a lot of people want to know why i use a pair of siamese cats for my knot-sew originals logo. many suggest i should go with something more crafty, like a quilt, scissors, or something else more suggestive of the creative processes. but, i've used this logo for nearly 30 years and i am not about to change it now. besides, it has such a personal meaning to me.
to my way of thinking, a cat logo is totally purr-fect for this business. one reason is that so many beloved cats have come and gone from my home in the many years i've done arts and crafts. besides, what could be more fitting for things made by a woman who has named her domain suziezoo.com?
however, back to the tale (tail?) of the cats. the two siamese cats. and why they won't be displaced from my logo or my heart.
i remember very few times in my life that i've not had a cat. oh sure, there have been years when my home hasn't been graced by at least one feline presence, but i prefer to recall the happier days where the pitter-patter of little feet has been accompanied by tail-swishing and meows.
when i first learned to do ceramics we had a lovely siamese named warlock. he was my first cat and ceramics was my first real craft hobby. the cat (and most of the ceramic pieces) are long gone, but i do still have one of the toads i made when i was about five or six years old.
cats and hobbies came and went for many years. then, in the late 1970s, my mother and i started making items and selling them at local craft fairs. by this time i was married and once again had a siamese cat in my home. her name was jade. later another lovely siamese named ming would join me in my sewing room. he liked to lay on my lap or legs while i did embroidery or quilting. he started out laying in my lap, but since i was pregnant at the time, he got displaced as the months went along.
although the cats and crafts started years before, the logo didn't come about until the early 1980s. by this time, i had two daughters (charly and manda) and two siamese cats (piemur and patrick). it was particularly appropriate that these two siamese kitties liked to hang out with me in the sewing room, as i had purchased them by bartering. i traded the breeder two quilt sets for two kittens. later i used the barter method to build my website design business.
by this time i was doing craft fairs by myself, since my mother didn't live nearby. i was having good success selling my stuff and had many requests for special orders. rather than continuing to pass my name and phone number out on slips of scratch paper, i decided it was time to upgrade a bit, and add a touch of class, by way of business cards. i even added personalized price tags.
i had been using the name, suzie's knot-sew originals for many years and wanted to stick with it. however, i thought i needed something a little different to catch people's eye and make them readily identify the business name with me. so i thought about who i was and what people knew about me.
what immediately came to mind was my animals. my mother has referred to my critters as suzie's zoo since i was a child. in fact, we've used the term suzie's zoo longer than the suzy's zoo stationery lady.
well, having thought of animals as a design possibility, it was time to refine it a bit. therefore, i considered things like colors. what colors do i like and what colors do people think of in conjunction with me? that was easy. red, white, and black. my favorite wardrobe colors, which also happen to be my high school's colors. red, white and black it would be. power colors that are also simple and elegant, with just a touch of flash.
then, it was a matter of deciding which animal(s) to use. i love all my pets, but the cats seemed most appropriate. cats bring to mind the idea of snuggly comfort, which is a purr-fect fit for quilts, afghans and pillows. cats are also classy and elegant, an image most suitable for wedding albums, purses, brides' hats, and some decorative pillows. but, the number one reason i use and will continue to use the siamese cat logo is that cats continue to grace my life, my lap ... and my sewing room.
i decided to make the cats red because it is a bit more eye-catching. people don't usually think of red as a cat color. besides, i think red point siamese are truly lovely. yes, there really are red points, just like there are blue points and lilac points. they aren't quite so bright as my logo. more like the colors found in red hair. and, while i've never had a real red point siamese, i have had more than my share of siamese cats and other cats.
in san bernardino i had lots of help from cats. at various times we had three or four kitties, including piemur (blue-point siamese) and patrick (seal-point siamese), as well as puka, flanagan, and ghengis khan. good thing my husband and daughters, now grandchildren, like cats, too.
in japan we started with imari (who turned out to be pregnant) and soon added mike' (pronounced me-kay, it means three-colored cat, as in a tortie or calico), hai, and pele. imari actually had four kittens, and then the vet contacted us about fostering two abandoned kittens. so we started with mike', hai, and their litter mates, then pele and his brother joined us. but, we couldn't keep seven cats, so three found good homes elsewhere and we settled on just having one cat per person in the household. this fearsome foursome continued to supervise sewing, and everything else, after we moved to virginia.
