Forget-me-nots, and a Spring-themed Greeting Card

photo of cat behind lace curtain with forget-me-nots

Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things

The forget-me-nots are beginning to bloom as they grow taller more quickly, an inch or two each day, in the pots in the windowbox under my dining room window. Each year when I transplant them from the yard and put the pots in place I remember Sophie and this particular beautiful moment. I’ll always be happy I managed to catch it in a quick little snap on my first tiny digital camera as I left the house one evening in spring several years ago.

Sophie was in one of the windows when I left and when I returned in all seasons, and she always managed to use the curtains to dramatic advantage. This is one of my fondest memories of her, nestled in the creamy lace, and now that she is gone the forget-me-nots have a special meaning for me.

Read more on Portraits of Animals Marketplace…

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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.


Colorful Handprinted Kitty Gift Bags and Totes for Spring

Summery Colors Medium Gift Bags, Tabbies

Summery Colors Medium Gift Bags, Tabbies

When I printed gift bags last year, most were experiments with different styles of bags and especially inks/paints and other media to print the image onto the bag. Some worked, some really did not, but some fell in between. I held them back because they didn’t meet my specifications for printing, but I’ve learned to show others the items I’ve made that weren’t what I envisioned. I’ve found that often others see something entirely different in what I see are flaws, and that’s what happened with these bags.

kitty printed gift bag

Lime and Blue Medium Gift Bag, Kelly's Morning Bath

You may recognize the “Tabbies” designs from my Valentine cards, and I also print “Kelly’s Morning Bath” block prints in whimsical colors and in various combinations. Using colored bags opened up the possibilities, printing tone on tone with a darker pink on a lighter pink, a darker blue on a lighter blue and a rich purple on violet, or contrast or complementary colors.

Like many of my hand-printed items, these were a one-of-a-kind project using styles of bags I had found in wholesale and retail shops. They inspired the ink colors which I mixed on the spot from acrylic paints and printed in an effort to get away from oil-based ink, which smells like tar, in printing in surfaces like this.

Houndstooth trim with turquoise

Houndstooth trim with turquoise, Kelly's Morning Bath.

Unfortunately, the gloss surface resisted the ink, causing puddling in some areas and striations in the coverage where it’s supposed to be solid. That’s what I thought was a failure, but I still liked the overall look of the bag.

But others, not concerned with the printing, liked the overall look.

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.

kitty printed gift bag

Shades of Violet, Large Gift Bag

That’s fine when printing on plain old flat paper, but when it comes to other surfaces, as I am fond of printing on, I always meet up with some challenges.

All these bags and more are available in various colors. You can find all of these bags in my Etsy shop under “Gift Bags”.

Tote Bags

I’ve been experimenting with various iron-ons to see how best to use favorite photographs and artwork featuring the Fantastic Four black cats and portraits of both cats and dogs on canvas bags.

The Natural Canvas Totes

For years I’ve been using several natural canvas bags with artwork printed on them, just picturing my own in its place, especially “After Dinner Nap” and “Peaches and Peonies”. I have two left of my last printing, including “After Dinner Nap”, below.

canvas tote bag with art

Canvas tote bag, "After Dinner Nap"

I decided to add some embellishments to these canvas bags, beginning with dimensional fabric paint and adding borders around the artwork, writing in the title below the piece and my signature, and adding a pattern to the edge of the bag opening. In the future I plan to add buttons and decorative trim, but only after I’ve tried them out to make sure they are washable, don’t catch on your clothing, or easily fall off!

canvas tote bag sophie keeps an eye on things

Canvas tote bag, "Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things"

Once I find a reliable source of canvas tote bags in a size and style I like, I’ll be printing more, including the black bags with black cats, but for now I still welcome spring with these two patterns. Soon enough I’ll include flowers as well!

You can find these printed canvas bags in my Etsy shop.

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Read about more of the things I create that are inspired by my cats in the category “Marketplace”.

And be sure to visit my Etsy shop to see what’s currently available.

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.


We’ve Shipped Out the First Few Copies!

black cat sleeping on desk

Mewsette, my erstwhile shipping supervisor.

We’ve organized our paperwork and packed up and sent the first orders for Great Rescues!

[Mom worked all day and it was really boring but we couldn’t distract her. Mewsette made sure everything was address, packed and labeled correctly; note that she can do this in her sleep.]

Now we just have to wait and see what people think. Please feel free to write your comments about Great Rescues on the blog at Great Rescues, on the Reviews page or on any page on the Great Rescues site.