December 29, 2022

Thirsty? Hungry? #Miniature Food and Coffee

 Just wanted to share some of the different miniatures I got for Christmas. These were a fun, complete surprise as they came from my writing and non-miniaturist friend, Jean. (And btw, if you read, she has a fantastic set of books, The Sheriff Piper Blackwell mysteries by USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe, set in Santa Claus, Ind. Check out the cool covers and more details at the link above.)

Love these bottles! The coffee bottles are, dare I say it, so cute! The bottles are about 1" tall.

The drink cups above are fun as they'll fit in the coffee shop I'd planned some time ago in  a travel trailer. They're not exactly 1" scale but are too cute not to use. In stores, I'm not a stickler on exact size. When you mix things together and put them on shelves, it usually works.

 Or I may include these in the other idea, a Witch's Bakery I'd been saving things for. That'll be in the last building I have (the one window store) of the Houseworks' Street of Shops. I made a Witch's Greenhouse (wow, back in 2010) previously using the same kit. Yeah, I've been collecting and working in miniature even longer than that! I have a lot of projects! haa! 😁 (See more photos: 2, 3

 I recently made the record store and a Halloween store in the other two shops of the set, along with a teapot shop from the first set (same double window shop as the Halloween store.) It may seem like a lot of ideas, but as I'm running out of display space, I'll only be doing a few more 1 inch scale projects, mostly shops since they fit on bookshelves. The rest are half scale since they're smaller in size (except for my giant Victorian dollhouse. Look in the 2021 archive in left column beginning in May for more photos.)  I buy these shop kits when I see them on sale, and glad I did as prices sure have gone up! 

Here are some of the bakery goods and food plates. I have a ton of handmade polymer clay cakes by my friend Kitty set aside also so these will be nice fill-ins on the shelves. These are plastic but I can also touch them up with paint if needed. Love the hot dog, hamburger and sandwich for on a table!

These are cute little desserts.

She also sent several House of Miniatures kits. Here's the bigger one, which, for a change from the usual stained furniture, I think would look good painted for the bakery. Hoping it fits as I have a showcase to put in too, otherwise I can use it as a display in a small scene. I've saved several of these kits over the years when I find them, but I never saw this one. 

I hadn't wanted to build the last shop so soon, (they can be difficult to assemble) but this is tempting. But still working on the Fairfield and hoping my other project is coming, so we'll see. Sometimes it takes months to get to a project, or I've been saving things for years!

Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned for more updates. (You can subscribe to headline updates in the box in the left column.)

December 27, 2022

End of Year 2022 #Miniatures Recap


It's the end of the year.... already? Where did it go? At this time of year, I like to look back and see what I've accomplished, especially when it seems like I am working on things soooo slowly. 😊

So here's a self-indulgent look back on the projects I worked on over the past year. Besides, it's kind of fun to take another peek, isn't it?  (click photos for full size and to see more photos. ) I'm not including every post, so feel free to check the archives list in the left column for other projects and posts.


I was working on the half-scale Greenleaf Van Buren house. I did get this Miss Havisham-style table done (well, I still have to put out the silverware!). I hate to admit that the house is still sitting there haunted, but empty. I've fallen in love with the brick look without the labor by using the brick printed on textured papers from Starboc2 on Etsy. See post.

I also made a bunch of spooky and eerie pictures; here are just a small selection of them. I used a few in the Fairfield bedroom. That large gold frame is probably going in the Fairfield parlor. My favorite may be the Medusa. Now that I think of it, that may go in the girl's bedroom, above the fireplace. I am working on the bed now, so hope to get further on that room next.


I added in a magazine display and more newspapers in the Tudor Tea Shoppe. I also added a few more images with the Queen and Prince Philip. I have a few other items I want to add in a small glass case as a kind of memorial scene.


Besides still working on the Van Buren, I got hooked on those Mini Toy balls, so I added some items and changed the would-be bookstore into a Haunted Toy Shop. Well, not all haunted, but some fun stuff like the tiny Disney princess dolls, and more. My Mini Living Dead doll loves shopping here! As I was still working on this, here's another post in April. That includes the new British tea set I'd bought for the Tudor Tea Shoppe.


