Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope 2010 is happy, healthy, and prosperous for everyone!  2009 had it's ups and downs for me.  The best thing that happened was when I joined on February 19th.  When I joined I really had no idea how to sell my work online.  Over the first few months I learned more than I could have imagined.  I'm much more comfortable online now, and have a much better business plan.  I feel like I know what I'm doing (to some extent), and can even offer some advice to other newbies.  I also made many new friends online this year, and they've seen me through the good times and the bad.  They've boosted my confidence in myself and my work, and encouraged me to try new things.  As a result of joining ArtFire and becoming CreativeCritters, I also set up a Flickr account, a MySpace page, a Facebook profile, started my own blog, and joined the Polymer Clay Smooshers guild. A year ago I couldn't have imagined doing all this.  2009 has definitely been a busy year for me!

On the down side, Gramma spent 2 weeks in the hospital this spring, and hasn't been the same since.  She requires much more care now.  Much of my day is spent taking care of her needs, as well as all the basic stuff like cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc.  Of course financial issues always seem to be making their presence  known, this year being harder than last.  One of the reasons I worked so hard to get CreativeCritters established was to bring in that extra money we need so much.  I made quite a few sales this year, and hope to do even better in 2010.  This summer we had the great plumbing disaster and had to have the sewer pipe from the house to the street replaced.  What a mess!  What used to be the back porch is now just a big mud pit, and the side yard is a huge pile of dirt (I'm told it'll settle in 2 or 3 years- lol).  And the worst thing that happened this year was that my Ozzy cat died on December 21st.  That pretty much took away any Christmas spirit we had, and made for some sad holidays.

ozzy with ball 08

It's time to look ahead now though.  I got started on my new year this week by beginning to clean and organize EVERYTHING in the house (our stuff, that is).  I've needed to do this for quite some time now.  Part of my incentive, aside from actually being able to find things, is that we'll be getting a kitten or a puppy soon, and I don't want them to get into anything that could hurt them.  Cedric kitty has been helping with the cleaning and organizing.  Ozzy was usually my helper when I did that sort of thing, and I think Cedric feels he needs to help out now.  Part of the reason we're getting another pet is so that Cedric will have a furry friend too.  He really misses Ozzy.  Cedric's never been an only pet, and had a really hard time when my ferret Ziggy died too.  If I could afford it, I'd have quite a few pets.  For now I'll have to be satisfied with 2 or 3 at the most.  So I'd like to start the new year with a clean house, organized craft materials, and a new furry critter to love, (and a bit of money wouldn't hurt either- lol).

cedric and ozzy cuddling

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, December 28, 2009

She's Batty Designs on

She's Batty Designs offers a huge selection of handcrafted cards and accessories for every ocassion. She can also be found on YouTube,IndiePublic, MySpace, she', Flickr, and Twitter. Be sure to check out her huge variety of unique cards and other products!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My tributes to my Ozzy cat

Some of you may have already read my post In Memory of Ozzy Cat.  For those of you who haven't heard, my cat died December 21st.  As a way to cope with his death, and honor his life, I made a special grave marker and a stuffed Ozzy cat.  Keeping my hands and my mind occupied was pretty important.  I still miss him very much, but I think he'd approve of his stuffed likeness.  I used soft black yarn to knit the cat, and lined it with dark brown fleece.  Ozzy had a nearly invisible dark brown undercoat.  I filled his body and front paws with rice to add weight and make him feel more realistic.  Of course I realize this is not a replacement for my Ozzy- it's just to comfort me and allow me to remember the many hours he would sit on my lap and keep me company.  The stuffed cat is just about life size and weighs about 6 or 7 pounds.

stuffed ozzy cat

For his grave marker I knew I had to make something special.  Ozzy was a very cool cat, and he liked cool things.  I used a stepping stone kit and alphabet stamps to create the message.  I made a little polymer clay sculpture of Ozzy and pressed that into the mix, along with glow in the dark stars and little red hearts.  I made an impression of a paw print to one side as well.  Once the stone was dry I painted the paw print black and filled the letters with glow in the dark paint, then sealed the stone with a high gloss glaze.  I feel like the glow in the dark elements represents Ozzy's glowing spirit.  I'll probably wait until spring to put it on his grave- I don't want to risk having it freeze and crack.

ozzy cat's grave markerozzy cat's grave marker (glow in the dark)

I still plan on making an Ozzy Angel sculpture.  I haven't done any sculpting since he died.  I want to thank everyone who has offered their kindness and sympathy since I lost my kitty.  It truly has helped to ease the pain.  And a special thanks to ButtonWilloe, who made me a very sweet little Ozzy sculpture, and has really been there for me.  By the way, the picture above is from when Ozzy was a little kitten.  He was always such a feisty little man (but never mean).  He was as playful as a kitten until the last few months of his life.  Now he's free to jump and play again.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Memory of Ozzy Cat

I lost a very dear friend and loving pet yesterday.Cry Some of you may have known Ozzy through my blogs, from Flickr or Facebook, or on my avatar. He's 1/3 of CreativeCritters, after all.  He turned 13 this summer, and I rescued him when he was barely weaned.  He brought me so much love, comfort, and happiness in those 13 years, and I, in turn gave him lots of love, a warm, safe, interesting home, and all the catnip he ever wanted.  He had been a lively and healthy cat for most of his life, but in the last few months he started losing weight and having difficulty eating.  I did everything I could to keep him going, including giving him Milk Thistle (thank you so much, Ugabugabowls, for sending that) daily, and feeding him baby food through a syringe.  This weekend he wasn't even able to keep the baby food down.  He came up to me in the kitchen and told me he was tired, and all he wanted to do was be near me.  I knew the end was very near- I could see it in his eyes.  Ozzy and I have been "speaking" to each other for 13 years- we understand each other so very well.  So I spent as much time as I possibly could with my fuzzy man this weekend.  I was amazed he found the strength to give me a few sweet little purrs as I held him and gently stroked his frail body.  I held him so his head lay right over my heart, just like I would do when he was a kitten.  I have no children, but I do have very strong maternal instincts, and those have been turned to my pets, much to their benefit (and mine).  Our other cat, Cedric, knew that Ozzy was sick.  He sat on the chair above my head, looking down on his big brother, with such intense worry in his eyes.  Cedric loved his big brother from the start, and they've always been friends.  Right before Ozzy took his final breath, Cedric touched his nose to Ozzy's fur.  I'm so glad he had the chance to say goodbye too.  Ozzy's death was surrounded by love, as was his life.  We're all feeling a great emptiness in our lives today, and Ozzy will never be forgotten.  I'm making a special grave marker for Ozzy right now.  It should be finished by Christmas Eve.  I also plan to make a stuffed Ozzy, so I have something to hug and cuddle.  Cedric likes to be petted, but he's not a lap cat like Ozzy was.  Eventually we'll get another kitten, as much for Cedric as for me.  Then he can be the big brother, and teach a new fuzzy what Ozzy taught him. This a Ozzy and Cedric cuddling.

cedric and ozzy cuddling

And I want to thank everyone who has offered their condolences and more.  It really helps to know that others care, and understand the pain of losing a beloved family member.  At least I know Ozzy is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge with all my other pets.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cats can be found throughout CreativeCritters

I'd like to showcase some of the different types of cats available in my studio today.  My first "real" pet (other than hamsters and gerbils) was a cat.  Mischief was his name, and he certainly lived up to it!  Before Mischief I always thought I wanted a dog more than a cat.  It took about 2 seconds after holding my first kitty to realize I was a cat person.  I do adore dogs, and all other animals, but my first love will always be cats.  I connect with them on a very deep level, and have always felt an affinity to them.  I've had many cats since Mischief, and each has been a very important part of my life.  Now I have Ozzy and Cedric, both certified catnip inspectorsWink.  Ozzy has an artistic streak of his own, and he likes to check out all of my work.  He's put his purr of approval on all the items below.  You can click on any of the pictures to go directly to the listing, or simply browse through CreativeCritters, where cats prowl through many of the categories, including Gifts Under $20, Catnip Toys, Jewelry and Magnets, Knit Toys, Cloth Dolls, Animal Sculptures, Fantasy Sculptures, and Christmas Themed Gifts.

