Custom Order Christmas Elf Cake Topper

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So this cute Christmas Elf cake topper is the latest creation from my craft room.  The cake topper was sculpted by hand in Premo polymer clay.  This one was a custom order for a customer in Australia and he will be the centerpiece on top of her Christmas cake.  I’m honored whenever one of my creations takes center stage!

This was a really fun project and has certainly gotten me into the holiday spirit (even though it’s not quite Halloween yet- LOL).  This whimsical elf was my first cake topper outside of World of Warcraft characters.  I really enjoyed creating this one!  The elf wears a bright green tunic with a red collar  and belt.  His tights are striped a cheerful red and green and he wears red elf slippers.

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As you can see, he’s a very happy Christmas elf, with bright blue eyes and a great big smile. 🙂

The cake topper measures about 6 inches wide and 7 1/2 inches tall to the tip of the elf’s bright red hat tipped with a gold bell.  The elf is holding a candy cane and the cake he sits on is decorated with red ribbon and red and white candies (all sculpted from polymer clay).

What a great project to start the holiday season off with!

If anyone is interested in custom cake toppers or other sculptures please feel free to contact me at macreativecritters@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Whimsical Frog Pendants from CreativeCritters

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The latest addition to my ArtFire shop are these adorable and whimsical little frog jewelry pendants.

Whimsical Red Frog on Green Blue and Gold Clay Leaf Jewelry Pendant

I became inspired to sculpt these cute little critters after re-reading a few books from Christie Friesen.  I love her fun, free form style.  Although many of my Christie inspired projects bear little resemblance to the original tutorial, her general style can usually be seen in them.

Whimsical Teal Blue and Green Polymer Clay Tree Frog Jewelry Pendant

For these pendants I started out by shaping several leaves from polymer clay.  I swirled together shades of blue, green, and gold then wandered around the house checking out the leaf shapes on the many houseplants we have.  Each leaf was shaped by hand, and each is unique.  They’re not exact replicas of any certain type of leaves, just sort of inspired by the shapes I observed.  I CAN follow precise instructions, but I really enjoy just going with the flow and allowing my work to develop almost by itself.  And I love creating things that make me and my customers smile.

Whimsical Polymer Clay Yellow and Teal Tree Frog Jewelry Pendant And these cute little froggies certainly do that!  Some of them have been embellished with glass beads for a little extra sparkle and color.  That’s another Christie thing- she likes to add a variety of beads, jewelry findings, and other interesting things to her work.  Since I’ve got lots of vintage jewelry, much of it broken or missing stones, I often add bits and pieces to my work as well.  There’s just something about vintage jewelry that is so cool- I’ve got some pretty wild pieces I’ve saved from my Gramma’s collection and from my neighbor, as well as plenty of jewelry I’ve picked up at garage sales.  Nothing goes to waste!  One of the (many) things I love about polymer clay is how easy it is to incorporate a variety of different materials into the final piece.

Whimsical Yellow Green and Gold Tree Frog Leaf Jewelry Pendant I also like using embossing powders to add more color and texture.  I don’t always know just how it will turn out after it’s baked, but that’s part of the fun.  I thought this little frog would be more speckled, but once I baked him the embossing powder formed larger patches of color, which is fine by me.

I’m sure there will be more frogs in my future (I’m thinking about making more plush frogs too), but since I seem to have a touch of craft ADD I’ve since moved on to dragon pendants.  Really, though, you just never know what I’ll create next 😉

If you’d like to learn more about each of the pendants pictured above just click on the picture to be directed to their individual listings in my shop.  Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Calciferious the Cat Dragon

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This magnificent beast is Calciferious, Calcifer kitty’s alter ego.  This is another Cat Dragon sculpture and was inspired by my fluffy Maine Coon cat.  Calcifer frequently sits in what I call his “Captain Cool” pose, so I decided to make his dragon persona sitting in this pose.

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This sculpture took weeks to complete, but it was an absolute labor of love.  Unfortunately the very first work in progress pictures are on my laptop, which died a while back (one of the reasons I haven’t posted for quite a while).  I tried something new with this piece and the center of the sculpture is weighted with a special rock that I found at our favorite camp site.  I made a cardboard base, glued the rock in place on the base, then wrapped it all in aluminum foil, filling and shaping to create a feline/ dragon body shape.  The front legs have heavy gauge wire running through them for added strength.  Then I started adding the base layer of clay.  This sculpture took a LOT of polymer clay!  After getting the head, neck, body, legs, and tail sculpted the fun part really started- adding the scales.  I used star shapes in varying sizes for most of the body, legs, and tail.

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I tried to mimic Calcifer’s colors and patterns, only with a dragony twist.  I used black, silver, and gold for everything but the wings.  It was slow going, shaping and placing each scale, checking with the real cat to get the stripes and colors just right.  I wasn’t in any hurry though, and I just let the sculpture flow.  At first I used star shapes for his chest too, but then I decided that carefully shaped leaves would give him that fluffy look that I wanted.

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This turned out to be just perfect and added so much more to the sculpture.  Here you can see the stripes along his side and how the colors change from his belly to his back (this is harder to see after I added the wings).

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I brought the fluffy scales (is there such a thing?) up under his chin and just to his ears, like his fluffy fur is in real life.  That’s one of the features I love about Cal and I really wanted to capture that in clay.  I even used Calcifer’s real whiskers.  (Cats shed their whiskers and I’ve saved whiskers from all my cats.) I poked holes in the muzzle before baking then put a dab of glue on the end of each whisker and inserted it in the hole after the sculpture was baked.  You can bake whiskers at 275 degrees (the temperature for baking polymer clay), but sometimes the white ones tend to yellow a bit or curl.

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I added all of his scales before adding the wings, which I sculpted separately and prebaked.  I used purple and gold scales because those colors are just very “Calcifer” and I liked the way they complimented the rest of the piece.

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This is actually a rather large sculpture, for me at least, since I normally work in miniature.  It ended up measuring about 10 inches long and 10 inches high.  But since Cal has such a big personality, I had to make a big sculpture to encompass all that he is 😉  Here you can see Calciferious hanging out in the living room.  Did I mention that he’s a shelf sitter?  I designed him to sit comfortably on a shelf or the edge of a table.

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I think he goes pretty nicely with the decor too.  I’m still deciding if I want to list him for sale.  For now I think I’ll just keep him all to myself- I don’t think I can part with him just yet.

~Michelle of CreativeCritters

I’m the Featured Artist this week!

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I’m so happy to be the Featured Artist this week on the Miller Valley Indoor Art Market’s Facebook page!  The Art Market, located at 531 Madison Ave in Prescott Arizona, was the first gallery I checked out after moving here.  I now have a space in the Art Market with several of my sculptures, dolls, teddy bears, and two of my necklaces.  You can follow this link to see pictures of the items I have available there and read my bio.  And of course if you happen to be near the Prescott area you can stop by the Art Market and see my work (as well as the work of over 100 other talented artists) in person.

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Not only does the Art Market showcase amazing and varied artwork from local artisans, but they also feature Cafe Nouveau, the coffee and gelato shop with free Wi-Fi and live entertainment.  They have a full service custom frame shop and a unique “thriftique” clothing market as well.  Art works on display  include: Jewelry, Sculpture, Painting, drawing, Glass works, Photography, Designer Clothing, Knits, Calligraphy, fibers, Gourd Art, Ceramics, Custom South West Furniture and Printmaking.

I absolutely love the variety of unique arts and crafts that you can find there, as well as the friendly, welcoming atmosphere. 

~Michelle of CreativeCritters