March 31, 2011

Strike Up The Band...(and a big THANK YOU!)


.....I am SO excited I can hardly stand it!!! I am at sale #999 in my Etsy Shop. Fellow Etsians will know how exciting it is to be this close to a benchmark like No. One Thousand. I am so grateful to each and every customer who has supported my creative endeavors over the past two and a half years!

I've joked a bit about my little cottage studio being "Susan Faye World Headquarters", but just over the past month I've sent my little creations off to faraway lands like Spain, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Israel, Norway, and Bermuda so I guess I'm not joking anymore!!

To celebrate this impending milestone, each of my next 20 Etsy customers will receive -absolutely free- their choice of one of the kitty lavender sachets pictured above with your order!-- (I'll contact you to find out your choice). It's a $7.50 value; one free sachet per customer.

Thanks again to each and every one of you who have supported me and my dream of being a NON-starving artist!! I am deeply GRATEFUL!

March 30, 2011

More Bunny Haiku and a New Rabbit Mom Tableau For Inspiration

Still waiting for inspiration to strike before diving into the fun-filled world of Bunny Haiku? Here is a brand new mini diorama/shrine that I just finished, celebrating Spring and Motherhood. Perhaps it will get the creative juices flowing!

Thank you to everyone so far who has helped to celebrate the beginning of Spring by writing bunny haiku! So far there have been 25+ entries both here and on an identical post at The Hive, which means I will be donating at least $25 to the Red Cross for disaster relief ($1 for each haiku submitted; each person may submit up to 3 haiku).

We've had some seasoned haiku writers contributing their little gems. Haiku has different forms, some a little more complex. Here is a beautiful example from Cat Lady Lulu of My Pink Turtle:

White bunny
in white snow
Orange dream
of carrot growing
Brown dream
of chocolate melting

Here is an intriguing one from the viewpoint of a bobcat in captivity, written by artist Robert Sloan who says "it came to mind because I've been watching Skip the Bobcat at Big Cat Rescue. BCR rehabilitates many bobcats, but poor Skip will be eating ground food all his life because his hips are too narrow to pass it if he eats live prey. So he never can go back to the wild.

Title: Prey

I dream of rabbits
while I eat soft mush inside
my Big Cat Rescue cage.

And here is one by dt.haase who writes haiku on a regular basis. You can read all of his collected haiku here for more inspiration: poetic lines

the steel tin of life
behold imagination
warren of wonder

There is one day left to join in the fun and try your hand at writing your own haiku --one name will be drawn at random to win one of my new "Desktop Dioramas" (winner's choice). To read all of the other entries and to add your own, visit the original blog post : Bunny Haiku...A Spring Giveaway!

Thanks for participating!
Now available in my Etsy Shop: Bunny Mom Desktop Diorama

March 28, 2011

Bunny Haiku Galore! Three Days Left to Enter the Giveaway...

Thank you to everyone so far who has helped to celebrate the beginning of Spring by writing bunny haiku! So far there have been 25 entries both here and on an identical post at The Hive, which means I will be donating at least $25 to the Red Cross for disaster relief ($1 for each haiku submitted; each person may submit up to 3 haiku).

For quite a few participants, this has been their first try at writing haiku and the results have been wonderful!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art was inspired by the bunny twins to write her first haiku:

Sweet twin rabbits share
carroty goodness between
their paws and their hearts.

Cat Lady Jeanie also wrote about the twins:

Twin bunnies have lunch
Eating carrots together

In a cute tin box

Here is Cat Lady Laura's first-ever haiku:

Soft pink tulip patch
Beautiful spring is such joy
To Rhonda's sweet heart

And here is David's first (very romantic) haiku:

Our hearts beat as one

we are so spectacular
must get hopping now

There are three days left to join in the fun and try your hand at writing your own haiku --one name will be drawn at random to win one of my new "Desktop Dioramas". To read all of the other entries and to add your own, visit the original blog post : Bunny Haiku...A Spring Giveaway!

Thanks for participating!

Play Time!


This calico kitten has mastered the fine art of mouse-play: maintain an air of total disinterest and disdain until the perfect moment to pounce arrives, then give that toy a thrashing!

Thanks for visiting!
Just added to my Etsy shop: a brand new pendant for Calico-Crazed Cat Ladies! Click on image for more details...

March 27, 2011

I'm A Wizard of Whimsy! You Can Be Too!

whimsy, whimsey [ˈwɪmzɪ]:

1. a capricious idea or notion
2. light or fanciful humor
3. something quaint or unusual

Pen and ink artist and college professor dt. haase describes himself as "a wanderer for wonder, whimsy, & wisdom". He is also the host of "Whimsical Wednesday" where artists may share their creations of whimsy, wonder, and delight each week.

As Haase notes, one of the common human experiences we all share is suffering in one form or another. He says, "My invitation is to bring a bit of delight into the despair. I spend a lot of time with children and in turn they have taught me how to play. So, come and join the fun."

Speaking of delight, I was delighted to return from my vacation yesterday and discover that the title of "Wizard of Whimsy" had been bestowed upon me in last week's round of submissions! It is an honor that I do not take lightly, as I believe whimsy should be spread liberally whenever and wherever possible. In fact, I've been searching for a job title that describes what I do, and "Whimsy Wizard" is about the best thing I can think of to aspire to!

You can share your own whimsical creations here any day of the week (not just Wednesdays), or enjoy the creations of others:


March 21, 2011

My Bags Are Packed...

...Well, sort of. (Don't tell Buttonwillow that she's not coming along).

I'm heading out on Wednesday with fellow adventurer Dave as we embark on a whale quest! It's the peak week to spot whales from the Oregon coast as they migrate back north, so we've got binoculars packed and plan to hit as many lookout points as we can over four days.

I'll be closing up my Etsy shop tomorrow night and will re-open it Saturday night. Any current orders should be shipped out by tomorrow.

Hope I have some whale-of-a-tales to tell you upon my return! In the mean time, keep working on those Bunny Haiku, then enter them in the comments section at the end of this post for a chance to win one of my new desktop dioramas!

March 20, 2011

Eat Your Veggies!


This little rabbit family knows the secret to good health and great eyesight: cultivate a taste for colorful veggies.

Babs, Bibs, Binkie and Cousin Harey would like to share
8 Really Good Reasons to Eat Your Veggies:
  • They come in lots of pretty colors
  • They are inexpensive
  • They are low in calories, fat and sodium
  • They are high in vitamins and other nutrients
  • They are high in fiber
  • You help out the environment when you eat more vegetables and less (or no) meat.
  • They are fun to grow
  • They make your nose a rosy pink, your fur shiny and soft, and they put a spring in your hop!
What are you waiting for? There are lots of websites devoted to vegetable gardens and vegetable recipes. Vegetarian Times is a great place to find resources, recipes, and other great information.

Thanks for visiting!

Eat Your Veggies is my newest 8 x 10" print, now available in my Etsy online shop! Hop on over and find out more by clicking the link...

March 18, 2011

Bunny Haiku...A Spring Giveaway!

It's time to flex your creative writing muscles and enter the world of Bunny Haiku! Give it a try. Just for fun. See what you can come up with, and leave your haiku in the comments section of this post for a chance to win one of my new desktop dioramas. Read on for details...

Haiku is a beautiful and simple form of Japanese poetry. For each haiku submitted, I will add $1 to my donation to the Red Cross, with Japanese Disaster Relief in mind. Each person may leave up to three different haiku in the comments, for three chances to win.

New to haiku? The simplified version of haiku is usually described as an un-rhymed, three-line poem of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables. Pick one of the diorama scenes pictured here, then write a haiku about it. For example:

(I chose D.)

rabbit haiku fun:

the carrot patch smells sweetest
with posies in bloom!

