Category Archives: greeting cards

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For about half the time she lived here, Emeraude was quiet and withdrawn, rarely made eye contact with me unless I laid on the floor to look at her, never interacted with Mimi and the kids and though I left the door open they never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.

AfterDinnerNap-Etsy


© 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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Valentine Cards for Cat Lovers, and Lovers with Cats

valentine greeting card with cats
“Heart Cats” Valentine Card

So far this year “You Are My Heart Cat” is the most popular Valentine card, already being ordered. Those are some eager Valentines!

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and you may recognize many of the photos and illustrations I’ve used to create these cards. Each of the cats depicted here is one of mine, even if they are in yellow marker outlined in black. My cats have no choice but to be models, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes.

These 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.

valentine cards with cats
Valentine cards available all year round!

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.

Ordering Valentines

All designs are available in my Etsy shop. You can order:

  • Individually
  • Set of six of one design in clear-top stationery box
  • Set of all six in clear-top stationery box
  • Individual cards are mailed first class, sets via Priority Mail.

Two Yellow Cats

This card was designed from one of my daily sketches and just lends itself to a variety of themes—Valentine, friendship, thinking of you…I introduced it for Valentine’s Day but actually offer it in two designs.

You may just be friends with the recipient, or you may be using the card for an entirely different purpose, so I offer this two ways in the same item on Etsy:


card design of two cats in yellow outlined in black with heart
“Two Yellow Cats” as a Valentine card.
card design of two cats in yellow outlined in black
“Two Yellow Cats” as an Everyday card.

text inside card
Text inside “Two Yellow Cats”, both design versions.

“Two Yellow Cats” finishes out my set of six different Valentine greeting cards, as always inspired by and based on images of my household of felines! The message inside is “…purrrr….purrrrr…purrrrr…” in my own handwriting in an attempt to simulate the kitty purring on my lap at the time, a message that can be given to a friend or to someone who is a little more than a friend!

Both design options will be available all the time so you can send your chosen greeting any time of the year.

Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.

ABOUT THE ART

This daily sketch was done in felt-tip brush markers, signed and dated 7/7/12.

“Even if it’s too hot to cuddle, I still love my sister.”

That’s Jelly Bean and Mewsette enjoying a quiet moment looking out the basement door. Actually, Jelly Bean was trying to get Mewsette to give him a little bath on the head, knowing that if he leaned in at just the right angle and just the right moment, Mewsette would turn and lick him without even thinking about it. It didn’t work, but it was okay.

Jelly Bean and Mewsette are black but as you know I have fun sketching them in totally unrealistic colors.


Nuzzles and Purrrrrs for Valentine’s Day!

Nuzzles and Purrrrrs

The operatically romantic Giuseppe  Basil Verdi and the French-Canadian belle femme Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite have been carrying on a long-distance affaire since the summer of 2011; they always conclude their correspondence with “nuzzles and purrrrrs”, hence the name and the text inside.

I photographed Mewsette and Giuseppe cuddling on my desk while I worked at my computer and posted them as a daily photo. So many readers immediately said “Valentine” that I thought I’d oblige with a design! And even though it’s Mewsette and not Mlle. Daisy, Mewsette looks so much like the lovely and dignified Mlle. that she is a stand-in when needed, and always knows when her brother needs a hug.

nuzzles and purrs inside crop
Text inside “Nuzzles and Purrs”.

The message inside is “NUZZLES AND PURRRRRS” in a really fun font. Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


two black cats with heart on yellow background
“Heart Cats”, featuring Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette.

You Are My Heart Cat

The siblings of the Fantastic Four often cuddle and hug, cheek to cheek, but this design adapted from the original heart-shaped cats photo of Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette is still my favorite; the background color of the card is adapted from the color of their eyes.

I photographed these two in the bathroom at night in poor light, but no matter, such a sweet photo I’d do my best. Since then I’ve adapted the two into many different designs and colors. Here, for Valentine’s day, they are solid black with the solid cerise of their eyes, and just one red heart as they hug.

you are my heart cat
Text inside “You Are My Heart Cat”

The message inside is “YOU ARE MY HEART CAT” in a really fun font. Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


two cats on red blanket
“Purple Cats, Red Blanket”

Purple Cats, Red Blanket

This daily sketch was done in felt-tip ink technical drawing pen with watercolor washes, signed and dated 1/6/12, and pictures Jelly Bean and Mewsette using a red blanket I’d tossed to the landing for the laundry as a comfy impromptu cat bed.

Black cats, like white cats, have all sorts of colors in their fur, and in the day’s filtered sunlight their fur glistened with all sorts of highlights and shadows. The randomly shaped and wrinkled red blanket heightened the range of colors in their fur and even the neutral wood floor held random combinations in its old unfinished grain. Mostly, the composition was what attracted me in the first place: two similar heavy rounded shapes, the random soft shape and the smooth shape brought elements together in a very pleasing way.

text inside card
“Purr Hearts” illustration inside card.

The message inside is “Purr Hearts” in my handwriting and hand-drawn heart-pawprints. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


black and white photo of cats
Steal a Moment With a Kitty You Love

Steal a Moment

This photo was originally an unfocused mistake but I liked it better than the focused version, and so did many readers of The Creative Cat.

text inside card
“Happy Valentine’s Day”

The message inside is “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY”—imagine that!

Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


card with moon and silhouette of two cats
Silhouettes for Valentine’s Day.

Silhouettes for Valentine’s Day

I originated this design as a Halloween card using autumn shades in autumn 2011, but with a little color change it suits Valentine’s Day. It features my photograph of the Harvest Moon and the silhouettes of Jelly Bean and Mimi derived from a photo of the two.

Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.

Unlike all the others, this card is blank inside, ready for your message.


Set of Six, one of each

Purchase a set including one of each of these six cards with your choice of red or white envelopes, and even your choice of design for “Two Yellow Cats”!

block print valentine cards with cats
Full set, smaller sets and individuals of hand-printed Valentines

Also read about my handprinted Valentine note cards: Block Print Valentine Note Cards.

I’ll have other Valentine’s Day merchandise specials to offer next week. If you’d like to receive advance notice with special discounts on these and other items I offer here and on Etsy, scroll down and sign up for The Creative Cat E-newsletter.


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.normalcy.

.


Click here to find out how you can help homeless cats this holiday season!

Sophie-HolidayCheerForHomelessPets-300


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

© 2013 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST

 



“Peace” on “Earth”, and Other Holiday Card Designs

christmas card with dog and cat

“A Cat Named Peace, A Dog Named Earth”, Pen and Ink Illustration • 1997

Look a little closer at those markings…what do you see?

For my holiday card in 1997, I was puzzling out yet another way to say “Peace on Earth”. I saw an illustration that had each hemisphere of a globe on either side of a Christmas tree ornament, and thought the idea of using the globe was clever.

Creating portraits of spotted dogs and spotted cats at the time, something in my brain put it all together for me. While I regularly create linoleum block prints, I decided to draw this one out instead of cutting it! Don’t know why…

I decided to bring this design back out this year!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. And you can choose white, red or brown kraft envelopes; if you don’t choose one I’ll ship them with white envelopes.

The card is blank inside, but with a minimum order of four dozen they can also be customized with your message or logo, but please ask soon—time is running out for custom printing!

Scroll down or browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop. You may order directly from there for single cards and sets of six or a dozen and use your discount. For larger orders and for customized orders, please e-mail me so we can discuss and I’ll send you a customized invoice that reflects your order.

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”.

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.

Inside card.

Inside at left.

With a minimum order of two dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Star of Wonder

holiday card cat looking at star
Star of Wonder

This card features a simple, wordless illustration of a cat looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside it reads: “May the wonder of the season bring you peace and joy through the year.”

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

Using a photo of Mr. Sunshine looking up at a moth, I created his silhouette including all those lovely long whiskers and fur tips. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Can We Get That Thing?

holiday card featuring kittens looking at star
Can We GetThat thing?

This card features a wordless illustration of the Curious Quartet looking at a star.

Inside card.

Inside the card reads: “…they look-ed up, and sa-aw a star …
…and they WANTED it!

I love to design with silhouettes. As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and what better models are my family of five black cats than creating with feline silhouettes?

For this illustration I used reference photos I’d taken of the Curious Quartet when they were just little kitties watching birds. I created the star motif years ago for another holiday design project for a customer, and I’m glad to use it for my designs this year.

This 5″ x 7” card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box. Cards can be customized with your message with a minimum order of four dozen (please convo on Etsy).

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

holiday card with cat
Sophie Gets a Look at Herself

Sophie was a little goofy, and did at one time look at herself in a glass ornament on the tree…for my holiday card in 1999 I decided to illustrate that memory in a quick little sketch!

On the back:

Sophie Gets a Look at Herself
Pastel • 1999

The message inside reads: “Hope your Christmas is full of wonderful surprises!”

Inside card.

Whether or not Sophie thinks she is all nose with tiny eyes and ears or that every ornament has her image on it, I don’t know, but she certainly looked a little disconcerted at encountering her reflection in this way. In any case, she provided the inspiration for a bright, cheerful piece of holiday artwork!

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and include a matching envelope.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


An Old Memory

cat-themed holiday card
An Old Memory

This card is based on a photo I took years ago…

An Old memory
Photo • 1983

Cut-paper snowflakes taped
to a wavy glass window reflecting
the big front porch from an apartment I lived in long ago,
and a cat I will always remember from when he and I were very young,
just beginning,
me just getting to know my camera, and my art;
how did I capture a perfectly blended image to reflect those times?

Inside card.

This card has a message inside: Wishing you wonderful memories this holiday season and new year.

With a minimum order of four dozen it can also be customized with your message or logo (please convo on Etsy).

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed on 12 pt. gloss card stock and includes a matching envelope, packed in a clear-top white cardboard greeting card box.

Find this card in my Etsy shop



Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.
Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 1996. It’s printed in red ink on smooth cream-colored card stock.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 1996 I decided I’d revive my love for block printing (and it was one of the creative things I did in the aftermath of losing Kublai and Allegro).

The design is derived from hand-lettering and playing around with fonts, plus tiny cat silhouettes I had designed for various projects; I added a border just to be decorative.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on cream card stock, hand trimmed and folded and includes a matching envelope. I also have a limited set on brown kraft card stock but matching envelopes have been hard to find; you will find these on Etsy if I find enough envelopes. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home. This card is a linoleum block print I designed for my holiday card in 2001. It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, then overprinted with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night.

I like to do something different for my holiday cards every year, and in 2001 decided to take my block prints a step further by adding a glittery finish, but it didn’t work well until newer glitter-based finishes were available. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, but it doesn’t photograph or scan well enough to see the actual finish.

The design is based on coming home at night from work for years and seeing one or another of my cats in this very window, usually Sally, watching for me as I came from the driveway.

Where most of my other cards are printed commercially, each of these cards is hand-printed by me on my little Speedball printing press. I usually print a run of 48 cards at a time, so each set is in its own way a limited edition.

Block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique.

