Well, we had a nice day last Saturday, it was warm-ish and the frozen pond by my front porch and the glacier at the back finally thawed enough to be safe to walk. But the sun was so pretty, it was breezy, and my garden flags were so colorful it looked like spring! But those pink bows are frozen, and I really need to change them to green for St. Patrick’s Day. And I really need to change out “Kitty in Pink”, at least, for one of my other flags!
Still Product Testing
This winter has been a great test of these flags—they are right by the street and regularly get hit with pellets of road salt because I live on a very steep hill. More than usual we’ve had ice coating everything along with snow and sub-zero temperatures for over a week at a time. And this bit of sun is all this portion of my front yard sees, for about 20 minutes each day—the big spruce is to the south and blocks everything, very nice in summer, but keeping everything frozen in winter.
The salt truck just went by. And as the temperature is currently about 10 degrees with a windchill below zero and a whiteout of snow, I need to look at another photo from just last Saturday, with just a bit of a breeze.
While fading in the sun is a main consideration with materials for a garden flag, winter weathering also needs to be tested. The ink is printed on the surface of the material, and cold weather itself, as well as that icy covering, can make the material itself or the ink on the surface brittle so I’d checked for fading and cracks and any other changes through the course of this winter. I only found a few specks, hardly noticeable, and no damage at all.
In summer the consideration in this spot is the constant shade and checking for any mold or mildew or discoloration or deterioration during wet and humid weather in an excessively shady spot, especially with all those ground covers that hold moisture.
The flag on the left, “In Afternoon Sun”, and the “Two Cats After van Gogh” flag have been there since last April when I printed my first proofs, before I began selling them, so they’ve gone through a baking summer punctuated with violent storms that blew branches off my trees, and humid weather, followed by this icy frozen winter. The ink and fabric are intact, as is the stitching.
About the flags
At left Mimi models her favorite design, I presume, since this was when she chose to saunter over and rub herself on the bracket even though she is featured in three other designs. Mimi is not included with your order, I need her here to model for more art, supervise their design, and especially act as art director for our back yard photo shoots.
These are digitally printed on a product called digital satin, a woven product intended for outdoor as well as indoor use. It’s heavier than the nylon most other flags are made of, but if I’m judging by the the survival of the ones I have outdoors now this is tough and durable material, no fading, scratches in the finish, fraying or wrinkling of the flag in any way. I’m sure, like any other product, if the flag is in direct sun for more than four hours per day it will eventually fade, but the testing worked better than I’d thought. You can read about the development of these flags as well as backyard testing and a photo shoot with Mimi and me in Backyard Product Development and Testing With My Assistant, Mimi.
The flags are printed flat and, after an inspection by either Mr. Sunshine, my engineer cat as shown below, or Mewsette as seen here, I fold over an stitch the pocket on each. They are then inspected by one or more felines prior to packaging.
I ship the garden flags flat at this point—the fabric holds a curl really well and some flags I had stored never wanted to completely flatten out. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, seen here and sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area. You can order on through me, but with their weight and size it adds to the shipping cost.
I have eleven garden flag designs now with three holiday designs now available in my Etsy shop, each one a completely different style and theme to suit any garden—fine art, Impressionist, Warhol-esque and “after van Gogh”, black cats, pink cats, tabby cats and calico cats, and of course, those tortie girls! Three are holiday designs, but the rest are summer and colorful.
These eight summery flags actually feature twelve images. All are two-sided, and most have two different designs so you can turn them around and show something different, or you can put them along a walk and see both sides as you move in each direction. I began with the most popular and requested images, and from those chose and ones that fit well on the shape of the flag while the image was still easily recognizable from a distance. Colors can be a little unpredictable with digital printing, and this digital fabric is a new product, but the colors and detail are astonishing.
The designs below are currently available in my Etsy shop—click the image to go to the product on Etsy, or scroll down for links to the images to read more about the original sketches here on The Creative Cat.
Following is a list of links to the daily sketch or painting:
Below, just my favorite photo of my first proofs in my yard! Of course, I’ve moved them around, but this is what I was envisioning last year when I first had the idea to create these.
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! Mr. Sunshine inspected my sewing machine and had the whole thing figured out before I even sat down to thread it.
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Also browse Featured Artwork
I also feature artwork which has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.
If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and at assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, each week I feature a piece of artwork on Wednesday and a new product on Thursday. Choose the category for featured artwork.
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.
© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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!