May 31, 2011

Congratulations Are In Order...

Cat Lady Nancy M!

Nancy's name was drawn at random and is the winner in the 365 Cat Ladies Let's Play Giveaway. She won a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop. Like the majority of you, she preferred my second version of Wheelbarrow Cat: "I like version B. Blue sky gives it something extra. Great artwork".

Nancy lives in Colorado where "My house is blessed with 3 girls: Maddie, Emma and Luna and a male feral I named Boyfriend who has been a frequent resident on my deck for the last 3 years."
Version A

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the giveaway and gave me valuable feedback!

Wheelbarrow cat is just part of a much larger design I am working on. Thanks to your input and a little more experimenting, I hope to reveal my finished version later this week!

Version B

May 29, 2011

A Colourful Cat From Down Under...Giveaway Ends Tonight!

Cat Lady Laura from Creativity Unmasked wanted to take a stab at colouring our little wheelbarrow friend, but discovered "my craft stash is miserably insufficient in the colouring department, with only a small assortment of metallic lead pencils; however, in the name of fun, I coloured in a page anyway."

Laura is from the wonderful land of Down Under, where people colour instead of color. She also creates gorgeous jewellery over at Moags and Smeet!

Remember the silver, gold, and copper crayons in the big box of 64 Crayola crayons? As someone who always coveted those precious metallics in years past (oh how I loved that copper crayon!), I love the shimmery look of this version--I bet it's even more shiny-glittery in person.

Laura says,"Colouring this last night, I felt like a little girl again." Read more about her colouring adventure and see more pics over at her blog post "Colourful Cats"

It's not too late to print out your own coloring page and send me your interpretation in your favorite color scheme. You'll also be entered for an extra chance to win a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. Giveaway ends TONIGHT, May 29 at 7 p.m Pacific Standard Time. For details, click here:

May 28, 2011

More Cat Color!

Thank you to Moonsword for sending in this delightful version of the printable coloring page , painted digitally. I love the psychedelic 70s Peter Max look of it (yes, I am old enough to remember Flower Power--how about you?)
Moonsword is a "Metalsmith-Gemologist-Designer-Artist in search of innovative & interesting insight into adventure, art, design, gemology, history, humor, jewelry, philosophy and science". You'll find features on many talented artisans at Moonsword's blog: Moonsword's Chamber

It's not too late to print out your own coloring page and send me your interpretation in your favorite color scheme. You'll also be entered for an extra chance to win a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. Giveaway ends Sunday, May 29. For details, click here:

May 27, 2011

An Apple For The Teacher...

Why are apples associated with teachers? Some believe that this tradition began in New England during the 19th century when farming families supplemented a teacher's meager income with with homegrown food, such as potatoes and apples.

Whatever the reason, apples remain the symbol of appreciation for hard-working teachers. And don't despair if you just realized your backyard apple tree is still four months away from bearing fruit... You'll find a great assortment of apple-themed treasures on

Here is an Etsy treasury that I've curated with teachers in mind-- just click on the image below to see the entire collection (there are two listings with cats--can you find them?). While you are there, please leave a comment at the end of the treasury, and click on some of the items--t
he more attention the treasury gets, the more likely it is to make it onto Etsy's front page!

[The giveaway has ended and the winners are: Chrissykat, Gio, and Jean Williams (who entered on Facebook). Congratulation ladies-- I'll contact you on Saturday with details on picking out your sachet.]
Bonus for cat ladies and friends: Tell me which item in the treasury is your favorite by leaving a comment at the end of this post and you'll be entered into a drawing to win one of my lavender kitty sachets (pick from the designs below). I'll draw three names at 10 p.m. PST tonight! Entries will also be accepted on my Facebook page and at The Hive.

Thanks for visiting!

May 26, 2011

Kitty Colors Italiano...(Are You A Gattare?)

Gattare means "Cat Lover" in Italian! How do I know this?

Earlier this week I posted a printable coloring page for 365 Cat Ladies readers to enjoy and invited you to send in your creations. Today I was very excited to receive Cat Lady Gio's interpretation of the garden scene! Giovanna is a mixed media artist from Rome, and I love how she incorporated the sheet music motif, including the tiny treble clef detail on kitty's collar! Don't you love the sunny colors and the scalloped edge on the wheelbarrow?

