It’s summer. Cody and Caren deserve a day off; so I’m filling in. I’m here to tell you about the artful style with which my favorite cat artist has re-invented wooden keepsake boxes.
|"Billy" box top|
It’s not just because Cody and Caren deserve a day at the beach. It’s also because there’s something new and different for cat lovers.
Deborah Julian isn’t your everyday cat artist. She’s a cat artist with a sense of humor and a gift for creativity. When I asked her to illustrate Travels With George: Paris (a book I wrote and Caren reviewed), she captured the spirit in my traveling cats story, but I also really liked how often she made her illustrations amusing.
Since then, adding to her cat art, she launched a unique series of Famous Artists’ Cats in which she imagines painters from Van Gogh to Picasso and what their lives would be like if they had her cats “helping” with the artwork. It’s one of the most interesting – and funny – collections of cat art you’ll see.
When she said she’d soon be using decoupage to decorate wooden keepsake boxes, I was eager to see the results. Her keepsake boxes, based on cat art already created for prints, cards and magnets, turned out better, more richly colorful and useful, than I imagined. Taking familiar household items and making them beautiful is an art in itself.
Caren Gittleman, who usually commands this space, became one of the first buyers. “I bought one and love it, “ she says of her Cat In Degas’ Hat Shop decorated keepsake box.
|Box that Caren bought|
|Caren's box on her desk|
|Caren's box is used for paper clips!|
The wooden boxes come in a variety of sizes intended to fit uses from single treasured pairs of earrings to boxes big enough for letters, mementos or jewelry collections. Thinking decor, they can even be bought in matched sets.
In our home, decorated wooden keepsake boxes serve as simple accessories, nothing inside, and, also, as place to stash keys in addition to the expected uses.
As a handmade artist, Deborah starts out each box by painting its unfinished surface with an accent designed to complement the cat art still to be added. In a tricky multi-phase process, she reworks existing artwork by reducing the image to a smaller size appropriate for the specific box.
Sometimes, this requires adjusting the image to make it fit the space available. Elements may be added or, more likely, deleted.
The trickiest part, requiring many hours of training and practice involves applying decoupage to the image after mounting it on a box. Expert decoupage, which requires multiple steps and drying times is made more difficult by Deborah’s own curious cats, since they just have to know about that new smell, etc.
A finished keepsake box is topped with art that seems embedded in the wood, not merely attached. It should look like it was painted in, and with hers, it does.
|"Home Sweet Apartment"|
Her cat art is great. I love it and am happy to see it reach cat and art lovers in an all new way. To see more of her cat art decorated wooden keepsake boxes and consider adding them to your home or delighting your friends with gifts, click here. SPECIAL OFFER FOR CAT CHAT READERS!! Deborah is offering a 15% DISCOUNT JUST FOR YOU! Just enter the code CatChat15 at checkout on either Deborah Julian Art or Deborah Julian Photography !
You’re going to love what you find.
(Thanks to my friends Caren and Cody for the space!)
From Caren & Cody: a special THANK YOU to David Stone and Deborah Julian for this most special guest post! We LOVE our box and admire and use it EVERY DAY! It was a pleasure to feature you!