Made By Mrs M

Photography

Chicago Architecture Boat Tour

Architecture, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

I’m writing this while trying to keep going through my jetlag! At the time of writing, we landed back home from our 10 day break in the States about 7 hours ago, and boy am I feeling it… Looking back to Tuesday though, and one of the highlights of our trip was a boat tour of Chicago which we booked through the Chicago Architecture Center. We had a gorgeous day for it (and considering that we had snow on the ground on Monday morning, we were VERY lucky - and should probably have been wearing suncream…) and learnt a lot about the city and it’s amazing buildings. Here are just a few of the photos I took…

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The Chicago Architecture Center itself was also well worth a visit, with architects’ models of many of the world’s tallest buildings, and a model of Chicago (plus some lego for the small-ish boy). Find out more about it here.

This is not a sponsored post.

Out and About in Oxford

Architecture, Inspiration, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

Having only ever visited Oxford once before in my life, I've now been twice in 3 months! No sleeping behind bars this time though, as last Saturday Lisa (a.k.a. Martha Loves) and I headed down there to meet up with locals, Natasha (whose blog, Candy Pop, you may be familiar with) and Rosie of A Rosie Life.

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We were definitely blessed with the weather - not too sunny so none of those nasty harsh shadows and the rain held off until we were on our way home - and we had a lovely time. It's so nice to walk around a place with people who know it well and Natasha and Rosie knew exactly where to find the colour (and the good chocolate brownies!).

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I also think there's something really nice about going on a very small photowalk - no worries about keeping up and not getting lost/more opportunities to be spontaneous! I am however planning to join the In Colourful Company walk in London on 7 July and that's set to be huge!

In the meantime, here are some more photos from last Saturday...

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Isle of Dogs

Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, PhotographyKate Marsden

I do love a Wes Anderson film. The colours, the symmetry... Just over a week ago we went to see his new animation Isle of Dogs at the cinema (it's fab - go and see it - we all loved it and it held the little man's attention for the full 100 minutes!). I was then lucky enough to make it into town last Tuesday to see the exhibition of sets from the film (and now I love it even more!).

Sadly the exhibition has now finished, so if you didn't make it you'll have to live vicariously through this blog post! It was so popular though I think it'd be well worth doing a tour. Here are some of my favourite photos of the beautiful sets.

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The Kickstarter finishing line is in sight!!!

Books, Business, PhotographyKate Marsden

Well the last month has gone pretty quicky! My 28 day Kickstarter campaign started on Monday 12 March and will end at lunchtime this coming Monday 9 April. You can read a little more about it in my initial blog post here, and I also wrote about my amazingly successful first week.

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It's now time for the final push though! So if you've been procrastinating or unsure now is the time! Head over to my Kickstarter page to watch the little film I made and to find out about the reward options (there's something for every budget!).

Thank you so much to everyone who has pledged and shared so far!

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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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I made a book!

Books, Inspiration, Photography, ProductsKate Marsden

As I reached the end of my 365 project back in December, I started to think about making something to mark the end of it. I did manage the whole year after all (and nobody was more surprised about this than I was!). Then I came across Blurb and decided to make myself a book (by the way this is not a sponsored post)...

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It's small, but perfectly formed, and I absolutely love it!

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Now, Blurb books come with an ISBN (which excited me more than is natural) and you can sell your books through them or Amazon. I was really keen to list it on Amazon, but aside from the fact that the books end up costing a small fortune to buy, the terms and conditions as the owner of the book left me quaking in my boots, so I'm giving that a miss for the time being!

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That hasn't stopped me wanting to share it with the world though, so it's currently available as a pdf download in my Etsy shop (at about a 5th of the price it would've been for a hard copy). Blog readers can also save 20% on this using code COLOURBOOK - the code is valid until the end of January and you can find full details in the listing.

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365 Days of Coloured Stuff - Nearly There!

Inspiration, PhotographyKate Marsden

Less than a month to go! I have mostly enjoyed the project even if at times I've wondered if I'm going to run out of "stuff"! I'll plan some kind of exciting roundup of the completed 365 images in the new year (I'm thinking of making myself a little book!), but in the meantime, here are a few update shots. You can follow along with the #365daysofcolouredstuff hashtag on Instagram where I'll be posting until the 31st...

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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)

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... 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.

 

 

2 Minutes with... Natasha Denness

Blogging, Inspiration, Interiors, PhotographyKate Marsden

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

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

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

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

Why do you love what you do?

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

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

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

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

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

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

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

Thank you Natasha!

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

 

Carshalton Artists Open Studios - Week 1

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

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

2 Minutes with... Kayti Peschke

Fashion, Inspiration, Photography, ShoppingKate Marsden

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

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

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

Why do you love what you do?

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

What inspired you to start producing your own magazine?

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

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

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

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

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

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

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

Thank you Kayti!

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

 

Adventures in Bristol - Part 2

Architecture, Art, Photography, Shopping, TravelKate Marsden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Minutes with... Lucy Heath

Blogging, Business, Inspiration, Photography, ProductsKate Marsden

Welcome to the first in a new series of mini interviews. I for one know that I have very little spare time nowadays, and I’m sure you do too, but I still want to be inspired! We’re kicking off with the divine Lucy Heath…

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

I’m 35 and I live in the countryside in Somerset with my husband, 2 young gorgeous boys and our two westies Mabel and Moose. I juggle a few hats and work as a product photographer as well as writing my blog. I’ve been so lucky to win a few awards for my blog and at the end of last year I launched the Backdrop Store which was a long term dream. I still work as a consultant in the development industry, where I started life as a Land Buyer for the national house builders. Life is hectic but happy!

Why do you love what you do?

Every day feels like a rollercoaster. The ripple effect that is the power of social media means that I never know who might come across my blog or Instagram feed and then drop me an email or message. The best part of it all is that I connect with like minded people who in lots of ways feel like they already know me, just from photographs. I get to work around my children, be there for school pick up and cricket matches and if that means there are more than a few evenings on a laptop well that’s fine by me. I feel so fortunate to have the freedom to balance home and work life. It feels like the best of everything most days.

What inspired you to set up your gorgeous backdrop shop?

The posts I have enjoyed writing the most and the sessions I have loved giving at conferences have always been about empowering the home photographer. Helping people understand the basic principles of photography, sharing hints and tips and encouraging others to fall in love with the hobby of mine that became a career. There never seems to be enough time in the day so my husband said you need to think of a product - that can help people, that you can produce as many as people might want to buy! And the number of tables and surfaces in our house that I have collected over the years was taking over…! I think a background is the base of your composition and styling, whether it’s a still life image or the backdrop to a portrait. It’s not a new concept but I am hoping I bring a new creative side by producing a unique range and collaborating with others to develop new lines. Watch this space. I am pinching myself every day that someone wants to buy one!

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I watch in awe of the American bloggers who have taken their passions and turned them into internationally acclaimed products and design services. My favourites Joy Cho (Oh Joy) and Emily Henderson are a constant source of inspiration and I watch their Instagram Stories religiously because they remind me that being yourself is the best business strategy. What you see is really what you get, they just have smart, focussed heads on their shoulders. My pipe dream would be to collaborate with a worldwide party company to create my own range of party ware. You name it - I’d like to develop it. Crackers, straws, plates, bunting and more - all in my print. I had a wonderful artist paint a pattern for me a year ago and it’s going to sit hidden in a drawer until the right time! Dream big!

What exciting plans do you have for the next year?

I am utterly hopeless at SEO, strategy, scheduling and all the other important things that take a creative online business to the next level. So I am setting myself some goals for the next six months to take me into next year that will help me reach more lovely people who enjoy taking styled photos or could use the backdrops for clients and their work. My launch and learn approach is still very much leading the way but I want to have more structure and ambition. I have several collaborations with incredible artists developing behind the scenes and I want to see if I can expand the product line beyond backdrops to include a tool kit for the home photographer. I feel so lucky that next year just feels full of possibility.

Thank you so much Lucy!

You can find Lucy's website (which contains her blog and her backdrop store) here - she's also on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

365 Days of Coloured Stuff - an update...

PhotographyKate Marsden

Is this challenge proving tougher than I'd expected? Hmm, not completely sure! As I managed 100 days of only yellow last year I thought doing 365 days of all sorts of different colours would be easy, but it's not! Anyway, I'm now over the 100 day mark and still going reasonably strong...

And I do think this multicoloured approach is quite pleasing to the eye!

Expore the Barbican (and more!) this Saturday...

Architecture, Events, London, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

A little reminder post for you today... My next photowalk is this coming Saturday 22 April in the City of London. You'll get to see this beauty and lots more besides!

There's a really broad range of architecture in the City, and we plan to start at the Monument to the Great Fire of London, before taking in some of the main landmarks, some International style, PoMo, Brutalism and more. We'll be stopping for lunch but otherwise the photowalk is free. I will need to know if you're coming though! Please either drop me a line kate@madebymrsm.co.uk or join the Photowalks mailing list to get the final reminder email later this week.

 

The Radical Eye

Art, Exhibition, London, Photography, ReviewKate Marsden

Now I do like a surprise (sometimes - don't ever plan a surprise party for me please)... Not being a fan of Sir Elton John (although I have been catching myself singing a few of his earlier hits recently), I wasn't sure what I'd make of Tate Modern's exhibition sharing his photography collection.

Man Ray 1890-1976    Glass Tears (Les Larmes)    1932Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper229 x 298 mmCollection Elton John© Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

Man Ray 1890-1976Glass Tears (Les Larmes) 1932Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper229 x 298 mmCollection Elton John© Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

I expected it to be ostentatious (the man's flower bill is famous after all) but I was pleasantly surprised. His photography collection does extend to 8000+ prints, so it's not modest, but I was impressed by the images on display, and really liked the way the exhibition had been put together. The use of mismatched, gilt and silver frames made it unlike most gallery photography exhibitions I've seen and my favorite part was a whole wall featuring many images (with a conveniently placed bench in front of it so I sat there for a while).

The content was pretty good too - taking me back to my teenage fascination with Diane Arbus and Dorothea Lange - I was reminded of a much thumbed book I had about female documentary photographers (this one) and I plan to dig it out and have a read.

Flicking through  Diane Arbus Revelations  (and Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange 1936 in the exhibition guide)

Flicking through Diane Arbus Revelations (and Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange 1936 in the exhibition guide)

The images on display focus on the first half of the 20th century, taking in experiments in early photography and including many famous images and portraits.

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection is at Tate Modern until 21 May 2017.

City of London Photowalk - Saturday 22 April

Architecture, Events, London, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

Spring is springing so it's time to get out again! Following my successful photowalks last year (you can read about them here and here) the next one is planned for Saturday 22 April and we'll be exploring my old stomping ground - the City...

If you like architecture and history (and have a job which allows you to ever escape the four walls of your office during daylight hours) the City is a brilliant place to work. Narrow alleys with funny names (Bread Street, Milk Street, Fish Street Hill anyone?), modern skyscrapers next to Wren churches, Po-Mo oh and a (not so) little place called The Barbican.

We plan to take all of this in, with a little gap for lunch in the middle. Drop me a line - kate@madebymrsm.co.uk if you'll be joining us, or join the photowalks mailing list.