Being Gramma Chelle


Gramma Chelle- now there’s a role I never imagined I’d get to fill.  I never had kids of my own, so naturally I couldn’t become a grandmother.  Then I met Sal, who has 3 grown daughters, all lovely women.  Within the last 3 years two of his daughters have each had a girl and a boy.  And suddenly I find myself being called Gramma Chelle.  I can’t even find the words to tell you how much I love these kids!  Anna is the oldest (she’ll be 3 in September) and we have a very special relationship.  And when she says “I love you Gramma Chelle” in that soft voice of hers tears of joy fill my eyes.  She’s soft spoken, a little shy, and very gentle, much like myself, so I really understand her and know how to get through to her (sometimes when no one else can).

me and anna

Anna’s little brother Benjamin was born in February and we just got to meet him recently.  Christina (his Mom) and the kids stayed with us for a few days last month, so we had some good quality time with them.  Benjamin’s a sweet, happy little baby who already adores his big sister.  I can tell those two are going to be close.

me and ben

This little guy hardly cried at all while he stayed with us.  Most of the time he just had a big smile on his face 🙂

Then there’s Sofia, who will be 2 in July, and her little brother Raffaele, who was born in December.  So it’s perfect- 2 boys, 2 girls, all within a few years of each other.  Since they’re so close in age it will be easier to do things with all four of them.

sofia anna in wagon

That’s pretty little Sofia on the left and Anna on the right.  When Anna’s here that’s her wagon and she loves having us pull her around the property.  (When Anna’s not here  that’s my wagon for carting stuff around the property.)  Sofia’s just getting old enough to start enjoying things like that.  It’s so much fun watching them grow and change.  The first time Anna stayed with us it took her a while to get comfortable.  This time she was ready to go for a ride in her wagon as soon as she got here!


On the left is Benjamin, and on the right is Raffaele, both happy little boys who hardly fussed at all while they were here.  And now I get to make boy toys as well as girl toys.  Dragons and dinosaurs along with unicorns and fairies- so much fun!  Being the creative critter that I am, every gift I give to these kids is handmade.  This last visit it was knit chickens 😉

Since we got new chicks in March I thought this would help them remember their visit fondly.  Plus Anna’s my little helper when it comes to the chickens.  She helps me collect eggs and isn’t afraid to pet the chicks.  She’s a natural with animals- a girl after my own heart ❤  And I just love teaching her about animals, plants, and the natural world.  She’s a good listener and has a great memory, so she knows how to pet a chicken, how she has to be quiet and calm if she wants the cats to come out, and how Dewey Dude loves to have his chest rubbed.

And Dewey Dude just adores Anna!  He hardly leaves her side when she’s here.  He believes it’s his responsibility to be her personal guard dog 😉  Unfortunately both of Anna’s parents are allergic to cats and dogs, so they won’t be able to have pets of their own 😦  Not surprisingly, Anna’s become very attached to our dogs, cats, and chickens.

I’m really looking forward to being a part of these kid’s lives, a loving positive influence, sharing what I know about animals, gardening, nature, arts and crafts, and much more.  Sal and I both want this to be place the kids look forward to visiting.  The puppets I made for Sal this Christmas have certainly helped in that respect!  I never realized what  a hit Cowboy Pete and His Faithful Horse Whinny would be (or how awesome Sal would be at doing these puppet shows)! 😀

anna sofia puppets

We even got Anna to decide she DOES like eggs (when she first got here she told us she DID NOT like eggs- LOL).  But a combination of picking her own freshly laid egg from the nest and a conversation with Cowboy Pete and Whinny had her loudly declaring she DOES like eggs now.  Sometimes you have to get creative with picky eaters 😉

Although I never expected to be Gramma Chelle I see it as a huge honor and blessing.  My grandparents raised me, so I have the greatest respect for grandparents and I know how important they can be in a child’s life.  My own Gramma and I were very close and I’ll never forget her unconditional love and understanding.  I can already see that Anna and I will be very close as well.  I’ve always had a very nurturing personality, and if circumstances had been different I might have made a pretty good mom.  That wasn’t the course my life took, so I put all that loving energy into my pets and plants (which all thrived under my care 😉 ).  Now I finally have children in my life, and I think maybe the role of Gramma is even better suited for me.

~Michelle of CreativeCritters

CreativeCrittersClay on Etsy


After thinking about it for some time I’ve finally opened a shop on Etsy-  CreativeCrittersClay. This shop will mainly feature my polymer clay sculptures and home decor items like wall hangings, bowls, and candle holders.

This fun and whimsical fantasy scene with Mr. and Mrs Gnome feeding their friend bunny is just one of the delightful pieces available .

