Tag Archives: Brighton Etsy Team

// 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.


Toby =^._.^=


// BtnEtsy Blog hop!


You may remember that last year I took part in a blog hop, where I answered three questions and then nominated three more people to answer the same via their blogs. Well that was lots of fun so I was happy to be nominated again (this time by designosaur) for a new hop, this time one created by and for the Brighton Etsy Team (of which I am a leader, yay!) SO! Here are some questions I’ve tried to answer for you…

1. What inspired you to start your business or Etsy shop?
I opened my first etsy shop back in 2009 when I was an art student making weird knitted things. It didn’t really go to plan and when I didn’t sell anything I didn’t renew my listings and forgot the shop existed. Three years later in 2012 I had graduated and moved to Brighton, needing an outlet for my creativity and having met some awesome people like DB Illustrations, I started again! There was more weird knitting, but thankfully that’s gone now. Also thankfully people now actually buy my things!


2. We’re looking at goals in the Brighton Etsy Team this month, can you share one of your goals for the next six months?
My main goal is to get more seasonally organised in advance. I want to be ready for everything around 3 months before they happen… so far I’m a little behind as Mother’s Day is less than a month away and my card is yet to be listed in my shop (it’s coming really soon!), but Mothers Day in the USA isn’t until May so I’m ahead somewhere! Just as long as I have my Christmas prep started in July I’ll be happy! (No jokes…)


3. What are you working on at the moment? 
I have three collaborations in the works with designosaur (which we started back last June… it’s almost ready though!), porcelain artist Little Birdy and animal hood grand masters Merrimaking (they were making the hoods before anyone else dontchaknow). They’ll all be released in the next month or so and then I’m focusing on new things! New designs, new products. I’ve also been doing a lot of drawing and painting so hoping to get more original works for sale.


4. If you could give other sellers or someone looking to start their own craft business one piece of advice, what would you say?
Don’t expect everything to happen at once, it takes a bit of work to get started. Make sure you’re actually selling good things people want to buy. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t make your first etsy sale within an hour. Think big! And don’t be a copycat.

Hope you enjoyed reading this mini interview, I now have to nominate some more people from the Brighton Etsy Team. First up I would like to choose illustrator extraordinaire Cheska of Mooshpie, Secondly I nominate Lucy of Peas and Needles who I don’t know personally but I found through the BtnEtsy blogroll (she has the most beautiful blog! blog envy!). Finally I choose clothesmaking duo Emperor’s New Clothes. Answer the questions above and nominate three more people to join in!

Thanks again to designosaur for nominating me 🙂

// 2014 Round up!

The start of a new year is always a good time to look back and reflect on what happened in the last twelve months, and I thought I would share some of my highlights from 2014 – a busy but rewarding year of work, fun and CATS!


The year started with a load of new products in the I like CATS shop! Some of them were old favourites with new designs, and some of them were completely new items like my iPhone cases and necklaces.


In March I could be found taking part in the Brighton Etsy Craftivist project, which put people like me into the window of Super+Super for a bit of live crafting!


I had lots of walks with my cat-dog Forrest! People always ask me why I have a dog, which is a really silly question.


Lots of people sent me pictures of their cats modelling I like CATS items, and I love them all! This is one of my favourite things about having a cat-themed shop =^._.^=


In May my wonderful, beautiful friends Ali and Jam got married and it was the most fun and colourful wedding EVER!


In June I helped to organise the Brighton Etsy Craft Party! It was super fun and lots of people came and ate frozen yoghurt and made some bunting and played some games and pulled silly faces in the photo booth.

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In the summer I didn’t go on holiday but luckily it was super hot and Brighton is where all the most fun things are anyway. I met lots of cats and sat on the beach and hung out with friends and had my birthday. It was like all the good emojis.


I also released my first sets of prints! I’m so happy they were popular because it means I can make more now, yay!


In September I started a daily cat journal, which four months on is still ongoing!


Suddenly summer was over which means that CHRISTMAS begins! I wrote a story about how I love Christmas and that it’s OK to start thinking about it in April.


And then I was in the Telegraph…


And then we opened a pop up shop! Lots of hard work went into opening the shop, especially from Brighton Etsy team captain Karli. It was really great to be part of the shop and I’m so happy it was such a success!


I designed the King of hearts for the Brighton 54 playing cards!


In November and December I did LOTS of markets! Highlights included Renegade for the second year running with all my Brighton pals designosaur, hello DODO, Woah there Pickle, Rock Cakes, Sarah Edmonds, Anna’s Drawing Room and Faye Moorhouse (plus shoutout to Hand Over your Fairy Cakes!). I also loved being part of the first ever Brighton Etsy market, plus my usual favourites Crafty Fox market, The Fairy Tale Fair and Craftaganza were also excellent!


And then it was Christmas and the year came to an end!

PHEW! So much happened, lots that I’d even forgotten about a little bit until writing this post! Now I’m looking forward to the year ahead, lots of plans are already under way and I have a feeling it’s going to be just as bright and full!

I’d love to know what you all got up to last year, link me to your blogs or leave a comment!

Toby xoxo

// Blog Hop!


I was super excited this week to be nominated for the blog hop taking the craft world by storm! I was nominated by the beautiful magical screen printing design duo helloDODO, who I am lucky enough to know IRL as well as URL.

The blog hop involves answering three crafty questions and then nominating others to carry on the chain. It’s a bit like a chain letter without anyone dying at the end. I hope. Nominated alongside me was some more IRL friends of mine, laser cutting dinosaur loving babes designosaur, and here’s their blog post. SO there we go, now you know what’s happening and now I’m going to answer those three questions…

What have you been making at your desk this week?

