Made By Mrs M

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2 Minutes with... Momtaz Begum-Hossain

Kate Marsden

My loves of colour and craft combine in this week’s inspiring 2 minute interview! Meet the fabulous Momtaz Begum-Hossain


Hello Momtaz! Who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I’m a Journalist (writing for magazines for over 15 years), Presenter (TV, radio and live events) and Crafts Expert - I’ve worked in the crafts industry for over 10 years including designing crafts projects for Children’s BBC, being Editor of a crafts magazine, writing crafts books and running workshops.

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Why do you love what you do

I’m never bored! I’ve curated my career so that I can do things I truly love – every week is varied. One day I’m interviewing a Bollywood megastar for a video interview, the next day I’m writing about cake for a wedding magazine and that same evening I could be teaching a crafts workshop.

I’m constantly inspired by your beautiful, colourful wardrobe. Have you always made your own clothes? How did you get started?

Like a lot of Bangladeshi women in London in the 1980s my mum was a seamstress, sewing clothes for British high street stores like C&A. I grew up watching her sewing on a huge Singer sewing machine so ‘making clothes’ was something that was completely normal, although her machine was so precious she never let me touch it! When it came to choosing my A’levels I discovered that there were two colleges in London that offered A’Level Fashion so I enrolled at one of them and that’s when I first started making proper clothes that I could wear. I also spent my first wages from my weekend job when I was 17 on buying a sewing machine so I could continue sewing in the holidays.

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If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

I am a superfan of Indian Fashion Designer Manish Arora. He creates quirky, rainbow fused, embellished outfits that capture the fun side of fashion then on a serious side, behind the scenes he works with incredibly talented crafts people who do the ornate embroideries and handiwork. Working with him in some form would be a dream.


What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

I’m always making plans! I’ve been running London Craft Night The Make Escape for over five years and that’s now expanding to run more craft workshops, I’m working on a children’s TV craft show pilot and am spending more time on my blog Craft and Travel. I’m on a mission to travel the world learning about different crafts so lots of travel plans too. Plus, I’ll be at The Handmade Fair in September where you can join me on the Friday and Saturday to make needle-felted vegetables.

Thank you so much for taking part Momtaz! You can find out more on her website and follow on Instagram and Twitter.


Inspiration in Lanzarote...

Architecture, Inspiration, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

Well I wasn't really expecting a week in a very touristy, typical summer holiday destination to have much to inspire (and to be fair my main aim was to switch off and sit by the pool!) but find it I did. Our hotel was paricularly pleasing (with lots of blue and orange) - here are a few colourful shots taken all around the island. Enjoy!

Not our hotel, but a bit of a Brutalist gem in downtown Puerto del Carmen

Not our hotel, but a bit of a Brutalist gem in downtown Puerto del Carmen

This was our hotel. Pleasing (almost) symmerty at Aqua Suites (also Puerto del Carmen)

This was our hotel. Pleasing (almost) symmerty at Aqua Suites (also Puerto del Carmen)

2 Minutes with... Sinead Koehler

Kate Marsden

Your quick dose of inspiration returns this week, with a look behind the scenes of the wonderful Crafty Fox Market!

Hello Sinead! Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Sinead, and I started Crafty Fox Market back in 2010. We promote designer makers and run craft markets at a variety of venues in London. I'm originally from Northern Ireland but have been living in South London for more than 10 years now. I'm married to Stephan who can often be found behind the decks DJing at our markets and we have two boys, Rian (5 years) and Aidan (11 months). My professional background is in not-for-profit events and fundraising. I started Crafty Fox Market after a side-line in jewellery-making led me to selling on Etsy and it introduced me to the wonderful creative community that has become my home. 

Why do you love what you do?

I feel really lucky to be part of such a talented community of designer makers. The Crafty Fox journey has taken me to many unexpected places and given me lots of new opportunities such as teaching and presenting at events which I really enjoy. It is also flexible work which allows me to spend lots of time with my children.

As you know, I’m a massive fan of Crafty Fox Market whether I’m there to sell or to buy. What do you think has been the secret of it’s success?

