My August 2016 Sampler Box reflects bright colors and memories from the month of August, lots of red and pink and orange, special kitties remembered in this month, a rescued kitten and wildlife enjoying a marsh afternoon.
Click the photo to see an enlarged version.
I choose contents to give you the most variety in each item. I take into account not only item but style, medium, size, subject,—even a particular feline subject, color or coat pattern, or a particular anniversary with one of my feline family—as well as season, holiday, color palette and the message it sends, as with greeting cards. You’ll see a good sample of not only my work but also the beauty and inspiration of felines so that, whether you keep the contents for yourself or give them as gifts or donations, you’ll find something that fits nearly every occasion.
Below the list of contents you can read more about each of the items and why I chose them for this Sampler Box, and a link to the item on Portraits of Animals.
“Listening to Granados, de Falla and Rodrigo”, watercolor, 6” x 9”, matted for 11” x 14” frame
Counter print: “Kelly Has a Drink”, colored pencil, 8” x 10”
SELECTED GREETING CARDS
- Sympathy Card: “Unforgettable”
- Feline Fine Art Card: “Namir at the Window”, a new selection
- Photo Card: “Mewsette in the Mirror” (Victoriana Cats)
- Notecard: “Ready for Play” (Feline Pencil Sketches),
- Notecard: “Mewsette’s Blue Nap”, a new selection
- All-purpose greeting card: Wildlife Collection, “Taking Flight”
About the contents
Featured Print: Listening to Granados, de Falla and Rodrigo
This painting probably has the longest name of any of my pieces of artwork! If you don’t know your Spanish classical guitar composers, now is your chance. I was listening to them while I painted this, but it could also be that Fromage was listening to them when I took the photo and I tried my best to capture the rich red and green of the woven pillow and filled the background with an old gold brushy pattern remeniscent of stucco on old Spanish walls.
No, this is not one of my Five. Don’t I have enough black cats, I have to go looking for others? Well, Fromage is related to us, not by blood, but by bond. She is the neo-natal kitten I fostered in 2009, bottle feeding her and helping her along until I handed her over to the capable paws of the Fantastic Four so that she would learn to be a proper black cat.
Fromage was rescued by and lives with a friend (Cranberry’s lady), and I visit regularly. I took this photo of Fromage on the striped woven pillow on an Easter visit, several photos in fact because her soft black shape looked so graceful on the colorful pillow, and ever since that moment this image has been requesting its chance to be painted;—each time I thought about what I’d like to paint next, the painting itself would appear for me and patiently hover in my mind. When an image wants that badly to be painted you have to give in eventually.
The art is 6” x 9” and I’ve matted it to fit into an 11” x 14” frame, black, mahogany, forest green, modern or ornate.
Counter print: Kelly Has a Drink
What legs! Kelly really did have long legs, especially when she did her drinking dance, solidly planting all four paws, then prancing her hind paws and waving her tail while she drank. There’s something so precious about Kelly drinking; I think it had to do with her timid nature, yet she totally enjoyed her water so I enjoyed her enjoyment.
This is the last sketch I did of Kelly while she was still with me in August 2012, ironic that I would catch one of the poses I really wanted to be sure to catch before it was too late. It’s one of those poses I’d watched Kelly take for years, her little drinking stance, leaning way down from those long legs and lapping noisily at the water; for such a fastidious and rather timid kitty, she made noises drinking and bathing that I could hear two rooms away, and they always made me laugh.
But there is always something like this that we remember about our animal companions, something that makes no sense to anyone else. You know, the odd bathing position, the awkward sleeping habit, the strange toy, all these things are what show us they really are individuals and are often the things we remember the longest about them.
Greeting and Note Cards
The sympathy card for this month, “Unforgettable”, features Kennedy, a hospice rescue who was only with us for six week but somehow seemed like a brother to the family of four as soon as he came in the door. Those bristly whiskers and gaunt face, copper eyes with a cataract, bent legs, stiff spine, who could forget any of Kennedy’s battle scars? But mostly, who could forget the part that was just him: happy, full of love and friendship, despite his pain and his past as you clearly see in his eyes? The photo is one of the very last I took of him while he still lived, taken on the morning of the day I had him put to sleep, looking at me with trust and love and understanding and all that experience written all over his face.
The art card is “Namir at the Window”, and I just decided to offer it because this acrylic painting, one of only a few I’ve done, received lots of positive comments when I shared it this summer even though I painted it nearly a decade ago. I’d also like some feedback on the feel of the card because I’m trying out some pre-cut greeting cards to print custom cards and I liked the weight on this one, though I’m not sure of the finish. The photo card is “Mewsette in the Mirror” from Victoriana Cats and one of my favorites in the number of cats-in-the-mirror images I have. They can work for family, friends, co-workers as a friendship, sympathy, thank you, thinking of you card, or could be a small framed print on your wall.
For smaller and possibly less formal greetings, the notecards carry much simpler messages. The kitten in “Ready for Play” is Fawn, I think, from Feline Pencil Sketches, one of the pencil sketches I did in the late 80s, and being from “my first litter” of rescued kittens she represents all the summer kittens we are rescuing in August. The second note card is also a new design: “Mewsette’s Blue Nap” is a loose watercolor I painted in indigo blue and is printed on textured paper. Let me know what you think.
When I set up the Sampler Box program I mentioned I’d slip some wildlife in now and then. For even more variety the non-feline greeting card is “Taking Flight”, a pastel of two whooping cranes I put together from photos and studying the cranes. The marsh grass, the light, the rippling water, it’s all about a summer day.
GIFT ITEM: Laminated Placemats
I had introduced the laminated placemats in August and began trying out various sizes and shapes and showing them to friends to see what sizes, shapes and patterns were popular for placemats for your table, for your pets, and for other uses. The pictorial placemats were favorites for your table, but the more patterned ones seem best for your pets, your countertops, desks and other uses. For this initial run I’ve created an 11” x 15” placemat featuring “Waiting for Mom”, a scene that seems to be a memory for most of us, and 11″ x 11″ “22 Cats”, a repeating collage of all the portraits included in “Great Rescues Day Book”.
Packaging the Sampler Box
The packaging is another portion of what comes in the box: wrapping paper, of a sort! Usually I use sheets of my art paper which are heavy enough to withstand a little taping, and that gives you two 11” x 17” sheets of cat-themed wrapping paper. This month it’s another test print overall pattern of “Everyone’s On My Desk”, a marker sketch of just that because the color works for the season. It’s not available for sale yet. Let me know what you think of this pattern and whether or not I should have it printed and offer it for sale. You can see other wrapping paper here.
FOR YOU, FOR GIFTS, OR FOR DONATIONS
Use the prints and cards for yourself, gifts or donations to help cats. Any of the prints, whether the main print or a framed note card, can be given as a gift to a family member or friend, or as a thank you to a veterinarian or veterinary technician, pet sitter, groomer or anyone else in your life who would enjoy a cat-themed gift. They can also help other cats by being donated to online auctions or shelter and rescue events to help raise much-needed funds.
A NOTE ABOUT PACKAGING
I use as many environmentally friendly and fully non-toxic materials as possible in my packaging so I use as much recyclable paper as possible, which includes the glassine bag holding your cards. However, on the chance that you may donate or give one of your prints as gift, they are packed in a clear print bag or cellophane wrap depending on their size, and this is not recyclable but you may be able to reuse it.. I both recycle any packaging I get that is clean and reusable, and use as many recyclable materials as possible. Read more here.
Read a review of my May Sampler Box from Melissa Lapierre of Melissa’s Mocha’s, Mysteries and Meows! Of course, my house panthers are all lying around here like, “of course!” http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2016/07/fun-feline-finds-creative-cat-sampler.html
Read a review of my May Sampler Box from Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat! Yes, they are still applauding themselves! http://portraitsofanimals.net/sampler-box-review-ingrid-king-conscious-cat/
Order your own Sampler Box
I’m offering a sampler box with a single box or a three month box subscription to each of the lists—visit this page to read about it and sign up for your box or sign up below. Each box will include the following items in a design appropriate to the audience, cats, nature, or specialty animal professionals or wholesale:
- a 5″ x 7″ or 8” x 10” print matted and ready to frame OR a small framed print, either an existing piece of artwork or a new one
- an alternate print of any size, unmatted, different from the main print in media, style, subject, etc.
- several greeting cards: a sympathy card, feline art card, feline photo card, non-feline greeting card and two or more note cards, current designs and new designs
- a handmade or other gift item—a small keepsake box or a little art sampler book, a polymer clay or ceramic item, screen-printed dishtowel, tote bag, crocheted item or rubber stamp, new art paper, for instance
- the “boxes” are not boxes at all because they vary so much in content so they are carefully wrapped with wrapping paper made from my designs that you can reuse
As mentioned above, these can be things your use for yourself or give as gifts or donation items to shelter or rescue or other fundraisers. Sometimes they’ll be little experiments and I’ll be asking for feedback. I’ll be happy that you get to see art you may have never noticed, and little handmade goods that work so much better in your hands than a photo on your computer.
Order a previous sampler box
You can purchase any prior Feline Sampler Box. When I send them originally I only put together as many as were ordered, but unless I am completely out of a special handmade item I usually have all the contents here in my studio, though I do have to cut new mats for the artwork and print the wrapping paper. They cost a little more than the original because the extra time it takes to put one together, and when I ship several similar packages at once I get a discount.
Choose the August 2016 sampler box if you’d like the box featured in this post, or choose another on the list.
Read about other Feline Sampler Boxes on Portraits of Animals.
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© 2016 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
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 to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.