My July 2017 Feline Sampler celebrates enjoying summer and remembering summer kitties. I wanted to include as many bright colors and sunshine as I could plus a special gift item to use outdoors or inside.
Click each photo to see an enlarged version.
I choose contents to give you the most variety in each item. I take into account not only item but style, medium, size, subject—even a particular feline subject, color or coat pattern, or a particular anniversary with one of my feline family—as well as season, holiday, color palette and the message it sends, as with greeting cards. You’ll see a good sample of not only my work but also the beauty and inspiration of felines so that, whether you keep the contents for yourself or give them as gifts or donations, you’ll find something that fits nearly every occasion.
Below the list of contents you can read more about each of the items and why I chose them for this Sampler Box, and a link to the item on Portraits of Animals.
Featured print: Garden Sketch With Mimi, watercolor, 5” x 7”, matted for 8” x 10” frame
Counter print: They Miss You When You’re Gone, colored pencil on coquille, 5 x 7
SELECTED GREETING CARDS
- Sympathy Card: Lucy Helps to Make the Bed
- Feline Fine Art Card: Peaches’ Nap Spot
- Photo Card: Stripes on Stripe. Square Card
- Note card: In Window Light
- All-purpose greeting card: Wildlife Card, Shadow of Bison
- Gift Bag: How Do You Like Them Apples?
Feline Votive, hand etched, painted and embellished on repurposed condiment, pickle and preserve jars, each one unique
Colorful Tabbies hand-printed wrapping paper.
About the contents
Featured Print: Garden Sketch With Mimi
I chose to this painting this year for a special anniversary. This July is ten years since we lost Lucy, since I saw Mimi in my garden on that very day, nearly in this very spot, very pregnant with the four big black cats you see here every day, hunting for chipmunks to feed herself and her growing kittens, the day all our lives changed. Here she is now, and she owns that garden, napping happily while working as an artist’s model. No more hunting to feed kittens, no more running from unneutered male cats and neighbor’s dogs, no more mincing down icy sidewalks on those tiny paws. Mimi turns 15 this year and July 29, the day she came here, is her nominal birthday. While I celebrate her every day I especially want to recognize this anniversary. Of all the art and photos I’ve created of her, this one represents her change in status best of all.
It’s also one of my favorite paintings ever. Read more about Garden Sketch With Mimi.
The print is 5 x 7 and I’ve matted it with a white top mat and a red bottom mat to match the geraniums to fit into an 8” x 10” frame.
This matted version is only available in my sampler boxes, but you can request it if you’d like one.
Counter print: They Miss You When You’re Gone
Years ago the owner of the veterinary hospital I used suggested he’d like to have customized sympathy cards. The project never came to be but I kept the ink and monochrome drawings I did in working out ideas for those cards and printed my own first set of note cards in 1992.
I liked this image of the two tabbies looking out just the hint of a window. Their attention is away from us; they are doing something that is typically “cat”, and others like it for the same reason I did.
This image is one in my Kitties Being Kitties set of note cards, first set of notecards I had printed from my artwork. They are still very special to me.
Greeting and Note Cards
The sympathy card for this month features the total cuteness of Lucy, Lucy Helps to Make the Bed, in the month that marks the 10th anniversary of her passing. I chose this happy image of an active kitten as a sympathy card because I really wanted to reinforce the importantance of remembering happier times after the loss of a pet.
Peaches’ Nap Spot is this month’s feline art card because, well, I needed a calico cat in the mix, and Peaches enjoyed sleeping on her fleecy even in the heat of summer.
Stripes on Stripe is a popular photo which I’ve often sold in a square format, so I decided to also offer a square card. I like square cards. This image may not have been July, but for some reason most of my summer memories of Stanley from that year are from July.
I offer nearly every piece of artwork I have as an art card, and now and then I like to feature one, like In Window Light with its bright colors and minimal composition. It’s one of the van Gogh series and looks especially nice on a small card. I include a golden yellow envelope.
This month’s non-feline card is Shadow of Bison, a shadow of the original populations of bison in the heat of summer.
I’ve begun including gift bags in each of my gift boxes as well so you can get a closer look a them. This bag is How Do You Like Them Apples?, which I thought was a July photo but was a June photo, but really fit with the color scheme, and I needed a tortie too! Each sampler box will get a different bag depending on my arbitrary choice. Sometimes it’s fun to just let it happen and not plan every little detail.
GIFT ITEM: Feline Votives, etched, embellished and painted by hand and patterned after one of my daily cat sketches, made from a repurposed jar
On this jar I etched the entire outside of the jar to better diffuse the light from the candle, spattered the inside of the jar for the color patterned background, then painted the cat figure on the outside. Each design, shape and size is unique.
