December is an anniversary—December 5 to be exact! This is how those housepanthers inspire me—ten years ago I took photos of five-month-old Giuseppe, Mewsette, Mr. Sunshine and Jelly Bean watching birds at the feeder, and this was one of the photos that helped make them permanent members of my household, and it became a design I love and led to yet another. What more could I ask of a bunch of kittens?
In 2011 I had an idea and remembered those four little beans in silhouette at the window, and out of that I designed two of my favorite designs ever: Star of Kittens and Star of Wonder. But it all started with those wonderful little black kittens who came to me, and stayed, and still inspire me every day.
We don’t really celebrate any one tradition for the winter holidays, but we enjoy sharing traditions of all our friends. I had created the six-pointed star as part of an invitation I designed for a non-denominational holiday musical celebration several years ago.
It could have been that, while I worked on that design on my computer, one or more young black cats found the star intensely interesting against the black background of the design and an idea was born, a universal message for the season, with cats. I remembered the photos of those Four when they were kittens, silhouettes looking out the big window at the birds and the snow, then it was night and there was a star…
I really like this design, and it was just what I’d envisioned.
And then once I saw that design I realized there was another, more serious design developing in there. Soon I was looking for the purr-fect silhouette. You’ve seen me use daily sketches for new designs for merchandise, but I’ve also used daily photos. I remembered a feline silhouette from a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth in the pendant lamp that I used for my annual Independence Day post Oooh! Aaah! I wanted to be certain to capture every single hair and whisker of that silhouette—it was very fun and worth every minute to isolate all those furs and whiskers so that his silhouette would look authentic.
And there it was, a little more serious than the first design, just a cat, a star, and the blue of a winter night, and it can take on any meaning you’d like. It’s one of the favorites in my collection of greeting cards.
I thank them every day for the inspiration they bring me.
The cards are 5″ x 7″ printed on 12 pt. matte card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.
I call this design “Star of Kittens” and it’s available as a greeting card and as a gift bag on Portraits of Animals.
Inside the card reads: “…they look-ed up, and sa-aw a star …
…and they WANTED it!
I call this design “Star of Wonder” and it’s available as a greeting card and as a gift bag on Portraits of Animals.
This card is blank inside.
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! —