November 25, 2010

Every Gift Has A Story

The best gift I ever received was on my 4th birthday in 1959. It was a little wooden oven that was just the perfect size for a tiny girl. My dad (a carpenter) had hand-crafted it from wood scraps out of the garage. Its surface was unpainted to show off the beauty of the wood and it had knobs that really turned, burners made out of coffee can lids, and a door that would open and close so I could put Bingo the Cat inside to "cook" him as needed (hey, I was only 4!). It was a thing of beauty and I loved touching the wood--sanded to silken smoothness, with every corner and edge rounded to perfection.

And thus began my appreciation for fine craftsmanship and things handmade...

Many years later the tradition would continue when my dad hand-crafted this exquisite Sam Maloof-inspired child-size rocking chair for my son Chris who was 1-1/2 years old at the time (he's 23 now!). Some of the wood in this chair is from an old Chinese elm tree from our family home that was cut down when I was 11!

I have the pleasure of being the keeper of the chair until Chris has a place of his own where he can display it. It is a thing of beauty and I love touching the wood--sanded to silken smoothness, with every corner and edge rounded to perfection.

Thanks Dad (and Mom too--for teaching me how to sew on Grandma's treadle sewing machine and so much more!). Today I am thankful for growing up in a Handmade Haven and proud to carry on the tradition of making things with my hands for others to enjoy!!

video courtesy of

November 24, 2010

Gobble Up Your Veggies!

You may have noticed that this blog has been a wee tad neglected for the past few weeks. I'm happy to report that I am up to my elbows in lots of fun custom portraits in addition to filling orders, packing and shipping. I am SO grateful for all of my beautiful customers for their patronage and support. Pet People and Nature Lovers are the nicest people in the world!Buttonwillow After the Big Meal...

This will be my fourth meatless Thanksgiving. Many might say, "But it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without TURKEY!" I am here to tell you that a day filled with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, stuffing, corn, eggnog, fresh-baked rolls, pumpkin pie, laughter, my wonderful son and other loved ones, and of course, my crazy cat, (plus the image in my head of some young tom turkey is running wild and free through a field full of daisies)-- now THAT is a day to be thankful for indeed!

If you are interested in the many benefits of eating less meat, check out this post:
Some Food For Thought

And here is a reprint of a post from last year with links to some great ideas for a meatless Thanksgiving... Have a blessed and safe day of thanks!

Cat Lady Delia and Cat Lady Tehani aren't quite ready to become full-time vegetarians, but several months ago the two friends started a Meatless Monday Supper Club. Knowing that eating less meat is healthier for their families and for the planet, once a week they get together to share recipes and enjoy a meatless meal.

Even Kittens Inky and Keoki get in on the act and enjoy a vegetarian meal each Monday, although the jury is still out on whether cats should have an entirely vegetarian diet or not...

Meatless Monday has been such a success that Delia and Tehani are now planning a Vegetarian Thanksgiving!

The Veggie has some great menu ideas and recipes for a Non-Turkey Turkey Day....and has some suggestions for Faux Turkey, if you aren't quite ready to give-up the turkey tradition....


November 19, 2010

Weather Report

What is the forecast in your corner of the world today? In the Pacific Northwest, Mount Hood and its fellow Cascade Range peaks are resplendent in a fresh coating of shiny snowflakes!

To celebrate, I've added 6 matted prints to my online Etsy shop featuring some lucky Cat Ladies enjoying a winter wonderland with their feline friends.

Remember, as freezing temperatures approach here in the Northern Hemisphere, outdoor cats need some special attention such as providing a warm place to sleep, and making sure that non-frozen drinking water is available. Here are more great tips from The Conscious Cat: Winter Health Tips For Your Pets

Thanks for visiting!

BRRRR...Is it getting chilly around here? These high quality reproductions of my whimsical watercolor paintings are the PURRfect gift for your favorite Snow Bunny or Feline Fanatic.

