Thursday, December 4, 2014

The 2014 Mini Gingerbread House Series

~*~ The 2014 Mini Gingerbread House Series. ~*~ , by Kyle Lefort

This year I wanted to make a little bit of everything. So we have one inch scale choo-choo trains, one inch/half inch scale (they should work in both scales) gingerbread houses, and quarter inch scale gingerbread houses. And as you may have noticed, the gingerbread houses this year are all A-Frames. Cute little A-frames, trying something new. Hope everyone likes them. ^_^

As is tradition, all the houses in this series are initialed and dated with the year on the bottom, except for the trains - There was nowhere for me to sign them. (No worries if you purchase one though - I do sign the receipts I send out, so you will have proof of the series)

Normally these are Etsy exclusives, but since my new eBay store is up, running, and doing well I decided to split the lot between the two online shops. 

As of typing this, roughly half of the series has been listed and I plan to add the rest as each piece is sold off.
You may also find a few leftovers from previous years, as well as other delightful items in my shops.

Something worth mentioning here: Normally I say if I run out of these before the holidays end, I'll make more - Not happening this year. I made so many pieces already, I just can't make one more gingerbread anything for 2014. So this is it, ~ Enjoy ~ ^_^

Oh and for the record, one house/train for every yearly series, so far (2012-2014);

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Curious Concepts Project: "Devon" & Done

So funny story...I was getting ready to wrap up the Curious Concepts project (double checking that I've done everything, getting ready to order prints, etc.) when I noticed something - I never posted the finished "Devon" illustration. At least, I couldn't find any blog post for it. Part of extending this project to a full year can be blamed on computer troubles, so I'm guessing that post just got lost in the shuffle. Oh well, it's done and I'm posting the WIP images now. ^_^

(If you would like to see the original W.I.P. post for this illustration, click here)

I was getting stuck on the background (the original photo was all black), and the forshortening of the fingers was tripping me up, so I started drawing in semi-random shapes and textures in the background (to make it more interesting), and then ended up just cropping out the arms all together.

More textures in the back, and I added in parts of the original photo. 
The face looks a little more realistic now.

The background was getting a bit too busy so I decided to make it blurred and monochromatic 
~ Green was not a good color choice.

Gray was a much better choice, and I found a neat square texture brush in Photoshop - Now that's what I call a nondescript background. ^_^
I also did some erasing and cleaned up some lines, but that's not as noticeable here.

And there we have it, "Devon"

Friday, October 31, 2014

Night of The Jack-O-Lanterns

I've received a few messages from people interested in joining my mini Halloween challenge, but between the Greenleaf forum being down for a few days, and everyone being understandably busy - No one is done. Heck, my scene was simple and it still ended up being a last minute project. Anyway, the offer still stands and I will gladly post Halloween scenes all weekend if people get them to me.

Personally speaking, crunched for time, I almost skipped one of my favorite things - Pumpkin carving! But nope, I had to carve at least one pumpkin, just had too. So last night after work I sat at the kitchen table scooping pumpkin guts, weilding a giant knife, and behold - Whatever this thing is supposed to be;

My jack-o-lanterns are always cute, a little odd, but never scary. 
I'm cool with that.

No plan, just carved a face. Sort of reminds me of a bat...with some other things mixed in. Glad I made time for this - It's just not the same without one.

Hope everyone has a great weekend - Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Made a quick little scene to celebrate Halloween! (ahh, rhyming!)

The tiny ghosts were a gift, I made the sign.

Cute and a bit minimalist. I like it.

Happy Halloween!

Hopefully I will be getting some entries for my mini challenge. If you're working on yours, remember this week is Halloween. Have fun. :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Call For Entries - Mini Halloween Challenge!

Back again this year - My mini Halloween Challenge!

Last year I waited to see if anyone else had something planned first, but I thought about it - If there does happen to be another miniatures blog out there hosting a friendly challenge, just enter both. Or make two entries, I sure enjoy seeing all the cool things people come up with, Don't you?

This is a really informal challenge, so don't go crazy with it, just have fun!
(And this isn't a requirement, but if you're reading this and want to post a link to this challenge on your blog/sidebar so more people will see it, I would really appreciate it.)

Here's how it works;

1. Make a miniature scene for Halloween.
-You can make miniatures, buy them, re-purpose stuff you have lying around-Use whatever you want.
-Scale does not matter, but your work has to clearly be in miniature.

