Saturday, January 5, 2019

My Year of Charity Knitting and Craftivism

 Happy New Year Everyone!

There's a lot in store for 2019, but before we really get into it I wanted to take a minute to go back and a get an official count for all of the charity knitting and craftivism projects I was able to contribute to this year.

In 2017, my first year loom knitting, along with everything else I had been working on, I managed to make 13 baby hats for charity.

The goal this year/2018 was to see just how many more baby hats I could make now that I've gained some knitting experience. However, as anyone following this project over on Instagram knows, I fell down some sort of helping people rabbit hole (the best kind of rabbit hole), and wound up making all sorts of wonderful things, not just the hats.

The pics in this post are everything donated this year. If you'd like to see every single item in detail, please head over to Instagram;

Charities and positive initiative programs donated to this year include;

  St. Gianna Molla Pregnancy Outreach Centers of Buffalo/Niagara Falls NY;

CLICKforbabies, NCSBS HQ located in Utah, with programs across the U.S.;

Welcome Blanket, the MODA exhibit in Atlanta Georgia;

Mother Bear Project, HQ located in Minneapolis MN, most bears are sent to countries throughout Africa;

Knit and Crochet for Charity, Warren Michigan;

Tiny Hats For Tiny Babies/Warm Up America, sent to Texas, to be used by doctors in countries across Africa; and

SCM Medical Missions, based in Seattle WA, items shipped to refugee camps in Jordan;
Little Hats Big Hearts, for Buffalo NY babies;
Knitting4Peace, located in Denver Colorado, but items go all over the World;

I didn't have an official start/end date, so to be part of this year's count items had to be knitted goods that were made solely to be given away, and were finished sometime between Christmas 2017 and New Years Day 2019.

So no painted rocks, artwork, or other crafts, and if you happened to buy something from me, Thank You, but it's not part of this count.

Here we go!

10 assorted newborn hats
64 purple newborn hats
1 40X40-ish Welcome Blanket
4 Mother Bear bears
3 adult sized hats
2 adult sized headbands/ear warmers
1 40x40 baby blanket
1 40x30 baby blanket
63 assorted preemie baby hats
1 38x41 misc. warm blanket

And not shipped/ongoing projects, but finished so far;

21 red newborn and preemie baby hats
2 Mother Bear bears
3 Peace Pals/comfort dolls

Total for the year; 176!

Mind you it's more than just making things - It's people being helped, in all sorts of ways. Everything from brightening someone's day, to keeping warm, to helping doctors save some lives. So while part of me thinks I had a pretty successful 2018, I also want to try and make at least 200 items for 2019. A pretty big goal, but we will see.

If you are interested in charity knitting and craftivism and would like to help any of the organizations I donated to this year, all the links lead to their contact info and if they're not actively accepting items now, they will be during drives throughout the year, so go ahead and give some of them a 'Like' on Facebook. ^_^

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Mortimer The Book Explorer ... OR ... Kyle Made a Weird Bookmark

Why hello there readers and fellow bloggers, long time no see. ^_^

Meet Mortimer! He’s an Explorer. He loves books. He is a Book Explorer! (It’s a bookmark, or is it?)
What I’m saying is that I created a classy eyeball person with ambition, and then made him into a delightfully weird laminated bookmark for you to enjoy, and quite possibly get creative with yourself. - As it turns out the average size of a standard bookmark is almost equal to a very tall 1:12 scale (dollhouse size) human, so while I was photographing Mortimer he wandered around the studio a bit.

If anyone wishes to bring a copy of Mortimer home and use him in weird photo ops, by all means please do. (and feel free to let me know what you’ve come up with!)  

#mortimerbookexplorer Wouldn’t be a bad tag for your pics, just sayin’. 

Ok, but how do you get a copy of Mortimer? 
Well here’s the thing: Because this was a weird/random project, I printed and assembled these neat bookmarks in-house. 
Depending on feedback, I can make many more runs of Mortimer and his friends to come, but for now there are only 12 Mortimers available. 

