Thursday, December 31, 2009

Calling All Valentines!

On the brink of a new year, I've said goodbye to 2009, retired my happily depleted Christmas stock until July, and started crafting for Valentine's Day and Easter. 2010 brings new studio resolutions (more broken china mosaics and jewelry, more digital art, expand into greeting cards printed with my photography and digital art, work on my Artfire shop) and a new sales year with new goals (which I am still thinking on).
I'll be posting my second annual Valentine Giveaway very soon, but for now, here are some new Catnip Studio valentines for 2010, listed in my Etsy and my 1K Market shops.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Two nights ago, after spending two hours on a new digital collage, we had a brief power outage, and I had forgotten TO SAVE MY WORK on the computer so it was all gone. I began again last night, working into the wee hours, and tah-dah, she is finished! Scheherezade contains elements from cassandra204 (figure), moxylyn (background), and Land of Enchantment (curtain, distant architecture).


Monday, December 14, 2009

Venus Brimstone

I've been inspired by the brilliantly creepy and elegant long short story, Cleopatra Brimstone, written by Elizabeth Hand, and this digital collage is the result. It contains heavily altered antique images and elements from The Graphics Fairy (postcard, moth, Venus), Whimsical World of Fairies (frame), Rustic Pixel Backgrounds (background), and The Graphic Addict (roses).  
Mr. Catnip, a sometime art critic when forced coerced asked, stated, "It's bizarre!" (Cautionary reminder to self:  Be careful what you ask for, for you shall surely get it - or words to that effect).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Coloring Inside and Outside the Lines

I was a perfectionist as a child (as much as one can be at a young age, anyway). The slip of my crayon outside the lines would cause me great consternation. I developed a fool-proof method to keep from making this grievous error - I would outline inside the line, and color inside that line, thus leaving a small margin for hiccups. I didn't develop this brilliant adaptation until I was 6 or so, and there is no remaining evidence of my crayon genius. There is one coloring book, though, (my favoritist of favorites!) from when I was about four years old:

My grandmother saved it, along with my sister's copy, and tucked them away, unbeknownst to her grandchildren, in a closet for someday. That someday came when I was in my mid-twenties, called home from overseas duty by my grandfather. Some months after the funeral, when I was home again on leave, my grandfather asked my mother and I to sort out his house and my grandmother's belongings. When we found the coloring books - did I mention favoritist of favorites? - I wept with joy over discovering them, over renewed grief that someone who had loved me so much was gone.

I was working on a digital collage today, scratching away at the image in colorful aqua lines, thinking how much like coloring with crayons it was...

...and I went hunting for that old coloring book. I remembered that I gave my late sister, Angel, her copy for Christmas that year it was found, and that she too wept with happiness and sadness.

Another Christmas is fast approaching; it's been a month and a half since my sister's death. I flipped through the pages of my old coloring book, and lingered on memories of childhood with my sister, and I wept - with joy from the memories, and with renewed grief that someone I love so much is gone.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Etsy Personal Best Redux - With a Twist!

Treasury curated by Life in the Past Lane

Well, my last personal best was surpassed November 29th - not only was I on Etsy's Front Page twice in one day, but it was for the same set of Compass Tags! Treasury screen shots courtesy of Craftcult. If you're curious, check out all of the front page treasuries that featured Catnip Studio Too with this link.

Treasury curated by Etsy Admin

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiny But Feisty Productions

One of my Catnip Studio Too paper goods customers, Brenda, is a delightful correspondent and she recently sent me photos of what she had done with some of my gift tags. I was so pleased to see the results of her creativity and inspired embellishments that I thought you would enjoy them, too. Brenda makes greeting cards as a hobby, and I will be very excited to see her open her own shop someday. Brenda, AKA "A Tiny But Feisty Production", thank you so much for your friendship and loyalty!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hark! I Hear the Angels Calling

Hear the Angels Calling Tags

I've been working on digital collages using antique clip art, and printing the results into paper tags. I often work into the wee hours editing, coloring, and enhancing the images - time just flies by! I vaguely remember being just as enchanted by my coloring books and crayons once upon a time.

Insect Tags

Insect Tags

Botanical Rose Tags

Antique Butterfly Tags

Bird Egg Silhouette Tags

Terra Cotta Tags

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage Goodness!

One of my very favorite places to visit is Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage, and I'm a longtime and ardent fan of her birdy tags and fabric accessories. I recently purchased these cheery and charming red toile birdy tags, and the snaptop bag is for my digital camera (and it's a perfect fit), though it was intended for a cell phone. I must draw your attention to the bird tag packaging - such lovely details like the punched edges, and the flower magnet (YES, magnet! brilliantly stuck to the package staple, I love this detail so much I want to steal the concept for my own packages (bad Kathy, bad, bad, Kathy)! And the camera/cell phone pouch is darling, I tell you! The pattern and color, the ricrac trim with Mrs. Kwitty's hand stitching for accent, and the button to finish - perfection. Just perfection. Oh, I forgot the outer packaging - in my favorite color, aqua, and with another beautifully detailed gift tag!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Angel from RoseTree Creations

Back in September, I signed up for two ornament swaps at Audrey's Country Crafts , and by October I had my assigned swap partners. Sadly, as most of you know, my sister, Angel, fell suddenly ill in mid-October and passed away October 29th, and my swap partners were willing to wait until I could get back home and back into my studio work. I've now mailed their decoupage ornaments, and just recently received a very special ornament from Sandy of RoseTree Creations. She let me know that she had made one especially for me, and now that I have it, I understand - I have to tell you, it brought tears to my eyes when I first saw it, and I will treasure it forever. Thank you, Sandy, for your thoughtfulness and kindness in making an ornament for my sister, Angel.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My sister passed away yesterday afternoon. She was 48 years old. I don't have the words to describe the depth of my pain and sadness, and the devastation to her husband and 18 year old son. My thanks to all of you for your prayers and kind words.

Just a quick post to tell you that I am away from blogging for awhile due to a serious illness within my family.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Promo Kits for Silver Bella 2009

Silver Bella 2009 - the paper arts event of the year, and LolliShops will be there representing us via our promo kits!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shop Milestone for Catnip Studio Too on Etsy

My 200th sale, memorable on its own, made more so by the fact that it was my first big order for paper goods - 400 tags with one of my digital collage designs, created for the customer's birch-themed products. A couple of late nights to make the shipping deadline, and out the door today!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Butterfly Seasons

I've been terribly distracted, lately, from my usual studio work. Digital collage has me spellbound - the hunt for suitable and legal images, the editing of images in Photoshop, and putting them together into something appealing. My skills are improving, and I am very pleased with this set of butterflies. I am thinking of using them for gift cards and mixed media wall art. Original background image (I have recolored it) was created by Land of Enchantment, a wonderful source for digital backgrounds and more.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shanked Button Tag Decoration Tutorial

This may be a no-brainer to many, but I devised a way to use some of my collection of vintage shanked buttons as tag decorations. I didn't want to use adhesive or hot glue.

Next, a little further embellishment.

Same as first two pics above, then thread both ends through the needle.

At this point, pull both thread ends through the loop as before.

The little paper flowers could have been punched in their centers with a hole punch, but "sewing" them was actually easier.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twice in One Day - A New Personal Best

Treasury curated by JennJohn Handbags

Here are two gorgeous treasuries that made the Etsy front page on September 23rd - and Catnip Studio Too was featured in both of them!

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