February 29, 2012

happy leap day from buttonwillow (or, battle of the bulge, week 4)

hello everybody. buttonwillow cat here.
i'm here to wish you a happy leap day.

it says here on the internet that tables get turned and things can be a bit topsy-turvy on leap day. it's a little like a blue moon where strange things can happen.

which is exactly why i am writing on the blog today instead of art lady.

what's that noise i hear?

oh yeah, it's art lady whining over by the fireplace.
you see, i've had to place her on a very strict diet.

she's only allowed to have one cup of carrots per day. that's all she gets to eat for the whole day. i hope she appreciates it, because i'm sure i heard her doctor say she is only supposed to have one-half of a cup per day, but i felt sorry for her.

back to the blog.

let's see, it says here on the wikipedia that "February 29 is a date that usually occurs every four years, and is called leap day. This day is added to the calendar in leap years as a corrective measure, because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days."

obviously, it was a lot easier to change the calendar than to try to change the orbit of the earth, but knowing humans, i'm just a little surprised that they aren't out there right now trying to fix the orbit. who knows? maybe they are...

what? why is art lady sitting on the floor, you ask? well i didn't want her shedding on the furniture. who wants gray hair all over the upholstery? she's awfully quiet over there. i'd better go check on her.

it would be just like her to try to slip some chocolate in with the carrots.

okay, the carrots check out.
i wonder if she wants to be scratched behind the ear for being such a good girl
(heh, heh)

all right, let's wrap this up. i've got seven or eight meals planned for myself today...

...not to mention some serious napping on my favorite easy chair.

as for art lady: don't give in to her no matter how sad she looks or how loud she howls. this is for her own good.

love and fishes,
buttonwillow cat

February 28, 2012

Meet Topsy and Turvy

The votes are in!

My teeny tiger tabby duo now have adorable names, thanks to your wonderful suggestions and participation in the selection process both here on this blog and on my Facebook page. "Topsy and Turvy" came in with 18 votes, with "Fiddle and DeeDee" and "Polly and Molly" close behind with 16 votes each.

Kittens Topsy and Turvy are particularly grateful to Nancy T. for coming up with the winning names!


Topsy and Turvy would like to remind you that today is World Spay Day, an annual event of The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to inspire people to save animals' lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats. If your pets are already spayed or neutered, you may want to make a donation to one of the agencies providing low-cost services, to enable someone else to spay their pets or feral cats at a low cost. You'll find lots of great information here, including a locator for finding low-cost spaying and neutering: WORLD SPAY DAY 2012


NEW from Susan Faye Creative Arts!

My most popular art images are now available for sale as high quality giclee prints at IMAGEKIND! New images will be added over the coming weeks and months, so check back often. The print of Topsy and Turvy pictured here has just been made available.

Your art will be printed on your choice of photographic or fine art papers, with several sizes to choose from. You may also choose to have your artwork matted and framed or printed as a canvas wrap.

Click here to visit my new online gallery:

February 26, 2012

Teeny Tiger Names...Time to Vote!

Thank you to everyone for your fun and clever name suggestions for my rascally pair of teeny tigers! I've picked out six and now I need your help narrowing it down to one. At the top of the right hand column of this blog you will find a poll-- please vote for your favorite name combo. I'll have a similar poll going on at my Facebook Page; you may vote once in each poll.

Thanks for your help!

Do You Collect Cats or Canines?

If you collect the REAL kind of kitty or canine, it's good to remember that Tuesday is World Spay Day, an annual event of The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to inspire people to save animals' lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats. If your pets are already spayed or neutered, you may want to make a donation to one of the agencies providing low-cost services, to enable someone else to spay their pets at a low cost. You'll find lots of great information here, including a locator for finding low-cost spaying and neutering: WORLD SPAY DAY 2012

If you collect the collectible kind of cats or canines, we'd love to see photos of your collection! Below is but a small sampling of Cat Lady Rose's collection of sparkly and fun vintage cat brooches! Show us photos of your own collection of vintage cats, dogs, or other animal collectibles on my Facebook page (you must be a "liker" of the page before you will be able to post pictures there...)

Cat Lady Rose is one of the founders of Angelcat Haven, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing the homeless and stray cats in the vicinity of Plainville, MA, who are in need of a HAVEN while waiting for their loving new homes. Find out more about their participation in low-cost altering of cats as part of Spay Day, and vote for Simon Gates in the Spay Day Photo Contest here!

Here are a couple of "keepers" from my own collection of collectibles:
salt and pepper shakers!

A couple of svelte and winking twins
And some of Disney Figaro Cat's long, lost cousins...

Currently up for adoption in my Etsy Curio Cabinet:

These little lustreware cuties are looking for a new home and are ready for any climate in their jaunty caps! See what else I have for sale in my Curio Cabinet here.

Thanks for visiting!

February 25, 2012

Two Teeny Tiger Tabbies Need Names

These two little rascals are on the prowl for names.
Any ideas?

Leave your suggestions for a pair of names (up to 3) in the comments section of this post. On Monday I will pick my favorite 6 pairs of names and put it up to a vote here and on my Facebook page to choose the new names. Thanks for your help!

February 23, 2012

On The Way To Depoe Bay...

...Dave and I spied:

A stormy sea with giant waves, plumes, and sprays...

Quiet coves with zen rock gardens...

A lucky crow with a treasured treat...

...which was NOT going to be shared with any tourists passing by...

...The prerequisite ocean vista seagulls...

..including one who was particularly jaunty...

And the prettiest fur coat I've seen all winter!

The reason Dave and I were traveling down the Oregon Coast was to deliver some of my creative goodies to a brand new shop opening in Depoe Bay called "Gifted".

Located smack dab in the center of Depoe Bay's waterfront row on Highway 101, the boutique will feature the art and handcrafts of regional and Northwest artists. Owner Karry Blodgette is excited about her grand opening on March 1 and I was thrilled to get a sneak peek at all of the GORGEOUS collections that she will be featuring including glass, wood, fiber arts, pottery and more! I'm very excited that my jewelry and lavender sachets will be part of the mix. Stop by if you are lucky enough to be on the Oregon Coast this spring: "Gifted" is located at 14 North Highway 101 in Depoe Bay.

Click here to see some beautiful Chamber of Commerce photos of Depoe Bay, The Whale-Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast.

February 21, 2012

Counting Birds

The Great Backyard Bird Count ended yesterday, and as of yesterday morning here's how many birds I counted in the backyard of our new house:

That's right. Zip. Zilch. Nada. A big fat goose egg, so to speak.

I had set up the bird feeders a week or two earlier, knowing that it takes time for a new feeder to be "discovered". Day after day I could hear chickadees and jays high above in the giant fir trees across the alley, taunting me, but not one made an appearance.

Then yesterday afternoon, as the Bird Count was drawing to its close after four
days of disappointment, I pulled into the driveway after doing an errand. What was that? Did I see a tiny flicker of motion near one of the feeders in the lilac bush?

Yes!! It was a chickadee!!! A chestnut-backed chickadee, my new best friend! Alert the Bird Count folks! Add one more chickadee to the Oregon tally!! I hope they are as thrilled as I am! Woohoo!


Perfect for that bright-eyed and cheerful morning person or bird watcher in your life...
Now available in my Cafepress shop!

BLANK BOOK/JOURNAL: This wire-O bound, 160 page notebook has your choice of papers and measures 5" x 8", a handy on-the-go size to fit in your backpack. Get creative and let the muse flow. Choose your paper -- blank, dot grid, college-ruled, or a task journal.

JUMBO TOTE: The perfect bag for trips to the surf, soccer game or picnic. Roomy, it features side panels for extra support and an inside lining for water resistance and simple cleaning.
  • 100% cotton (14 oz.) canvas
  • Dimensions: 12" x 16" x 5¾"
  • Outside pocket with Velcro® closure
  • Inside pocket with flap
  • Available in 3 colors

WOMEN'S ORGANIC FITTED T-SHIRT: A t-shirt that's earth friendly and fashion conscious.
  • 100% organic cotton jersey
  • 4.3 oz. 100% ultra-fine combed organic ring-spun jersey
  • Fitted for a fashionable look

COFFEE, TEA, OR COCOA MUG: The perfect ceramic mug for your favorite cheerful morning person.
  • Measures 3.75" tall, 3" diameter
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
Click on any image for more information, or view the entire "Early Bird" line at this link: EARLY BIRD ON CAFEPRESS where you'll also find notecards, aprons, magnets and more!


February 20, 2012

And The Winner Is....

Congratulations to Chrissykat! Her name was drawn at random and she is the winner of the Cat Lover Candle Tin in the Battle of the Bulge Giveaway.

Here is her suggestion for Buttonwillow's diet lament:

Thank you for all of the fun and fabulous entries at the original blog post , on Facebook, and on an identical post over at The Hive.

Thank you for participating!!

February 19, 2012

The Battle of the [Buttonwillow] Bulge...Week Three

We have entered Week 3 of Buttonwillow's new diet regimen and things are REALLY getting desperate around here.

Things are so desperate that Buttonwillow has eaten the ears off of her favorite catnip mouse toy.

That's the white stuffing that you see poking out of the holes where the ears used to be. Obviously, the nose is next. That means it's time for a new mouse toy. AND it's time to enter the Buttonwillow Caption Giveaway before it's too late. The giveaway ends tonight at 8:00 PST, so hop over to this blog post to read all of the fun and funny entries and leave your own suggestion if you haven't already.