3 ways to snag one for yourself;

1. Head on over to ART247 in Lockport NY. There are some for sale just outside of studio 233
2. My Etsy shop, under the *NEW* Misc. Fun! section.
3. Now that you’ve read this far - This post is actually a giveaway announcement! *gasp*

That’s right, I am giving one of the very first copies of Mortimer the Book Explorer away to one of my lucky Facebook followers! 
To be entered, head on over to my Facebook page and hit the like button - You can find a post with the details there.

This is my first online giveaway ever and if it goes well I might just do it again, so share this post to make this giveaway happen and to get Mortimer out there exploring the books and world I would imagine he’d love to see! #bykylelefort #art #giveaway #bookmark #eyeballpeople #characters #dollhouseminiatures #artstudio #lockportny

Friday, December 23, 2016

* The 2016 Gingerbread House Series *

~*~ The 2016 Gingerbread House Series ~*~

Ha! You thought I wasn't going to get this year's tiny gingerbread houses done, but you were wrong! Here they are;

 I wasn't up for polymer clay and all the baking though, so this year I went up in size a bit and sewed a gingerbread pillow village + 3 gingerbread pillow friends. Brown flannel coated in Polycrylic for the gingerbread. Once again I used puff paint for the frosting and polymer clay was used for the candy details. I doubt the tiny dollhouse people would want to eat these, they're meant to be throw pillows or plush decor items this time around.

No scene at the moment, I just finished these today at home and I haven't quite figured out a good way to sign and date them yet..., I will figure that out after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, if you missed it on Instagram, my fern buddies have gotten into the spirit;

 And if you celebrate the holiday, I hope you have gotten yourself into the spirit of it too (or at least finished with presents - avoid being that eleventh hour shopper, it does not sound like fun to me). 

As of typing this it is just a few hours until Christmas Eve, and I am officially done working. Time to take a break and spend time with my family.

Merry Christmas, and if I don't hear from you until then - Happy New Year too. ^_^

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A little Fall Mischief

A family member had a couple of huge ferns that needed somewhere indoors to over winter. I offered to house them in the art studio this year. The ferns are turning out to be a lot of fun so far....


 (originally posted on Instagram)


Happy Halloween!


 And believe it or not, I actually got a lot of work done in the studio yesterday too. ^_^

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hermit Crabs

Funny story, a few months ago I randomly and quite suddenly ended up with a hermit crab. This is Harold;

Before anyone lectures me about the red sand and painted shell, keep reading...

Harold's original owner had a cat and they weren't getting along with Harold, and I previously had a few hermit crabs (when I was 8 or 9), so now Harold is my buddy. Of course, the reason it has been decades since my last hermit crab buddies is because they didn't seem to move much, and then they'd die after a month or two. Tons of reasons for this - I was a little kid, I was relying on the brightly colored things that the hermit crab came with at the pet store, I didn't have the internet back then,...but now I am an adult, with the ability to buy whatever/whenever, I can google how to properly care for a hermit crab (in theory), and I had a real desire to care of what (who) is now a part of my life. 

Got Harold out of the dyed red sand, got him a decent habitat, shared some grapes with him;

Harold really seems to enjoy grapes

Since hermit crabs are actually social creatures, I brought home Tabitha, 
who got along great with Harold;

In my spare time I've been trying to create a fun and sustainable habitat. This first version was all about triangle huts, which worked great as huts if you're Tabitha, and after hearing a repetitive *thud* sound every few minutes coming from the tank I found out that Harold enjoyed climbing to the top and then letting go, crashing into whatever was below - The triangles were later cut down into trapezoids and Harold would just [safely] chill on top.