There are many examples of haiku online-- and you can find wonderful examples of cat haiku in a pas
t giveaway here at 365 Cat Ladies: Cat Haiku

Haiku may also be submitted on my identical blog post on The Hive. Giveaway ends the evening of March 31 at 7 p.m. PST. One winner will be selected at random and will receive their choice of one desktop diorama, which will be shipped anywhere in the world.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you are a winner, such as a link to your blog or e-mail address (you may send info directly to my email if you don't want to make your contact info public). If you visit , you will find an email link

Also, if you encounter trouble with the Comments feature, you may send your haiku entry directly to my email ...

Thanks for participating!

March 16, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Garden Fairy Ellette is so pleased! Thanks to your wonderful suggestions and your votes, her new kitten now has a name: Faerydae.

It was suggested by Chrissykat who said: I think this new kitty should be called "Faerydae." Which means "dark child, a gift from the fairies." And we all know that kitties are gifts we're so very lucky to have. >^..^<

Everyone who suggested a name in the original post was entered into the drawing as was everyone who voted on the final 10 names and left a comment on the second post. If you did both, your name was entered twice!

The lucky winner is Cat Lady Sharon (aka Fuzz) from the United Kingdom. She says "I got my nickname Fuzz at school - my hair was frizzy and it didn't help that my Mum would cut it without wearing her glasses! I love cats and I'm a frustrated artist - I'm a 'colour junkie'."

Sharon will receive a special 10-inch Ellette Garden Fairy doll (as seen in my Etsy shop) that includes her tiny book, a bouquet, and BOTH the bunny and the kitten!

Thank you to EVERYONE who participated and for all of the wonderful and creative kitten names!

My Inner Child Is Alive and Well

My latest creative endeavor is a melding of two totally unrelated things that absolutely delighted me in childhood:

shoebox dioramas
panoramic sugar eggs

Shoebox dioramas were my specialty in the fourth grade. Using paper, sometimes clay, scissors, glue, crayons and a shoebox (the ones that my dad's or Uncle Ernie's shoes came in were best, because they were so LARGE), I enjoyed re-creating scenes of Native American and pioneer life--particularly Gold Rush scenes of Forty-Niners.

When I was even younger, it was a special treat at Easter to receive a beautiful sugar egg from my Grandma, a magical confection that had a tiny peephole and a detailed scene inside. We had to keep them on her dresser for a week or two and enjoy looking at them before we were allowed to eat them.

So some time last year, right before Christmas, my inner child came up with this project for Spring and we've been working on it off and on for weeks: It's a desktop diorama!

Peek into this little shadow box and you'll be transported into Rhonda Rabbit's peaceful garden where she'll invite you to relax a bit and commune with nature.

I hand-crafted this mini diorama/shrine/tableau using a "tin" (actually steel) spice box, plus hand-cut paper Rhonda figure and details using a mini-print of my watercolor illustrations made on heavyweight paper.

The box measures 3" square and is 2" deep. It has a clear plastic window in the front.

I hope your inner child enjoys it as much as mine does!

I've just listed two of these Rhonda desktop dioramas in my Etsy shop at this link:
Rhonda Desktop Diorama

March 14, 2011

.Are You an Opsimath?

Cat Lady Mary S. told me recently that I was an opsimath, a noun meaning "a person who becomes a student or learner late in life", derived from a Greek word meaning 'late in learning'. A few of the things I've learned since turning fifty are: how to make a hyperlink, how to make pickles, what the little bucket does in Adobe Photoshop, how to thread a new-fangled computerized sewing machine, and what the word opsimath means.

As I mentioned earlier this month, I was recently bitten by the doll bug, after drooling for a couple years over the many art dolls I was seeing on and elsewhere, including those of Snippet Girl/Cat Lady Carrie.

So I recently joined an online group called Cloth and Clay Dolls, and thanks to tutorials and helpful hints from many wonderful doll-makers, I'm learning the basics of using paper clay combined with a fabric body to create sculptura
l dolls. In a bold display of opsimathy, I am proud to introduce the results of my first cloth and clay doll:

Tiger Lil

She started out like this, with a paperclay head formed over a cloth body:

...and wound up like this, a little ginger tabby girl named Tiger Lil. She's all ready for Spring in her little frock that has a tulip border at the bottom.

