My June 2017 Feline Sampler celebrates summer colors, summer light and summer kitties, sitting in sun puddles, looking out the window, enjoying a bit of the outdoors.
Click each photo to see an enlarged version.
I choose contents to give you the most variety in each item. I take into account not only item but style, medium, size, subject—even a particular feline subject, color or coat pattern, or a particular anniversary with one of my feline family—as well as season, holiday, color palette and the message it sends, as with greeting cards. You’ll see a good sample of not only my work but also the beauty and inspiration of felines so that, whether you keep the contents for yourself or give them as gifts or donations, you’ll find something that fits nearly every occasion.
Below the list of contents you can read more about each of the items and why I chose them for this Sampler Box, and a link to the item on Portraits of Animals.
Featured print: Kitty and Buster, watercolor, 5” x 7”, matted for 8” x 10” frame
Counter print: A Dozen Shades of Gray, gray pastels, 8” x 10”
SELECTED GREETING CARDS
- Sympathy Card: Never Enough Time, But Time Enough for Love
- Feline Fine Art Card: White Cat Reflecting
- Photo Card: Kelly in Forget-me-nots
- Note card: Tabbies: Brights Hand-printed Note Card
- All-purpose greeting card: Celebrating You!
- Gift Bag: Sunshine in Colors
Bella! Tote Bag, hand-stencilled and hand-embellished from my own artwork
Colorful Tabbies hand-printed wrapping paper.
About the contents
Featured Print: Kitty and Buster
“Cats looking out windows” has always been a favorite theme of mine. Add the delicacy of sheer ruffled curtains and I’m totally hooked. It’s the whole scene I love, the moment, even the silly one of just seeing butts and tails on the windowsill and shadowed silhouettes through the curtain. Those memories are special, and even if we’re looking at others’ cats they still call to mind our own cats at the same moments.
I loved the sheer curtain and the traditional wooden windowsill, but rather than my usual pastel, I had been visualizing them in watercolor all along. I was pretty new to watercolor then, just about two years into it and not too many paintings yet, but I’d been studying quite a bit of other artists’ work. I could picture how I’d render the harder shadows and highlights on the wood, and knew it would carry the gauzy shadows on the curtain. The soft shadows on the walls would be a challenge, but the cats would be a joy—meeting my favorite subject in a different medium for once, like sharing a new experience with a friend. All of it pulls together an airy, summery feel.
The print is 5” x 71” and I’ve matted it with a soft white top mat to match the light in the curtains and a gray-blue bottom mat to match the shadows to fit into an 8” x 10” frame.
This matted version is only available in my sampler boxes, but you can request it if you’d like one.
Counter print: A Dozen Shades of Gray
I love, love, Jelly Bean’s shape. He’s not fat, he’s not even too round, but somehow when he sits in certain positions I just want to pick him up he looks so pleasingly rounded.
In this case he was simply sitting on the table in front of the window looking out. Very little direct sun was shining on him, but it was shining around him, so he was almost in silhouette and just a few swatches of direct light, but a lot of reflected light, described his shape.
I have a set of 12 gray pastels and decided to work with them for this after yesterday’s sketch when the white charcoal just would not sketch boldly enough. I also thought I’d jump on the “Shades of Gray” bandwagon. Everyone is using that phrase now.
Greeting and Note Cards
The sympathy card for this month features one of my 2013 hospice fosters, Lakota, Never Enough Time, But Time Enough for Love. Lakota joined my household in June at age 20, in very poor condition, but with good care had a great six weeks, even venturing to take over my studio, thrilled to have a human to charm. Six weeks is not enough time, but it’s time enough to form a loving bond.
White Cat Reflecting is a painting of Sally reflecting in the sun—in both meanings, reflecting the June sunlight from her pure white fur and reflecting on what to do next in her day.
Kelly in Forget-me-nots is a new card and one I’ve been intending to publish. Even though it’s a May photo and memory I wanted to share the memory now rather than wait until next year.
Although I’d designed and always printed my “Tabbies” block prints on natural papers in earth-toned inks, summery colors inspired me to print them in colorful inks on brightly-colored papers. I had fun with randomly printing four designs on five paper colors so that colors are entirely random for the Tabbies: Brights Hand-printed Note Cards.
This month’s non-feline card is Celebrating You!, celebrating the traditional phlox in my back yard as it blooms each year in June, each flower looking like a little pink umbrella and the whole cluster looking like summer fireworks.
