Made By Mrs M

Craft

National Centre For Craft & Design - February 2019

Craft, Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, TextilesKate Marsden

During the half term break, which already feels like a long time ago, I dragged my parents and the small boy on our annual pilgramage to Sleaford and the National Centre for Craft & Design. The place is wonderful - almost (but not quite) enough to make me wish I lived back in Lincolnshire. The current crop of exhibitions are patricularly good. Here are a few of my highlights:

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Lucy Grainge’s mural (from Lucy Grainge and Majeda Clarke: One Year In) and this is the not so small boy’s debut photo on my blog!

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Jilly Edwards: Glimpses and Memories - lots of weaving inspiration for my students’ next project (including a very good film of Jilly’s process).

And the main exhibition Ctrl/Shift: New Directions in Textile Art - my favourite piece being Caren Garfen’s Room For Improvement, which was particularly poignant for me as one of my friends was hospitalised with anorexia last year.

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There was also a fun weaving workshop for kids taking place (which of course we joined in with) - NCCD have such a fantastic array of workshops but I’ve never been up there when a grown up one is on - might make it one day!

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The First Patchwork Workshop and Dates for the Autumn...

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

Last week I hosted my first English Paper Piecing patchwork workshop at Creative Happy London and it went really well. Here are some photos of the session...

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As EPP is a slow, hand stitching technique, the aim was for each of the attendees to get started on their first piece of patchwork and go away with all the skills they need to continue with it on their own at home. People planned a range of items with their patchwork including cushions, pin cushions and of course quilts!

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I will be running this workshop again on Saturday 29 September and Saturday 10 November. Bookings for both sessions are open now.

In the afternoon I taught my popular lampshade making workshop...

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My next lampshade making workshops are on Saturday 15 September (in Tooting), Saturday 29 September and Saturday 20 October. Again, all open for bookings now.

Workshops this weekend!

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

This coming Saturday (9 June) I will be running two workshops at Creative Happy London in Camberwell. There are still a handful of spaces, but don't delay your bookings.

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In the morning I will be teaching a session on the English Paper Piecing patchwork technique (you can read more about this new workshop here) and you'll be able to get started on your very own heirloom quilt similar to mine below. You can use the fabrics provided or bring along your own... Book here.

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In the afternoon I'll be teaching my ever popular lampshade making workshop (and there's nothing stopping you doing both and making a day of it!). Bookings for the afternoon workshop are open here. Hope to see you on Saturday!

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If this Saturday doesn't work for you, you can find all of my upcoming workshops listed here.

English Paper Piecing Workshop

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

I'm excited to annouce that I have a new workshop coming up at Creative Happy London in Camberwell on Saturday 9 June. I'll be teaching the English Paper Piecing patchwork technique which is a really enjoyable hand stitching practice, suitable for complete beginners.

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It's all about slow stitching and long term projects, but you'll come away with a little piece of finished patchwork, which you can either continue to add to and make a quilt from (mine took me two years though!) or turn into a smaller project for a quicker win. I'll also show you some other project ideas if it is a quicker result you're after!

Bookings are already coming in so do head over here to book your space.

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This is a good time to mention that I also have a workshop coming up next weekend (Sunday 22 April) at Love Art in Tooting. We'll be painting and making our own lampshades. This one will be really fun - no artistic skills are needed, just a willingness to have fun with fabric paint! You can book your space on this workshop here.

Leaving it to the last minute...

Craft, Paper, ProductsKate Marsden

I'm usually pretty organised when it comes to Christmas but I really struggled to feel festive at the start of the month, and as a result ended up falling behind.

My shop will remain open over the Christmas break (I just won't be going to the Post Office between 24 December and 2 January) and my last orders for the UK aren't until midnight tomorrow, but if you feel you've left it a bit late I do have somthing for you!

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My festive download bundle is available at any time of day or night (including Christmas morning if neccessary!) and it contains this rather fetching wrapping paper, cards for those people you've fogotten about (there's still just about time to post those too at the moment!) and some lovely festive bunting, which could be a nice thing to make with the children on Christmas Eve in an attempt to contain their excitement....

