Thursday, July 30, 2009

ArtisticJen offers beautiful crocheted items and magnificent polymer clay pieces

Jen, of Hobart Indiana, opened ArtisticJen on 1-5-09.  Not only is Jen artistic, but she's a lady of several talents.  Her studio sections include Ponchos, Shawls, Afghans, Other Crochet Items, Polymer Clay Beads/Pendants, Polymer Clay Boxes, Polymer Clay Masks, Quilting, and Supplies.  She offers a wide variety of wonderful handcrafted items in her shop.

Her Studio Announcement reads: "I accept reasonable offers, but please make them reasonable.
Welcome. Come in, come in. Relax and browse around. There's plenty to look at. I'm here to answer any questions you may have. Or if you just want to chat. ;)
I currently have everything from crochet items to polymer clay items. And I love doing custom orders. There's nothing more enjoyable than working with someone so they can get exactly what they want. Just message me.
Enjoy your stay.
If you would like to receive notices about sales and new items, you can join my mailing list:"

Artisan Biography for ArtisticJen:  "Just the facts. ;)  I'm a 36 year old single woman with a crafting obsession. I've been crocheting for over 20 years and enjoying it. I also make polymer clay beads, make paper, quilt, and do a ton of other things. I've been selling online for the last 5 years at various sites, but love Artfire the best."

Jen can also be found at her blog,, as well as on Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter.  Below is just a sample of some of the great items you can find in her shop.  Stop by and see all she has to offer!

7 Crocheted Star Christmas OrnamentsVarigated Pastels Openwork Hand Crocheted PonchoMs. Antique--OOAK Polymer Clay Masquerade Mask DecorHand Painted, Greenwing Macaw Polymer Clay PendantLight Blue Crocheted Baby BlanketCopper Print Tribal Polymer Clay Covered Box15 Tan and Copper Mixed Polymer Clay Beads 4614 Green and Yellow Polymer Clay Beads 18Animal Print Polymer Clay Covered Pill Holder 11

Absolutely beautiful stuff here!  And there's a lot more in ArtisticJen's shop!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Kimberly Design on

Kimberly, of Leander Texas, opened AKimberlyDesign on 1-2-09. Her Studio Sections include: Art, ACEO, Jewelry, purses, and AFSP. 

Artisan Biography for akimberlydesign: "My life as an artist...

I went to art school to study fashion illustration and graphic design.
One day I found myself in a yarn shop, and was inspired to become a knitter. All the texture and color was amazing. Several years later found me standing in front of a wall of colorful thread, more texture, endless possibilities, this was when I started to needle point.
As I continued to evolve, I discovered I could make tassels. I began teaching the art of tassel making, which led to designing my own free-form needle art. I then created a line of wearable art pins which provided several years of commission sales.
Viola! I began publishing and distributing. Now life was getting exciting, I attended markets with a tag stating that I was a designer and a teacher with my own line of charted needlepoint designs. This was a wonderful time in my life.
I'm now semi retired. I say semi, as I will never totally be 'out of it'. I love being creative."

She can also be found at  Below is a sample of the wonderful work available from this talented artist.

Movement II Original Art PrintBrown Bear, original needlepoint embellished toteFlowers in the Sky ACEO printFlower Power Heart (4Blue Glass and Silver NecklaceAvery's Dragon, original art printHeartful (4Unique Glass NecklaceBlack and Red Glass, simple necklace

-Michelle of CreativeCritters


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Plumbing problems

I live in my grandmother's house, which is over 50 years old, with plumbing that is about 40 years old. We have lots of large Maple trees in the area, and a line of evergreens runs right next to the sewer line. So it's not really surprising that we've always had plumbing issues. Every time the plumbers come out to clear the lines they tell Gramma that she needs to replace the old clay pipes with new plastic ones. The roots of all those trees just grow right into the clay pipes. She was hoping she could avoid the expense of putting in a new sewer pipe, but those hopes were dashed last week. Of course it had to be late Saturday night when she overflowed her toilet (what a mess!). Because all the other drains, and the toilet downstairs were still working fine, we thought it might just be a problem with her toilet. Monday morning our plumber friend came out to take a look. It didn't take him long to see that this was a bigger job than he could handle. So we called Mr. Rooter, as we have numerous times in the past. They spent most of the day out there and finally came to the conclusion that not only were the pipes full (and I do mean FULL) of roots, but some portions of the pipe had collapsed completely. There really wasn't much choice but to replace the pipe all the way from the back of the house, out to the street. At least the sewer line ran along the side of the garage instead of under the driveway. They did have to dig up the entire concrete back porch and down to a depth of about 10'. We had a huge 10' deep trench running from the back of the house, along the side of the garage, and down the side yard out to the sidewalk. So we basically have no back porch and no side yard. Not only did the poor excavator have to deal with very narrow confines in which to maneuver his machine, but he had to dig 10' down through solid clay, with a machine that was really too small for the job. There's not much room between the garage and the evergreens, so they had to rent a small machine from another company. The excavator was very good at his job, though, and was very respectful of our property. While we did end up losing the rose bed (it just couldn't be helped), he managed to avoid damaging any of my other flowers. Heck, he even took our garbage cans out to the garbage men, and then actually brought them back up to the house! How's that for service! All in all, we had to put up with all the excavation and laying of pipe and whatnot for nearly a week. But we have a brand new plastic sewer line now and everything drains better than it ever did. Oh and the salesman's big pitch to Gramma was that the line had a lifetime warranty. Gramma's 93 years old. Not really the most appropriate sales pitch here. Now all my husband and I have to do is make a wooden porch out back (something pretty basic) so that we don't have to slog through mucky clay every time it rains, and so I can get the lawn mower into the back yard. Of course it keeps raining, making a big muddy mess out of everything. I think we're going to have that mound of dirt in the side yard forever. Here's some pictures of our mess.
plumbing what a messplumbing trench in side yard
Our driveway is under that mound of dirt!

plumbing the view from the garageplumbing the little green machine on what used to be the back porch
This is the view from inside the garage. This is the little green machine that dug up the back porch.

plumbing our driveways under thatplumbing between garage and trees
This is the area between the garage and the evergreens.

plumbing dirt in drive2
This is a view from the street. Jim had to park the truck in the yard. The excavator managed to avoid damaging the flower beds on either side of the driveway, which is good, because I just planted miniature roses and Malva flowers a few months ago.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my mess!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, July 27, 2009

The SupplyCloset on jewelry makers heaven!