This opsimathy stuff can be really, really fun!
What new thing are you going to learn this month?

Learn more about Tiger Lil at my etsy shop, where she is available for purchase (she's a wild one and wants to see the world and hopes to wind up in an exotic new locale...)

March 12, 2011

All Stirred Up


Most likely due to cruel taunting as a child, Cat Lady Betty Cracker never uses box mixes when baking, and prefers to stir up her baked good from scratch with the help of kitchen supervisor Ginger Snap. Here is an all-time favorite recipe that is super-easy:

Gold Rush Brownies

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 (6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1/2 C. pecans or walnuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients together. Spread in a lightly prepared 11 x 7 x 1 1/2-in. pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 min. Cut into squares while still slightly warm.


March 10, 2011

International Cat Ladies...The Story of Zoe

How does a multi-lingual half-German, half-Italian Cat Lady jewelry artist from Torino, Italy wind up with a Greek calico cat? Read on...

Anna tells us: "I grew up bilingual and I guess that's where my passion for languages comes from! I graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature from Torino University and I have been teaching German and English ever since, but my greatest passion has always been art and creativity! And, I've always loved cats."

Anna fell in love with the the Greek Islands of the Aegean back in 1997, during a trip to the island of Rhodes. She has returned many times since and that's where the story of Zoe begins.

"The gorgeous light and color of the Aegean are one of my main inspirations in my work. I have lots of friends on Rhodes, both human and feline. One of my favorite places is a beautiful old Turkish cemetery that is one of my favorite spots on Rhodes. It's a peaceful ancient place with old beautiful engraved tombstones under the shade of old magnificent eucalyptus trees...A beautiful little mosque from ancient times and a graceful white minaret make it a really dreamy place full of poetry. Many lovely cats have chosen it as their home, and I love just sitting there and cuddling them... and of course bringing them some goodies!

"My friend Sirpa and other lovely people help the homeless cats living there...In the summer of 2003 Sirpa and I rescued seven kittens from the cemetery, as they were too small to be on their own. One of them was a sweet calico kitten. We took them to the local Animal Welfare society so that people could adopt them. But I had already fallen in love with Zoe... she was so sweet and I just couldn't leave without her!

"Sirpa arranged everything for me: the papers, a cat box, and she took
Zoe home for a night before my departure. Everything was perfect, we drove to the airport and I was allowed to keep my kitten next to me in her box: she had her own seat and everybody was in love with her! I still remember that a steward asked me if I needed water for my kitten (before departure - as they do for human babies!), and at landing the captain asked me if it was 'a boy or a girl' and then he said 'Auguri' (best wishes).

"Zoe was an angel... she never cried, she purred when I talked to her and when I put my hand into the box to pet her. Thank God it was a direct charter flight to Milan. Since then we've been happily sharing our home in Torino, in the North West corner of Italy and very close to the Alps.

"Zoe's name is Greek (Zωή), it means 'Life'. A friend of mine suggested this name, as she said I was "giving her a life". Zoe is a sweet, lovely girl who brings a lot of joy into my life, each and every single day! We live in an apartment and we have a nice balcony with plants, where she loves to spend hours in the summer dozing and daydreaming... it's her little garden. She is very sweet but she also has a strong personality: she's a real Greek girl!"

Read more about Anna, her art, and her travels and Zoe at her blog Annuk Creations.
Then be sure to check out her beautiful Greek-Isle-inspired jewelry creations in her Etsy Shop!

March 9, 2011

Name the Kitten Giveaway Part 2... Time To Vote

Garden Fairy Ellette's head is spinning! There were so many wonderful names suggested for her new kitten-- she found she couldn't possibly narrow it down to just five. So she chose TEN of her favorites, which you will see at the top of the right-hand column in an official poll. Please vote for your favorite name, then leave a comment saying "I voted!" in the comments section of this post.

Everyone who suggested a name in last week's post is already entered and everyone who votes on the final 10 names will also be entered into a random drawing. If you have done both, your name will be entered twice! The voting will end on the evening of March 16 and there will be two announcements: the name of the giveaway winner and the name of Allette's new kitten.