This 5″ x 7″ card is printed in water-based ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope. Cards are blank inside and can also be framed.

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


Nature and Wild Birds

These sets inspired by nature are designed from my paintings and photographs from my backyard and the trails I enjoy in winter. Each set includes four or more designs. Click on any image to read more about it on Etsy.

Backyard Birds in Winter
Unexpected Berries
Winter Beauty
Cardinals Brighten a Snowy Day

cat and art materials on table

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Usually 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.

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.


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.normalcy.

.


Click here to find out how you can help homeless cats this holiday season!

Sophie-HolidayCheerForHomelessPets-300


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

© 2013 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST



Two Hand-printed Holiday Card Designs

    Hand-printed linocut holiday cards.
Hand-printed linocut holiday cards.

Years before I really went into business at home and I’d just begun freelancing, I designed and printed my own cards each year. This initially meant in the 80s I created a design in black and white and copied it…then when I got a computer in the early 90s I printed them on my black and white laser printer, then my color printer as the years marched on, and then finally had them digitally printed as I do with most of my cards today.

But every so often I want to print a card by hand and I go back to my love of block prints—in fact, my first block print designs outside of classes in school were for holiday cards, not for wall art. One of these days I’ll pull out and reprint the half-dozen non-feline designs I have and still enjoy, but for the past few years I’ve printed a limited number of two designs featuring cats.


Meowy Cats’ Mess

Meowy Cats’ Mess red.

I designed this linoleum block print  for my holiday card in 1996. Back in the day, if you were a graphic designer using clip art, the “wood cut” look was really popular, and it also helped to really revive my need to create block prints. At first I was drawing illustrations that incorporated the signature patterns of long and short incised lines for both decorative pattern and dimension and shading, then decided to take it to the real thing.

Meowy Cats’ Mess green.

My hands have always had a little touch of arthritis and tendon issues, even before heavy computer use, and while I love wood blocks and the exceptionally fine details you can achieve, I decided to go with linoleum blocks since they were easier to cut and that put less stress on my hands.

I’ve earlier referenced losing two of my cats in 1996, Kublai and Allegro, and all the things I’d done to work my way through my grief that autumn. This was really my final big project in that process, and while I’d initially decided to try to avoid the subject of cats in my holiday cards, I could take joy in them again, watching them in their everyday play and activities, and thought I’d celebrate them instead, my whole household at once.

Meowy Cat's Mess in red on brown kraft.
Meowy Cat’s Mess in red on brown kraft.

In brainstorming a clever visual or verbal “headline”, I like to twist words and “Meowy Cat’s Mess” came up as I thought through all the phrases connected with Christmas and other winter holidays. I worked my way through a few sketches with the text and the cats and pretty quickly came to this, with all these happy busy kitties making a mess of my design!

I took the little feline silhouettes I’d designed years earlier, then stylized them for block printing in 1993 when I designed the “Tabbies” series. In this case, however, I wanted each of the cats to be a little different and more or less representative of the cats in my household at the time including a few prior fosters, so I designed them with stripes, spots, specks, white paws and solids dark and light.

The design is derived from playing around with fonts then hand-lettering. I liked the design, but it looked to be floating on the card so I added a border with a bow because I liked how the cut lines in the bow and ribbon used for shading looked.

Meowy Cat's Mess in green on brown kraft.
Meowy Cat’s Mess in green on brown kraft.

Just in case you haven’t read this in prior posts, block printing is 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. Because of this process, each print is slightly different and therefore unique. You can see a little slideshow of the process in a recent post, “Featured Artwork: “Fawnball”.

I’ve also recently found an economical little Speedball printing press which enables me to print cards faster. I usually print only a dozen cards at a time because I have to have a place for them to dry for at least a day, out of the reach of curious paws…and that means hanging clotheslines in my studio and bathroom and clothes pinning them to hang to dry before I stamp my information on the back and fold them.

This card is 5″ x 7″ and is printed in water-based acrylic ink on card stock in four variations, with several choices of envelope:

  • cream card stock with red ink, cream or red envelope
  • cream card stock with green ink, cream or green envelope
  • kraft card stock with red ink, red or kraft envelope
  • kraft card stock with green ink, green or kraft envelope

Cards are blank inside and can also be framed. You can find all the cards here. In addition, this year I made a set of 5″ x 7″ wood-mount prints of just the prints.


Window Kitty, Snowy Night

cat themed holiday card
Window Kitty, Snowy Night

Kitty is waiting in the window for you to return home.

I designed this linoleum block print for my holiday card in 2001.The design is based on the actual scene that met me many snowy nights when I came home from my day job and seeing one of my kitties in silhouette, Sally for many years, then Sophie, sitting on the windowsill at the big casement window facing north, the light falling across the snow on the ground below.

It’s printed in cobalt blue ink on smooth yellow card stock, and the ink wraps completely around the back. It’s then lightly rolled with iridescent glitter in a clear base to simulate the sense of falling snow at night as you move the card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t scan or photograph well, you’ll just have to use a little visualization…

I had initially used all sorts of other glitter to achieve the effect, but it either obscured the design or just fell off in the envelope when it was mailed. Each year for four or five years I experimented with another type of glitter, unsuccessfully. I put it away for several years until 2012 and decided I’d revive the design somehow, even if it just meant printing the design on the paper, which is nice on its own, though I really felt the need for the extra dimension of glitter. So it took over a decade to achieve that final idea, but it was well worth it.

As with the “Meowy Cat’s Mess” card I print these cards one dozen at a time, let them dry, then roll on the iridescent finish and let that dry, add a little label to the back with my information, then finally fold it.

