Vintage cigar boxes just keep turning up and I have to take them for these special projects. I just love to work with these old boxes that have stood the test of time, preserving some of the original detailing, especially inside, but I find more and more opportunities to decorate the outsides.
About the boxes
These cigar boxes are the old-style cardboard type, the ones we probably all grew up with around the house, holding photos and hardware and handkerchiefs. These boxes are in varying states of wear and tear, written on, watermarked, with holes from thumbtacks and dinged up corners and warped lids, but usable for brand new works of creative whatever. A few needed the paper hinges on the lids repaired and a few corners reconstructed.
As I decorated the boxes I left some of the text and art for vintage’s sake, especially that on the inside, often embossed and very decorative, and on the back, which often showed where the cigars originated and with original handwriting ensuring their inventory and authenticity. I also incorporated some of the original exterior decoration and trim into my designs on a few boxes.
The artwork is printed on acid-free label stock and adhered to the top surface. The lids are a little warped but cover the contents, though they might flip open if the box is tipped.
Special: Two Keepsake Boxes for $25.00
Maybe you want a gift or it’s hard to choose just one, this special discount applies all the time on all designs of keepsake boxes for $15.00, nature and cats: buy two keepsake boxes for $25.00, use the discount code 25FORTWOKEEPSAKES. You get a $5.00 discount when you buy two. All tax, shipping and handling are included in that price. Buy one for yourself and one for a friend!
Just remember that these boxes are unique, and when each box is sold it’s gone, so if you are interested in one, get it now.
A special keepsake
A friend purchased a keepsake from me at the Hearts & Paws event last year. It was to hold cremains and memories of a hospice cat she’d fostered and had to put to sleep. When I saw her prior to the event she mentioned she’d be looking for another box for another special kitty. I asked her what the kitty looked like and if I could I’d use art that would work for her memory.
The kitty was a long-haired tortie, and while I’ve fostered a number of long-haired torties I knew I didn’t have any artwork. The keepsakes usually feature a more fine art look, or a more finished look, not a sketch, but one image came to mind, “Kelly With Grapes and Apple”. I debated, it wasn’t a piece of artwork someone would consider pretty, especially since Kelly’s face is entirely in shadow and it’s all a little abstract. I actually decided against, then for, back and forth.
When I finally got to the keepsakes the day before the event I decided just to go with it. A square keepsake fit the image perfectly and even though I still had a shred of a doubt my inner voice said it was the right thing to do. It looked beautiful when finished.
When she came to my area we talked and I was actually uncertain about the keepsake again. Normally I’d pull it out of the display and hand it to the person, but I just wasn’t sure so I gestured where the cigar box keepsakes were displayed and let her decide. None of the others look at all like a tortie, and I decided to just suggest, pointing my hand at the keepsake, on the end of the row, and telling her I wasn’t sure if this art was good for her tortie but this was the keepsake I’d made if she liked it.
But she had already seen it, reached over and grabbed it and said, “That’s her, this is it.” I stuttered about how I wasn’t sure but I was glad, and it was such an emotional moment we both got a little teary-eyed.
Following your intuition, or possibly following one of those animal guides, is the best guidance. She obviously felt her tortie girl in the image, and I was so happy to let a little more of Kelly out in the world to secure her memory. Purrhaps she and the tortie even met somewhere off in the spirit world.
Really, how do I get anything done?
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It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!
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!