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Wednesday, January 4, 2023


Today we welcome back mystery author Camille Minichino. Learn more about her and her books at her website. 

I’m delighted to sneak into the 12 days of Christmas. Although the 10th day, with lords a-leaping is not my favorite, I’ll take advantage of the remaining holiday season to discuss an ongoing issue in the philosophy of crafting: how real should we make the models?


The best way to elaborate on this question is by describing my most recent dollhouse project. Every year I donate a furnished dollhouse to a local school for their holiday fair. Due to unforeseen time constraints this year, I flipped an old house that I had on the shelf.


As I’ve described on previous visits to Anastasia Pollack’s blog, I’ve built settings to go with all my cozy miniature series: a mortuary, a puzzle room, a post office, and so on. It was the post office that I decided had to be sacrificed to Christmas.

Two photos show the former PO, with my finger for scale.

Two other photos show the PO flipped as a house, with a kitchen, bed, and holiday decorations.

You’ll see I did keep some PO packages as presents under the tree.

Here’s where the question of “reality” came in.

My friend, KS, volunteered to help with the remodel and I accepted gladly. We were about done when I noticed, “There’s no bathroom. We have to have a bathroom.”


KS shook her head. “We don’t need a bathroom. This is a cabin.”


I’ll spare you the long discussions about how this was a “real house” and certainly needed a bathroom, but here’s some of the back-and-forth.


KS: We can put a sign with an arrow on the outside wall, “To the Outhouse.”


Me: This is for a kid. No outhouse.


KS: Kids go camping.


Me: I don’t. I need a real bathroom.


KS (exasperated): There’s no plumbing. Do you want to install plumbing?” (She also pointed out that the phone in the original PO had no cord.)


Finally, since it was my house, I prevailed, and we installed a loft with appropriate bathroom fixtures. (We fixed up that makeshift cardboard loft “floor” before shipping it off.)


We’ve all seen dollhouses with 2 stories and no stairway. A loft with toys, but only one bedroom. Where does the child sleep? No entry way or coat closet. Come to think of it, no bedroom closet.  


Where to draw the line? 


These are the days of dolls that breathe (button on the left chest) and babble (batteries not included). The latest dolls boast hand-rooted hair, visible veins, and a talcum powder smell! A “stuffed animal” kitten is posable and weighted to feel “real,” and also a scent. Similar features are found on handmade Corgis, Yorkies, and other breeds 


Oh, no. With my instance on plumbing in the “cabin” have I fallen into the trap of “realistic” toys? What do you think?


The last photo shows one more use of the flipped house – our Christmas card this year. My talented husband photoshopped us into the house, with me in a “portrait” on the left and him standing behind the bed. We have lots extra, so if you’d like a card, send your address (one time use only) through the email address on my website, www.minichino.com.


Thanks, Lois/Anastasia for giving me space here! I wish you and all your readers a very happy new year.


Matrimony in Minature

A Miniature Mystery, Book 9


When murder happens in the small town of Lincoln Point, CA, there aren’t many degrees of separation between the victim and retired teacher Gerry Porter. How can she stay away from the investigation when the crime scene is the venue for her marriage to Henry Barker?


But this time, nephew Detective Skip Gowen tries to discourage Gerry’s and granddaughter Maddie’s efforts to solve The Case. He couldn’t live with himself if the murderer learns of their efforts and comes after them…


Buy Link 


Camille Minichino said...

How come my prose always looks/reads better when surrounded by the artwork of Anastasia's blog?
Thanks A. and Lois for hosting today!


Lois Winston said...

It’s always a pleasure to have you visit, Camille.