Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Check out my new craft room!

My new craft room in the spare bedroom is really starting to take shape.  That used to be my brother's bedroom and had been used for storage for quite a few years, so there was a lot of cleaning to be done before I could even start bringing in my craft stuff.  For my clay area I used a desk that I got at a garage sale for a few dollars.  This one has more storage than my old craft table.  I'm able to fit most of the supplies I need on the desk, and I have a three drawer plastic cart next to it for things that won't fit, or that I don't use as often.
I'm hoping to be able to keep things more organized.  I'll have more storage space in the new area, so that should help.  I should be able to keep the clay things separate from the fabric and yarn things as well.  Although many projects do contain clay, fabric, yarn, and more, it's easier to keep them separate.  Of course I had plenty of help organizing my supplies!  Calcifer was with me every step of the way, poking his little nose into every box, and stealing the occasional tool or jingle bell (which I let him keep because he enjoyed it so much- LOL).  He's taken on Ozzy's role as chief supervisor in everything I do.  I even had to put another chair next to mine so he watch while I sculpt!

I've nearly filled the bookshelf that was in the bedroom already.  I haven't moved ALL my craft books yet, but I managed to get the bulk of them set up, and am in the process of organizing them on the shelves.  I have books on everything from polymer clay sculptures, to jewelry, to knitting, sewing, doll making, stuffed animals, anatomy, fantasy artwork, and more.  I have many interests, and as I've found books that cover those interests, I've added to my collection.
This room has a really good feel to it.  I love the color, and it's the brightest room in the house. I even moved Gramma's plant (which has been around since before I was born) into the room. Plants always make a room happier.  After spending the last several years working in the basement, I really appreciate a bright and airy work space.  I feel good in this room.  I've already created my first piece in my new space.  My mask for the Polymer Clay Smooshers guild Masquerade Clay Ball was a lot of fun to make, and I enjoyed working in a much more organized space.  My work area will never be completely uncluttered, but I hope to keep things a bit more organized this time around.
I like that I can now go into my own craft room and shut out the rest of the world for a while.  Before I was sort of in the middle of everything, and was constantly being distracted.  I was actually able to complete this mask in two sittings, which would have been done in many short sessions between interruptions before.  I'd be a happy lady if I could create all I wanted (which is pretty much all the time)!  Stay tuned to see what other creations come out of my new studio! Thanks for spending a little time in the world of CreativeCritters!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Find high quality designer's fabrics at Fabrics I Love

Fabrics I Love, on specializes in high quality designer's fabrics.  She offers fast shipping, weekly fat quarter specials, and her exclusive *Cheaper Buy the Bundle!* offer.  Gina says "I've been sewing since about age 6. I can remember making clothes for my Barbie and Midge dolls. This was before mom would let me use her sewing machine, I made them with just a needle and thread. I think they were the best dressed Barbies in town!  Over the years as I've become a better seamstress, I've also learned that using high quality designer fabrics make all the difference in the outcome of my projects. This quality can not only be seen, but can also be felt! So yeah, call me a fabric snob! But it is a title that I wear proudly!! Needless to say I will only sell high quality designer fabrics in my shop, not those big chain store type fabrics.  Since I do love to sew, I started selling fabrics as an excuse to be able to buy even more!"  Fabrics I Love can also be found at www.fabricsilove.blogspot.comFacebook, and Twitter. Below is a sample of some of the fabric that can be found in her shop.
Riley Blake Colorful Christmas Fabric  Red Scatter - 1 yardRiley Blake  Be Merry Fabric  Large Snowmen in Red - 1 YardGirly Girl Bubblegum Lollipops by Art Gallery - 1 yardOne Yard - What A Hoot FabricRiley Blake Be Merry Large Snowmen in Blue - 1 yard Be sure to stop in and browse all the great fabric available from Fabric I Love on!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trinkets and Treasures- Unique Handmade Jewelry on

Trinkets and Treasures creates beautiful handmade jewelry.  Her biography reads: "I saw a flyer for a silver art clay class and thought it would be fun, I loved it. I wanted to add beads to one of my metal art clay pieces so I took a class in beading. I just kept taking more classes, wire wrapping, pearl knotting, chain maille, and fused glass, lapidary, metalsmithing. I took a few more silver art clay classes & I decided to become a certified instructor in silver art clay. I am always taking some kind of class, I love learning. I made a studio in my home and spend all my free time creating something, learning new ways and new things to create. I also love the beach, fossil hunting, rockhounding and reading."  I like the fact that she's constantly learning new things and spends as much time as she can creating.  That's something I can certainly relate to!  And her customers definitely benefit from her creativity and knowledge in variety of art forms.  You can find Trinkets and treasures online on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. Below is just a sample of some of the beautiful items you can find in her shop.  I must admit I'm very drawn to the silver art clay pieces.  That's something I intend to try my hand at one of these days.  Be sure to stop in and see everything she has to offer!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Been doing some work in the garden

My garden harvests this season weren't very good, due in large part to every critter in the area deciding it was an all you can eat buffet.  At ground level I've got mice and voles, midway up I've got a very large groundhog, which had babies this year, and at the top level I've got deer.  My pitiful, patched together 3 1/2 foot high fence was not doing the trick.  So I decided to take down the old fence, renovate the garden a bit, and put up a 7' tall deer fence for next season. 
It took most of the day, since some parts  had several layers of fencing to peel away.  This is what the animals have been doing to my veggies!

I 'm still in the process of making a path around the outer perimeter of the garden.  I've discovered that it would make life much easier if I can get at both sides of the garden rows.  Hopefully the new fence won't be too hard to put up.  I'll probably wait until I can put the garden to bed (take all the dead plants out, add compost, leaves, and grass clippings) before putting the fence up.  I'm thinking things out a bit more this time, and planning based on the problems and issues I've had in the past.  I'm planning my planting chart this Fall as well.  Last year I didn't do that, and just sort of planted things all over.  So, the tomatoes ended up blocking the sun for the zucchini and squash, and the lettuce got too much sun and set seed faster than it should have.  I've been doing some pruning as well, making sure the garden gets as much light as possible.  The evergreens behind the garden have really gotten out of hand, and the Snowball bush seems to creep closer each year.  I'll try to keep you up to date on the yard and garden.  Hopefully if I do a little extra work now, it will pay off in a bigger harvest next season.
Happy gardening!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beware the Bite of the Vampire!

From the original Bram Stoker's Dracula to Stephanie Meyers Twilight Saga, I've always been a fan of vampires. These are some wonderful examples of Vampire inspired artwork!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Have you heard? $5.95 for a Pro account on ArtFire!!

That's right, is running an incredible deal right now.  From the Group Deal page: "ArtFire is offering a limited number of people the chance to lock in a never-before-seen $5.95/month rate. In order for us to offer you this deal we need at least 20,000 members, including you, to opt-in for the exclusive $5.95 rate. Don’t miss your chance to lock in the best deal in e-commerce."  I thought I was getting an excellent deal when I locked in the $7.00/ month rate!  Of course I already signed CreativeCritters up for this new lower rate.  To see all the details, and sign up for this amazing deal click  At this price, why wouldn't you sign up?  If you already have a Pro shop, you can lock in this lower rate.  If you have a basic shop (or more than one, even)  you can now go Pro and reap all the MANY benefits, including the Market Hub, where you can link to your Facebook, Flickr, Etsy, and much more (yes, ArtFire does allow you to promote other venues you sell on), the Merchandizer, which allows you to easily rearrange your studio any time you like, Promo labels for sales, free shipping, and more, in studio Artisan Blog, and SO much more.  And ArtFire only keeps getting better, coming up with more tools, techniques for improving sales, and not only do they listen to the artists, but they implement their suggestions.  ArtFire wants us to succeed, and they give us the tools and knowledge to do so.  
Once ArtFire reaches 20,000 members signed up for the Group Deal, the lower rate goes into effect, so hurry in and let's reach 20,000!  And tell your friends- you won't find a deal like this again!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Whimsical Fantasy World of CreativeCritters

These are a few of my fun fantasy creations, everything from polymer clay and plush dragons, World of Warcraft plush Taurens and Murlocs, trinket boxes, to miniature houses with lights, and more delightful handmade creations. If you've got a fantasy lover on your Christmas list, CreativeCritters is the place to shop!