The very beginning - I had some progress working on the half-scale Greenleaf Fairfield, but it was also show time. I shared some of my finds at the late April shows, plus my photos of the incredible Frasier show display and a record store by "The Bearded Miniaturist" at the Spring Miniature Show. This was a real treat to see. Such great details.


Still working on the Fairfield, but lights are going in. I do love the wallpaper and the look of the first floor parlor and dining room. I can't wait to take photos once it's all decorated. (Working on the attic yet and - grr! Shingling!)


Rinse. Repeat: still working on the Fairfield. It's fun looking at these photos as I never really thought I'd get this far. At first, I literally opened the box three times before I finally started it. This was a hard house to work on. (And am still at it!) Lots of trimming and figuring things out. It looks so different now! (This is a later photo with some of the trim on.)

Sept. - October:

Lots going on in October! Participated for the first time in a Halloween swap with the Half Scale Minis group on Facebook. Really fun!

Also held a shortened version of the annual Halloween in Miniature, focusing on some past favorites. See first post.


Wow, time flies! Well, in my case, I've been working on the Fairfield dollhouse for....months and months! ha!! But here are photos of the first room, the bedroom, all set up. Plus a video! Check in the archives list in the left column for other past posts. Here's the second bedroom almost done.


Happy Birthday to me! Took some of my miniatures to display with a friend at a local museum. See some of our work at the post link.

As of this writing, still working on the Fairfield, of course! haa! Hope you're not tired of it. There's lots to go yet! Shingling the roof, planning the inside. Have lots of kits to make and - the best part - figuring out the interior! The spiral staircase also has been done (have to glue on handrail thread and glue it in once the house doesn't have to be turned over or put on its side again. Have to get the bathroom fixtures in on that second floor also.

Thank you for visiting here all year; I really appreciate it! A new big project will be coming soon, along with more Fairfield updates.

Deciding on other writing projects, too. Yes, I still write between doing minis. 😉 Check the website for updates. 

The best in the New Year! May your mini dreams all come true. Come back soon for more projects and updates!

December 25, 2022

A Merry Little Christmas Story 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 88 - and counting -  novels including the fabulous gaslight thriller, CITY OF THE ABSENT, featuring his detective, Ransom.  Check his website for his latest thrillers and novellas. 

(If the photos don't show properly, you can read part 2 of the story at last year's post.)

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, 2022 RW Walker published by

** I hope you enjoyed this "little" 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, 2022

A Merry Little Christmas Story 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! - 88  - and counting -  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. 

(If the photos don't show properly, you can read the story at last year's post.) 

(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, 2022 RW Walker published by

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

December 21, 2022

Before Christmas.... #Fairfield #Miniatures Update


(Partial photo of roombox decorated for Christmas. I love adding the vintage dolls!)

Hard to believe Christmas is around the corner, though the older you get, it just doesn't seem like it!

In the meantime.... was without internet for two days (two looong days ha!) and they fixed a cable at the pole, so hopefully that fixes it. What else? It's been a brutal year for transformers... Burned out another one! Well, a cheapie one that apparently wasn't enough amps so I have another one hooked up to the Fairfield now and we ordered a couple larger ones (6 amps) on ebay. We pick up 12 volt transformers whenever we see them or wire them from something else as the specific dollhouse transformers are pretty costly now. 

Fairfield Progress:

Yes, there is some! (See last post.) Got the bedroom furniture all built, the room is papered, and that side of the roof is glued on, plus the door/fake wall is in.  I goofed on that lamp (didn't leave a long enough wire) so it has to be on the floor. I say to shine light while the boy is working puzzles or playing a game or something. I goof a lot lately. I redid the dresser drawer knobs (pins and seed beads) as I realized I'd only put one bead like the other pieces, but it makes more sense (and looks better) with two. All fixable at least! 

Right now, I'm adding the little accessories like books, toys, wall art, game boxes, etc.  I'll add some fake shirts in that top dresser drawer, too, and adding more stuff on the desk and bookcase. Added a couple other lights that I have to glue along the wall, then I'll finish the two attic section pieces of floor on the other side and build the small bath enclosure. 

Hard to believe I'm this far! (Yeah there is a lot to be done yet. I have to glue in the brick piece in that open area above the door. I have some space art for that back wall, too. Next time, the stained glass windows will be glued in. I promise!) 