Late night adventuring, with Harold 

Once I was positive that Harold and Tabitha had had the basics well managed, I got a little more into the hermit crab thing. Upped the size of the tank so there was room for a salt water bath and more hermit crabs. Then came Gus;

Gus tightrope walking across a Popsicle stick for no apparent reason,
I was impressed
 Spend the night running marathons through the tank, spend the day cuddle napping

After watching every single crab reject the one spare shell that was sent along with Harold, and knowing that shells are kind of import to these little guys, I went back to Google to figure out how to guess what a nice shell looks like.
Calling it, "Shell Christmas", every crab was given one or two shells that I thought they might want to move into. Harold finally ditched that [possibly toxic] painted blue shell.
Tabitha actually picked two new shells, and kept her original shell (she switched daily until she molted). Gus just likes the shell he came with, and that's cool too. (be who you wanna be, live in what you wanna live in). 

One evening, I realized that they watched me watching T.V.

Had a big enough tank for 5 hermit crabs, so I tried introducing two more - This is where things got complicated.

Big Louise;

Don't get me wrong, Big Louise is a very nice and beautiful hermit crab. The day I brought home Gus, she was at the pet store and I would have brought her home then, but she just seemed too big to safely move into my tank. The next time I went to buy a crab though, the guy at the store commented that this one was the only one left in the tank, and he did that whole "Trust me", thing - had me believing that she would get along with everybody just fine....About an hour into meeting the others she tried to rip Harold out of his shell. ><  I immediately got her into a separate tank and did some reading - Given more time she might have been able to fit in, but seeing as Harold is the whole reason this adventure started, I couldn't risk him being hurt. I did the responsible pet owner thing and found another enthusiastic pet owner to be friends with her. I get updates on how she's doing...I sort of have a hermit crab pen pal now. She's doing well. 

And then there's this cutie (Morpheus);

He saw Harold's old shell and got excited, because, shell! ^_^

  This is Morpheus, the tinniest member of my hermit crab community. Kind of thought he was dead at the pet store (I was assured that he was just really pale and probably asleep), I found him while the pet store guy was telling me that Big Louise was the only crab in the tank. Didn't want to ditch either lone crab, so I brought this little one home too and gave him a big name like Morpheus. Fed him and stuff, gave him a salt water bath and he brightened right up. He's very much alive and healthy, and really cute too. Plus the other crabs accepted him immediately, which is always nice to see. My only complaint is that he refuses to be photographed, runs off and blurs every time. ><

Now that my hermit crab community is a little more established they're all mellowed out and fallen into their own little hermit crab routines. A couple of them molted, Tabitha's molt had me thinking she was dead for a weekend, Gus's molt went just fine. Occasionally I take what I believe to be a cute photo and share it with my friends - My friends either think I'm nuts or are enjoying the pics, I can never tell.


I do enjoy these animals, and so much more than I thought I would. Granted there are lists of reasons not to have hermit crabs, but I was given Harold, and the rest are the happy healthy crew I brought together. Part of me wants to recommend them as delightful pets, part of me didn't even want to share this experience out of concern that it will result in several misguided attempts at pet ownership as soon as someone reads this. So what I am going to do is end this with some solid advice: IF YOU REALLY WANT A PET HERMIT CRAB - Do some research first. Make sure you can take care of them. Make sure you don't just put one alone in a tank (they need buddies). Make sure you actually want/can afford/have the time to take care of your pet. AND understand that as amused as I am by these little guys - They sleep most of the day, and have quite a few boring moments.

Possibly more pics of hermit crab adventures to come, so stay tuned. ^_^

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Life, Am I Right?

Oh boy, did I ever fall behind on blogging.

Let's see, since my last post here:

I obviously did not win Undersized Urbanite (loved all the entries btw). However, I did plant an entire garden's worth of plants indoors at my art studio, some of which are still in there, but most have made it out to the great outdoors now that it's Summer/not the dead of winter when I planted them.

I made a few new art pieces as well as a whole mess of new miniature inventory for a dollhouse show in Syracuse NY this past May...I had a table at a dollhouse show in Syracuse this past May (that's right, I'm on track to be in not 1, but 2 shows a year now).

