Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kindness and generosity abounds on Artfire

Last week I lost almost $500 to Tonya Pendley from Jasper Alabama.  Apparently this woman preys on online artists, sending bad checks for handcrafted goods which she probably re-sells.  After I posted on the Artfire forums about what happened- mainly just to warn others about her, I got a huge response.  RockyCreekGems told me exactly what I needed to do in order to file charges, which I did, as well as posting on all my blogs and forums about this woman.  A few days later (my birthday, actually) when I went to check the Artfire forums I discovered that a Pass the Hat for Michelle campaign had been started.  OK, I admit it, I cried at the generosity of these wonderful artists.  Many of them aren't much better off than I am, financially, but they're willing to donate money from their sales to make up for what I lost.  Because of their generosity, the bills I mailed out right before receiving the returned check from the bank won't bounce.  Plus hopefully I'll be able to make enough new items to replace the one Tonya Pendley stole from me.  Now I want to do what I can to thank the people who have so selflessly helped me out.  These are wonderful people and amazing artists.  CCTexan3 along with RockyCreekGems (AKA CalicoCat) were the ones who got the Pass the Hat thing started (leave it to those Texans!).  So here are a few items from CCTexan3: golden bee charm braceletPurple Amethyst, flourite and Copper NecklaceArt Glass Fish Necklace Stop by and show her some love!

And a few pieces from RockyCreekGems: Lavender and Pearls Beaded Cabochon NecklaceTigereye Temptation Gorgeous pieces from a wonderful individual!

ExquisiteStudios has also been incredibly supportive. Here's a taste of what she does. Pay her a visit and see everything she has to offer! Artisan Sterling/Swarovski in BluePromises Kept**FREE SHIPPING SALE** Lime and Aqua Candleholder So pretty, and VERY resonably priced!

This is only the beginning of my "thank yous".  I hope everyone who reads this will pay a visit to these shops and show these wonderful artists some love, cuz they sure do give it back!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beautiful items can be found at BacisCreations

Karrie and Sandy, of Guilford CT, opened BacisCreations on Artfire on 1-5-09.  Their studio announcement reads: "Welcome to Bacis Creations!
Please feel free to look around and hopefully you will find something that "Wows" you. We are proud of what we do and take great pride in our work. We hope you will see the care and passion that goes into our work.

We have different types of beaded items at prices for every budget.

We will take special request and work with you to come up with a wonderful item.

Any item in our "Spring Cleaning" section has free shipping!!
Your shipping will be refunded to you after purchase."  And their Artisan Bio states: "Thank you for looking at Bacis Creations!
We are a mother/daughter team of crafters. The main designer behind most of the jewelry you will see is my mother Sandy. She has been crafting for as long as I can remember and loves doing it. She started to make jewelry about 3 years ago and has never looked back. She has made almost everything under the sun, from sprays to clothing to stained glass etc. She has found something she really and truly loves, jewelry. Most of her items have been bought by word of mouth or many pieces have been bought right off of her! Her jewelry is being currently sold on Cape Cod and Marthas Vinyard in a shop called "Green Eyed Daisys". She also attends craft shows in the area.
My name is Karrie and I am a crafter in training. LOL. I have been slowly getting into the jewelry making but I am more of the computer geek. I do try to create some pieces myself but if they don't "WOW" Sandy, then it is back to the drawing board for me.
Sandy is also a Baci (grandmother in Polish) of 3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter, hence the name Baci's Creations."  You can also find them at Paprikasperch.blogspot.com and on Flickr.  Below is a sample of the great items available in their shop.  Stop in and check everything out for yourself!


Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree EarringsSwarovski and Crystazzi Crystal WatchLoven Red Cell Phone Charm/Purse PullSilver leaf necklaceSwarovski Crystal WatchSet of 4 DragonFly Coffee Mug/Beverage Glass Charms Gold Lampwork Multi Colored Earringsblue/green lampwork braceletMother Earth Natural Colored Semi Precious Stone Necklace

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Calico Cat on ArtFire makes cozy creations

Linda McMurray,of The Calico Cat (love the name!) on ArtFire.com, knits some of the most wonderful socks, sweaters, and mittens I've seen.  The colors and pattersn are gorgeous, and even just looking at them, i can tell they're delightfully soft and cozy.  Her Artisan Biography reads: "Somehow, when your primary product is jewelry, and your shop name is Rocky Creek Gems, all the other things get lost. So to help solve that, I have opened up this second store--The Calico Cat. You will find my hand-knit items, quilts, quilt squares, and all manner of needlecrafts--but NO jewelry! If you don't see what you're looking for, let me know--I'll bet I can custom make it for you!"

Linda has been making things for as long as she can remember and isn't a "single-craft" person! She enjoys working with gemstones, beadwork, knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, embroidery--you name it! As a former middle school science teacher, she particularly loves making use of unusual items.

She's also the author of two wildcrafting booklets available through Texas Parks.

Her customers have said "So pretty! I can't believe this magical yarn. Thanks so much...I love the pendant too, how SWEET of you!!", "My husband thought these socks were wool and he liked them so much he put them on with his sandals on a day when we broke the heat record! I guess I'd better order some more for Winter LOL", and "Very Very Cute Socks!!! They fit like a dream!!!".  Obviously she's had some very satisfied customers.  Not only is her work beautiful, but quite comfy as well!  You can also find Linda at RockyCreekGems.blogspot.com. These are a few of my personal favorites.  Visit her shop to see all she has to offer!


PARTY! Hand-Knitted SocksPink Lemonade Hand-Knit SocksSendero Blue SocksPrairie Wildflower Hand-Knit SocksLavender Hand-Knit Raspberry Lemonade Hand-Knit SocksMulti-pastels Hand-Knit SocksTexas Springtime Hand-Knitted Socks Here's a description of these wonderful socks: Treat yourself or your special someone to the ultimate little luxury. Nothing says “Love” quite like a pair of hand-knitted socks! Everybody needs at least one pair! In fact, keep a few pairs on hand as gifts for those unexpected, last-minute occasions we ALL have. After all, everyone needs socks.

Got cold feet? Not with these you won’t--why even the colors are enough to warm you up! Warm and snug, they make great bed-socks; they’re fantastic as slippers; and they’re a thoughtful gift for someone in the hospital.

These socks are hand-knitted in 100% acrylic 4 ply knitting worsted making them completely machine washable and dryable—so go ahead and wear them without worrying about laundering.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

It's my birthday!

So today I turned 34, but that's OK, because a few days ago I got carded buying alcohol. And the cashier was really surprised when she saw how old I was. So I'm OK with 34. I'm also feeling incredibly thankful. If you read my last post, you know about the whole Tonya Pendley scam thing. I'm still working very hard to gather evidence against her and file charges with the Attorney Generals, FBI, and Post Office. I made sure she couldn't pass any more checks through any of the branches of my bank today. They said they couldn't do anything to get my money back, but hopefully I can protect others from her. I'm trying to notify every place I can think of. The administration on ArtFire has blocked her IP address and warned all the artists with pending sales from her, so ArtFire artists should be safer now. Anyway, since this all started I have received a phenomenal amount of support from my fellow artists. Joanne, of PurpleLilyDesigns, was also hit by Tonya Pendley. She was kind enough to send me copies of evidence against her. Lisa of Accesorizmecrafty, started a Pass the Hat sale to raise money for me (tears of gratitude in my eyes). Gayle, of ArtisanGoodsbyGayle, submitted an article to Handmade News about what happened, and about artists helping artists. I got a preview, and it's a very well written piece. Pink Clouds and Angels bought an item from my studio (my Melting Snowman Pen) in order to help me out. Exquisite Studios just made a very nice donation as well (more tears of gratitude!). To each of you I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And to every single person who has offered their kind thoughts, sympathy, and suggestions, I thank you as well. You really have re-affirmed my belief in human kindness. I never expected any of this. I just wanted to warn everyone about this thief, so they wouldn't fall prey to her as I did. And thanks to those who donated and purchased items, the checks I just wrote for my bills won't bounce. No seriously, right before I got the notice in the mail about Tonya's bad check I mailed out all my bills (hey, I figured I had an extra $500 in my account). Now I can breathe a little easier thanks to the generosity of some truly wonderful people. I knew joining Artfire was a good move, but I had no idea how many wonderful people I would find there. Thank you for making this a very happy birthday for me. Mere words can't express the depth of my gratitude for all your kindness.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


My shop on ArtFire is called CreativeCritters and in May I made my biggest sale ever, 15 items for almost $500.00.  Great, right?  Maybe not.  After waiting for more than 2 weeks for the check to arrive I emailed Tonya Pendley of Jasper Alabama and suggested she may want to track the check down, in case it had gotten lost or stolen.  She said she'd just send me another one.  I did actually receive that check about a week later.  I deposited it right away and planned to ship the package once the check cleared, which happened a few days later (or so I thought).  So I happily ship the package, thinking all is well.  Today, more than a week after the check showed up in my account, I receive a notice from my bank stating that the check was written on a closed account and the money had been taken out of my account.  I was totally bummed out, of course, and posted on the ArtFire forums about what happened.  Some of the artists made some very good suggestions (contact the Attorney Generals for both her state and mine, and include all documentation possible), and I did a bit of research myself.  I discovered that Tonya Pendley has pulled this trick on more than one artist, and that she used to have an Etsy account.  How low can you possibly go- taking advantage of (and stealing from) fellow artists?!  So I'm printing up everything I can find against her and will mail it to the Attny. Generals, and possibly the FBI.   My mother said they may be interested, as this occurred in several different states and they've been taking internet fraud a lot more seriously.  I had to warn other artists about her though.  I may never see my items or the money again, but maybe I can keep this from happening to anyone else.  My husband also suggested that I post pictures of the items I sold, in case Tonya tried to sell them on eBay.  I do sign my work, but if someone tried, they could probably remove the signature.  Anyway, these are the items Tonya Pendley stole from me.

There's a miniature church sculpture, a log cabin sculpture, a Tudor style house sculpture, a scarecrow pen set, a Westie dog pin, a blue house sculpture, 2 Brussels Griffon dog pins, a knit stuffed cat in brown and cream, hearts in roses earrings, my World of Warcraft Tauren Hunter and his pet Lion, a red brick house sculpture, an orange and yellow striped knit cat, a brown and white knit dog, and a black and white knit cat.

Wow, looking at them all like this, makes me realize just how much this woman stole from me.  I worked really hard on these pieces, and I really liked each of them.  These represent 100's of hours of work.  I only hope I can get something out of this.  She certainly got FAR more than she deserved.

If anyone has additional information on this woman, please leave a comment for me, or contact me through my studio.  And to all artists out there- BE CAREFUL!  Because of this, I no longer accept checks.  It would be nice if I could just trust everyone, but unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beautiful beaded jewelry from Dancing Wind Designs

Sue Lovett of Kingsland Georgia, opened Dancing Wind Designs on ArtFire.com on 12-3-08.  She makes some incredibly lovely and intricate beaded jewelry.  Her Studio Annoucement reads: "Welcome to DancingWindDesigns. I make hand woven seed bead creations-everything from jewelry to Christmas ornaments.

A lot of my creations are one of a kind, but if you have a color preference, contact me and maybe I can create something for you by changing a color scheme.

I love playing with seed beads and color. I use good quality Japanese and Czech seed beads and hypo allergenic findings in my work. My work is not designed for children simply because the beads I use are small glass beads."

She admits to being hopelessly addicted to weaving seed beads and got her first loom when she was about 9.  She loves the vast array of colors available in the beads and the infinite creative possiblities.  Sue has a blog at DancingWindDesigns.blogspot.com, and can also be found on Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces from her shop.  Click on the pictures to go directly to the product.

Handmade Pink and  White Seed Bead EarringsHandmade Ocean Jasper Seed Bead ChokerGold and Blue coral Fringe Seed Bead EarringsRedflower Spring-Handmade Two Tone Red Seed Bead Floral ChokerEmerald Green and Gold Handmade Silver Lined Seed Bead EarringsHandmade Purple Spiral Seed Bead Hoop EarringsSilver and Black Handmade Silver Lined Seed Bead EarringsRed Agate Slice Handwoven Seed Bead NecklaceAll About the Blues Lapis Lazuli Handwoven Seed Bead Necklace

-Michelle of CreativeCritters