Friday, December 16, 2011


I have to say, I'm blown away by the amazing resource I stumbled upon just now...
To promote printing, Canon has come up with an fantastic supply of beautiful files that can be printed and made into cool creations. Here are just a sample of the quality and originality that is available.....FOR FREE!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Steampunk Clip Art from Dover Publications

Every week I get an automatic email of sample clip art from Dover, the great publishing company with all the cool books of images, artwork, paper dolls, and soooo much more!  I just have to share this week's awesome sample  from the "Steampunk Sourcebook", a new publication.  This link will bring you to their homepage, where you can get on their email list. Take it from's one email you won't regret signing up for.  (I sound like I work for them! But I don't....I just like their stuff.
Steampunk Hot Air Ballon

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Experience vs. Exposure....wouldn't it be great if they grew at the same rate? :)

I changed the way I do my bluebirds just slightly, and I'm liking them more...
I've made their heads BIGGER, because as everyone knows, bigger = CUTER!
Vintage Style Bluebirds in my Etsy shop: Melanie's Menagerie
Going against this logic though, I made the eyes smaller...but it seems to work!

Also, I'm pretty proud of my deer: (if I do say so myself!)

Now, if I could just get better at taking pictures!!! Grrrr
I feel like I'm getting better at needle felting. As my confidence grows, I feel more confident about raising the prices of my creations (just a little.) I have to say, money is not my main goal, but I compare my animals to others that are for sale on Etsy, and others are way way way higher (for the most part.)  And I look at other stores' # of sales and think "Geez, SOMEone out there is paying those high prices....why couldn't I get a little more for mine?"  Maybe people look at mine and think "She's so much cheaper.... I wonder why?"
I guess most crafters go through this line of thinking....and I would think that at some point this transition has to happen the more experience and exposure you gain.
At this point. as my experience is growing, but not my exposure.  I have to take time out of crafting to focus on different ways to draw people in.  BUT I LOVE CRAFTING! lol  
Guess I'm just going to keep plugging along....because this is FUN! :)
Any thoughts/comments are always appreciated!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My latest Etsy addition...

3 of the Coolest Birdies Around
I've had one of my best months on Etsy and have met some great fellow artists/crafters online! It's so exciting for me when I hear the noise on my phone that lets me know I've made a sale!
I've been working on a slightly new look for my bluebirds...but in the meantime I made these little robin-type birds all bundled up for winter!
I painted their little claws with metallic gold paint...wasn't sure what color would be best, but I like the way the gold turned out.
Everybody have their holiday shopping done? I haven't even started! lol....I'm having too much fun crafting!
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Etsy Additions!

Just listed the needle felted animals and dolls that I've been working on....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OMG! Cuteness for a Cause!

If you know how to knit, then you might feel good about donating your talents to an awesome cause! Endangered animals need sweaters!
Click this link for info:SPRING 2011 Newsletter. How cute would it be to see an animal in an ugly Christmas sweater?!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free Day of the Dead clip art from Dover Publications!

Check out the free DAY OF THE DEAD clipart from Dover publications! If you subscribe to their email list, you’ll get free clipart every month!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Old Wedding Photographs!

I found a plethora of old photographs at the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, IL.
They are from different photography studios from Chicago...

I find them fascinating....

I look into their eyes and wonder who they were, what they were feeling...

...were they happy?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Garage Sale Finds!

So I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of elephant figurines under a table in a box on my way out of a garage sale. Got 'em for a buck a piece, along with a Charlie Brown Christmas book. Not bad, not bad at all...

George Good Elephant on Scale

Now, when I saw the Josef Originals Elephant, I was surprised to find it was larger than I thought it would be, having seen it before in collectible books and on Ebay....SOOOO CUTE!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And the Buttons are Cool, Too!
The other day my husband and I were at a bike shop and on the counter there was a display (with free buttons that featured this nice red, white and blue logo with different style bikes!) and a clipboard petition for people to sign. "A movement to improve the future of biking."

The buttons in the display were all different, with many styles of bikes (see picture) I like the retro style in the middle of the bottom row...
Of course, I signed the petition...I'm all for improving, biking, and the future, after all.  
I'm all for drivers being more AWARE of bikers too: wonder if that's part of the agenda...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chipmunks Galore!

My husband is one of those rare guys that drags his girl to the park. I'm always glad when he does, of course, because suddenly I'm breathing in fresh air that I need. I'm also appreciative of the sounds, smells and sights that I wouldn't otherwise see sitting in my craft room or reading inside.
So we're riding our bikes through these great wooded trails, the weather is absolutely perfect, and I've got a great rhythm going. Suddenly a cute little chipmunk comes dashing across the trail right in front of my bike! 

He made it across unharmed and I smiled because I was able to see him really good and he was just a fuzzy ball of adorableness. And I thought to myself that squirrels and chipmunks seem like they have that silly tendency to tempt fate and jump out in front of something. Such a rascal!

So since Autumn has arrived and chipmunks are scattering through the leaves, I wanted to share that I came across Robin Joy Andreae's website and have been enchanted with every new realistic and whimsical addition!
I came along Robin's site and have been enchanted with each new additon!  Very realistic and whimsical too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Autumn Creatures added to my Etsy shop!

I'm adding new stuff to my store and it feels good. :)
It's the first day of AUTUMN today! And what a beeeeau-U-tiful day it was! John and I took a bike ride through a park and the weather was just perfect!
Here's a few pics that I took of some Halloweeny/Autumn needle felted animals that I just made and added:

Little Brown Squirrel with Acorn

Check out those choppers!

Not sure if I want to make this a cake topper or not...
I'm loving how my little squirrels evolved...

Friday, September 2, 2011

FotoFlexer - The world's most advanced online photo editor

Just came across this online feature and thought I would share it with my fellow bloggers, just in case I'm not the only one who didn't know about it!
I wanted to "antique" some of my Deadutante photos and found FOTOFLEXER, which allows you to easily upload a photo and do just about anything you want with it! Then you can save the photo with its changes back on to your computer.

And here I thought I needed Photoshop!

Monday, August 29, 2011

More attempts to capture the DEADutantes...

I think these pics look a little better....

I did list two of the dolls just because if I wait until I'm happy and think everything is PERFECT...then I'll NEVER get them posted! lol
If you would like to see the listings, here is the link to my Etsy shop.