy bars away for later! Shhh, no telling! 👱 The starred blue paper on the headboards is what I'm also using on the back wall. (Click photos for full size.)



The floors are in on both sides of the attic. Also added the trim around the stair opening at the end, and have to add the wall trim yet. Lots!! of trimming in this house. The stained glass isn't in the small windows yet in case I need to reach through.  

Figured out that a small bath will fit in the area in front of the tower there (the reddish wall; the roof isn't on in this photo.) Luckily I had an extra toilet and sink. I cut and brick-papered two angled walls that'll be glued once I put the back roof on. (* Caution if you're building this house: some of the bottom rows of the roof (like the back piece that fits here in front of the tower) have to be shingled first before installation otherwise you can't reach them!) The bath will have a faux "folding door" in front. (Partial piece of painted corrugated paper.)

Also got some of the trim glued on the outside of the tower. I have to add some pieces underneath the top too. I'm also adding painted trim on those edges on the tower roof. I covered it with painted corrugated paper. There is a hanging light inside. (The tower roof is a juggling act. Had to paper the inside tower ceiling, paint the outer edge where the paper showed, and juggle holding the tower and pulling the light wire through the hole in the side before gluing the tower piece on. Definitely a two-person job!) 

(* Shingles: see how the roof piece butts up against the tower? That's why you have to shingle the bottom rows before gluing the roof piece on.) 


Making swaps

In the meantime, I'm working on the annual Half Scale Group swap, which is due by February. I'm starting early since I already decided on what to make. I can't show it or hint until after it's opened by group members. The group chose my suggested theme, Kitschy, which I was surprised about and should produce some interesting items I think. 

What is Kitschy, you ask? The dictionary describes it as "garish, sentimental and sometimes in bad taste." ha! Think fad collectibles: velvet paintings, dogs playing poker painting, big-eyed kits art, giant wooden kitchen wall utensils, just thought of those paint by number paintings, etc, etc. You get the idea... (And I am so hoping someone sends that giant fork and knife or spoon! haaa! Otherwise I'll have to think what scale I can use in the half scale house as I want to add those to the kitchen wall now that it's on my mind.)

Here's art I made last year included with gold trophies and a box printie:


The theme is only a suggestion as people can make what they want. There are 21 participants this year. Here is last year's  swap (theme: antiques or attic, I think)  and one of the past swaps (theme: toys). People always make great stuff and it's such fun to get in the mail! Been doing it for years. I always look forward to it. (That tiny clock from last year's swap is now on the Fairfield's bedroom fireplace mantel.)

Chris Verstraete www.cverstraete.com

Thanks again for stopping by! Come back soon for more updates!






November 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving, Fairfield #dollhouse attic

 Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!


In the meantime, here's a quick Fairfield dollhouse update: (Here's the last post - bedroom reveal.)

Working on the third floor attic rooms:



Yeah, this is what happens when you're trying to get the floors to hold down. Using everything but the kitchen sink. haaaa! But it did work out pretty well:

The left room will be the boy's bedroom. The back wall isn't on yet so that's the back of the tower you see (which will be covered with painted card and trim.) The back ceiling wall will have blue star wallpaper and beams.  Oops, forgot to solder in that lamp. There also will be a fake wall and door between the two rooms on the left of the chimney wall.

 

The room on the right here will be a library-craft-painting studio. Luckily I had just enough left of this fake wood flooring (from Hobby Lobby) from the bigger dollhouse that I can use here. The back room, which has an opening on the right edge for the spiral stairs, will be the attic junk space. I've gotten hooked on adding that catch-all space for odds and ends.

 I also have just enough of the thin dark wood floor pieces left from the second floor to use here. There is an opening on the back wall (once it's in) between both rooms. I might just add part of a faux curtain between the two spaces as it really doesn't have to be closed off. Maybe I should squeeze in a small bathroom in the back there, too, otherwise that boy will need a chamberpot. ha! We'll see. I may be able to fit it just behind the wall by the tower there; also have to consider it will have a sloped ceiling. But all I have to do is partition the space off. I'll think on that. I better figure it out as I probably have to add another light then.

