Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scarlet Impressions creates beautiful handcrafted jewlery

Scarlet Impressions opened her shop on 6-26-09 and sells some very beautiful handcrafted jewelry.  Her Biography reads: "All of my pieces are designed and handmade by myself in my home studio in rural Lincolnshire, UK. I have been designing and making jewellery for 10 years and have developed a wide variety of techniques that I use in my bespoke designs and that give the most choice, the highest quality and reasonable prices. I independently source all of the materials for my designs from quality retailers and wholesalers to ensure the best possible components are used. My findings are handmade by myself to give the best match for the designs and further quality to the products.
All of my pieces are tested for sharp edges and that they are fully connected. I take a lot of pride in my work and am committed to delivering the best possible product to customers."

Some of her very satisfied customers have said "Super doing business with such a professional artisan. Loved our communication", "What a stunning necklace! Even brighter and more beautiful in person! I love the sparkly gold in the glass. Thanks for a wonderfully easy transaction and super fast shipping from the UK.", "Absolutely beautiful, and AMAZINGLY fast shipping - got here in one week from overseas! Thank you so much, I will definitely be back!", "Absolutely gorgeous work from an amazingly wonderful seller! Thank you so very much! The jewelry is perfect!", and "Absolutely beautiful necklace, expertly crafted, shipped and received quickly, excellent customer service, a wonderful experience all around.  I look forward to working with this talented artfire artisan again."  Obviously this lady knows how to make her customers happy!  You can also find Scarlet Impressions on You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and deviantArt.  Below is only a tiny sample of the many beautiful pieces that can be found in this shop.  Do yourself a favorite and visit Scarlet Impressions to see all she has to offer!

Black Lampwork and Purple Swarovski 14k Gold Filled EarringsCopper Sea BraceletPink Flower DinkEring Small Handmade EarringsPink Macrame and Glass Childrens Necklace

And her prices are VERY reasonable!  With Mother's Day coming up, this would be a great place to find something nice for Mom.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My work was featured in Polymer Cafe magazine!

My Pumpkin House was featured in Polymer Cafe magazine!

I always love getting my Polymer Cafe magazine in the mail, but enjoy it even more when one of the items I submit gets featured.  My Lighted Glow in the Dark Pumpkin House sculpture was featured in their Reader's Gallery of the April 2010 issue!  I sent a few pictures of my sculpture to the magazine for their consideration several months ago, then forgot about it as life got busy once again.  I originally got the idea for the pumpkin house sculpture after reading a tutorial in the magazine titled "The Patch Keeper's Cottage".  I started with their basic instructions, then quickly went off in my own direction and turned it into my own creation.  This is the first lighted house I ever attempted, and I really like the effect.  It looks so pretty when the light is plugged in.  I also added a lot of glow in the dark elements, such as the tall flowers flanking the front door, the swirls in the snails shell, the fairy's wings, the caterpillar's stripes, and some of the flowers on either side of the walkway.  The effect in the dark is just enchanting!
The base measures 8" long and 7" wide. The pumpkin house measures 4" tall. To create the house I covered a crackle glass votive with polymer clay, adding windows with frames, a stem, leaves, and vines. The light is a UL listed pumpkin light with a 2 foot cord.
Being featured in Polymer Cafe magazine is very gratifying, since some truly amazing artists show their work in this publication.  I'm in awe of some of the work I see published in this magazine.  And each issue is chock full of fun and challenging new projects to try.  Just look what I was inspired to create!
Lighted Glow in the Dark Pumpkin House sculpture
Lighted Glow in the Dark Pumpkin House sculpture
Lighted Glow in the Dark Pumpkin House sculpture

Lighted Glow in the Dark Pumpkin House sculpture
Thanks so much for stopping by to see my creations!Laughing
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gramma's coming home

As some of you know, I've been taking care of Gramma for quite a few years now, and about a month ago she went into the hospital with bronchitis. She's been improving slowly but surely. She's been in the nursing home for almost a month doing her rehabilitation. This is actually a pretty nice place- not really fancy, but clean, friendly, and focused on the patients. Most of the nurses, therapists, and aides I've met since Gramma got in there have been really nice people. Of course Gramma's got a few complaints (she can be pretty picky about her food), but overall I'm quite satisfied with the care she's received. She's got a few "favorites" there- the ones that laugh and joke with her, the nurse that bought lotion just for Gramma, and the therapist who's also her cheerleader. Gramma's worked very hard to regain her strength, and is actually in a better frame of mind now than she was before she went to the hospital. Having my mother come visit from out of state really raised Gramma's spirits as well. We've done all we can to let Gramma know that she is loved and we all care very much about her.
The house hasn't been quite the same without her here. Even Cedric kitty misses Gramma. Every so often he'll go upstairs and jump on her bed looking for her. She'll be coming home Tuesday, though, so we'll all be together again. I'll need to get her a few things before she gets home, and a few things will have to wait until after she's back. She needs a new hospital bed and a new chair, and I'm hoping to get the bed covered by her insurance. Then of course we'll have to get our schedules figured out again. Given a choice, Gramma is a night owl. In the nursing home they've been getting her up much earlier than she's used to, so she'll probably start getting up later once she's home. I let her set her own schedule and just try to work around it. It will be nice to have her back home where she belongs though. I'll try to keep everyone posted on her progress, if life doesn't get too crazy- LOL!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Il Mare- beautiful handcrafted jewelry

