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


  1. Oh wow Michelle. I am so sorry you got taken like this. I will certainly keep my eyes open for your items for sale elsewhere. Thank you for giving all of us the heads up on this person. I hope you are able to recover something from this disaster.

  2. hi ya, commented in AF forum and clicked thru to your blog...will keep my eyes peeled for your items being sold online...have you checked eBay yet?...and will also twitter this to get the word out

    hang in there,kiddo...good things will come to you soon


  3. I will definitely keep my eyes out for any of your items on eBay, etc. I saw your post on Artfire and I am shocked that someone would take advantage of a small business / handmade artist... I hope that you are able to get some results from the action that you will take & get some justice! Best of luck with everything and best of luck with your shop!

  4. That is horrible, as I said on FB. I'm so sorry that happened.

    Also, I just awarded your blog a prize. See my blog here for the info.

  5. Oh my goodness - that's horrible! I'll spread this post around so hopefully other artists don't go through this :(

  6. Oh no! That's so horrible! I hope something can be done to stop her. :(

  7. I am so very sorry this happened to you. How dreadful. Not just so much about the money, because money can be replaced, but the hours and hours of work and LOVE you poured into your handmade items is devastating. I am so very sorry, and I do hope that something can be done to stop her from doing this to another unsuspecting artist.

  8. Sorry to hear about this! Thank you for sharing your story for the rest of us!

  9. That sucks!! I hope she gets caught and busted bc that is THEFT plain and simple!! Happy thoughts to you sweetie!

  10. That's just horrible. I don't know how people can do that to one another!!
    But she will get her comeuppance. It's called karma and if she has done this more then once, her negative karmic points are stacking against her.
    I hope you at least get something good out of this!

  11. Hey girl that is so horrible and hurtful I'm sure, but you know you have to just chalk that up to learning a lesson. It's pretty bad when we can't even trust a person in the real handcrfted art world. I am sure u r fit to be tied, as we say in the south. But if they can live w/ it u can live w/out it, and they'll get theirs in the end. I will totaly spred the word in my world of artists also. I would also press charges too, isn't 500.00 felony??? Sorry about that, Chin up, & I bet u never let that happen again huh? Take Care Shannon...

  12. This is such a sickening story. I sure do feel for you.
    That stuff is so cute, it should be easily spotted. I posted this on my FB page and this reasponse was posted on my page, wanted to pass it along (I just copy/pasted) from Facebook~~
    "Jane Reding at 8:06am July 3
    Just happen to have grown up in Jasper, AL. I am going there in a couple of weeks and can contact the sheriff directly for you. Send me a private message with all of the particulars, including the address you shipped to bank used, etc. I will scope out her house, contact the authorities and snoop it out for you. Online sellers should stick together."
    Take care!

  13. I responded to you, belatedly, on ArtFire - I don't watch the forums there very well - but she got more than a dozen (close to 30 I think?) of us on Etsy and Ebay earlier in the year during late January, February and early March.

    Her account was removed eventually but I guess she just picked up over here. If you contact me I'll give you some of the names of other Americans looking into the case (which if she is still doing it, I guess is not going far). At this point it's probably in the multiple thousands of dollars range.

  14. It happen to me too. who your history ends? Did something happen?
    If you wanna know she has a Facebook page:
    I did everything I could and still nothing its so bad, but with you man! that was a lot of money, so sorry!