Category Archives: Things I Like

// designosaur collaboration out now!

Meow! If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you’ll know that yesterday me and designosaur released our little limited edition collaboration we’ve been working on!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe result of our collab is two bags which are kind of insane but I love them. As they might not be what you were expecting from us, I thought I’d share some of the inspiration and process behind them…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo about a year ago it was first suggested between us that we should get together to make something; but we wanted to make something a little different. designosaur are known of course for being laser cut jewellery designers (check out their shop here) and I am known for making things with cats on. We wanted to incorporate both of these things but also mix it up a bit. The idea was to make a clutch bag that incorporated laser cut elements, and that’s how it began.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next part took a loooooong time. Not because we are lazy, but actually the opposite! We are both super busy all of the time with our etsy shops and other jobs, and craft fairs, and Christmas and pop-up shops and the Brighton Etsy team that a million things got in the way! We had a joint Pinterest board that we would pin inspiration to, but apart from that it took several months to get ideas onto paper for what we would actually make. So what were our inspirations? It’s amazing really because we both have pretty similar taste. We both love the 90s, pastel colours, clear acrylic, emojis, fast food, faux fur, glitter… the list goes on. We also knew of course we HAD to include CATS and DINOSAURS!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEverything started coming together and I made lots and lots of illustrations that I then turned into fabric. We chose a sweet pastelly-mint-teal with white illustrations for a cotton lining which features in all the bags, and a purple colour-pop faux suede for the purses. We knew we also wanted a fun faux fur in a pastel colour, so found this amazing luxury long-pile fabric which is so soft and lovely for the clutch bag. Karli and Jaq then turned my illustrations into acrylic charms (I don’t know how they do it! Magic!) in sweet clear pastel shades with etched details, and I got to sewing! The main thing that you need to know about this is that my flat is now covered in a layer of pastel pink fur from cutting into the fabric. It’s nice but not when it gets in your mouth/guts.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEach clutch bag has 14 laser cut and etched acrylic charms! 13 of them are individually hand sewn into the fur, and then one is on the zipper. As you can see all of our favourite things feature… cats, dinosaurs, burgers, bones, pizza, aliens, little angry faces. I love them! I also convinced designosaur to make this ring from the bone illustration. It doesn’t really fit with I like CATS or probs designosaur but I don’t care cos I LOVE it. I’ve worn mine pretty constantly since I got it.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other fun thing about this collab is that all orders come with a free sheet of stickers we designed to go with the collection!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo there’s the story! And I’d love to know what you think! Maybe it wasn’t what you were expecting but I hope you’ll still love them ! Everything is super limited edition, and you’ll find them both in my shop here and designosaur‘s here.

YAY!

Toby =^._.^=

// Mother’s Day Gift Guide

It’s one week today until Mother’s Day in the UK (15th March) so I thought I would get together a lovely little gift guide with cards and gifts from Etsy sellers across the UK. First up, my pick of the nicest cards!

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Well, I feel like I would be betraying myself if I didn’t start off with something from the I like CATS shop! Here’s my latest card which is perfect for all the purrrfect mums of the world, featuring my princess kitty illustration. Find it here!

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This card by LHdesign features Lola’s hand lettering. I love how simple yet heartfelt it is. Another great thing about this card is that 50p of all sales go to Women’s Aid, the UK charity helping women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Find it here! 
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This card by Pygmy Cloud is the cutest!!! I can deffo relate to the little happy cloud. Here’s hoping for some lovely sunshine for all the mums on Mother’s Day! Find it here!
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helloDODO designs always have a clever twist, and I love the hidden heart in their Mother’s Day card. Find it here! 

// CARDS

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There are many pieces of jewellery in designosaur‘s shop that mum’s will LOVE, but you really just can’t go wrong with this chicken brooch! Find it here! 

MD_6These lovely new floral necklaces by i am acrylic have been inspired by a 1940s silk scarf and the Iris flowers of Ruth’s childhood. They are so sweet and I love the colour combinations! Find them here!

MD_7For a gift that’s more personal, Actually I Do creates beautiful custom embroidery hoops with your choice of word or message. It gets extra points cos it’s like a card and a gift in one! Find it here! 

MD_8For the crafty mum, Yellow Bear Ware’s upcyled knitting and crochet needle jewellery is a really beautiful and inspired gift. Have a look in the YBW shop for lots of different colour combinations in rings, necklaces and earrings. Find the necklace pictured here! 