2. Take a picture.
-You can keep your work, we all just want to see it.

3. Leave a comment for me at the bottom of THIS POST, where I can find it.
-I need your name/screen name,
-a link to the photo you want me to post,
-and a link to your blog or website (if you have one)

4. I will make a super special Halloween post displaying all of your wonderful work.

No prizes or anything, this is just for fun. ^_^
-If you needed an excuse to make something for Halloween-You've got one now.
-This is a great way to advertise your blog/website-links will be publicly posted under your photo.
-And if you aren't a miniature artist, but maybe want to give it a try, this is a great no pressure way to start.

DEADLINE: Sunday October 26th. 
I'm in New York, so remember that there's a time difference if you live somewhere else, if you live west of here, get your entry in early. I will accept entries if they're a little late, but on time works sooo much better.
I plan on having the entries all posted on the 27th or 28th, time permitting.  
1 photo/entry per person, please.

And a quick note about Copyright (I'm a designer, I can't help it);
By giving me any photos/info to post on my blog, A). You are guaranteeing that it is your work to post and in good faith I will post it as such. B). You are giving me permission to use your photo/entry on my blog. Aside from back linking to the Halloween post in the future, or otherwise using post content like any responsible blogger would, I'm not going to use your work without further permission. You will be credited for your work, and you remain the Copyright holder of your scene design and the photo that you took.

That said, this is the internet, so you are more than welcome to add a watermark to your photo-Just don't make it so distracting that we can't enjoy your work.

If you're looking for some mini inspiration, Click Here to check out what everyone came up with last year.

Anyone interested, you have about 3 weeks to make something. Can't wait to see what you come up with! ^_^

Thursday, September 11, 2014

34th Annual Dollhouse Miniatures Show and Sale!

>>> The Western New York Miniature Enthusiasts are having their 34th Annual Dollhouse Miniatures Show and Sale on Sunday, September 28th! <<<

If you are in the area and love dollhouse miniatures and/or you want a chance to see some really cool small scale scenes in person, you should go to this show.
More info on the club's site;

And please note ~ New location this year; Marygold Manor, 770 Maryvale Drive, Cheektowaga, NY
(If you go to the old place, you will be disappointed)


I will be one of the vendors at the show again this year, and am currently busy getting everything ready to go. I still have a lot to do, so before I forget, here are a few more announcements;

Time permitting, I will be adding some photos of new items made for the show over on DeviantArt;
Since I know many of my regular customers will not be able to make it all the way to NY for a dollhouse show, I will also try to list a few items as short eBay auctions beforehand.

*** And a quick heads up about my online shops. Most of my listings have been set to expire within the next week or two (even the possible new ones I just mentioned). The weekend of the show my Etsy shop will be closed and my eBay shop will probably be completely empty. When the shops are back open again (It may take a couple days), some things may no longer be available and I may be making changes to sets/lots/etc. depending on show sales. So if you are one of my auction watchers or were thinking about making a purchase this month, keep in mind that changes are on the way and the listings are disappearing soon - fair warning.

Looking forward to the show, and if you plan on going, I'll see you there!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Curious Concepts Project: A Bunny WIP

Hello Everyone! How are you? How's life? Anyone waiting for an update on The Curious Concepts Project? Good News! That's what I'm posting about today. ^_^
I'm behind on these blog updates (sorry about that), so I'm hoping this post will catch things up.

Before I forget to mention it, the results are in from Facebook. This illustration is now titled "To the Edge and Back";

Thank you to everyone who voted on the name. ^_^

And now what I've been working on lately, by request of my very good friend Elizabeth -"A Bunny"

I asked what kind of bunny should I be drawing, 
but "A Bunny", is the only input I was getting
which meant I could do whatever I wanted (yay!). 
So I drew this classy looking fellow.

I decided to go with red and green since I rarely use those colors together outside of Christmas. Red became more of a pink and purple, but oh well, I have very few rules to follow on this one.

The next few of these are the paintbrush tool and playing with filters to make a really cool background effect.
And some burn tool, shading the bunny.

 I really liked the colors at this point, 
but the bunny looked a lot like plastic 
and you can see the seams of all the layers I'm using.

So I went a lot darker with the shading,

and then I picked out a few shades of pink to paint in as fur.


Cleaned up the lines.

Messing with layer filters again.

Now it looks like it has a little fur, but it's not quite right yet.

Painted in another layer of fur to even out the colors/shading.

The background had gotten a little gray looking so I painted in more green.

Blurring and filter effects.

 More painting and shading. Here we are now. 
Not quite 100%, but it's pretty close to finished.

This new series is almost done now. All of the finished illustrations I posted earlier in the year have been color proofed/test printed. I have to brighten up one of them, and of course make sure the last couple illustrations are printing ok too. Then off to the printers they go.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Miniature Patchwork Dragons ~ The Series!

Hello everyone, Did you miss me?

Oh boy have I been having one heck of a July. My poor old Laptop stopped working, and then as soon as I finally got the part to fix it - I stopped working. >< Not quite 100% yet, but I'm feeling much better. Trying to get caught up with everything, I need to get back into the swing of things, so I thought I'd post something new-ish on my blog. Anyone following my work on Facebook, DeviantArt, Pinterest, and/or Tumblr may have already seen these, but for those who haven't - I started a new series (which I could thankfully keep working on while my computer was dead) - Miniature Patchwork Dragons.

This is Mini Patchwork Dragon No. 1

I had a bag full of leftover bits of fabric-too small even for dollhouse pillows and plushies, but I knew I could come up with something more creative than just throwing out fabric.

The sewing pattern I used is my own creation. I based it off of a Chinese dragon, but half way through sewing it all together, it looked like it needed some wings. 
Number 1 was made just for me, as of right now the plan is to use it as a large stuffed animal in one of the rooms in the Van Buren when I eventually get that far into that project.

Of course, since this little guy is so cute, I posted it online and then it seemed to get pretty popular. So I decided to make;

Mini Patchwork Dragon No. 2

I had some trouble with the wings, needed to use glue to keep the edges from fraying while I sewed the tiny bits of fabric together, so when I posted it on eBay - I did not have high hopes for it (yes, I do tell potential customers when things don't turn out as well as they should have) It ended up getting 2 or 3 bids on it, and I had several comments/messages from people asking if I planned on making more dragons. The auction winner loved it. I was shocked! And then (after changing the wing design a little) I got to work on more of theses dragons-They're a series now! I just finished No. 12 this week;

Mini Patchwork Dragon No. 12

I've been trying to avoid spamming people with non-stop dragons, so instead of posting every single one of them everywhere, I made a gallery folder on DeviantArt, and a series board on Pinterest.

Want to own one of these little dragons? Check out my shop on eBay. They seem to sell out pretty quick, but as long as people are interested, and as long as I am able to, I will try to keep making these Mini Patchwork Dragons. ^_^

Monday, June 2, 2014

Perpetually Busy

I'm using the word "Perpetually" loosely here, but that's what it's felt like for the past several weeks. My business is picking up, life is picking up, and "up" is a great thing. :) The only downside is-I'm behind on blogging  again and I'm probably going to stay that way for a few more weeks.

So that it doesn't look like I've completely abandoned you all, I'm posting a few quick little progress reports - At least then you'll know that I' not just being lazy. :) (Apologies in advance for any typos)

ok, first up;

Undersized Urbanite 2014 - I posted my entry, but I did not have a to chance to post a follow up since then.
If you haven't found your way to it yet, Christina posted the winners, you can read more on that over at her blog. Congrats to the winners!!! ^_^
The site was down the first time I tried checking out all the finished entries, and things started getting busy for me right after that, so if in the next few weeks I start leaving comments about your awesome entries, like I just saw them for the first time-That's why. XD

Interestingly enough, I was already following the winners in the experienced category, and guessed they would win weeks before they even finished their houses (Cyd and Lyssa are amazingly talented)

Before I move on, I would like to take a minute to thank Christina for once again hosting Undersized Urbanite, and thank all the judges  (Brae, Victoria, & Anna) for taking time to both judge and leave nice comments for all the entrants.

Thank you. ^_^


The Curious Concepts Project - I'm working on it, I'm almost done. I started the last of the illustrations and color proofed the already finished pieces-only one needs some fixing so far. No official updates, but I have been talking with the people who are still waiting for their new illustrations. I'll post more WIP shots as soon as I can.


Shop seller reviews - I promised to give some honest reviews about my experiences having online shops on eBay, Etsy, and Zibbet after a few months of juggling all 3 - I'm putting that on hold for the moment. Between me changing things up and these sites also changing things up (eBay just changed some of it's policies, Etsy keeps running tests, and Zibbet is on the verge of relaunching as a whole new site) I think it's just better to wait until things settle down or I've had at least a year on all 3 sites.


I think those are all the current main topics. I promise I'll try and catch up with the blog soon. In the meantime, if you want to see what new things are being made/posted online - Feel free to check out my gallery on DeviantArt.

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Undersized Urbanite 2014 Entry - The Bird House

I finished my entry late last night and took some well lit indoor shots right away, just in case. Good thing too because the sky was pretty overcast when I went out today. Some parts of the house really popped outside while others still look better under my super bright work-space lamp, so I'm posting the best of whatever I took during both photoshoots. Sound good? Ok, then let's go see the house. ^_^

For those of you just tuning in,  you are welcome to check out my work-in-progress posts for this project, but don't worry about missing anything major-Here is the house before I began working on it;

That blue disk is a busted lazy Susan that the house can rotate on, I've since put it back underneath the house where it belongs. For this contest I understandably had to cover up that painting on the front, but I did keep the blue roof and the bird house theme.


