Category Archives: greeting cards

Colorful Kitties Notecard

"Colorful Kitties" note card.

“Colorful Kitties” note card.

This note card was designed from one of my daily sketches and just lends itself to a variety of themes—friendship, thank you, thinking of you, even an invitation to an event.

This card is 5.5″ x 4.25″ and printed on 100# acid-free uncoated cover stock, blank inside. They come with 70 lb. opaque acid-free envelopes that are inkjet/laser compatible in your choice of envelope color. See “ordering” below for more information.

ABOUT THE ART

The original artwork for "Colorful Kitties".

The original artwork for “Colorful Kitties”.

“Colorful Kitties” is a tissue paper cutouts laid on paper, 6.5” W x 9” H, dated 2/12/15. The cat figures are cut freehand from colored tissue paper used for wrapping starting with the big blue kitty and each successive kitty appeared to me in color and posture and position in relation to the others. I arranged them on a page in my sketch book, while Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine supervised. Read more about this art and other daily sketches at: http://thecreativecat.net/daily-sketch-colorful-kitties/#.VN-zCi6j934.

DAILY SKETCHES

I endeavor to do at least a small sketch each day as a warm-up to my aesthetic senses, so I have a small pouch of art materials and a few various sized sketchbooks available in the house and out. Usually, these are done in pencil, my first and favorite medium, though sometimes it’s charcoal, ink, colored pencil, ink and brush, whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, the greatest challenge to keep it quick and not get caught up in details, let the idea flow onto the paper.

Most often, the subjects are my cats because they are such willing models, though sometimes I’ll also wander afield, literally, and sketch in my yard or anywhere I go for errands. Medium and especially style vary just so I get a chance to do something new.

Every once in a while, they are meant for framing, and I’ve designed a series of notecards, notepaper and notepads using other daily sketches (see my notecards section). Often I use them as illustrations for graphics projects I’m designing.

ORDERING

Envelopes

Each card comes with your choice of a 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible. Please choose a color or colors from the drop-down list which corresponds with the photo of the envelopes available. You can further customize this by adding a note to your order explaining your choice, such as “Please send five white envelopes and one red envelope” with an order of a half-dozen cards.

The envelope selection.

The envelope selection.

Packaging

One and two cards are packed in a glassine bag, a half-dozen or more are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

Shipping

Shipping cost is included in the purchase price for USA and Canada.

One and two cards are shipped in a 6″ x 9″ envelope via first-class mail.

Six or more cards are shipped in a small flat-rate box via USPS Priority Mail.

Both methods will get just about anywhere n the US within three days. If you need your cards sooner than that, please ask and we can make arrangements for guaranteed two-day or overnight shipping.

Where to find these note cards

I have these notecards available in singles, two, half dozen or dozen in my Portraits of Animals Shop on Etsy.


Bella helps to position the envelopes.

Bella helps to position the envelopes.

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 scrutiny of my studio cats! Bella carefully arranges the envelope selection for me.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!


Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

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.


© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Greetings From Our Backyard Birds

"Jammin' Jay Blues", pastel, 6" x 8" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Jammin’ Jay Blues”, pastel, 6″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“That would make a great card!”

That’s usually how I decide which of my paintings or photos will end up as a greeting card or note card, following the advice of someone’s suggestion.

When it comes to my birds, many of the paintings and photos are from winter, when the birds are simply easier to see, but also one of my favorite seasons for painting and photography. Last year I decided to make up two sets of cards for the holidays—and possibly beyond—from the paintings and photos that received the most comments. Knowing that many of my readers are also avian fans and feeders, I’m sharing them here today.

Backyard Birds

I truly love winter paintings because the light is wonderful without the shadows from trees, the reflections from the snow illuminating shadowed areas with soft purples and blues, and the patterns made by bare branches are mesmerizing. This set of four paintings of birds are ones I’d done “from life”, actually standing at a window inside or at my back door rather than literally en plein air, but I wanted to catch that moment of light and color.

I also offer these images as art prints. Please ask!

Find these cards in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

Jammin’ Jay Blues

Above is “Jammin’ Jay Blues”, my impression of a bunch of noisy blue jays making a racket in the bare branches of the mulberry. In the winter light, their blue feathers have an extra glow that I don’t notice in summer, and between the color and the sound they occasionally fill my backyard with what feels like a celebratory parade, when all they are celebrating is the sliced apples I’ve stuck on twigs in the tree.

. . . . . . .

Snow Bird

Below is “Snow Bird”, a play on the common name for a dark-eyed junco, as it clings to along branch of the forsythia in heavy snowfall, apparently living up to its name. They appear in my backyard each year in October and stay until April, and I love their simple little silhouettes, tiny rounded bodies, short beaks and tails, and that white spot on their bellies that looks as if they’d been dipped in white paint before they left the factory.

"Snow Bird", pastel, 6" x 8"

“Snow Bird”, pastel, 6″ x 8″

. . . . . . .

Birds in Snow

This is “Birds in Snow”, inspired by the sparrows and doves that feed on the ground under the feeder outside my front door. To one side of the feeder is a huge spruce, providing cover and safety for many, many birds, and watching them twittering on the branches, then dropping down for seeds one by one and pecking around in the snow in a big crowd, then suddenly all of them flapping back up into the spruce as if signaled by something only to begin the process again is like watching waves on the beach.

Birds in Snow

Birds in Snow

. . . . . . .

Accent

And here is “Accent”, a single cardinal in the branches and brambles touched with snow at the end of the yard. This is the “safe spot” for birds and small animals as I’ve let the wild grapevines, raspberries and blackberries and Roses of Sharon grow into a dense tangled mass which is excellent protection from predators and I place a seed feeder and suet feeder into the mess each autumn. A heavy snowfall which layers each branch with white and the play of light and shadow in the mass of branches creates one of nature’s most lovely patterns. Where most of my drawing surfaces have some texture, for this one I added marble dust and grit and gave the surface a rough brushed appearance which turned out to be perfect for capturing the feeling of branches and snow.

"Accent", pastel, 5" x 10"

“Accent”, pastel, 5″ x 10″

. . . . . . .
About the cards

Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.” They are sold by the dozen, three cards of each design, with white envelopes. While I’m offering these cards for the holidays, they are wonderful all-purpose greeting cards as well and I’ll keep them available through spring in my Etsy shop.

Click here to find them in my Etsy shop.


Marketplace

marker sketch of black cat watching birds at feeder

“Mimi Morning Birdwatching”, brush markers, 8″ x 6.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mimi watches the birds, I sketch the birds, and I sketch Mimi!

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.

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.

Donations

I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

Subscribe to the Portraits of Animals Preview E-newsletter

Or click here to open a sign up form in a new window (which seems to work better).


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 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.


© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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Greetings From Our Backyard Birds

"Jammin' Jay Blues", pastel, 6" x 8" © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“Jammin’ Jay Blues”, pastel, 6″ x 8″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

“That would make a great card!”

That’s usually how I decide which of my paintings or photos will end up as a greeting card or note card, following the advice of someone’s suggestion.

When it comes to my birds, many of the paintings and photos are from winter, when the birds are simply easier to see, but also one of my favorite seasons for painting and photography. Last year I decided to make up two sets of cards for the holidays—and possibly beyond—from the paintings and photos that received the most comments. Knowing that many of my readers are also avian fans and feeders, I’m sharing them here today.

Backyard Birds

I truly love winter paintings because the light is wonderful without the shadows from trees, the reflections from the snow illuminating shadowed areas with soft purples and blues, and the patterns made by bare branches are mesmerizing. This set of four paintings of birds are ones I’d done “from life”, actually standing at a window inside or at my back door rather than literally en plein air, but I wanted to catch that moment of light and color.

As you browse below, the title of each painting and the image of each painting will take you to a post for prints of the painting itself. Click here or where it mentions “cards” to visit the listing for the set of cards.

. . . . . . .

Jammin’ Jay Blues

Above is “Jammin’ Jay Blues”, my impression of a bunch of noisy blue jays making a racket in the bare branches of the mulberry. In the winter light, their blue feathers have an extra glow that I don’t notice in summer, and between the color and the sound they occasionally fill my backyard with what feels like a celebratory parade, when all they are celebrating is the sliced apples I’ve stuck on twigs in the tree.

. . . . . . .

Snow Bird

Below is “Snow Bird”, a play on the common name for a dark-eyed junco, as it clings to along branch of the forsythia in heavy snowfall, apparently living up to its name. They appear in my backyard each year in October and stay until April, and I love their simple little silhouettes, tiny rounded bodies, short beaks and tails, and that white spot on their bellies that looks as if they’d been dipped in white paint before they left the factory.

"Snow Bird", pastel, 6" x 8"

“Snow Bird”, pastel, 6″ x 8″

. . . . . . .

Birds in Snow

This is “Birds in Snow”, inspired by the sparrows and doves that feed on the ground under the feeder outside my front door. To one side of the feeder is a huge spruce, providing cover and safety for many, many birds, and watching them twittering on the branches, then dropping down for seeds one by one and pecking around in the snow in a big crowd, then suddenly all of them flapping back up into the spruce as if signaled by something only to begin the process again is like watching waves on the beach.

Birds in Snow

Birds in Snow

. . . . . . .

Accent

And here is “Accent”, a single cardinal in the branches and brambles touched with snow at the end of the yard. This is the “safe spot” for birds and small animals as I’ve let the wild grapevines, raspberries and blackberries and Roses of Sharon grow into a dense tangled mass which is excellent protection from predators and I place a seed feeder and suet feeder into the mess each autumn. A heavy snowfall which layers each branch with white and the play of light and shadow in the mass of branches creates one of nature’s most lovely patterns. Where most of my drawing surfaces have some texture, for this one I added marble dust and grit and gave the surface a rough brushed appearance which turned out to be perfect for capturing the feeling of branches and snow.

"Accent", pastel, 5" x 10"

“Accent”, pastel, 5″ x 10″

. . . . . . .
About the cards

Inside, all cards say, “Wishing you warm thoughts and happy memories in this holiday season, and an astonishingly beautiful new year to come.” They are sold by the dozen, three cards of each design, with white envelopes. While I’m offering these cards for the holidays, they are wonderful all-purpose greeting cards as well and I’ll keep them available through spring in my Etsy shop.

Click here to find them in my Etsy shop.


Marketplace

marker sketch of black cat watching birds at feeder

“Mimi Morning Birdwatching”, brush markers, 8″ x 6.5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mimi watches the birds, I sketch the birds, and I sketch Mimi!

