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Friday, May 21, 2010


I’m thrilled to have Camille Minichino as our first guest author at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers.  Camille is a retired physicist turned writer.  As Camille Minichino, she's published eight novels and a short story in the periodic table mystery series featuring Gloria Lamerino; as Margaret Grace, she's published five novels in the miniature mystery series featuring Geraldine Porter; and as Ada Madison, she's poised to release a new series, academic mysteries featuring Sophie Knowles. She also blogs at Killer Hobbies.

Camille has very graciously offered to give away 3 copies of her latest release, Monster in Miniature, to readers who post comments this weeks.  Check back tomorrow to see if you’re one of the lucky three.-- AP

Cozy Scenes, with a Twist
by Camille Minichino

My cute, folksy hobby of making dollhouses and miniatures has turned bloody.

Example: I was finishing up a lovely little lawn scene. I'd used an ordinary coaster for the base, covering the cork side with foam of different shades of green, and "planted" sweet yellow flowers here and there. I placed a 2-inch-high white wicker chair on the "grass" and added a cushion, a straw hat, some books, and an eighth-inch cup of macchiato. I knitted a tiny afghan and threw it over the back of the chair.

Darling, really. But something seemed off to me. Until I added a Winchester rifle and a few drops of "blood." That did it; I was satisfied. I'd turned the piece from a cozy sunny-day reading corner to a crime scene.

I used to favor charming and adorable—pink Victorian houses in 1-inch-scale (1 inch equals 1 foot of "real" space) with lavish ballrooms and tiny chandeliers; English country cottages with rooms full of crocheted carpets, painted wood furniture and miniature loaves of bread and cupcakes made of crafts dough.

But since entering the mystery writing community, my scenes have taken on a different twist. They're now cold and bloody. It figures: my outlets for donating the pieces are mystery conferences and mystery fans who win scenes from drawings announced on my blogs.

I still make cute dollhouses a couple of times a year and give them away to schools and hospitals as raffle prizes. But, I confess, it's the crime scenes that are the most fun. Over the years I've created an embalming room, a funeral parlor, and way too many bathtubs with a tiny hair dryer, boombox, or iron thrown in. Check out the gallery at http://www.dollhousemysteries.com for samples.

I can't wait to read Lois Winston's Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun and get to know Anastasia better. From the title alone you know it's going to be a great read, another of those times when crafts supplies turn deliciously deadly.

Thanks for letting me visit, Anastasia!

And thanks for stopping by, Camille, and also for offering copies of Monster in Miniature to three lucky people who post comments this week.  Remember, everyone, check back tomorrow to find out who the lucky winners are.--AP


Donnell Ann Bell said...

You crafty people! That settles it. You have joint muses and when you're sitting at home having fun with your crafts, it gives you too much time to plot mayhem. Well done, and keep doing it. What intriguing plots you set up!


LOL! Never enough time to plot mayhem!

Mason Canyon said...

Found your blog by way of Mystery Writing is Murder and love it. Always good to find new sites that love murder mysteries.

Enjoyed the post. Can't image creating a miniature doll house, much less a miniature crime scene, Wow!

Thoughts in Progress

Marian Allen said...

Have you seen SLEUTH, a movie with Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier? One of the main characters was a mystery writer with little dioramas of his crime scenes. I always thought that was cool, but never dreamed somebody actually made such things! How nifty!

Kathy said...

I have a hand built dollhouse in my garage. My father-in-law had started it for my daughter but never finished it. Maybe I'll finish decorating the rooms with some blood and bodies. It will give me something to do.

I have a VHS copy of Sleuth somewhere. Now I'll have to dig it out and watch it.

It's been a fun first week here. Can't wait to see the crafts, recipes, tips and book reviews next week.

Anonymous said...

Loved the comments - and I love your miniature site - always so many amazing miniature scenes.

Best of all I love your M in M book series.

Helen Kiker

PamelaSueJames said...

Okay the minature crime scenes are to die for I love what you've created and I agree crime scenes would be more fun to create. I had a doll house when I was young and I was bored with it. I think maybe the problem was there wasn't any bloody footprints.LOL


Glad you stopped by, Mason. Hope you'll come back soon.

Miriam, loved SLEUTH!

Kathy, so glad you're enjoying the blog. Definitely finish that doll house! Maybe you and Pamela Sue should get together and craft some dead bodies!

So glad you've all enjoyed Camille's guest post!

camille minichino said...

What great comments! I'm going to have to double the book giveaways!

It's always more interesting when something happens in a miniature scene, isn't it? I've just started modeling movie scenes, for example. I began with the bathroom in The Godfather, where there's a gun in the tank!

Any ideas?

Lynn Barker Steinmayer said...

Wow -- I never thought such things possible. I just saw a book about creating little loaves of bread and pies with polymer clay. Too much detail for me at this point in my life.

All the best!



I've just heard from Camille, and she's offered to give away 6 books to our blog readers who post comments! Thank you so much, Camille!

Janet said...

I love to do miniatures in cross stitch. Small things are much more interesting than large things and you can hide such lovely clues in them!

Love the blog, look forward to seeing it each day.

Janet said...

You have to do the horses head in the bed too, Camiille.

camille minichino said...

I've thought about that horse's head, Janet -- it might just be over the line for me! But ask me when I'm in a different mood!

Unknown said...

When I was small, I had a dollhouse. I made dishes, vases, etc from softened Crayolas which was fun, but perhaps it would have been even more fun to mold bloody knives or nooses 8^)

Carol M said...

Making miniature rooms sounds like fun! I wish I had the patience to do it! Your series sounds like something I would really enjoy! I've always enjoyed cozies.

camille minichino said...

I love that softened crayon idea. It sounds easier than working with crafts clay. I'm going to try it.

Kathy said...

You can make molds out of mold n pour and then use either ultra thick embossing powder or wax to make your pieces. With the mold n pour you will only have to make one clay piece, make your mold and then make multiples with the UTEE or wax.

camille minichino said...

Is mold n pour a commercial product, Kathy? I need to check it out!

pennyt said...

Hi Camille - I loved the idea of adding a winchester rifle and some blood to a cozy miniature scene. And I enjoy both of your current series - I'm so glad to hear you're branching out into a third series soon.

Kathy said...

Yes Camille, it's commercial. It's made by Ranger. You could try AC Moore or Michael's or if you Google mold n pour you can find on line places to buy it. It's a two-part putty. You mix the putty to a uniform color, press in whatever you're molding let it set to a hard rubber consistency and then pop out the object and you have a mold. I have a necklace on my blog http://kathnan.blogspot.com/ where I had made the gold settings and the square blue stones with utee and mold n pour.

camille minichino said...

Thanks, Kathy. I checked out that necklace. I can't wait to try.
I must say this is where creative commenters gather!