Small Business “Cat”-urday Specials

black and white photo of five black cats
All five waiting in line for their dinner.

I’ve added wood-mounted artwork, placemats, two new keepsake box sets and replaced a set that sold!

Support small home-based black cats and 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 black cat-themed items already available and custom-made—and a few things I’m working on right now!

matted framed sketch of cat
A Dozen Shades of Gray, matted and framed © B.E. Kazmarski

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.

Browse for black cat images 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 their individual names in the categories. I have created items from many of these images and review a few popular ones here.


Wood Mounted Art and Photos

photo of art mounted on wood blocks
Introductory selection of art and photos mounted on wood blocks.

I love matting and framing my artwork, and even visualize a piece in mat and frame while I’m working, yet I’ve been finding ways to break free from the complications of mat, frame and glass for wall and display art for years—and I’m really happy with the way these wood blocks turned out!

The blocks, originally intended for painting, are 1/8″ birch wood panels “cradled” with 1″ x 1″ wood added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging. And because they have wide sides the smaller ones can even stand up on a tabletop or shelf. I’ve painted the sides either black or natural white and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish. I love the clean lines and modern look, and can’t wait to work with other colors and sizes.

I began with several images from which I had plenty of feedback and which would also work in this medium. Because my daily sketches are often 5″ x 7″ or smaller, these blocks are ideal especially the smaller square format. I’ll be taking better photos of each of these and posting them on Etsy, but I couldn’t wait to get them out there. Most of the blocks are 4″ x 4″, in front you see “The Eye Model” and behind two small ink sketches, “Looking Out the Window” and “Three After Dinner Baths”. I’ve also included “Everyone’s On My Desk” and “Spooked on Halloween” in the small blocks.

And because “First Light” was so popular the other day I’ve included it on an 8″ x 10″ along with “A Sunny Room”, and “World Cat” on an 8″ x 8″ panel.

They range in price from $12.00 to $25.00 and come in a variety of sizes that will accommodate many photographs and sketches—including a 6″ x 8″ panel that will perfectly fit my cartoon “Being Used as a Fort”. See them all on Etsy. I can’t wait to make more!


Five Black Cats Placemats

placemat with five black cats
The Birthday Party placemat

I’ve been working on several ideas for placemats and discouraged at the price of the prints on the absorbent materials and various fabrics, but I’ve always got the good old laminated placemat to fall back on, so I’m featuring two of the most popular photos of The Five—and the nice thing about these is they can be double-sided with two different images.

“The Birthday Party” features all five lined up and eating breakfast on the Fantastic Four’s birthday with Mama Mimi joining in the celebration, and on the back “Five Black Cats in a Line” when we were celebrating “Black Cat Day”.

I also have “Five Black Cats in a Line” backed with the black and white version/halftone of the same photo (used as the header photo on this post) that gives it the look of a vintage newspaper clipping.

They are 11.5″ x 17.5″, printed double-sided on 120# card stock then laminated with heat-sealed 5 mil laminate trimmed 1/4″ larger than the print with rounded corners. They can be dunked in dishwater or wiped down with just about anything to clean, just avoid any abrasives to avoid scratching the laminate. Use as a mat under your cat’s food bowl, water bowl, your own food bowl, or just for decoration on a table or counter.

I sell them singly on Etsy, but I’ll also sell them as sets of two or four—just ask!

Victoriana Cats Keepsake Box Set

"Victoriana Cats" Keepsake Box Set

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and crackle-finish gold and cream with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 6″x4″, 5″x3″ and 4″x2.5″ in diameter x 3″ high.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural color for “Victoriana Cats”, and I’ve been waiting to try a new crackle-finish glaze–this was the perfect subject. The base color is a pale antique gold, pulling mid-range highlights in the sepia-look photos, with a natural white top coat nicely crackled. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

This set is available on Etsy, and scroll down to see the greeting card set.


Victoriana Cats Greeting Card Set

set of four sepia images of black cats
Victoriana Cats in dreamy semi-sepia tones

Though these photos may look antique and sepia-toned, they are neither. My cats are perfect models and knew to pose in the bright yellow morning sun in front of my round antique mirror and the narrow casement window with the lace curtain. I applied a few Photoshop filters to the original photos to make them consistent in tone and style.

Use them for all-purpose greeting cards, sympathy, thinking of you, friendship, or find some shabby chic frames for 5″ x 7″ images and frame them for your walls. Find these in my Etsy shop in sets of four or a dozen.

I also have this design available on a small set of keepsake boxes.


Compositions in Black and Green Keepsake Box Set

Compositions in Black and Green keepsake box set

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and mint green with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 6″x4″, 5″x3″ and 4″x2.5″ in diameter x 3″ high.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural color for “Compositions in Black and Green”, and while I avoid mixing colors because they are difficult to repeat later I mixed the shade of green to work coordinate with the famous mint green sink. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

This set is available on Etsy, and scroll down to see the 2013 calendar. A set of four greeting cards is also available on Etsy.


calendar cover with black cat
Compositions in Black and Green

Compositions in Black and Green 2013 Calendar

Shop for sets of items beginning with “Compositions in Black and Green 2013 Calendar” and related items such as keepsake boxes, coasters, mounted images for wall or tabletop, and greeting cards for an all-around gift.

The calendar features 12 popular images of the Fantastic Four and their Mama Mimi in the mint green and white bathroom. Each calendar page also features other smaller images as well, so it’s a feast of black cats containing about four dozen images.

The calendar is a 5.5″ x 8″ spiral-bound and is bound two ways: across the top so that it hangs like a wall calendar, or down the left so that it opens like a journal.

photo of cat looking in mirror
"God, I'm Cute" greeting card set.

Click here to browse some of the images included in this calendar. To order, please visit the Calendars page on The Creative Cat.

You can also choose from the set of cards featuring four of the images that inspired this set on Etsy or you can just find the most popular image, “God, I’m Cute”, also on Etsy.

Some of the things I’m—oops!—still making are the individual and sets of keepsake boxes, coasters, and 5″ x 7″ images mounted on plain wood blocks for wall or tabletop.

A set of keepsake boxes is also available on Etsy, as well as a set of four greeting cards.


Blue Cats Round Keepsake Box Set

round keepsake box set
Blue Cats keepsake box set.

These balsa-wood boxes are hand-painted in Caribbean blue with prints of three sketches featuring the same shade of blue. Prints are decoupaged to the lid then lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge.

Unlike most other keepsake box sets, these are all the same size, 4″ diameter x 2.5″ high. Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a color that coordinates with the artwork and paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

In the order above the names of the sketches are: “Mother and Daughter, Sun and Shadow “ in watercolor pencil; “Love Cats” in rose and blue pastel pencil; and “Kelly’s Nap” in watercolor pencil.

Find this set and others on Etsy.


Your 25% Discount

Click on the image to download your coupon.

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!


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.

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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats.

From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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