My name is Cathy Pascual and I am the owner of Catshy Crafts. I make heartfelt decor for the home – personalized, custom-made embroidery hoop art and made-to-order yarn-wrapped wreaths decorated with one-of-a-kind felt flowers. I live in the beautifully green but rainy city of Bellevue, Washington (by way of Long Island, New York, Boston and Los Angeles) with my indie video game developer husband, Jamie, and two sweet daughters and muses-in-residence, Sofia and Zara.
Before opening Catshy Crafts, I was a paper and digital scrapbooker. I always envisioned myself working in that medium. Felt was a lovely surprise. It is a wonderfully tactile and oh-so-cozy material to work with. On one level, it brings to mind kids’ craft projects made with white glue and blunt-edged scissors — the kind that your daughters proudly bring home from school. In that way it appeals to my simple sensibility. But with so many gorgeous colors of felt now available, the possibilities are endless.
My process is very simple. Sometimes I work from sketches, sometimes not. Either way, I start with a pair of sharp fabric scissors. I cut iconic shapes out of both eco-friendly and wool-blend felts. Word bubbles, hearts, rainclouds, leaves and my personal favorite: tiny bunting flags. I hand-stitch these bits of felt onto a larger piece of felt (or sometimes a print fabric or linen) that has been stretched taut in a wooden embroidery hoop or faux-bois flexi-hoop. I embellish with simple stitches – sometimes a border, sometimes a simple sentiment. The back of each hoop art is nicely finished with a felt backing and a Catshy Crafts label that I print at home. My heartfelt hoop art is just that – they come from the heart and are meant to be given to someone you love (or like a whole lot).
Many of my handmade items, including my yarn-wrapped wreaths and a few of my hoop art pieces feature my handmade/hand-cut/hand-sewn felt flowers. Each flower I make is one of a kind. I don’t use a pattern or diecut. I hand-cut and hand-sew each one!
I do what I do because I love making pretty things out of felt. When I am designing and creating, I lose myself in the process. It gives me a joyful respite from my stay-at-home-mommyhood. At the same time, my simple materials allow me to share my crafts with my young daughters. They get my work, and in turn, I am inspired by them. With my family often right by my side while I create in my living room (not to mention my daughters’ adorable product modeling), it is very much a family business! I love to include them as much as I can in the process. They see me working hard and how much my craft means to me. I hope one day they will find a vocation they are passionate about that drives them to be successful.
Etsy means so much to me. It’s a place to share my creative process, an opportunity to be a craftswoman, business owner, and moneymaker for my family. Etsy means a way to connect and support creative beings. I love just about every part of the Etsy experience – from making, to taking photos, to writing item descriptions, to making my own labels and tags to packaging (okay, the trips to the post office, not so much). My past jobs and hobbies (newsletter editor, health and science writer, public relations specialist, published scrapbooker, avid Etsy shopper, Photoshop dabbler and obsessed mom-tographer) have all come together in putting together my little handmade shop.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a soft-spoken, shy woman of few words. It is a bit uncomfortable to be in the spotlight, but Catshy Crafts has made me step up and venture into that unfamiliar place. It has given me an outlet to nurture my own ideas and creativity, and then reveal it to the world bit by bit. It has given me the impetus to connect with people I never would have met otherwise – from customers to fellow creatives and indie business owners to lovers of handmade. I am still that soft-spoken, shy woman-of-few words, but through Catshy Crafts, my creative voice is just a little bit louder!
All photographs by Catshy Crafts.