Cushions with cats on!

Aaargh, five months since my last post, oooops! How have you all been?

GUESS WHAT! For a limited time (until 20th November 2017) you can get your paws on these yummy cushions featuring Bob, Dave, and the new cat on the block Maggie! Look – aren’t they plumpcious?!

I’ve entered the designs into the “Pillow Fight” competition being run by the fabulous Ohh Deer – so if you don’t want to buy one, could I beg for your vote? It’s very quick and easy! There’s a teeny tiny registration involved (to make sure people don’t vote more than once for the same design) and you can vote for as many designs as you like (but only once per design). You can see all three cushions here – just click on the images to take you to the voting pages. Simples!

If you do fancy buying one, here’s some info…

The cushions are handmade in the UK (by Ohh Deer – my sewing skills haven’t progressed to neat zips yet!) from super soft vegan faux suede and come complete with a fibre insert. The covers are 43x43cm with a 50x50cm insert to keep it plumpcious. They’re machine washable and have a grey back with a zip fastening. Oooh, and if you live in the UK, shipping is free! Hurrah! They cost £29.95, or £28.45 without the insert.

I reckon they’d make super-cute Christmas gifts for sofas, bedrooms, children’s rooms or home offices – but remember, they’re only available until 20th November (unless I win the competition and get taken on as an official Ohh Deer illustrator!) so don’t delay with your votes or purchases!

Big advance thanks to anyone who votes!

In other news, my “Dave Bakes A Cake” illustration is now available to buy from my Etsy store in the form of jolly birthday cards

…and Maggie will be available as an enamel pin in a few weeks time, yay!

Thanks for reading, I’ll try not to leave it so long until my next post!

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Another new venture, and all the fun of the fair…

Greetings cat fans!

Yesterday I finally had to give in to an urge that’s been poking me in the ribs more and more of late, and have a go at a prototype Thing. It’s going to involve learning another new skill, and this one has nothing to do with ink…

  
Yup, this one involves dusting off my sewing machine and also remembering how to brandish a needle and thread without making too many tiny holes in my fingers. Dah-dah-daaaaaaah… *waggles eyebrows ominously*

I’m going to need to learn some Proper sewing techniques to make these, but for the purpose of this prototype I just went for it – I didn’t have much time and wanted to get it done quickly so it didn’t end up as a half-made idea in a box in the loft.

I just used cheap acrylic felt, as it was to hand. For the proper ones I’ll need to research the material properly, because I want them to be hardwearing and washable. 

The first thing I discovered was that controlling a sewing machine to sew around shapes is quite hard! The second thing was that I should have had two seperate pieces of white felt, instead of one with the collar shapes cut out – doh, schoolboy error! What a silly moo! I stitched on the white felt, then cut out the black outline and double-stitched it over the top…

  
Well, I say over the top – I might have missed in a few places. See, told you my sewing skills need work! 

Once I’d got the basic design on the front done, I added the border then stitched the back and front together – and probably broke every rule in the Good Sewer’s Guide! 

  
Don’t zoom in too closely – my stitching is very embarassing!

Then it was time to add the face, which I cut out in felt and hand sewed on. I wanted to embroider it, but couldn’t find any black embroidery thread so that’ll have to wait for the next prototype. Maybe. I’m still at the planning stage, really!

For the whiskers I just used a couple of strands of wool, and loop-stitched (is that a Thing?!) them on.

Then I ran out of time! It still needs whisker-dots, collar-holes, and stuffing, but you get the idea! Meet the first stupidcats cushion:

  
It’s convinced me that this is definitely something I need to learn how to make properly to add to my range of stupidcats goodies! This one is small, about 12 inches square. The next steps will be to research materials and learn how to sew properly! Although, in my defence, I did handsew some stonking corners to a tablecloth I made a few years ago:

  
I’d like to be able to perfect the cushion-making process by September and offer them in green, pink, blue and orange – like my cards, and soon-to-be-launched tote bags. Fingers crossed!

“Why September?” I hear you cry? Well. I have a Big Event in September. A few weeks ago I received an email that I thought at first must have been a mistake, but turned out to be real! I was asked by the organisers of Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair if I’d be interested in taking a stand at their 2016 fair at Hampton Court in September – little old me and my stupidcats! I decided to go for it, so keep your eyes peeled for more news about that over the next few months. I’m hugely excited about it, and a little bit scared as it’s going to involve A LOT of work (not to mention designing and building a stand!) but hopefully it will be a real step up for stupidcats. I was delighted to be asked, and it was great to find out that social media does work, because they’d come across my work on Twitter!

Finally, an update on the tote bags I was prototyping in my last post – I’ve set myself a launch deadline of May, so it won’t be long now until you can get your paws on one!

Laters! x

UPDATE: Finished it! 😸