Il Mare opened on 4-10-09 and sells some absolutely beautiful handcrafted jewelry.  Their Biography reads: "Il Mare Atelier was created out of a desire to fuse art and jewelry into unique, versatile, yet wearable and affordable pieces. Inspired by the beauty of nature and art, my jewelry creations are for the woman who prefers the thoughtfulness of an artisan's touch to off-the-peg designs.
I take great pride in the materials I use, always searching for the finest quality gemstones and durable materials.
“Il Mare” means “the sea” in Italian, with waters shimmering in an array of hues, from the blue of the deep sea to lighter azzurro, pale sea green and brilliant emerald. “Atelier” means “workshop” in French. Put together, they mean “Studio by the Sea”, perfectly apt for the tiny tropical island that I live on.
Thank you for taking an interest in my art. Do visit my Gallery for some of my past sold pieces.
I hope you will find something that appeals to you and if you require any customisation or adjustment, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via the "CONTACT ARTISAN" link."

Il Mare can also be found on blogspot, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and IndiePublic.  Below are a few of the beautiful pieces available from her shop.  Stop in to see all she has to offer!

Rutilated quartz, garnet, pink quartz, tourmaline handmade braceletAmethyst, citrine, mystic pink quartz handmade braceletSky Blue Topaz Handmade NecklaceAmethyst, topaz, sapphire earrings handmade

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, February 22, 2010

Moonlight Eternal- follow the moonlight

Moonlight Eternal opened on 12-27-08 and sells unique, handcrafted jewelry.  Her biography reads: "What I hear most often is that I have such a wide range of styles and colors in my shop. There's a very good reason for this: I get bored easily! I like to keep things new and exciting. I can't really categorize my jewelry into one specific style, and I think that's one of my shop's strengths, that almost anyone can find something that appeals to them.
I very rarely buy more than one strand of beads at once, and in fact can only think of a few instances when I've done so. I also rarely buy the same strand once I run out of that style. The exceptions are Swarovski crystals and Czech fire-polished glass. Not only does this satisfy my short attention span, but it ensures I offer a large assortment of jewelry made with different beads and colors.
I also like to incorporate items that aren't usually associated with jewelry. For instance, silk florals. I currently have earrings, a ring, and hair accessories using faux flowers. There is a huge variety of flower types and colors and even materials, which obviously appeals to my fickle nature! I've used whole shells, glass mosaic marbles, starfish, even a cupcake lipgloss that I glued to a ring!"

You can find Moonlight Eternal on her blog, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, IndiePublic, and MySpace.  Below is a sample of her work.  Be sure to stop by her shop to see all she has to offer!

Hot Pink Rose RingPink and Blue Memory Wire BraceletBlack and Ruby Spider Earrings--2--Copper Flowers Shimmering Bobby Pins

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, February 19, 2010

Roxys Rox- handmade artisan jewelry and more

Roxys Rox, on was opened 1-23-09.  Her studio announcement reads: "FREE STANDARD SHIPPING ON ALL ITEMS!!!! I am a 54 year old mom of 5 and grandma of 5. I make fashion jewelry and I am trying to get a business started doing what I love to do, creating and selling my handmade jewelry. I love working with beads, wire, poly clay. I am dabbling in chainmaille. I have made a few things and most have sold. I live in the most beautiful part of the United States, North Idaho, where the mountains are gorgeous!! I work full time at an online, catalog and retail clothing company as a web customer service agent."  Her work is just beautiful, and very professionally made.

Roxanne's biography says "I started making jewelry about 2 years ago. It all started with my passion for polymer clay and seeing what can be done with it. Then the company I work for came out with a bracelet I looked at and said to a coworker that I could do that and she told me to do it. So I did and they started selling like hotcakes at work. I do most of my selling at work for the time being. My coworkers keep telling me that I need to do a product submission to my company and I keep telling them that I could not make it fast enough to sell it through my company. I get told all the time that my work is of better quality than what we sell. Sssshhhh.... don't tell them that!!!!"  She really has done some wonderful things with polymer clay (my favorite medium), and I can certainly see why people like her work so much!

Roxanne is a fellow member of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild and can also be found on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and MySpace.  Below is a sample of some of her wonderful work.  Be sure to stop by her studio and take advantage of her free shipping!

Caged Amethyst NecklaceSummers Over Blue NecklacePink and Gray fingerless glovesByzantine BeautyPurple Pendant Necklace

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BellaSweet handcrafted jewelry

Sara, of BellaSweet opened her jewelry shop on 12-11-08.  Her biography reads: "Hi everyone. My name is Sarah and I live in a small town in Central Pa.
I started a successful soap business many years ago and I started making jewelry as a fun, creative hobby. Soon, I was being asked where I sold my jewelry and it evolved into another business. I'm half afraid to start another hobby!
A question that gets asked a lot is 'Why Bella-Sweet when your name is Sarah?' Well, Bella is our boxer and she holds a very special place in my heart, and I put my heart into every piece of jewelry so it made sense to name my business after her.
You can find me(and my jewelry!) at local craft/art shows, make sure to check out my Facebook Fan Page to see my upcoming shows. I also love to do home shows if you're in Central Pa. Feel free to message me here on Artfire or email me at if you're interested.
All jewelry comes from a smoke-free home. I love everything vintage, romantic and am passionate about keeping our Earth green."

You can also find BellaSweet on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.  Below is a sample of some of the work available in her shop.

Pyrite and Rainbow Drusy Quartz NecklaceLight Peacock Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Drusy Leaf PendantAventurine and Amethyst Nugget NecklaceSummer Sea Freshwater Pearl & Peridot NecklaceRainbow Fluorite Nugget Necklace with Lavender Purple CZ PendantLime Chalk Turquoise Necklace with Large Orange Glass Pendant

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Thursday, February 11, 2010

JPat Purses- unique handmade handbags and accessories

JPat Purses opened on 12-25-08.  She is a wife and mother of two teenage daughters, and has been sewing for as long as she can remember. She started her business over 3 years ago and has enjoyed it ever since.  Questions regarding her items and shop are more than welcome.
Jenese says "You may ask yourself why buy from JPATPURSES? 1. I use only high quality designer fabrics. 2. I take an extra step that makes my items so unique. During my 30+ years of sewing I have tried many ideas, finally I came up with a special technique to give handbags substance and structure yet still very comfortable to carry. Due to my special bat quilt interfacing technique that I developed, each item has structure, strength and stability yet still so soft and comfortable to carry. I use no patterns in the making of my items. 3. Each item is unique because I cut and sew each one free hand so know two are exactly alike therefore the measurements are approximate. 4. Since I developed this special technique other sellers have copied it but please always remember-An original JPAT is quality you can carry!!!"

Some of her many satisfied customers have said "JPAT!!!! I received your pouches!!!!!!! These are the sweetest little things!!!! Perfect for my nieces and I'm going to give 1 away as a promotional feature with the purchase of an item from my shop! Trouble is, I don't know how in the world I can part with ANY of them!", "I just received the eco-baggies today and they are awesome! The fabrics are just as vibrant as they looked in the photos when I bought them. I am loving how they are lined with easy-to-clean nylon (I think?!) and how they seal with velcro. My kids are going to really enjoy snacking out of these come fall!", and "JPat you're JUST AWESOME!!! Your purses just RULE!! I know I've said it before but your fabric choices are so cool!!! I love 'em all!"

You can also find JPat Purses on Blogger and  Facebook.  Below is just a small sample of the unique purses available from JPat Purses.

Orange Owls large flat bottom Zipper pouch PaddedECO-FRIENDLY--Hedgehog N Friends Large Zipper Pouch PaddedPolly goes to Paris little zip pouchVivid Violet Aqua blooms-- Little Zip pouch PaddedRetro Thyme little zip pouch Padded

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Give your sweetheart a handmade teddy bear for Valentine's day

I've been having a lot of fun creating handmade, one of a kind teddy bears lately.  Bears like Throckmorton (with the long teal blue fur) and Perdita (with the purple fur) are made from high quality faux fur fabric and stuffed with polyester fiberfill.  In the case of Throckmorton, I also added plastic pellets to add weight and "floppiness".  Throckmorton is 17 inches tall and his sister, Perdita is 18 inches tall.  Both have plastic safety joints in their arms, legs, and head.  They also have plastic safety eyes and embroidered mouths.

Handmade Blue Teddy Bear with Long Plush Fur

Handmade OOAK Plush Purple Teddy Bear

Then there are my knit bears, which were created with acrylic yarn and stuffed with polyester fiberfill.  The little purple bear measures 6 1/2 inches tall, the pink, red, and white bear measures 11 1/2 inches tall, and the cream and gold bear measures 18 inches tall.  I embroidered the eyes, mouth and nose for the small purple bear.  The larger knit bears have plastic safety eyes and noses, and embroidered mouths.

Handmade Knit Purple Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal


Handmade Red, Pink, and White Knit Valentines Teddy Bear

Handmade Knit Cream and Gold Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal

All of the pictures are linked, and will take you directly to the listings.  Thanks so much for checking out my sweet and cuddly handmade teddy bears!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mother's visit

My mother is visiting for a few days, which is really awesome. I haven't seen her in about 10 years, since we live in different states and have been unable to visit for one reason or another. Even after all these years, it's so easy to talk with her. We're very much alike- something that used to bother me as a teenager, but now I'm proud of. We've spent a lot of time at the nursing home with Gramma since Mother's been here. It's the happiest I've seen Gramma in long time, which makes me very happy as well. My mother is an amazing person. She talks about my younger brother believing that she can do anything (and denying that she can), but he's not the only one who thinks that way. At 60 she can still sling a bale of hay, ride horses, drive for days straight, and she looks much younger than her real age. Plus, she's so COOL! I can talk to her about anything. She's very intelligent, open minded, articulate, creative, and more than a little nuts (or eccentric, as she likes to say- LOL). We were up until almost 5am talking, and she was back up early this morning, without a problem. She can run circles (mentally and physically) around people half her age. She's got a great sense of humor (just a bit warped, like my own). And the most amazing thing- even Cedric likes her. Cedric is an incredibly shy cat, and only a very few people outside myself, my husband, and Gramma have even seen him. Normally he'll hide under the bed in fear when someone comes into the house. Mother has such a wonderful way with animals that he was relaxed enough to play near her. It took about 4 years before he would play in the same room with Gramma- that's how skittish he is. But he never even went under the bed when Mother came downstairs. Then when we all went upstairs, he actually followed us and hung out for quite a while. For Cedric, this is monumental, and it speaks volumes about my mother. Can you tell I love and admire the woman? In my eyes, she's strength personified. I learned so much from this woman, and continue to learn from her. And the really great thing is that she continues to learn as well. We had a good laugh when my uncle tried to call her old. Sorry, but my mother is NOT old, and has no intention of getting old any time soon. This has been a wonderful visit. I didn't realize just how much I missed her until I saw her again. She goes back home tomorrow, and I know the house will seem empty without her. Of course we'll talk on the phone several times a week, like we always do, but I'll be looking forward to seeing her in person again. I feel pretty lucky to have a parent like her. She's a truly amazing woman.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I got a Happy Award!

I was given this award by Cindi at
For this award I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and try to do at least one today.Tag 10 bloggers that brighten my day and they are to link back to my blog and make their own 'Makes Me Happy' list.
Here are 10 things that make me happy:
1)All furry critters, especially my Cedric kitty. Animals simply make me smile :)
2)Chatting with my online friends (sometimes the ArtFire forums have me laughing out loud!).
3) Talking with or (better yet) spending time with my best friend, Monica. That girl has always made me feel good about myself. She's one person I can talk about ANYTHING with. She's like the sister I never had.
4) Gardening makes me happy too. I love the sunshine and watching my seedlings grow into strong, productive plants. I like breaking a sweat and getting dirty, and then reaping the rewards of my labors.
5) Of course my creative endeavors make me happy too. I love sculpting polymer clay, knitting my stuffed animals, and sewing my dolls. The best is when I have hours all to myself, and don't have to worry about "taking care of" anyone else for a while. I can really get lost in my projects.
6) Exercise is another thing that makes me happy. I enjoy challenging my body physically, and seeing just how strong I am.
7) Rocking in a rocking chair has had a soothing effect on me since I was a baby. Gramma used to rock me for hours (I guess I cried a lot), and that is something I never grew out of.
8) Water makes me happy too. When I was a teenager I lived on Lake Berlin and spent MANY hours swimming and playing in the lake. I've always liked rivers, streams, ponds, any type of water.
9) Seeing Gramma getting stronger as she progresses with her physical therapy makes me very happy, and proud of her. Just seeing Gramma happy, makes me happy. She's been a very important part of my life from the day I was born.
10) Giving my handcrafted items as gifts makes me happy too. I guess I like making other people happy. And if I can do that with something that I made myself, that's even better.
Today I spent time playing with Cedric, and laughing my butt off watching him act like a kitten (he's 11). I spent time with Gramma at the nursing home, and made her smile telling her about the relatives who are sending their love. I had a few minutes to sit in my rocking chair and sew on my newest teddy bear (I'll work on her more tonight). I'll also try to pop into the forums, and visit Facebook to see what my online friends are up to.
And these are 10 bloggers who make me happy (in random order).
These are all great blogs, and I highly suggest checking them out! Thank you for this award, Cindi. I can add that receiving this is another thing that made me happy;-)
-Michelle of CreativeCritters