The image is 4.5" x 6.5" and comes in an acid-free 11" x 14" white on black double matting, ready for framing in a standard size frame. $12.50 each plus shipping.

Click on any image for more information.

November 18, 2010


That's right, kiddies, it's time to get creative over at Suzy's Artsy-Crafty Sitcom, a delightful blog with a nostalgic TV theme that features great craft tutorials, funny stories, and lots of wonderful artwork. Today is Commercial Break Thursday, where other artsy-craftsy types can link up their own online shops, blogs, or websites to promote their artsy-craftsy endeavors. It's a great promotional opportunity--each week Suzy picks one of the links and does a little featurette on that artist. Guess what? Today she picked me! [thanks, Suzy!]

Suzy is a devoted dog mom and her sitcom studio cast includes Sandy- "our crazy old lady German Shepherd. She's crotchety and sweet and only gets real active when the vacuum appears"; Faith- "our twirling tazmanian devil of a dog. Mostly due to the fact that she is half chihuahua, she perpetually has her panties in a wad"; and Ralph- "our youngest fur-child, with a brand new set of teeth, who currently owes the youngest daughter two sets of flip flops and a pair of undies...." See photos of her entire cast (including the NON-fur-babies) here: The Cast

And that's not all folks, you definitely don't want to miss Suzy's exquisite Ukrainian egg ornaments, available in her Etsy shop online:
Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Store

Thanks for visiting!

November 16, 2010

Equal Time for Felines

Ted the Cat wants equal time.

It seems that Cat Lady Stacey has devoted much of the past few years developing a great website and weekly e-newsletter called the Woof Report. Recently re-vamped, a new and improved version has just been unveiled: THE WOOF REPORT

At the website you will find lots of great information about canines including more than 350 tips on dog care and training, an adoption directory, helpful links, a forum and a picture gallery, plus a link to sign up for the weekly newsletter. Ted and Larry the Dog (the handsome woofer pictured to the right), take great pride in their roles as office consultants.

And happily, Ted's demands for equal time have not gone unheeded. Look for "The Meow Report" early next year with the same great features, but geared toward your favorite feline (and featuring artwork from someone you might recognize!). Sign up here to receive an email to notify you when it is launched: Meow Report Notification

Thanks for visiting!

November 13, 2010

Today is World Kindness Day!

If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

Today is World Kindness Day! You can celebrate by sending out Kindness E-cards courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

The Foundation has no religious or organizational affiliations and encourages the practice of kindness in all sectors of society.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is the United States delegate to the World Kindness Movement, an organization that includes various nations. People in these countries promote kindness within their countries’ borders and are creating a global network of kindness and compassion.

Being kind extends to our furry friends too. Animal lover Andrea is a perfect example:

Andrea enjoys hiking with her best friend Rio. "I found Rio, a Dingo/German Shepherd mix on the side of a freeway seven years ago. He was terrified and terribly aggressive. After working with him for about a year, he learned to love. Now he only growls when you get near his food. :)"

Thanks for visiting!

November 12, 2010

I Need Your Help with Market Research (plus a Special Offer)

What do you think?
I just had some brand new stickers made up to use on my packaging and they turned out so cute, I wanted to share them with you...Each shiny little sticker features a different fanciful feline from my "Birdbrains" collection and is 7/8" square (22mm x 22mm), with a scratchproof vinyl surface.

I'm thinking of offering these for sale in my Etsy shop. What would YOU pay for a sheet of 6 stickers? $3, $2, the change under your seat cushion?? I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below!

In the mean time, here's a SPECIAL OFFER for FREE STICKERS for my blog readers and Facebook friends:

This weekend only, NOV. 12, 13, and 14, receive one sheet of stickers (6 stickers) with the purchase of ANY item from my Etsy online shop: That's right, buy two items, get two sticker sheets; 4 items; 4 sticker sheets--you get the drift! Just enter the code "Free Stickers" in the "message to seller" box when checking out. If you forget to add the code, don't despair, just send me a message...

