Made By Mrs M

Pattern Design

Orla Kiely - A Life in Pattern

Exhibition, Fashion, Inspiration, London, Pattern Design, Review, TextilesKate Marsden

Like many people I ADORE Orla Kiely... I'd been excited about the exhibition at London's Fashion & Textile Museum ever since I found out about it last year and I booked my ticket months ago!

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And I'm pleased to say it didn't dissappoint - the only alarming thing being the realisaton that I've owned rather more Orla Kiely things over the past 20 years than I'd realised (my poor bank balance!).

The exhibition is something of a visual feast and anyone with an interest in fashion, or pattern will just love it - I even had a turning a corner and gasping moment, which was nice (I won't spoil that one for you!).

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The designer's whole career is covered in the stylish, colourful and exuberant manner you would expect - I didn't know which way to look. If anything I came away having fallen for her work even more.

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Upon leaving the exhibition the shop is almost impossible to resist, as I'm sure you can imagine!

Orla Kiely: A Life In Pattern is at the Fashion & Textile Museum in London until 23 September 2018.

This is not a sponsored post.

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March Meet the Maker

Art, Business, Drawing, Inspiration, Painting, Paper, Pattern Design, Photography, Textiles, SketchbookKate Marsden

I had so much fun taking part in #marchmeetthemaker over on Instagram again this year. In case you haven't heard of it, it's an annual challenge organised by Joanne Hawker (who even won a Mollie Makes Award for it last year) where you post an image every day following prompts set by Joanne. It's a great way to meet new people and to share your work too. I've popped some of my photos from the month below, you can see them all (and the full captions) over on my Instagram.

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Back to School Part 2...

Drawing, Pattern DesignKate Marsden

The final two assignments for the Make it in Design Winter School tested me again! This time it was the advanced brief that I was really drawn to...

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Somewhat confusingly entitled Fauna Cyanotype (when there wasn't any Fauna in sight!!), I had fun turning my hand drawn motifs into a cyanotype style design.

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The intermediate brief was Kabuki's Kingdom, and for someone who's a fan of Japan, I found this really tricky! I came up with a lot of (substandard!) designs before settling on the one below.

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Now to take these experiments and apply them to new ideas for my shop (or not!)... I am working on some new things as I type so watch this space. As I mentioned back in the autumn, I'm not planning a full new collection launch this spring but there will be a few bits and bobs, including new fabric!

See how I got on with the first Winter School briefs here.

A Portfolio Boost...

Books, Pattern Design, Paper, Sewing, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

I've not just been working on some interesting (and quite different) industry led briefs in the Winter School this month, I've been woring on some of my own ideas too (and entering some competitions - more on those another time).

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For serveral months, I've been noting down any ideas for little things I could work on to enable me to add some more varied work, and I've started going through that list. The first, which I completed last week, is a cover for one of my favourite books. I went so far as to make an actual mock up of the completed jacket! I give you To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf...

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It's just printed onto bog standard paper so the colour representation isn't perfect. Here's the pattern I produced, which is a reworked and recoloured version of one I worked on about 3 years ago...

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I've added some more images of the mock up at the end of this post.

Back in October at the Knitting & Stitching Show I took part in a Gelli printing workshop which was great fun (and messy - I rarely get messy nowadays and that needs remedying!). I asked for a Gelli plate for Christmas and I finally cracked that out for a play a couple of weeks ago and did lots of lovely, messy printing!

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I'm keen to play with more texture in my pattern designs, but I'm also thinking of producing a short run of monoprints for my Etsy shop. Let's see...

A couple of weeks ago I made some dolls, inspured by the ladies I used to draw when I was studying fashion. This was also really good fun - even if I did make a few mistakes in the planning stages - I'm going to get some more printed up and I'll be making them soon.

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So at the moment I seem to have gone from complete drought to ideas overload (and I think this is a good thing!). For once I'm allowing myself to go off on a bit of a tangent, before I get all sensible again and start to reign it in! I'll no doubt be sharing yet more new things soon, so watch this space.

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Back to School...

Inspiration, London, Pattern DesignKate Marsden

In the interests of boosting the portfolio, I signed up to the Make it in Design Winter School. I took part in their summer school several years ago (when the little man was still at nursery, so I actually had some time to myself in the summer holidays!) and found it useful, so I thought this might be a nice kickstart for 2018...