This card is also 5″ x 7″ and printed in water-based acrylic ink on yellow card stock, iridescent glitter finish hand-rolled onto the paper as described, and hand trimmed and folded. It includes a matching envelope in your choice of yellow or white. Card is blank inside and can also be framed, though I haven’t made any wood-mount versions of this, but only for lack of space!

Find this card in my Etsy shop.


cat and art materials on table

Take a look at other new merchandise and featured artwork.

Usually 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.

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.


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.normalcy.

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Click here to find out how you can help homeless cats this holiday season!

Sophie-HolidayCheerForHomelessPets-300


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

© 2013 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | ETSY SHOP | PINTEREST



Yes, I Will Have Halloween Cards, and Christmas Cards, and Hanukkah Cards…

    Holiday cards from Portraits of Animals!
Holiday cards from Portraits of Animals!

People have been asking! It’s time to order holiday cards for personal use or for your professional practice, and of course, I offer cards for Halloween—with six black cats and two former torties that’s a natural—and a big variety of holiday cards featuring my cats! All of my cards are designed from my photographs and paintings, and often you’ve seen these works as they appear in my daily posts. Here is a preview of what I have to offer, but just wait until October—I’ll have special offers for both individuals and animal professionals to stock up on these designs, plus other fun products that incorporate these designs and others! You will be able to purchase cards individually, as a mixed set or a set of all the same design.

In addition to my commercially-printed cards I also have a few designs which are hand-printed as block prints for a completely unique card which becomes original art.

Customized messages inside the card…

Some designs have a message inside, others are blank, but I can custom print a message or logo for you for $2.50 per dozen for a minimum of two dozen of the same design, allowing an extra two weeks for delivery for special orders.


For Halloween Fun…

Halloween greeting card
Madame Mewsette will tell your For-tuna

You see my daily photos, sometimes several each day, all the time, and I often receive suggestions for how they could be used as greeting cards and merchandise. Much like I turn my daily sketches into merchandise, I listen to those suggestions and also keep my eyes open for daily photos that can become something new and exciting.

So what better to do with a family of five black cats during the festive Halloween season?

“Madame Mewsette” began as a daily photo like the ones you see every day, first posted on October 31, 2010; another, in the design below, was posted on October 30, 2010. They were completely unposed—I got out the pumpkins, but my black cats organized the creative compositions and it was all I could do to get a good clear photo in challenging lighting because surely they would never pose like this again! From the moment I took these photos, posted them 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, last year, compiling my holiday card designs, I decided I really did want to create a few Halloween cards—especially with the first two images.

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.

Click here to preview the other designs!


For Christmas, Hanukkah and Winter Seasons

I also offer Christmas, Hanukkah and winter holiday cards featuring natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography.

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!


And Featured Today on The Conscious Cat

animal sympathy card for cat
A new sympathy card, dedicated to Lakota.

Ingrid King has featured my Animal Sympathy Card selection on The Conscious Cat today! You may not think of sympathy cards for persons who’ve lost their animal companions at all, or until the time comes to purchase one. You’ve read my story about how I came to design my own because I knew how difficult it was to find an appropriate card. Whether you are an individual or an animal professional, every once in a while the need arises for a sympathy card, and as you browse the fun and lovely Halloween and holiday cards, also browse my Animal Sympathy cards.

Every custom order for Halloween or holiday cards can also include cards from this assortment. Whether you are an individual or an animal professional, sending a card through the mail is still an important custom.


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.


Cookie and Kelly are ready to supervise my work!
Cookie and Kelly are ready to supervise my work!

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!Click here to 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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Hand-printed “Tabbies” Summer Notecards

set of hand-printed notecards

Set of five “Tabbies” Bright note cards.

So what were Mewsette and I printing this weekend? A few more sets of my block-printed “Tabbies” notecards! Bright-colored card stock and bright-colored inks, I’ve been having fun experimenting with the “Tabbies” series in different styles and colors.

Above is the “Brights” set, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards printed on five different Astrobright flourescent paper colors, green, blue, pink, yellow and orange, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple; each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise. Find the Brights sets here in my Etsy shop.

Below is the “Summery” set, 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ note cards printed on six different summery paper colors, yellow, pink orange, blue, green and violet, and five different ink colors, magenta, green, blue, orange and purple; each set includes one card in each color paper stock, with design and ink color randomly chosen so each set is a surprise. Find the Summery set here in my Etsy shop.

Set of six "Tabbies" Summer note cards.

Set of six “Tabbies” Summer note cards.

Cards are stamped inside with “Meow” using a commercial stamp, and on the back with my information. Matching envelopes with fuzzy pawprints stamped in the lower right corner are included.

Inside and outside the cards


sample of note card
Sample of Brights set, orange stock with red ink.
"Meow" printed inside each card!
“Meow” printed inside each card!
back printing on note card
The information stamped on the back of each card.

Matching envelopes


colored envelopes
Coordinating Brights set envelopes.
coordinating envelopes for summer brights notecards
Coordinating envelopes for Tabbies Summer set of notecards.

cat and art materials on table

ABOUT THE ART: TABBIES LINOLEUM BLOCK PRINTS

The stripes made me do it! 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.

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.

You can read more about block printing in this article on The Creative Cat, and find more block-printed merchandise on The Creative Cat, on  Portraits of Animals Marketplace and in my Etsy shop under both Linoleum Block Prints for framed art, Block Print Household for textiles and housewares, and Greeting Card Sets for these and other cards.


photo of five cats in studio

Special orders and requests

If you see a daily sketch on The Creative Cat you’d like to have, please tell me. Likewise, if you have a custom item in mind contact me to describe it, or if an item is out of stock and you’d like to know when I’ll be making that item again, please ask!. Send me an e-mail.

