Monday, 11 July 2016

Michelle of Stupid Cats via Meet The Makers of The Handmade Fair

Welcome to our #MeetTheMaker special, Meet The Makers of The Handmade FairEvery day for two weeks we will meet some of the fabulous creatives who will be attending this year's Kirstie Allsopp's 'The Handmade Fair'. The fair will run from 16th - 18th September 2016 at The Green (Hampton Court Palace).

Don't forget to use your special Crafty Bs discount code when you are booking your tickets! You can also win yourself some tickets here.

Who doesn't need notebooks? Who doesn't need stupids cats in their life? You absolutely have to check out Stupidcats. Read on to find out more about Michelle, the creator behind Dave and Co! 

Michelle you have already won me over with this image! This isn't all about the cats though. Tell us something about you 
Er, hmmm. Okay, I've drawn and written since I was little, and worked in the printing industry after leaving school. I was introduced to Macs in the late 1980s and ended up moving to London doing technical support on Mac graphic design software, then ended up working in graphic design. Then I moved to Iceland (as you do!) and taught music, whilst drawing and selling my artwork in a little gallery. Seven years later I moved back to the UK and started working in the railway industry (as you do!). I still work in that industry full time, whilst using every free moment I get to work on my art!

Baby B just decided the first place he wants to go on a plane to is Iceland, as you do! Anyway I digress, Tell us more about the item you are featuring today
This is one of my handmade notebooks, featuring Dave the stupidcat! I've always been fascinated with bookbinding - right back to being little and de-construcing books to see how they were made (whoops, sorry books!). I also became seriously addicted to beautiful paper when working as a graphic designer in London. It's only recently that I've had the time to research bookbinding techniques, and start by learning simple pamphlet binding so I could make my own notebooks. I wanted every last bit to be handmade, so my notebooks are hand folded, the holes for stitching are hand punched, and I sew each notebook together with waxed thread. Then they're all pressed overnight, then hand trimmed with a knife. I even screen print the lined paper myself, because you can't buy the beautiful paper I use inside my notebooks pre-printed with lines. The covers are yummy Colorplan card, and each one is hand printed.

They are just so cool. I have always want to have a go at book binding. When and how did you learn to do it?
It's all self taught. From researching about paper grain, folding, stitching, the best threads to use etc... everything came from hours and hours of research, testing sample materials, making prototypes... It takes me a long time to squeeze all this in around my fulltime job, but I don't like to compromise - I want to make top quality things with top quality materials, doing as much myself as I can rather than outsourcing. I made my first notebooks in September last year. When and why did you decide to turn your creative skills into a business? In the mid-90s I used to sell my drawings in a little gallery in Iceland, but it it wasn't until 2009 after being made redundant that I started drawing again, really to try and relieve the stress of trying to find work. Then I discovered Etsy, and plucked up the courage to open a shop. I joined the Craftbritannia team, and met a lot of like-minded creative folk that really helped me gain confidence in myself and my drawing, which helped me hugely begin to believe in myself again after all the stress of the work situation. So thank you, Craftbritannia!

I am so glad you continued. So what inspires and motivates you?
Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere! Motivation... I just want to make things that make people smile and hopefully bring a little bit of pleasure to people's lives!

That is such a great reason to do something in life. Where can we find more from you online?
I am on Facebook,  Instagram, Twitter, Etsy, the Stupidcats blog and on Pinterest, 

We won't be able to resist the cats! Is this year your first at the Handmade Fair?
Yes! At the moment, I'm a bit scared! But also really excited! I've only ever done three small fairs before, so this is a big step up and I'm determined to enjoy it!

What are you most looking forward to? 
Meeting lots of fellow crafters, a lot of whom I've become acquainted with online through Etsy. It'll be so good to finally meet them for real!

It is so strange having an online network and not getting to see them isn't it. So exciting. What will visitors find at your stand?
I'll be launching my hand printed tote bags at the fair, and am hoping to run some offers - probably linked to social media. I'm still finalising my plans, so keep your eyes peeled! I'll be on stand W52.

What will you be up to between now and the big weekend!
Working my full time job whilst desperatley squeezing in time to build up stock and perfect new product ranges!

I can't believe you do this alongside full time work. Ok, quick fire round!

Your crafting hero?
Rook's Books - I went to a Craft's Council fair in London back in the early 1990s and was mesmerized by the chap sitting quietly at his stand, marking proper leather-bound hardback books. I'd always been fascinated by how books were made, and seeing someone actually doing it was amazing! I remember thinking... "One day..."!

