We’ve been celebrating black cats in honor of Black Cat Friday, but because Cookie was my Shop Cat” when I had a room at Carnegie Antiques, and because her visage as “The Goddess” is the identity of my handmade goods section of Portraits of Animals, today’s post features goods with Cookie on them, and of course Kelly for both of my “tortie girls”.
Pictured above, you know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.
On the back:
“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006
“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.
Inside at left.
With a minimum order of two dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).
This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.
Holiday Greeting Cards and Customization
It’s time to order holiday cards for personal use or for your professional practice, and of course, I offer holiday cards featuring my cats! I also offer holiday cards featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography. All cards are designed from my photographs and paintings which you can purchase individually, as a mixed set or a set of all the same design. In addition to my commercially-printed cards I also have two designs which are hand-printed as block prints for a completely unique card which becomes original art.
Customized messages inside the card…
Some designs have a message inside, others are blank, but I can custom print a message for you for $2.50 per dozen for a minimum of two dozen of the same design, but for Holiday cards ordered before November 30 you may have your cards customized inside with black text or logo at no extra charge. Please allow two weeks for delivery for special orders.
Browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop. You may order directly from there for single cards and sets of six or a dozen and use your discount. For larger orders and for customized orders, please e-mail me so we can discuss and I’ll send you a customized invoice that reflects your discount.
In the Kitchen with Cookie
If you’ve followed my daily photos on The Creative Cat you may be familiar with my photos of Cookie interacting with properly-warmed pasta bowls, enamel pots and glass salad bowls in the series called “In the Kitchen With Cookie”. I was lucky enough to catch her in the act through the years photographing a dozen amusing images of Cookie exploring alternate uses for these items.
A number of readers requested a calendar which sounds like a wonderful idea to me, especially as a tribute to a part of Cookie’s unforgettable curiosity that still makes me laugh. The calendar is a 5.5″ x 8″ spiral-bound calendar printed on 100# matte-finish text paper so it’s easy to write on but the art still looks bright and crisp.
Each page will include one main photo of Cookie caught in the act which was either taken during that particular month or is themed for that month, plus other photos of Cookie from the same and related explorations. A monthly calendar includes basic holidays, moon phases and a few other things and room for notes at the bottom. I’ll also include a recipe here and there since that’s really what we were doing in the kitchen!
I decided on that size for the sake that it can be bound across the top so that it hangs like a wall calendar, or bound down the left so that it opens like a journal. I will have both variations available for sale, so be sure to choose Wall Calendar or Journal Style when you purchase. Wall Calendar is the default choice.
As a complement to the calendar, I am also designing from the images in this calendar a number of complementary products such as placemats, pet bowl mats and memo pads.
Click here to browse some of the images included in this calendar. I will also post finished pages.
You can purchase this calendar directly from this page using the button directly below, though I will soon have it in my Etsy shop and on Amazon.com.
Wall Calendar, bound across the top and drilled for a hook or nail.
Journal Calendar, bound on the left side to open like a book.
Visit my Calendars page on this site to see other calendars I’m offering this year.
I’ve found another place to show off my tortie girls! As another selection of designs in the keepsake items I’m creating with my artwork, I found wooden trays that fit these prints perfectly.
About the trays
These are lightweight 10″ x 13″ pine wood trays each with a hand-colored and signed block print of my tortie girls, “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, decoupaged in the bottom. Inside of the tray is painted pure white, outside and upper edge is painted pure black with a matte finish on the entire tray. Click here to read about how I make the trays.
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.
I am unendingly inspired by my houseful of felines, especially those two tortoiseshell calicos. I print these by hand from a hand-cut linoleum block, then each individually is hand-painted in watercolor.
Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.
Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.
You may see some paper wrinkling in these prints in the trays; the rice paper tends to pucker up when the ink dries with printing, then again when I watercolor them. I actually iron them to stretch them, but they are never entirely flat. I had originally wanted the prints to look as if they were printed on the trays themselves though that is impossible with the block printing technique, but I think the paper wrinkles adds an interesting element of texture to the trays.
“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.
Where to find these trays available on Portraits of Animals on Etsy:
Pair them up with handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted Tortie Girls textiles
I’ve always offered my block print designs on a variety of textiles, from tees to tablecloths, one of the reasons I love that medium. I had wanted to find a washable alternative to the oil-based inks I’d been using, and the cold-set fabric dye I’d long used to paint the Tortie Girls designs was no longer available. Beginning last summer I experimented with various inks and fabric paints and came up with a combination of materials that are easy to use and washable, widely available and non-toxic and in addition to the tees I have a line of textiles.
Tortie Girls Tablecloths and Runner
I keep a bolt of unbleached cotton muslin on hand for these little accent tablecloths. Each 36″ x 36″ tablecloth has the same image printed four times, one on each edge. The Roundest Eyes table runner is 11″ x 36″. Each is signed and dated below the design and has my handwritten “label” reading “handmade, hand-printed, hand-painted” and the year. Washing instructions are included on a separate tag. I have only one of each tablecloth and one table runner—for now!
Tortie Girls Placemats
I made these extra-large 15″ x 19″ placemats of sturdy cotton duck with the edges stay-stitched and fringed. Each is signed and dated below the design as any of my art is, so it’s art for your table! I have six of “The Goddess”, left, and four of “The Roundest Eyes”, right, and they are for sale in sets. You can find them in my shop on Etsy and see more detail shots of them as well.
The “Cat” Shopping Weekend
Support small home-based businesses, conserve air quality, save money, shop in your jammies and pet your kitties all at the same time. Friday, November 23 through Monday, November 26, The Creative Cat is offering 25% off all cat-themed items already available and custom-made—and a few things I’m working on right now!
I find it imperative to create things that will benefit the adoption of black cats, so often left behind in the shelter by using the five wonderful black cats who live with me. They’ll show the world that everyone needs to have at least one black kitty in their life, and, at least in my house, the more the merrier! I strive to include silly, cute and artful photos and sketches in equal measure, just the thing to show others what black cats can bring to your life.
In preparation for Black Cat Friday (and Small Business “Cat”-urday and Shop Cat Sunday and Cyber-tooth Cat Monday) browse my black cat-themed items on Etsy, and a few easy suggestions I have below for things you’ll find there and here on The Creative Cat.
Or use your imagination to create a special gift—a piece of original art which I can custom frame like “A Dozen Shades of Gray”, at right, with a molding that matched the customer’s pressed tin ceiling which had been painted white. Or create a custom print, set of greeting cards, or other totally unique, handmade gift item from an image you find here. Visit the page “Ordering Custom Artwork” to get an idea of what you’d like, then start looking for images.
Click any of the links here on The Creative Cat in daily sketches, daily photos, or to see sketches or photos of the Fantastic Four all together search Fantastic Four and also Mimi, or search individual names in the categories. I have created items from many of these images and review a few popular ones here.
Your 25% Discount for Black Cat Friday Weekend
BUY FRESH, BUY LOCAL, BUY HANDMADE!
I honestly believe in supporting local businesses, small businesses, and people who offer unique, handmade goods, and I encourage all shoppers to do the same. Meet the person who made what you’ve bought knowing that what they do isn’t just a job, it’s their life, a life they love, and know where your money is going—and which cats it’s going to feed!
If you are shopping on Etsy, use the code BLACKCATFRIDAY at checkout—and remember that you can use Etsy’s Direct Checkout with your credit card and not if you don’t care for PayPal. Just choose Etsy when it asks how you’ll pay.
If you’re shopping on The Creative Cat or requesting a custom item, click on the coupon at left and download it to your computer. You can e-mail it to me or just mention it when you order.
Happy shopping! But if you miss Black Cat Friday deals between November 23 and 26, you still have a discount through November…
Your 10% Discount for all of November
For your patronage and support of my business and my art, I’m offering a 10% discount on anything you order from me during the month of November. During the month of November 2012, take 10% off any item in the two shops listed above. In Etsy, use the coupon code FRIEND10 to automatically deduct 10% from your order before shipping. Click the coupon at left to download a PDF which you can print out or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a customized invoice for your payment or refund 10% after your purchase using PayPal.
If you order a custom product I will create your invoice to reflect that discount, and if you order directly from me in person I will discount at purchase.
I only have PayPal to use for credit card acceptance (you can use PayPal without having a PayPal account), and I also accept personal checks and cash. Also, local friends can let me know I don’t need to ship their order. I will deduct the shipping cost from their order and we’ll make arrangements for pick up or delivery. Feel free to contact me if you have any problems or questions.
Mimi wants you to know that she has properly supervised all the activities in this creative process. She was with me every step of the way, all day and sometimes all night. I could not have done it without her.
And don’t forget that each purchase supports rescuing cats through my own personal efforts, through helping others and also my donations of goods to shelters and rescues for their benefit.
And this holiday season, consider at least one handmade gift or piece of original artwork from one of the thousands of artisans who stay up all night dreaming up and making by hand totally unique stuff. We can’t compete with the department stores, but they don’t do a happy dance when something sells. You’re also supporting a small business, and that’s important to all of us.
Back to work!
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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.