Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Water, water, everywhere!

I love the water, and was lucky enough to live on a small lake when I was a teenager.  My brother and I taught ourselves how to swim and spent every day possible in the water.  Even before we lived on the lake my big brother would take my younger brother and me down to the river, and we'd play for hours in the shallow water.  One memory really sticks in my mind.  We had found an inner tube from a big truck tire, took it down to the river, and spent hours taking turns "riding the rapids" in the tube.  I remember relaxing in the tube, gently bobbing in the water, the sun shining on my face.  The sense of peace and joy I felt at that moment is something I've never allowed myself to forget.  Being with my brothers and sharing that special time together still fills me with joy.  My older brother Jeff is gone now, so it's a bittersweet memory, but one I cherish. 
I also love water themed artwork as well.  And when I find something as awesome as this Water Dragon Necklace from WyvernDesigns on ArtFire.com, well, I've just got to share!

And how cool is this?  It's called Neptunes Original Daughter and was sculpted by BlueJane on ArtFire.com.  The colors are just gorgeous, and those eyes are so intense!Neptunes Original Daughter Mask Face OOAK
And then of course there are mermaids!  You just can't have water without mermaids!  Although this beauty is perfectly happy to hang on your wall.  This mermaid wall hanging was sculpted by FantasyClay on ArtFire.com and is full of texture and detail.Polymer Clay Mermaid and Fish Wallhanging
And this Dragonfly Spirit Box from Into The Dawn on ArtFire.com reminds me of the dragonflies that used to hang out with my brothers and I while we were swimming.  If you stayed real still and held your finger out sometimes they'd perch there for a minute!Dragonfly Spirit Triangle Trinket Box 
All of these wonderful pieces were created by members of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild.  I thank them for creating such beautiful work and making me smile!  Be sure to visit their shops and see all the delightful items they've created!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, October 25, 2010

Handmade Halloween at CreativeCritters

This is a collection of handmade Halloween themed items from CreativeCritters. Everything from jewelry, dolls, masks, sculptures, pens, and candle holders can be found here.
Thanks for sharing in a little Halloween fun!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Compost tip

I just wanted to share a tip for heating up your compost pile quickly.  This time of year it can take longer for the compost to heat up (and the faster it heats up, the quicker it decomposes).  I don't know about you, but I never seem to have enough compost.  However, when I want to give the pile a boost, I've found that adding fresh grass clippings, and mixing them in well, gets the pile hot very quickly.  I live in the suburbs, and use a Compost Tumbler.  I compost weeds, food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and shredded newspaper.  Our temps have been in the mid and low 60's all week, and the pile I started several weeks ago wasn't heating up the way I wanted it to.  One day after adding several bags of fresh lawn clippings the pile was steaming hot.  In the cooler fall (and spring) temperatures this is a good way to speed up the process.  I also turn the bin every few days, as well as fluffing it with a pitch fork.  This helps break up the material and evenly incorporate everything.  Before the snow flies I plan to spread the compost on the garden, then cover this with more grass and leaf clippings.  By spring everything will have decomposed completely and will be ready to be worked into the soil.  I'll probably start another pile before winter, and just let it sit until spring.

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Don't forget Fluffy or Fido this Christmas!

They've been good (or TRIED, at least) all year long.  Don't your pets deserve a special gift (or 2) for all that effort?  That's why I put together this collection of handmade toys and treats for cats and dogs.  Perfect for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers, or any other occasion, your pets will love getting any of these special treats!

-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, October 15, 2010

My newest fantasy sculpture

Dragon Fairy OOAK sculpture

My one of a kind Dragon Fairy sculpture is the latest polymer clay addition to CreativeCritters.  A lot of emotion (and time and effort) went into this sculpture. I really put my soul into this piece.  I love sculpting dragons, and I've been quite inspired by Halloween lately, so that set the tone of the sculpture.  When choosing the clay colors I wanted for this project, I was thinking of Halloween colors- red, black, and purple.  One of the things I wanted to get across is that the fairy is NOT human.  That's one of the reasons I chose to make her green and made sure her pointed ears showed through her black, purple, and red hair.  Of course the large dragon wings growing from her back make it pretty clear that she's not human as well.  And another small, but surprisingly effective, touch was to give her simple reptilian eyes with elliptical black pupils.  Once I painted her facial features she really came to life.  I also wanted to express the intense bond between the fairy and her dragon.  They will be together their whole lives (100's of years) and are completely devoted to one another.  When the baby dragon is old enough they'll soar through the skies together surveying their vast territory.  Another inspiration for this piece was my kitten Calcifer.  I feel that devotion from him, and this is the exact position he likes to cuddle in.  He even buries his face in my hair, just like the blue eyed dragon.  I do believe there's a bit of fairy magic in this sculpture, and my muse worked overtime providing ideas and inspiration for this one!OOAK Red Purple and Black Dragon Fairy Polymer Clay Fantasy Sculpture

OOAK Red Purple and Black Dragon Fairy Polymer Clay Fantasy Sculpture
If you click on the pictures they'll take you directly to the listing.  Thanks so much for sharing the creativity!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Featuring Amelia Originals

Art and fine crafts have been a passion for over 45 years for Amelia Originals.  She says "I finally returned to my first love of being totally immersed in the arts. I started out as a contract teacher with an adult arts and crafts program on Andrews AFB. Shortly afterward I was hired to manage the sales supply store and teach. Then eventually I was promoted to the Assistant Director position and finally the Director. This was the perfect job. Where could one earn money to encourage and assist others in finding peace of mind through creativity? Unfortunately this program was closed and my life changed putting my artistic endeavors into a hiatus, to only be brought out for the occasional handmade gift that was needed. My inner desire to create rushed forward earlier in 2008, and a burning desire to delve into something constructive, developed into this passion to create jewelry. I have always been fascinated with color, form and line. And wire sculpture/wrapping is now my preferred quest. I am committed to excellence."
You can also find her online at ameliaoriginals.homestead.com, ameliaoriginals.blogspot.com, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and IndiePublic.  Below is just a sample of what can be found in her shop.  Be sure to stop in and see all she has to offer!
Paper Doodle - Bookmark - 2 3/4x2 1/8 Copper Wire Sculpture- HandmadeCeramic Viragated Blue RD & Heart Shaped Bead Knotted Choker NecklaceHandmade Beaded African Influence NecklaceBlue and Orange Fantasy Handmade SetSunburst Silver Dangle & Pearl EarringsThe Silver ButterflyRed in Silver Tear Drop Necklace & Earring SetSpring at Its Best Handmade Necklace Each piece in this shop is unique, and those Paper Doodles are really interesting and fun too!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creating a Custom Order Plush World of Warcraft Tauren

Handmade Plush World of Warcraft OOAK Tauren Hunter Doll with Pet Wolf
I recently received a custom order for a plush World of Warcraft Tauren, and have been working on her for the last several days.  The customer saw my Tauren Hunter with his Pet Wolf, and wanted me to create his friend's character for her birthday.  The fact that this is a birthday present makes it even more special, and I'm trying to create my best Tauren yet.  I have several Taurens, along with Murlocs, in my Plush World of Warcraft Characters category, and I really enjoy creating custom characters.  When I make a custom characters, pictures are very important.  The more good, clear pictures I can view, the easier it is to create a 3 dimensional plush version.  I have lots of pictures of Taurens, along with other WoW characters, and I created my patterns with the help of those pictures.  The Taurens in stock right now are about 14" to 18" tall and made from a variety of fabrics, from faux fur to plush felt.  I found some beautiful faux fur for my custom order.  I sew these by hand using heavy duty thread and small stitches, ensuring a durable plushie.  The clothes are usually made from imitation leather or real leather, and most Taurens carry a staff or other type of weapon  sculpted from polymer clay.  I often alter the pattern just a bit for each one, so these are truly one of a kind creations.  I created the patterns myself, through much trial and error.  My custom order is coming along quite nicely, and I'm finding new ways of doing things as I'm working on her.  These new techniques and ideas will be used to create even better Taurens (and other plushies) in the future.  So if you're a fan of the World of Warcraft, or know someone who is, drop by CreativeCritters to see what I've got in stock.  And don't forget, I love custom orders!
Handmade OOAK Plush World of Warcraft Tauren Doll with StaffHandmade OOAK Plush Female World of Warcraft Tauren Doll with AxHandmade Male Plush World of Warcraft Tauren Doll with Ax and Shield
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Monday, October 11, 2010

Andrus Garden Quilts- floral inspired art quilts

Sue Andrus, the very talented lady behind Andrus Garden Quilts, is inspired by gardens, flowers and the beauty of the world we live in. Surround yourself with the calming joy of nature with artwork large and small that will fit any home. Sue says "A degree in horticulture, and working in that industry have greatly influenced my art. Most of the fabrics I use in my original designs are hand painted and(or) sunprinted by me to achieve colors and textures that can not be found in stores. Sunprinting on fabric can give many surprising results- the paint never dries the same way twice (It really can be fun to watch paint dry), and my gardens supply me with the many flowers and leaves I use for the sunprints. My photos of flowers and more from gardens or in the wild, are now finding their way into my art after I print them onto fabric. The beauty of this earth we have been given to live in, with it's flowers, gardens and rock formations is the inspiration for my fabrics and art. I also produce my own Reproduction Prints and Note Cards of my quilts on quality papers with archival inks."
You can also find Andrus Garden Quilts on TwitterFlickr, andrusgardensquilts.com, and her blog,
Below is just a sample of some of the gorgeous work available in her shop.  She has a lot more where these come from, so be sure to stop in and browse all she has to offer!
My Dream House- 12x12 Art Quilt Mounted on 16x20 CanvasChristmas Rose with Butterfly Art Quilt 8x10Hummingbird Art Quilt Photograph Note Cards- Set of 12- Assorted- #9Orange Oak Leaf Sunprint Mini Art Quilt- 5x7Art Quilt- Delphinium Door- 8.5x11- Stones and Walls SeriesBlue Iris 7- Botanical Applique Art Quilt- 11x14  Let me tell you, it wasn't easy choosing just a few items!  Sue has so many beautiful and unique items in her shop, and it was an absolute pleasure spending time browsing (and adding things to my Christmas list)!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters