Closing the Shop, but Expanding Online

photo of gift shop

View of about half my shop, art, greeting cards and even a few crocheted things.

After two years in my room in Carnegie Antiques, I’ll be moving out, fitting everything somewhere in this little house and expanding what I’ve always offered online.

It’s always been difficult to be two places at once, and in addition to keeping merchandise in the shop and being there one afternoon a week, I am also here at my home to make and package and prepare the things, play with my kitties and keep up with The Creative Cat—in addition to being self-employed as a freelance commercial artist!

sign with balloons and flowers

The sign that features Cookie.

I love sharing my art and merchandise for my online community through my Marketplace blog, in my online Marketplace on my website and in my Etsy shop, but I really love being out in the public with my things, talking to people at festivals and events, talking about my work, collecting stories, seeing what other artists are doing, getting direct feedback and personally thanking the people who decided to buy something from me.

Though I wasn’t selling antiques or even vintage items, my room was in Carnegie Antiques Carnegie, just a few blocks from where I live. The owner, the generous and multi-talented Judi Stadler, is a friend of mine, and through her set of businesses, including both Carnegie Antiques and J.D. Llama Estate Sales and Appraisals, is one of my customers for design and promotion. I actually designed her website and photographed all the items on it, and I visited regularly for gift items and especially that special vintage necklace or earrings to match one of my outfits. And while I spent my weekly shift in the shop I loved wandering among the vintage items and learning about them.

judi with cookie

Cookie greets Aunt Judi.

Judi’s business at the shop has increased and she has been expanding and she can certainly use the space. We discussed reorganizing, and I had begun to prepare for that in February. But after considering and deciding that since my things weren’t moving as well in the past year, and weren’t really in keeping with the rest of what she offered, along with the occasional difficulty of my being there and not home working, I would move my things home.

I will miss, especially, the memory of Cookie as my shop cat who thoroughly enjoyed acting as Queen and greeter of all visitors, but mostly she just wanted to be with me. Through the years I’ve often seen that woebegone “Don’t go,” expression on my cats when I’ve put my hand on the doorknob, but when I looked at Cookie it was, “Take me with you.” And so I did, despite the fact that she was 17 years old and had some difficulty walking, and I had to be careful with her fluid intake even then.

tortie cat in front window

"I'm so pretty, I'll bet all sorts of customers will come in today just to see me."

She really only had the chance to accompany me about a dozen times in those two years since it was too cold in the winter to take her out, and I often had errands before and after my hours at the shop. But she really loved every minute of the special time we spent together there, just the two of us, doing something I enjoyed, and she enjoyed with me because she was my friend. She will always be with me in this venture, wherever it goes.

So all my greeting cards, note cards and writing paper, small and medium framed and unframed prints of my artwork and photographs, block prints, block-printed t-shirts and other textiles, tote bags and gift bags and anything else I find the time and space to create are now here, and all the cats are having a great time climbing all over all the boxes. There’s actually quite a bit of merchandise that I haven’t posted in my Etsy shop or on my website that you’ll soon be seeing in posts on The Creative Cat and Portraits of Animals Marketplace, and much of it will be available right here on The Creative Cat as I complete my redesign.

I my “other life” when I’m not blogging about cats and posting daily photos and creating artwork I’m a “visual designer” creating print and web products and layouts; this is pretty much what I’ve done all day long for almost 30 years; you can read more about this on my website in Graphic Design and Illustration. My dream has always been to slip farther away from graphic design and open a real bricks and mortar gallery named “Portraits of Animals” featuring my artwork inspired by animals and nature and also featuring and showing the art of others inspired by animals, and by focusing more of my efforts on the internet for now I hope to be able to do that in a few years.

You can always visit my Marketplace blog, my online Marketplace and my shop on Etsy. While Stanley has always been the symbol of Portraits of Animals because his portrait inspired it, Cookie was the feline who watched over my shop. Cookie says, “Visit, or else!”

photo of shop sign

Cookie says, "Visit, or else!"

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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way 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.

 


A “Reorganization Sale” at Portraits of Animals at Carnegie Antiques

photo of gift shop

View of about half my shop, art, greeting cards and even a few crocheted things.