Thanks for participating!

February 18, 2012

Are You An Early Bird?

According to my Very Scientific Poll conducted on my Facebook page over the past 24 hours, 22 people responded to the question: "Are you an early bird?"

7 said "No, I prefer to be a night owl"
4 said "It depends on how early the garage sale starts"
3 said "Yes, I'm healthy, wealthy and wise""

4 said "Yes, I am very much an early bird"

2 said "If 10 am is early, then yes I am an early bird"

1 said " Only if there is coffee and a cinnamon bun involved"

1 said " Cockadoodle do!"

It's not too late to contribute to the Highly Scientific Poll-- just hop over to my Facebook page, make sure you are a "liker", then scroll down a few posts to find the poll on Feb. 17. The scientific community greatly appreciates your valuable input!


Harbingers of an Early Bird Spring
Speaking of early birds, look what popped up in our new yard!

The first bloomers of 2012, a few weeks early! Spring must be just around the corner!

When we bought our new house in late September, things had already gone dormant and there weren't very many clues about what was growing in our yard. It's been fun to see all of the places that bulbs are sending up shoots... most look like they will be daffodils, but I'm seeing potential irises, and maybe a few tulips.

Do you have any early bird bloomers in your neck of the woods?



A little something for that cheerful morning person in your life!

Introducing my Early Bird pendant and earrings, now available in my Etsy Shop.

I've been having lots of fun lately trying out some brand new settings. A mini print of my watercolor artwork has been preserved under a crystal-clear glass dome, then set into an antiqued bronze-plated setting.

The pendant is 1-1/4" in diameter and includes a coordinating 18" chain with a lobster clasp.
The petite earrings are each 1/2" in diameter and feature a leverback earwire (there is a hinged clasp on the back to keep the earwire in place). [Note: the earwires are brass-plated, so please keep this in mind if your ears are sensitive to this type of metal.]

If you purchase the boxed set with BOTH the pendant and earrings, you will save $4.00! Just click on any image for more details on that item...


February 17, 2012

The Early Bird

Here is a little "early bird" peek at some new artwork I am working on. It is just a snippet of a larger illustration that is almost finished...
artwork copyright Susan Faye 2012 all rights reserved

I've experienced many advantages of being an early bird over the years: spectacular sunrises, incredible treasures at yard sales, and some of the best and most dramatic lighting for wildlife photos. Freelance writer Glen Stansberry of LifeDev believes that getting up early is also "crucial to success as an entrepreneur" and he has a great list of tips on becoming an early riser including:
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Plan your day the night before.
  • Exercise in the morning to wake your body up.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Be Consistent.
  • Lay everything out the night before.
  • Go outside.
You'll find all the details here: Tips To Becoming An Early Riser


And here's something you can do as an early bird right in your own back yard:
artwork copyright Susan Faye all rights reserved

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts today!

It's an annual four-day event in the United States and Canada that starts Friday, February 17. You can count birds for as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts, and you only count birds that you are familiar with and can positively identify. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. Click here to learn How To Participate

February 14, 2012

Collecting Cats

In kindergarten I was taught the virtues of sharing. So as I continue to unearth treasures from my storage shed, I am very determined to share the wealth. I am sorting my kitty and canine collectibles as either "keepers" or "adoptees"...some for me and some for you!

Here is a vintage Valentine "keeper", something a kindergartner might have received back in the 30s or 40s. At first glance it looks mighty sweet, but upon closer examination it would appear that having your heart pierced with an arrow might be a little bloody. Sheesh! I'd sleep with one eye open too if I were that kitten!

Another "keeper" is this Kitty Cucumber Clown Juggler ornament from 1985. It was a gift to me that year, the first year that Kitty Cucumber hit the gift shops. It has been on my Christmas tree for over 25 years now.

According to the Smithsonian Institution Reasearch Information System, "Kitty Cucumber (a cat character) first appeared in 1985, in a die-cut booklet produced by B. Shackman & Company, Inc. This firm has sold toys and printed materials since 1898. The Victorian-style Kitty's name was invented by the daughter of the president of the company for a favorite doll. Her mother [Mary Peters Lillemoe] designed the Kitty Cucumber now used on a variety of products, such as books, paper dolls, and art work."

I have two different Kitty Cucumber "adoptees" in my Vintage Etsy Shop this week. First is a collectible revolving music box from 1989 featuring a cat doctor and kitten. It plays "You've Got A Friend". Wouldn't this be a cute gift for a veterinarian?

The second adoptee is a Kitty Cucumber dealer's sign from 1987, one that a gift shop owner would put out with a display of Kitty Cucumber figurines.

Click on either image for more details.

And may you have a lovely day filled with chocolate, fun, and love (and NO arrows!)