I couldn’t do it without my studio cats!

My feline inspirations and I thank you for browsing and for purchasing handmade goods and supporting a small business! Click here or on the photo to read about the studio cats in the photo.


Click here to 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 purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.


Keepsake Boxes, Both Gift and Giftwrap

keepsake box set with cat design
“Watercolor Cats” round keepsake box set.

Keepsake boxes can be used as the gift itself for someone who can use them as both decoration and storage—I originally got the idea from the many gift boxes I’d received through the years and use to sort my jewelry, photos, and keepsake items from family members or times in my life.

You can also use each one as a gift box that is already wrapped for your recipient and they get two gifts in one—the gift in the box and the box itself.

papier mache box with cat design
“22 Cats” keepsake box
22 Cats Keepsake Box 8×8

A papier-mâché box hand-painted in warm leather brown with a print of “22 Cats”, my award-winning collage of portraits of rescued cats from “Great Rescues”, decoupaged to the lid, measuring 10″ x 10″ x 4″. This design also has prints of the design decoupaged to the sides and bottom.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as a gift box.

I choose a color that coordinates with the artwork and paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. In this case I also print the artwork and adhere to the sides and bottom, then finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. Find this box in my shop on Etsy. In addition to the keepsake box in “22 Cats” design, I also offer an 8.5″ x 11″ wooden tray that matches the box.

keepsake box set with cat design
“Watercolor Cats” round keepsake box set.
Watercolor Cats Keepsake Box Set of Three

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black, with prints of three sketches decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 4″, 5″ and 6″ in diameter x 3″ high.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a color that coordinates with the artwork and paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

In the order above the names of the sketches are: “Purple Cats, Red Blanket “, “World Cat”, and “Mimi’s Sunbath”, all sketched in ink with watercolor embellishment.

You can find this set of “Watercolor Cats” keepsake boxes in my shop on Etsy and your free Valentine can be the design on the first box,  the “Purple Cats, Red Blanket” card!

In addition, I offer “Purple Cats, Red Blanket” as a digital print. I also offer the second design, “World Cat” as both a wood-mounted print and a digital print on paper.

handmade keepsake boxes, shabby chic, cats
“Victoriana Cats” keepsakes boxes, set of 3
Victoriana Cats Keepsake Box Set of Three

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and crackle-finish gold and cream with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid from my “Victoriana Cats” set. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″x4″ and 5″x3″ and the tallest is 3″ high. Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and crackle-finish gold and cream with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″x4″ and 5″x3″ and the tallest is 3″ high.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural color for “Victoriana Cats”, and I’ve been waiting to try a new crackle-finish glaze–this was the perfect subject. The base color is a pale antique gold, pulling mid-range highlights in the sepia-look photos, with a natural white top coat nicely crackled. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. Find this set of keepsake boxes in my Etsy shop.

I also offer Victoriana Cats as a set of greeting cards—read about the cards on Etsy as well.

Compositions in Black and Green Keepsake Box Set of Three
keepsake boxes with black cats
Compositions in Black and Green keepsake box set

Who knew that vintage mint green sink would photograph in such a rich tone, especially when filled with a black cat? From the time I installed the new bathroom, the black cats owned it and the contrast of their black fur with the mint green fixtures and white walls and floor has been stunning and created some of the most favorite photos in my cat collection.

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and mint green with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″ x 4″ and 5″ x 3″ and the tallest is 3″ high. Only one is available!

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural trim color for “Compositions in Black and Green”, and while I avoid mixing colors because they are difficult to repeat later I mixed the shade of green to work coordinate with the famous mint green sink. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. Find the boxes in my Etsy shop. I also offer a 2013 calendar of the same title, “Compositions in Black and Green”, now on sale, and can also ship a calendar with your order.

"God, I'm Cute" 5" x 7" wood-mounted print
“God, I’m Cute” 5″ x 7″ wood-mounted print
“God, I’m Cute” Wood-mounted Print

The 5″ x 7″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1″ canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

That’s my Jelly Bean demonstrating his most absolute cuteness in the mirror.

“Mirror, mirror on the sink

I’m the handsomest kitty, I think!”

Perhaps instead he’s practicing his most seductive expression in the mirror.

Jelly Bean is about as cute as cute can be and he knows how to use it. Moreso than any of the other Big Four, Jelly Bean was always the cutest, it’s just part of his nature, and now that he’s maturing he’s also developing those feline-seductive “bedroom eyes”, the squinty, blinky look that makes them impossible to resist.


2013 Calendars 50% Off

image of cat calendars
Desk and journal calendars for 2013, “In the Kitchen with Cookie” and “Compositions in Green and Black”

Love black cats? Need a little more tortie in your life? Have you been looking at these calendars and considering one? How about a Valentine gift for a special cat lover? I still have calendars available for 2013, and beginning February 1 they are 50% off!

From reviews and comments, it’s not so much about having a calendar as having the photos to look at time after time, and that was really my goal in designing these two calendars. For more information, visit the page here on The Creative Cat where you can find links to reviews and “flip” through the pages, or find the calendars on Etsy.


Thank you for purchasing

Mimi inspects the keepsake box prior to it being offered for sale.

Mimi inspects the keepsake box prior to it being offered for sale.

My studio supervisors are always hard at work!

Inspired by cats you know!
Everything I make features the cats you read about each day on The Creative Cat.