I’ll be listing some of the same items I have listed in my Artfire shop like this Spring Kitten wall hanging.

And I’ll also be showcasing some newly listed items like this mermaid bowl, found in my Home Decor category.

And of course there will be animal sculptures like this adorable cat and dog sculpture.


And let’s not forget the Fantasy Sculpture category!  My glow in the dark Lion Fish Mermaid sculpture is just one of the unique items to be found here.

I’m just getting started setting up the new shop up and plan to continue adding items, so be sure to stop in and see what’s available!  Thanks so much!

~Michelle of CreativeCritters

Vacation in Mexico


Just got back from an awesome vacation down in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) Mexico.  This is the third time I’ve been down there with Sal, and as always, it was just gorgeous.  His friend has a house right on the beach and has been kind enough to let us use it each year.  February seems to be the perfect time to go too.  The weather was perfect: highs around 80, lows around 60, and a nice light breeze during the day.  Plus we were there for the full moon, which was just beyond amazing!

It takes me about a week to prep all the food and everything, but it’s worth the effort.  We hit town on the way in and then never have to leave the beach house the rest of the time we’re there.  We pick up a few things (mainly fresh seafood), then head to the house and settle in.

Here’s a shot of Calcifer trying to make me feel guilty about leaving him and Ginko.  Once he sees the bags packed and ready to go at the door he knows we’ll be leaving for at least a few days.  I DO feel guilty about leaving the cats, and I miss them terribly, but they do just fine on their own for a few days.  I always make sure to leave more than enough food and water.  And within a few hours of us returning home the cats are back to their normal routine, as if we’d never left (although Calcifer especially remains extra cuddly for at least a few days).

Mexico 2-16 packing Calcifer Ziggi’s been to Mexico several times, but this was Dewey Dude’s first time down there.


I think he was impressed with the beach and the ocean 😉  I love having the dogs down there- it’s like they multiply our own joy.  They raced around on the beach and Dewey Dude made friends with every dog and person he saw.

Mexico 2-16 zig and dewey

Since he hadn’t had a lot of interaction with other dogs (besides Ziggi) I was a little concerned about his social skills, but I shouldn’t have worried.  The Kid is such a sweet and affection creature that every dog he met was happy to play with him, and nearly every person loved him too.  He met an old arthritic dog named Poncho and somehow knew that he wasn’t feeling good.  So The Dude lay next to old Poncho and gently kissed his face ❤  How sweet is that?!  The young Doberman a few houses down was a great playmate though, and I think Dewey fell in love with her ❤

Mexico 2-16 tired dewey

And after a long day of playing The Kid is completely tuckered out 😉  Oh, and another thing that Dewey did that really showed his caring nature- he buried several dead sea birds that had washed up on the beach.  He didn’t try to carry them off or chew on them (we had to yell at Ziggi for that a few times), but every time Dewey came across a freshly dead bird he used his nose to cover it with sand, and he wouldn’t leave until it was properly covered.  After the first few I started helping him bury them so he would feel better and wouldn’t have to spend all day burying birds.  I’m still not sure why there were so many dead birds washing up on the shore 😦

Mexico 2-16 me and zig

Ziggi likes being on vacation because that’s one time when he’s actually allowed on the furniture 😉

Mexico 2-16 ziggi 2

Mexico 2-16 dewey dude in chair

And of course The Kid had to take advantage of the suspended “no dogs on the furniture” rule too!

Naturally I got plenty of sun, sand, and surf myself 😉

Mexico 2-16 me 2

Just walking through that sand every day, all day was an excellent leg toner!

And then there are those gorgeous sunsets!

Mexico 2-16 sunset ziggi

I just couldn’t have asked for a more perfect vacation!  And the timing for us was excellent: Sal had a lull in work, I hadn’t started planting the garden yet (although I’ll be starting seeds now that I’m home again), and the temps here at home were warm enough for me to leave the greenhouse open at night, but not so hot during the day that everything in there dried out.  It was a refreshing little pause before the busy garden season starts again.  And of course Sal’s got plenty of yard work waiting for him too 😉  I think we’ve got the timing figured out pretty well now, so hopefully we’ll be able to do this again at the same time next year.  Last year we went in mid-June, and although it happened to be cooler than usual down there it was still pretty hot and VERY humid.  The neighbors said that October through April (at the latest) was really the best time to be down there.  They also said to avoid Spring Break, because that’s when things got rowdy 😉  I prefer a nice quiet, relaxing vacation myself!

Stay tuned to see what I get into next!

~Michelle of CreativeCritters