March 20, 2012

Blessed Are The Things With Wings... Part 1

Words and images copyright 2012 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!!


And that means it's time for Gardenkeeper Tiana to
get busy-- you see, she has a thing for things with wings.

So much so that every corner of her freshly blooming garden is designed to attract ANY creature lucky enough to have the gift of gravity-defying flight.

First she must clean and repair the things to please the things with feathered wings: bird feeders and bird houses and bird baths placed strategically near tall trees and bushy bushes so that even the smallest of tweeters will feel safe.

[click here for Yard Envy's great tips for Attracting Birds to Your Bird Feeder]

Then it's time to fill the tiny pond to attract things with iridescent wings: the dragonflies and damselflies. Tiana uses a wooden half-barrel to create a mini-pond in a corner of her garden, complete with lily pads and lotus flowers.

[click here for the National Wildlife Federation's tips on Attracting Dragonflies to your Yard]

Next she is planting lots of sweet-smelling and brightly-colored herbs, perennials and flowering shrubs to lure the nectar-seeking things with wings. Pink and red blossoms seem to be a particular favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.

[ has lots of great tips for creating a butterfly garden, with lists of butterflies for each state. Click here for more information: Butterfly Gardens

Also, she has planted a small grove of dwarf citrus trees for the busy buzzing kind of winged thing, because orange blossom honey is her favorite.

[For a list of honey flavors you may have never heard of, visit the National Honey Board's article on Honey Varietals]

And finally, this year she hopes to attract the fuzzy mammalian type of winged thing. Yes, she has hung a several bat houses around the garden and is keeping her fingers see, there is one winged thing that Tiana does NOT want in her garden: the whining, biting kind. According to Bat Conservation International, a single bat can capture 500 to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour!

[click here for the National Wildlife Federation's article on how to Build A Bat House]

"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful". ~Abram L. Urban

March 17, 2012

Spring Break Vacation Alert!

It's true. Songbirds, geese and whales may be heading north this time of year, but I am heading SOUTH next week on the first day of Spring. I'll be leaving six months of soggy Northwest gloom behind and will be hoppin' down the bunny trail in search of sunshine and desert wildflowers and cottontail cuties. I am delirious with anticipation.

Have I mentioned that one of my favorite things to paint is desert flora? Not to mention desert fauna... I hope to come back with a camera full of reference photos for brand new watercolor paintings and a surplus of vitamin D in my system!

I will be closing my SusanFaye Etsy shop and my CurioCabinet Etsy shop on the evening of Sunday, March 18 and will re-open the shops nine days later on Tuesday, March 27. All orders placed by tomorrow (except for special request items) will be shipped by Tuesday. My Imagekind and Cafepress shops will remain open.
Studio assistant Buttonwillow will be staying behind to enjoy a "stay-cation" of cat-napping and bird-watching. We are happy to report that more birds are showing up around the yard of our new house including TWO Northern Flickers! They have been enjoying some suet that I had placed in a front tree/shrub.

Mrs. Flicker posed nicely on the fence across the street...

While Mr. Flicker was on the move foraging for bugs on the ground...


Save some green today and tomorrow, March 17 and 18! Receive 17% off your entire purchase from my SusanFaye Etsy Shop today and tomorrow... just use coupon code SAVEGREEN17 when checking out (if you forget to enter the code, don't panic-- drop me a line and I'll send you a Paypal rebate). Discount does not apply to wholesale listings.

March 13, 2012

The Results Are In!

My Studio Assistant Buttonwillow and I have been up all night tallying the results of our marketing survey and would like to thank all of our friends here, on Facebook, and at The Hive for your valuable input on my new line of cat lover pendants.

Overall, Robin Egg Blue was the favorite with 30 votes, but Sweet Violet was right behind with 27. Apple Green was also popular with 19 votes, but Rose Pink only got 10 thumbs up.

As for which cat color/breed/markings to create next, calico had the most votes, with tuxedo being the next most popular. After that came variations on an orange/red/yellow tabby, a black cat, a tortoiseshell, gray/Russian blue, and a white cat.

Also mentioned were the always popular Maine Coon variations, Siamese, and Himalayan. There were also some very specific and some exotic suggestions: Bengal, Ragdoll, mackerel tabby, Scottish Fold, dilute calico, Havana Brown and an odd-eyed cat (one blue eye, one green eye).

Because there were so many respondents, I've decided to give away TWO of my prototype pendants pictured here, and TWO names were drawn at random: Nora Johnston, who commented on my Facebook page and JHitomi, who commented here on this blog. Winners- please contact me with your color choice and mailing information, and congratulations!

JHitomi also had a great suggestion: ..."another idea would be Black background, and maybe a round or heart shape for the pendant. Maybe because I've been coveting cameos and it would be a mock cat-cameo". Another great suggestion made by Laurie F. was to make stitch markers for knitters with my tiny tiles. I love hearing your ideas and feedback-- it helps keep my creative wheels turning. Thank you to EVERYONE who responded to my survey!

March 11, 2012

Your Opinion Please...(and Thank You!)

It's time for a little market research here at Susan Faye World Headquarters
and I'd love to hear your two-cents-worth!

I've been working on a new line of cat jewelry, with the intent of including as many possible breeds/markings/cat-colors as possible, both in shorthair and longhair versions. My first offering will be the gray tabby pictured above.