What is t
he giveaway prize, you may ask? A special 10-inch Ellette Garden Fairy doll (as seen in my Etsy shop) that includes her tiny book, a bouquet, and BOTH the bunny and the kitten! The prize includes free shipping to anywhere in the world.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you in case you are the lucky winner, such as a link to your blog or e-mail address included in your comment

Also, if you encounter trouble with the Comments feature, please contact me by e-mail --you'll find a link under my Profile.

Thanks for participating!

March 8, 2011

March is National Craft Month

How are YOU celebrating National Craft Month? This special observation was created by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) in 1994, and according to CHA, "has grown into an international celebration of creativity and innovation" with millions of participants starting special craft projects during the month.

So it is no surprise that Rhonda Rabbit has chosen March to pursue a new hobby. It all started on March 1st, when she visited Lilly Cat and fell in love with her sweater-- hand-knitted in Rhonda's favorite shade of PINK!


What is YOUR favorite craft or hobby supply? Glitter, glass, clay, glue, YARN, cat fur? Let us know in the comments section of this post.

RHONDA RABBIT KNITS! I've just added these brand new lavender-scented items to my Etsy shop including a bookmark, magnet, sachet, and dream pillow. Great gift ideas for your favorite knitter (or to tuck into an Easter basket). Click image to see my entire selection for Spring:

March 6, 2011

Buttonwillow gets a Little Brother

Buttonwillow has been asking for a little brother for a long time.So look what the stork dropped off in my P.O. box on Friday: A Little Brother! (okay, it didn't quite fit into the P.O box and they had it waiting for me behind the counter...)

I saw it on the internet, and the box said ADVANCED and COMPUTERIZED and AFFORDABLE, so how could I resist? After a little research, I found the best price on Amazon of all places-- it was orig. $449, now $169 with free shipping. I clicked a few buttons and in two days (can you believe it--TWO DAYS) it was at the post office waiting for me. What a world!

Now the hard part: teaching an old dog new tricks.

For someone who learned to sew Barbie clothes on an old treadle sewing machine with 3 stitches (forward, backward, and zigzag), this new-fangled-highfalutin machine--with its led display, the large instruction book with endless overly-simplified diagrams, and the alien hieroglyphics on its side-- was a bit daunting.

But like a bulldog I persisted, and after an exhausting hour or so got the bobbin filled, threaded the machine, and worked my way through some of the buttons and gizmos. Ta-DA!

Just look at these FANCY stitches that my new COMPUTERIZED Brother CS 6000-i (sounds a lot like a robot, doesn't it? ) can do!! I feel just like Jane Jetson.

Buttonwillow is not impressed or amused . She's going to take her request to Santa and ask for a real little brother next time she gets a chance.

March 4, 2011

Lucky Boys

Meet Ernie, man of leisure. At 17 pounds, it's a tight squeeze into his Harry and David pear box, but don't try to pry him out of his favorite place to lounge. It's there that he enjoys his delusion that he is one of the few humans in a house filled with felines...

You'd never know that this handsome boy had a bit of a rough start in life. Cat Lady Charlene remembers the day that her family visited a Mennonite farm to look at quilts: "As we were saying our goodbyes, the farmer drop-kicked this tiny black kitten out the door and past us about 6 feet. The kitten came screaming up to my daughter, and all I could think is, 'no more cats.' But better judgment prevailed and my daughter reasoned at least the kitten would have a chance with us trying to find him a home.

"Little did we know his condition...he was so dehydrated that he lapped up quite a bit of water we poured into our hands for him to drink. He was anemic from fleas, dehydrated and dying but had the strength to make it known he needed us. We stayed with him round the clock for three weeks until he finally made a turn for the better. And what can I say.... from 8 ounces to 17 pounds, he is now spoiled rotten, babied, and thinks he is human....Somehow he discovered the pear boxes years back. At Christmas, when they arrived, he was known to dig the pears out of the box so he could get in !"