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You can order the bundle here - and, as I mentioned, it's an instant download so all you need to do is print your stuff out and go!

But if you'd rather buy a physical product, last orders before Christmas are at midnight tomorrow Tuesday 19 December and I will be posting all orders first class.

Work in Progress...

Craft, Sewing, TextilesKate Marsden

I tend to really struggle to find the time to work on personal projects. But when I do, I like to have a go at something a little different (for me at least) and it always tends to turn in to something epic! I used to provide regular updates here on these projects of mine, but it's been a while! Here's what I'm working on at the moment/have recently finished...

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The quilt! I've been working on this for just over 3 years on and off. I've now finished piecing it and I'm nearly ready to start the quilting - so call back in another 3 years!!

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Now this next one's finished... Two years ago I got a needlepoint cushion kit from Pompom Design - I finished stitching it last Christmas but only got around to turning it into a cushion in the summer (which took all of 15 minutes...). Here it is after a couple of months of being kicked around the sofa/living room by a 7 year old...

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Holding up pretty well so far! As this took me so long to make I am quite precious about it, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the house! 

So, as I'd finished this one (but not the quilt), I bought another kit at the Knitting & Stitching Show last month, and here's work in progress on the next one (this kit is called Kumo)...

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Now my dressmaking wips could take up a whole other post (or two) - and I'm feeling pretty meh about them at the moment, so maybe watch this space for an update there!

What long term projects are you working on? Anything interesting you think I'd like to try (once I've finished these of course...!)?

Coming Up in November!

Craft, Events, Inspiration, Sewing, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

The run down to Christmas is approaching fast! Lots of things coming up to get you in the festive mood this month...

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My first market of the season will be on Sunday 12 November at the Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead - they're showcasing two makers each Sunday up until Christmas. Come along, start your shopping and take a look at this beautiful shop if you haven't been before!

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Workshop wise, I have two lampshade workshops lined up - the first is THIS SATURDAY (and bookings close tomorrow so quick!!) - this is my popular 20cm diameter drum shade workshop as seen above and below and will be running once again in Camberwell at Creative Happy London.

Then if you'd like something a little different we'll be making BIG lampshades at Dotty's Teahouse in Carshalton on Tuesday 28 November - also booking now.

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Then on Saturday 11 November come along and start making your own Christmas presents with me at Creative Happy London - we'll be making lavender bags or masks using a range of fabrics - suitable for all levels.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Snazzy Peg Bag Tutorial

Craft, Inspiration, Sewing, Textiles, TutorialsKate Marsden

I'm back on the tutorial bandwagon!!!! Well for this week at least.... It's been an absolute age and I thought it was about time. I recently bought a new peg bag as my old one was disintigrating after 15 years of use. Someone told me I should've made my own but I pleaded lack of time. However as my old bag had a rather lovely wooden hanger inside I thought I'd make one anyway and put that to use!

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So here it is. Made with my Dining Chairs fabric, I think it looks rather good. Here's what you'll need to make your own.

Wooden coathanger (preferably shaped like the one shown below)

1 x Fat Quarter of my Dining Chairs fabric - if you choose to use a different fabric make sure it measures at least 50cm deep by 75cm wide.

Thread, pins, scissors, sewing machine, iron and ironing board.

Pattern - available to download here.

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1. Print your downloaded pattern pieces out onto A4 paper at full size - tape together and then cut out along the dotted line.

2. Fold your fabric and pin the pattern to it on the fold (I cut my fabric into two pieces first - each measuring 50cm high by 37.5cm wide. Then cut out.

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3. Once you've cut your fabric out, remove the pattern and cut it across the middle on either one of the dotted lines as shown.

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4. Cut this piece on the fold.

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5. Remove the pattern from the fabric, sellotape the two patten pieces together and then cut along the other dotted line. Cut this piece out on the fold as well.

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6. You should now have three pieces which look like this...

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7. Press all three pieces and then fold in the edges of the front opening by approximatly 3/4mm. Fold again to hide the raw edge and press. Do the same with the centre top of both sides as shown below (this is where the neck of the coathanger will sit).