Please respond to the following questions by leaving your answers in the comments section of this post to help me with my decisions (I'm a Libra, I need all the help I can get!). As a thank-you, I will draw one name at random on Tuesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, and the lucky winner will receive their choice of one of the above prototype pendants, including a 24" petite ball chain!

  1. Which of the above background colors would you be most likely to wear?
  2. Which of the above background colors would you be most likely to give as a gift?
  3. Which type of cat breed/coloring would you like for me to do next? (you may name up to 5--examples: brown tabby, tortoiseshell, seal point siamese, ginger tabby with white chest, mackerel tabby, white with gray spots, etc.)

That's it! Thanks for your help!

March 9, 2012

What's Old Is New Again...Finding Buried Treasure

As some of you may already know, I operated a ceramic arts studio for 15-16 years before turning to watercolor painting.

My mainstay during those many years was designing porcelain jewelry. I
hand-crafted each piece from a rolled-out slab of porcelain clay, sometimes creating my own press-molds from plaster so that I could make multiple "blanks" of any particular design.
Once the porcelain pieces were dry, I hand-painted each one with various colorful underglazes, sealed them with a clear glaze, then trimmed each with 22K gold overglaze using a special fine line tool. This process required 3 separate firings in my electric kiln.

Toward the end of my ceramic arts career I created a line of cat lady brooches like those pictured here and sold them in galleries, boutiques and at art festivals. When I drew up these designs for the first time, I had no idea that I'd still be making "Cat Lady" art eight years later, selling it on the internet, and sending it off to exotic and faraway places around the world! Back then I didn't even know what a blog was and was but a gleam in Rob Kalin's eye. I've learned that it's a good thing for an old dog to learn some new tricks!!!

And guess what?

While packing for our recent move, I discovered close to 40 of these pins that have been stashed away since my last move six years ago. I've decided to offer them for sale in my Etsy shop.

Each is one-of-a kind and once they're gone, they're gone!

I am offering them for $22.00 each. They are artist-signed on the back, with a high quality safety-clasp pinback. The brooches measures approx. 2" x 1-1/2". Click on any image for more information, or click here to see the whole collection: Cat Lady Brooches.

Collecting Cats and Dogs

Cat Lady Rose Gates wears many hats. Not only is she a founding member of Angelcat Haven Feline Rescue and a Petfinder phototographer, she also writes the "Kitty Corner" column in the Pet Day section of the Sun Chronicle Newspaper in Massachusetts. I was thrilled to be mentioned in this week's column about collecting cats! You can read the article here: Cat Items Purr-fect Gifts for Collectors

Speaking of collecting cats (and canines too!) here are a few of the offerings direct from my storage shed that are for sale this week as I continue in my quest to thin down my own collection:

These cool cats are from the 1960s and are up for auction on Ebay! But you'd better act fast-- the auction ends tonight, Friday March 9th. Click here for more information and to place a bid: Teak Cat Bookends


This happy duo are off to find mischief, no doubt. The auction for this vintage pottery planter ends tomorrow, Saturday March 10, at around 6 p.m. Pacific Time. Click here for more info: Running Dogs


Bonzo the Dog was a fictional cartoon character first created in 1911 by George Studdy, and he became wildly popular. His likeness adorned all manner of things, including household goods like these salt and pepper shakers. These are currently for sale in my Curio Cabinet Shop on Etsy for $12. Click here for more info: Bonzo Shakers

Do you collect the collectible kind of cats or canines? We'd love to see photos of your collection! Here are some of the figurines I've collected over the years, and 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 and with your permission, I'd love to feature them in future blog posts. (you must be a "liker" of my FB page before you will be able to post pictures there...)

Happy Collecting!

March 8, 2012

Weather Report

The garden fairies have been up to a little mischief in the yard of our new house here in McMinnville, Oregon!

First of all, here is the big surprise that has popped up all over our new front yard... Dozens and dozens of petite yellow daffodils!!!

But that wasn't enough. Just for fun, the garden fairies wanted to add a little icing to the cake, so to speak, and here's what we woke up to on Wednesday morning:

...A light frosting of dancing snowflakes...

Perhaps a reminder that although Spring is just around the corner, don't put away the knit cap and gloves just yet!

Look quickly and you might actually see the fairies in their frilly yellow skirts with their snowy white wings, taking flight from the garden...!



Good news! You might remember my disappointment several weekends ago during the Great Backyard Bird Count, when only one lonely chickadee showed up for the entire weekend.

Well, as anyone with a new bird feeder in a new location knows, one happy bird is all it takes to "prime the pump". Word has gotten out and now we have a whole flock of chickadees AND a whole flock of dark-eyed juncos that are regular diners!

Not to mention sightings of a song sparrow, a western scrub jay, and a few starlings... Pretty soon they'll be lined up at the door!



As I continue to sort through stacks and stacks of artwork in my new studio, I have decided to sell more of my original artwork, including these two garden fairy paintings.

Surprise your favorite Garden Goddess or cat lover with the gift of original art-- or better yet, treat yourself!

Each original painting was drawn with pen and ink, then painted on Arches 300 lb. Cold Press Watercolor Paper with professional quality watercolor paints. The actual painted area measures 6.5" x 4.5" . Each is matted in an 11 x 14" double matting, ready to frame in a standard size frame. Click on either image for more information, or click here to see all of my original art for sale: Original Art on Etsy

Both images are also now available as fine art giclee prints on Imagekind. Click here for more information on purchasing these as prints: Garden Fairy Prints

Thanks for visiting!