In honor of my fifth anniversary, I have a gift package to give away that can last all year long—and possibly even longer! One of the things that most inspired me to begin blogging was the stories of the cats I’d rescued, the rescued cats I’d met, and the people who rescued them, and the art I’d created through the years from my own cats and all the others I’d met. Being able to share those stories and art encouraged me to do even more with the art and the stories resulting in dozens of greeting cards, calendars, prints and handmade and unique items.
So what is the best way for me to share something representative of my five years of blogging, and includes a fair representation of my creative efforts?
Some people don’t send cards anymore, and many people keep journals of their days electronically, but still some of my most popular products are greeting cards and calendars. I have offered a few greeting cards with my art and photography through the years, but it wasn’t until I met this responsive audience that I had feedback to help me focus on what readers liked. As I mentioned on Tuesday in my anniversary post, response from readers was in part the reason for creating some of the merchandise, even some of the art, I offer, and the awards as well. Great Rescues Day Book and nearly all the greeting cards offered here were designed and printed after I began blogging, and for that reason I want to thank my readers with as much of my inspiration as possible.
Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package
So what’s in this package anyway? All the materials for you to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, events and any other noted or annual life event for yourself, family and friends in Great Rescues Day Book, and 70 greeting cards to meet the occasion in a mix of feline-themed cards and cards inspired by nature.
The combined value of Great Rescues and all the greeting cards would be just about $132.00. I will be offering this package of correspondence in my shop after this giveaway for $60.00, but for my anniversary as a thanks for all your reading and comments, I will be giving away this whole package of goods to one lucky winner.
Great Rescues Day Book
New format, same great kitties! If you’re familiar with Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book, this book carries on the idea in a way that’s much more permanent. This book is not dated for one year, but has all the dates in a month for you to fill in the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and social and personal events in your life.
I’ve used a day book for over 20 years and have all the arrivals and, sadly, departures of each of my cats along with my friends’ weddings, my nieces’ births and the births of their children, the day I first registered a business name, all that sort of stuff, conveniently included in one place. Below is a sample two-page spread for the month of January.
On the left is the featured portrait with the kitty’s story, below that the monthly fun quote of something feline. On the right is the month name with enough lines for all possible dates in that month. The holidays that are celebrated on a certain date are marked on that date, but ones that float, especially those Monday holidays, are explained at the bottom just to remind you that they also happen in that month. If animal-themed holidays are celebrated on a certain date, like Spay Day USA, they will also be included, but just the same if they are ones that float like Pet Memorial Sunday they will be explained at the bottom. The book is 8″ x 10″ and spiral-bound on the left edge, still small enough to be easily carried around.
I had long wanted to share those stories and the lovely kitties I’d painted. Great Rescues Calendar and Gift Book brought these stories and portraits to people who love animal rescue and feline art, but as a calendar it had a limited time to share its message. This day book still shares the stories and art, and can do that for years to come.
Although Great Rescues Day Book is a 12-month book I am still featuring from the original calendar all 15 portraits of rescued cats I’ve been commissioned to paint in the 20 years I’ve been an animal portrait artist, plus the portrait of my own which I consider my first. These portraits won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.
While the portraits are lovely and I’m proud of my body of work, the stories of these cats, and the people who rescued them, is what compels me to share them with you. Each of the stories tells of cats from shelters and cats abandoned and saved, cats found inside car engines and cats reluctantly surrendered by people who could no longer care for them, but each one has a happy ending as a cherished companion in a loving home.
And while each cat has an individual story, each rescuer has a story as well of reaching out to an animal in need to bring it in from the streets—because rescue is really about the rescuer as well as the rescued. In many cases they helped heal physical and emotional wounds and gave that cat a lifetime of love, in return receiving love and devotion; often those humans received some healing in return they weren’t aware they needed.
Great Rescues is spiral-bound and measures 8″ x 10″ to easily fit on your desk or in a purse, briefcase or backpack. While the original Great Rescues had a die-cut cover with the title stamped in gold foil, this has a solid 12 pt. printed cover for durability.
Following the calendar section is a section of stories of the rescuers and their feline families today and notes on the design and rendering of each of the portraits, followed by a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings. I’ve also redesigned my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits, to fit the new size, as seen below.
Greeting card sets in this collection
Most likely you’re familiar with my feline-oriented greeting cards for sympathy, holidays, and all-occasion. For nearly as long as I’ve photographed and painted cats, I’ve photographed and painted flowers, gardens, the woods and fields, the essences of nature that I love, and once I’d begun offering feline greeting cards I also designed and printed greeting cards inspired by nature. At one time they were all different sizes but at one point I made them all 5″ x 7″ so they could assort with each other, and I didn’t have to have eight different styles of envelopes on hand! In addition to the feline cards you’ll expect in this package, I’m also offering two sets non-feline cards for those occasions as well. All cards come with matching envelopes, and each set of cards will be packaged in an individual greeting card box.
I’ll start with those since they are likely all new.
These are designed from my own photos of my garden and yard and my walks along trails and natural areas. Each photograph inspired a sentiment and thus became this line of simple greetings, so unlike most other cards I design which only feature the image, these actually have a message on the outside of the card including sympathy, birthday, get well, inspiration and friendship. All cards are blank inside.
At left, two pink tulips bring a warm and cheerful message for friendship, sympathy, support or just a hello, “Because You Are My Friend”. At right, two young ferns in the woods along the trail where I regularly walk sprout, unfurl and become BFFs—”Best Ferny Fronds”—in “You’re My Best Frond”.
Click here to see all the designs and read a little more about each in my online Marketplace.
These cards feature my favorite paintings of gardens and still lifes, many scenes from my own yard and home. They have only the art outside and are blank inside, and I think just as many people have framed them as have sent them as greeting cards.
At left a still life of the really old-fashioned roses in my yard, a fragrant old deep red tea rose and a bright pink pasture rose in a little daily sketch I did in my dining room in “Small Roses”, because the sketch was about 4″ x 6″.
At right a watercolor of tulips in an old rusty teapot on a sunny windowsill, put together from photos I’d taken in “Tea for Tulips”.
Click here to see all the designs in the set.
Each of the cats depicted here was or is one of mine and the dogs are ones I’ve come to know through friends and art customers. I am currently working on more dog images; I take the use of an animal’s image in one of my designs very seriously and while I have many lovely photos and have been offered many more, I feel I need to know my subjects before I use their image.
I have also found that people use these cards for human sympathy or even for “thank you”, “thinking of you” and even romance, especially for those who share a love for animals. Loss is about love, and when I designed these I focused on that love instead of the pain.
Click here to read a little more about each of the cards.
I find people use these cards for all sorts of greetings, from invitations to parties to friendly hellos and thinking of yous to sympathy at the loss of a pet or even a person. Others have taken their favorites and slipped them into 5″ x 7″ frames for their wall.
These greeting cards are created from paintings of the cats with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life—and that includes a few friends’ cats as well. I’ve included a mix of pastel and watercolor and a mix of styles, from realistic detail to loose impressionistic scenes so you have a choice for all occasions. Cards have only the image on the front, are blank inside, and carry the title of the painting and information about it on the back, you can write inside it whatever you want.
Click here to read a little more about each of the cards.
You’ve seen this set over and over recently! This set includes a mix of photos, sketches and illustrations, some with a greeting inside and some without, and some can even be used as all-occasion cards. These cards come with red envelopes.
Click here to see the designs and read more.
As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season? I posted many of these photos on The Creative Cat for my daily photos during 2010, and from the feedback decided I needed to have Halloween cards! I added a new one this year from a daily sketch. Each of the cats depicted here is one of mine except the calico who belongs to my neighbor–and I just had to use that photo!
Click here to read more.
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.
Click here to read more about Victoriana Cats.
The set includes two familiar images, but really focuses on one kitty—Jelly Bean! “God, I’m Cute” pictures Jelly Bean admiring himself in the mirror long offered as a greeting card, and “Drink Straight From the Tap” shows the Fantastic Four all drinking from the sink faucet at the same time. The new designs are “Composition in Green and Black”, offered by request but one of my favorite atmospheric images of Jelly Bean dozing in the sun on the edge of the sink, and “Toe Cleaning in Green and Black”, the Bean once again in a close-up capture of activity with the mint green sink reflecting on Bean’s black fur and paws.
Feline Christmas Greetings (2)
Favorite Photos (2)
. . . . . . .
That may sound like a lot of cards, but believe it or not, it’s not all the cards I offer! I also have wildlife cards, and cards made from my nature paintings, and a set called “My Home Town” that is my paintings and sketches of Carnegie! But I love giving others a means of sending a message.
For the giveaway
- Giveaway is for one full “Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package” as described above.
- Giveaway will start today, January 30, 2014, and be finished at midnight PST on Friday, February 7, 2014 (extended one day for extenuating circumstances).
- All comments to this post are eligible—if you are not interested but want to comment anyway, please add that to your comment, but if you are visiting this post in a reader or on Facebook, please come to the post on my blog to comment—I don’t always see comments on other social networks. It’s much appreciated if you share on social media, but, as always, this is difficult for me to track so it doesn’t increase your chances.
- I will email the winner on Saturday, February 8, 2014. If the winner does not reply in 48 hours, I will choose another.
Would you like to buy one now, or put in an order for one if you don’t win?
Send me an email and let me know. UPDATE: “Felines and Flowers All-occasion Greetings Package” is now available in my Etsy shop!
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”, whether that’s here on The Creative Cat, in my Etsy shop, on my main website or even at one of the bricks and mortar shops that carry my work.
Read about creating custom items
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.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
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Browse some rescued cats and kittens!
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.