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Winter School is split into three tracks - Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced, and I signed up to both the Intermediate and Advanced briefs. What's particularly nice is the fact that you get a detailed brief, which may be radically different to the kind of work you usualy produce (it certainly is in my case anyway!) and it's great for pushing you out of your comfort zone and adding new and interesting work to the portfolio.

I submitted my first pieces last week, and by the time you're reading this I expect I'll be cracking on with the next ones. I most enjoyed the Intermediate brief on this occassion, as I really stuggled to get inspired by the advanced one (the theme for that was American Prairie - very similar to something I'd worked on before, and I'd stuggled to find anything to interest me then - this time was no better!). The intermediate brief still pushed me out of the old comfort zone though, as it was florals (the theme was Bright Blooms), and as we all know... I don't do florals!

I submitted the main blue design shown above and below, but also worked up a few others to accompany it, shown here...

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As I mentioned, inspiration for the advanced brief was not forthcoming...! I did manage to pull one design together though - the only thing I could get even vaguely excited about was looking at quilts, so here's my submitted design on a room set mock up (it includes some drawn quilting stitches which aren't terribly clear in this image)...

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In addition to the main creative briefs, we're also set some shorter exercises. For the intermediate track, the first one of these was to create a colour pallet inspired by the current season wherever we are. So here's mine, taken from my photo of Notting Hill a couple of weeks ago.

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And for advanced, we were encouraged to make our own washi tape. I ran out of time to paint up pieces of tissue etc but had a go with some offcuts of my Battersea fabric...

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Keep your eyes out for another post in a couple of weeks sharing how I got on with the second set of briefs.

So far, I'm considering working up a full quilting fabric collection based on Bright Blooms, and also thinking about designing a Notting Hill pattern. Watch this space!

Floor Goals

Inspiration, Interiors, Pattern Design, Products, ReviewKate Marsden

I received some flooring samples from Atra Floor a few months ago (you can read all about them here) and they were fab. However my eyes lit up when I saw their new Flower Power Fauvism collection. They kindly send me a sample of my favourite to share with you and I've been having lots of fun with it!

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 Image (c) Atra Floor

Image (c) Atra Floor

The collection is inspired by Fauvism and featured gorgeous hand painted flowers and leaves. My sample is now sitting in my studio in the manner of a rug (and even like that and surrounded by the chaos it looks wonderful!) - I see many a future flatlay (and dream of replacing the carpet with it)...

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 Image (c) Atra Floor

Image (c) Atra Floor

I went for the Mimi colourway but it comes in lots of other options.

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Image (c) Atra Floor

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*I was not paid to write this post, however the samples were sent to me free of charge. All opinions are my own.

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

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.

Playtime! Or thinking about a new floor for the kitchen...

Inspiration, Interiors, Pattern Design, Products, Review, ShoppingKate Marsden

Now you know I like bright colours, and I'm parital to pattern (a slight understatement!), but I'm generally a fan of neutral stuff on the floor. Having said that my patterned tiled flooring in the hallway is almost famous (and is complemented by pretty much everyone who sees it), and downstairs certainly wipe clean is my main priority.

I stumbled upon AtraFloor as a result of my search for wallpaper for the little man's bedroom (the company make murals too) and when they offered to send me some samples* of their vinyl flooring to share here I jumped at the chance! I chose three designs, partly because these were the ones that leapt out the most on the day, but also because I'm in "thinking about the kitchen mode" and I really can't stand the tiles in there.

I'll start with my favourite - I love this design so much! I think this needs to be used in a fairly large space (like my kitchen!) in order to show the pattern off properly. I can see myself using this sample as a backdrop so watch this space!

The daisies made me feel very retro... As this is a smaller scale print I'm thinking that this would look great in the downstairs loo or a shower room. Reminding you of summer all year round...

The final one is probably my least favourite but only because it's a little less in your face (so it's probably their best seller!) - nice and calming though and made me think of a yoga studio or somewhere to relax.

The samples are nice and thick and spongy so would work really well in playrooms, bedrooms and other areas too (just take your stilettos off before walking on them!) and their range is actually huge - made possible as they're all print to order.

Now to try and persuade Mr M that we need vinyl in the kitchen...

*I was not paid to write this post, however the samples were sent to me free of charge. All opinions are my own.

A Tour of My Studio

Art, Events, London, Inspiration, Pattern Design, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

I've been sharing lots of studios ahead of Carshalton Artists Open Studios (links to all of these are at the end of this post), but hadn't shared mine. Partly because I won't be opening it! My studio is upstairs in my house (and just off the map for CAOS as well) so it wasn't going to happen. Anyway, here is a little look at the studio I won't be opening, but a taste of what you can expect to see when I pop up at Claire Chandler's...