It’s my pleasure to share my cats and my creative life with my readers, and to know that what I make is part of your home, or a gift for someone special.

Find these and many other feline-themed gifts, as well as inspirations from pets, wildlife, flowers and nature, in my Etsy shop. If you have any questions, please send me an e-mail at bernadette@bernadette-k.com.

And if you’d like to see what’s new before I post it here on The Creative Cat, don’t forget to sign up for my monthly (more or less) e-newsletter below.


Inspired by felines you know!

Click on the banner below to visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy for more of my designs inspired by the cats you read about each day.

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

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

And browse some rescued cats and kittens too!


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.


Last-minute Valentine Gifts, Plus a Complimentary Card With Every Order

keepsake box set with cat design
“Watercolor Cats” round keepsake box set.

Orders I receive by the end of the day on Friday can still reach destinations in the “continental” US by next Thursday, February 14 via Priority Mail—plus get 10% off and your choice of a complimentary Valentine greeting card for your special Valentine! If there’s a special cat lover on your list here are a few things I can ship out ASAP, and you can use the coupon code VALENTINE10 when shopping in my Etsy shop for a 10% discount now through Valentine’s Day.

Keepsake Boxes, both gift and giftwrap

papier mache box with cat design
“22 Cats” keepsake box
22 Cats Keepsake Box 8×8

A papier-mâché box hand-painted in warm leather brown with a print of “22 Cats”, my award-winning collage of portraits of rescued cats from “Great Rescues”, decoupaged to the lid, measuring 10″ x 10″ x 4″. This design also has prints of the design decoupaged to the sides and bottom.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as a gift box.

I choose a color that coordinates with the artwork and paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. In this case I also print the artwork and adhere to the sides and bottom, then finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. Find this box in my shop on Etsy. In addition to the keepsake box in “22 Cats” design, I also offer an 8.5″ x 11″ wooden tray that matches the box.

keepsake box set with cat design
“Watercolor Cats” round keepsake box set.
Watercolor Cats Keepsake Box Set of Three

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black, with prints of three sketches decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 4″, 5″ and 6″ in diameter x 3″ high.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

I choose a color that coordinates with the artwork and paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

In the order above the names of the sketches are: “Purple Cats, Red Blanket “, “World Cat”, and “Mimi’s Sunbath”, all sketched in ink with watercolor embellishment.

You can find this set of “Watercolor Cats” keepsake boxes in my shop on Etsy and your free Valentine can be the design on the first box,  the “Purple Cats, Red Blanket” card!

In addition, I offer “Purple Cats, Red Blanket” as a digital print. I also offer the second design, “World Cat” as both a wood-mounted print and a digital print on paper.

handmade keepsake boxes, shabby chic, cats
“Victoriana Cats” keepsakes boxes, set of 3
Victoriana Cats Keepsake Box Set of Three

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and crackle-finish gold and cream with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid from my “Victoriana Cats” set. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″x4″ and 5″x3″ and the tallest is 3″ high. Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and crackle-finish gold and cream with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″x4″ and 5″x3″ and the tallest is 3″ high.

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural color for “Victoriana Cats”, and I’ve been waiting to try a new crackle-finish glaze–this was the perfect subject. The base color is a pale antique gold, pulling mid-range highlights in the sepia-look photos, with a natural white top coat nicely crackled. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. Find this set of keepsake boxes in my Etsy shop.

I also offer Victoriana Cats as a set of greeting cards—read about the cards on Etsy as well.

Compositions in Black and Green Keepsake Box Set of Three
keepsake boxes with black cats
Compositions in Black and Green keepsake box set

Who knew that vintage mint green sink would photograph in such a rich tone, especially when filled with a black cat? From the time I installed the new bathroom, the black cats owned it and the contrast of their black fur with the mint green fixtures and white walls and floor has been stunning and created some of the most favorite photos in my cat collection.

Papier-mâché boxes hand-painted in black and mint green with prints of three photos decoupaged to the lid. Lid and bottom are finished with matte-finish Modge Podge. Boxes measure 5″ x 7″, 6″ x 4″ and 5″ x 3″ and the tallest is 3″ high. Only one is available!

Use for storage for small items, photos or special keepsakes, or use as gift boxes.

Black was a natural trim color for “Compositions in Black and Green”, and while I avoid mixing colors because they are difficult to repeat later I mixed the shade of green to work coordinate with the famous mint green sink. I paint each box, then print my artwork on acid-free matte-finish paper with archival waterproof inks and adhere the print to the lid. I finish the bottom and lid of the box with matte-finish Modge Podge. Box insides are unfinished.

The boxes are handmade and may vary slightly in size and shape or have slight imperfections. Find the boxes in my Etsy shop. I also offer a 2013 calendar of the same title, “Compositions in Black and Green”, now on sale, and can also ship a calendar with your order.

"God, I'm Cute" 5" x 7" wood-mounted print
“God, I’m Cute” 5″ x 7″ wood-mounted print
“God, I’m Cute” Wood-mounted Print

The 5″ x 7″ block, originally intended for painting, is a 1/8″ birch wood panel “cradled” with a 1″ canvas stretcher added to the back for strength and stability and, incidentally, ease of hanging. I’ve painted the sides black and mounted a print edge to edge on the top surface, then covered it with acrylic finish.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK

That’s my Jelly Bean demonstrating his most absolute cuteness in the mirror.

“Mirror, mirror on the sink

I’m the handsomest kitty, I think!”

Perhaps instead he’s practicing his most seductive expression in the mirror.