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.

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.

Donations

I designate four portrait certificates each year for donation to benefit animals, and also donate merchandise, prints of artwork and even originals to rescue and shelter benefits. If you are interested in a donation for your event, please email me with the details of your event and your organization.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

Subscribe to the Portraits of Animals Preview E-newsletter

Or click here to open a sign up form in a new window (which seems to work better).


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 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.


© 2015 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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Hand-printed Valentine Cards Purr-sonally Inspected By Discerning Black Cats

linocut cat vaentines in pink and purple

Linoleum block-printed Valentine cards inspired by Valentine Candy hearts!

I usually print these little linocuts in earth tones or “tabby colors”, but I’ve been itching to use brights and pastels and all sorts of combinations with them. I decided they made cute valentines and that’s a great reason to create hand-printed cards in magenta on pink, violet, magenta and red card stock, embellished with magenta or purple stamp ink, just saturated with color for Valentine’s Day!

This set of 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards features two designs combining my hand-cut block prints with commercial rubber stamps on smooth uncoated 70 lb. cover stock.

I offer them as singles, in sets by color and design, and in sets of four and eight that include all four colors.

block-printed note cards

Magenta on pink set.

PINK, VIOLET AND MAGENTA CARDS
A single kitty entitled “Sunshine and Flowers” printed in magenta says “MEOW!” stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “You’re PURRRFECT” is stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp.

Two kitties cuddling for a bath say “You’re PURRRFECT” stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “MEOW!” is stamped in magenta with a commercial rubber stamp.

magenta on red

Magenta on red with purple stamp ink.

RED CARDS
A single kitty entitled “Sunshine and Flowers” printed in magenta says “MEOW!” stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “You’re PURRRFECT” is stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp.

Two kitties cuddling for a bath say “You’re PURRRFECT” stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp. Inside “MEOW!” is stamped in purple with a commercial rubber stamp.

violet cards

Violet cards printed in magenta.

On the back of all the cards I’ve stamped in purple ink the name of the series of block prints, my logo and my name and contact information.

Each set comes with Soft Pink 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. The set of six, including three each of the two designs, are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

Because these are handmade, I have a limited quantity of each card!

three black cats with printed note cards

Meet my quality control team: Mewsette, Giuseppe and Jelly Bean inspect each card.

About the art: Tabbies Linoleum Block Prints

The stripes made me do it! No, we have not always been a household of solid-color cats. The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape has always been an inspiration for more graphic designs beginning with Fawn, Stanley and Allegro.

These cards were block printed, a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.

These two designs are from a set of four, and have always had a sweet and cuddly feel to me. I’d always printed these in natural earth tones but have been planning to print them in bright colors on brightly-colored paper as well.

three black cats with cards

“These cats are all covered with funny markings,” say the three perfect black cats. They are very serious about their job.

I photographed the process as I printed these—of course, with feline supervision—and below you can see how block prints are made.

Find these cards and other Valentine cards and gifts

All designs are available in my Etsy shop. Individual cards are mailed first class.

To find my entire Valentine collection including cards and gift items, search “Valentine” in my Etsy shop.

And please explore my greeting card collections on Etsy to see all the designs and others too.


A little bit about block printing

I really enjoy working in this medium and I can free myself from the traditional media and a greater realism in rendering. Linoleum block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of artist’s linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.

Despite the fact I’ve been trying to video a little block print demonstration, all I have are a few photos taken as I was printing the “Tabbies” cards for Valentine’s Day last year. Here’s a brief slideshow:

The resulting work isn’t a one-time thing, but meant to be printed multiple times–and I do, on just about anything I can think of. They all start out on paper, but they’ve been printed on t-shirts and dresses and aprons and curtains, to name a few things. I nearly always add color to The Tortie Girls with watercolor or dyes since that was part of the original design, and I’ll often add color to other designs to give them extra interest.

Because of the nature of the medium, each print is unique and ink coverage is not always perfect. Most artists consider this random activity to be part of the process of creating an individualized print, and along with the hand-painting makes a unique work of art.

I’ve always intended to do others with tabbies and spots and even solids as I did with “The Goddess” and “The Roundest Eyes”, and did start branching out to wildlife with “Yes?”, but soon after this four-color digital printing became widely available for a reasonable price and I focused on note cards and greeting cards featuring paintings I’d done and moved to larger block prints. I’ll have to get back to these little ones—they are so much easier to print!


Browse all my Valentine Cards

valentine cards with cats

Valentine cards available all year round!

My commercially printed cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 12 pt. gloss cover, uncoated inside, and nearly all have a message inside. Orders of a half dozen or more are packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box.

Envelope Options with Valentine Cards

Red or white? No, not your wine choice! All cards come with a 70 lb. text weight acid-free envelope which is inkjet/laser compatible, but for Valentine’s Day you can choose red or white when you order your cards on Etsy. “You Are My Heart Cat” above is shown with the red envelope, while the white envelope is bright white.


cat and art materials on table

All materials ready to start printing.

Marketplace

Mewsette may look like she’s sleeping, but she is ready to get up and give instructions or even a helping paw at any moment.

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.

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.

It’s all done under the close and careful supervision of my studio cats!

Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

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 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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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It’s Almost Time for Meow-lo-ween, and Madame Mewsette and the Three Witches!

halloween black cat decorations

Happy Meow-lo-ween!

halloween design featuring four black cats

“Happy Meow-lo-ween from The Four Housecats of the Apocalypse!”

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?

This sketch from Halloween night in 2012 as I handed out my candy and all the knocking got to be a bit much for these four was destined to be a Halloween design. I put together my desktop calendars, but when I designed the card the sketch needed a little something extra so I drew a pumpkin to add to the design.

You can find Happy Meow-lo-ween! in my Etsy shop as a single card and as a half dozen and I offer it with either a white or an orange envelope. Other quantities are available as well, and this card assorts with all other cards.

"Happy Meow-lo-ween" design.

“Happy Meow-lo-ween” garden flag.

Happy Meow-lo-ween Garden Flag

In addition, I’ve printed a Halloween garden flag in the same design. These “garden flags” are digitally printed on both sides of a heavyweight, durable indoor/outdoor woven printable fabric, and I finish by adding the rod pocket. Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s the same design back to back. Flags are 11” wide x 15” tall and fit the most common garden flag bracket available, sold in most hardware and home renovation stores with a garden area.

You can find the Happy Meow-lo-ween garden flag in my Etsy shop.

Other Halloween cards featuring cats you know

As you’ll see below, the photos in the designs below are from my posting last year on October 31 as well as the one from October 30. In addition, three other designs include photos which appeared on The Creative Cat or one one of my other blogs. From the time I took the photo and when I posted it somewhere on one of my blogs and received the feedback about it, I’ve held onto a creative idea for those images: Halloween cards!

I don’t like to associate black cats with Halloween for various reasons so I actually tried to avoid this, but from the combination of looking at cards in shops whenever I get the chance, and currently compiling my holiday cards to post for sale this autumn and winter, I decided I really did want to create a few Halloween cards this year—especially when my generous felines gave me these first two images which were completely unposed—I got out the pumpkins, but my black cats organized the creative compositions!

And it’s never a bad thing to have cats of any color or pattern on a greeting card for any holiday. I so love to see my cats in my design work and share them with others.

You can find them in my Etsy shop as individuals (click each image for a direct link) and as a set of six, but also enjoy the stories of how these images became greeting cards. All cards come with the option of either a white or an orange envelope.

Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna
Halloween greeting card

Madame Mewsette will tell your For-tuna

This card, “Madame Mewsette Will Tell Your For-tuna” features Miss Mewsette, who has a strong sense of the dramatic and arranged herself in this living still life, then looked at me as I walked through the room at night, probably preparing dinner. Where’s my camera?! And my tripod for this one, a difficult shot with the lamp contrasting with the very dark areas around, but Mewsette was patient. Here is what I included in the post adapted to the back of the card:

This is what Mewsette is dressed up as to celebrate this evening’s events. And she didn’t even have to put on one embarrassing garment or accessory.

When I attended Catholic grade school, we were to dress up as our patron saint for All Hallow’s Eve, and dressing up as St. Bernadette was pretty easy for me as I already tended to wear peasant-style clothing and St. Bernadette didn’t suffer any dire injuries or horrible torture like some of the other saints, she just lived to be very old, despite Lourdes.

Well, I think Mewsette is dressed up as one of her patron kitties—she is quiet and introspective, unlike her brothers, and I can just see her in the role of a familiar or a gypsy fortune-teller!

Enter: Three WITCHES
Halloween greeting card

Enter: Three WITCHES

This card, “Enter: Three WITCHES” features Miss Mewsette, her mom Mimi and her brother Giuseppe.

This image was taken on the same night as the one above, as Mewsette was joined by her mom and brother. Dinner was late as it was much more important to get all the photos I possibly could while they arranged themselves!

I majored in English in college and still keep my books around and still read Shakespeare. The text from MacBeth came to me as I looked at them gathered together around the lamp—I remember I couldn’t wait to post the photo and share the idea! Here’s what I posted with the photo and placed on the back of the card.

Guess the kids have been getting into my literature textbooks again. I thought my Riverside Shakespeare was too heavy for them, but there is no getting in the way of a determined reader. Now that they’ve mastered Act 1, Scene 1 of MacBeth, I can’t wait to see how they interpret Scene 2.

Maybe reading to them as kittens really did work.

Actually, Mimi, Mewsette and Giuseppe were gathered around the lamp “to keep warm” as they said, because the temperature was all of about 65 degrees. Time to get out the cozy beds!

Boo!
halloween card with black cat

“Boo!” featuring Lucy.

This card, “Boo!”, features Lucy from a photo I took in early summer 2007. Sadly, I lost Lucy to FIP when she was 15 months old so she never had the chance to develop her career as all my other cats have, so I love to use her image in a creative endeavor whenever possible. It’s my way of remembering and honoring my relationships with my cats, no matter how short or long they may have been.

When I took this photo of her next to the orange paper lamp most of my greeting cards were just a vague idea of something to be done in the future, and I dreamed of various other products like tote bags and woven blankets and all the other things I’m finally getting around to creating. I knew some day I’d want to use this photo as a Halloween or fall-themed image either as a card or another product, not the least because I knew I’d be losing Lucy sometime soon after it was taken. I kept this photo in mind all this time and, finally, here she is.

I Dare You
Halloween card

“I Dare You!”