I see things others might recycle or throw away as creative possibilities. I save jars and use a fair number around the house for storage and for projects in my studio and recycle the rest. For years I’ve considered ways to make votives with my artwork just like the ones I’ve received as gifts and began saving the more interesting small jars I had for a someday project, including jars from relish and mustard, jelly and preserves, olives, jalapeños and other pickled items, salsa and other sauces, and more. Each one has its own unique quality and inspiration for me.
When summer came along and I set up my deck with all my varied votives I knew I’d found the project for those jars. I knew I wanted to both etch the glass and paint a design on it somehow, and found alcohol inks, which adhere to glass. On some jars I etched the entire outside of the jar to better diffuse the light from the candle, painted the inside of the jar with the color patterned background, then painted a figure or design on the outside. On others I etched the inside and painted my design on the outside, and on some I’ve done a combination of both.
Packaging the Sampler Box
I went with “Tabbies” again for my July sampler box even though I’d planned to print in orange. I just ran out of space in my studio.
I’ve printed “Tabbies” as note cards and a few times on textiles, but this year I decided it would be a natural for wrapping paper. It is a linoleum block print which, when I cut the block, has all four designs on one block. Each sheet of paper is hand-printed on 100# Kraft paper, about 24″ x 30″. I cut a sheet in half to wrap each of this month’s sampler boxes.
I can tell you right now that I can finally justify getting a roll of white butcher paper to print on, and I have several other ideas for printing this design on paper, some of which you’ll see in upcoming sampler boxes.
FOR YOU, FOR GIFTS, OR FOR DONATIONS
Use the prints and cards for yourself, gifts or donations to help cats. Any of the prints, whether the main print or a framed note card, can be given as a gift to a family member or friend, or as a thank you to a veterinarian or veterinary technician, pet sitter, groomer or anyone else in your life who would enjoy a cat-themed gift. They can also help other cats by being donated to online auctions or shelter and rescue events to help raise much-needed funds.
A NOTE ABOUT PACKAGING
I use as many environmentally friendly and fully non-toxic materials as possible in my packaging so I use as much recyclable paper as possible, which includes the glassine bag holding your cards. However, on the chance that you may donate or give one of your prints as gift, they are packed in a clear print bag or cellophane wrap depending on their size, and this is not recyclable but you may be able to reuse it. I both recycle any packaging I get that is clean and reusable, and use as many recyclable materials as possible. Read more here.
Read a review of my May 2016 Sampler Box from Melissa Lapierre of Melissa’s Mocha’s, Mysteries and Meows! Of course, my house panthers are all lying around here like, “of course!” http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2016/07/fun-feline-finds-creative-cat-sampler.html
Read a review of my May 2016 Sampler Box from Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat! Yes, they are still applauding themselves! http://portraitsofanimals.net/sampler-box-review-ingrid-king-conscious-cat/
Order your own Sampler Box
I’m offering a sampler box with a single box or a three month box subscription to each of the lists—visit this page to read about it and sign up for your box or sign up below. Each box will include the following items in a design appropriate to the audience, cats, nature, or specialty animal professionals or wholesale:
- a 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10” print matted and ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a new one
- an alternate print of any size, unmatted, different from the main print in media, style, subject, etc.
- several greeting cards: a sympathy card, feline art card, feline photo card, non-feline greeting card and two or more note cards, current designs and new designs
- a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance
- the “boxes” are not boxes at all because they vary so much in content so they are carefully wrapped with wrapping paper made from my designs that you can reuse
As mentioned above, these can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to shelter or rescue or other fundraisers. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer.
Find other Gift Items.
Read about other Feline Sampler Boxes on Portraits of Animals.
Order a Previously Distributed Sampler Box
You can purchase any prior Feline Sampler Box. When I send them originally I put together as many as were ordered, but unless I am completely out of a special handmade item I usually have all the contents here in my studio, though I do have to cut new mats for the artwork and print the wrapping paper. They cost a little more than the original because the extra time it takes to put one together, and when I ship several similar packages at once I get a discount.
Choose the sampler box by month.
Mimi didn’t need to work on her “birthday” and the anniversary of her rescue. It was hot, then it rained, and we never got a photo of the July sampler box. Instead, we did this. Thanks, Mimi, for all your friendship and love.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Marketplace is a feature on The Creative Cat to share the latest coming out of my studio with my readers. Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”.
Read about creating custom items
Find out more about creating custom items for your own home using the images you see here. Visit the “Ordering Custom Art” page to see samples and read bout how to order.
Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.
Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
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Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!