The SupplyCloset opened on 1-1-09 and offers a huge variety of beads and jewelry making supplies.  Their Studio Announcement reads: ".> Beading is addictive... the bug hit me several years ago and has taken over a significant area of my life :-) This shop allows me to share the addiction, and some great finds...

I'm working to load my current inventory and expect to expand the inventory further at the tail end of February. So please come back to see the new stuff :-)".  The many categories on this shop include Beads: Animals, Beads: Base Metal, Beads: Copper, Beads: Glass, Beads: Holiday, Beads: Millefiori, Beads: Semi-Precious, Beads: Sports/Games, Beads: Seed Beads, Beads: Other, Beads: Sterling Silver, Findings: Base Metal, Findings: Copper, Findings: Gold-Filled, Findings: Sterling Silver, Findings: Vermeil, Focal Beads/Pieces, Ceramic Decals, Packing and Shipping Materials, and Vessels.  Just about anything you could need!

Artisan Biography for supplycloset:

"I've been crafting since I was a child... both sides of grandparents and parents were crafters... over the years I've tried many things, most recently have been drawn to jewelry and glasswork. This shop is an outgrowth of my crafting passion... an opportunity to share uniqe finds to fuel the passion in others."

Below is only the smallest sample of the goodies that can be found in the SupplyCloset. I know I've got this shop bookmarked!  Stop by and browse all there is to see!

Glazed Skull VesselBlue and Silver Large Focal DiskOrange Tiger Cat BeadsHummingbird BeadsCopper Cat BeadsPurple and Blue Czech Glass Oval BeadsWhite Skull BeadsCeramic Boot Beads (91047)Green Millefiori Disks

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beautiful pieces from JewelrybyJoy on

JewelrybyJoy opened on on 11-9-08.  Her Studio Announcement reads: "10% off during the Christmas In July Sale - July 15-26. Hello and welcome to my store Jewelry By Joy. Feel free to browse. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have. I will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.
" I pledge that everything in my shop is hand-crafted; is either my own design, or I have legal permission to use it I pledge to provide my customers with the highest quality product I'm capable of producing; to treat my customers curteously; to provide them with excellent service; and to conduct my business in an ethical and socially responsible manner."

All of my jewelry is made with quality materials, sterling silver, gold-filled, and copper metals, gemstones, Swarovski crystals, and glass beads. I take great pride in the quality of my work. It is jewelry that can be passed down through the generations of your family.
If you have an idea for a custom piece of jewelry, contact me. I love to do custom pieces."

Artisan Biography for JewelrybyJoy:  "I first started making jewelry when I had my leg crushed at 13 and could not walk for 6 months. My mom learned how to make beaded rings somewhere. Then she bought the materials and taught me how to make them so I would have something to do. She took them to work and sold them for US $3.00.

I did many crafts through the years macrame, crocheting, sewing and more. I found a macrame choker kit at Wal-Mart about 8 years ago I thought my son would like, so I made it for his birthday. After playing with macrame jewelry for a while I started looking at all the beautiful beads online and that was the beginning of my addiction."

Below is just a sample of some of the wonderful pieces available from this very talented artist.  Stop by her studio to see all she has to offer!

Bracelet helperTurquoise and brown necklaceGold-filled blue chandelier earringsPink coral flower necklaceRuby crystal gold-filled ankletLabradorite and crystal braceletWire heart and crystals necklacePurple velvet chandelier earrings

-Michelle of CreativeCritters



Friday, July 24, 2009

The latest Fantasy sculpture from CreativeCritters

I just listed my newest Fantasy sculpture, "Elvina the Elf Seeks Advice from Drucylla the Dragon", in my studio yesterday.  This piece took over a month to complete due to the intricate detail involved.  Elvina, a beautiful blond Elven girl, reclines on a log (a piece of driftwood I salvaged), as she seeks council from her friend and advisor, Drucylla the Dragon.  Drucylla, being many hundreds of years old, has learned much in her time, and often can see solutions that remain hidden to the young elves.  Drucylla was sculpted in polymer clay and sits 6 1/2" tall.  Each of her scales was individually cut out and carefully placed.  The scales were cut from variegated millifiori slices in shades of blue, pink, and purple.  The dragon's wings were stamped and then dusted with blue interference powder before baking.  Once cool I used high gloss glaze on the entire dragon.  Drucylla's eyes were made from glass beads.  Elvina was also carefully sculpted by hand in polymer clay.  Her green eyes were painted with acrylic paint and her hair is soft Homespun yarn.  The base of the sculpture, which measures about 9" long and 6" wide, was made from a piece of wood.  I painted the top in shades of green and covered the bottom with fabric, which I've signed and dated.  The rocks were sculpted from air dry clay and then painted.  Below are a few pictures of the sculpture.  If you click on them you can go directly to my studio and view the listing.  Thanks for looking at my latest creation!

Elvina the Elf Seeks Advice from Drucylla the Dragon Fantasy sculpture

-Michelle of CreativeCritters