This card, “I Dare You”, features my next-door neighbor’s calico cat, who could have a bit of an attitude as you can see by her expression, but I enjoyed her visits for the brief time they let her outside.

She had unique markings—her face, legs and tail are calico including white paws, but her torso is tortoiseshell. Even though she’s not my cat I loved this photo generally as her colors and random markings blended with the random leaves in the grass as well as the way the vibrant green and bright orange enhance each other. Her expression just makes it all the better.

I had actually posted her on The Creative Cat because the neighbors were moving and for a while were concerned that they couldn’t keep her indoors with two young children going in and out all the time. Apparently they worked that out since she’s doing fine in their new home.

Silhouettes
halloween card

“Silhouettes”

This card features the big yellow Harvest Moon I photographed in September 2011, and the silhouettes of two of my five black cats in a wordless design that actually can be used even outside of Halloween.

I’ve photographed nearly every full moon this year and post the images on my daily photo blog, Today. I wanted to incorporate this year’s Harvest Moon in at least one design, initially working with a photo where they sky was somewhat blue intending to use the cat images as a dark silhouette, but I just didn’t like the way it looked and so used one of the later shots where the sky was solid black, coordinating the color of the silhouetted cats to match the pale orange of the moon, light against dark instead of dark against light.

This image I used for the silhouettes is of Jelly Bean and Mimi looking out the front window where I often catch those silhouettes of two and three and four cats in the morning, but I never posted this one, possibly because there were several others I posted in the beginning of January 2011 when this was taken. My original idea was also to have several cats in silhouette possibly looking up at the moon or simply sitting with tails dangling hanging out as buddies, but I liked the pose and the more romantic idea this brought to the card; in every project there is space for change and development from what I first intended, and this is one example of that. I also adapted this card in red for Valentine’s Day.

We Three Pumpkins
halloween cards

We Three Pumpkins

This card, “We Three Pumpkins”, features my photos of jack-o-lanterns taken at the annual Night Walk on the Panhandle Trail. The Rennerdale Youth Group carves more than 100 pumpkins donated by Beccaris Farm Market, and the Collier Girl Scouts set out and light the jack-o-lanterns along a half-mile stretch of the Panhandle Trail from the bridge near the Walkers Mill trailhead to the Sunnyside entrance.

I use the trail all the time, volunteer for events as well as manage their website and social networking, and photograph the pumpkins every year seeking out the feline-themed pumpkins especially. When I posted my article about the many purposes of pumpkins this year I decided I wanted to use these photos in something else related to the holiday, so they became one of my cards.

They are all on Etsy

These 5″ x 7″ cards are printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards are blank inside but can be customized with your message (please convo on Etsy). I sell them as individuals and as a set of six—but for this year the set of six will include seven, to include the new design.


Tortie Girls Garden Flags for Halloween too!

garden flags with tortoiseshell cats

“Tortie Girls” garden flags.

The Tortie Girls designs are based on a pair of linoleum block prints I designed in 2001 to show off my two torties’ best features. Typically I print these by hand and hand-color the print, but the size of these flags didn’t accommodate the 9” x 12” original so these are digitally printed from a hand-colored original print which I scanned. Each flag has the same design printed front and back, with a white background on one side and a yellow background on the other. “The Goddess” features Cookie and “The Roundest Eyes” features Kelly.

Each flag has a design on both sides, in this case it’s either “The Goddess” or “The Roundest Eyes” on both sides, one side with a white background and one side with a yellow background.

You can find “The Goddess” garden flag and “The Roundest Eyes” garden flag in my Etsy shop.


And other Tortie Girls items for the season too!

block printed tablecloths with tortoiseshell cats

You really can’t go wrong with tortie girls in any season! Visit this post to read about the fun things I’ve made featuring Cookie and Kelly, or browse the gallery of what’s available in my Etsy shop.


For Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Seasons

I also offer Christmas, Hanukkah and winter holiday cards and garden flags featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography, and I’ll be posting more fully about them in a week or two, but here is a preview.

Since the late 1980s I’ve handmade my holiday cards or designed and printed them from my art, and eventually began offering the designs for sale to others. Then after my exhibit “Winter White” I decided to branch out to offer my artwork from that show, other artwork as well, and then my photos too, and last year designed cards with cats and nature for all the winter holidays.

holiday card with tortoiseshell cat

Cookie’s Full of Holiday Cheer

Cookie’s Holiday Cheer

You know that Cookie is usually the sweetest tortoiseshell kitty you’d ever want to meet, but she’s less than thrilled about modeling. Especially when she’s been…”decorated”.

Inside card.

On the back:

“You’ll Pay For This.”
Photo • 2006

“This is not how I want to be remembered.”
It all started when I set the silver sparkle ball on Cookie’s head, and she gave me the tortie look, but stayed put. Cookie isn’t really wild about modeling for her mom’s stupid pictures. But you don’t see her running away. Too bad for Cookie.

Click here to see more samples! or go to my Etsy shop to browse the singles and sets.


Ordering Information

 . . . . . . .

Ordering Single Cards

 You can purchase individual cards from any of my shops, and I will generally mail them them out the same day in first-class mail.

Custom Sets

Right now custom ordering is done by contacting me directly, but all 5″ x 7″ cards in my Etsy shop and on my websites can be mixed and matched for your own custom set. If you’d like a few regular sympathy cards and a few other cards to complete your order, you can simply list them and send me an email, I’ll return a PayPal invoice. You can choose cards from anywhere on my website or in my Etsy shop.