Handmade Singing Cat Wearing Knit Scarf and Hat Christmas OrnamentFairy with Cat sculptureMercury the CatWendy the Witch doll and her Black Cat SpookBlack Gray and Cream Knit CatBlack Cat magnetHandmade Knit Catnip Cat Toy with Organic CatnipCat in Jack O Lantern sculptureAutumn Kitty sculptureOrange and Yellow Striped Knit CatFairy Cat sculptureAdorable Lion sculpture

Thanks for stopping in to take a look at all my different kitties!  Be sure to check back often for new additions!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jingle Bells!

These are some of my fun items with jingle bells attached.  One year I got a whole bunch of bells (can't quite remember why), and have been slowly incorporating them into different projects ever since.  I think they add a little more fun to my Christmas ornaments and jewelry.  Plus if your cat likes to attack the Christmas tree, the bells will alert you before she can destroy the whole thing- LOL!  When my Ozzy was younger and more frisky, the sound of bells always warned me when he was getting into the tree.  Below is a sample of some of my pieces that feature bells.  You can click on the picture to go directly to the listing, or simply browse CreativeCritters at your leisure.

Set of Three Red, Purple, and Gold  Beaded Christmas Ornaments imageHandmade Skiing Polar Bear Christmas OrnamentSinging Penguin Christmas Ornament with BellFairy Christmas OrnamentDog Wearing Knit Scarf and Hat Christmas OrnamentHandmade Polymer Clay Santa Bear pinHandmade Polymer Clay Santa Dog pinHandmade Polymer Clay Santa Cat pinHandmade Polymer Clay Santa pinSanta Moose pinJingle Bell Snowman pin

Thanks for stopping by!Laughing

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jewels on A Whim rides the Crazy Train

Jewels on a Whim opened on 6-11-09 and her studio categories include Necklaces, Pendants, Bracelets, Rings, Earrings, Sets, Vintage Decor, Original Art, and Misc.  Her Studio Announcement reads: "Hi! Welcome to my shop. All of my items carry a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. My shop is filled with jewelry hand made by me. Or vintage items I have been lucky to find. For the Holidays, I offer Free PRIORITY Shipping in the US for All Jewelry!!! Reduced Shipping Worldwide! and Free Gift Wrapping for all items!"  And her biography says "I'm self taught artisan. I read and read books etc... I have a blog-
My items are Guaranteed 100%. If you aren't satisfied return the item to me and you will get a full refund. Just notify me within a week of your receiving the item that you plan to return it. Everything will be refunded the day I get the item. I want happy customers. Even shipping charges to me!
Additionally, my business is active in making the world a better place. I am active in KIVA, Unicef and Beads for Life. (don't be surprised if you get a Free beautiful beads for life bracelet).
I reside in a small city outside Houston, Texas in the USA."

Jewels on a Whim can also be found at, Facebook, Twitter, and IndiePublic.  Below is a sample of some of the beautiful items available in her shop.  Be sure to stop by and see all she has to offer!


Seaglass Sterling Silver Wrapped Vintage Christmas PendantBeach Stones and Blue NecklaceSterling Silver Wirewrapped Upcycled Sea Glass PendantColors of Autumn Lampwork Bead Cell Phone FobRiver Rock Sterling Silver  NecklaceWhere is  Leonardo PaintingGlass Czech Green-Blue Bead Sterling RingBlue Upcycled China PendantAmethyst Swarovski Sterling Silver  Necklace

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gifts under $20.00

If you're on a budget this year and looking for unique handcrafted gifts under US $20.00, I have quite a selection of inexpensive, high quality handmade items available.  I just added a new Gifts Under $20 category to my studio, making some of these items easier to find.  All of my Catnip Toys are under US $20.00 as are all my Erasers and Pencil Toppers, and nearly all my Knit Toys are under US $20.00. Below is just a sample of what you can find in my shop.  You can click on the picture to go directly to the listing, click on the category links above, or click on CreativeCritters to view my entire shop.  Hurry in to be sure you get your gifts in time for Christmas!

LOVE Red Heart earringsBlue Halloween or Mardi Gras Mask earringsShimmering Purple dangle earringsRavishing Red and Gold Leaf earringsColorful handmade Knit BirdOrange and White Knit CatFelt Catnip Turtle Cat ToyBlue Felt Mouse Catnip Cat ToyAngel Kitty sculptureAdorable Lion sculptureCat in Jack O Lantern sculptureAutumn Kitty sculpture

Thanks for stopping by!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters