My display shelves in this room are empty right now and Mariposa has been exploring them. She likes to get to the top level, and from there she learned she could leap up onto the op of the big entertainment unit in here. Bella often hops up there to nap, and Basil has been frequenting it lately too, but they can jump from the dresser the display shelves sit on all the way up to the spot, while Mariposa really can’t jump that high. I’m not surprised she figured it out and made it to the heights of the room. She is a very curious and active kitty!
Right behind her, back in the corner, is a basket that she sleeps in, the one she likes best. There are other baskets and other sleeping spots and she tried them all.
It’s cozy up there generally. The ceiling is only about 18 above that surface, the light is dim, and the furnace duct to the second floor goes up that wall in that corner, so it’s toasty warm. And she gets to see the whole room for once. As the smallest kitty, this gives her some advantages!
Always something new!
I posted the Mewsette section of this video as a reel on Instagram, then decided to add the Mimi portion of it and make one longer video.
Mewsette celebrates a warm sunny afternoon in the garden with a little dance on her garden chair. Lots of face rubs and body rubs, it all belongs to Mewsette.
Mimi likes to walk along the top board of the wood pile instead of down that old messy brick walk. Today, instead of climbing all over her favorite wicker chair, she jumps out the opening in the back to explore some rustlings in the brush; we heard them yesterday too.
I’ve been working out in the garden for an hour or so each day. I hadn’t been taking the time for it, not just this year but several, but I missed both the garden and nice yard and the physical activity. I was developing a knot in my left hip area that I thought might be the first signs of another hip replacement coming up! That’s all gone at the moment. Of course, it’s all under the watchful supurrvision of Mimi and Mewsette.
After Mewsette’s purrformance on the chair I finished setting up this long garden bed along the fence. The triangular thing is two old shower doors angled together with my geraniums underneath. I have old storm windows that I lay side by side slightly angled over the rest of it and I’ll be planting spinach in there tomorrow, snow peas in one of my barrels. We’ll see if the groundhog wakes up in time or the deer get their hooves on my food.
It’s taken me a few years to get my garden back from it being overgrown for a few years around my hip replacement. I had some small sumac and wild black cherry trees in there that I had cut back but had to dig out the roots. And that entire area you see was famously filled with burdock and Virginia stickseed. Dug them all out. Next I’ll work on that brick path and work my way down. The next section has three long narrow beds outlined with wood with brick paths between, then another long brick path parallel to the one at the top. After that is a big square section. The compost bin goes in the upper corner at the end of the picket fence, then there are two long beds along the fence. I can’t wait!
From the Back Yard and Beyond
From Portraits of Animals
And hey, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Even though it’s now past Valentine’s Day you may still want to send a special message to someone. You can find these three cards and more on Portraits of Animals.
From around this date in past years
Everyone’s a Critic, 2022
“Seriously? You call yourself an artist? Those things don’t look like cats to me. Is this some sort of abstract art?” Midnight Louie is aghast at the cats I’m painting for a book cover.
What’s wrong with them?
“What’s wrong with those cats? They have dirt or something all over them.”
You’ve never seen cats marked like that?
“I have. I thought there was something wrong with them.”
You mean because they are not purrfectly sleek and solid black?
“Yes. Why would a cat want to be otherwise? You have plenty of shades of black here. You could fix them.”
This is how the woman who commissioned me to paint them wants them to look.
“Humans are known for poor judgement. You could set her right.”
I could, and then I could get the work done so I can get your shreds with gravy.
“That is not a choice.”
It is, as I always say, that’s why we have art, we can make the kitties any color we want. And it’s okay. I like all those other colors too. Of course, though black cats are the most beautiful.
“I’m still not convinced they have to look like that. But at least you have some taste and judgement.”
Update on Simba
He’s doing well as long as he stays on the medication, even with the urinary diet. That’s what was recommended so I’ve held off on a veterinary visit to give it enough time to take effect. It may just take some time for the diet to have its full effect, but I have the feeling I’ll need to take him for a thorough workup, blood tests and urinalysis, not just an exam. We’ll see how income rolls this spring, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover this testing and then also senior workups for the four siblings. I guess we’ll see.
They’re not sure why, but the kitchen is the place to be right now. I’ll just leave them and their uncertain tails to figure it out.
Not sure how much Mimi would enjoy a bike ride, but I certainly would at this point. The streets are clear, the sun is out, and it’s fairly warm. I may need to take a ride down to Main Street this afternoon.
I couldn’t resist!
My first bike ride this year, actually my first bike ride in about 5 years, one hip replacement and diagnosis of mild emphysema later.
Back in 2017, my old bike was causing me some pretty extreme back pain and numbness in my hands from the angle of my hands on the handlebars. In spring 2018 I bought this bike, a purple Schwinn Cruiser, the bike I always wanted, on clearance when Kmart was closing, much better for the kind of riding I do today. That was also about the time when my hip was really starting to go, and I never got to ride this bike.
Hip replacement in October 2019, summer and fall 2020 were busy with home repairs and cleaning up after two years with a really bad hip, summer and fall 2021 were vendor shows and getting back to business.
Finally, midwinter 2022, I get to ride my bike around the block. It’s built for cruising, and I have a basket and panniers for my camera and art supplies, or for my groceries. I’m looking forward to getting back on two wheels.
From around this date in past years
To Snow or Not to Snow, 2021
To walk in the snow, or to stand there and yell at me for it. Mimi did some of both. Below, she considers something, then tells me off.
But she did eventually try stepping into the snow. I’m not sure what she had her eye on, but she wanted to get there. A step or two and she was back on the deck.
Something skittering around in the stack of baskets. It turned out to be a wren who flew out of the baskets after the girls went back inside. Very exciting!
Jellybean is experiencing basket envy, because there aren’t two other empty baskets right there beside him, he wants the one where Bella is sleeping.
February 3: Morning staff meeting. Basil, Bella, and Mr. Sunshine in attendance. The boss, Mimi, on my lap. I used the landscape setting on my cell phone so I could get all of them in the picture. Interesting angle.
January 20: What a little princess in her nest of warm and purring housepanthers.
January 15: We really should have a ride, don’t you think? Mewsette is really not the type for a bike ride, but we can think about it.
Mimi admires her shadow. Enjoying a sunny morning on the deck.
January 13: Mimi’s latest thing is to get into the shed. She’s telling me to open the door, now. Instead I picked her up and kissed her because she’s so cute. She was thoroughly disgusted.
Just a few more and then I’m caught up! And a few multiple photo posts from January.
From the back yard and beyond.
Petunias still happily blooming in the basement.
Rooftops and Storefronts
The view out my back window on a sunny winter day.
Remembering those endless warm, sunny and colorful afternoons with still so many photos to share.
From around this date in past years
Waiting in Line, 2020
My studio has been taken over by cats, all six of whom want my attention in one way or another. And a bowl of fruit.
Jelly Bean wants my lap. Mimi wants me to go down to the kitchen to give her a snack. Mewsette wants my chair. Amy (on the easel) wants her portrait finished. Kelly (on my computer screen) wants her portrait painted. Allegro (on the wall above her) wants his portrait framed. The bowl of fruit wants me to get that piece of forest green velour matboard already.
But, later, it turned out to be another great day for a nap on the bed! Clockwise from the top: Basil, Mimi, Jelly Bean, Mewsette (facing Basil), Mr. Sunshine kissing Bella, Giuseppe.
. . . . . . .
Photos from around this date in previous years
Bean on Angle, 2019
Sometimes those odd angles are fun and interesting.
Photos from years past.
Studio Supurrvisor, 2018
I do regularly spend time in the studio making new things. I don’t usually make five new things in three weeks, though. Even though this cat show is an annual event it snuck up on me—I attended it years ago but with one thing and another over the years it’s been over a decade since I’ve been able to set up as a vendor. In January, when I saw others posting about attending, I realized that this year I could go, and I would go.
But after my open house in December I was out of just about everything and didn’t want to go with just my leftovers. I also see this show as a unique opportunity to reach a new audience and have been planning a new display since last year, and a list of new ideas for gift items that I didn’t make last year because of my car. Getting ready for this cat show is so much fun and very exciting thnking about what I’ll make, thinking about the people I’ll see, considering the new display I’ve been planning since last year.
Along with a couple of design assignments I knew I’d be in a crunch this week so I’d planned to give up on my regular schedule of posts here and post at least once a day to share this adventure both here and on Portraits of Animals as well as Instagram and Facebook.
I think many of my followers on Portraits of Animals are already followers of The Creative Cat and my social media, so I apologize if you’re seeing way too much of me this week. It’s all part of self-promotion too, and it never ceases to surprise me that even when I’ve shared something in five different places, followers still miss it. Social networking is inexact at best, all the more reason for putting things out everywhere more than once!
Those of you who are signed up for “The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter” will see it all one more time when I send out my summary email on Saturday morning—I hope to set up most of my display on Friday night and photograph it for that along with bits and pieces from my posts. And then when the show is over I can list it all on Portraits of Animals, so it’s available for everyone.
At this point in my adventure I’ve been up very late for the past five nights and will be again, up early each morning since life goes on while I’m doing this, and even with what I’ve been making so far I’ve only made about half of what I’d planned, nor could I replace a few representative pieces of each of the handmade items I sold last year. I keep coming up against that time and space continuum thing…but even though I haven’t met the goal of making everything in these three weeks, unreasonable as it is, tonight I had to stop starting new things and finish off everything to be sure it’s dried, tagged, and packed for setting up my display on Friday.
Thanks for following along! I’m looking forward to settling back into my routine next week, getting back to writing up my posts and preparing my photos, and sharing my fine felines and life as a somewhat erratic creative person.
Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals
They piled up for a nap on my drafting table and what could I do? Read more and purchase.
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.
Subscribe to my e-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat Preview E-newsletter.
Weekly schedule of features:
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Thursday: New Merchandise
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!