After all that I wound up having to deal with some drama (not my drama, I had to step in and end someone else's drama and it was a yucky situation  - and while it did effect things, no I'm not posting anymore about it online). That derailed some aspects of my work, but now I think I'm back on track and headed to all good places. Keeping it happy over here.

Then there was a whole ton of life, death, war, famine, and an alien invasion that obliterated the planet (made up most of those just now), ANNNNNNNND here we are today. Alive, relatively well, and super busy. ^_^

And I know what you're saying right now - "You were off having a life? Pics or it didn't happen".

*boom* Pics! (well links to all the pics anyway);

If I disappear off the face of the blogging earth and you want to track me down or just follow along with my work, these are your go-to links.

Hoping I will find more time to blog in the coming months, I have so many neat things to share, but it's a lot of catch up and work time right now, so I will just have to leave you with a friendly Hello and I'll see you later. ^_^

Monday, February 8, 2016

Undersized Urbanite - The Surrealism House

Hello fellow miniaturists, bloggers, lovers of all things dollhouse, random visitors, voters, and other special guests! It's that time again - The big reveal for Undersized Urbanite!

As stated in my WIP posts, my dollhouse did not get as 'done' as I had hoped, but I do have a pretty interesting exterior to show off, so here we go;

Now for close ups;

I think that the egg carton mosaic turned out beautifully

The re-design for the new front door was a last minute miracle. A big Thank You to one of my "Mantis" prints, which I decided to cut up for the cause (to be fair, it was a damaged print, but I just couldn't throw away those pretty metallic colors - planned to use it throughout the house actually).

I know that I changed my color scheme from gray to purple halfway through sketching out the mosaic siding, but I'm still not sure what possessed me to start painting clouds on the purple after that - It did turn out really well though,...

...So well that I decided to paint the top floor sky blue and keep those clouds going. ^_^

What house wouldn't be complete without some trippy racing stripes, right? XD

And then finally, I give you a little bit of Steampunk, 
because I can't stop going back to Steampunk (it's fun).

So there you have it - The exterior of My Surrealism House. ^_^


There are a couple other things I did get a chance to work on, but they're part of the unfinished interior, but you know what? I'm going to show you anyway (Why not?);

Did you notice all the gold accents on the outside of the house? Well I got the idea for that while I was attempting to get the inside of the house painted. This painting/mural on the third floor is a mix of green, copper, and three shades of gold metallic paint. No sketching, just painted whatever I felt like painting.

And on that third floor, I also started a pond. It's acrylic paint with a few coats of Polycrylic to get the water effect. (I was hoping to add ducks - maybe someday) The green around the pond is more of the "Mantis" print - I was hoping to cover at least half of the floor with those shiny sea-foam tiles I was making (again, someday...). Oh, but what's with the puddle on the unfinished second floor hardwood? I'm glad you asked!

 I don't know if it was ever mentioned here on the blog, but one very rainy weekend last fall I walked into the art studio to find a huge puddle on the floor and rain pouring down in through the ceiling. It was just traumatic enough that I won't forget it anytime soon, but thanks to the studio visitors (some of which are friends now) who didn't seem to think a flood made the space any less awesome, that day was also just entertaining enough that it made it into this project. (Of course, I'm sure there was not actually a duck pond on the roof -it's more fun to to think about than cold Fall rain though).

I even made sure the ceiling is leaking.

Maybe I'll hold onto to the house and complete the interior next year, maybe when I have some time I'll keep working on it just for fun, maybe I'll finish it for an upcoming show - who knows? - For now though, this project is finished. As with any other year, I would like to say Thank You to Christina over at Little Victorian, for hosting Undersized Urbanite once more (Thank You!).

 Best wishes to the other entrants, hopefully you all finished in time. Can't wait to see everyone's entries. I think voting is open to everyone, so if you're reading this I encourage you to head on over to the official contest page and pick your favorite dollhouse.