Do have a look at all the shops featured, they all have really lovely things for sale! Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve been inspired by any of my picks!

xoxo Toby =^._.^=

// Little Birdy x I like CATS collaboration

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I’ve recently been working with Bristol based porcelain artist Little Birdy for a collaborative collection of brooches, pendants and figurines. Each piece has been hand sculpted by Little Birdy based on my illustrations, and then hand painted by me. They are SO CUTE and I can’t wait for the collab to launch in my Etsy shop tomorrow. Here’s a little look at some of the pieces that will be for sale…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are just 20 pieces available in this first collection. All of the figurines are completely one of a kind, and there are just a few of each brooch and necklace.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese two white cats are probably my favourites from the collection, they both have little golden toes and feature two of my signature markings for their fur. Secretly I’m hoping they get bought together as a set as they look so sweet together!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPushmepullyous alpacas are one of Little Birdy’s most popular designs (and they’re what bought us together, after I bought one from her late last year), so I was thrilled that the collection could include a pushmepullyou cat! It is so sweet, and has little golden toes and ears, with a floral design on their fur. There is just one of these available – there was 2 but one of them was damaged in the making and then I couldn’t bear to part with it. Sorry!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis decorative spoon is so special and lovely! I love how the gold looks, and I decided to keep decoration quite minimal on this one, mainly adding polka dot accents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are 4 of these pendants available, they are just too cute!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are two floral cats available, each one slightly different. This is the bigger of the two, i like how sturdy these ones are, they’re a really pleasing shape! You may have seen my ‘Sad floral cat’ illustrations and lino prints in the past – well these are the Happy floral cat versions!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s the smaller of the Happy floral cats!

So excited for the launch, as you can see everything is super limited edition so be sure to set an alarm for 7pm tomorrow when everything goes live in my Etsy shop! Not featured in this post; brooches and a very lovely hanging planter!

// 365 drawings of cats – Week 6

Meow! I can’t believe six weeks have already gone past since I first started the #Tobydrawscats365 project! That’s 46 drawings so far! I have to say that this week has probably got my favourite selection of drawings so far…

8th February
Week6_1Following on from the last two weeks where I pre-painted my pages before going to work, this time I used pen to create the colourful backgrounds in advance of drawing the cats on my lunch break. I really can’t emphasise enough how boring this day at work was, so these drawings were somewhat of an escape…

9th February
Week6_2I’m still working on my fine liner skills, I want to get more confident at using them without pre-sketching. I will probably be forever a wonky-wobbly drawer, but that’s OK.

10th February
Week6_3On Monday I went to see one of my favourite bands, Slow Club, for like the 7th (or maybe 8th) time. I seriously love them loads and each time live they are great. They’re the perfect mix of fun and melancholy for me.

11th February
Week6_4This was just a bit of fun thinking about cats wearing my clothes. This time they’re wearing some of my favourite Lazy Oaf pieces, my banana shirt and Fuck This bobble hat.

12th February
Week6_5Well I just felt like having a little paint. Was playing around a bit with blank space. I don’t know if anyone else did but I just really liked that guy on the right.

13th February
Week6_6Friday 13th yo.

14th February
Week6_7It was Valentine’s Day wasn’t it! Had to do something a bit mushy/gross. ❤ </3

As always I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at the week’s daily drawings! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for a new drawing each day!

// Valentines Gift Guide Part 2

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Following on from last week’s blog post where I picked my favourite V day cards, today I will be sharing some awesome gifts that I’ve found from amazing designer makers away from the high street! All of these things can be found on etsy, be sure to check them out!

VDG_1ROAR! What says I LOVE YOU better than a T-Rex eating a bright red heart? This brooch by my favourite laser-cut jewellery pros designosaur is super awesome, and I think would be well received by men and women alike, so all preferences are covered. I could definitely see this on my favourite jumper getting lots of attention.

VDG_3I featured helloDODO in last week’s post too, but they’re my favourites so here they are again. These prints inspired by wooden building blocks can be personalised with any initials to show your love. They’re not just for Valentine’s day either; I think they’d make an amazing wedding or anniversary present – especially for the first year ‘paper’ gift!

VDG_5Another personalised gift idea are these super cute bears by Pygmy Cloud. You can have any letter added to the bear’s tummy, and you can even choose whether your bear is happy or grumpy! Obvs you’re mega in love for V day so I’m sure the happy face would be the better choice for this occasion!

VDG_4It took me a while to choose which item from Rock Cakes to feature as I love all of her jewellery so much, especially the precious pieces. In the end it had to be this silver anatomical heart necklace which I have been coveting for a while now. I think the hand stamped ‘BE BRAVE’ is such a nice message to give to the person you love, and definitely a phrase everyone needs to remembr every now and again. Also, who wouldn’t want some shiny jewellery on Valentines day?