The room is pretty small! The last time I shared my studio I didn't have the little IKEA plan chest in the shot above - this is a pretty useful size as it comfortably takes A3 sheets (I mostly work on A3 as it doesn't take up too much space and is small enough to scan), I also worked from a computer in another room. But now I have my laptop I can work in here (almost) all the time!

My storage isn't particularly pretty (the white unit has been in here for years, the brown one on top was in the little man's room before his refurb) but there's quite a lot of it now and it does the job.

One of the reasons for the clutter is that I like to have colourful, inspiring things around me all the time - the combination of that and a small room is asking for trouble! I still dream of that larger studio at the end of the garden one day, but it won't be happening in the near future!

I will be attepting to create a miniature pop-up version of my studio at 133a Stanley Park Road as part of Carshalton Artists Open Studios on 24/25 June and 1/2 July. Find out all about the open studios and the artists involved here.

You can catch up on my previous studio tour posts below.

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Kendra Haste
Simon Burder
Claire Chandler

Lampshades Galore!

Craft, Events, London, Painting, Pattern Design, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

A little reminder post for you today - I have two (completely different) lamphade workshops coming up, one of which is this weekend, and there are still a few spaces available!

First up, this Saturday I will be heading back to Tooting...

I'll be back at Love Art to repeat the really successful lampshade workshop I ran in March (which was fully booked last time folks so get booking before you miss out!). In this workshop you'll learn to make a lampshade using one of my fabrics, or you can bring your own - find all the details here.

My full day workshop at Art Rebellion in Coulsdon, has unfortunately been rescheduled, and will now be on Sunday 17 September. There was a lot of interest in this one, so hopefully the change of date will mean your diaries are clear!

During this workshop you will design, paint and make a completely unique lampshade. You can do something along the lines of mine above, paint a scene, flowers, buildings, whatever you like! It's set to be really good fun, and a tiny bit messy - includes lunch from Art Rebellion's wonderful cafe - find out more here.

For details of all my upcoming events head to the workshops and events page.

Coming Up...

Art, Craft, Events, Inspiration, London, Painting, Pattern Design, Sewing, Shopping, Studios, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

A little roundup of my upcoming events for you today - there are lots of opportunities to get crafty and to shop over the next couple of months!

First up, this Saturday 6 May I return to Crafty Fox Market for my first market of the year. This one is at a new (to me) venue in Bethnal Green - it looks gorgeous and there will be 75+ makers to shop with and workshops too! 11am - 5pm at Oval Space.

Then it's my next workshop - I'll be making lampshades again at Love Art in Tooting on Saturday 27 May - make sure you book this one as it was popular last time!

The following day, Sunday 28 May, I'll be teaching you how to design, paint AND make your own lampshade at Art Rebellion in Coulsdon - this one will be really fun, a little messy and includes lunch!

On Satuday 17 June, as part of the launch of Creative Happy London, I'll be spending the day at Gabriela Szulman's studio in Camberwell teaching three stitched jewellery workshops - you can choose from 10am, 12noon or 2pm start times (and you can save a whopping 50% on the workshop fee with the code camberwellfest so what's stopping you?!).

We then have 2 full weekends of Carshalton Artists Open Studios! I'm really excited to be involved in this inaugural event - you can find me popping up at 133a Stanley Park Road - find all the details here (and catch up on my studio tour posts here and here).

Barely time to breathe, and then the next Saturday 8 July, I'm back in Tooting to teach the stitched jewellery workshop at Love Art.

And back to Camberwell on Saturday 15 July for more Creative Happy London fun! I'll be teaching two workshops on this day - hand stitched tote bags and lampshades. Bookings open soon.

Then it's the summer holidays... phew! So plenty of opportunities to get involved with something coming up - get your diaries out and get booking!

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.

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.

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!

A New Look (and win a print!)

Business, Giveaways, Pattern DesignKate Marsden

I'm really excited to be able to share my new branding with you - ta dah!

The new look has been in the pipeline for quite a while (It was last summer that I started thinking about it), but everything has finally come together over the last few weeks. I had a germ of an idea and the wonderful Sarah Cowan of Lettica stepped in to provide me with some help and guidance, enabling me to do most of the actual work myself. Sarah was amazing and really made me think differently about my ideas. I really can't recommend her enough if you need help with graphic design work. You can find her website and portfolio here.

I've put together a whole range of rebranded items (when originally all I wanted was a logo, but I couldn't just leave it at that!). My branding now has a stronger mid-century feel and I think it fits in a lot better with my designs and suits my personality too.

To celebrate the launch of my new branding I'm giving away one of my new Paris prints!

THE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED - THANKS FOR ENTERING!

You can find out more about the print here. Just head over here to enter. The giveaway is open to UK RESIDENTS ONLY and runs until midnight on Tuesday 31 January 2017. Good luck!

Paris is Always a Good Idea...

Architecture, Art, Drawing, Pattern Design, Products, TravelKate Marsden

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will probably have seen my new Paris prints...

With a nod towards my new Spring collection (coming soon folks), the prints come in a colourful dotty version or a more subtle pink (and actually look great displayed together as a set). I also think they'd male a lovely Valentines gift.

I've also been playing with some hyperlapse videos over the past week or so - here you can see me doodling some similar polka dots...

While you're taking a look at the shop it's also worth noting that the sale ends TOMORROW MORNING (Thursday). There are now final reductions with all sale items priced between £1-£10 so why not treat yourself to a little something. You can find the January Sale section of my Etsy shop here. GET AN EXTRA 10% OFF (sale items only) UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (18 January) WITH CODE "LASTORDERS".

A New Toy and A New Design

Architecture, Pattern Design, Review, TravelKate Marsden

I have a new toy for Christmas (and yes, I have it early because I bought it myself) - a light box. Now I've been after one for a while but for some reason I expected them to be really expensive - this is the one I went for after several people recommended it. It arrived at the beginning of the month and I got to work with it as soon as I had an opportunity.

The Chrysler Building drawing - which I produced a couple of months ago and is available as a print here - was always intended as the first image for a new pattern and that's what I started work on. The light box is simple to use (so simple it came without instructions!) and does exactly what I'd hoped. It'd been an age since I'd last used one so I forgot about the blinding light induced headache (don't work on it for hours in one go Kate...) but other than the fact that it'd warmed up a little by the time I'd finished it was good and I'm glad I went for that one.

So you want to see the rest of the images, yes?

Well, I haven't been featuring enough street furniture in my designs recently... This one way sign just screamed at me as I walked past it (helped by the fact that it was in front of a yellow building and a blue sky....

I also added the Flatiron and the Lincoln Center...

Now this is a first draft, which needs colouring, but I thought I'd share as I've had so many people asking about it! Just a flavour of what you can expect in my Spring 2017 collection!

You can get updates (and find out when the collection is available) straight to your inbox if you join my mailing list.

Win a Copy of Designing Textiles in the Mid 20th Century

Books, Giveaways, Pattern Design, Review, TextilesKate Marsden

Giveaway time!

The folks at The Book Guild recently sent me a copy of this rather lovely little book by Rosemary Sassoon, who worked as a textile designer in the middle of the last century - at a time when you weren't credited for your work and it was even harder than it is today to make a name for yourself.

What makes the book particularly nice is that it's written by Rosemary herself, in her own voice (and actually reminds me a little of my grandmother). Rosemary only managed to retain a handful of examples of her work (for the most part they were sent away and that was the last she ever saw of them - it was even rarer for her to ever see her designs on the fabrics themselves).

There's a wide selection of work - both very traditional and that which is in the mid-century style we're more used to. It acts as a reminder that what we all think of as mid-century wasn't what most homes looked like by any means!

 The book contains images of Rosemary's work alongside other designers of the time, including Lucienne Day

The book contains images of Rosemary's work alongside other designers of the time, including Lucienne Day

Designing Textiles in the Mid 20th Century by Rosemary Sassoon is published by The Book Guild and available here.

And the good news is that I have a copy of the book to give away! Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. UK entries only please and please make sure you have met the entry requirements as all entries will be checked and verified! The giveaway is open now and closes at midnight on 22 November. Good luck!

Patternmash - Prairie Lands

Pattern DesignKate Marsden

September's Patternmash theme was Prairie Lands, and in true I have way too much to do fashion, I managed to find time to submit some designs!

So we're talking feminine but functional, Little House on the Prairie, wood cabins, florals, fields,,,

I decided it'd be a good opportunity to play with my hand drawn patterns and here's what I came up with:

I'm pretty happy with how the first image has turned out - I might need to continue to play with this technique.

You can see the rest of the projects in my Patternmash portfolio here and the other Prairie Lands submissions here.