Wholesale for Animal Professionals

All cards are available for wholesale prices and quantities to animal professionals, and likewise you can also assort all cards for your order. Please contact me for details.


two black cats with sewing machine

Mewsette and Mimi help me stitch the pockets into new garden flags.

Marketplace

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.

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!

Subscribe to My E-newsletter

Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

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 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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Note Cards, “My Cats in the Sun”

"My Cats in the Sun" set of cards.

“My Cats in the Sun” set of cards.

This set of note cards was recently featured in an Etsy Treasury, “Summer Pets”.

This was my first full-color set of cards, made from those first four paintings of Stanley, Moses, Sally and Cookie that changed the course of my art career. Each time I looked at these paintings in my home I could just picture them as note cards.

In 1997, in the days before digital printing, I finally got the process started and spoke to one of the printers I worked with now and then through my employer, discussing size, paper stock and file preparation, choosing an A-6 and a satin-finish ivory cover stock. I’d been a graphic designer for years at my day job and had also freelanced for years at home and had my own computer, so I set about preparing my files.

Scanning my own artwork I set up the cards with the image in the center surrounded by a series of lines in tones that matched the painting, much as a French mat would be. It’s a very old-fashioned style of design, but I wanted the cards to look old-fashioned, like cards I remembered as a child.

Bright sunshine on anything will inspire me, especially when it’s illuminating one of my cats…and so I’d like to share that inspiration with other feline fans. These four designs are printed from my original artwork, each of them cats who’ve shared my life past and present.

 

after dinner nap note card image

 

After Dinner Nap

Stanley didn’t have many relaxed moments during the day, but one of them was always a spot of sun right after dinner and a nice bath. Rather than disturb him by trying to share in his contentment and fussing over him, I chose to render the warmth of the sun on his side and the depth of the early evening shadows all around.

a warm bath note card

A Warm Bath © B.E. Kazmarski

A Warm Bath

My white cat was endlessly inspiring to me, and I would need two lifetimes to recreate all the images of her that I have photographed and saw every day. With all that lustrous long white fur, Sally’s baths are quite a production, but each bath is like a graceful dance, especially when taken in the morning sun.

a rosy glow note card

A Rosy Glow © B.E. Kazmarski

A Rosy Glow

She found a warm spot to sleep in the sun on that old pink sweater of mine, and the look of contentment on her face was my first inspiration, especially since Miss Moses (we all thought she was a boy) had been a feral kitten and all her life hesitated to walk across the center of any room, finding security in keeping close to the furniture. But there she is in the middle of the room looking rather smug—I can almost hear her purr.

the little sunflower note card

The Little Sunflower © B.E. Kazmarski

The Little Sunflower

Real sunworshippers, all of my cats wait for the sun to enter the house in the morning and take their appointed spots. The brilliance of that first light and its reflections around the room, plus the contrast of all the exaggerated straight-line shapes with the organic shape of little Cookie and her shadow inspired this one.

my cats in the sun note cards logoOrdering Information
Cards include a border as shown, and are printed in full color on matte-finish ivory stock. They are blank inside, 4-1/2” x 6-1/4” and come with cream opaque square-flap envelopes.

They are available in packs of 12 with three cards in each of the four images or boxes of individual images. Different combinations are available on request. You can find these cards in my Marketplace, and also as a set in my Etsy shop.



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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.
Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy!

© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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Upcoming Events: See You Around in June

front of display tent

Front of my tent at Sewickley Unleashed

June is looking like a pretty busy month for animal and other events!

June 1 is National Trails Day and many trail associations host benefit dog walks on the first weekend, plus it’s prime time for other festivals. I tend to stay with smaller ones because they are more manageable for me along with my community’s monthly business crawl. Here is where I’ll be in June.

. . . . . . .

Tails for Trails X, Saturday, June 7, 8:30 to noon

Since this is only four hours and primarily a dog event, I’ll be setting up with just my portrait information, a few sample portraits and a small display of handmade goods. It’s sponsored by Cecil Friends of the Montour Trail Tails for Trails, Kurnick (National) Access Area at 259 Cecil Henderson Road in Cecil Twp. Admission is free. Click here to read more.

. . . . . . .

The Carnegie Crawl, Friday June 13, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Even though I don’t have a business on Main Street the organizers asked me to participate, and I’ve set up inside other businesses who host me. This month I’ll be at 6 East Main Street, Carnegie PA 15106. I’ll have as much art and merchandise as I can possible fit into the space, including, of course, my paintings and photos of Carnegie as well as my feline and animal paintings and merchandise, a mix of original art, prints, canvases and handmade items such as my wood-mounted art and keepsake boxes, and of course my feline garden flags.

The Carnegie Crawl happens the second Friday of every month, May through September! This year the crawl goes from Black Lamb Consignments at 323 East Main Street (Corner of 50 and Main) to Carnegie Antiques at 423 West Main Street. Flyers with maps will be provided for “crawlers” to explore Carnegie and visit all the Crawl sites. Get your flyer stamped at each participating location and enter to win a great prize at the end of our Crawl season in September. I’ll update with this information as soon as I have it. Admission is free. Click here to read more.

. . . . . . .