VDG_6If you read my handmade Christmas blog post a few weeks ago you’ll already recognise these awesome hand stamped bracelets by Oh Someday. You’ll find lots of Valentine’s appropriate lyric bracelets in the Oh Someday etsy shop, or if you want to wait a few days more you can get a personalised one too! Available in brass and silver, I recommend the silver for an extra special touch!

I hope you’ve seen something in this post you love! What’s your favourite? What are you hoping to get this weekend? Leave a comment and let me know!
Toby xoxox

// Deborah Ballinger Illustrations Kickstarter

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If you’re yet to check out the work of amazing illustrator Deborah Ballinger now is the perfect time. With her debut line of unisex t-shirts about to launch she is looking to the public to help with the funding of this brilliant project through Kickstarter.

DB2I first met Deborah three years ago when we both completed a young entrepreneurs course with the Prince’s Trust in Brighton, where fate would have it we found ourselves sitting next to each other. I was immediately taken by her skills and natural talent as an illustrator; working mainly in pencil she creates beautifully detailed images featuring woodland creatures, mythical beasts and flowers among others.

For her range of T-shirts, Deborah has chosen four of her popular surface patterns, Spiritual Alchemy, Crystal Points, Bones and Flora and Fauna to print as sublimation designs.

“Printed on gorgeous American Apparel t-shirts, my sublimation tees feature my pencil surface designs from edge to edge. Sublimation dye printing is an innovative and unique way of achieving all over print, direct to the garment, without having to have the fabric printed separately. This bespoke print process is wonderfully scientific; designs are printed onto high quality transfer paper which is then heat pressed on a large format press to release the dye particles into the t-shirts. What’s more, each t-shirt is printed directly here in the UK using a small printing studio in London. A firm believer in buying local and supporting small business I’ve made sure to translate these beliefs into my new t-shirt line!”

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I pre-ordered one of the T-shirts (‘Alchemy’) before Christmas and I can personally verify that they are amazing! The print quality is superb, with really vivid colours. The fact that the print is all over is really unique and super stylish too! It was a tough choice because I really love the crystal print too!

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Being part of the handmade community I have many friends that seem to work twice as hard as other people, and I have to say that Deborah is honestly one of the most crazy hardworking people I’ve ever met, and it’s been so nice watching her independent business grow. I know that it would mean so much to her to see this new venture become a reality so I really encourage everyone to back the kickstarter and get it off the ground! All pledges get fantastic rewards worth much more than what you’re giving, so it’s really a win-win senario!

The campaign ends on the 15th February, you can back it HERE. 

// Big Clearout Sale starts this weekend!

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With so many new exciting projects coming up – including two collaborations plus lots of new products – I thought it was time to go through some of my old stock to make way for the new. To this end I am having a big clearout sale in my Etsy shop this weekend, starting on Saturday 17th January. Here’s a little preview of some of the items you will find at bargain prices!

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Furry Cat Cases

I used to make these in 2013, but when my style changed a bit I stopped making them even though I loved making them and they were always popular (once someone ordered five of them in one go!). They’re all fully lined and have those little green eyes attached. The ears are hand knitted. I used to sell them for £15 but they will be £6 in the sale.

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Furry Cat Purses

A coin purse version of the bigger furry cases; these were also really popular and most people found them pretty funny. The ones I have left for the sale are all slightly wonky and I’ll be selling them for just £3 each! I used to sell them for £8.

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Fabric cases and coin purses

These cases are made using original I like CATS fabric which I designed in 2013. I have new fabric designs coming this year, so these all have to go to make room! Previously sold for £15, the cases will be just £6. The coin purses will be just £3; previously sold for £8. They are all fully lined with a middle layer of felt for extra support and durability. The cases come with a contrast fabric on the back.

Originals
Original paintings and drawings

This is an amazing chance to own one of my original paintings or drawings! All of the ones for sale are postcard size (in fact they have the standard postcard back, so you could buy one to send to a friend!), and each one is unique. This is probably the only chance you will ever have to buy my original artwork for just £10 each!

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Lino prints

I made these limited edition hand printed Lino prints last year and never got around to listing them. Based on my ‘Sad Floral Cat’ design, each print has a unique hand painted water colour background. I only have a few and they are just £12 each (would usually be around £25).

Seen something you like? Don’t forget to visit the I like CATS shop this weekend to bag a bargain!  I only have a few of each item so make sure you don’t miss out! I might even have a few more things to add so keep your eyes peeled!

Toby xoxox