You can see more of Giovanna's beautiful mixed media art projects, plus tutorials on her blog: Scrap in Progress. (If you aren't fluent in Italian, you might find a translator like Babel Fish has an option for translating an entire page from a blog--just plug in the URL of that particular page.)

A few weeks ago, Gio checked out my tutorial "How To Paint A Cat Lady" and she used watercolors to create her own portrait:

copyright Gio 2011


Here is her blog post that tells more about it: Solo per gattare! Only for cat lovers!

It's not too late to print out your own coloring page and send me your interpretation in your favorite color scheme. You'll also be entered for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. Giveaway ends Sunday, May 29. For details, click here:

May 25, 2011

Cat Hobbies

Do you and your pet share a favorite pastime? Like many other feline fanatics around the globe, Cat Lady Julie and her feline friends enjoy the wonderful world of birdwatching. Julie, Misu and Caroline like nothing better than sitting in their living room to watch the hummingbirds that come to feed on their patio, not to mention other birds and chipmunks too!

Julie tells us a little about her fellow birdwatchers, pictured in the portrait above (the portrait is a bit of a fantasy, as Misu and Caroline are strictly indoor birdwatchers):

"Misu [on the left] will be 12 years old in October. A friend of mine was moving from Iowa to Florida and she had a birthday present for me that if I did not come get it she was going to keep it for herself after having it for about a week. We met for dinner and she had this sweet little kitty with ribbons around his neck, like he was a little present.

"I had asked her what she had been calling him, just “misu-misu” which is “kitty-kitty” in Spanish. Because she was moving I wanted to keep the name in honor of her. I still tease her about the week he spent with her--she talks all the time and Misu is a big talker. I know the tone of his meows are based on what he wants. He’s hungry, wants attention, wants more attention, stop petting me now, etc.

"He is my baby, always has been, I carry him around on my shoulder and he lets me do most anything walking around while I hold him up on my shoulder, even at his 21 pounds… He sleeps with me every night and follows me where ever I am in my apartment, it’s very rare that I do not know where Misu is. I have always had cats but never bonded with any like I have with Misu, he is my soul-mate kitty- I hope he lives another 12 years..."

"Caroline will be two years old in November. I got Caroline because Misu and I moved to a new apartment. Misu had never been alone all day... so I hated leaving him at home alone for 10-11 hours a day. Caroline is a rescue kitty, I got her from the local Animal Rescue League as a kitten, just 8 weeks old. I was worried as Misu is set in his ways and had not played with another cat in years. I brought Caroline home, she instantly got out of the carrier and took over, not shy at all. She put herself in Misu’s life whether he liked it or not and within a week they were friends, and finally my old man is playing again!"

"Caroline is very sweet natured and a full blown trouble maker at the same time. Being a Maine Coon Tabby she has a ton of fur and HATES being brushed, but between the two of us she has beautiful healthy fur!"

Julie asked for a ladybug in her portrait, as they bring her good luck. I'd say the ladybug thing is working--isn't she lucky to have such wonderful bird-watching buddies?

What pastimes do you enjoy sharing with your pets?

Custom Pet portraits have returned! They are once again available in my Etsy shop until the end of September. Click here for details:

May 23, 2011

May Showers...


Here in the Pacific Northwest we know that "April showers bring May flowers", but what do May showers bring?

Lots of HOURS for indoor activities like coloring, drawing, and painting...!

If you find yourself with rainy day hours to while away, you might enjoy downloading my free coloring page available at this link: Let's Play!...Free Coloring Page and a Giveaway

You'll also find details about a Giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop.

Have fun!

May 21, 2011

Let's Play!...Free Coloring Page and a Giveaway

Like many of you, my first introduction to the Wonderful World of Art was through coloring books and a box of crayons. The smell of wax still triggers fond memories of endless hours spent filling in black and white outlines with colors of my choice. Was Wilma Flintstone going to have her normal Red Orange hair or would she like to try Goldenrod for a change? Did Huckleberry Hound really want to be go through life being Sky Blue or would he like to try Periwinkle on for size?

Flash forward more than a few decades. My inner child is del
iriously happy that I can now create my very own coloring pages in the comfort of my home-- thanks to my printer/scanner and my computer! I sometimes use these black and white pages when I am working on a new illustration or design to work out color choices. Here's what I do:

First I make a pencil sketch on graph paper (I'm hopeless when it comes to keeping things straight, perpendicular, parallel, etc., so the grid helps me a lot).