Thanks for visiting!

November 11, 2010

Cat Lady Spotlight...Roscoe's Mom

Meet Cat Lady Nancy-- photographer, collage artist, animal lover, and one of the newest members of the Card-Carrying Crazy Cat Lady Club. Her fabulous feline Roscoe will be turning 23 years old next month.

She holds Roscoe responsible for turning her into acrazy cat lady and tells us that he was the inspiration for creating her first pet collage. Nancy tells us a little more about Roscoe:

"I rescued Roscoe from a home in Detroit (my birthplace) when his owners got a hunting dog and banished him to the basement. Just like me, he was lucky enough to wind up in Chicago, where he initially spent time perched in a window 24 floors up with a beautiful view of the city. He now lives in a condo on Chicago’s lakefront, where he can enjoy sitting on a balcony that overlooks Lake Michigan.

"People are usually shocked when I tell them how old he is... He’s still going strong and doesn’t look a day over 19!! Actually, since he’s a Persian cat and has a round face, he still looks kind of kittenish. He does have kidney disease (so, don’t despair if your senior cat is diagnosed – they can last for quite a while).He gets infusions every other day, as well as various meds, one to stimulate his appetite. He’s pretty much the same as he ever was, though skinnier with less fur. He remains beautiful and his big eyes are still golden and clear.He still likes to sprawl on my husband’s keyboard (when he’s trying to work, of course). He still meows for us to put ice in his drinking water. Unfortunately, he continues to refuse to be a lap cat, something we always joked would change when he grew old and tired.

"Here’s to my beloved Roscoe – longer may he live!!!"

Check out Nancy's fun and exotic pet photo collages in her Etsy shop Pet Collage Paradise (she will even create custom collages featuring your own pet)! The photographic elements in her work are hand cut and pasted. She incorporates words, found objects, specialty papers, feathers, fabric, silk flowers, beads, and gemstones into her creations.

...BY POPULAR DEMAND and now in my Etsy shop: You may now purchase Personalized Cat Lady I.D. cards individually without the"kit" (the kit includes a pinback button, Creed and Guidelines). That means a lower price and less postage! Plus, $1 will still be donated to the Oregon Humane Society for each card purchased (almost $100 has been donated so far....). Great gift idea for every Crazy Cat Lady on your list. Click here for details:

November 9, 2010

What's Cookin' At World Headquarters this week...

Here's what's cookin' this week: Buttonwillow's tail feathers. She has set up camp in front of the heater, after waiting all summer for it to magically come back on. There's definitely a new chill in the air this week.

The sun room is not so sunny now, but I snapped this picture of my pretty glass baubles in the front window when a few rays were shining through. The blue orb (behind the blue-plate-w
ind-chimes) was a birthday treat several years ago. Over on the Oregon coast is a glass studio where you can actually make your own blown-glass ornament (with the total guidance and support of an expert!). What an amazing process...I LOVE glass.

As for me, I am a tad bleary-eyed and elbow deep in some really fun custom portrait orders. I can't wait to share them with you, but because most of them are Christmas secrets, I'll have to keep them under wraps for now...

The holiday deadline for placing orders for custom portraits is drawing near. November 15 is the last day I will be accepting custom orders for items that must arrive in time for Christmas. Due to my backlog, orders are currently taking 3-4 weeks to complete, plus they can take up to 7 days to arrive once they are mailed (longer, if you are outside of the U.S.) Click here to see what's available; if you don't see the combination/size/option that you'd like, please contact me:

A big thank you to everyone who has visited my Birthday Fund for the Nature Conservancy! I am in the midst of posting 55 reasons to take care of Mother Earth through my photos and artwork. I'm up to Reason No. 20. Click here to see all 20 images posted so far: 55 Reasons

big hearty thank you to everyone who has donated to the fund! It means so much to me. I'm almost halfway to my goal of raising $550.00 for conservation projects. Your gift of any size is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for visiting!