May is warm colors and bright flowers and more sunshine as every day grows longer, and my May 2017 Feline Sampler welcomes the outdoors in a vase of flowers, through the windows and in the garden.
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: “We’re Going Outside, Right?”, pastel, 8” x 11″, matted for 11” x 14” frame
Counter print: “A Pile of Socks”, charcoal sketch, 8” x 10”
SELECTED GREETING CARDS
- Sympathy Card: “Peaches Naps in the Sun”
- Feline Fine Art Card: “Peaches and Peonies”
- Photo Card: “Gosh, I’m Cute“
- Note card: “I Like Your Spots“
- All-purpose greeting Card: The Perfect Place
- Gift Bag: World Cat
Vintage Cigar Box Keepsake designs vary
“Tabbies”, Primaries hand-printed wrapping paper.
About the contents
Featured Print: “We’re Going Outside, Right?”
It’s the first day of spring and a gorgeous morning. Mimi waits by the door, keeping an eye on me over her shoulder so I don’t wander from the kitchen and forget the importance of getting outside before the busy part of the day begins. It’s a position and an expression I see on her face most days, even cold or inclement ones, and I also saw Cookie and Namir and Kublai in the same position with the same expression at the same back door, waiting to go out on the same deck into very similar sunny mornings.
Even though I painted this in March I still wanted to include the painting in a sampler box, and April just had to be Two Cats After van Gogh. Besides, Mimi does this every day.
The print is 8” x 11″ and I’ve matted it with a buttery pale yellow to fit into an 11″ x 14″ frame. This matted version is only available in my sampler boxes, but you can request it if you’d like one.
Counter print: “A Pile of Socks”
“Oh, thank you,” said Mr. Sunshine as he happily squinted and stepped into the pile of socks I was sorting and folding. “This is just…so nice…purrrrfect,” he said as he began purring loudly and kneading slowly and thoughtfully with both front paws.
Cats and laundry just go together as if the laundry basket had a little bell on it that only cats could hear. Finishing with the socks was out of the question right then, so I sketched him, from my angle, foreshortened, looking down on his happy face, relaxed ears, closed eyes and starfish paws.
Greeting and Note Cards
The sympathy card for this month features Peaches in Peaches Naps in the Sun, another image of Peaches in the sun in the spring.
She makes another appearance on this month’s art card in “Peaches and Peonies” because the reference photos for this painting were taken in May, and I wanted to include the colors in this month’s sampler box.
“Gosh, I’m Cute” is an oldie but a goodie and I just wanted both that sweet cuteness and that shade of green in the palette this month.
This month’s note card is an ink sketch from way back when I first began sketching, I Like Your Spots, included in the “Kitties Being Kitties” set. I needed some other coat patterns included this month, and the cards are printed on a creamy ivory stock too.
This month’s non-feline card is The Perfect Place from my In the Garden fine art greeting cards collection. I know many people garden or enjoy the outdoors and this painting was inspired by finding one of those perfect quiet spots to spend a few minutes and just “be”.
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 World Cat, but 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: A Warm Bath Vintage Cardboard Cigar Box Keepsake (styles vary)
These cigar boxes are the old-style cardboard type, the ones we probably all grew up with around the house, holding photos and hardware and handkerchiefs. As you would expect these boxes are gently worn, in varying states of wear and tear, written on, watermarked, with holes from thumbtacks and dinged up corners and warped lids, but still usable to create something new.
The artwork is printed on acid-free label stock and adhered to the top surface. Because the lids are a little warped and flip open if the box is tipped, I’ve added a small ribbon and Velcro closure on the front.
Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.
Packaging the Sampler Box
I went with “Tabbies” again for my May sampler box.
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 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 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 helps me with cutting mats for the Sampler Box prints
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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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!
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