April 30, 2012

More Beautiful Haiku Poetry... [Giveaway Ends Tonight!]

The final day of National Poetry Month has arrived, but you still have until 7 o'clock this evening to try your hand at haiku poetry in theYou're a Poet and You Know It Giveaway.
copyright 2012 Susan Faye

 You may enter up to three different haiku poems for three chances to win a Susan Faye designer mug. [Two winners will be selected at random TONIGHT at 7 p.m. PDST].  Visit the link above for complete details.

Here are some of the lovely entries so far....

Debra B wrote... 
 ~♥~ SPRING ~♥~
Spring-time is now here ...
The flowers show God's glory ...
Do not pick them all.
copyright 2009-2012 Susan Faye
jhitomi wrote...
Creatures in our yard
Bunnies, squirrels, deer and slugs
The Cat rules supreme!

Joan P wrote...
 Cat hears the cricket
Song of spring that speaks to her
copyright 2009-2012 Susan Faye
Creatures sharing earth.

Audrey Hackett wrote...
 Birds singing outside
Sleepy cats snuggled inside
Purrfect springtime zen

Hope you are inspired to add your own haiku poems...Thanks for participating! 

April 29, 2012

You're All Poets, And I Know It!

It's still National Poetry Month!  Thank you to everyone who has shared their Haiku poems in the You're a Poet and You Know It Giveaway. 

Did you know that you can enter up to three different haiku poems for three chances to win a Susan Faye designer mug? [Two winners will be selected at random- Giveaway ends TOMORROW at 7 p.m. PDST!]

Cat Lady Librarian Jeanne did just that. Here are her creations: 

Cat Lady Jeanne with Freddie, Bonnie, Mocha, and Rupert
Tail twitching, Flora
lurks 'neath the feeder, hoping
for feathered fauna.

In springtime, birds know
that small tigers sometimes lurk
under the tulips.

Springtime is for love
and nesting, while in summer

the jays dive-bomb cats.

Here's a little bit about just a few of the fabulous felines that have stolen Jeanne's heart and inspired her poetry: 

"Freddie, the white and grey tabby, likes to ride on shoulders and is not liked at the vet's in part for his propensity to suddenly leap on someone's back.  

"Bonnie is my darling little Ragdoll who is shy and tiny.  She developed ear problems which eventually left her deaf and with some balance issues.  She has a chronic and characteristic head tilt. Fred picks on her a bit because he likes to hear her squall and he knows I'll give in and let him out if he pesters poor little Bonnie. Bless her, she terrifies me when she escapes because she doesn't really think things will hurt her.  She's a true innocent.  

"Bonnie only liked cats who looked like her, so she developed a deep attachment to my Himmie, Mocha.  Mocha wasn't thrilled but he accepted it and they became very fond of one another.  Mocha succumbed to congestive heart failure last year and Bonnie misses him.  

"Finally, there is Rupert, a red tabby with white toes. He was a stray with many names:  Prince Rupert Rufus Hubert Herbert Hobart Rumplestiliskin Crookshanks Cockleburr of Bavaria and the Rhine.  I called him my shabby little gentleman because he was rather rumpled and thin when he came but he had a dignity and sweetness that totally took my heart. His little white toes reminded me of spats.  I had to trap him as he was wary of humans and we discovered he was toothless yet he had cheerfully eaten any food, wet or dry. He often sat with a bit of his tongue stuck out.  Once he realized we weren't going to hurt him he couldn't be petted enough though he was gracious and allowed other cats to be petted too -- unlike some of my other ruffians.  He was my soul cat, my equal."

Now it's your turn!  If you haven't already, Write a simple haiku (or three) about your pet and Spring (or anything nature-related), and leave your haiku in the comments section of the original post, where you will find complete details: http://www.365catladies.blogspot.com/2012/04/youre-poet-and-you-know-it.html    Be sure to read all of the wonderful haikus that have already been submitted.

Knit One Purr Two
Blessed are the Garden Cats
Giveaway ends the evening of Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Savings Time. TWO winners will be selected at random and each will receive their choice of one Susan Faye designer mug ($14.00 value), which will be shipped any where in the world.

Thanks for participating!

April 27, 2012

Collecting Cats... Feline Fabric Finds

As you probably know, I enjoy collecting vintage cat and dog treasures. So much so that I have accumulated an embarrassment of riches and must thin out the collection. Cat and dog textiles are a fun thing to collect, such as these embroidered fingertip towels and a linen hand towel from days gone by. These little cuties are keepers: 

Another fun textile treasure is this vintage "Mola" fabric panel  from the Kuna Indians of Panama. Molas are made as a decorative panel for the traditional blouses of the Kuna women. This colorful and whimsical tabby cat was made using multiple layers of fabrics in an intricate reverse applique technique, all hand-stitched.  It is in a handcrafted wooden frame. 

It's your lucky day! I am parting with this little beauty. It for sale in an auction on Ebay which ends tomorrow evening, Saturday the 28th. For more information, click here: Cat Mola on Ebay

You can learn more about Kuna molas here: About Molas


April 25, 2012

I Heart Tuxedo Cats... Do You?

Seven years ago I painted this watercolor of my beautiful tuxedo girl Melissa and included it in an art show called 50/50. The show featured artwork that was half mine and half by my friend Mary (and we both would be 50 years old that year), hence the name.

Melissa Mittens, copyright 2006 Susan Faye

A longtime friend of the family came to the show and stood for a long time in front of that painting. With misty eyes and a slight catch in her throat she said, "That's my Spats!" It turned out that Spats had recently passed away and he had been a particularly special friend. She had to have the painting, and we laughed as I quickly changed the title of the painting from "Melissa" to "Spats". 

Tuxedo cats are like that.  They steal your heart. (Okay, okay, it's not just tuxedo cats, it could be any cat.  But this is the one that stole MY heart)...

She was The Most Special One. Melissa Mittens was a lightweight wisp of a cat with fur of midnight black velvet, and mittens of snowy white. A fearless mouser, she was the feisty type with a sly sense of humor, and loved to play hide and seek, politely taking turns being "It". I could read her mind and she could read mine. We went through thick and thin together for 14 years. She saw me through some very difficult times. She was one very special tuxedo girl and I still miss her terribly. My eyes are misting up and I have a slight catch in my throat.
Cat Lady Wendy with friends Sele and Bella

Have you had your heart stolen by a terrific tuxedo cat? Then it's time to show off!  You are invited to share photos of your best-dressed darling on my Facebook page this week: https://www.facebook.com/SusanFayeArt  
 (to see all of the photos posted so far, click on "posts by others" in the drop-down box at the top of the posts.)

 In general, a tuxedo cat is described as one with a white chest patch and white paws, resembling a man's dress jacket by the same name, usually black with satin lapels, worn for formal or semi-formal occasions. The white paws give the look of formal-wear gloves and spats, a white covering for dress shoes worn in times-gone-by. Sometimes there is a white blaze on the face too.

Wearable Art for Tuxedo Cat Lovers...
 Brand new pendants and earrings with either long-hair or short-hair tuxedo cats, 
with four different background colors to choose from...
Longhair Tuxedo Pendants can be purr-sonalized with a name on the back
earrings feature sterling silver earwires

Shorthair Tuxedo Pendants can be purr-sonalized with a name on the back
 Click on any caption  for more information  

Color choices are Rosy Pink, Sweet Violet, Robin Egg Blue, or Apple Green


Click here to see the whole selection:


April 22, 2012

A Happy Earth Day Story!

On our recent field trip to Fort Vancouver in Washington State, I got to witness something quite miraculous.  This beautiful apple tree was in full bloom. For about the 185th time. This is the story of a very beautiful living organism who has survived almost 200 years because of humanity and in spite of humanity.

 Meet The Old Apple Tree of Vancouver.  It was planted just outside of the fort sometime around 1827 in a pretty spot overlooking the Columbia River.  It is thought to be the oldest living apple tree in the Northwest, perhaps the entire West Coast.

According to the newspaper The Columbian, "The apple tree has produced a crop every year, although most trees of its kind only live 50-70 years. ...It has survived many trials, the city's flood of 1894, the emergence of the railroad, the choppers block in 1910, losing a limb in the winter of 1950, the Columbus Day storm in 1962, and freeway construction in more recent years."

The city of Vancouver has grown up around the tree, which is now hemmed in by freeways on one side, train tracks on the other. It is caged in by a chain link fence for its protection.  There is a small strip of green grass and other trees on one side of the tree, however, that as been designated as The Old Apple Tree Park.

Imagine all of the history this tree has seen, and how many humans and other creatures it has nourished, housed, and shaded over almost 200 years!  The life of this amazing tree is celebrated each year in the park with  The Old Apple Tree Festival on the first Saturday of October.

Yes, that is a semi truck barreling along the freeway just feet away from the apple tree...

 The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department says:
"The Old Apple Tree is a tangible reminder of the power of trees to bridge generations and provide continuity between the past and the future. By planting trees today, we leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Trees greatly enhance our quality of life here in Vancouver by beautifying our neighborhoods and parks, cleaning the air and water, and providing numerous other environmental, social and economic benefits."

Bob Cromwell, Archaeologist with the National Parks Service and Fort Vancouver, wrote a detailed history of the Old Apple Tree, which you can view here

Now don't you want to go hug a tree?  [Just not this one, please.]

April 20, 2012

You're a Poet and You Know It {Giveaway} !

[Note: Giveaway has ended, thank you to all of the participants! Two names were drawn at random to receive mugs: MysTeri and Patchy Meow. Congratulations!]

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month in the United States? It was introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. 

One way to celebrate is "Poem in Your Pocket Day" on April 26. You are asked select a poem you love, then carry it with you in your pocket and  share it with co-workers, family, and friends.  You can click on this link an find printable poems that will fit in your pocket...

OR, why not write your very own poetry for a chance to win a Susan Faye designer mug?!
Yes, it's time for Pet Haiku!!  Haiku is a beautiful and simple form of Japanese poetry. Give it a try. Just for fun.  

The theme is Springtime Pets.  Write a simple haiku about your pet and Spring (or anything nature-related), and leave your haiku in the comments section of this post for a chance to win your choice of any ceramic mug from my Cafepress Shop.

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.  Here are some examples about my own cat:

Buttonwillow yawns
basking in glowing sunbeams:
long-awaited Spring

Your haiku does not have to be serious. Have some fun:

Just like a beach ball
Buttonwillow bounces fast,
straight for the food bowl.

Each person may leave up to three different haiku in the comments, for three chances to win.

Crazy Cat Lady
Knit One Purr Two
Blessed are the Garden Cats
There are many examples of haiku online, and you can find wonderful examples of cat haiku in a past giveaway here at 365 Cat Ladies: Cat Haiku
Haikus may also be submitted on my identical blog post on The Hive. Giveaway ends the evening of Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Savings Time. TWO winners will be selected at random and each will receive their choice of one Susan Faye designer mug ($14.00 value), 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 http://www.susanfaye.net , you will find an email link

bon appetit
early bird

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

Thanks for participating!

April 16, 2012

Crazy for Calicoes

 copyright 2012 Susan Faye
Does your heart belong to a terrific tricolor kitty?  

Calico is not a breed of cat, but a specific combination of three colors occurring across many breeds, including Domestic Short-hair, Persian, Maine Coon and Manx. Almost all calico cats are female, however,   male calicoes do occur although it is a genetic anomaly.

copyright 2012 Susan Faye
Did you know that the calico cat is the official state cat of  Maryland? According to the Maryland Manual Online:

"Effective October 1, 2001, the calico cat became the official cat of Maryland (Chapter 194, Acts of 2
001; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-317). Its colors of orange, black, and white are shared with the Baltimore oriole (State bird) and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (State insect). "

It further states: "A calico cat must be a tri-color, with its three colors in distinct patches, not mixed as in a tortoiseshell cat. To be a true tri-color, a calico cat's colors must be: white; red or cream; and black, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, or fawn."
copyright 2009-12 Susan Faye

Are you lucky enough to share your domicile with a calico cat? Then it's time to show off!  You are invited to share photos of your little darlings on my Facebook page this week: https://www.facebook.com/SusanFayeArt  
(to see all of the photos posted so far, click on "posts by others" in the drop-down box at the top of the posts)

Wearable Art for Calico-Crazed-Cat-Ladies...

Brand new pendants and earrings with either long-hair or short-hair calico kitties, 
with four different background colors to choose from

Click on any image for more information 

Or visit my Etsy shop to see what else is new:   

April 9, 2012

Collecting Cats and Canines... Mugging It Up

This is one of my very favorite mugs.  I have had it so long that I can't even remember how long I've had it.  Probably decades.  It features the artwork of cartoonist B. Kliban and his interpretation of what a Chefcat might cook up for dinner.  My first apartments  were adorned with Kliban sheets and pillowcases and dish towels 30-some years ago, and that may have been when I acquired this mug.  It has held up very nicely.

According to the official Kliban website http://www.eatmousies.com, Workman Publishing published Kliban's book  "Cat" in 1975 with an initial run of 15,000 books. "A chord was struck that went beyond mere cat lovers. As the New York Times called it, ‘Klibanophilia’ had taken over, making Cat and Kliban's subsequent humor books bestsellers over many reprints, while Cat merchandise appeared everywhere, on everything. Cat was hailed by the publishing world: It began a new genre of humor, as well as a very new way of presenting cartoons.

Klibanophilia continues today as collectors buy and sell vintage Kliban merchandise on places like Ebay and Etsy.  I'm hanging onto this mug, however,  because it still cracks me up every time I look at it.


Here's a cat mug from the same era that I am parting with, now available in my Etsy Curio Cabinet shop.  It was created by the San Francisco design team of Taylor and Ng in 1978 and features an enchanted nighttime scene of jungle cats.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/96815691/vintage-taylor-and-ng-jungle-cats-lionAccording to Wikipedia: "Taylor & Ng was originally a very popular department store of handcrafts that operated in San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s. The company was founded in 1965 by artists Spaulding Taylor and Win Ng. The department store was known for the signature designs by the sculptor, ceramicist and designer Win Ng. Many of these products are still prized by collectors on sites like eBay."  

For more info , or to purchase my jungle cats mug, click here.


And if a newer mug is your cup of tea, might I suggest this Susan Faye original design, now available online at Cafepress?

This one features my artwork of the tabby kittens Topsy and Turvy on both sides, plus the words "blessed are the garden cats."  There are two sizes of mugs available, plus totes, aprons, t-shirts and more.  Click here for more information or to purchase.  

Now go and make a hot beverage in your favorite mug and RELAX with your favorite feline.  You'll thank me for it later. 

Do you have any fun cat or canine collectibles to share?  Post a picture or comment on my facebook page!

April 5, 2012

Time For Tabbies- The Blue and Gray Edition

Does your heart belong to a terrific tabby tiger cat?  Wikipedia defines a tabby as "any cat that has a distinctive coat that features stripes, dots, lines or swirling patterns, usually together with a mark resembling an 'M' on its forehead."  Tabby does not refer to a specific breed; it is a pattern that comes with many color variations.

copyright 2012 Susan Faye
One of those color variations involves shades of gray and is referred to as "blue" in the cat lovers world.

 A “blue tabby” has gray stripes on a grayish or buff ground color. The gray stripes may be a dark slate gray, or a lighter blue-gray.     (Information via http://www.fanciers.com/other-faqs/colors.html)

Do you share your domicile with a beautiful blue tabby? Then it's time to show off!  You are invited to share photos of your little darling on my Facebook page this week: https://www.facebook.com/SusanFayeArt  (to see all of the photos posted so far, click on "posts by others" in the drop-down box at the top of the posts)


Here are some new goodies that I've recently designed featuring shorthair blue tabby cats (a longhair version is in the works!)  Click on any  link for more information:

The perfect size for your favorite morning beverage or late night brew. Large, easy-grip handle. Treat yourself or give as a gift to someone special.

  • Measures 3.75" tall, 3" diameter
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe

Gray Tabby Cat Personalized Pendant... Choice of 4 Colors on Etsy.com

If you'd like, I can "purr-sonalize" it for you on the back with the name of a kitty, making it a great keepsake or memorial for yourself or a friend to enjoy.

I handcraft these sparkling pendants using a mini print of my whimsical artwork which is preserved under crystal-clear glass, then sealed on the back. The glass tile is 3/4-inch wide and 1-1/4 inches tall and features a silvertone bail.

There are four colors to choose from: robin egg blue, apple green, rosy pink, or sweet violet.

I also have matching earrings:

Purr-fect for a child's room! Several sizes and paper types to choose from...framed or unframed.