11th Annual Pet Adoption and Care Fair, Saturday, June 21, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This event is huge with about 40 participants ranging from shelters and rescues to businesses and individuals who provide services and merchandise for pets and their people. It’s sponsored by the Hearts and Paws Pet Ministries at Christ United Methodist Church. Admission is free. Click here to read more.

. . . . . . .

Steel City Pet Expo, Saturday, June 28, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This annual pet expo will be held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh with dozens of rescue groups with pets for adoption, discounted vaccinations, microchipping and heartworm & flea preventatives, prize giveaways and activities for people and pets, live entertainment, obedience demonstrations, author readings and book signings and more. Admission is free. www.SteelCityPetExpo.com

 


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.

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.



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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.
Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy!

© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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See you at the Carnegie Crawl, Friday, May 9

table of merchandise

My display of goods from FosterCat

I’ll be participating in my community’s first 2014 business crawl this Friday evening from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Main Street. Even though I don’t have a business on Main Street the organizers asked me to participate so I hope to be a part of this event each month. They even found the a storefront to setup temporarily—I”ll be in the front of Terra Settlements this time at 110 East Main Street, right in the middle of everything! Above and below I have pictured some of the things I’ll have for sale.

My display of Carnegie artwork--I'll have a good bit of this on Friday.

My display of Carnegie artwork–I’ll have a good bit of this on Friday.

I’ll have as much art and merchandise as I can possible fit into the space, including, of course, my paintings and photos of Carnegie as well as my feline and animal paintings and merchandise, a mix of original art, prints, canvases and handmade items such as my wood-mounted art and keepsake boxes, and of course my feline garden flags.

The Carnegie Crawl happens the second Friday of every month, May through September! This year the crawl goes from Black Lamb Consignments at 323 East Main Street (Corner of 50 and Main) to Carnegie Antiques at 423 West Main Street.

Main street carnegie pa

Carnegie’s Main Street just last week!

Flyers with maps will be provided for “crawlers” to explore Carnegie and visit all the Crawl sites. Get your flyer stamped at each participating location and enter to win a great prize at the end of our Crawl season in September.

I’ll be at:

110 East Main Street

Carnegie PA 15106

5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Carnegie Crawl map for this event.

The Carnegie Crawl map for this event.

Free Parking!

Look for coupon insert with specials in:
• Post Gazette Saturday May 3
• Carnegie Signal-item Thursday May1
• Available at participating Crawl locations

Download the map by clicking the image at left or  http://carnegiepa.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Crawl-Map.jpg. Visit the Carnegie Community Development Corporation website at www.carnegiepa.net.

I hope to see you there!


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.

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.



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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.
Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy!

© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | STUMBLEUPON | GOOGLE+ | EMAIL

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Featured Artwork: Pawse

pencil sketch of sleeping cat

“Pawse”, pencil, 10″ x 9″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Moses sleeps happily on the bed. This quick pencil sketch is actually an early “daily sketch” from a decade ago when I first practiced my daily sketches.

I called Moses my “velveteen kitty”, her plushy gray fur thick and lustrous with that sparkling sheen known well to those who live with gray cats, and I knew no hard lines could describe her. I used the side of my pencil to capture that softness with just enough definition to show a few stripes and the familiar outlines tabby cats have around eyes, nose, ears and toes. Around her is just a sketchy suggestion of a pillow, and then I stopped.

Moses was a former feral cat, and was hobbled by hind legs that never fully developed.  Getting up on the bed was a big deal for her, both in difficulty and habit. But the comfort of the bed was worth all the risks and difficulty to her. I loved to find her there, and would tiptoe in to look at her, sometimes photograph her, and a few times sketch her, as in “Sunday Morning”. As I always say about my sketches, they are a more immediate and even tactile memory for how deeply I study the details of my subject. Though it was more than ten years ago I still have a memory of holding my pencil on its side and sketching the soft shadows of her face and those soft paws, and the tangle of paws along with the pun on the word was what gave this sketch its name.

Where to find this artwork

I framed this original and donated it to a shelter art auction, but I also had it printed as a notecard, notepaper and memo pad in the “Feline Sketches” set. “Pawse” is a favorite as both a general purpose note card and as a sympathy card as some people have chosen this card to use for an animal sympathy card.

My ever-inspiring family of felines causes me to carry both my camera and a sketch pad around the house. Quick, simple pencil sketches catch them hanging around the house and are my favorite warm-up to creating larger pieces of artwork. While I could live three lifetimes and never be finished with the images I can create from my group, friends also give me photos that are too good to pass up. Pencil can be challenging to reproduce, and I’m happy to introduce a new series in addition to my pen and ink and my full-color fine art note cards series. You can find them in Portraits of Animals Marketplace.

. . . . . . .

My daily sketches from this era were less “daily” than now, but were still quite frequent. I carried a sketchbook with me outdoors and kept a sketchbook and pencil at the desk, and it is this second sketchbook that became my series, “From the Lost Sketchbook” , where I’d found a sketchbook that I’d kept at my desk beginning in 2002 and used periodically until about 2005. This was a general purpose sketchbook and I used it for many things in addition to extemporaneous sketches such as illustrations and ideas, and it included sketches of my cats and a few other subjects. I was so happy to see it again when I found it in 2010 that I scanned all the sketches that were pertinent to The Creative Cat and posted them.