Once I'm happy with the drawing, I use tracing paper and a pencil to transfer the design to good quality paper . Next, I carefully draw over my pencil transfer with a Sakura Pigma Micron Pen, and once I'm sure the ink is dry, I erase the pencil lines.

Then I can scan my finished black and white image into my computer. I print copies of it onto heavy paper-- as many as I like! Voila! It's just like having my own coloring book pages.

Now the age-old question: What colors should I use? With my watercolor paints, I try out various colors with quick washes of color.Version A

Sometimes I scan my "paint sketch" back into my computer, then use Adobe Photoshop to add or subtract different colors.

In this version, I used the bucket feature and tried out different shades of blue in the sky...

Version B

Which version do you like better? Tell me in the comments section at the end of this post and you will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop.Comments will also be accepted at an identical post on The Hive.

Better yet, SHOW me what color combination you like best! Just click on the image below, then click again to enlarge it, then save it to your computer. You might want to use Photoshop to color it in, or you could print it out on paper and use markers, colored pencils, paint, or CRAYONS! Then send me a jpeg image of your color scheme that I can share on this blog (you'll find my email link at If you do, you'll receive a second entry in the giveaway to double your chances!
(Note--you can snap a photo of your colored creation if you don't have a scanner and send it to me that way).

The giveaway will end in one week on Sunday, May 29, when I draw one name at random at 7:00 p.m. PST.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if you are the 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 entry directly to my email .

[Please remember that the coloring page is for personal use and amusement only. May not be used for any commercial purpose or reproduced on the internet.]

Okay, now go get creative! Ready, set, GO!

May 20, 2011

I'm a Handmadeologist! (Honest- I wouldn't make up a word like that)

I am thrilled and delighted to be able to say that I am the newest contributor to the e-zine Handmadeology!

If you haven't discovered the Handmadeology website yet, it's time you is a wonderful resource for the creative community, whether you are an artisan or the supporter of the handmade movement. Editor Timothy Adams shares his philosophy: "The Handmadeology Team is dedicated to the handmade movement and exists for the purpose of teaching artists how to successfully sell their handmade goods online, and to feature the newest handmade, vintage and supply items found on".

Check out my first article here:

It contains my very best tip for becoming the star of your very own Reality Show! I hope you enjoy it (and if you do, please leave a comment at the end of the article to let Editor Timothy know what you think) always, I appreciate your support ... it means a lot to me!

May 19, 2011

Something Nutty Happened At World Headquarters...

A lovely pastime that Buttonwillow and I share is watching birds through the windows at Susan Faye World Headquarters. However, recently it came to my attention that the bird feeders were mysteriously emptying at record rates. Buttonwillow soon spotted the reason why:

Not to be outwitted by our new visitor, Mr. Nutkin, I decided to leave the feeders empty for a few days, hoping to find a way to squirrel-proof my feeders. It was several days later that Buttonwillow and I heard a loud {thump} against the glass window in the sunroom, where the front door is. I was fearful that a bird had flown into the window and Buttonwillow and I both ran towards the sound. This is what we saw:
Mr. Nutkin had come a-knockin' and he was not pleased.

Fearless, he looked straight at me through the window and sent a telepathic message.

This is what he said: "I can see you in there and I know you're holding out on me. Bring out the seeds NOW and nobody gets hurt." I was a little surprised and a bit alarmed. I backed away from the window slowly. Undaunted, Mr. Nutkin jumped over to the other window where Buttonwillow sat.

Here is the telepathic conversation that ensued:
"Tell the lady to hand over the seeds."
"What are seeds?"
"Don't play dumb with me, sister. Hand them over or I'm coming in."
"Please do. I'd love to have you for dinner."
"Oh yeah, you and what cat army?"

With that, Mr. Nutkin disappeared with a hop and a skip, no doubt to find reinforcements in his quest to find a way to get inside. Just as a precautionary measure, I've locked the birdseed in the safe and I'm sleeping with one eye open.

Does anyone out there have any advice on squirrel-proofing your bird feeders

We anxiously await your tips.

May 18, 2011

Kitten on Safari


This calico kitten knows that a backyard is the very best place to go on

What is your cat's favorite thing to stalk in your backyard jungle? Buttonwillow has her eye on a big fat juicy squirrel (dream on, Buttonwillow)...