I think it's a combination of factors. Producing good quality events and putting makers at the heart of what we do has meant that we have developed a good reputation. This helps us attract a large volume of applicants every time we run a market, which puts us in the fortunate position of being able to select makers for our events, keeping the quality high while showcasing a wide variety. This in turn attracts shoppers who appreciate our selection and come ready to buy from the traders. We have also been fortunate with timing as consumers are becoming increasingly interested in the provenance of their purchases and love an opportunity to meet the makers.

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be?

That's a great question! We've worked on some really interesting collaborations over the years. I've always liked the idea of working with Tate - a market in the Turbine Hall would be quite something wouldn't it?! 

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

I'm particularly excited about our Design Circus event on 23 and 24 September which is part of London Design Festival. It's a collaboration with BRIXI and will include performance, installation, workshops and circus-inspired happenings alongside the stalls. It's also in really fabulous new venue in the heart of Brixton called The Department Store. It's part of the new HQ for Squire & Partners (an architecture practice) - the building has been beautifully restored and we can't wait to bring the Circus.

I'm also looking forward to further developing - our online shopping directory over the coming year. It has loads of potential and we have some exciting plans up our sleeves!

Thank you so much for joining me Sinead! You can find all the autumn dates for Crafty Fox Market on their website and follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Modern Lettering

Books, Inspiration, Paper, Review, WorkshopsKate Marsden

I first met Becky from Betty Etiquette when I attended one of her wonderful calligraphy workshops at Liberty a couple of years ago. Now I'm afraid I have to admit that I've barely picked up my pen and ink since (slaps wrist) but her style of lettering is so beautiful, and there are few things nicer than receiving one of her hand written envelopes in the post!

So when I saw she had a book coming out, I was pre-ordering it faster than you can say "pre-ordering" and just before I went on my holiday, it arrived!

Modern Lettering is a little like a Betty Etiquette workshop, but with so much more which will keep you going for ages. Having been to one and not done a lot since, it's got me itching to have another go. There are pages dedicated to each letter so you can get practing (although I won't be spoiling the book by writing in it - I'll stick to a sketchbook for that) and for me I think the most useful pages are the project ideas - full of colourful examples and ways to make use of your new found skills.

The book itself is a very pretty thing indeed, and features that winning blue and yellow colour combination! I keep staring at it and then absent mindedly thumbing through when I should be working... There are also pictures of cakes...

Modern Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots is published by Batsford and available now!

This is not a sponsored post.

Month in the Life - June and July

Month in the LifeKate Marsden

Two months for the price of one this time as I ran out of time to share June in July! A super busy couple of months with lots of colourful highlights. Here are just a few of my favourite bits...

More new street art in Croydon

More new street art in Croydon

New artwork

New artwork



Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market

Working on new ideas

Working on new ideas

Open Studios

Open Studios

Mollie Makes Awards

Mollie Makes Awards

Spending time in my new room

Spending time in my new room

Spending some time on a VERY long term project

Spending some time on a VERY long term project

A little 1-2-1 lampshade making workshop

A little 1-2-1 lampshade making workshop

Holiday time!

Holiday time!

Sunshine and Colour in St Leonards

Architecture, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

A rare day trip out today! St Leonards is about an hour and a half away from us in South London, and while we'd visited Hastings a couple of times to go to the Jerwood Gallery, we'd never ventured down the road (and it really is just down the road - walking distance) to it's quieter neighbour.

We took a trip down there on the Sunday of the late May Bank Holiday weekend, so sadly lots of the little independent shops were shut (if you visit on a Saturday you must pop down to Kings Road - which leads up to St Leonards Warrior Square station - as there were lots of interesting little places down there) - but we made do with a colour spotting walk along the seafront to Hastings Pier (where we enjoyed a brilliant fish and chip lunch!). Here's a little photo tour...

2 Minutes with... Leona Thrift-ola

Business, Fashion, Inspiration, Products, Shopping, StudiosKate Marsden

ALL the colour for you again this week as we spend a couple of minutes in the fun, surprise filled word of Leona Thrift-ola…

Hello Leona! Who are you and what do you do?

I run a subscription box business called Lucky Dip Club which is the home of super fun surprises by independent artists. We’re on a mission to bring colour, fun and positivity into the world whilst inspiring our subscribers to follow their creative dreams.

Why do you love what you do?

I’ve always embraced colour and been drawn to the more playful side of design so being able to make a living producing the products that I love is fantastic. I’m obsessed with creating a shopping experience that makes my subscribers feel like a kid in a candy store. I also love discovering new artists and having the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented people and share their work with our community is really fun.

I’m pretty sure the original Lucky Dip Club was the first box of it’s kind that I came across (much imitated, never bettered!). What inspired you to create it in the first place?

Aww thank you very much! In 2006, I launched a range of colour themed Lucky Dip bags full of surprise jewellery and when I closed that business down 5 years later I had sold thousands of Rainbow Rebel mystery bags. I was looking to start a new business and the subscription trend in the beauty industry had caught my eye so I decided to mix the two and Lucky Dip Club was born!

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be?

I’d LOVE to collaborate with Lisa Frank. Not only is she a kitsch powerhouse and forerunner of the unicorn, rainbow and neon trends but she started her business at the age of 24 in 1979 and still runs it to this day. So much to admire!

What exciting plans do you have for the next year? 

We’ve literally just re-launched and our new website is online with new subscription packages - Lucky Socks, Happy Pins and My Rainbow Life. The plan over the coming year is to grow the Girl Planet community and turn Lucky Dip Club into a subscription box that’s fully community driven with the launch of our charity partnership programme. Exciting times!

Thank you Leona! You can get your Lucky Dip Club fix here and follow on Twitter and Instagram.



I Am Acrylic Jewellery Workshop

Craft, Events, London, Review, WorkshopsKate Marsden

Now you probably know that I'm a bit of a fan of I Am Acrylic (see my Blogtacular necklace and lots more besides!) but until a couple of weeks ago I'd never managed to make it to one of their workshops.

My plans for the day had changed and I was unexpectedly free so headed up to Brixton for the Crafty Fox Market sample sale - shopped rather more than I should have, and then made myself a necklace with the help of Brendan. Cheesy photos of me by Martha Loves...

Despite making the decision to try and do the workshop while I was on the train, I turned up without any idea of what I wanted to make! They had a useful folder with examples of things people have created in the past, and I ended up imaginatively coming up with a yellow letter 'k' - hand drawn by yours truly though so it has character!

Brendan did a very good job of hiding his nerves after I revealed just how clumsy I am, and I'm pleased to say that I came away with all my fingers fully intact!

The sawing itself doesn't require much elbow grease, but I certainly felt it in my left hand (which was holding the piece of acrylic in place) - that didn't last though. I was actually surprised that I managed to get as good a finish on it as I did as I expected it to be a bit of a mess but no - it's nice and smooth and looks pretty good!

After carefully cutting and filing and smoothing I decided to let Brendan drill the hole for the chain as I thought I might break it! Here's the finished article...

I Am Acrylic often run drop in workshops at events like Crafty Fox Market - keep an eye on their website for dates.

2 Minutes with... Georgie St Clair

Art, Business, Drawing, Inspiration, Painting, PhotographyKate Marsden

I’ve been following Georgie St Clair on Instagram for ages. Her images never fail to make me smile, and her unique, beautiful artwork literally stands out from the page! Read on for a little dose of floral inspiration…

Hello Georgie! Who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I’m an artist and illustrator living in Brighton with my gorgeous 3 kids and hubby. I create floral and botanical art and illustrations, created using real flowers and foliage. I sell my prints online and work with a variety of clients across the world. My latest client was in South Korea. They found me all thanks to the power of the internet and Instagram - which I’m slightly obsessed with!
Why do you love what you do?

Lately I have been finding myself feeling so grateful for what I do. It really is a dream come true; a dream I’ve had for a very long time (I’ve just turned 40 so it’s been years in the making). My creative business really only started in September 2016 when I decided to go freelance.

Now, I make beautiful things everyday from flowers and foliage - what’s not to love?! I love being my own boss, being accountable only to my clients, customers and myself. And importantly I can work around my 3 children.

What inspired you to start creating your beautiful illustrations incorporating real flowers?

When my daughter was born (she is now 4), my little treat during those early days with a newborn baby was a simple vase of fresh flowers.  I also started drawing again, during her nap times. I’d left my drawing board on the dining room table one day and a wilting flower dropped onto the drawing. It looked so pretty and voila an obsession was born!

I also discovered Instagram around this time, so started sharing my creative experiments and collages. People seemed to like what I was doing which gave me the confidence to carry on.

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be?

The first person that comes to mind is Frida Kahlo. I discovered her as a teenager and have loved her ever since. Strong yet vulnerable. Original and bold both in her art and in life. And she could rock a flower crown like no other! She fascinates me. Along with Audrey Hepburn she’s one of the influences for my illustrated character ‘Sassy Du Fleur’

I’d also like to create a huge installation using real flowers and one of my portrait illustrations, so if there’s any florists out there who are up for an artistic challenge, get in touch ;)

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

Too many to list - but that’s my problem. I have too many ideas, ambitions and plans. So my first plan is to organise myself!

Latterly I have translated my illustrations and floral designs into personalised products and homewares, from phone cases to cushions. I soft launched the phone cases in June and they have been really well received so far. I’ll be launching notebooks and cushions next. I plan to expand the ranges even further and move into wholesaling and art licensing. Maybe even sign up to my first trade show. Watch this space!

Thank you so much! You can see more of Georgie's work on her website and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.



All the Fun of Open Studios!

Art, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Painting, Pattern Design, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

A slightly belated end of open studios post for you! We had a brilliant second weekend (you can read about the first one here) and a lovely celebratory get together afterwards. A few more images from our stop on the trail are below. The dates for 2018 have now been set so get them in your diaries - 23/24 June and 30 June/1 July 2018 - see you there!

Claire Chandler's Studio

Claire Chandler's Studio

My gazebo

My gazebo

Marie Ratnam's paintings

Marie Ratnam's paintings

The view from the road!

The view from the road!

Claire's much admired mosaic paving slabs

Claire's much admired mosaic paving slabs

The after party! Image (c) Stuart James

The after party! Image (c) Stuart James

2 Minutes with... Zeena Shah

Art, Drawing, Inspiration, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

Someone else who has long been an inspiration to me this week… I think I first met Zeena at a craft fair when my son was a baby (so many years ago!), and since then she’s written books and has even been on the telly a few times. Here’s a quick glimpse into the world of Zeena Shah

Hello Zeena! Who are you and what do you do? 

Hello Kate! 

My name is Zeena Shah and I am a printed Textile Designer, Illustrator, Author and Workshop tutor. I live and work in East London. 

Why do you love what you do?

Drawing, designing, teaching and being creative all day long make me so happy. I fell so lucky to be able to say that I love going to work everyday and even luckier to be able to do what I do on a daily basis.

What element of your work do you enjoy the most? Writing books or getting your hands messy and printing?

It's definitely the messy bit. I absolutely love printing and making things. No matter what I'm doing there always has to be an element of mark making whether it be with a lino roller or a potato.

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be?

Ooh it would have to be Vera Neumann, she's an inspiration. Her portfolio of print designs and colour palette are timeless and she was so prolific in her career it would have been a dream to meet her.

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

I have lots of exciting plans for next year. I'll be continuing designing print for fashion and interiors brands. There will definitely be plenty of print making workshops and a couple of new ones too. I'd love to run some more larger scale events after the success of last year's make wrap mingle. Alongside some new goodies in the shop too... it's going to be a busy one!

Thank you so much Zeena! You can find more of Zeena's work on her website and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


The Evolution of my Magazine Habit...

Inspiration, Paper, ReviewKate Marsden

It all started with Smash Hits. As it did for lots of people I'm sure. Ripping out photos of Kylie and Jason and Debbie Gibson and sticking them up on my wall when I was 9 or 10. I'm pretty sure I read magazines before this but I'm struggling to remember any of them. So I stuck with Smash Hits and added Just Seventeen (when I was 10...) and then by 11 or 12 I'd graduated to Cosmopolitan. All the while, still getting Smash Hits. I was on a 3-5 magazine per month habit and it wouldn't stop there!

When I was 12 I discovered "my kind" of music (which is still "my kind" now so I obviously got something right) and started to get Melody Maker every week (and NME once in a while as well) - my magazine habit also became expensive as I graduated from Cosmo to Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. I'd decided I wanted to study fashion when I left school you see, so it was research.

Party because they were reference material (and they were - a briliant resource when I got to college and they helped fill many a sketchbook and moodboard) but also because they were pretty expensive, I ended up with a collection of Vogue magazines including every issue from October 1991 to July 1998. I needed a whole cabinet for them and they weighed a ton. Shortly before we moved down to London that summer my boyfriend (now husband) drove me to the recycling bins to get rid of the lot - it still brings me out in a cold sweat to think about it...

Anyway, we moved to London but I didn't stop buying Vogue, I needed my monthly glossy magazine fix. Some time I think in that first year a lovely magazine called Nova appeared (I believe it was a reincarnation of a magazine from the 70s) and it was a thing of beauty - it smelt great and was beautifully designed, I even subscribed but I'm pretty sure it didn't last the year - the start of the whole "print is dead" thing I suppose.

So I stuck with Vogue, occassionally bought interiors magazines, occassionally bought other fashion magazines but that was pretty much all that was out there. Then in 2010 the little man was born and my magazines just kept piling up unread so I stopped buying them. Probably for a good year. I was saving the planet and money - win win!

Then in the spring of 2011 Mollie Makes appeared - and at just the right time for me too. I was finally working on creative stuff again (in my spare time as in when I wasn't working in the city and looking after a baby...) and it inspired me and I even started blogging as a result. I subscribed to Mollie Makes for 2 or 3 years but had to drop it when I left my job to go self employed as I needed to save money. I still buy it, but not every month.

Nowadays my magazine habit is expensive again, but not so heavy on it's use of trees! I don't buy anywhere near as many but I like the nice ones. It's going back to Nova again - I want something that smells beautiful, is nicely designed and unique - something I want to have to build a shelf for and something I can go back to time and time again. Here are four of my current favourites:

91 Magazine

This issue is actually the first printed copy I've bought (I've dipped in and out of the digital magazine and editor Caroline Rowland's blog Patchwork Harmony for years). I love it mostly for the interiors, but also the photography generally which is so inspiring and absoultely up my street. This issue's cover says everything about my taste at the moment - bright and white with pops of colour! Oh and it smells divine...


Frankie is an Australian magazine which I only discovered a couple of years ago (this one is issue 77 so I was late to the party). This is another one I don't buy every time, partly because it's a bit pricey but also because I can't get hold of it anywhere near home (I bought this in the WH Smith in Victoria Station which is great for magazines). Frankie contains a good mix of everything and it's just so pretty. It also makes me wish I lived in Australia (even more than I already have wished this in the 10 years since I visited!).


Caboodle is awesome - the creation of the equally awesome Kayti Peschke (it has Kayti's personality all over it) - I'm slightly biased here as I have a tutotial in the current issue, but I do love this magazine because it's so unique. Again a mix of everything - it's fun, and colourful and guaranteed to cheer me up - oh and always substantial - there's never a skinny issue of Caboodle. One you want to keep forever rather than put in the recycling in 6 months...


Now this is the epitome of pricey - I think this set me back around about £14. I also often struggle to get a copy as there aren't that many stockists I can get to easily and I can't stretch to a subscription (from Canada - the postage is insane). Uppercase is a stunning magazine - it's practically a book - there's a market for second hand copies so not quite an investment but defintely never money down the drain. Again, slightly biased as I've been in one of their books but it's undistilled inspiration in magazine form, and something I go back to time and time again. Even if my full collection only amounts to 4 issues (plus the book!).

So these are my favourites at the moment - do let me know if there's anything wonderful I've missed out or might like to try - just not this month as I've spent all my money on magazines...

2 Minutes with... Jane Foster

Art, Books, Business, Drawing, Inspiration, StudiosKate Marsden

I’m really excited this week as I get to introduce you to someone who has been a huge inspiration to me ever since I made the decision to take my business full time a few years ago. Meet the wonderful, colourful Jane Foster!

Hello Jane! Who are you and what do you do?

Hi, I’m an illustrator, author, textile designer and screen printer living in Kingsbridge, Devon.

Why do you love what you do?

I love being creative and turning my passion into making a living so I can live the life I choose. I adore all parts of what I do and love the variety involved in illustrating, screen printing, sewing and designing along with also running my little business single handedly and doing all the various other parts involved such as photography, social media, packaging orders etc.. I’m creating an intentional life where I can work flexible hours and spend lots of time with my nine year old daughter.

Are you able to offer one piece of advice to those who are just starting out and have been inspired by you and your work?

If you want to make your career work, very hard gritty determination along with talent will get you there in the end. There is no short cut (I’m sorry to say!)

If you could collaborate with anyone who would be?

My dream would be to collaborate with the Finnish company Marimekko.

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

I’ve several more children’s books in the pipeline along with some new product collaborations.

Thank you so much Jane! You can see all of Jane's work on her website and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Mollie Makes Handmade Awards!

Craft, Events, Inspiration, LondonKate Marsden

Last Monday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent the Just A Card team at the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards. We had such a briliant day including a fab little photowalk with Xanthe Berkley, a Tatty Devine necklace workshop, useful talks (including an opportunity for me to meet and fangirl at Donna Wilson...). It was so exciting to see so many folks I know up for awards and I came away tired but with renewed enthusiasm about our creative commuity.

Here are a few pics from the day...

At the time of writing the winners haven't been announced on the Mollie Makes website so I won't spoil it! A big thank you to team Mollie who were all as lovely as ever, to Xanthe and Tatty Devine and of course our wonderful Just A Card team leader Sarah Hamilton (who will be happy I didn't share the Boomerang I took of her on here!).

2 Minutes with... Natasha Denness

Blogging, Inspiration, Interiors, PhotographyKate Marsden

It’s time for another quick dose of inspiration for you today! Meet the wonderful Natasha of Candy Pop

Hello Natasha! Who are you and what do you do?

Hi Kate! I’m an Oxford-based writer, stylist, photographer, coach and award-winning blogger. My blog (Candy Pop) is a place where you'll find simple ways to inspire your everyday. With a focus on interiors, simple living, creativity and self-care.

When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, exploring historic properties, pretty gardens and forests, watching old films and having tea and cake with friends. I cherish the simple things in life!

Why do you love what you do?

I love the freedom that a freelance life brings, especially when there's so much variety in the work I do. I also enjoy meeting inspiring people both on and offline. It's a joy to be a part of such a vibrant and creative community.

What’s your top tip for styling up a room for summer?

The one thing that makes a home feel alive and summery is houseplants. They improve air quality and make loveable housemates. And if you don't have a garden (like me!) they enable you to bring a bit of the outdoors in.

If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be?

There are almost too many people to list. Probably Matisse when he was creating the gorgeous blue paper cut-outs or Hockney during the 1960s. Then I could spend a little time in the LA sunshine!

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

I have several creative projects underway and I'm enjoying working with a few coaching clients. It’s an honour to support people on their journeys and I'm looking forward to offering further coaching slots later in the year.

Thank you Natasha!

You can find Natasha’s website here, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Stitched Jewellery and more upcoming workshops...

Kate Marsden

A couple of weeks ago I headed up to Creative Happy London in Camberwell and taught my new stitched jewellery workshop for the first time. It was a really hot day but we still had a good time and some great brooches and necklaces came out of the sessions!

I will be teaching a slightly extended version of this workshop at Love Art in Tooting THIS SATURDAY and bookings are now open here.

The following Saturday, 15 July, I'll be back in Camberwell teaching my popular lampshade making workshop - we're taking bookings for that one now as well.

And that will be my last event before the summer holidays! I have lots of things planned for the autumn including more lampshade workshops at Creative Happy London, Art Rebellion and Love Art, as well as the return of my hand stitched tote bag workshop and something new on the run up to that event in December (not saying it yet!). You can find out about all of my upcoming events here.

Carshalton Artists Open Studios - Week 1

Art, Ceramics, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, London, Painting, Pattern Design, Photography, Shopping, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

What an amazing time we had last weekend! We were overwhelmed by the wonderful response to our first open studios event (and I'm mainlining coffee as I type!!) - so many people came to see us and the reaction to my work actually left me feeling a little tearful (in a good way!). Here are a few images (and a little film) from the weekend - Come back and see us when we do it all again tomorrow and Sunday from 11-5 - find all the details here. I'm at stop 11 on the trail - 133a Stanley Park Road.

2 Minutes with... Kayti Peschke

Fashion, Inspiration, Photography, ShoppingKate Marsden

This time on "2 Minutes with..." I'm chatting to the awesome, colourful wonder that it Kayti Peschke about creativity and her magazine, Caboodle...

Hello Kayti! Who are you and what do you do?

Hi! I’m Kayti and I am a photographer and designer and I self publish Caboodle Magazine twice a year! I live in York with my two doggies in a crazy bungalow full of tat!

Why do you love what you do?

I think I just have this constant need to be creating. If I don’t have a project on the go I feel weird and without a purpose haha! So its great to come up with different concepts for shoots and the magazine is a great outlet for making my ideas a reality and getting them out there.

What inspired you to start producing your own magazine?

I think its something I had always dreamed of doing so when the opportunity arose I jumped at it. I’d never designed anything before so it was a massive learning curve that I went into rather blindly, but with a lot of enthusiasm!

I also wanted to create something that was a great platform for showcasing the work of other creatives - makers, illustrators, writers and all manor of creatives. A way to shout about all the amazing things people do!

I think the last two issues have felt like they had the look and feel of what I wanted to achieve and I’m really proud of what it has become!

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

I think I’d go for Grayson Perry, maybe he could make a Caboodle themed pot or style one of our fashion shoots?! How cool would that be?!

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

Well I’m hard at work getting the next two issues together, have got some brilliant features in the works that I’m so excited to share. My challenges are to increase the print run and distribution, run some craft workshops and social meet ups and build on the community side of things!  

Thank you Kayti!

You can find Kayti's own website here and the Caboodle site here. You can also follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


Adventures in Bristol - Part 2

Architecture, Art, Photography, Shopping, TravelKate Marsden

On our second day in Bristol (see what we got up to on day 1 here) we were joined by the lovely Laura Howard (of Bugs and Fishes - you can read her blog here) who lives nearby and was able to show is around and point us in the direction of some things we may otherwise have missed. We walked for MILES (and discovered that Bristol busses are really expensive compared with London!). Here are some of the best bits...


I fell for Clifton the last time we visited - hilly but super super pretty - the sort of place you dream of living in (if you like cities anyway). Street after street of Georgian houses and lots of lovely doors! Something pretty on almost every corner so heaven for Instagrammers.

There are some really lovely shops in Clifton too and I did my Just A Card duty (plus a bit!) in Soma - a fab gallery/design shop which I could easily have spent a small fortune in (but carrying a large framed print on the train home would've been tricky!).

Then on to stationery heaven a.k.a. Papersmiths...

Where again I bought a few little bits but exercised extraordinary restraint! I pretty much wanted everything in there.

For those of you who aren't in the South West, they've just opened a store in London too...

Laura also took us to Brandon Hill where there are fantastic views of the city (sadly my photos there are less than fantastic - save this one above!) - you can climb the tower but the little man didn't like the dark, steep spiral staircase so we gave it a miss.

While we were in this part of town we also visitied the brilliant Bristol Museum & Art Gallery - a lovely spot with lots to see - defintely a place to visit if you're there on a damp day. We had a nice lunch in it's cafe.

We also went on the obligatory Bristol street art hunt - the little man is particularly interested following our recent wanderings in Croydon.

Laura headed home before tea and on the following morning the little man and I had one last explore of Spike Island before catching our train back to London.

We were really sad to leave - Bristol's such a brilliant place to vist and the atmosphere is great. Sure we'll be back soon!