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8. Topstitch all of these folds in place as close to the edge as you can.

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9. Trim your threads then place the pieces right side together. Pin and stitch from neck opening to neck opening, ensuring you leave plenty of space to insert the coat hanger.

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10. Trim the corners then turn the bag out to the right side.

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11. Give it a good press, insert the coathanger and you're done!

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The pattern pieces look like those below - ensure you print them at full size. They can be downloaded here.

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Getting Inky at the Knitting & Stitching Show

Craft, Events, Inspiration, TextilesKate Marsden

I had a fab time at the Knitting & Stitching Show last week, and for the first time ever I arrived before the doors opened! By the way I'd recommend you do this as it was nice and quiet at 10am... Anyway, I didn't arrive early because I'm a morning person; I'd booked myself on a workshop!

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So by 10.30am I was up to my elbows in black acryclic paint! I joined a workshop led by Nicole Line who taught us monoprinting and stamping with Gelli Plates. A new technique for me and a lot messier than I'm used to (which was a good thing!) - I'm now off to get my hands on a Gelli Plate as it was really good fun and I'd like to experiment more.

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The best of the prints have made it onto my studio wall

The best of the prints have made it onto my studio wall

After a clean up it was time to shop... You may recall that a couple of years ago I started work on a needlepoint cushion from Pompom Designs (which I've finished and I plan to blog about - promise!), well after a few months without needlepoint I felt the urge to do another - the first one only took a year after all... So I bought the Kumo Cushion Kit and started it as soon as I got home!

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I had my usual sweep around the textile galleries - I have to say that my planning was poor this year and I wandered around in a very ad hoc manner - not recommended - I'm sure I missed things, but a couple of highlights were Rachael Howard, Diana Harrison and the winning quilts from the Festival of Quilts.

Rachael Howard

Rachael Howard

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Diana Harrison

Quilt by Mary Palmer and Anne Kiely

Quilt by Mary Palmer and Anne Kiely

I didn't do a lot more shopping - just a few bits and bobs for upcoming workshops, and I treated myself to a pair of mittens from Prilly Lewis - I think you'll be seeing a lot of photos of them on my instagram over the coming months!

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Prilly Lewis

Now off to finish my work as quickly as possible so I can sneak in a little more needlepoint before the school run...

Coming up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Minutes with... Hester van Overbeek

Blogging, Books, Craft, Inspiration, TutorialsKate Marsden

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

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

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

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

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

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Why do you love what you do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What exciting plans do you have for the next year? 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Neon!

Craft, WorkshopsKate Marsden

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

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

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

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

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

This is not a sponsored post.

I Am Acrylic Jewellery Workshop

Craft, Events, London, Review, WorkshopsKate Marsden

Now you probably know that I'm a bit of a fan of I Am Acrylic (see my Blogtacular necklace and lots more besides!) but until a couple of weeks ago I'd never managed to make it to one of their workshops.

My plans for the day had changed and I was unexpectedly free so headed up to Brixton for the Crafty Fox Market sample sale - shopped rather more than I should have, and then made myself a necklace with the help of Brendan. Cheesy photos of me by Martha Loves...

Despite making the decision to try and do the workshop while I was on the train, I turned up without any idea of what I wanted to make! They had a useful folder with examples of things people have created in the past, and I ended up imaginatively coming up with a yellow letter 'k' - hand drawn by yours truly though so it has character!

Brendan did a very good job of hiding his nerves after I revealed just how clumsy I am, and I'm pleased to say that I came away with all my fingers fully intact!

The sawing itself doesn't require much elbow grease, but I certainly felt it in my left hand (which was holding the piece of acrylic in place) - that didn't last though. I was actually surprised that I managed to get as good a finish on it as I did as I expected it to be a bit of a mess but no - it's nice and smooth and looks pretty good!

After carefully cutting and filing and smoothing I decided to let Brendan drill the hole for the chain as I thought I might break it! Here's the finished article...

I Am Acrylic often run drop in workshops at events like Crafty Fox Market - keep an eye on their website for dates.

Mollie Makes Handmade Awards!

