Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung!

And it's a bit earlier than usual this year.  In fact, we've had temperatures in the 70's and even up to 80 for the last week or so!  I can't ever remember wearing shorts in March before!  And the warm weather has caused all sorts of things to bloom weeks earlier than normal.  I went around the yard and got some pictures of some of the blooming flowers.
My lungwort has been blooming like crazy for over a week now, and has spread to several new spots in the flower beds.  I love these flowers- the blue and pink colors are so pretty and the spotted leaves are soft and fuzzy.  I like anything that's soft and fuzzy- LOL
This white hyacinth bloomed yesterday.  Hyacinths are some of my favorite fragrant Spring flowers.  I have them in shades of blue, pink, purple, white, and cream on both sides of the front door.  I can sit in the house with door open and smell them all day ;-)
This forsythia bush grew from a cutting I took of Gramma's 40 year old forsythia bush.  I only planted the sprouted cutting two years ago, but already it's a beautiful plant.  The original plant even had three flowers on it- LOL.  The fact that it has survived at all for all these years is impressive!  It's "baby" is doing quite well though ;-)

And the daffodils just started blooming yesterday.  Normally they don't bloom until Gramma's birthday (April 15th).  These daffodil bulbs are about 50 years old now, and have bloomed every single year of my life.  They're very special to me.  Every year, no matter what kind of weather we'd had  (and we had plenty of snowy Springs!), I was always able to pick enough daffodils to make a pretty bouquet for Gramma's birthday.  Some years that was all I got, just that one birthday bouquet, but that was the important one.
I'll be moving sometime in the near future, and I wonder if whoever moves into this house next will take care of my flowers and Gramma's flowers. It makes me sad to think of them being neglected or destroyed.  They may just be plants, but there's a lot of emotion and meaning tied up in these simple flowers for me.  I intend to take some bulbs and cuttings with me when I move, but I won't be able to take them all.  Things like the evergreens I planted several years back are now too big to move.  I transplanted them as tiny seedlings when I saw them sprouted in the cracks of the sidewalk, and now they've grown in lush little trees nearly as tall as I am.
Wandering the yard today was bittersweet.  I was saying goodbye to all the plants I had known throughout my life.  I've lived in this house, on and off, since I was born.  My first pets, two hamsters and a gerbil, are buried under the lilac bush next to the house.  My ferret, Ziggy, rests under the butterfly bush, and Ozzy and Cedric lay next to each other under the evergreens.  I feel Grampa's spirit every time I work in the garden, and Gramma's presence can be felt throughout the house.
This is the first year in about 15 years that I won't have a vegetable garden.  I don't want to have to leave it behind if I have to move during the summer.  There's a great sadness in not having a garden to work in.  I love starting my veggies from seed, nurturing them, watching them grow, and enjoying the fruits and vegetables of my labor.  
Wherever I end up, it will have to be someplace where I can have a nice big garden full of flowers, fruits, and vegetables.  It will be very strange starting from scratch in a new place though.  That's one reason I want to be able to bring at least a few of my plants with me.  It will be like having old familiar friends nearby ;-)
Thanks for listen to me blather on- LOL!  I hope you're all enjoying our early Spring!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Cats Now Have Their Own YouTube Channel!

That's right, my cats, Calcifer and Ginko, have their very own YouTube channel.  If you visit http://www.youtube.com/user/CalciferandGinko you can see them in all their cuteness ;-)  I'd been planning on giving Calcifer his own channel for some time now, and of course I've been taking plenty of videos of all his cute kitty antics ;-)  And now with Ginko in the picture I've got more adorable kitty footage than I know what to do with!  I love being able to share all those funny little moments with all of you.  I'll be adding new videos regularly, so there will always be something different to see.  This is the most recent video, just uploaded tonight.  This shows you a bit of Calcifer's creativity.  One of his favorite toys has always been the plastic ring from the milk jugs.  When I put a small box on the floor for him to check out he brought his milk jug ring over and began trying to get it in the box.  He always has enjoyed a challenge (just like me- LOL).
So if you want to catch all the kitty cuteness, be sure to subscribe to Calcifer and Ginko's YouTube channel!  Thanks for watching!
~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Friday, March 9, 2012

