Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meet Cathe Holden!

We've been big fans of Cathe Holden for a while now and are thrilled to share a bit about her with you today! Apart from being a super talented graphic designer, she's one of the most continuously creative gals around who never ceases to amaze us with her projects and ideas. Her blog, Just Something I Made, is a treasure trove of crafting at it's best, complete with tons of images, graphics and detailed instructions to excite and inspire you. Read on for a behind the scenes peek into Cathe's world...

A glimpse into Cathe's studio. See more shots here.
All photos by Cathe Holden.

* A bit about yourself (name, location, where we can find you online).
I am Cathe Holden of Petaluma, California. I am a mother of 3 really, really awesome teenagers, and wife of a fireman, Mr. Wonderful. I am a professional graphic designer and avid crafter/blogger. You can find my logo design portfolio at and and my do-it-yourself craft site at

* Describe your signature style.
My style is all over the map. But I think I gravitate quite a bit towards vintage advertising art of the late 1800 through the early 1940s. I have been hooked on typography since I began my art career in the early 80s. Although much of my design may be considered pretty, I often lean towards a less delicate or feminine style in my designs and crafts.

A set of vintage cheese labels becomes bunting in Cathe's studio. See what else she did with them here.

* How long have you been blogging? Has it developed like you thought it might or has it completely surprised you?
I am half way through my third year of blogging. I could have never imagined a blog could have taken me this far. Not so much in financial success, but sharing on the internet has taken me on an amazing ride around the world. I am so blessed to have connected with so many wonderful people on this earth.

* Creative influences?
Vintage books, Martha Stewart, creative blog friends, like Selena Cate of Apron Thrift Girl, who, for example, has exposed me to a whole new era of style I’d never been interested in, but one I have recently come to adore, Mid-Century Modern. I find so much inspiration from other bloggers’ styles and the things they share.

Soft and tough: leather two ways. See what Cathe does with these leather shields here. And how she replaces a suitcase handle here.

* Favorite materials? Any tools or supplies you can't live without?
Leather has been lots of fun to work with, sewing and transferring images to. I could never live without my number one tool, the X-acto knife. The computer has been an incredible catalyst for taking my ideas and making them happen. I’d like to thank my Mac, and Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS3 for that.

* A glimpse into your typical day?

Coffee, then coffee and then I sneak into my studio before the kids arise. In the summer, that gives me until almost 10 am or later. Otherwise, during the school year, I drive one hour commutes in the morning and another hour or two in the afternoon depending on sports activities. In between that time, I work on client logo designs or crafts and blogging. My husband is a fireman and is gone several days and nights. But when he’s home, he helps take care of most domestic things so I can continue to create. It’s teamwork at it’s best, and he’s amazing.

One of our all time favorites: Cathe's water transfer decal images for tins and canisters. A must-see! Click here.

* Biggest design or crafting challenge so far?
Blogging on demand. I do hit a wall trying to come up with ideas occasionally. There will be times when I haven’t blogged in days, or am scheduled to write for another party and am under deadline with a sort of writer’s block. It can be quite frustrating. But somehow, it all comes together and I get through it. More often than not, my best posts come from those difficult moments, so I try to not get discouraged.

* How has your approach to crafting changed over the years?
I used to not want to tell people that I “crafted”, let alone blogged about it. I thought it wouldn’t be taken serious in the least and would perplex people as to why I give it such high priority in my life. But through blogging I have found myself wonderfully embraced by other creative thinkers and doers and am so excited by how far crafting has come since I was stuffing and glueing wicker-basket lids with calico fabric & ugly lace in the 80s.

Meticulous organization in the studio using cigar boxes and labels galore. Check out Cathe's labeling here.

* Being organized is such a big part of crafting and creating... Any organizational tips for others?
Label everything. I forget more than I remember of where I put things that I don’t use on a daily basis. Labeling every drawer, compartment and box is very important for me and helpful to others, such as my kids, when looking for materials and supplies to work with. It also makes for a quicker clean-up.

* What do you like to do besides create/craft?
Sing. In the car, alone mostly. But I love to sing.

Cathe shows you the ins and out of embossing velvet with rubber stamps here.

* Any crafting projects or techniques that you haven't done that intrigue you?
I’ve yet to carve my own rubber stamps. I find that extremely interesting. It’s just a matter of time.

* Anything else you want readers to know about you?
Yes. I think it’s important to acknowledge that it’s by God’s amazing grace that I am able to create the things I do. It’s been an extremely difficult few years for me and crafting & blogging helps me move through tragedy. Having opportunities to share my gifts with others is a blessing of comfort in itself.


  1. I have long admired Cathe Holden's work and it's delightful to read about her - she sounds just as nice and down to earth as I had imagined she would be.

  2. Cathe's style is AMAZING... and so is her FAB studio!...*swoon*... Wonderful interview, Amanda. Always admire the variety of content you share here. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

  3. Wow...I stopped in at JSIM to see what Cathe's doing, and I found my other favorite - 32 Degrees North!!! I'm smiling now!!!