Craft, Events, Inspiration, LondonKate Marsden

Last Monday I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent the Just A Card team at the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards. We had such a briliant day including a fab little photowalk with Xanthe Berkley, a Tatty Devine necklace workshop, useful talks (including an opportunity for me to meet and fangirl at Donna Wilson...). It was so exciting to see so many folks I know up for awards and I came away tired but with renewed enthusiasm about our creative commuity.

Here are a few pics from the day...

At the time of writing the winners haven't been announced on the Mollie Makes website so I won't spoil it! A big thank you to team Mollie who were all as lovely as ever, to Xanthe and Tatty Devine and of course our wonderful Just A Card team leader Sarah Hamilton (who will be happy I didn't share the Boomerang I took of her on here!).

Camberwell Arts Open Studios

Art, Craft, Events, Exhibition, London, Sewing, Studios, Textiles, WorkshopsKate Marsden

Camberwell Festival started last weekend, and culminates at the end of this week with Camberwell Arts Open Studios.  I will be popping up at Gabriela Szulman's studio this Saturday (17th) as part of the launch of Creative Happy London...

I will be running my new stitched jewellery workshop at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm on Saturday - booking is advised (especially if you want to make use of the whopping 50% discount - use code CAMBERWELLFEST) - booking is open here - but there should be some drop in spaces available too.

There will be lots more workshops from the Creative Happy London team over the course of the festival - you can see them all here.

Gabriela's gorgeous studio will also be open so you can pop along and see her work and chat to her as well. Find out more about Camberwell Festival here. I hope to see you on Saturday!

Adventures in Bristol - Part 1

Architecture, Craft, TravelKate Marsden

Over half term, the little man and I spent a few days in Bristol. We did so much, and took so many photos that I've decided to split our trip into two posts - the second will follow in a couple of weeks' time.

So here's the first part...

I'd been to Bristol before but the little man hadn't so it was a bit of an adventure as far as he was concerned. We also took the train so needed something to keep us occupied. As he'd received an origami set for this birthday, I hit on the idea of making a heap of origami flowers on the train and then leaving them all over the place once we got there. Something nice and colourful to make people smile (and fewer things in my house so win win!).

We added a hashtag to them #happyorigamibristol but sadly none of the people who picked them up joined in with that. However when we wandered back around later they'd all gone so we were pleased!

We also took in the SS Great Britain which, while it wasn't a cheap attraction, was brilliant - and if you go back (the ticket is valid for 12 months) it's actually pretty good value. The little man got to do all sorts of things - shovelling coal, sweeping the decks - useful skills for putting him to work at home!!!

Keep your eyes peeled for my second Bristol post which will be full of street art, pretty doors and independent shops!

Work in Progress - Decoupage Chair

Craft, Interiors, PaperKate Marsden

You know how you have some projects which just go on for ever? I was inspired to have a go at a decoupage chair last summer after I saw some in progress in Gabriela Szulman's studio when I attended a workshop there. I think I had a total of one quiet day over the summer holidays last year and I got started. Then ran out of time...

It lauguished in a corner of my studio for months. I wasn't entierly happy (a bit too bright perhaps) but didn't really know what to do with it.

Then a couple of weeks ago I was quiet and had a bit of creative block - I was getting frustrated with a lot of work related stuff, and ended up just stopping for the day at lunchtime and working on the chair. I did this for a couple of days and I think it's now starting to come together...

The chair itself is an old one from IKEA which used to belong to a dining set we had in our old flat. I'm tempted to add some more white paint to tone it all down a bit more but I'm not sure, I also think the pink is a touch too pink! I'm really pleased with how the scalloped edge napkins worked though (and they had gold dots on too!). With hindsight I should've put two coats of white paint on the chair initially - currently considering whether I like the brush stroke look or whether I need to do something about it (erring on the side of the latter).

I think I would've benefitted from Gabriela's expert guidance again (or just from not doing it when completely knackered and at 11pm) but it's fun to have a play, and this chair will be living in my studio anyway so it's not the end of the world if this first attempt isn't perfect.

If you fancy having a go at decoupage yourself, go and have a look at Gabriela's website.

This is not a sponsored post.

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.