 Finishing painting the roof side and luckily I found a close enough if not the same color since I'm running low. I did start with stain and then some black, but I didn't like how it looked, so I decided to paint it with the window color (Rookwood Red from Americana and then Spiced Berry, multi-surface from Apple Barrel.) Then I have to finish shingling the other two roof pieces. Ignore the ugly unfinished parts. 

Forgot to show this before: I found this beaded chain at Goodwill. Bought it to cut off the tiny Christmas figures for decorations! Why else do you buy this kind of stuff, right? 😏 Funny, as I still haven't added any Christmas stuff in the house since it's not finished! And the mini decorating is always fun! I will try to do that as there's a big storm coming this weekend and hopefully we won't lose electric!

I'll have an end of year wrap-up soon, but before that be sure to come back here on Christmas Eve for the first part of the annual miniatures Christmas story!  Thanks again for visiting and come back soon!

December 13, 2022

Great #Miniatures Book Find!


Ta-dah! It is real!

I've searched for this book for years, hoping to find it at a reasonable price since it's long out of print (1996), and the publisher Kalmbach Books and its flagship magazine, Nutshell News, is also long gone. Ah, the good old days...

Whenever I looked up the book, I'd find copies at crazy prices, $50-$80 and higher, etc. Original list price is $39.95. But.... I recently searched again and it came up on the used book site, Abe Books

On a whim, I decided to look and Eureka! I found a hardcover copy from the seller, Wonder Book & Video (which also looks like a good used book site.)

It seemed too good to be true. It said "good" condition, which could mean... passable, or almost anything!

I really had wondered if I'd even get it considering the tracking hadn't moved in days. But... I got the book, it's like new and--- I got it for the incredible price of... $5.59 - with free shipping!  Isn't that amazing??

Here's a couple sample pages from the book, which I can't wait to read and look through:

 Future planning: 

A while back, some members of the Half Scale Group had made a replica of this Brooke Tucker project - but in half scale. I can't remember who or when, but I did buy a couple lamps someone had made based on the book. If you look close you'll see the lamps on the fireplace in the first photo above this.  Finally, I think I'll use them in a fancy parlor in an upcoming project and maybe I'll even use some more ideas from the book. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime...

Work on the Fairfield continues....  The one roof side is almost all shingled! I'll probably have that last row done on the bottom piece (which backs to the attic bedroom on the side of the tower) after I post this. A good TV watching project!

 I have to finish the other side piece and start the two smaller pieces. Once I finish, I'm thinking of a two-tone color, some stain and some black... maybe coloring  in a couple areas for contrast. (In a circle the shingles look like a flower shape.) Hoping that I don't have any warping problems. Ugh, what a project, but it's getting there!

Thanks for stopping by! More updates to come!

December 07, 2022

Happy Birthday & Miniatures Displays

 Happy Birthday to Me!!

While I'm out, I thought I'd show a few of the miniature displays fellow miniaturist Peg and I shared at the museum in Kenosha, WI. I thought there'd be more to take photos of but we were up on the second floor and there actually was a pretty constant crowd flow to keep us busy.

(Click photos for full size.)

A favorite of mine: The Ladies' Shoppe in an old jewelry box. Everyone seemed to like this one, too.

Peg's crowd favorite: A Harry Potter style room made in a class with Rik Pierce. She added a Prof. Snapes figure she found.

Another one I like is my half scale Mary Engelbreit-inspired porch. I loved all the colors on this. I hand-painted the flowers on the door. The shutters are made from those vintage wood fans.

Peg's half scale Tudor cottage bedroom. The house actually comes apart by floor and has a cool loom on the first floor (which I failed to get a photo of.)

People also liked my apothecary scene in a book box which was inspired by the art on the opposite side. 

Another favorite was this cottage Peg built in another Rik Pierce class. She plans to make it into a dollmaker's cottage and has all kinds of cute teensy dolls saved. She has to finish this so we can all see the results! (hint-hint!)

That's it for the moment. 

More progress on the Fairfield: Got the inner attic papers in and started the worst part - well, maybe the worst besides all the trim - the roof shingles! Figured out the bathroom space, too, but lots of things can't be glued in until that side of the roof is shingled and painted first as otherwise it's unreachable because of the tower. Figuring it out as I go along. More photos coming soon! (See previous photos in archives listed in left column.)

Chris Verstraete  

Thanks for stopping by!