With Christmas fast approaching I’ve been working on a big range of different products this week! Some of them are secret for now, but you won’t have to wait long to see them! I’ve been spending lots of time on my trusty graphics tablet drawing some new designs for some completely new products that I’m really excited about!


I’ve also been working on lots of my hand drawn necklace charms. I have two new stockists that I’m currently making items for, as well as building up my stock ready for Christmas markets – I have lots coming up in November and December!

Where are you currently finding your inspiration?

Obviously my main inspiration comes from my deep, deep love of cats, however I get inspiration from lots of other places too!

My love of nature can be seen throughout my work, particularly in my black cat prints! There are certain motifs that run throughout my work inspired by foliage.


Children’s toys and cartoons like Adventure Time inspire many of my choices for bright colours and patterns. I also love all things Kawaii and my obsession with Disneyland has also crept into my work a few times.


I always have Netflix or Spotify playing while I draw, and I think music in particular can affect the work I make. This week I have been alternating between Banks and Odessa on repeat…

How important is being creative to you, and how do you blend this with your work/life/family balance?

Creativity has always been a big part of my life, from when I was at school, to studying Fine Art at university and then opening my Etsy shop. I work from home so I’m always surrounded by all of my ongoing projects, it can be difficult to draw a line between everything but somehow it works!



If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve recently started doing a daily cat journal. It’s already inspired some new designs and it’s a great way of making sure I’m being creative every day!

I’m also lucky to have a good old group of creative friends, like those helloDODO and designosaur folks. I met them through craft fairs and the Brighton Etsy Team along with lots of other magical craft people. In face living in Brighton it’s kind of impossible not to be a little bit creative.


OK BOOM! I hope I answered those questions well enough for everyone. I feel like I’ve written a few pages of my memoir. I not have to nominate some people to carry on the hop! I have a habit of trying to be funny and nominating Justin Bieber, but this time I am going to be sensible and nominate some real-actual-crafty people (whoare just as good as Biebs).

First up I’m nominating Deborah of DB Illustrations. Deborah is the most crazily talented illustrator I know. Her work is so inspiring and I’ve loved watching her brand grow over the (almost) three years I’ve known her. She also has a really nice blog! 

Secondly I’m nominating Becky of Becky Queen of Frocks. Becky is a sewing whizz, and I always love her choice of quirky fabrics. She also plays the ukelele so gold stars all around! You’ll find her blog here.

Both of these ladies I met while they were living in Brighton, and funnily enough they both now live in Nottingham! That’s a nice link, isn’t it. Looking forward to reading their blog posts!


HAVE FUN! Love from Toby xoxox =^._.^=



Two weeks ago was the global Etsy Craft Party, and once again I helped to organise the Brighton Team’s event. The theme for this year’s party was Recapture: Bringing new meaning to old photographs, and we incorporated this into the night’s crafting which had over 100 guests sewing, sticking, painting, stitching and embroidering old photographs onto bunting flags.

As well as crafting there was screen printed goody bags filled with handmade treats (including one of my own prints) a photobooth, lots of cake, games and competitions and lots of free goodies from our sponsors Lush cosmetics and Lick frozen yogurt. You can see more of the night in this brilliant video filmed and edited for us by Bob Prosser.


I’m so happy summer is here I’ve given my shop and Facebook page a bit of a sunny spruce up! Look out soon for a new discount code and special offer celebrating the sunshine!



This weekend I’m having a grab bag sale!

To make room for new designs and new products, I’ve put together some large and extra large lucky dip packages, each with a huge value of items for a tiny price!


The large grab bags will be just £10 with over £40 of I like CATS goodies inside, including…

1 x Cat case made from I like CATS original design fabric – Usually £12
1 x Hand painted wooden brooch – Usually £8
1 x Pair of hand drawn cat earrings – Usually £8
1 x hand knitted cat face brooch – Usually £6
1 x Coin purse Fluffy OR made from I like CATS original design fabric – Usually £6.50
1 x I like CATS badge – Usually £1


The extra large grab bags will be just £20 with over £60 of I like CATS goodies inside, including a fluffy pencil/make-up case, which will never be made again!

1 x Fluffy Cat pencil/make-up case – Usually £15
1 x Cat case made from I like CATS original design fabric – Usually £12
1 x Hand painted wooden brooch – Usually £8
1 x Pair of hand drawn cat earrings – Usually £8
1 x hand knitted cat face brooch – Usually £6
1 x Coin purse made from I like CATS original design fabric – Usually £6.50
1 x I like CATS badge – Usually £1
1 x Pair of hand drawn googly eye hair slides – Usually £4.50

The grab bags will be available this Saturday from 10am, with only five large and four extra large packages available, be quick or be disappointed!

Better still you can get £5 towards your order FREE if you are new to Etsy! Sign up via this link to take advantage of this offer!




Recently I took part in a super fun event in Brighton, live crafting in the window of Super+Super as part of the Etsy Craftivism month.

The event was all about using craft for good, inspiring people to get crafty while at the same time raising money for charity. All of the things that were made in the window throughout the day were then raffled off for Carousel, a local charity which works to promote the active involvement of people with a learning disability in the arts; teaching new skills and developing existing talents.

Throughout the day the fun was captured by LomoKev, and made into this super awesome time lapse video. See if you can spot me having a knit!