How to sculpt a cat pendant from polymer clay part 3 video tutorial

And here's the final video in my How To A Sculpt a Cat Pendant series.  You can find part 1 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2JXmTdGlig and part 2 here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHZKTzuLAeg.  And of course you can always subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up with all my newest tutorials and other videos.
Thanks so much for watching!  I hope you enjoyed this series, and if there's something you'd like to see me do a tutorial about, just leave me a comment! =)
~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to sculpt a cat pendant from polymer clay part 2 video tutorial

Here's part 2 of my 3 part video tutorial on  how to sculpt a cat pendant in polymer clay.  There's a link to part 1 in the video description, and you can also subscribe to my channel to keep up with all my tutorials.
Thanks for watching, and be sure to stop by for the final installment of this series!
~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to sculpt a cat pendant from polymer clay part 1 video tutorial

I just finished uploading part 1 of my how to sculpt a cat pendant to YouTube and wanted to share it here as well.  I'll be uploading parts 2 and 3 in the next few days, so be sure to check back or subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don't miss any new tutorials.  Since I was sculpting a cat Calcifer figured he'd better supervise this project very closely.  Plus he just loves being on camera- LOL ;-)
 Thanks for watching!
~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Celtic fairy sculpture for the Smooshers Celtic Challenge

The theme for the upcoming Polymer Clay Smooshers Challenge is Celtic, and at first I had a hard time figuring out what to make.  When another guild member suggested Googling Celtic Mythology I started finding images of gods, goddesses, and fairies, which is familiar territory for me.  Eventually I decided to sculpt a fairy dressed in green.  This is how she started out.
I wasn't just sure how I wanted to pose her, so I sculpted her in pieces and pierced holes in each limb.  After I baked the parts I inserted pipe cleaners secured with super glue.
Then I sculpted some rocks for her to sit on.  This is one way I use my leftover bits of clay.  I just blended them all together and ended up with a nice mottled gray color.  Now I could pose the fairy and decide how she would look best.  Once I settled on a pose I filled the elbow, knee, and neck joints with clay to create a solid sculpture.  I added a dress made from strips of green clay and I used green acrylic paint to give her  slippers with thin strings of clay for laces..
I sculpted her wings and baked them separately.  I created a millifiori  cane using shades of blue and green clay wrapped with glow in the dark clay and shaped slices into ruffled wings.
At this point I wasn't sure where to go next with the sculpture.  I felt as though it needed something else.  After a bit of  thought I checked to see what animals were native to Ireland- animals are always a good addition to my sculptures ;-) I chose to sculpt a cross fox, which I learned is a color variant of the red fox.  I liked his black mask and cross marking on his back, and I thought he'd make a good friend for my fairy.
I added some glow in the dark yellow flowers, gave the fairy black polymer clay hair and attached her wings.
And here's what the back of her wings look like in the dark.
This one took a while to complete, but I'm very happy with the way she turned out.  And I think the fox was the perfect addition.  I ended up learning quite a bit about Celtic mythology while I researched this project, and I have quite a few ideas for future projects inspired by the figures of Celtic mythology. 
Thanks for sharing another creative journey! =)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Custom Cat and Dog Sculptures Lead to Promotional Pups and Pussycats from CreativeCritters on Fiverr

I joined Fiverr a few months ago and have been getting quite a few orders for my custom miniature dog and cat sculptures.  I do my very best to give customers far more than five dollar's worth and each customer had been very happy with the results.  I sculpt a 2 inch tall likeness of their pet in polymer clay based on the pictures they send me.  Here are just a few of the pets I've sculpted over the last several weeks.  You can click on the pictures to go directly to the gig on Fiverr.
Creating these adorable pets actually led me to create another type of gig.  Someone saw my miniature dog sculptures and thought they would make wonderful thank you gifts to his customers and asked if I could sculpt them with his logo added somehow.  I did a bit of experimenting and ended up creating these Promotional Pups for him to send to his customers.  I was able to include his message along with his business logo on the sign.  I can put just about any logo, name, or short message on the sign.
And one of the great things about these being handmade is that each one is a little different.  I don't use any molds, so you're always going to get a one of a kind creation.  And of course if I offer Promotional Pups I have to offer Promotional Pussycats!
What a unique and memorable way to thank your customers for their loyalty!  These would be great for birthdays, anniversaries, or as a way to say Congratulations!  A unique handmade gift will always stand out and the recipient will  certainly feel special.  You can check out all the gigs I offer on Fivver at http://fiverr.com/creativecritter, and if you don't find just what you're looking for you can always send me a message.  There's a good chance I'll be able to create just what you need.
Thanks for stopping by!