Category Archives: Pets & Animals

New Coloring Book from Amber Lotus Publishing — Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis

Desert Dreams coloring book

Free sample coloring pageDownload a sample page from Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis and share your work with us on Facebook!

It just arrived in our office! Wooohoooooo! We’re absolutely thrilled with this new coloring book. Embark on a desert adventure with illustrator Geninne D Zlatkis. Crafted as a love letter to the desert, Zlatkis’s collection of charming illustrations feature some of her favorite crafty creatures and natural treasures — all found in her desert home. Her passion for this magnificent and wild place will inspire you to explore your own color palette and bring the illustrations to vivid life. Continue reading

Bee Happy: Bees’ Favorite Plant Families

Image from The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar. Beehive in a cottage garden © Mark Bolton Photography.

From The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Planning to grow your own food may start with crop lists and bedding plans, but to ensure successful yields, it’s best to include a plan to nurture bees. It’s said that bees pollinate about one-third of human foods, but in fact, many important crops, from alfalfa and cotton to almonds and onions, are largely dependent on bee pollination. Creating edible gardens that attract and nourish bees and other pollinators will boost your fruit and veggie production and support these helpful creatures.

Perhaps the most important thing we can do to help is not hinder them. Solving garden issues with natural care techniques and using certified organic products to control pests and diseases help us keep our land free of harmful chemicals. It’s important to be aware that many nursery plants with labels that suggest that the plants are “protected” from pests are actually treated with systemic toxins. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Kevin Horan: Goats as Philosophers

We’re excited to welcome Kevin Horan to our family of contributors for our 2017 line of calendars. Kevin’s goat portraits have been winning the hearts of many and have been featured in The Washington Post, Treehugger, and The Huffington Post. We love the thoughtful quality of these beautiful images. Weaving the portraits together with quotes from philosophers from the ages seemed like a natural fit to create the I am Goat 2017 wall calendar.

goat-blogHere’s an excerpt from Bleating Hearts Will Love These Soulful Portraits Of Goats by Maddie Crum of The Huffington Post:

A subject sits for the camera. His eyes are forlorn, his expression sorrowful. His long ears, covered in fur. A few milliseconds later, he’s run off to find food.

As an involved experiment testing the power of portraiture, photographer Kevin Horan decided to start taking pictures of farm animals ― namely, a crew of unruly goats.

“I thought I was going to photograph sheep,” Horan explained in an email with The Huffington Post. “I was originally inspired by the dozen sheep living across the lane from me when we moved to semi-rural Washington State. They greeted me with a whole range of voices, and I wondered if I might be able to make classic studio portraits of the different characters.”

But the sheep proved to be tough subjects. They wouldn’t sit still, and Horan was wary of letting them near his lighting equipment. So, he decided to search for a tamer lot and discovered a goat dairy farm nearby. His new animal subjects were used to sitting still; they were milked twice a day and had grown to be somewhat domesticated because of their frequent human interaction. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Tony Stromberg: Spirit Horses

Spirit Horses 2016 wall calendar

Images by Tony Stromberg from our Spirit Horses 2016 wall calendar. Click for more info.

For more than two decades, Tony Stromberg made his mark as a successful advertising photographer. However, a quiet but gnawing voice eventually drew Stromberg out of his commercial roots and deep into the soul of the West. What he had gained in reputation he felt he was losing in quality of life. Just before the turn of the millennium, he began his pilgrimage away from the frenetic world of advertising and into a world possessing a respect for nature and the land. Since then, he has spent much of his time learning the nuances of his most beloved equine companions in their natural environment. “The spirit of the horse,” says Stromberg, “is a magnificent teacher to humanity.”

In both their physical and archetypal forms, horses help bring us back to something wild and unrestrained, reminding us of a sense of freedom many of us have forgotten. They teach us about honesty and authenticity, because they know no other way of being. They teach us about collaboration over dominance. And they teach us to respect and honor the unknown as opposed to fearing it and trying to destroy it. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Sarolta Bán: Storyteller

We had the pleasure of having a Q&A with photographer Sarolta Bán. Her surreal and dreamlike images are featured in our Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar. Many of her dog portraits were created to illuminate the need for shelter animals to find forever homes as part of her Helping Dogs with Images project which was featured on Huffington Post, BoredPanda, BuzzFeed, and MyModernMet. ~ Amber Lotus

Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar

Images from the Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar. Click to see more.

Why do you do what you do?
How it started was actually a coincidence. A couple of years ago I had a small digital camera and tried to take photos, but I was never satisfied with them. Once, with a sudden idea, I changed the sky in one of the photos. I really liked it; it was fun and opened a lot of possibilities, and that’s how it started.

Originally I’m a jewelry designer. It’s funny because in Hungarian the word “jeweler” means you compound materials to create things, and that’s exactly what I do with my pictures. 🙂 But otherwise the two pursuits do not have much in common, except maybe that both have a lot of little fine details that you have to pay a lot of attention to.

How would you define your signature style?
I like using ordinary elements and, by combining them, I can give them various stories and personalities. I hope that the meanings of my pictures are never too limited, that they are open in some way, so that each viewer can transform them through their personal understanding.

How do you work?
I work on a picture for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, and quite often I use up to 100 different layers for one image. I start with the main image and think of the main idea, and then I prepare the image.

What themes do you pursue?
Everything that comes to me or finds me. I like themes that are close to nature.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One of the nicest came from one of my closest friends, Edén: “Your pictures are good for the soul.” Continue reading

The Healthy Dog Wins for Best Graphics

Artist Spotlight — Jamie Pflughoeft and Caroline Coile

We’re thrilled to announce that The Healthy Dog 2015 wall calendar has been awarded the Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writers Association of America for best Graphics in the Calendar & Poster category! Congratulations to Jamie Pflughoeft for her delightful and engaging photos!

jamie-pflughoeftProfessional pet photographer Jamie Pflughoeft is the owner of nationally recognized Cowbelly Pet Photography, now based in San Francisco, California. When not photographing dogs in Washington and California, Jamie can be found with Fergie, her beloved lab-mix pooch, by her side. The duo enjoys all the City by the Bay has to offer. Like the dogs she photographs, Jamie believes life is best when it’s filled with play, sleep, food, love, daydreams, adventures, and joy.

Jamie shares more about her inspiration:

I started photographing cats and dogs back in 2000 when I was majoring in Animal Behavior Psychology at the University of Washington and working part time as a dog walker and pet sitter. I couldn’t resist the Kodak moments that were happening all around me, so one afternoon I went home, grabbed my old Pentax film camera, and started bringing it to pet setting jobs. For several years I captured furry friends’ mugs in backyards, living rooms, sidewalks, and bedrooms all around town. When the demand for my photos grew to the point that I could no longer afford to give prints away for free, I launched Cowbelly Pet Photography. That was in July of 2003, and I have been a full-time pet photographer since early 2005. I truly adore my career and am one of these rare people who makes a living doing what I genuinely love. I can’t imagine doing anything else. The people and the animals I work with are simply the best.

For more information about Jamie and to see her outstanding portfolio, please visit her website.

Continuing with more exciting news… Caroline Coile has been named a 2014 Hall of Fame Winner by the Dog Writers Association of America. Caroline is our author contributor for The Healthy Dog wall calendar, where she shares natural homemade remedies, holistic techniques, and a bit of animal psychology to assist canine fans in caring for their companions and helping them to flourish.

caroline-coileD. Caroline Coile, PhD, is an award-winning writer of hundreds of articles and 34 books, including Barron’s Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds and Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop? Her research interests include domestic animal behavior and physiology, and she has been interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and quoted in Newsweek and USA Today. Caroline has always had animals in her life. She lives in Florida with her salukis and a Jack Russell-ish mix, all of whom conspire to ensure that she doesn’t know as much about training dogs as she thinks she does. For more information, please visit her website.

Congratulations to Caroline for being recognized by both peers and the public as an expert in the field of canine writing!

9781631360213_MAIN-blogJamie and Caroline are teaming up again for our 2016 wall calendar. The Healthy Dog 2015 wall calendar sold out and we expect the same for 2016 due to the wonderful images and in-depth content. Here’s a sneak peek of the cover. How cute is that?!


Adopt a Pet Month

In Honor of Adopt a Pet Month we wanted to feature the story behind the kitties on the cover of The Healthy Cat calendar.

Healthy Cat Calendar

2015 Healthy Cat Calendar

We interviewed Susan Seubert, the cover photographer for The Healthy Cat calendar, about her adopted furry family. Continue reading

Calling all Portland Area Coop Owners

This is your opportunity to strut your stuff – and your chickens’ .
Be one of 12 featured coops in this beautifully photographed treasure
of unique coops and their feathered inhabitants.

Email your coop pics to:

Email your coop pics to:

Submit 3 to 6 digital snapshots (500MB or smaller) of your backyard bird sanctuary to Amber Lotus at

Accepted Entries will:
• Enjoy a professional photography shoot of their coop and hens
• Be featured in the calendar
• Receive a print quality portrait of their coop for personal use
• Be awarded with six copies of the 12″ x 12″ calendar featuring their coop

Featured coop owners agree to:
• Be available for a two-hour professional photo shoot in late July or early August
• Provide a clean, fresh coop on the day of the shoot
• Provide a short statement about their coop and hens

Visit our 2014 Calendar to see what we’ve featured in the past.

2015 City Chickens and their Coops

Here is a preview of what’s coming next year:

All our featured coops are photographed by Susan Seubert.

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar – The Dr. Seuss–inspired Coop provides ample opportunity for its ladies to lay green eggs (without the ham). Designed and built by Ken Gates.

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar – February Coop – The Li’l Red Barn Coop is a little bit of country in the city.

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar – July Coop – The Williamson – Smith Coop is a townhouse-style palace complete with all the chicken kitsch
you could want.

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar – November Coop – Inspired by surplus building materials and salvaged windows, this coop came to life as the best birthday present ever.

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar

2015 City Chickens & their Coops wall calendar – December Coop – The FurZohn Hen House: Inspired by a pile of remnant shingles, a random stained-glass window,
and a bit of tin roof, this coop embodies the obsession with repurposing so popular in Portland, Oregon.