Cat news!

Ooops, has it really been that long since I blogged? Oh dear… Well here’s a little update of what’s been going on in the wonderful world of stupidcats!

I’ll start with something festive seeing as it’s nearly Catmas – sorry, Christmas!

Bob and Dave have their own range of Christmas cards, hurrah:

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Dave took *ages* trying to decide how to wear his hat! Each card features a two-colour Gocco-print on lovely textured Brampton Felt card, and comes with a Kraft envelope. There’s still time to order them in time for Christmas from my Etsy store if you’re in the UK (last orders 16th December), they’re £3.50 each or mixed 4-packs are £12.50.

Most recently I finally managed to release my line of t-shirts featuring the gang! Dave is also available on pink, orange, green and grey shirts, and I have a few childrens’ sizes available too!

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The designs are screen printed by hand by me, using the facilities at Nottingham’s very own School of Print in Cobden Place – I’m really enjoying this screen-printing lark. As with my tote bags, I sew a little label on to each shirt, so you know you have a real stupidcats shirt and not some kind of fake! The labels are on the outside of the bottom hem on the left hand side:

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Also new are hand-pressed pocket mirrors featuring the gang, to match the little button badges I showed you in a previous post:

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And my handmade notebooks now feature all four cats, and I now Gocco-print my own lined paper so you can choose blank or lined versions:

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A really exciting side project recently was being asked to be guest illustrator for the Crafty Creatives Paperhaul stationery subscription box, eeep! I choose a doodle of Dave and a birthday cake he made – I originally drew it to wish my pal Lesley from The Royal Bakery happy birthday (check out her AMAZING cakes!), and re-drew it especially for Paperhaul. The box features wrapping paper (my first attempt at a repeating pattern design), a birthday card, small cards (or they can be used as gift tags), postcards, a notepad and sheet of stickers:

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I was so pleased with how everything turned out! There *might* be a chance to win a box soon, keep your eyes peeled if you want to get your paws on one!

A new range will be appearing in my store soon in the form of hard enamel badges featuring Dave and Bob! I’m hugely excited about these – the backing cards are already printed and waiting for the badges to arrive. Here’s a sneak-preak – the Dave badge is a prototype
shrink-plastic one I made a while back:

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Watch this space for the real things!

Phew, I’m sure I’ve forgotten something… Oh yes! In my last post I talked about getting ready for Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair! I had an AWESOME time – here’s the space I had to fill (I couldn’t resist going for an orange carpet!):

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And here it is full of stupidcats!

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Squeeeeeeee!

Last but not least, there’s been addition to the gang – Maggie (modelled on a real-life cat called Maggie who lives at Newcastle’s Mog on the Tyne cat cafe) just needs a bit of fine-tuning, then she’ll be available on notebooks, cards, badges, pocket mirrors, tote bags and t-shirts next year:

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Well, that’s enough for now! If I don’t post again this month, have a very merry Christmas and a fab New Year!

x

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I like wrapping, me!

I’m a bit of a wrapaholic. It’s true. And I know why…

I remember sitting at the green formica-topped kitchen table with Mum when I was small, watching her wrap presents.

It was a very precise operation. First, the roll of paper was spread out, weighted down at the corners, and the scissors put in front of the roll to stop it rolling up again.

The item to be wrapped (the wrapee?!) was then laid on the paper, a couple of centimetres from one edge, and careful consideration was given to the depth of the wrapee – it’s position was carefully adjusted so that there was just enough paper to cover just over half it’s depth. A small pencil mark was made the same distance from its other edge.

Then the wrapee was turned over end on end three times, and a small pencil mark made a couple of centimetres from where the wrapee ended up.

The wrapee was then carefully set aside.

The weights and scissors were removed, and the paper was folded along the length of the roll, at the first pencil mark. A gentle fold was made, and if it was satisfactory, thumbnail pressure was applied to get a nice, sharp crease.

Now then – you’re expecting the scissors to make another appearance here, aren’t you?

Well, no.

What did appear was the carving knife. It was inserted into the folded paper and with a lovely, whispery noise the paper was cut perfectly. The same operation was then performed at the other pencil mark.

Next came the tape – 3 short pieces, not so long that they’d hang off the edges of the wrapee, were cut and stuck lightly by one end to the edge of the table. (Here the scissors made their comeback!).

The wrapee was positioned on the paper, and a light ‘test-wrap’ was performed. Small adjustments were then made so that you’d end up with the edge to be taped about a centimetre off-centre. That edge was then folded back on itself sharply. The ‘proper’ wrap then took place, and the first bit of tape applied the nice, neat join.

Each end was then folded down, the corners folded in, and the bottom bit folded up – and there was always just enough paper to fold the bottom edge back in under itself to get a clean, sharp, folded edge, rather than a cut edge. The final two pieces of tape were then applied, and hey-presto! One perfectly wrapped present!

I don’t remember the addition of ribbons, bows or tags – it was the precise, careful measuring, cutting and folding that stuck in my mind, and Mum’s deft, nimble fingers. Not a scrap of paper was wasted – just enough was used, and leftover bits were carefully rolled or folded for later use. Really small bits were put in the big, flat box that once upon a time had contained chocolates, and that lived in The End Cupboard where at some point later when my sister or I were looking for a small bit of paper with a bell, or a robin or something on it, it would be there waiting for us.

That’s one of the reasons why I love wrapping presents – it reminds me of Mum showing me how, and of watching her do it.

This year I went for a robin theme…

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…and made the tags by sticking offcuts of paper onto stiff card and punching a metal rivet through the corner…

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For ribbons I used a mixture of rafia (from my own End Cupboard stash!) and some beautiful threads and dyed wool from SpinningStreak.

And – of course – it’s lovely to see the appreciation on peoples faces when they’re presented with a gift that has had a bit of time and thought put into the wrapping. And they look great under the tree!

Merry Christmas dear readers! I hope you all have a wonderful time!

Happy Handmade Christmas!

So – hands up! Who has handmade things amongst the pressies they’re wrapping for Christmas this year? You have? Hurrah!

Here are some of the things I’m wrapping… Believe me, it’s been rather hard not to keep them for myself!

This sweet little owly bag is made by FruteJuce – I’m going to fill it with little treats 🙂 It’s beautifully made, and you can choose the material for the lining.

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Rachel Elliott is such a talented glass artist! I’ve been eyeing up her lovely leverets for ages!

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Ok, there’s always one. *hangs head shamefully…*

I’m afraid that these beautiful earings by Alison Moore are NOT going to be wrapped. I was very good for nearly a week after they arrived, but finally crumbled and I’m wearing them right now!

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I love the mixture of elegance and rustic charm Alison breathes into her work – I have seven pairs of her earings now, next on the list are her stacking rings!

So apologies to XXXXXX who was going to be getting earings for Christmas, but will now be getting something else! Ooooops!

Finally, with only about 19 hours left to vote, CraftBlogUK’s Christmas Link Party is getting really exciting, with two crafters currently neck and neck! If you haven’t voted yet, please do – don’t forget, you can vote for up to three different items! And if you like my little snowy owl brooch and give it one of your votes – well, that’d just be lovely! 🙂

Thanks for reading! x