My Feline- and Nature-themed Stuff at “The Barn”

old barn with garden items

The Outlet Barn in October 2011.

So who would think a drafty old unheated honest-to-God barn from a long-time farm would be a hot spot for unique art and decorative items?

The Outlet Barn Garden and Art Center has been in business in this very same old barn for the past 15 years, with a list of loyal customers and new people stopping every day. They close on Christmas Eve and reopen on April 1, weather permitting, so I’ve moved cards and merchandise into the place and we decided on a few more things as well.

My display of feline greeting cards and notecards is in place, and with them are my garden-inspired greeting cards and notecards inspired by nature and My Home Town, all of which did quite well in the short time they were there last holiday season. In addition I have a selection of small feline and nature photos and prints in small displays and scattered throughout, and we decided today that I’d bring in a few larger prints and see how they went before bringing in more. This is also a home for crocheted washcloths, and likely a home for other handmade items that I have been planning—that painted furniture and decorative household items such as coasters and trivet tiles made from art and sketches.

two painted cat sculptures

The small and large Shelf Cats, in red and blue.

And even as I was unpacking and setting up it was hard not to start browsing! I began visiting there because the place looked like the sort of place I’d like to check out, not carefully coiffed or neatly arranged, but artfully arranged and colorful outside, and inside just crowded enough in the semi-darkness of the old barn that I could take my time to peruse without feeling overwhelmed.

I ended up moving things into there because the former manager of the Agway I had been selling at was friends with Kathy, The Barn’s owner, and simply went to her and said I’d be over with my things, she’d like them and me. Life should be filled with such friends.

painted cat sculpture

The orange Shelf Cat.

Kathy herself is the one who artfully arranges things in a way that makes people passing on the road find it hard to resist, and is also a master with ribbon and grapevines and such and creates all the wreaths and swags sold throughout the year, often custom-making them for long-time customers. She also makes beaded jewelry for sale in the shop.

She also plans the events with local musicians playing jazz and folk and alternative in among the gargoyles and gazing globes, or out back in one of the sample gazebos.

chocolate lab

Irish Malarkey greeting me at my car.

And I can’t forget the enthusiastic rescued chocolate lab named Irish Malarkey, named so because his eyes were green when he was a puppy, who rides in with his human every day. He carefully checked each of my boxes for treats, in between trotting around the place with that huge destructive lab tail without overturning as much as a small terra cotta flowerpot.

gargoyles

Gargoyle selection from last fall.

Supporting a local small business is important from both standpoints, from buying and selling, so in addition to placing my things there on consignment, I also promote the places where my things are consigned. I’ll share notices of events, which will be of greatest interest to local friends, and also of things I find there that you might enjoy—feline-themed of course, like the shelf cats pictured here, and the bunny planter. But there plenty of animal-themed things about the place, plus really cool gargoyles.

terra cotta bunny pot

Bunny-shaped terra cotta pot from Mexican artisans.

I have a love-hate relationship with retail. I love to create my artwork and even to create the derivative items from it like cards and notepads and prints, and the best way to get my artwork known is to create and sell these things, but it takes time to drive around and visit shops, introduce myself, deliver the goods and maintain a display; if I seem to have disappeared somewhat in the past week or so, this is why. I’ve been calling and driving around, following up suggestions from friends to visit and introduce myself and show a few representative pieces of what I have for sale. I have been in Distinctively Different Decor & More, having moved yet more artwork in last weekend for the open house. This week I was sorting and packing and labeling and preparing merchandise for this move.

The actual sales from this might break even for expenses and time, but the real benefit is in finding new customers and making new friends, and just sharing my inspirations. Finding a shop where I also have other reasons to visit just makes it better.

And there’s another constant—animals and animal rescue. One door closes and another one opens as our friends share us with their friends. It is not a loss and a gain, but simply a change.

If you see merchandise pictured here, whether it’s mine or not, that you are interested in, please follow the link to The Outlet Barn website or let me know. The website is not an online store for things in the shop because there’s just too much, but Kathy will be glad to give you a few details and ship something to you if purchase it with the possible exception of a concrete gargoyle.

Click this link for an archive of articles I’ve written and photos I’ve posted about my favorite Agway store (some are repeated).

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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.


Art Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

pastel painting of snowy morning

Morning Snow 1

I hadn’t actually realized how much art I’ve done in, or and inspired by my backyard until I made my list. I had intended when I moved here to fill my yard with subjects for painting, and I guess I succeeded.

So here are thumbnails with links to the pages on my website where you’ll find them. I have them categorized by wild birds, landscapes, flowers and still lifes, and Winter White, which was a show I did entirely of small pieces of winter-themed artwork. You’ll have to scroll around because my pages are still in html, not php or any other script where you can do a customized search, but I hope you enjoy browsing.

All of these images are available as prints or sets of notecards, or you may purchase reproduction rights for use on a website or print publication. Please respect my ownership of these images and purchase them if you’d like to use them—check my online Marketplace to see what’s available and check my Marketplace blog for Backyard Inspired Greeting Cards and Eye on the Sparrow Notecards and Writing Paper,  two sets which feature many of these images.

Wild Birds are on Wildlife, and some are also in Winter White.

painting of junco on snowy branch

Snow Bird

pastel drawing of blue jays in tree

Jammin'Jay Blues

pastel painting of cardinal in snowy branches

Accent

pastel painting of birds in snow

Birds in Snow

pencil drawing of doves in bare tree

Biding Time

charcoal sketch of birds in spruce

The Sparrows in the Spruce

linoleum block print of chickadees on tree branch

Busy Chickadees

block print of nature

Near and Far Away

Landscapes are obviously on my Landscapes page, but you can also see the winter-themed ones on Winter White.

pastel painting of snowy morning

Morning Snow 1

pastel painting of snow under trees

Morning Snow 2

pastel painting of misty dawn

Dawn

pastel painting of foggy morning with spruces

Fog

watercolor of tree branches against winter sky

Tracings

pastel painting of clouds

Cloud Study

pastel painting of bird bath and forget me nots

Forget-me-nots

pastel painting of evening landscape

Spring Evening on the Hills

pastel painting of a spring sunrise

Spring Sunrise

pastel painting of green pepper in bowl

One Pepper

pastel painting of pink and red roses in a vase

Small Roses

pastel painting of red petunias on deck railing

Petunias

These are also primarily Landscapes but since they are winter-themed I have them linked to Winter White.

watercolor of tree shadows on snow

Colorful Shadows

watercolor of tree shadows on snow

Gentle Shadows

pastel painting of bare tree branches against sky

Wild Black Cherry Tree

pencil drawing of bare tree branches

Tree Study

pastel painting of tree trunks and shadows

Standing Trees

pastel painting of tracks in the snow

Tracks

I hope you enjoy your visit!

Read all the articles in this series

An Introduction to Backyard Wildlife Habitats

What’s in Your Backyard? The First Step in Planning Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat

What Else is in Your Backyard: The Fauna That Fill It

Bringing it All Together: Enhancing and Developing Your Habitat

Art Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Photography Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Poetry Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Prose Inspired by My Backyard Wildlife Habitat