In the next few weeks I’ll be completely reorganizing my shop in Carnegie Antiques, taking home things that haven’t shown any interest and heaping up things that have, moving furniture in and out and restocking with new framed art and packaged sets of cards.

matted black and white photo of feverfew

Feverfiew Field, matted black and white photo © B.E. Kazmarski

The sale will be this Saturday, February 18, between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

I’ve moved my greeting card printing to a new printer who uses new paper stock which doesn’t match the older stock. Select individual greeting cards will be $1.00 each, reduced from $2.50.

All matted photos are $2.50, reduced from $5.00.

Everything else is 10% off the price that is marked including other individual greeting cards and sets, crocheted pawprints and flowers, tote bags, framed and unframed wildlife, nature and flowers prints and anything else you can find there.

Carnegie Antiques outside

What you're looking for on West Main Street.

Carnegie Antiques and Portraits of Animals are located at 423 West Main Street in Carnegie, PA 15106.


An Open House and a Special Deal for Readers

view of my shop

View of about half my shop, art, greeting cards and note cards.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
Judi and I will join forces and open early, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and will both have discounts for visitors!

I’m offering 10% off your entire order of items from my Portraits of Animals shop including greeting cards, crocheted pawprints, tee-shirts, tote bags, unframed prints and anything else you can find there.

As a bonus, I’m offering 25% off framed artwork over $25.00, both originals and prints! I’ve been framing even more prints of my feline, wildlife and nature art as well as photographs, including views of Pittsburgh. I’ll be bringing in a few originals as well, so if you’ve had your eye on something, now is the time to get it! If the cost is less than $25, the 10% discount still applies.

ETSY PURCHASES
You can see a good bit of what’s in my shop in my Etsy shop. And for recipients of this post who can’t make it to the open house, I’ll also extend FREE SHIPPING for any items in my Etsy shop through the end of October. It will be as if you bought it in person! Enter “OPENHOUSE1011″ in your shopping cart and it will automatically deduct the shipping before you pay your bill.

Carnegie Antiques

In addition, Judi has been packing her shop with so much new merchandise I can hardly keep track of it all, and she’ll be offering discounts as well. There’s new furniture large and small, sets of dishes, hand-painted china, novelties, jewelry and more. Make sure you take time to visit Carnegie Antiques too!

Carnegie Antiques and Portraits of Animals are located at 423 West Main Street in Carnegie, PA 15106.


A Block Print Dedicated to Two Very Special Cats

image of block print

Awakening, block print

Quote reads: “‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’–Anatole France. Dedicated to my prince and princess and all those since who’ve awakened their part of my soul.”

One last block print from the existing collection…”Awakening” was inspired by my close companions Kublai and Sally who ran the household together for about 12 years and who actually slept curled like this.

Read my post on Portraits of Animals Marketplace for more details.

Also, I finally have all my current block prints posted on Etsy. Visit these galleries for more information:

Linoleum Block Prints

T-Shirts

and a few entries in Household.

Now on to some new designs!


Bid on This Print and Start Celebrating Peaches’ 100th Birthday

pastel painting of a cat on a table with peonies

Peaches and Peonies, pastel © B.E. Kazmarsi

Bidding is closed on this print, but you can still purchase one on my website.

Peaches is 20 this year, and though it doesn’t really work out this way, she is nominally 100 years in human years. Now that’s reason for a celebration!

I’ve written about Peaches several times since I’ve been blogging (and even before that), probably more often than any other cat in my household. She came to me five years ago with her sister for me to foster after their owner died and they were almost euthanized because the woman’s son thought it would be cruel for them to spend their last days in a shelter. We lost Peaches’ sister Cream to renal failure about ten months after they arrived, but Peaches quietly integrated her little self into the household without incident and even increased her health while here.

I’ll be writing more about Peaches in the next two weeks leading up to May 1, the day we’ll be celebrating. In addition, other bloggers will be sharing stories and tips and poems and art around all of our blogs about living with and caring for older cats and other animals.

Let’s Get Started

I am offering to the highest bidder a signed 10″ x 16″ giclee* print of “Peaches and Peonies”, the proceeds of which auction will be donated to FosterCat.

How to Bid

  1. Bidding begins April 18, 2010 and continues through midnight on May 1, 2010.
  2. The opening bid is $25.00
  3. In the “comments” section of this blog, please enter your bid amount and any message you’d like to include. If by any chance you cannot enter a comment, please e-mail your bid to me and I will enter it into the comments section according to its time stamp so that all bids will remain in order; please only do this if there is no other way to enter your bid.
  4. At midnight on May 1, I will review the comments for the highest bid and inform the winner the next day via e-mail. For this reason, please use your own account to bid so I know who it’s from.
  5. The highest bid is the winner, not the final bid.
  6. Bids entered on other blog posts or on Facebook, Twitter or any other means except commenting to this post and direct e-mail to me are not valid; believe it or not, everyone is not on Facebook or Twitter or even other social networks, but everyone who can read this message can reach the internet and can send an e-mail, so that makes the bidding fair.
  7. The winner will make their payment directly to FosterCat. When FosterCat has received payment, I will ship the print to the winner.

About the Painting

pastel painting of cat on table with peonies

Peaches and Peonies

MEDIUM: Pastel; SIZE: 16″ x 23″; 2008, $1,500 (note that the print for auction is about half this size). There it is, that moment that turns on all the lights for me…one of my cats in the sun, the conditions that have inspired most of my portraits. Cats are creatures of habit, and Peaches chose this spot to have her after-dinner bath every day for a few weeks when the sun was right; I knew it was a keeper whether a photo or a painting, so I photographed it several times over a period of several days, knowing I’d use at least one photo or all the photos as reference to create one painted image. A painting this size and level of details is a significant investment of time, so I had to wait until my schedule allowed the night-after-night sessions with tiny sections of detail. You can also see it and read more about it on my website.

About the Print I’m Offering

I am offering a 10″ x 16″ print of this work rather than a full-size print because, first, not everyone has tons of wall space, and, second, framing would be less expensive—in fact, this print will fit into a pre-made 16″ x 20″ frame that includes a mat so you can save on custom framing.

About Giclee and Why It’s Valuable

Giclee printing uses special light-fast archival inks and is printed directly from a digital file, which is the most direct and accurate method of reproducing artwork. Prints can be made on many different papers—I use a matte-finish acid-free archival paper—and at just about any size, and when kept out of direct sunlight will keep their original color for at least 100 years. It’s decidedly a limited edition because I’m getting only one print at a time. This print is worth $75.00.

About FosterCat

fostercat logoFoster Cat, Inc. is an all-volunteer non-profit organization providing temporary foster homes for cats and kittens until they can be placed for adoption. The organization provides training and support, medications, food and litter as needed, and absorbs all veterinary expenses associated with the care of their kitties. They’ve rescued, fostered and found homes for many, many older and senior cats and I’d like to help them in their mission.

In Conclusion

Good luck! Peaches and I would like to know we can give FosterCat a pile of money to help them help other cats like Peaches.

Other articles celebrating Peaches’ 100th Birthday

Bid on this Print and Start Celebration Peaches’ 100th Birthday

How Peaches Stole My Heart

Old is Awesome!

Loving Care for Your Senior Cat, Part 1

Beyond Food and Water, Loving Care for Your Senior Cat, part 2

My Feline Garden Sprites

Eva Offers a Donation in Honor of Peaches’ 100th

A Poem Dedicated to an Old Cat

Help FosterCat Even More Through My Three Cats

Cookie Reminisces

On The Conscious Cat

How to Care for Your Older Cat

On Catnip Chronicles

Peaches and Peonies

Donate to FosterCat Through Other Blogs and Websites

Eva Offers a Donation in Honor of Peaches’ 100th

Help FosterCat Even More Through My Three Cats

Other articles about Peaches

Peaches Applies for a Job

Get Well Wishes for Peaches

Peaches Says, “Thanks for All the Get Well Wishes, They Worked”

This is a short list—Peaches appears in many articles I’ve written on my household, on pet loss, and even some silly things I’ve written on my website before I had a blog! Search “peaches” in the search box for more articles.