Made By Mrs M


Recent Drawings

Drawing, Fashion, InspirationKate Marsden

I  always seem to end up going off on a bit of a tangent and playing with different ideas in these last couple of weeks before the summer holidays. Probably because business tends to be pretty slow, but at the same time I know I don't have much time left before commencing 6+ weeks of juggling!

This year has been no exception, and last week instead of working on things I actually needed to do (!!) I started a series of little drawings of ladies from magazines, as you do... Not sure if these will lead to anything else but they were certainly fun. Also a nice way to prove to myself that I haven't forgotten how to draw things that aren't buildings!

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New Commissions and a Special Offer

Architecture, Art, DrawingKate Marsden

I spent some time last week working on a couple of new illustration commissions. The first was for a set of three prints at A2 size - the first time I've produced prints at this scale.


Due to the way I work, this presented me with a bit of a challenge. I scan in my black ink line drawings and then colour the artwork digitally - however I only have an A4 scanner! So I had the opportunity to find and use another local small business for my scanning!

I'm over the moon with the finished prints which are shown above and I now just need to get them signed and sent off to the client. They're going to be hung as a set of 3 on her stairs and I can't wait to see a photo of them in situ.

I've also been working on a standard A4 house portrait. This one is still at the black and white stage while the client decides on her colour choices.


I've been offering a discount on my house portraits during open studios and have decided to extend this offer to everyone until next Sunday 15 July. Order any A4 or A3 illustration here and a 10% discount will be applied automatically.

If you'd like me to produce larger scale images or something completely different, do drop me a line to discuss. I can even put your house on fabric if you like!

Illustration for Uppercase Magazine

Art, DrawingKate Marsden

Those of you who've been with me here for a while may recall that a few years ago I was selected for inclusion in the beautiful Compendium of Craft and Creativity from Uppercase Magazine (sadly now out of print). This was really exciting for me, partly because it was the first time I'd been in a book, but also because I love Uppercase so much. It's a thing of beauty, so lovingly put together, and the book was no exception.

Despite this though I've always wanted to feature in the magazine itself, and I'm over the moon to say that one of my illustrations is in the new issue which is out this week!

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The brief was to illustrate your favourite packaging, and while French's mustard is not my favourite thing to eat, I do love the bottle (plus it's yellow of course!) so that's what I chose.


Keep an eye out for it in issue 38 of Uppercase (shown above). I just need to get my hands on a copy myself now...!

Less than a month to go until Open Studios!

Art, Ceramics, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Painting, StudiosKate Marsden

Preparatinos for this year's Carshalton Artists Open Studios are in full swing and everyone is working hard to bring you all some fabulous new work. I thought I'd take this opportunity to whet your appetites for the end of next month with a reminder of some of the wonderful studios I've toured for the blog. All of the artists featured here will be opening again this year so do come and visit us on 23/24 June and 30 June/1 July!

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Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge




A New Zine! The A-Z of British Buildings Part 1...

Architecture, Art, Books, Drawing, TravelKate Marsden

After the success of my Croydon zine last month, I decided to make another featuring the artwork from my A-Z project on Instagram! As I'm aiming to keep all of my zines short and sweet I've split the project into two, and so I give you A-M...


The zine features black and white images of my drawings - you can see them all on Instagram here - together with handwritten notes.


The locations in this first part are: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Coventry, Durham, Edinburgh, the Finsbury Estate (London), the Giant's Causeway, Harlow, Ironbridge, Johnstone, King's Lynn, Liverpool and Mancheser.


Once again this is a limited edition zine. You can get hold of your copy here.


The A-Z of British Buildings

Architecture, DrawingKate Marsden

I can't be without a project for long! I made the decision at the end of my 365 project that I wouldn't put too much pressure on myself to do anything big like that this year, but seeing everyone's 100 Day Projects happening at the moment had me itching to do something!

B is for Birmingham - The Rotunda

B is for Birmingham - The Rotunda

After the success of my little Croydon zine (still a couple left here) I hit on the idea of drawing a building for every letter of the alphabet, and so the A-Z of British Buildings was born! At the time of writing I've completed C and I'm about to embark on D - this isn't a daily project as such (although at times I'll probably post one a day) and I haven't set myself a time limit - but I would like to get it done before open studios at the end of June.

A is for Aberdeen University Library

A is for Aberdeen University Library

I do have plans for the majority of the letters (there isn't a UK town or City begining with X though so if anyone has any ideas for that please shout!!) but if there's somewhere in particular you'd like to see me draw please let me know. I've already had a couple of requests including the building below.

C is for Coventry Leisure Centre

C is for Coventry Leisure Centre

Keep your eyes on my Instagram account where I'm posting all of the images and check back here for updates along the way!

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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Square for Instagram_edited-1.jpg

A New Sketchbook!

Art, Drawing, Inspiration, SketchbookKate Marsden

Last week I took advantage of a moment of inspiration and bought myself a new sketchbook. The little man was planning an end of half term exhibition of all the things we'd made during the course of the week (including paper dragons, fimo dinosaurs and nature finds from my parent's garden!) and my main contribution ended up being the book. When we were out and about I picked up a set of coloured brush pens (which I'd never used before) and ended up having all sorts of fun. Here are a few images of the many pages I worked on. If you'd like to have a flick through it yourself, come and see me at Carshalton Artists Open Studios in the summer!


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 Well Timed Pick-me-up

Books, Craft, Drawing, Inspiration, Painting, ReviewKate Marsden

I've always felt that Emma Mitchell is very good at judging what people need and when - like the day I turned up at her beautiful cottage in Cambridgeshire, feeling a bit nervous about joining a bunch of people I didn't know for an intimate workshop at the dining table (it was ace by the way, you can read about it here) - I was handed tea in a beautiful handcrafted mug and the most delicious cake I've ever eaten. And so the ice was well and truly broken!


I think Emma was one of the first people I "met" on Twitter, long before she had the Instagram fame she has now achieved! So you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear there was a book in the pipeline. Well it's here now and has already been really popular (my pre-order copy took ages to come as it would appear that Amazon ran out!) - it's clear to see why.


The aim of Making WInter is to inspire us through the darker months with makes and bakes and colour - it reminds me in part of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady - a book which my Mum had when I was little and which I used to flick through regularly (while attempting to copy the drawings) - but obviously less of a diary and more of a modern take, with beautiful photography and lots more besides.


Any book which inspires me to bake has to be a success (although I have been thinking about that cake Emma made for nearly two years so I probably just needed a nudge) - I'm also thinking of getting the old crochet hook and yarn out again (if I can remember how to do it). I've realised how rarely I now craft for the sake of it rather than for a product or so I can write about it here.


I'm very much inspired by the idea of keeping a winter nature diary and I think this is something I should try doing with the little man - maybe we could both keep one! I spent an evening sitting on the sofa just flicking through the book and it made me want to get up and do something and I think that has to be a good thing...

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Making Winter by Emma Mitchell is published by LOM Art and is available now.

This is not a sponsored post.

Commissions for Christmas

Architecture, Drawing, ProductsKate Marsden

Yes, I know it's only October, but my order books are now open for Christmas commissions! This includes house portraits, other illustrations and custom cushion and lampshade orders...


Over the course of the year I've received house portrait commissons for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries - they also make a great Christmas present! With enough notice I can produce custom versions of pretty much every product I offer so do drop me a line if you have something in mind.


Last order dates will be published next month, however if you'd like to get in early and place you order for a custom illustration in October, you can get £5 off with code COMMISSION5 either here or in my Etsy shop.


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.


2 Minutes with... Jane Foster

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

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

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

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

Why do you love what you do?

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

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

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

If you could collaborate with anyone who would be?

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

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

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

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

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.

Studio Tour - Abel Kesteven

Art, Ceramics, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, StudiosKate Marsden

A studio tour with a difference this week - in that there is no studio! You can however visit artist Abel Kesteven later this month as part of Carshalton Artists Open Studios (which is this month now!!). Abel produces figurative pastels which he draws on location, and expressive ceramic sculputures (from his kitchen table). So here's a look at Abel in one of his "studios", Surrey Street Market in Croydon.

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

(c) Abel Kesteven

(c) Abel Kesteven

Abel works using loose sheets of paper as seen above and aims to complete each piece in situ - I can't help but admire not only his skill as an artist but his confidence to stand in the street by himself drawing (something I've only ever done in a group!).

All of Abel's work focusses on movement, whether that be people in the street in his drawings or groups of animals in his sculptural ceramic work.

(c) Abel Kesteven

(c) Abel Kesteven

Abel was recently sent to the US by Cross Gate Gallery to draw the Kentucky Derby, and has exhibited his work both at that gallery and has exhibited at the Mall Galleries' Pastel Society show for four consecutive years. If you're local you may also recognise his work from Mine Gallery in Carshalton or the London Potters Annual Show.

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Visit Abel Kesteven during Carshalton Artists Open Studios on the weekends of 24/25 June and 1/2 July. Abel will be exhibiting at stop 5 on the trail - 362 Carshalton Road.

For details of all the artists taking part in the event and the trail maps head to the Carshalton Artists Open Studios website.

Colour Collective

Architecture, Art, DrawingKate Marsden

If you're a regular on Twitter of a Friday evening (I am, I need to get out more!) you'll probably have noticed Colour Collective. Every Friday night at 7.30 a mass of people post illustrations they've created that week using the week's chosen colour. Head over to Colour Collective on Twitter to find out all about it.

Anyway, this is something I've watched from a far for ages, but I've recently challenged myself to do more drawing - detailed considered stuff, quick sketches, and most importantly, things that take me out of my comfort zone - and this seemed like a good opportunity to do something every week (or most weeks) and of course, if has that all important deadline!

So I've only just started doing it but here are my first attempts:

My cat Tabitha - in Amaranth - Friday 10 March

A mid-century dream - in Sweet Potato - Friday 24 February

Self portrait - in Plaster Pink - Friday 10 February

A pretty Victorian House - in Deep Koamaru - Friday 3 March.

Check out the #colour_collective hashtag to see everyone else's work.

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!