Ernie's housemate Clarence can tell the tale of an equally dramatic rescue. Cat Lady Charlene was visiting an animal rescue in Waimanalo, Oahu on Christmas vacation. Charlene says," We went to find a cat to 'replace' the one we had rescued two years prior from a beach near the shelter, but whose illness finally killed him.

"Two days earlier a disastrous flood broke a dam above the shelter and killed all of the dogs, but the cats were able to all climb on things to escape. Clarence came running up to us, soft as a little bunny, and we adopted him on the spot. He flew from Oahu to Pittsburgh like a real trooper.

"He is always intrigued with the workers that we hire for different jobs. He will watch for hours, and I take him out on a leash to look over the equipment and tools which he seems fascinated with. He is quite the watch-cat, and takes his role as overseer very seriously. "What a gift they both are."

Charlene is affiliated with an award-winning cat clinic in Pennsylvania and maintains their Facebook page. You can visit their website

March 3, 2011

Pet Nicknames...What Are Your Favorites?

Thank you to Cat Lady Laura of Creativity Unmasked for featuring my Flower Garden Cat print on her blog today! Even more exciting was hearing the news that I won a month of free advertising on this lovely new blog. She will be having another giveaway beginning on March 15, so if you have a business to advertise, be sure to check it out.

Cat Lady Laura also happens to be a talented jewelry (or should I say "jewellery"--she's from Australia!) designer. To see her gorgeous work, be sure to visit her other blog, Moags and Smeet. Laura explains how her business got its name: "Laura (Moags) is supported by her partner Dan (Smeet) and our much loved pets Oli and Tig, our dalmatian and our mixed-breed rescue cat. Moags and Smeet are, in reality, Tig (Moags, Moagie, Mr Moagie Moags...) and Oli (Peety, Smeety, Mr Smeet...) but we have stolen their fun nicknames as our namesakes."

Do you have unusual or funny nicknames for your pets? Please share them in the comments section of this post!

March 1, 2011

Garden Fairy Story Time: The Foundling

Words and images copyright 2011 Susan Faye. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in ANY form, including electronically, without express written permission of the artist. Thank you for respecting this policy with regards to ALL artists--it's good karma!!

Hi! My name is Ellette.
One of my favorite things about being a garden fairy is having antennae.

My "feelers" help me with balance and direction, especially when I am flitting and flying about the woodlands and my posy patch. AND, just like my butterfly friends, my antennae have very special scent receptors that help me sniff out my favorite beverage: nectar.

I've made a little book showing some of my best nectar posies. Pink roses, candytuft and zinnias are my very favorites. Don't they sound delicious and fun? Here is a link to a list of the best nectar flowers for butterflies (and garden fairies too!)

Sometimes my antennae will detect smells other than nectar. Just yesterday when I was showing my posy book to a friendly white garden bunny, my antennae detected something new in the garden: the subtle scent of tuna mixed with traces of curiosity, plus a hint of irrepressible mischief.

I peeked under my garden bench, and just look at what I found:

A sweet little kitten in need of a home! My garden bunnies and I agreed that she should come live in our posy patch. She jumped up into my arms and purred loudly. I'm pretty sure that means she's staying...

Now my little foundling needs a name. Can you help me?

Help Ellette find a name for her new friend. Leave your suggestion in the comments section of this post.

Update: Giveaway entries are now closed. Thanks for participating! See all of the great suggestions in the comments section below.

Garden Fairy Ellette is so pleased! Thanks to your wonderful suggestions and your votes, her new kitten now has a name: Faerydae.

Ellette is a fabric art doll that I have hand-crafted with quilted butterfly wings. Her copper wire antennae feature crystal beads. She comes in two sizes and her arms can hold any of her three favorite things in a warm embrace: a little black and white cat (smaller doll holds a white rabbit) , a paper book called "My Garden" (it features 8 of my mini garden illustrations), and a bouquet of silk flowers.

Ellette is made from 100 percent cotton fabric that has been professionally printed with my watercolor artwork. She is filled with eco-friendly bamboo fiberfill. Surface washable only, if done gently.

To learn more about my dolls, visit this link to my Etsy Shop:
My Fairy Dolls