Also started this:  the pieces shown are for the bed.

Don't eat too much turkey! 

Thanks for stopping by. More updates coming soon!






November 20, 2022

Fairfield #Dollhouse Bedroom Reveal

 I don't know why I've put off showing this but...

I know, it's past Halloween, but not in the dollhouse! 😏 I've been working on small things and am now in the attic. Have to attach lights there so I can do the paper and floor... 

But... Ta-da! Something finished! The room is apart at the moment as I work on other things, but the light is in since these photos. (See last update. You can also search in the archives list in the left column.)

I love how this room has a kind of antique but comfortable feeling. I just love this room!

Here's a glimpse of the ceiling before I put the ceiling trim in. (Oh, what a job that was fitting it in!) I love the Victorian flavor of this pic, like an old manor house. The ceiling is that embossed scrapbook paper with some gold brushed on.


This is a different approach for me. I bought the handmade bed second-hand with some terrible fabric on it. It was so old that the foam underneath had crumbled. The forms are made of foam core. I glued on new foam and recovered the pieces. This time I decided to glue the top cover on each side without using any edge trim and folded the end of the bed cover. I wanted brighter colors to coordinate with the wallpaper but didn't want to use an actual Halloween print.

I repainted the 1930s Tootsietoy dresser with chalk paint topped with brown acrylic paint, and added gold to the accents. I glued on small beads that I also dotted with gold. (I use gold fabric paint.)

I found some wooden shapes at the dollar store and cut one in half for the front fireplace grate.

The small bookcase is from SDK Miniatures. I'm making a few more books and have to add some accessories yet. The chair by the door was from a set that I recovered with new fabric. I found the mirror some time back at Michael's.

 I added a few creepy touches with the framed photos. The rug was cut from that Day of the Dead fabric I bought. Thought it would make a perfect rug so I glued one of the faces to tea box card and then edged it with Bunka. I made the draped table, chair, and footstool but may switch those out later. I am thinking of putting some Christmas decorations in the house soon.


(Overhead shot while I could get it. The clock on the mantle and plant are from the Half Scale Group swap. I'm making books for the bookcase at the moment. Found some nice horror books with great graphic covers from Wowbooknook on Etsy. Nice books and they include 1/24 in the set.) I printed some slightly smaller (7/16" and 1/2" h) to fit in the small bookcase shelves.

I'm experimenting, so I also tried making a video to show the full room. (Here's the YouTube link also.)

 

So many odds and ends pieces I'm working on, but so many parts can't be added until something else is done first or to make sure I don't have to lay the house down again. The spiral staircase has to go in the second floor yet too. 

I'll have more rooms and additions to come so be sure to stop back.  You can sign up for headline updates in the box in the left column. You can also see more Fairfield photos in the archive listings there, too.

Halloween is never over...

Oh fun! I forgot that I had these little decorations and found a rubber ghost for the porch. He looks pretty cool lit up! The railings won't be put on until everything else is done as I already keep loosening the porch posts on second floor so I have to reglue those. 

Have to search in my stuff and see if I've got any Christmas things or trees that I can put over the lightbulbs...

Chris Verstraete www.cverstraete.com

Thanks for visiting. Come back soon to see what's next!






October 31, 2022

Happy #Halloween in #Miniature! 2022

 


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! It's time to PARTY! Ah, this time, cook set out some great treats for the celebration. (Treats I made for my Haunted House. See webpage for more photos)

Looks like almost everyone has gathered for the big party! (Go back to Day 1.)

Over the years, we've had some fantastic guests, and we just had to invite them back again for the big shindig!

Why, is that...? Yes, it's Frank! He prefers Frankie these days to kind of get away from the bad association with Dr. F. (Hand-sculpted figures by artist Sharon Cariola. Checkout her latest Dr. F on her page at the link above.)