Jelly Bean is about as cute as cute can be and he knows how to use it. Moreso than any of the other Big Four, Jelly Bean was always the cutest, it’s just part of his nature, and now that he’s maturing he’s also developing those feline-seductive “bedroom eyes”, the squinty, blinky look that makes them impossible to resist.


2013 Calendars 50% Off

image of cat calendars
Desk and journal calendars for 2013, “In the Kitchen with Cookie” and “Compositions in Green and Black”

Love black cats? Need a little more tortie in your life? Have you been looking at these calendars and considering one? How about a Valentine gift for a special cat lover? I still have calendars available for 2013, and beginning February 1 they are 50% off!

From reviews and comments, it’s not so much about having a calendar as having the photos to look at time after time, and that was really my goal in designing these two calendars. For more information, visit the page here on The Creative Cat where you can find links to reviews and “flip” through the pages, or find the calendars on Etsy.


linocuts of tortoiseshell cats
“Tortie Girls in Black and Red” Set of two framed prints.

A Special Couple…

Tortie Girls in Red and Black

A set of hand printed linoleum block prints featuring my tortoiseshell girls, matted and framed and ready to hang—I have one of each print.

“The Goddess”
Well, everyone knows a fat cat who knows she’s beautiful, and Cookie would tell you that a woman with a round shape was once most desirable and an object of worship. That’s why I call her “The Goddess”.

“The Roundest Eyes”
Sometimes when I look at Kelly the only feature I can distinguish in all those tortie markings is her extremely round eyes.

Unlike other versions of this print in my Etsy shop and on my website which are usually hand-tinted with the orange and yellow of tortoiseshell cats, I have left this in black only for that lovely effective contrast of black ink on white rice paper. Image is 8″ x 12″, with my favorite rich red acid-free mat and a solid wood black matte-finish 12″ x 16″ frame. Read a little more about the print and the girls here on The Creative Cat or find it in my Etsy shop.


Valentine Note Cards and Greeting Cards

Full set, smaller sets and individuals of hand-printed Valentines
Full set, smaller sets and individuals of hand-printed Valentines

Choose from the selection of Valentine Cards in my Etsy shop for your free Valentine card with order!

This year I’m offering a limited number of the above unique hand-printed Valentine note cards patterned on those familiar conversation hearts. Hand-printed linoleum block print cards printed in magenta on pink, violet, magenta and red card stock, embellished with magenta or purple stamp ink, are 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 and in sets of four, six or eight with matching or coordinating envelopes.


Valentine Greeting Cards
valentine greeting card with cats
“Heart Cats” Valentine Card

I also offer six 5″ x 7″ greeting card designs, several of which can also be used as everyday greeting cards for friendship, thinking of you, even sympathy. Each card comes with your choice of red or white 70 lb. acid-free laser-compatible envelope.

Purchase cards:

  • individually
  • in half dozen packages of the same design
  • an assortment including one each of all six
  • your own custom selection.

And don’t forget to ask about bulk wholesale purchases for resale or to veterinary professionals. Follow the links to read about each design on The Creative Cat, then you can find the cards you want in my Etsy shop.


Thank you for purchasing

Black cat looking at cards.
“Make certain the cards are lined up properly prior to running the scoring blade.”

Mimi makes sure I score and fold the cards correctly!

Inspired by cats you know!
Everything I make features the cats you read about each day on The Creative Cat.

It’s my pleasure to share my cats and my creative life with my readers, and to know that what I make is part of your home, or a gift for someone special.

Use your discount code “VALENTINE10” when shopping in my Etsy shop. If you have any questions, please send me an e-mail at bernadette@bernadette-k.com.

And if you’d like to see what’s new before I post it here on The Creative Cat, don’t forget to sign up for my monthly (more or less) e-newsletter below.


Inspired by felines you know!

Click on the banner below to visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy for more of my designs inspired by the cats you read about each day.

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

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

And browse some rescued cats and kittens too!


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.


Select Christmas Cards by the Dozen 50% off until January 31!

"Unexpected Berries" set of 4 holiday cards.

“Unexpected Berries” SET OF 4.

"An Old Memory" Christmas Card

“An Old Memory” SINGLE CARD.

"Winter Birds" paintings holiday cards

“Winter Birds” paintings SET OF 4.

"Star of Wonder" holiday card.

“Star of Wonder” SINGLE CARD.


Stock up now with these four and more—and give me less to store away for the next eight months! Order holiday cards at a discount for personal use or for your professional practice featuring not only my cats and feline-inspired images but also other pets, natural scenes, winter scenes and backyard birds; honestly, winter is my favorite season for art and photography. All cards are designed from my photographs and paintings. Browse the selection of Holiday cards in my Etsy shop.

Note on ordering discount holiday cards…

Please order holiday cards separately if you are going to use your 10% discount—they are already marked 50% off the original price. Customized messages inside the card are not available for this sale.


Inspired by felines you know!

Click on the banner below to visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy for more of my designs inspired by the cats you read about each day.

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

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.


Valentine Cards for Cat Lovers, and Lovers with Cats

valentine cards
“Two Yellow Cats”, Valentine card based on a daily sketch!

Here is my newest Valentine design, “Two Yellow Cats”, to finish out my set of six different Valentine greeting cards, as always inspired by and based on images of my household of felines!

As an artist I turn to my surroundings for creative output, and you may recognize many of the photos and illustrations I’ve used to create these cards. Each of the cats depicted here is one of mine, even if they are in yellow marker outlined in black. My cats have no choice but to be models, especially “if they like to eat” as I always tell them when they roll their eyes.

