Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Dragons for Mother

I had a lot of fun creating Mother's Christmas gift this year.  I had been thinking about something with dragons for her for quite a while, but the entire thing didn't totally come to me until I was about halfway through sculpting.  My mother is pretty cool, you see.  She likes things like dragons, wizards, World of Warcraft, and all sorts of other fun stuff.  I love making gifts for her because we have so many of the same interests.  So much of who I am comes from my mother.  The creativity that runs through me, runs through her as well.  We often think along the same lines, so I was pretty sure she'd like this dragon candy dish.  There's a heavy dose of whimsy added to this piece! 

It took a while for the entire piece to come to together, but once I figured out what to use for a base (a metal plate with a lip which I painted)  the whole thing really started coming together.  At first I was just going to make one dragon, but once the red dragon was almost complete, I decided she needed some company.

The symbolism (Mother and Daughter dragons) came into play after I started making the smaller dragon.   While I was making and placing the dragons I was thinking of how I've always looked up to Mother, and how important she is in my life.  Of course I couldn't get too sappy, because that's just not the way Mother is- LOL!  And that's where the whimsy comes in.  Mother has a wonderfully warped sense of humor, and I knew she'd appreciate the large glow in the dark eyes and fangs.
These dragons were inspired by Dinko and Boris Tilov's dragons in Sculpting Mythical Creatures.  Of course I've been creating dragons with individual scales like these for quite a few years.  I do like their faces though- this was a different approach than usual.  And the wings are different than my usual dragon wings, but I really like this version.  I added glow in the dark plates along the wings just for fun.  Mother really liked it, and I can guarantee that it's a one of a kind piece.  I do plan on adding more dragons to CreativeCritters in 2011, and I'll be employing some of the new techniques I've learned.
I wish all my friends, family, fans, and supporters a Happy and Healthy New Year! :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

jaxGEMS on ArtFire

Jax, of jaxGEMS on create handmade, one of a kind jewelry from natural materials, sometimes with accents of glass or Swarovski crystals. Genuine gemstone, sterling silver, leather, etc are the main components used.  Jax ennjoys working with genuine gemstones and sterling silver and those are the main area of focus for her jewelry.  She says "I tend to focus on necklaces. I really do not like matchy-match sets of jewelry, so when I do make earrings or bracelets, they may go with some of my other pieces but rarely will they be a matched set."
She's recently developed an interest in glass, Swarovski crystal elements and other types of components that she will soon be incorporating into her designs.  jaxGEMS can be found online at and on Facebook. Below are just a few of my favorite pieces from this shop.  Make sure to stop in and discover your own favorites!
Black Onyx Freshwater Pearls Sterling Silver Necklace 
This necklace is so beautiful, and the flower is absolutely vibrant!  This one makes me thing of summer!Paraiba Apatite Sterling Silver Fish Necklace Hill Tribes 165 carats 
I love the water, and that's what this necklace reminds me of.

Rainbow Fluorite Kambaba Jasper Sterling Silver Necklace 
I love the colors in this one (anything with purple is always good)!
Click on the pictures to go directly to the item listing, and don't forget to browse the rest of the shop while you're there!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

World of Warcraft trinket box for my brother

I wanted to make something really special for my younger brother for Christmas, and I knew I wanted it to be something related to the World of Warcraft.  I decided a trinket box would be something he could use, and I ended up sculpting two different Murlocs, a Wind Rider cub, and the Horde symbol onto the box after I covered it in polymer clay.  I spent a lot of time on all the little details like glow in the dark spines, teeth, and eyes for the Murlocs.  I also textured their skin.  The Wind Rider cub (inspired by the adorable plushie my mother gave me) is also highly detailed, right down to his tiny little claws and glow in the dark fangs.  The Horde symbol on the end of the box also glows in the dark.  The letters W O W on the lid were sculpted from glow in the dark clay and serve as a handle.