Why look who he's talking to! Grandpa Munster! (Also by Sharon Cariola.) Hmm, the centuries-old coot Count seems to be putting on some airs, I see, with his latest movie role. (If you haven't seen The Munsters movie by Rob Zombie on Netflix, it's a lot of campy fun!)

The Skellie Sisters are keeping to themselves, I see. Go ahead and say hello. They're rather shy since they've ventured away from the boneyard, but they'll probably enjoy the company. 

(Be sure to check out Patricia Paul's other work here. Also check out some tutorials and Haunted Housewares at her Etsy shop.)


The Zombies (sorry, not the music group. I know not everyone will get that reference. ha!) decided that the party was good enough to crash! (Hand-made, half-scale - 1/24th zombies by UK artist Lisa Tabbanor. See more of her work on Etsy.) 


Well, it's almost midnight in monster-land. The witching hour is near, so time for the party to wind down. (Oh, it won't end. Those in the know will gather out at the cemetery for more rabble-rousing! You never know who will pop up there! haa!) 

(Cemetery from my Halloween scene.) * Visit some of the other cemeteries in the 2019 post.

That's it! 

* Visit me at my website, www.cverstraete.com. You can also sign up for updates at the blog here (in left column) to keep in touch and for news of what's next. -- Christine Verstraete

* Thanks for visiting again for this shortened Halloween in Miniature event!

Hope to see you next year!



October 30, 2022

#Halloween in #Miniature 2022 Favorites 2

 While everyone is recuperating from the refreshments. (sorry we'll have to talk to Lydia about whatever she added to the wine!), let's make some other stops. (* Back to Day 1)

I see they've done some redecorating in the living room. Don't worry, you can sit down. The vultures won't hurt you. Just don't die, alright? (Vulture sofa from MayhemMagicAndMe on Etsy.)


Oh, a Halloween shop! Let's stop in, shall we? 

I love Halloween so I'm usually making a new project or thinking up something new. (Click photos for full size.)

One of my recent favorites was creating this Halloween store in one of the Houseworks Street of Shops buildings. Here's the previous post with more photos. The fun witch hats are from Kat Hazelton, Kat the Hat Lady in the UK. * Here's day 1 of the 2021 Halloween in Miniature event.

My Dutch friend Kitty made most of the teapots. The coffin bookshelf is full of Stephen King books, of course.

I also did a Witch's Greenhouse some time ago. 


What? Hungry again? You mean Lydia didn't get enough desserts out? No bones about it, that woman has to be the worst help we've ever dug up! (Cemetery in front of my Halloween display.) 


Finally, some food! Do you think this will be enough for now? (See more Halloween treats on the 2020 post.) My Halloween table, 2018 Year in Miniature.

Uh-oh. Oops, sorry. Just brush the spiders away. They won't bite. Really. Heh-heh. Spiders by another favorite maker of horror minis, Georgia Marfels of Germany. 

See more of her work at her Etsy shop.

I think we've had enough excitement this stop, don't you? Come back tomorrow for the HALLOWEEN PARTY and see who showed up!

- Christine Verstraete. Minis, books & more at mwebsite, www.cverstraete.com, 

* Next: Day 3: Happy Halloween! * 

(Link active on next day of event.)

(Pumpkins: pixabay.com)

October 29, 2022

#Halloween in #Miniature 2022: The Faves


WELCOME, WELCOME!

 It's that favorite spooky time of year again. Halloween  - and yes, In Miniature!

This year, I decided to make things easy on myself and share a few new items I've come across along with some of the old favorites. I have 10+ years worth of posts, so there's plenty to pick from! (NOTE: There are too many pages in the blog to go back and fix all the old links, especially early on, so beware as some may be outdated.) See the top tab for more links.


Our hostess, Miss Lydia, says she wouldn't mind being in charge again as her leg still aches from the last time we twisted it to convince her. Heh-heh

To start, she says you should know, or maybe it's a warning?, that we've had some interesting, er, characters on the blog over the years. Now don't take offense and get your nose in a knot and... (Never mind, again. She sure seems fixated on body parts for some reason...) 

Anyway,  she  says it's not meant in a bad way, except in a good Halloween sense, of course. Huh? Oh, never mind.

Before we start our journey, let's get some refreshments, shall we? Wouldn't want our guests passing out and falling in the graveyard, would we? (Hey, c'mon now. We don't need to get any new bodies that way!)

Sorry... the graveyard assistant is rather, uh, ambitious about his job! Yeah, he'll take 'em any way he can get 'em! Look, you gotta put up with my bad Halloween puns and humor. It's only once a year! haaa! 😉

So... grab a glass of the house wine. A toast! To another year! Mmm, nice. Even after all these years, it still has a bit of a kick, doesn't it?

(pixabay.com)

 Oh, dear, oh dear. Miss Lydia! Please... let's not get our guests tipsy already! Don't you have some food to serve? (So hard to get good help when you have to keep digging them up...) I hope we're not too late with the edibles as the guests seem to already be "Dancing in the Moonlight." (Witch by and in memory of the late Gina Gagnon of Lone Wolf Mini Creations.)



Why even the zombie are getting into the music. What's playing? What else, but The Monster Mash! haa! (New half scale, 1/24th zombies by UK artist Lisa Tabbanor. 
See more of her work on Etsy.)

This guy even likes to sing along! haa!


A gift: you can download a sheet of Halloween record albums at my website minis page, under the printies section.  (Personal use only. Do not repost pdf or resell.)

Ah... here we are. Now, doesn't that look yummy? IGMA Fellow Kiva Atkinson offered a whole bunch of goodies here in 2010 and see more on her blog. 


Boy, that sure hit the spot. So... shall we continue?

Going way, way back in the Skellie Town time machine, let's see what happened at the beginning when I first started this journey. 


Why, there's talk that a new shop's opened up. Just appeared, kind of like that shop in
Needless Things, you think? Nah... Those who've stopped by say that Bonerella's Custom Millinery is quite the place to get the latest, and to see and be seen. Hear she has quite the tale to tell, too. Oh, and let her landlady Wanna in El Paso know that we sent ya! (Be sure to look around as she's got quite a few fun stories and creations on her site.) 


* Time for a break. Let's have a cup of punch before our next stop, shall we? (Punch by Patricia Paul)


   Oh, and while you're resting, be sure to read the Halloween party story, "Superstition" by Carola Dunn from 2020. (The story continues here at part 2.) 

-- Christine Verstraete. Minis, books & more at mwebsite, www.cverstraete.com, 


 * On to Day 2 *
 (Link active on next day of event)






October 22, 2022

#Halloween Half Scale Swaps

 

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, especially when it comes to decorating the dollhouses.

For fun, for the first time, I joined in the Halloween swap between members of the Half Scale Miniatures group on Facebook. I couldn't resist!

My swap partner Randi sent along an assortment of items in this chained coffin case. I cracked up when I saw that face pie as I'd seen the larger ones online and had thought of making one! I "saved face" by not trying it (haa!) - yet -  since she did a great job! 

She included this fun sign, bottle, ouija board and wreath, too. All will come in handy!


I made this grouping below for my swap partner Yarrow. It was fun deciding what to make!

Loved making the little chair and table, so I made another set for myself (below). I've made these easy chairs before from a pattern by Terri, admin of the FB Half Scale Group. 

I measured the table from one I already had. Simple to make by covering a 1.5" high large dowel rod, then covering the top with a circle of fabric; glue the tablecloth folds in by quarters. The footstool is made from sections of a foam "bead" I got a while back from The Dollar Tree. I also have square and heart shapes. They make great footstools by folding and gluing the fabric, then edging it with Bunka thread. 


I'm adding items into the Fairfield for Halloween. I'll show pix soon. Almost finished decorating the main bedroom. Wait'll you see the bed I made! 

Thanks for visiting again. See you next time!