These cards are 5″ x 7″ and are printed on 12 pt. gloss cover, uncoated 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. “Two Yellow Cats” above is shown with the red envelope, while the white envelope is bright white.


Two Yellow Cats

This card was designed from one of my daily sketches and just lends itself to a variety of themes—Valentine, friendship, thinking of you…I’m introducing it for Valentine’s Day and actually offer it in two designs.

You may just be friends with the recipient, or you may be using the card for an entirely different purpose, so I offer this two ways in the same item on Etsy:


card design of two cats in yellow outlined in black with heart
“Two Yellow Cats” as a Valentine card.
card design of two cats in yellow outlined in black
“Two Yellow Cats” as an Everyday card.

text inside card
Text inside “Two Yellow Cats”, both design versions.

The message inside is “…purrrr….purrrrr…purrrrr…” in my own handwriting in an attempt to simulate the kitty purring on my lap at the time, a message that can be given to a friend or to someone who is a little more than a friend!

Both design options will be available all the time so you can send your chosen greeting any time of the year.

Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.

ABOUT THE ART

This daily sketch was done in felt-tip brush markers, signed and dated 7/7/12.

“Even if it’s too hot to cuddle, I still love my sister.”

That’s Jelly Bean and Mewsette enjoying a quiet moment looking out the basement door. Actually, Jelly Bean was trying to get Mewsette to give him a little bath on the head, knowing that if he leaned in at just the right angle and just the right moment, Mewsette would turn and lick him without even thinking about it. It didn’t work, but it was okay.

Jelly Bean and Mewsette are black but as you know I have fun sketching them in totally unrealistic colors.


Nuzzles and Purrrrrs for Valentine’s Day!

Nuzzles and Purrrrrs

The operatically romantic Giuseppe and the French-Canadian belle femme Mlle. Daisy Emerald Marguerite have been carrying on a long-distance affaire since the summer of 2011; they always conclude their correspondence with “nuzzles and purrrrrs”, hence the name and the text inside.

I photographed Mewsette and Giuseppe cuddling on my desk while I worked at my computer and posted them as a daily photo. So many readers immediately said “Valentine” that I thought I’d oblige with a design! And even though it’s Mewsette and not Mlle. Daisy, Mewsette looks so much like the lovely and dignified Mlle. that she is a stand-in when needed, and always knows when her brother needs a hug.

nuzzles and purrs inside crop
Text inside “Nuzzles and Purrs”.

The message inside is “NUZZLES AND PURRRRRS” in a really fun font. Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


two black cats with heart on yellow background
“Heart Cats”, featuring Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette.

You Are My Heart Cat

The siblings of the Fantastic Four often cuddle and hug, cheek to cheek, but this design adapted from the original heart-shaped cats photo of Mr. Sunshine and Mewsette is still my favorite; the background color of the card is adapted from the color of their eyes.

I photographed these two in the bathroom at night in poor light, but no matter, such a sweet photo I’d do my best. Since then I’ve adapted the two into many different designs and colors. Here, for Valentine’s day, they are solid black with the solid cerise of their eyes, and just one red heart as they hug.

you are my heart cat
Text inside “You Are My Heart Cat”

The message inside is “YOU ARE MY HEART CAT” in a really fun font. Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


two cats on red blanket
“Purple Cats, Red Blanket”

Purple Cats, Red Blanket

This daily sketch was done in felt-tip ink technical drawing pen with watercolor washes, signed and dated 1/6/12, and pictures Jelly Bean and Mewsette using a red blanket I’d tossed to the landing for the laundry as a comfy impromptu cat bed.

Black cats, like white cats, have all sorts of colors in their fur, and in the day’s filtered sunlight their fur glistened with all sorts of highlights and shadows. The randomly shaped and wrinkled red blanket heightened the range of colors in their fur and even the neutral wood floor held random combinations in its old unfinished grain. Mostly, the composition was what attracted me in the first place: two similar heavy rounded shapes, the random soft shape and the smooth shape brought elements together in a very pleasing way.

text inside card
“Purr Hearts” illustration inside card.

The message inside is “Purr Hearts” in my handwriting and hand-drawn heart-pawprints. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


black and white photo of cats
Steal a Moment With a Kitty You Love

Steal a Moment

This photo was originally an unfocused mistake but I liked it better than the focused version, and so did many readers of The Creative Cat.

text inside card
“Happy Valentine’s Day”

The message inside is “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY”—imagine that!

Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.


card with moon and silhouette of two cats
Silhouettes for Valentine’s Day.

Silhouettes for Valentine’s Day

I originated this design as a Halloween card using autumn shades in autumn 2011, but with a little color change it suits Valentine’s Day. It features my photograph of the Harvest Moon and the silhouettes of Jelly Bean and Mimi derived from a photo of the two.

Each card comes with choice of red or white acid-free envelopes which are inkjet/laser compatible. I sell them individually as a set of six packed in a clear-top vinyl greeting card box in my shop on Etsy.

Unlike all the others, this card is blank inside, ready for your message.


Set of Six, one of each

Purchase a set including one of each of these six cards with your choice of red or white envelopes, and even your choice of design for “Two Yellow Cats”!

Also read about my handprinted Valentine note cards: Block Print Valentine Note Cards.

I’ll have other Valentine’s Day merchandise specials to offer next week. If you’d like to receive advance notice with special discounts on these and other items I offer here and on Etsy, scroll down and sign up for The Creative Cat E-newsletter.


Inspired by felines you know!

Click on the banner below to visit Portraits of Animals on Etsy for more of my designs inspired by the cats you read about each day.

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

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.


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