Made By Mrs M

Coming up!

Craft, Events, London, Sewing, Shopping, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

I have lots of exciting events coming up over the next few months (see my events page for the full list) but I thought I'd share those which are in the next few weeks. First up, this weekend - my fourth annual trip to Thread Festival of Textiles!

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Thread is wonderful - like a more relaxed, smaller version of the Knitting & Stitching Show. I'll be setting up stall in the Great Hall - do come along, say hello and take a look at my new collection.

Then next Saturday 7 October I will be running not one but two workshops at Creative Happy London in Camberwell...

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Lampshade Making in the morning and Tote Bags in the afternoon.

Finally I'll be back at Love Art in Tooting on Saturday 14th for more lamphade related fun!

All workshops are booking now - I hope to see you soon!

Warhol in Croydon? Yes, really...

Architecture, Art, Events, InspirationKate Marsden

During the walking tour I joined a couple of weeks ago, I was asked whether I think Croydon has changed over the years. As someone who has lived next door to the place for 7 years, I've gone from pretending I live in Sutton to proudly saying I live near Croydon, so I'm pretty sure that means it has. With no offence to Sutton (which SHOULD be really nice), it has a rather depressing, run down feel and very little is happening there (even my favourite restaurant has closed down and the cinema is shut for refurbishment, so there's really no reason to go at the moment), whereas Croydon feels a little bit exciting, as if more and more good things are about to happen.

I made a little Warhol inspired version of my Number One Croydon drawing! You can get hold of a copy here.

I made a little Warhol inspired version of my Number One Croydon drawing! You can get hold of a copy here.

This month something pretty exciting is happening... Warhol Croydon, organised by the rather amazing, street art supporting Rise Gallery, brings together an exhibition of original Warhol artwork to the gallery itself (yes, real Andy Warhols, in Croydon) alonside an exhibition of large scale contemporary artworks inspired by the great man.


So as I mentioned, I joined one of the free guided tours and had a brilliant time, and I can really recommend you try and get yourself booked on one before the event finishes at the end of the month. Do make sure you book though - there were loads of us on a Wednesday lunchtime so I'm sure the evenings and weekends get very busy!

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If you don't manage to book a tour, you can use the Warhol Croydon app and take yourself on it instead. There are also other free events available - head to the Warhol Croydon website for more information.


Walala X Play

Kate Marsden

Last month I popped over to North Greenwich to see the Camille Walala exhibiton at Now Gallery. The little man and I filled the full 15 minutes of our slot messing around and taking photos (there may have been some running involved and he narrowly avoided a telling off by the staff - didn't avoid one from me though!).

Here are just a few shots of the exhibition - make sure you pop over there and see it before it closes on the 24th. The exhibition is free but booking in advance is advised.


2 Minutes with... Hester van Overbeek

Blogging, Books, Craft, Inspiration, TutorialsKate Marsden

We’re heading to the seaside today to meet craft writer extraordinaire, and fellow concrete lover Hester van Overbeek

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

Hi! I’m Hester, a Dutchie living in the seaside town of Ramsgate, and I like to make things!

I’m a craft and DIY blogger on and write DIY books, books published so far are Furniture Hacks, Crafting with Mason Jars, Making Concrete Pots, Bowls and platters. My latest title Made with Salvaged Wood will be published in October. 

I love using materials I already have lying around so you could say I’m an up-cycler. The tutorials on my website are all interior based and range from small home accessories makes like plant pots and cushions to bigger build like a wardrobe made from old doors and a wood clad bed base. When I moved into my current home I documented the makeover from the tired stuck in the 90’s ex rental to the modern Scandi style homely home it is today. You can find a new video tutorial on my website every week.

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Why do you love what you do?

Whats better then looking at a piece of furniture in your house and think ‘I made that!’

Being your own boss is great as well, sometimes it seems like I work 22 hours a day but on lovely sunny days I can take a long coffee break and walk my dog Kermit on the beach. I’ve always been freelance (my previous career was doing makeup and hair on photo shoots for magazines and ads) so don’t even know what it’s like going into an office very day :)

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Out of all the different crafts and DIYs you’ve tried, which technique is your favourite?

