Made By Mrs M


Holiday Sketchbook

SketchbookKate Marsden

As I write this I’m REALLY missing my holiday (and feeling completely knackered again!). Last month we had a much needed 10 days in Tenerife and, as if to prove how much I needed a break, I didn’t get the sketchbook out at all for several days. When I did it was to doodle by the pool and paint on the beach. I didn’t fill many pages (unlike last year) but here are some of those I did work on. I enjoyed the opportunity to produce something completelty different for a change, before returning to my usual style of work…


In the Sketchbook - Playing with Paper...

Art, Inspiration, Paper, SketchbookKate Marsden

I've fallen off the sketchbook wagon a little over the past couple of months, but I was having a tidy out ahead of open studios (which continue this coming weekend folks - details here!) and in the interests of not wasting stuff I started making some little woven paper collages with old bits of work I'd kept hold of "just in case"...


It was quite interesting putting pieces of work together which were never intended to be! I've been doing a little weaving with yarn recently too, but I'm thinking of signing up to a weaving workshop using a loom - either The London Loom or maybe at The Fashion & Textile Museum - do let me know if you have any recommendations!


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.

Square Branding Image for Instagram_edited-1.jpg
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!


Studio Tour - Claire Chandler

Art, Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, Painting, Sketchbook, StudiosKate Marsden

The excitement is building for Carshalton Artists Open Studios! Today I'm sharing the studio of artist Claire Chandler - I'm completely in love with her work, and so happy that I'll be sharing her space on the weekends of 24/25 June and 1/2 July.

Here's what you can expect to see in Claire's gorgeous studio...

Claire creates the most beautiful, colourful abstract paintings - inspired by the many places she has lived and travelled to (having spent much of her childhood living abroad). I can just see so much in them and every one draws me in - I have a feeling I may get to the end of the two weekends having spent all of my profits and then some!

Claire and I will be joined by mixed media artist Marie Ratnam - so there will be lots to see at our stop on the trail!

Come and see us at 133a Stanley Park Road from 11am - 5pm on 24/25 June and 1/2 July. Find out more about all the artists taking part in Carshalton Artists Open Studios and take a look at the trail map here.

A Bit of a Departure...

Art, Drawing, Fashion, SketchbookKate Marsden

I was really quite poorly last week (fingers crossed by the time you're reading this I'm completely better, I'm not at the time of writing - grrr). I took one day off, worked the next and overdid it - which is a very classic me thing to do. Anyway, towards the end of my day in bed I felt the urge to sketch, so I sketched the thing closest to me - the women on the cover of my wonderful book by Grace Bonney - In the Company of Women (which I mentioned in my 2017 goals post here). Anyway, a couple of days later I got the urge to work on it again and here's what I came up with....

Yes, quite the departure! Anyone who saw my illustrations when I studied fashion will probably recognise these ladies as I seem to have slipped back into my old style. Anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that I generally avoid drawing people (and then sharing those drawings!) but being ill does strange things to your brain!

I took my drawing directly from my sketchbook image below and redrew it 4 times before colouring it digitally. So that "I don't feel well, going to do a 5 minute doodle" thing went to plan. Possibly spent too much time on this when I had work to do as well, but there you go!

I then went on (on another day when I really didn't have time!) to draw myself...

Anyway. This has definitely got me thinking that I need to do more things like this - take a morning out (or an hour a day for a couple of days) and work something up properly like this, for no reason other than for fun. So watch this space for more (maybe!)...

Back to the Sketchbook...

Art, Drawing, Inspiration, SketchbookKate Marsden

There was a time when I used to share pictures from my sketchbook on a regular basis. Last year I went back to it a bit having been inspired by Lisa Congdon at Blogtacular, but of course I fell off the wagon again...

But it's January, I have a little more time at the moment, and I've managed to spend some more time in the studio (rather than tied to the computer) so I've started a new book! It's small so manageable and I want to fill it this time.

The little man had a playdate last weekend so I took the opportunity to shut myself away with it for an hour or so.

In a bid to inspire myself I dug out the last book I (almost) finished - turns out it was nearly two years ago which is rather embarrasing! Here's a little flick through....

So let's see if I can stick with this one for long enough to make a little video!! Watch this space...

Looking Back on 2016 - Part 1

Blogging, Business, Craft, Events, Photography, Sewing, Sketchbook, Textiles, TutorialsKate Marsden

I think most of us will agree that 2016 can't come to an end quickly enough. I have however been putting together my annual roundups and have found masses and masses of positive things which have come out of this year, evidenced here by some of my favourite (and most popular) posts. Have a little look, reminisce if you're featured (!!) and pop back next week for more positive stuff from this year...

1. Getting Personal

One For the Makers (16 March) was a slightly scary post to write but the love I received (and the number of people who read it) more than made up for my nervousness, A little reality check...

2. Sharing Sketchbooks

Yep - the things I found in the shed (at my parent's house) - 24 February - this one was very popular - stuff I was coming up with in the 90s...

3. Just A Card

In the spring I joined the Just A Card team and I talked about it in my post of 13 April...

4. Getting Personal (again)

A newfound fear of sharing my work - Sharing Work and Feeling the Fear (21 October)...

5. Guest Tutorials

The most popular of which was this lovely one by Kelly Cheesley - Patchwork Table Cover Tutorial (29 August)...

6. And more guest posts...

A really popular post on marketing you business using social media from Emma Donovan - Marketing Your Small Business with Social Media (25 April)...

7. Sewing Bee!!!

I caught the dressmaking bug, yet again... Sewing Bee-itis (23 May)...

8. Photogrpahy

I shared the evolution of my product photography in January and lots of people wanted to see my mistakes!! Product Photography Progress (27 January)...

9. Blogtacular!

I actually took some actions this time and thought about my post! Taking Actions from Blogtacular (27 June).

10. Blogtacular (again!)

Sorry, but the photowalk was so much fun (and one of my most popular posts which is still getting lots of views) so I had to include that too! Blogtacular - The Photowalk (22 June).

See! Lots of good stuff! Keep an eye out for plenty more positive things next week...

Recent Drawings...

Architecture, Art, Drawing, London, Sheffield, SketchbookKate Marsden

So yes, I admit it. The sketchbook has gone out the window again... I have plans to resurrect it (for the umpteenth time) over half term but let's see.

This doesn't mean I haven't been drawing recently - in fact I've been doing rather a lot of it. Mostly for some new pattern designs which I'll be sharing with you very very soon - and some pf these drawings have already become prints - if you'd like to see them in print form just click on the link below each image.

The Hole in the Road, Sheffield

The Hole in the Road, Sheffield

Lunar House, Croydon

Lunar House, Croydon

Croydon Flyover.

Croydon Flyover.

Barcelona Holiday Sketchbook

Architecture, Art, Drawing, Sketchbook, TravelKate Marsden

Inspired by the holiday sketchbooks I see people like Jennie Maizels and Lisa Congdon creating each year, and by my recent doodles when staying at my parents, I decided to do a little book while I was in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago. Now obviously nowhere near up to the standards of Jennie or Lisa but colourful and fun none the less. Here are my pages - another post about Barcelona to follow (possibly too much to share as it was SO GOOD...).

Holiday Doodles...

Art, Drawing, Painting, SketchbookKate Marsden

So the daily sketchbook thing has completely fallen by the wayside... I've been pretty busy (I know everyone is) but I'm still finding it hard to make a daily sketchbook practice a habit I can stick with. I know I end up with more ideas than I know what to do with when I do do it but...

The little man and I spent a few days with my parents last week and the country air (and ready supply of art materials which I didn't have to take with me) encouraged me to do a little light watercolour painting. The best part was that the small boy joined me in this (he painted a series of jellyfish, as you do), so I now have hope that we may soon reach the point where we can paint and draw together without tantrums (and for more than a couple of minutes!).

Anyway, I painted some ferns...

I found these rather therapeutic to do and I'm considering playing with some fern patterns at some point.

And then the ubiquitous dandelion (you know I don't always pick the prettiest stuff!).

I also painted an octopus but didn't manage to get a very good photo, so you'll have to use your imagination...

I really want to get into the sketchbook habit properly, but I often struggle with the blank page - do let me know if you have any tips for maintaining a sketchbook as a long term project!

Fabric Reconstruction

Sketchbook, Sewing, Pattern Design, Dressmaking, TextilesKate Marsden

You may recall that I recently rediscovered my college sketchbooks (see my earlier post here). I've been going through them in more detail and thought I'd share some more of the projects with you. Today I'm sharing one of my second year projects, Fabric Reconstruction. This one didn't have a sketchbook as such - I made a box...

Which is rather nice, as 20 years later I'm able to just pull everything out properly and look at it. The brief was to "produce a garment determined by fabric, surface, structure and pattern". We had to explore pattern and texture through photographic references and paper/surface manipulation - you can see from the image above that I had a lot of fun with that! We were to "experiment with scale, media and markmaking with consideration to surface pattern and texture".

We then went on to design wraps to be worn over silk lingerie we'd designed in a previous project. Here's me modelling the final item (you can see more images of it in my earlier post here).

I'm not sure how happy I am with this now as I think I went for an easier option. From the samples in the box I love the piece just right of the centre in the image above - it was photocopied photographs stitched onto muslin - I can't recall why I didn't just go with that, but it's possible my tutor wasn't keen on it. It certainly wouldn't have been very practical and she was very keen on practicality!

I remember having lots of fun with this project though and it being the first one that really got me interested in pattern.

I'll continue to work my way through the sketchbook pile and will share more with you another time.

This Month's Daily Sketchbook

Architecture, Drawing, Sheffield, London, SketchbookKate Marsden

I've managed to stick with the Daily Sketchbook Group project fairly well, only missing out a couple of days. I also managed to do some drawing in public (eeek!) which was good.

Here's a little roundup of some of the pages...

Nowhere in particular - just some random windows. The little man loved this one and I had to print it as a colouring sheet for him!

Back to last year's summer holidays.

A beach hut.

And a window in Gran Canaria.

Sketching in pubic at Tate Britain.

And the British Museum.

Take a look at all of my daily sketchbook pages over on Instagram and see my previous post here.

A Daily Sketchbook

Architecture, Drawing, SketchbookKate Marsden

Those of you who have been with me here for a while may recall that I used to be quite good at keeping a sketchbook and sharing it's contents here with you. Well, I fell (completely) off that wagon at least a year ago and despite a couple of fairly pathetic attempts I've failed to get back on it.

But I have a plan...

The lovely Mirta of Modern Botanics (check out her Instagram feed here - it's amazing) has started a new hashtag #dailysketchbookgroup and I decided last week that I'd join in. It did take me a few days though as I decided I needed a lovely new spiral bound book (of course!). The image above is of my first page from last Sunday - I had to start with Park Hill.

Day 2 was Park Hill again (but the refurbished part this time) and day 3 was a sketch of the National Theatre from these wonderful stamps...

I think one of the reasons for my failure to keep up with my sketchbooks previously was my desire to make each page different and to try out new techniques and ideas all the time. I've decided not to aim for that this time (although it might happen - let's see!). I'm starting off with safe subjects in my usual style with my usual media and I'll take it from there. I went for the spiral bound book so I'll have lots of space to stick stuff in - it won't just be drawings.

Anyway the purpose of this post is partly to hold myself accountable to you all for sticking with this! I'm planning regular sketchbook highlights posts too so watch this space!