I’ve begun including gift bags in each of my gift boxes as well so you can get a closer look a them. This bag is Sunshine in Colors, but each sampler box will get a different bag depending on my arbitrary choice. Sometimes it’s fun to just let it happen and not plan every little detail!
GIFT ITEM: Bella! Tote Bag, hand-stencilled and hand-embellished from my own artwork
O.M.Geeeee! It’s Bella! On a bag with green button eyes just like her big round eyes! Bella, in silhouette, is stenciled at the bottom of a bag and with just big blue-green eyes that are two-hole buttons sewn on with black thread. Bags may vary slightly but are right around 13″ x 13″ and made of soft natural canvas.
Based on one of my sketches of Bella from shortly after she arrived here simply called “Bella”, so I pulled out the scan of the little painting and refined the design in Photoshop. Bella’s eyes are not yellow green, they are a cooler blue-green, and I found pretty close to a good color for her.
Packaging the Sampler Box
I went with “Tabbies” again for my June sampler box.
I’ve printed “Tabbies” as note cards and a few times on textiles, but this year I decided it would be a natural for wrapping paper. It is a linoleum block print which, when I cut the block, has all four designs on one block. Each sheet of paper is hand-printed on 100# Kraft paper, about 24″ x 30″. I cut a sheet in half to wrap each of this month’s sampler boxes.
I can tell you right now that I can finally justify getting a roll of white butcher paper to print on, and I have several other ideas for printing this design on paper, some of which you’ll see in upcoming sampler boxes.
FOR YOU, FOR GIFTS, OR FOR DONATIONS
Use the prints and cards for yourself, gifts or donations to help cats. Any of the prints, whether the main print or a framed note card, can be given as a gift to a family member or friend, or as a thank you to a veterinarian or veterinary technician, pet sitter, groomer or anyone else in your life who would enjoy a cat-themed gift. They can also help other cats by being donated to online auctions or shelter and rescue events to help raise much-needed funds.
A NOTE ABOUT PACKAGING
I use as many environmentally friendly and fully non-toxic materials as possible in my packaging so I use as much recyclable paper as possible, which includes the glassine bag holding your cards. However, on the chance that you may donate or give one of your prints as gift, they are packed in a clear print bag or cellophane wrap depending on their size, and this is not recyclable but you may be able to reuse it. I both recycle any packaging I get that is clean and reusable, and use as many recyclable materials as possible. Read more here.
Read a review of my May 2016 Sampler Box from Melissa Lapierre of Melissa’s Mocha’s, Mysteries and Meows! Of course, my house panthers are all lying around here like, “of course!” http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2016/07/fun-feline-finds-creative-cat-sampler.html
Read a review of my May 2016 Sampler Box from Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat! Yes, they are still applauding themselves! http://portraitsofanimals.net/sampler-box-review-ingrid-king-conscious-cat/
Order your own Sampler Box
I’m offering a sampler box with a single box or a three month box subscription to each of the lists—visit this page to read about it and sign up for your box or sign up below. Each box will include the following items in a design appropriate to the audience, cats, nature, or specialty animal professionals or wholesale:
- a 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10” print matted and ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a new one
- an alternate print of any size, unmatted, different from the main print in media, style, subject, etc.
- several greeting cards: a sympathy card, feline art card, feline photo card, non-feline greeting card and two or more note cards, current designs and new designs
- a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance
- the “boxes” are not boxes at all because they vary so much in content so they are carefully wrapped with wrapping paper made from my designs that you can reuse
As mentioned above, these can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to shelter or rescue or other fundraisers. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer.
Find other Gift Items.
Read about other Feline Sampler Boxes on Portraits of Animals.
Order a Previously Distributed Sampler Box
You can purchase any prior Feline Sampler Box. When I send them originally I put together as many as were ordered, but unless I am completely out of a special handmade item I usually have all the contents here in my studio, though I do have to cut new mats for the artwork and print the wrapping paper. They cost a little more than the original because the extra time it takes to put one together, and when I ship several similar packages at once I get a discount.
Choose the sampler box by month.
Mimi holds my sampler box packages in place while I prepare packaging.
Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.
Marketplace is a feature on The Creative Cat to share the latest coming out of my studio with my readers. Once a week on Thursday I feature something new in my “shop”.
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.
Find out about events and festivals where you can find me and my work.
Sign up for my e-newsletter (below), check the widget on the sidebar on my home page, or sign up to receive posts on Portraits of Animals Marketplace. I plan on plenty of events this coming summer in the Pittsburgh area.
It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
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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!