I’ve tried every craft technique and besides knitting I love them all. There is just something about having to follow a knitting pattern so precisely that I sort of loose all interest. Which is weird as I like following instructions, love a flatpack assembly! ;)

If I have to choose I think wood will be my favourite material followed by fabric and concrete. Wood is so versatile and easy to work with, just make sure you measure twice before you saw. Same goes with fabric, I love using scrap bits of fabric and wood and turn them into new projects.

Concrete was a new material for me when I got commissioned for my Making Concrete book but it fast became a favourite. I’m not very patient so having to wait for the concrete to cure before seeing any results was a bit testing but the end results just give such a lovely industrial vibe to your interior.

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

Oh, that is a tricky one as there are so many possibilities. I’m slightly obsessed with Ikea (think I could easily live in their store) so anything with them would be amazing. How great would an Ikea hack kit be that you can buy with your flatpack!

I’m a magazine addict, a production in one on my fav’s would be absolutely amazing. At the moment I love Cereal, Kinfolk, the Magnolia Journal, Sweet Paul and Living magazine by my all time hero Martha Stewart.

An other collaboration that would be amazing is with a power tool brand, I’m on a mission to get more girls convertible in using power tools. There are some great DIY girls in the USA but over here its still a very male dominated environment (Builders are very surprised I do all the DIY in the house and not my boyfriend) I’m all for gender equality and hate the pink DIY tools and books some brands think we girls need

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What exciting plans do you have for the next year? 

I do a series on my blog called Meet the Maker in which I interview crafter makers and have a look around their studio or workshop. I haven’t done many video’s for this yet but there are a lot more planned in the next couple of months. 

My new book Made with Salvaged Wood is out in October and can’t wait to see what people think of it, it’s my favourite so far! All project are made from wood you might already have lying around in your shed, from bits you can find in a salvage yard and branched you can find in the forest.

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Thank you so much Hester! Read Hester’s blog here and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.




Month in the Life - August

Month in the LifeKate Marsden

I think frantic, but mostly fun, is probably the best way to describe last month! By the time we reached the end of the summer holidays we realised we'd only had two free days in six weeks. Back to school and work for a rest... Here are some of the best bits.

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Working on a logo for a band - this image didn't make the final cut!

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My birthday!

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A rainy trip to Winchester to visit friends - this photo was taken at Basingstoke Station.

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Back at the Olympic Park for the first time since 2012 for the World Athletics Championship.

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Sampling products for the new collection.

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Bumper fabric delivery (followed by bumper fat quarter prep...).

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New chair! And a new cushion from my new collection...

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Discovering the new Petersham Nurseries shop in Covent Garden.

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10th Anniversary Reading Festival weekend (might've met Ash... cough)!

Made By Mrs M at West Elm!

Events, Interiors, London, Products, ShoppingKate Marsden

I'm really excited to be back at the wonderful West Elm store on Tottenham Court Road this coming weekend 9/10 September.

If you haven't visited West Elm before, now's your chance! It's a lovely store with the nicest staff, and the added bonus of lots of mid-century inspired furniture (and good coffee).

I'll be popping up all day on Saturday and Sunday launching my brand new collection - all the usual bits and bobs will be available too. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!


West Elm is at 209 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PN and they're open from 10-7 on Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday.


Craft, WorkshopsKate Marsden

Back at the end of last month I popped down to Art Rebellion in Coulson to take part in a neon workshop with the lovely Becci of Ellbie Co. Now this wasn't a dangerous activity involving molten glass and gasses, but a rather more portable version using electroluminescent wire (or EL wire for short) - which is a copper wire coated in phosphor (so it glows when you put power through it - magic!).

I have to admit that at the start of the session I questioned how on earth it could possibly take the 4 hours which were allocated (although it did include lunch), however we soon found out that the early stages were quick but then it got fiddly! Becci recommended we go for something fairly simple so I ignored her and decided to write the word "lovely"...

You basically attach the EL wire to the aluminium wire (which I formed into the word in the images above) with lots and lots of little knots and then glue into place at the end. I think I could perhaps have been a tad neater with my knots as I did end up in a bit of a mess with the glue!

Ever impatient, I hung it up at home before it had dried properly but it's held together! At the moment it's hanging from the picture rail in my studio - suspended on more of the invisible thread - I'm still considering whether to mount it on something to finish it off. Excuse the rather grainy evening photo...

Ellbie Co also sell this as a kit (along with kits for lots of other things too) - you can see their website here.

This is not a sponsored post.

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.