Well, I went ahead and designed a set of signs and made the first few.
Last month my neighbor started some deconstruction/reconstruction in his yard and I ended up with a pile of weathered wood from steps and a deck that I’ll use in various ways, including probably a few signs, and that was what got me thinking about signs to begin with. Then he took out an old stockade fence that was very weathered, all the wood so nicely gray and lightweight, and it took that too, knowing the time for signs was near.
So a few weeks ago I started doodlin around in my studio with the wood from the stockade fence since it was smaller and easier to play around with. Each board is only 3.5″ wide, and though I can attach several together to make larger signs I’m working with just the width for now. Plus, I have a finite amount so I may just wait and see if larger wood comes along. I designed two signs which are in this set, and I also standardized the size of the sign to 10″ wide. That meant the potato chip cats only had three silhouettes rather than four, but it made planning and cutting wood much easier.
These signs are hand-painted, not stenciled. I was a sign painter 30 years ago and I’ve wanted to paint some decorative signs since they’ve become popular again. I gave the wood and the paint and two designs a try, then decided on four designs and started painting.
The wood is very rough and weathered so I give it a sanding, then wipe it down with a tack cloth. There is no way to smooth out the surface so I just deal with it as I paint. I cut stencils of each of the designs so that I could draw it out on the wood more easily than chalking the back of paper and outlining things.
I have more ideas too…but here are the first four designs. I paint each sign individually in acrylic paint and the wood surface varies so each sign is unique. Each of these signs measures 10″ wide x 3.5″ tall and has a sawtooth hanger on the back. You can also find all of these and possibly more on the page of Signs in my Handmade Gift Gallery on Portraits of Animals.
Discount for local pickup
I have a discount for local people who would like to pick up their order since that saves me the cost of shipping and handling. If you are local and would like to pick up your sign, or any other order, use the code LOCALPICKUP for $5.00 off.
Peace, Love and Cats
Unlike nearly every other feline design I offer, no part of this design is adapted from a sketch or painting I’ve already created. I just made it up. But it was my very first idea and I was so excited to paint it.
Cats Are Like Potato Chips, It’s Hard to Have Just One
I remember having seen this quote on a refrigerator magnet in a friend’s house at least 25 years ago. It probably had some resonance with those who remember the Lay’s potato chip commercial. I’ve not seen it since and I have no idea who came up with it, but it’s totally true and it’s not copyrighted, so I decided I had to use it. It makes everyone laugh when I say it.
The cat silhouette design is adapted from one of my daily sketches, “Pink Sunshine”. Because I wanted the cat silhouettes to look like a repeating pattern I wanted them to be as identical as possible. In this case handpainting, because of the wood surface, didn’t give me the effect I wanted, I cut a stencil for the cat silhouettes and then add the whiskers.
Home is Where the Cat Is
My back yard in the morning is a great creative place for me. While I’m working in my garden and around my house for an hour or two, early, I’m also thinking through yesterday’s ideas to make them today’s realities. I’d been thinking of signs, and begun to visualize a few of them on the wood I’d gathered. Then Mewsette did this on the steps to the deck.
I added the rest of her in a shape that worked, and knew I wanted a dangling tail for interest. Initially I planned to curve the text around her back, but since the wood is narrow and I want to keep it simple I decided to place the text where it naturally fit—in the space underneath reinforcing her position on the step.
Home is Where the Cats Are
Because, well, “cats are like potato chips”, I had to have a sign for those of us with multiple cats. I adapted the two silhouettes from my daily sketch “Morning at the Window” featuring Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean butt to butt, but nicely positioned for the text treatment I had in mind. The phrase “home is where the cats are” divides evenly into three words and three words, but the second half is a little short so I added a heart at the end. Why not?
You can read a little more about the sketch.
Mimi doesn’t want me to use her wood pile for signs.
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” .
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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.
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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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