See more articles and images of Moses.


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.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 2014 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski


Two New Cards, for Emeraude

animal sympathy card with black cat

To Emeraude, from Emeraude, “I will never forget you.”

Of course, it’s our pledge to them as they leave us, that we will never forget them, but don’t we also hope it’s their pledge to us, that they’ll carry our memory with them wherever they go?

I’ve designed and dedicated a new animal sympathy card for Emeraude. The geriatric kitty who made her own happiness in a strange new world and turned to trust me deserves that, and more—a second card dedicated to the adoption of senior cats.

I take the use of an animal’s image seriously, especially with my sympathy cards, never presuming they want to represent what I have to say; for that reason I always feel most comfortable using the images of animals I know well, mostly those who’ve lived with me.

For about half the time she lived here, Emeraude was quiet and withdrawn, rarely made eye contact with me unless I laid on the floor to look at her, never interacted with Mimi and the kids and though I left the door open they never stepped in and tried to be friends. Until one day she actually looked up at me in trust, the same way Peaches did, and let me know I was her person. We were devoted after that, and the boys plotted to steal her food, we all felt free to join her in the bathroom where she had chosen to live. Emeraude had a forever home, even if forever was just a few months more.

This is my favorite photo of her, this photo of her looking up at me because I wanted to preserve that expression on her face, and I wanted to include her favorite colorful blanket. She loved her bed, and from the first time I added the pawprint blanket to her pile of soft things, and every time I turned it over or replaced it with the second identical blanket she would wait until I had it all just right, then with great ceremony step upon her bed, and turn around and purr, truly a princess. It suited her immediately, and until she began to feel very ill not one black cat ever even thought about stepping on Emeraude’s bed. It belonged to her and everyone respected that.

And I wanted that expression because it was a reminder each time that she had come to trust me, and because I worked very hard to get it, both her trust and the photo. I have at least two dozen photos from this day alone that are blurred, too dark, not looking up enough, looking away too fast, and dozens from other days that were about the same. I knew our time was finite—this photo was taken on December 13, a month after her diagnosis with lymphatic leukemia—and I wanted to be certain I captured it, her slightly bent up face, her one white whisker, her emerald eyes, and her happy bed.

sympathy card with black cat

To Emeraude, from Emeraude, “I will never forget you.”

My sympathy cards have a theme of happy memories, and in the end this is what I hope we all remember about our animal companions, the joy they brought to our lives, and the beautiful things we shared. Like Lakota, Emeraude spent just a short time as part of our feline family, but I will surely never forget her.

And I will never forget all the love sent to her from all of you, and I’m sure she will remember too.

I will add that I had to wait a week to post this image because every time I looked at it tears just splashed from my eyes. I was concerned it would only make others cry too. But I consulted with my friend Deb Chebatoris who meets with people grieving their pets every day and she convinced me that, for all the stories people tell and all the sentiments they share, this is the one thing that absolutely everyone says. So I guess it’s fitting.


Use THIS card to celebrate the adoption of senior cats

card for senior cats

“You’re never too old to fall in love!”

When I sat down to design the sympathy card, this idea kept coming back to me so I actually designed it first. Is this what Emeraude would say? I’m sure, and it’s likely what a lot of other senior kitties looking for a home would say as well. And it makes me smile. It’s a great sentiment to encourage the adoption of senior pets, and it might even come in handy for a few humans as well.

card with senior black cat

“You’re never too old to fall in love!”

I hope that both Lakota’s card and Emeraude’s card can be used to let others know you’ve made the commitment to adopt or foster a senior cat, or to encourage or congratulate someone who has done so, because you’re never too old to fall in love, and even though we may never feel it’s enough time, there is always time enough to love. You can find Emeraude’s sympathy card, Emeraude’s love card and Lakota’s card in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

About my sympathy cards

animal sympathy cards

The set of sympathy cards.

As an artist I turn my emotions into creative output. Thus it is with the grief I’ve felt at the losses of my cats through the years. After receiving many sympathy cards I realized that not too many are focused on the loss of an animal companion, and I vowed to create a line of sympathy cards drawn on my own experiences that would feature photos and paintings of my cats and others’ animal companions as well as artwork and photos not focused on any species.

It wasn’t until after I’d lost Namir in July 2009 that I was suddenly moved to start designing, and when the task was done I had a dozen different sympathy cards. Each of the cats depicted was or is one of mine and the dog, Tika, I came to know through a friend and her animal memorial project.

Lakota’s card is the first new one since that year. I’ve also found that other cards outside this series are also used for sympathy cards, and as I mentioned above these sympathy cards are used for other greeting purposes. I’m so pleased to serve six veterinary hospitals around the country, four of them cat-specific, with wholesale orders of my sympathy cards. It also brings me joy to know the cats I loved are still out there doing their magic on others.

You can read more about my sympathy cards and see all the designs on my regular website, and you can also find the original set of a dozen sympathy cards in my Etsy shop. With the addition of Lakota’s card and Emeraude’s card I’m going to organize different sets and take the time to list them each individually.


black cat with green eyes

I carry her into the room, but Emeraude has grown to like it in there.

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!



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.


Subscribe to My E-newsletter
Subscribe to The Creative Cat e-newsletter for specials on exclusively feline-themed art and merchandise.

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.


Inspired by felines you know! Visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy.

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© 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!

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