May 17, 2011

Get Hoppy With Some Bunny Love

As the Year of the Rabbit continues, I was recently delighted to learn about the House Rabbit Society via Tina of their San Diego Chapter.

The House Rabbit Society is an all-volunteer, national, nonprofit animal rescue organization with local chapters in more than 30 states and more than 7,000 members. Their volunteers rescue abandoned rabbits and find permanent adoptive homes for them through their foster program. The organization also seeks to reduce the number of unwanted rabbits -- and to improve bunnies' lives -- by helping people better understand these often misunderstood companion

Since the HRS was founded in 1988, more than 20,000 rabbits have been rescued through HRS foster homes throughout North America. The San Diego chapter rescues and adopts out about 85 -100 rabbits each year.

I'm thrilled that an assortment of my bunny jewelry and handcrafts will soon be sold in their Bunny Supply Store for fundraising purposes. Be sure to visit their website for lots of great information about rabbit care, adoptions, and events!

Thanks for visiting!

May 15, 2011

Vote For Your Favorite Pet Item at Handmade Top 10

I need your input! Please rate my handcrafted catnip toy at the Handmade Top 10 website...You'll find lots of other great pet items to rate; just advance through them until you find my catnip toy...Click here to vote:
Top 10 Pet Items

As always, your input and feedback are greatly appreciated!!

Dogs From Outer Space..Close Encounters of the Canine Kind

On Thursday, May 11, 1950 a husband and wife near McMinnville, Oregon, witnessed and photographed a strange, hovering disk -- said to be some of the most credible images of UFOs to date. It's called the Trent sighting.

In honor of this momentous event, the town of McMinnville hosts one of the largest UFO Festivals in the country each year, including an Alien Parade that marches and hovers through the historic downtown main street. Tin foil hats and alien life forms abound, with more encounters of the third kind in the spectator throngs than in the actual parade.

As expected at yesterday's parade, a delightful variety of aliens of the bi-ped humanoid variety were on hand. But even more delightful were the visiting life forms of the four-legged variety. Here is just a small sampling:

Live long and prosper!

May 12, 2011

Spring Cleaning with Buttonwillow

Have you started your spring cleaning yet? Recently I was doing some serious re-organizing and deep cleaning at World Headquarters when I heard a commotion out in the kitchen.

It seems that Studio Assistant Buttonwillow had decided to pitch in by re-organizing and cleaning out the can cupboard, which happens to be where pet food is stored--including special treats for Reva Girl, our beautiful dog friend. Buttonwillow has mixed feelings for the giant dog, becoming particularly irritated when Reva licks the cat food bowl.

Hmm...Let's see what we need to get rid of. This can of mush-meat in a flavor I don't care for and an empty bag of treats can go...

The humanoid food looks okay. I think it can stay.

I'm sorry, but these dog biscuits have to go. Do we really want to encourage that dog to come into the kitchen? Do you have any idea how dog-slobber-SLIMY my bowl is after she licks it?

There, that should just about do it. Consider this cupboard cleaned out. Oh oh. Is that the sound of a large dog approaching? Quick, hide my bowl!

Did you notice? 365 Cat Ladies and Friends has had a spring makeover with a whole new look. What do you think? Hope you like it!

May 8, 2011

Did You Forget Any Mothers Today?

The brunches are winding down, cards have been opened and bouquets are beautifully arranged in their vases. Thousands of Moms throughout the land have been honored, delighted and made misty-eyed. But did you forget someone?

I'm talking about Mother Nature-- you know, that other mom that we owe our life to. The one that provides us with nutritious food and clean water, air to breathe, and beauty to enjoy-- not to mention the ingredients to make CHOCOLATE! Here are just a few ways to enjoy your time with Mom Earth on this Mother's Day:

1. Enjoy a special slide show of animal moms and their babies, courtesy of the Nature Conservancy: Mom and Baby Smile for the Camera

2. Watch in real time as an eagle mom (and dad) on Santa Cruz Island in California care for their eaglet chick, born just a few weeks ago: Eagle Cam

Sometimes the camera is down, so keep trying. Here is one of the highlights for you to enjoy:

3. Adopt a coral reef in honor of Mom. You probably know that coral reefs are a very important part of our oceans' ecosystems. But did you know that medicines made from coral reefs help treat leukemia, lymphoma and other types of cancers? It's not too late to honor Mother Nature AND Mom with a gift that could help keep both of them healthy: Adopt a Coral Reef