Name three stands you will be visiting at The Handmade Fair? 
Mine (!), and if I can get away to explore then I'll be visiting The Etsy stand, and fabric stalls - I need to source some yummy fabric ready for my next project, which will be appliqué cushions using my cat designs so I need to source the perfect fabric. Some of my fellow Etsy sellers have stands too, so I'm hoping to have time to drop by their stands too.

Your favourite handmade item?
Currently a gorgeous handmade silver necklace which my other half bought me from Harvest Moon Jewellery on Etsy for my birthday.

Your favourite place? 
Anywhere that makes me feel good.

Favourite beverage?
Coffee, tea, or real ale! And cake, obviously.

Favourite chocolate bar?
Mint aero.

Three things that make you happy? 
My other half, cats, and drawing/writing.

Your biggest achievement? 
Every time I recieve lovely feedback from someone who's bought one of my creations feels like my biggest achievement to date!

Describe The Handmade Fair in 5 words or less
Crafty explosion of colourful creativity!

Michelle, it has been a pleasure. I can't wait to visit your stand at the fair (I have already been mooching on your online store!) We will see you there! 
Mrs Crafty B
Follow Mrs Crafty B

Follow Mrs Crafty B on Facebook    Follow Mrs Crafty B on Twitter    Follow Mrs Crafty B on Pinterest    Follow Mrs Crafty B via Google Plus    Follow Mrs Crafty B via RSS


  1. These sound scrummy. So much care in every bit of the process

  2. Gorgeous notebooks. Can you ever have too many?

  3. They have a nice identity and coexist awesome with kids and other family pets.adoptable pets

  4. In choosing whether to get a male or female, the decision is extremely a matter of inclination. I right now have 2 guys and a female. I discover the guys progressively loving. My female is extremely free. Every one of the three are posterity of non domesticated moms. natural foods for cats

  5. bag, Science Diet "promises" Love Iguanas 'precisely balanced nutrition through continuous research and the highest quality food backed by your Vets endorsement' and sells for around $21.00 for only a 20 lb bag.

  6. These are truly amongst the wonderful informative blogs.
    Epoxy Floors

  7. You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. non carpet cat tree

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. suncast dog house

  9. Free HTML templates in Pgtemplates
    We are free to HTML website. You can Download now. We have mare html themes. Our all HTML templates is free. You can any template and start your website.
    Please Visit:
    Wish you guys a happy new year.

  10. thanks for the tips and information..i really appreciate it.. slow thyroid in dogs

  11. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? best harness for dogs that pull

  12. Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. plastic cat carrier

  13. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. extra large hamster cages

  14. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Dog Ear Infection Remedy

  15. This particular is usually apparently essential and moreover outstanding truth along with for sure fair-minded and moreover admittedly useful My business is looking to find in advance designed for this specific useful stuffs… how can I help my cat pass a hairball

  16. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. View More

  17. I can blast it with the hose and it will air dry about a million times faster than other litter mats I've tried to wash. Kitty Litter Mat

  18. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. Click here



  20. thank you for giving a piece of great information about the application.

    Nero Platinum

  21. A blend of Siamese tastefulness and Burmese strength, the Tonkinese is a medium measured feline.eating pad for cats with arthritis It is smooth and solid and says something the scope of eight to ten pounds for sound grown-ups. Body shape is that of the traditional Siamese of old with a changed three-sided head and almond molded eyes that range in shading from blue to green and brilliant. how long do Tonkinese cats live

  22. Preventive and reliable consideration is crucially imperative to any feline's general wellbeing. On the off chance that a proprietor can't manage the cost of veterinary consideration, it is likely a smart thought not to get a feline.scottish fold breeders

  23. You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. Cat shop online

  24. It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist. I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act. unique smoking pipes

  25. On this subject internet page, you'll see my best information, be sure to look over this level of detail. How long does it take for CBD oil to work in dogs?

  26. I use only high quality materials - you can see them at: how to make cbd oil for dogs

  27. slot This is exciting, nevertheless it is vital for you to visit this specific url:

  28. For getting power gear parts, embellishment, key packs and instruments for progression and the improvement business visit site.
    outdoor wok burner

  29. MyDamnDawg is proud to offer all of the stuff for dogs browse now and get your wishlist at your doorstep.