on moving to california we were joined by colorado and comanche. both came off my sister's farm. colorado is a tabby point siamese, although both his parents are black-n-white tuxedo cats. comanche was the first (and so far last) cat that thought crochet was a spectator sport. she never tried to grab my yarn. she would just sit for hours and watch me crochet. as enraptured as if she were looking at birds through a window.
when we moved to texas, count moved from barn cat status to house cat status. later arapahoe, a snowshoe (siamese-colored breed with white markings) joined us. then, count moved away with charly. thus, i am left with my two current furry purries, colorado and arapahoe.
we have also added another barn cat, ryzo. he is an another adorably friendly black-n-white tuxedo cat, this time with a short coat. he is sort of a family heirloom. he first turned up at the home of my youngest daughter, amanda, and was named mystery (mr tree) 'cause he was up a tree. due to circumstances, he then moved to my oldest daughter's in-laws' home and was renamed zoro. circumstances once again required he move and he lived with my daughter's sister-in-law's family, but that also changed. so, ryzo got a name change and a new home. ry is for the last two letters of his first name: mystery and zo is for the first two letters of his second name: zoro. thus his new (and hopefully final name) incoporates his past and his new beginnings in what i hope will also be his last home. and, ryzo is also a name for an aerial maneuver, which pays homage to his extensive skill at climbing, jumping, and hunting from tree to tree.
in addition to the cats recalled by name, there have been other wonderful feline companions, including several more siamese, in my life. but, as with all things, there sometimes just isn't room for all. so, please know that though they aren't specifically mentioned, they were just as loved. whether they were indoor cats, outdoor cats, or barn cats. they've all held a special place in my heart, and sometimes in my creative spaces.
the current cats in residence, colorado and arapahoe, love to follow me into the sewing room. they find the cushiest places to snuggle down and supervise. colorado loves curling up on cushy fabrics, such as fleece, while arapahoe seems to show a marked preference for all things silky, like my thrift-store wedding dresses. they are not as settle4d into the new quilting room, but making visits and testing out resting places. i am sure they will soon be as comfy there as they were in the old sewing room.
sometimes colorado feels the need to get a closer look at my work, which means his instant removal from the sewing table. colorado also seems to think thimbles are a danger to me, which requires i keep them hidden away when not in use. otherwise i find them (or don't find them) scattered about the house as colorado carries them off to be "killed". once in a while, i luck out and he decides to present me with the most recent "kill", so i don't have to go hunting for it. but, since this is not always the case, i still have at least one rubber thimble out there, somewhere, in the vast reaches of dark cubby-holes where kitties can hide things.
arapahoe is a bit less, shall we say, paws on. he usually keeps his distance from the work surface and just weaves in and out under the chair, making sure to thwap me with his tail if i neglect to stop sewing long enough to pet him. and, he never steals thimbles. he generally doesn't even try to play with yarn. he is our little river-rat cat. he washed up at a rafting place in the terrible floods of 1998. my daughter, charly, began working there in 1999. the rest is history. to make a long story short, suffice it to say he came home to recover from a wound and has never left.
the cat crafting tradition continues down through the generations. my eldest daughter had her own pair of feline assistants, count and mingo. they were always ready to help with painting projects, as well as check out completed works by laying on them. they were even willing to provide aid to visitors, particularly mingo. he felt a great need to heled him chomping down on the yarn as i was working with it, and since wet yarn is very unpleasant to crochet with, i tried to discourage his up-close and personal assistance. count and mingo has passed on, but charly's projects are now being assisted by cayman and static, her lovely brown tabby cats
i now have four granddaughters, logan, mckayla, and tabitha (charly's girls) and lorelle (manda's girl), as well as one grandson, tyler (manda's boy). so far they all love cats. i hope that as they grow they will also learn to love crafts. i expect i will be doing my part to introduce them to the world of creativity, and i'm sure their mothers will do the same.
i thank you for your interest in my business. i hope you have enjoyed your brief side-trip into family cat history, with a dash of family lore thrown in. now that you've learned a bit about my logo and my cats, i hope you will continue to browse through the website. you can return to the main page or visit the other pages listed below: