Cultivate your inner garden.

cultivate your inner garden

Cultivate your inner garden is the latest print in the shop. Let me explain where the idea comes from.

This past year and a half has been extremely hard on everyone. Now more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves and erase all the negativity and the grief through self-love.

‘Cultivate your inner garden’ is a metaphor often use among people who practice meditation. It means taking care of that place deep within you, the soul, while sitting in silence and emptying the mind.

Ok, put this way it looks like self-care is for Tibetan monks only. I swear it’s not! While meditation is a great tool for our general wellbeing, a self-care practice can be whatever makes you feel good.

Is it a bubble bath? Take 30 minutes every day to have the most luxurious bath of human history. Add candles, scents, music, wine. Is it a walk in nature? Buy yourself great walking shoes and go walk every day. Smell the flowers, the wet grass, look at the sky, listen to the birds.

Whatever you do, do it being fully present to yourself and to the moment. Shut everything out for 30 mins, this is your time.

My favorite thing to do when I go through rough times is double my meditation time. If I feel like meditating for 20 minutes I’ll sit on my mat for 40 instead. And of course, I am ALWAYS in the disturbing company of at least two of my cats. They purr, they stretch, they play with my toes, and it’s a great, great exercise.

First of all, they make me smile. Which never hurts, especially in not so happy moments. Second, they force me to be even more present to myself. Third, no matter how disturbing they can be, they are soft and relaxing.

I can guarantee cats and meditation are a PERFECT combo.

This is the major inspiration behind the latest print. Self-care, cats and meditation.

I sketched it on paper and painted it with watercolors first, then I repainted it from scratch with photoshop. The result is what you see here.

This below is a video I made while painting.

The print is already available on t-shirts, mugs and the usual items. I dedicated an entire section of the store to it, you can find it on the front page: it’s called…

LOVE YOURSELF.

p.s.

In case you’d like to learn how to meditate for real but do not know where to begin, DoYouYoga has great courses. No, it’s not an affiliate link, I just truly love and recommend them.

Continue ReadingCultivate your inner garden.

It’s Pride Month and we need a Superhero. I got you covered.

Pride Month

Pride month is actually about to end, it’s already June 26, I know. I wanted to draw something pride-related for months, but I never seemed to get the right inspiration. Here In Italy, we are trying to have a law against transphobia approved, but the Vatican is opposing it. No, it’s not the year 1000, it’s Italy. But if I needed to get angry to be inspired to draw something for Pride Month, the Vatican came in help. And made me furious.

Religion shouldn’t have a nation (not to mention a powerful bank and an infinite number of properties) and shouldn’t have a say in politics. Or, better, it should, if the politics are discussing civil rights. They profess love for one another, so you would expect them to support a law made to defend a minority.

Talking about the Catholic Church isn’t much of a surprise they are against it, though. But it still made me furious.

I wanted to show support, and the only way I can do so is by drawing. At first, I thought of drawing the Vatican set on fire by a gay cat. But I am a firm supporter of beating hate with love. And the Vatican is packed with art I adore. So I slept on it, and the morning after I began drawing what I do best. A fluffy, cute cat, but with a superhero costume and a cape made with the rainbow flag.

Probably not as impactful as the Vatican on fire, but Pride Month is about love, not hate. Let the Vatican hate who they want. We need love and laughter more than a church burned to the ground.

I’ve created a new category in the shop, called LOVE IS LOVE, and Super Rainbow cat is there, ready to defend love.

Happy Pride Month!

Continue ReadingIt’s Pride Month and we need a Superhero. I got you covered.

Let’s go camping with cats.

We all consider cats as animals who love to stay indoors and snooze all day on our sofas or beds. This can be true for many, but some cats are born or trained to be real adventure cats.

Personally, I had a tabby and a siamese who loved to go explore the city and for walks on a leash. They loved car rides, and both came with my family wherever we went. I also had cats who hated the car, who hated the harness. No matter how young they were when I trained them.

The cats I live with right now can barely stand the brief car ride from home to the vet, probably because most of them were abandoned. The outside recalls trauma, I guess.

Cats are just like us. They have distinct personalities and attitudes. Deciding whether you can or can’t go camping with your cats depends on your furry friends’ inclination for adventure. Even if they love the outdoors, make sure they are always safe, and always, always on a leash.

If you rescued an adult cat and you’d like to know if trying to take him camping is a good idea, this personality test can help.

A cat who didn’t need a personality test to see her adventurous inclinations is Nala. If you don’t follow One Bike One World on Instagram and YouTube, you are completely missing out.

Nala not only camps, but she also goes kayaking! She’s more adventurous than many people I know. I adore how she looks curious and totally like someone who’s having a lot of fun.

I’ve followed Dean and Nala’s adventures from the beginning and it’s amazing how much they’ve accomplished together. From their travels to charity donations, they even rescued other pets together. One man, a kitty, and a bike. They are making the world brighter.

Having cats who hate the outdoors, I’m a little envious of Nala and Dean! So if you, like me, don’t have a cat who loves to go exploring, no worries! You can still have your dose of cute kitties while going on your adventures. Get cute camping accessories with cats and you’ll be fine!

For example, these enamel mugs will pass the adventurous personality test for sure. They are born for the outdoors. Whether is a camping trip or a quick picnic at the park, they are perfect for your drinks in the open air.

Cats cats - Enamel Mug
enamel mug with cute animals

It’s the summer solstice, and it’s the right time to go on trips. And after the horrendous time we’ve gone through because of the pandemic, we need to breathe some fresh air and feel alive. We need to reconnect with nature.

Imagine setting up a camp and going to sleep wrapped up in a soft fleece blanket. Waking up the morning after to drink your first coffee in one of these mugs. Listening to nature’s sounds, feeling free.

Ahhh.

Yes, if your cats are camping with you it’s perfect. But even if not, camping mugs and blankets with cute cat prints will help not to miss them too much.

Have fun!

Continue ReadingLet’s go camping with cats.

T-shirts with cat quotes. Music and cats make everything better.

cats and music cat quotes t-shirts
no, this isn’t me.

One of my favorite things is t-shirts with funny quotes, especially cat quotes.

There has been a time in my life when people used to make a lot of fun of my love for cats. It used to irritate me A LOT, and it also made me feel insecure. Was my love for cats really ridiculous?

I was a teen, and I used to spend entire afternoons at the public library. That is how I discovered there are prominent names among cat lovers. They have proven their love for cats by dedicating essays, poems, and quotes to them. There are literally hundreds of cat quotes written by scientists, philosophers, and writers. I thought if they could love cats so much, so could I! And I began writing their cat quotes EVERYWHERE to prove I was in good company.

One of my favorite quote about cats has always been this one by Albert Schweitzer :

There are only two means of refuges from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

I’m a big, BIG, music lover. I wake up and fall asleep to music. I listen to it as I draw, and I’m listening to music as I’m writing this. It has a tremendous impact on my mood and my energy. And so have cats! Whenever I’m having a tough moment, I put up some cheerful tunes and cuddle or play with my cats. I instantly feel better. I know for sure this quote says the truth.

There were already a few t-shirts and other items with cat quotes, but my favorite quote was still missing. Not anymore!

A few years ago I made a watercolor painting, but I lost it. All I have is a digital version saved on my HD, and it’s in poor resolution. So I painted over it with Photoshop, and I can really say not all bad come to harm, as I like this version much more!

The primary inspiration for this illustration comes, of course, from my cats at Cat Cottage. When it’s about food time they gather in front of the door and start ‘singing’. They actually meow angrily, but they make me laugh as they look and sound like a choir of terrible singers!

This illustration was perfect for the quote about music and cats. I just had to add it to the design and make new t-shirts and new items.

I think I’m developing a new passion: totes with cat quotes. Because I might be biased, but I think this one looks particularly cute.

What about you? Do you have any cat quote you love? If you have one, write it down in the comments, I might use it in the future!

And remember: if you are going through a tough moment, play some music and hug your cat. It works.

Continue ReadingT-shirts with cat quotes. Music and cats make everything better.