I really like the way this turned out, and my brother was pretty impressed as well (and it made it all the way to AZ without anything breaking in transit!).  This is definitely a one of a kind creation, although I may try my hand at other World of Warcraft trinket boxes in the future.  Stay tuned to see what else this Creative Critter comes up with!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

These are a few of my favorite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens- these are a few of my favorite things! :)

Be sure to click on the pictures and visit all these great shops!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jewelry with a meaning

Tammy Thompson-Kliewer is the proud owner of  Moon and Back Beads, which was named in honor of her 3 year old daughter (who tells Tammy that she loves her to the moon and back).  Tammy designs and creates jewelry in her funky little bead shop in Barrie, ON, Canada.  Moon and Back Beads specializes in simple, but stunning jewellery with meaning. Spoil that special person in your life with a beautiful piece of jewelry from this wonderful shop!. 
As the mom of an amazing 9 year old boy with severe Autism, Tammy began designing and creating Autism Awareness jewelry a few years ago. That endeavor has grown and she now features all sorts of awareness items as well as lots of other things that are just down-right pretty.  You can also find Tammy online at, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.   Below are some of the beautiful items that can be found in her ArtFire shop.
Hope Takes Flight Autism Awareness Necklace Our Home and Native Land - Canada Maple Leaf Necklace Wire Wrapped an Unlocking the Mystery Sterling Autism Awareness Necklace 
Be sure to stop in and see all the wonderful jewelry created by this talented and caring artist!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Christmas with family

I spent Christmas with my husband's family and had a great time yesterday!  He's got a large family, and they're all very close and loving.  The aunts always put together a huge feast with lots of delicious food.  Most people, myself included, bring a little something extra for dinner.  Kathy is famous for her coleslaw and macaroni and cheese, and desserts are always appreciated from anyone- LOL!  I usually make something different every year- this year it was banana bread, and I'm already thinking about what to make for next year.  John made a really nice Christmas Tree shaped cake, and that's got me thinking about different holiday cakes I could make.  The creativity just never stops- LOL!
Of course there were tons of presents, especially for all the little ones. I think there were toys from one end of that house to the other!  No one is ever forgotten in this family though.  They all make sure everyone gets something.  That's one reason I love creating and giving gifts to all of them.  It's just another way for me to thank them for being such kind, generous people.   Everyone loved all the gifts I got on ArtFire, and a few shops may end up with some after Christmas sales- I made sure to give out cards for all the shops I got gifts from.  They really liked the gifts that I made as well.  I made this cute little Santa Cat sculpture for Sue.  She's another animal lover and has rescued MANY cats and found good homes for countless critters over the years.

For Andy, Lynn, and Sonya I made personalized mini spa tins.  I covered metal coffee tins with fabric and made name plates from polymer clay.  I filled the tins with samplers from Norma's Bath and Body.  Those were some delicious smelling gifts!
I knit warm winter hats for Pa, Don, and Bill (all different, of course) and they enjoyed those, especially since this has been such a cold winter already.  Pa lives in Tennessee, and these NE Ohio winters hit him pretty hard.  He usually only stays for a few days when he and his daughter visit in the winter.
So my Christmas was filled with fun, family, laughter, and food.  I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday as well!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas gifts I created for my family

My brother, sister in law, and nieces received their Christmas gifts, so now I can show you what I made! :)  The girls couldn't wait until Christmas to open the package, so they got some of their presents a little early.  For my sister in law, Ana, I made a pretty blue and red heart shaped trinket box.  It started with a metal filigree heart, which I painted with iridescent red paint.  I pressed blue polymer clay against the inside of the heart, allowing it to press through the filigree. I made a lid of polymer clay  and lined the bottom of the heart with felt.  I think it turned out quite nice!

I made a trinket box for my brother Mike as well.  I didn't really have a set plan when I started making Mike's gift.  I just let the clay guide me and  I ended up making a raised diamond pattern on the clay.  After baking the box I filled the diamond shapes with Gallery Glass in various colors to create a stained glass look.  For the lid I filled the diamond shapes with different colors of embossing powder before baking.  I even used some glow in the dark Gallery Glass for a fun effect when you turn out the lights.  My neices got a kick out of that!

  Several months ago my niece Jessica asked if I could make her a stuffed dog, so I knew exactly what she wanted for Christmas. I made a dog for her younger sister as well- I try to make sure the kid's gifts are somewhat similar, so there's no jealousy. When it comes to presents most kids are easy- ask them what they want, and generally they tell you!  Of course the same can't be said for brothers- LOL!  For Jessica I chose to make a more realistic dog using some very nice tan fur fabric I had left over from another project.  For Andrea, the younger sister, I chose to make a more whimsical stuffed dog.  I used super soft blue chenille recycled from a bathrobe and stuffed the dog with plastic pellets and polyester fiberfill.  I was very happy with the way both dogs turned out, and so were the girls.

The box of homemade Snickerdoodle cookies were well received too!  Jessica had a mouth full of them when she called to thank me for the gifts- LOL!  I love making gifts for people, especially my nieces.  When they see what I can create, they're inspired to be creative as well.  And if I can inspire a child to delve into arts and crafts and embrace their creativity, that's the best gift I could ever get!
I hope everyone has a very Happy Holiday and Santa leaves plenty of presents for one and all! :)
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Beautiful watches and jewelry from Shelly61 on ArtFire

Check out the beautiful jewelry and watches created by Shelly61 on  She offers a wide variety of pieces at very reasonable prices.  Any of these items would make a great gift!

 Stop in and see everything Shelly61 has to offer!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Check out these awesome gifts I found on ArtFire!

I must say, I do love shopping on ArtFire!  I found some really awesome handcrafted gifts for my family.  Emily, of Exquisite Studios, makes beautiful jewelry and candle holders.  I happened to catch one of her posts in the forum about a free gift with a purchase.  Since I was looking for something special for my aunt I figured I'd take a browse through her shop.  Her Green Pebble candle holder caught my eye right away, especially the picture of the candle light glowing through the glass.
Green Pebble Candleholder
My aunt burns candles all the time, and I know she'll love this beautifully made candle holder.  And the earrings I got as a free gift are just lovely.  I love them so much I wear them all the time.  I've known Emily ever since I joined ArtFire and not only is she a talented artist, but a truly wonderful person.  Stop by her shop and check out her jewelry and candle holders- you won't be disappointed!
While searching for a gift for my Aunt Merle I found KeriMae who creates adorable felted animals and birds, crocheted items, jewelry, purses, and sock dolls.  Aunt Merle collects bird houses and birds, so I had plenty of great items to choose from in this shop.  Out of the many felted birds KeriMae offers I chose this pretty Blue Jay ornament.  He actually matches the polymer clay bird house that I made for her last year!
Bird Christmas Ornament-Blue Jay- Handmade-Needle felted-Decoration
I know she doesn't have anything like this either, and I enjoy giving unique gifts.
While shopping for the cousins' husbands I found Mountain Brook Store and Sandra Healy. Mountain Brook Store makes wooden silhouettes.  Rich enjoys deer hunting, so I think he'll like this deer silhouette.   I love the large variety of animal silhouettes offered from this shop, as well as all the other types of silhouettes they make.
Pair of Deer Decorative Wood Silhouette Great Gift
Sandra Healy is another artist who makes animals.  She creates small wild animal sculptures and magnets, hand carved and painted from her own original designs.  I just adore every critter in her shop!  She's got so many different animal sculptures and magnets to choose from.  everything from kangaroos, to snow leopards, to this cool Bald Eagle magnet I got for Jay.
Bald Eagle Magnet Carved Wood Relief Sculpture
It's got two strong magnets on the back and is beautifully detailed.  I think everyone will be very happy with their gifts this year!  And I have all these shops bookmarked, and will certainly return any time I need great handmade gifts.  Each of these artists was a pleasure to deal with, offered fast shipping and great communication.  Check out everything they have to offer!
Happy Holidays!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters