Made By Mrs M

More Josef Frank and Svenskt Tenn

Books, Interiors, Pattern Design, Products, Review, TextilesKate Marsden

If you read last Friday's post you'll know that I adored the Josef Frank exhibition at the Fashion and Textile museum. It reintroduced me to Svenskt Tenn, who I'm pretty sure I discovered when visiting Stockholm, but as this was getting on for 20 years ago now my memory is a little hazy! (This reminds me - I need to go back to Stockholm).

Anyway, when the lovely folks at Thames & Hudson then dropped me a line to see if I'd be interested in seeing a Josef Frank/Svenskt Tenn colouring book*, I jumped at the chance...

I've mentioned before that I'm not a massive fan of colouring books, as I prefer to draw rather than colour other people's work, but for this one I may just be able to make an exception. The only downside being that it's such a beautiful book I'm not sure I want to mark it (and wouldn't let the little man anywhere near it, the poor thing!). The first thing to strike me was the size (see my hand for scale!)...

It's gargantuan. Oh and so much more than a colouring book. It's an introduction to Svenskt Tenn and includes images of Josef Frank's fabrics, examples of Svenskt Tenn interiors and more. It's just a lovely thing - whether you want to colour it in or not!

Swedish Modern: A Colouring Book of Magical Interiors by Janet Colletti is published by Thames & Hudson and available now.

*I received my copy free for the purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Tutorial for Caboodle Magazine

Craft, Inspiration, Sewing, Textiles, TutorialsKate Marsden

It's been a bit quiet on the old tutorial front lately, I really need to work on some new ideas for you all! In the meantime though you can pop out to your nearest quality magazine store, pick up a copy of the new issue of Caboodle and cheat at screen printing with me!

I've designed a rather snazzy little star cushion which you can print yourself with an old pair of tights and an embroidery hoop...

I love the chair it's been photographed on - must keep my eyes peeled for one of these!

There are lots of other rather fab space inspired crafts in the issue, along with the usual colourful and inspiring treats! In case you need an extra incentive to go and buy a copy, Caboodle always smells divine too!

If like me, you and can't buy Caboodle at your local shops, you can get a copy on their website here. And if you "screen print" some stars, do share them with me!

Josef Frank

Art, Exhibition, Inspiration, London, Interiors, Pattern Design, TextilesKate Marsden

I was rather dissapointed last month when I missed out on a trip to see the Josef Frank exhibition at the Fashion & Textile museum (AND a talk from Sarah Campbell - boo!) as the little man was unwell. But last week I finally made it (even if this visit didn't include the talk...) and the exhibition was just as good as I'd expected it to be.

The exhibition showcases Frank's bold, colourful textile designs alongside a selection of his paintings, which are displayed here for the first time.

Frank started his career as an architect (something he didn't go back to after the war) but was best known for his pattern and furniture design for Swedish company Svenskt Tenn (go and have a look at their website - so so lovely).

Running alongside the Josef Frank exhibition is a separate collection of modern Swedish fabric designs (some of which were familiar from IKEA) and this room is well worth a visit too.

So now I'm tempted to crack the paints out again!

Josef Frank: Patterns - Furniture - Painting is on at The Fashion & Textile Museum in London until 7 May 2017.

House Tour...

Inspiration, Interiors, StudiosKate Marsden

Everyone likes a good nosey around other people's houses. I'd been planning a little house tour post here for ages but wanted to wait until the house was ready. When I say "ages" I mean several years and no the house isn't ready, or even close. In fact we have a couple of redecoration projects in the pipeline for the spring so it's going to look a little different/better soon, but I thought I'd share now anyway.

I was inspired by this gorgeous post from Michelle of The Fox in the Attic - obviously her house is "done" and looks absolutely dreamy so I hope you'll forgive my slightly more slovenly abode...

You'll probably recognise bits of my house from product photos and instagram posts - it's where I work so I tend to share it all the time! This is our living room. We rarely buy new furniture - the sofa is a Danish 1950's number we bought on eBay and the drinks cabinet was from the British Heart Foundation furniture shop (as are quite a few other items around the house!). The doors lead to the kitchen (a room which is conspicuous by it's absence in this post - partly because I struggle to get a decent picture, and partly because I don't like it and it needs changing - struggling for design inspiration there at the moment though...) and were made by my Dad.

And the other side of the room. The shutters are great - our old flat was on the first floor, and when we moved in here I hated being overlooked from the pavement and these work perfectly. They also keep the heat out really well in the summer. The chairs were from a junk shop in Tooting (and desperately need recovering - don't look too closely!).

The hallway and my famous floor! I love these tiles so so much. The front door was one of the things that sold the house to me. Our glass fronted bookcase traveled with us from our old flat and I made the lampshades (there's a second one where I'm standing). 

Back room/playroom/TV room/general dumping ground... This is one of the rooms set for redecoration, and while the purple wall is often complemented, it's really tatty. We're having the Mini Moderns wallpaper you can see taped to the wall with lots of white and painted floorboards. I'll share when it's finished!

My studio - so small it's hard to photograph (but you've probably seen it before anyway!). It has a little window looking out onto my lovely garden. The room I sit and write and do pretty much everything else in is even smaller though...

You could call it cozy, or snug..... The walls are painted in Stiffkey Blue from Farrow & Ball (so really dark but I like it), the vintage curtains, chair and desk were all eBay finds. This room also houses 3 printers, which is some kind of a miracle. This chair is no good whatsoever for my back and I should really be using my proper desk chair which lives in my studio.

The little man's room is another one due for redecoration (you can see the paper peeling on the right!). We decorated this for him ahead of him moving out of our room at 6 months old, so it's about time. Will share this room too once it's done. This wallpaper was from Cath Kidston and my Mum made his curtains to match.

Bathroom - inspired by the Northern Line.... Not shown, broken shower and barely functioning loo! The paint is Green Ground by Farrow & Ball, the black edging tiles were from Fired Earth and the white tiles were the cheapest brick style we could find.

Our guests get to sleep surrounded by our junk (out of shot!), but they do get a bit of a view and it's nice and quiet up in the loft conversion. More vintage stuff in here - crochet blanket from a car boot sale, vintage French chair, a chest of drawers made by my Dad which we repainted and a bit of the obligatory IKEA. Also needs redecorating...

And back down to our room. This one has been redecorated - in Parma Grey by Farrow and Ball - always looks green! The cupboards came with the house, and with hindsight we should probably have ripped them out but they do the job. More crochet - this blanket was from Valentines in Whitstable, my Dad also made this bed, the fox is from Made By Swimmer and the print is by Kees van Dongen - spent years looking for one after falling in love with his work in a gallery in Toronto.

And that's it for now. Keep an eye out for the transformation of the little man's room and the multi-purpose dumping ground downstairs!

Lampshade Workshop

Craft, Events, London, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

Sharing some snaps from my recent lampshade making workshop at Love Art in Tooting today. It very much seemed that a good time was had by all - and everyone came away with a fantastic looking finished lampshade - result!

The finished lampshades...

The finished lampshades...

Setting up - Images by Claire at Love Art

Setting up - Images by Claire at Love Art

Lampshade making is fairly full on, and this was the first chance I got to photograph the workshop in action!

Lampshade making is fairly full on, and this was the first chance I got to photograph the workshop in action!

All helped along by a glass of wine from Unwined (also in Tooting Market).

All helped along by a glass of wine from Unwined (also in Tooting Market).

If you're interested in attending one of my future workshops, keep an eye on my news page for dates, or alternatively join the mailing list to get the dates sent straight to your inbox.

Custom House Portraits

Architecture, Art, Drawing, ProductsKate Marsden

Last week I launched something a little different - custom house/building portraits. I'm not really sure why I haven't offered them before (as I'm all about drawing buildings after all!) but having received a couple of commissions, I decided to go ahead and offer them via my Etsy shop.

As you know, I do love mid-century style, but I live in an Edwardian house, and I know that not everyone is lucky enough to live in a mid-century gem like the one above! I do really enjoy drawing buildings of all types so you really can send me anything - and if you'd like me to edit out the satellite dish, or repaint your front door, I can do that too!

You can go for a traditional look as with the Georgian house above or I can add some of my trademark polka dots or another pattern if you like...

I am planning to offer a general custom illustration option as well in the near future (so if you'd like me to draw something that isn't a building let me know - I also offer custom pattern design) - in the meantime if you pop over to my portfolio page you can see some of my recent work (then drop me a line at if you'd like to discuss).

House portraits are available to order now from my Etsy shop.

p.s. If you'd like to order an illustration as a Mother's Day gift, please place your order/contact me TODAY in order to ensure I can get it to you in time - thanks!

An American Dream?

Art, Exhibition, London, ReviewKate Marsden

I had a very early start yesterday... I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a preview of a new exhibition which opens at The British Museum tomorrow (Thursday 9 March) - The American Dream: Pop to the Present.

I jumped at the chance to go to the preview, and then started wondering if it could possibly live up to the exhibition I always go back to... my first ever experience of a major London exhibition (American Art in the 20th Century at the Royal Academy in 1993 - yes, I really am that old). Well, 24 years have passed, and maybe it's a little cliched to like pop art nowadays, but I'm not ashamed to say I do. Never really been one to follow trends after all...! Oh, and there was one other thing on my mind - what was this exhibition doing in the British Museum of all places?

Well, it promises something a little different as it's approached from a printmaking angle - so none of the big canvasses - but some jolly large prints. The exhibition was conceived following a popular show of early 20th century prints at the museum nearly a decade ago - the team spent the next few years building a collection of American prints from the 1960s onwards - many of which were so large in scale they had to wait for new refurbished gallery space to be completed before holding an exhibition, but I think it was worth the wait.

So it's absolutely not just about pop art - although you do launch straight in with that in quite a big way. I love how the spaces have been put together, with bold colours on the walls and cut out windows giving a glimpse into the other parts of the gallery - it's definitely a must for fans of colour. Lots of printmaking techniques on display too, which is great to see - there's even a little screen printing demo video (projected onto a table so you're looking down on it, as you would be if you were doing it yourself).

The exhibition feels quite timely as we're all so focused on the US at the moment - for me in particular as it ties in with my new collection (and as I visited twice last autumn). For once I watched a whole video (I'm not a massive fan of video in exhibitions, not really sure why) and it was fantastic in both capturing the spirit of the exhibition itself and America generally - even if it did leave me a little sad, questioning where things will go next (although I'm sure as always that great art will come out of the current situation).

Allow plenty of time as you'll need it - I spent an hour and a half looking around and could easily (and quite happily) go back again. It's also caused me to view the British Museum a little differently, and I'm assuming that was one of their aims - I don't tend to associate it with modern art exhibitions, but a significant percentage of the works on display are from the museum's collection (albeit that many have been amassed relatively recently). I'm interested to see what future exhibitions they have planned for these rather nice galleries.

The American Dream: Pop to the Present is at The British Museum from 9 March - 18 June 2017. Find our more here.

Month in the Life - February

Month in the LifeKate Marsden

February was all about the new stuff (oh and half term). Here's a little roundup of my best bits...

Lots of illustration and portfolio updates.

A day out at Collect.

And.... tote bag kits! Phew.

Catching up on the Just A Card blog.

Going back to yoga.

Launching my house illustrations.

10 Holiday Spots to Inspire My Creativity

Architecture, Art, Inspiration, TravelKate Marsden

It's been brought to my attention that I'm back on the travelling bandwagon after being put off the idea of long flights and traipsing around with a small child. Last year we took the 6 year old to the US (not planning to head over there this year...) and discovered that long flights aren't really much worse than short ones!

So, while thinking about ideas for this year, I started raking through the old photos and realised that I've been jolly lucky to visit so many really inspiring places. Here are just 10 of my favourite cities/places (where possible I've narrowed down to an actual gallery or museum but I haven't always managed it! I could write separate posts about each one...).

1. 798 Art District, Beijung

This one was a long time ago - 10 years in the autumn. The 798 Art District utilises old industrial buildings and warehouses and forms a series of galliery spaces over quite a wide area. We had a bit of an adventure getting there (any taxi ride in Beijing is an adventure, unless you can speak Chinese of course) but absolutely loved it once we got there. Recently I was reminded of this area when I went to Hull as the new art district there has a similar feel (albeit much much smaller).

2. Paris Metro

OK, EVERYTHING in Paris is inspiring (pretty much) but I love the Metro. Living in London I really appreciate the uniformity of the London Underground, the design of the roundel, the Beck map, but Paris' quirky stations are just so much fun. I love the silly plastic chairs spaced out across the platform - the fact that every station is different but they all smell the same.... I'm a bit odd I know.

3. Houses in Reykjavik

Painted wooden houses on every street, street names you can't pronounce, pretty rooftops.... Reykjavik's architecture is a Scandinavian feast for the eyes. Definitely somewhere I want to go back to. 

4. The Atmosphere in Berlin

I can't narrow it down to any one spot in Berlin - the place just felt different. Nothing like anywhere else I'd been. Creativity on every corner but not always obvious - vague I know but you need to trust me on this one! Somewhere I could see myself living if I could brush up my GCSE German...

5. Parc Guell, Barcelona

Another city where every corner is stuffed with inspiration and gorgeousness... Parc Guell is a little like a Gaudi theme park without the rides though so that's why I've included it here. I'm not normally into mosaics but I was on this trip (and drawing them for weeks afterwards). The added bonus of Parc Guell is that you have to climb up such a massive hill to get there (great view though) that you get to collapse in a sweaty heap with a sense of achievement!

6. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Again, living in London you're kind of spoilt for amazing gallery spaces but I loved the Stedelijk. This spot above was my favourite, but the art was amazing too (which included a great textile art gallery when we visited - not sure if it was permanent). It also has a wonderful shop and I defy anyone to come out empty handed.

7. MoMA, New York

Can't miss this baby off! Probably my favourite gallery in the world. The only place we've been to every time we've visited New York (and it looks lovely in the fall - I took this picture back in November). I always forget how huge the place is and that you could spend all day and always discover new (to me) artists.

8. Japan (yes, generally)

So like Berlin but a lot bigger!!! A trip to Japan is non-stop sensory overload. Almost too much to take in. The modern architecture, the history, the lucky cats... I must go on about it quite a bit as the little man keeps asking us to take him there (apparently the fact that he was there last time, albeit in bump form, doesn't count!) and I'd love to go back, if only to be able to eat raw fish this time!

9. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

When I put out a call on Twitter last autumn for Boston recommendations this place came up time and time again. Helped by the fact that the garden is undercover (and we visited on a very nasty wet and windy day) it was a wonderful oasis. Pretty sure if I lived in Boston it'd be my equivalent of Tate (even if the contents are a little different - wonderfully eclectic) as in I'd be there all the time - I expect they have some kind of a membership option.

10. London's South Bank

And back home. Despite travelling around a fair bit I really don't think anywhere beats London. I could write a weekly post on inspiring spots! But when push comes to shove you can always find me on the South Bank, and not just because it includes my favourite buildings (National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall). I like being by the river, walking through the little avenue of trees, seeing the book stalls, visiting Tate Modern and then roaming around Borough Market. In fact I'm getting the urge to pop into town right now...




House of Cards

Books, Craft, Inspiration, Paper, Review, TutorialsKate Marsden

If you read the Just A Card blog (which I also write) you'll be aware that the marvelous Sarah Hamilton has written a rather lovely book, and here it is!

I had to wait a little longer to get my hands on my copy as I was away over half term but it was worth the wait! It's a gorgeous hardback book full of beautiful images and inspiration, oh and features one of my cards too - can you spot it?!

Image (c) Kirsty Noble

Image (c) Kirsty Noble

Apart from a feast for the eyes, the book contains lots of useful stuff too - 10 tutorials by some of my favourite folks including Gabriela Szulman, Anna Jackson and Sarah herself, plus tips on finding inspiration, selling your handmade cards and licensing your designs and more.

I need to sit down and have a good read, although it's already inspiring me to get my lino cutting stuff out again...

House of Cards by Sarah Hamilton is published by Pavilion Books and it's out now!

If you already have a copy of the book, Sarah will love you forever if you leave an Amazon review - you can do so here!

This is not a sponsored post.

Hull 2017 - UK City of Culture

Architecture, Art, Events, Exhibition, TravelKate Marsden

At half term we visited Hull for the first time. Despite living not much more than an hour away for the whole of my teens, I'd never been. Hull doesn't have the best of reputations but this year it's the UK City of Culture and it's clear to see that the place is on the up.

Our first stop was the newly refurbished Ferens Gallery where we got to enjoy the 2017 Open Exhibition (frequented by none other than Charles and Camilla the previous week - if you like that sort of thing!). I was very tempted to buy a painting myself but managed to find some restraint from somewhere.

Ferrens 2017 Open Exhibition

Ferrens 2017 Open Exhibition

Having never visited before, I can't say how the gallery has improved but they certainly seem to have done a very nice job of the refurb. Hull's half term week was the week after ours so the little man wasn't able to take part in any of their half term activities but the things they were offering looked really good. 

Step outside the Ferrens, and you walk into the blade from a wind turbine...

Apparently this was a surprise (the people of Hull woke one morning and there it was!). The blade has been provided and installed by Siemens who are based nearby and it's a really dramatic addition to the square - I hear it's only due to be there for a few more weeks, before they replace with something else. 

Following a pizza lunch, we headed down to the marina and for a wander around the new cultural quarter - the Fruit Market. Lots of building work going on down there still but I think it'll be really good in a few months time. We stopped off at the Humber Street Gallery which had only opened the previous week. 

Sarah Lucas at the Humber Street Gallery

Sarah Lucas at the Humber Street Gallery

There were plenty of photo opportunities on Humber Street itself...

We then had a little stroll by the riverfront before heading back through the Old Town to the car...

So we had a very good day and may venture back in the summer! You can find out more about Hull 2017 and the planned events on their website here

My New Spring Collection!

Pattern Design, Products, Shopping, Textiles, TravelKate Marsden

It's finally here! My new Spring collection launches today and is available now from my website and Etsy shop.

The new collection is inspired by my travels last year - in particular my trips to Paris and New York - I really hope you like it!

I've designed four new patterns which can be found on fabrics by the metre and fat quarter, notebooks, travelcard wallets, home accessories and some new prints. Do pop over to the shop(s) and let me know what you think!

Day in the life – Emma Cottam, C&E Designs

Day in the Life, Events, PaperKate Marsden

It's day in the life time! This week I'm handing the post over to my new blog sponsor* Emma Cottam of C&E Designs. Emma creates bespoke paper craft, and here she shares her experience at a recent wedding fayre...

Today is Sunday and the day begins with an early wake up. I also work full time alongside C&E Designs so the weekend is when I get the most time to spend doing C&E things. Today I’ve woken up at 7am and headed straight to my craft room to make sure everything is ready for the Wedding Fayre we have today.

I check through all our items to make sure that everything is there, especially the new bouquets we have been working on. The cats (Pippin and Luna) have also had a nosey and seem happy too! I won’t share any photographs of the craft room as it is currently rather messy and awaiting some new storage.

After making sure everything is together and ready to go I head for a shower, get dressed and then go and make myself some breakfast. On today’s menu is a smoothie made with avocado, banana, berries and coconut water, the perfect start to my day.

Smoothie in hand I head back to the craft room to work through some of the orders that have been placed for Valentine’s Day. I’ve mostly been working on roses this year for orders and there will be some very lucky ladies this Valentine’s Day!

It’s now around 10:00am and time to head to the Wedding Fayre. Me and Mr C&E load the car and set off to the Fayre, which is about a 40 minute drive from our home in Lancashire.

We arrive at the Wedding Fayre around 10:40am and start to unload the car. For this Wedding Fayre I have tons of new items including chair decorations, paper confetti, paper confetti cones and paper flower kits, so it takes me a little longer than normal to set up. Whilst I set up Mr C&E captures some shots of me working hard setting up the stall.

The stall is set up around 11:45am (yes that took me a long time!) so we quickly get ourselves a hot drink as its rather cold today and have a quick bite to eat before the brides and grooms arrive at 12pm.

From 12 – 3pm my afternoon is spent talking to some lovely brides and grooms to be about what C&E Designs can offer them for their special day and talking through some creative ideas. As well as talking with brides and grooms to be, I also hand out information with a voucher for a discount on the wedding packages, information to book a free consultation and I also take the details of those who would like us to send the Wedding Packages information over. When I get home from the Wedding Fayre, I will email all the brides and grooms to be with this information.

It’s now 3pm and the Wedding Fayre has finished so it is now time to start packing up. Whilst Mr C&E goes and gets the car I start packing up, this can take some time to ensure everything is packed away safely and ready for the next Fayre.

With everything packed up we head home to rest and make tea. We arrive home around 4pm and unpack the car.

I’ve had a lovely day and now its time to relax and watch a film.


*This is a sponsored post - you can find out more about Emma via the ad in my sidebar. 



Look Lane

Products, ShoppingKate Marsden

A couple of weeks ago a brand new site opened and I have a little shop, isn't it cute?!

Look Lane is the brainchild of Debbie Ingle of Duck and Dufflel, who I've known for a few years. Debbie wanted to create a different kind of online shopping experience which is more akin to actual in person shopping - hence the little shops and the "Lanes" inspired by Brighton.

A lot of time and effort has gone into making the site just right and it certainly does have a different look and feel to the other platforms we're all familiar with.

Here's a quote from Debbie:

‘All the Look Lane team love shopping in cool markets, browsing beautiful things in incredible stores like Liberty’s or mooching through the lanes in Brighton where you can shop across brands and discover amazing new products without ever really knowing what you are looking for. What we wanted to do with Look Lane is to replicate that shopping experience as you browse and discover shops and products.  A place where beautiful must have items are glimpsed through the windows of shop fronts as unique as their creators.  We wanted to make a world for all things authentic and hand-made.’

It's certainly not as overwhelming as a lot of the other sites out there and from my point of view I really loved having the little shopfront to play with! I'll be updating it with the seasons...

My full collection (except for fabrics) is available on the site - do go and check it out and let us know what you think!

Make Your Own Tote Bag!

Craft, Products, Sewing, Textiles, Tutorials, WorkshopsKate Marsden

The latest new addition to the shop is a tote bag making kit! This is a full kit to make one of the bags you may have seen being stitched at my workshops, and it includes everything you need (except for scissors, pins and an iron!).

The kits are now available in my Etsy shop and you can choose any of my in stock fabrics in order to make it your own.

A nice little treat for yourself or a great gift for a crafty friend - they're so simple that even people who say they can't sew can make them! No need for a sewing machine as they can be hand stitched (as they are in my workshops).

Mrs Dalloway

Art, Books, DrawingKate Marsden

More experiments! I decided to try my hand at illustrating a new cover for my favourite book - Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Inspired by the first line of the novel "Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself", and my love of peonies (come on peony season!).

Peony close up.... Thinking this could make a nice pattern.

Collect 2017

Art, Ceramics, Craft, Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, London, TextilesKate Marsden

The last time I'd visited the Collect Art Fair was back in it's pre-Saatchi Gallery days when my son was a tiny baby, but this year I was lucky enough to win a VIP ticket giveaway run by Young Gold Teeth and Newby Teas - so I headed off down there on the Saturday to explore. 

Sabine Lintzen at Vessel Gallery

Sabine Lintzen at Vessel Gallery

Collect is an Art Fair for Contemporary Objects and Craft so it's right up my street - spread over three floors of the rather fabulous Saatchi Gallery it was definitely a treat for the eyes! I think the event has come on a long way in the last 6 years or so since my previous visits and it certainly didn't disappoint. Unfortunately I missed the evening preview (and goodie bag) as I didn't have childcare, and didn't make it to any of the talks, but if you have more time and flexibility than I do you can certainly make a whole day of it.

Here are images of some of my favourites from the day - keep an eye on the Crafts Council website for the dates for next year!

David Gates at Sarah Myerscough Gallery

David Gates at Sarah Myerscough Gallery

Tony Hayward at Petronilla Silver

Tony Hayward at Petronilla Silver

Richard McVetis

Richard McVetis

Tanya Gomez

Tanya Gomez

Kate Malone

Kate Malone

Marian Bijlenga at Flow Gallery

Marian Bijlenga at Flow Gallery

Julie Massie

Julie Massie

Julie Massie

Julie Massie

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen

Malene Hartmann Rasmussen

Jo Taylor at Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Jo Taylor at Cynthia Corbett Gallery



Make a Lampshade!

Craft, Events, London, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

I'm really excited that I'll be back at Love Art in Tooting to teach a lampshade making workshop on Saturday 4 March.

You definitely get that "did I really make this?!" feeling when you finish your first lampshade - you also get to look at it every day in your home and feel really chuffed with yourself!

Included in the price of the workshop is everything you need to make a 20cm diameter lampshade (as seen here) in one of my fabrics (although there is the option to supply your own fabric if you prefer) AND a glass of wine from Unwind in Tooting Market (a rather nice little wine bar!).

You can book now via the Love Art website and at the time of writing there are only a couple of spaces left, so be quick! Looking forward to seeing lots of lovely lampshades!

Concrete Fans Rejoice!

Books, Craft, Inspiration, Interiors, Review, TutorialsKate Marsden

The perfect mix of two of my favourite things, craft and concrete, arrived on my doorstep last week (literally, thanks Mr Postman - I was in...) in the form of my review copy* of uber craft and interiors blogger Hester van Overbeek's new book. Here it is, (it made me squeek a little when I opened the envelope!)...

You may be surprised to hear that for someone whose such a big fan of the grey stuff, I've never tried my hand at making something out of concrete (Mr M made concrete gnomes one freezing November in the 1990s for a Young Enterprise project - the memory of which has left his hands feeling rather cold - so one of us has experience!).

I just needed an excuse (and some ideas to start with in order to save me getting very very messy for nothing) and it's as if Hester read my mind. The book has lots of ideas (well 35 to be precise) some of which are small and simple, others a bit bigger and messier - so there's something for everyone. Three projects caught my eye immediately:

This bowl is just gorgeous and I know it'd look fantastic on my garden table (which is below my son's bedroom window so I'll get to have a birds eye view of the lovely pattern too - maybe in yellow?). There's a rather nice looking canopy with lights too, which is a rather more involved project but would also look fab on the patio...

Then I jump straight into furniture!

Just look at this table! I would pay good money for one of these and it actually looks pretty straightforward (heads out to buy copper pipes...).

And another bowl (but this time of the indoor variety) - I love the combination of the wood with the concrete (and I already have a wooden bowl like this - just not sure Mr M will let me pour concrete onto it but let's see!).

As I've said before, I'm not terribly good at following instructions in craft books and I like to go off and do my own thing, and I may well do that with some of the things in this book. But as a person who's never worked with concrete before this is a massively useful starting point. The wide variety of projects in the book enable you to see how the concrete behaves in different situations and will undoubtedly help when planning other projects.

Now I just need to pop off to B&Q and then wait for the sun to come out so I can avoid those freezing hands!

Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and Platters by Hester van Overbeek was published yesterday (7 February 2017) by CICO books, RRP £12.99. Buy your copy from Make etc and receive 20% off with discount code CONCRETE20. 

*I received this book for review purposes. All opinions are my own. The link above is NOT an affiliate link.



Month in the Life - January

Month in the LifeKate Marsden

Well, that was a bit brutal. January was a tough month in more ways than one, not helped in my case by the fact that I was ill (twice!). There were a few bright points though and here are some of my highlights...

Starting off with some positive planning...

My first visit to the new Design Museum.

A lovely lunch with June Chanpoomidole of June Sees.

Working on the photography (again!).

Oysters in Whitstable.

Lots of sketching.