 My entry - The Bird House;

A little back story for you; The Bird House is basically a 3 floor complex (for birds who have all gone and flown off for the time being). This tall and tiny building includes a birdie self-serve "grocery store", a museum of oddities/shiny things, and a bird nest hotel.

The Exterior;

All the circular windows are shuttered up except for the hotel's mini entrance at the top. My original plans were for a white house with wooden doors/windows, and blue trim to match the original roof. I stuck to that plan, right up until a last minute decision that this house looked somewhere between boring and creepy when left all white. So I threw in some other colors and created a bright contemporary style siding design. I wouldn't do this to your typical house, but as a commercial venue, and an Artsy bird house, I think it works well.

-Cardboard (cereal boxes) for the wooden door/windows and their blue frames.
-Textured scrap booking paper, cut into strips for the diagonal siding.
-Acrylic paint (on the cardboard)

Now let's turn the house around and go inside,


Starting with the bottom floor - The Grocery;

After an especially long winter, stocks are running low. 
Good thing it's Spring. ^_^

There's still a few homemade suet bells on the shelves, but the leaves, hay, and other nest making bits have been almost entirely used up by the hotel's feathered guests. Guess the birds will have to fly around outside and find what ever they need now. (It just occurred to me while typing this that I spent our extra long winter decorating a bird house for Spring, hmm...)

-Cardboard (cereal boxes) for the woven flooring
-Popsicle sticks for the hard wood flooring
-Brown Paper bags, for the walls.
-Polymer clay + a few seed beads, for the suet bells.
-Sharpies and Acrylic paint-for color. :)
-A miniature shelf-no labels, bought at a rummage sale.
-Whatever that big disk in the back is supposed to be-part of a necklace I found.
-Leaves, hay, fabric scraps, etc.

Next - The Museum of Oddities and Shiny Things;

An assortment of items that the birds found while out migrating, and whatever else birds do throughout the year, when not staying at bird house hotels of course. (Just go with it ^_^ )

There's not much a bird can do with these things (do you suppose they know what a rubber chicken is, Or what a bird cage is for?), so they made a tiny museum to display their findings for others to enjoy/laugh at.

-Cardboard (cereal boxes) for the woven flooring
-Popsicle sticks for the floor edges
-Brown Paper bags, for the walls.
-Sharpies and Acrylic paint-for color. :)
-Leaf stems and a rubber band (painted white) - You know,  a typical birdcage.
-A miniature rubber chicken
-Unfinished dollhouse flower boxes make up the shelving.
-The shiny things are all jewelry/jewelry findings
-Leaves, hay, fabric scraps, etc. 
And finally, the top floor -  The Bird Nest Hotel

The little bits of fabric scraps and thread scattered along the other floors, 
all lead to here.

(Btw, I can take the roof off of this house)

As a human, I don't nest in trees, but I do enjoy looking at them enough that if my house had no windows I would probably paint a few trees on the walls. And here in the hotel, if you happen to be one of the many birds that prefers nesting in trees over inside of a bird house (but also need to stay the night in this bird house), the setup should work for just about everyone who can fit through the entrance. (one of the few hotels with a visible height limit).

The nests were all going to brown paper, until I remembered seeing what happens when birds find things like yarn to build their nests out of-Nests can actually be all sorts of colors. So I broke out some scrap construction paper and used some scrap fabric/leftover bits of thread to make this bird nest hotel as colorful as the Springtime flowers outside.

-Cardboard (cereal boxes) for the woven flooring
-Popsicle sticks for the floor edges
-Brown Paper bags, for the walls.
-Assorted papers for the nests.
-Sharpies and Acrylic paint-for color. :)
-Leaves, hay, fabric scraps, etc. 

Just an afterthought; One of the things that I've been mentioning to my readers throughout this project is all the up-cycled materials that have gone into it. The house itself was purchased second-hand at a rummage sale. The doors, circle window shutters/blue window frames, and most of the flooring (the woven sections) were all made out of cereal boxes. The walls are discarded brown paper bags. Paint, Popsicle sticks, and most of the other things used for this house were left over from other projects or found outside. I didn't plan to be quite this thrifty, but it is neat seeing what can be done with some creative thinking, and what's around.


Well there it is-my finished Undersized Urbanite project for 2014.
Congrats to goes out to all the other entrants -We're done! ^_^
Now time to enjoy seeing what everyone else has come up with this year.