Sunday, May 31, 2009

Special order- Boxer Dog necklaces

Well, I finally finished a special order for my friend Jannis. She has 2 beautiful boxer dogs, Sassy and O'Malley, and wanted me to make 2 necklaces with their names and their heads. I've had a bit of experience sculpting specific dog breeds (Affenpinschers, Brussels Griffons, and Westies), so I had a good idea of how to get started with this project. The first step is research. I study the AKC website for the particular breed, as well as breed specific websites in order to get the anatomy and proportions just right. It's amazing how different each breed can be, and even the little differences matter. Next I study pictures of different boxers and note the similarities and differences. Since I was sculpting 2 specific dogs this time I got several good pictures of Sassy and O'Malley from Jannis. I use a combination of the written descriptions and the pictures as I'm sculpting. Since Jannis wanted name pendants, I did these first (that was the easy part!). I used silver clay for one and gold clay for the other. I cut the shapes with scissors that make different patterns, then stamped the names with rubber stamps, then filled the letters with blue and red embossing powder before I baked the pendants. For the dos I created the basic shape of the skull and muzzle, then added the details on top of this. I had to be sure to get the colors and stripes just right. Sassy and O'Malley are twins, and there are very subtle differences in their coloring, size, and expression. I like the way they came out. I hope I managed to capture their individual personalities. I think it helped that I actually know the dogs on a personal level. Here are some pictures of the finished product.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

sassy necklace2sassy necklace3o malley necklaceo malley necklace2

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Broom Closet on

Paula Picard, of Maryville, Illinois, opened The Broom Closet on Artfire March 17, 2009.  This is her second Artfire shop (the first being Picard Creative).  The Broom Closet is full of supplies, vintage pieces, de-stash, and assorted works of art that Paula has created over the years.  I really like Paula- she has a great sense of humor, and this really comes through in her artwork.  She has a very interesting blog at that is fun to read.  Below are a few of my favorite items from The Broom Closet.  I love the pewter charms, which are very reasonably priced.  Stop in and see for yourself- just click one of the pictures, or the links above!

2 3-D Pewter Squirrel Charms4 adorable brass squirrel charms. 3-DSweet Little Owl Vintage PillboxCat Shaped Book for Altered Art. 4 Large Brass Monkey CharmsAltered Art Pocket Mirror. Just Be CatVintage Floral Sunburst Brooch. Beautiful Colors.2 large cute bird charms4 Large Pewter Monkey Charms

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chantilly Lace on is all about romance

Darcy Robinson of Edmonton Alberta is the lady behind Chantilly Lace on  She offers beautiful, romantic hair pieces, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.  Darcy is a stay at home mom who stays busy with creating accessories inspired by beautiful things.  She's a romantic at heart, with her wedding day and the birth of her daughter being the best days in her life.  Such special moments, combined with her love for vintage are where most of her inspiration comes from.  She loves working with pearls, lace, and different fabrics.  She finds vintage pieces special because they all have their own story to tell.  She tries to give vintage pieces a new life, recreating the piece so their journey can continue and some one else can enjoy their beuty.  Chantilly Lace can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.  This is just a sample of the beautiful items avaiable from her shop.

Orchid Romance - BarretteAmethyst and Jade NecklaceIvory Feather FascinatorSummer DanceSpring BrideOcean InspiredBlue CupidSALE - Children's Freshwater Pearl Swarovski Crystal Custom Designed Personalized Name Necklace

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Angelas Adornments

Angie Dallas, of Angelas_Adornments on, lives in Witicha KS and is married with 2 children and 3 grandchildren.  She creates her beautiful art in her studio in her home which she shares with her 2 cats, Oreo and Woo Kitty (love those names!).  She designs and creates Art Jewelry and says, "I appreciate the natural jewels Mother Nature gifts us with, and prefer creating my designs using natural gems and minerals, glass, sterling silver, and gold filled wire and findings."  She loves to see her creations being worn and treasured for a lifetime.  She especially likes to create custom pieces that will be worn for special occassions and for many years to come.  Here is a sample of some of the beautiful and unique work available from Angelas_Adornments.

Cool Carribean Green And Blue Wire Crochet EarringsUltimate Turquoise Nugget NecklaceSpring Melange BraceletPinks And Pearls NecklaceVICTORIAN STYLE AMETHYST PENDANT Wrapped in Sterling Silver.Cool Carribean Green And Blue Wire Crochet BraceletHunky Chunky Carnelian NecklaceGREEN FAIRY- Original Watercolor

-Michelle of CreativeCritters


This last month has been nuts! First, Gramma got bronchitis- not good, but the antibiotics were starting to help. Then her blood sugar dropped really low (she's diabetic) and we had to take a trip to the ER. They sent her home the same day, once her sugar stabilized. She really didn't get much better after that though. She was coughing less, but very weak and tired, and she had no appetite. Did I mention I live with her and take care of her? So I know what's normal for Gramma, and things were not normal. After a few days of this, with no improvement, she decided to have me call the ambulance. There's nothing wrong with Gramma mentally, so these decisions are hers to make. I can offer suggestions, but I can't force her to do anything. I'm here to help her with the things she's unable to do physically, although my responsibilities have steadily been increasing lately. Anyway, they finally figured out that her bronchitis had turned into pneumonia, so they admitted her and she's been in the hospital since Friday. My husband and I have been to see her every day. She's been improving, eating better, sitting up for several hours at a time, and even walking a bit today. She looks more like Gramma now, which does my heart good. I was pretty scared there for a while. She may be 93, but I still can't stand the thought of losing her. She's one of the most important people in my life.

Yesterday (Memorial Day) we went out to my husband's aunt's house for a cookout after leaving the hospital. That's the first time I've been able to see the family for quite a while. I haven't been able to leave Gramma alone for some time now. It was nice to relax a bit and have fun with the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Uncle Don, another gardener like myself, dug up some black raspberries and some rose bushes for me to take home. He's very generous like that. We spend a lot of time talking gardening, animals, and nature. He's a really great man, much like my grandfather. So today I was planting black raspberries and rose bushes (in the rain). By the way, a good way to handle prickly plants like these is to wrap newspaper around the stems and hold the paper. Surprisingly, I didn't get stabbed once. Usually when I deal with roses or raspberries I get all scratched up. I dug deep planting holes for each plant, filled it partially with torn up newspaper, compost, more newspaper, and topsoil. Then I filled the hole with water, to be sure it was well drenched. I put the plant in the hole, covered it with topsoil, more shredded newspaper, and more compost. Then I watered it again. Hopefully all the plants will do well.

When I got home late last night and checked my email I saw that I had made a sale. Turns out I sold 15 items to one lady! By that time I was so tired I wasn't sure if I was reading it right. Now I need to carefully pack up all the individual pieces, which include several of my miniature clay houses, a pen set, several knit stuffed dogs and cats, some earrings, and my World of Warcraft plush Tauren Hunter with his Pet Lion. Oh, and when I logged onto ArtFire last night I saw that the new Fusion studios were live. If you want to check out my new layout go here. I still have some work to do, but I got a good start on it. Feel free to give me your opinion on the new look.

So, I've been incredibly busy this month. Lots of ups and downs. Gramma's health started out as a "down", but is changing to an "up" as she improves. She was pretty talkative today. It's nice when I can call all the relatives and give them good news. They plan to keep her for rehab for another week, which is what she wanted. She'd rather wait until she's strong enough to come back home, rather than rushing things and ending up back in the hospital. My big sale is definitely an "up". To know that someone likes my work enough to purchase a large amount of it makes me so happy. Every sale is a thrill for me. So, that's an overview of my month- no wonder I'm tired! I've barely slowed down enough to eat lately!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gorgeous Glass Beads from Deronda Designs on

Deronda lives in Fesenden ND and has been selling her wonderful glass beads on ArtFire since 11-13-09.  Deronda Designs offers a wide variety of fun, beautiful glass beads.  Deronda is a self taught glass artist who loves glass and all of the lampwork and fused pieces made in her studio are kiln annealed to relieve the stress in the glass.  She learned her art through the internet, other lampworkers, tutorials, and books.  She also likes to venture into other artistic mediums, anything from glass painting to metal, to egg art, and window jewelry.  She spends many happy hours in her studio playing with glass and fire.  One look in her studio is enough to see that it is time well spent.  You can read more about Deronda Designs on her blog at derondadesigns.blogspot, or visit her website at  She's also on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Indipublic.  I absolutely love her work.  Below are just a few of my favorites, but you really have to stop by her studio to see all she has to offer.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some fantasy creations from CreativeCritters

She Designs Jewelry on

Sheila Hendricks, of Westport IN, is the "She" behind She Designs Jewelry on  She's the youngest of 3 kids and was nicknames She, when her cousins shortened Sheila.  That's where she came up with her business name, which I think is pretty cool.  It's her way of honoring her family, who she loves and adores.  Sheila has been married to her high school sweetheart for 20 years now.  She admits to being addicted to beads, which isn't really a bad thing, in my opinion.  Sheila began designing jewelry in the summer of 2007 and it quickly became a passion.  Her style is a bit eclectic, which makes her work unique and interesting.  She joined Artfire 12-25-08 and is quite willing to create special orders.  You can see all of her work at, and read her blog at Below are a few of my favorites from her studio.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gorgeous items from BeadAllAboutIt on

Dawn, from Duncannon PA, has been on since 10-24-08.  Her shop, BeadAllAboutIt, is filled with a wonderful selection of top quality, beautiful semi-precious gemstone strands, pendants, and other gorgeous items to create one of a kind necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more.  Her items offer lots of beauty with unsurpassed quality.  Dawn has been designing for a number of years and in June 2008 she decided to open her own bead store when she was unable to find what she wanted in her local stores.  Dawn says, "It's hard to have a bad day when you're surrounded in beautiful colors and doing what you love to do".  I agree whole heartedly.  Just wandering through her studio filled my head with tons of ideas for new jewelry pieces I could make.  I absolutley love her glass Calla Lily pendant!  Dawn also has a blog at  It's a very interesting blog, and I encourage you to check it out.  Choosing only a few items from Dawn's shop was difficult (they're all so pretty!), but here are just a few of the items available from BeadAllAboutIt.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters