Made By Mrs M

London

Open Studios - continues this weekend...

Art, Events, Exhibition, London, StudiosKate Marsden

The sun was most definitely shining on the first weekend of Carshalton Artists Open Studios! Despite competing with the football and a local music festival we still had a good time.

My set up...

My set up...

Claire Chandler's gorgeous studio

Claire Chandler's gorgeous studio

We'll be back for more this coming weekend 30 June/1 July and Claire will be hosting a slient auction in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association - you can bid on all sorts of fab stuff - and I've donated a space on a lampshade making workshop.

I have a wide range of new items and old favourites available at the open studios, including a few bargains,  so do pop by and see us if you can! I'm popping up at Claire Chandler's studio - 133a Stanley Park Road, SM5 3JJ - we're stop 14 on a trail of 20 so there's plenty to see and do (and something for everyone!). See all the other artists and events here.

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Open Studios - This Weekend!

Art, Events, Exhibition, London, Products, StudiosKate Marsden

We're nearly there! I've had such a busy couple of months and Carshalton Artists Open Studios has definitely come around very quickly this year... I'm looking forward to seeing lots of familiar and new faces this weekend and next!

I'm finally getting close to being fully prepared (sort of anyway!) and I thought I'd share some of the new things you can expect to see from me...

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I will have three of my little zines available to purchase, including my new lavender coloured booklet about Wallington and Carshalton, which I've made especially for the event.

I also have new colour ways of some of my most popular prints and have restocked the Carshalton Ponds prints which sold out last year.

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Prints will be availiable framed and unframed.

I've a new sign, and I have some unique one off monoprinted fabric panels for sale.

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In addition to this I will have all of my usual bits and bobs, including fabrics (and my brand new designs as well!).

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Don't forget that I will also be a pick up point for Just A Card shop window stickers like the one show below. So if you have a shop or gallery based in London or the South East come and see me!

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Carshalton Artists Open Studios runs this weekend and next - 23/24 June and 30 June/1 July and locations will be open from 11-5 each day. I will be at stop 14 on the trail; 133a Stanley Park Road, SM5 3JJ with Claire Chandler and Marie Ratnam. For full details of all the artists involved head to the Carshalton Artists website.

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.

Orla Kiely - A Life in Pattern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is not a sponsored post.

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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.

Finding Inspiration in the Unexpected - Rodin and the art of ancient Greece

Art, Architecture, Exhibition, Inspiration, LondonKate Marsden

I know, I'm very aware that the great artist Rodin has been an inspiration to many many people... but as a reader of this here blog, viewer of my Instagram feed or just someone who is aware of my work, you may this this is a bit of a departure for me!

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When the lovely team at The British Museum asked me back to attend a breakfast preview of Rodin and the art of ancient Greece last week my first thought was that this may not be the exhibition for me. 19th Century sculpture is not something I'm really that much of a fan of, I know very little about Rodin himself, and it's a radically different style to the sort of thing I tend to go for and that which inspires my work.

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But in the interests of 2018 being my year of doing different stuff and trying new things I decided to say yes... I set myself the challenge of finding inspiration for my colourful work in a monochromatic exhibition of figurative sculpture!

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I think I therefore went in with the right attitude. There's no denying that The British Museum know how to put on a good exhibition. The space has been transformed since my last visit and has a spacious, light atmosphere. I enjoyed seeing a playful, almost Dada-esque scupture on arrival featuring a female head with the Parthenon springing from the top, and throughout the exhibition I enjoyed the pieces which had more abstract qualities. The architectural link obviously appealed to me too, even if the architecture in question isn't quite to my taste.

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As I left the exhibition with little germs of ideas buzzing around, I entered the shop and spotted a rather lovely range of textiles inspired by the works on display, but with a mid-century look. This led me to the conculsion that someone else was also inspired by something which was a little out of character for their design style. I'm going to let the ideas stew in my head for a while and see if I can come up with anything!

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Rodin and the art of ancient Greece is at the British Museum until 29 July 2018. I was invited to attend a free preview, but this is not a sponsored post.

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Being more like Picasso...

Art, Exhibition, Inspiration, LondonKate Marsden

You know that thing where you go to an exhibition and come away all inspired and desperate to get your art materials out? This happens to me all the time, but mostly with the smaller exhibitions. If I go to a "blockbuster" exhibition with a really big name artist I obviously can't compete with their greatness, and while it's all very nice and you can take inspiration for colour pallets, composition etc that's pretty much it.

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I went a step further though with Picasso 1932 at Tate Modern the other week... As the title suggests, its focussed on the year 1932, and it's a whole, 10 room, exhibition at Tate Modern. So what inspired me in that? I need to produce A LOT more work. It was staggering - the man managed to fit such a ridiculous amount into his life and produce an actual finished painting (or 2!) pretty much every single day.... Now obviously he was a man, and this was the 1930s so he didn't need to concern himself with childcare or chores, his women (plural) were presumably at his beck and call and fitted in around his painting time, however even with nothing else to do whatsoever I think I'd struggle to be that prolific.

So I've set myself a challenge... no I will not be doing the 100 day project this year (and I'd already be way behind if I decided to start now) and to be fair 100 pieces of work isn't enough! There are plenty of days where I genuinely don't have the time (or the inspiration) to create new illustrations, sketchbook pages, patterns, but when I do I'm going to take full advantage of this and churn!! I'm going to stop worrying about whether something will sell - do the work, get it out there, and move on to the next thing. Some of my bestsellers over the years have been things I created on the spur of the moment without too much thought after all...

Since visiting the exhibition just over a fortnight ago I've produced lots more monoprints, new patterns and finished my Croydon zine I've been thinking about for a very long time. Got on with them and got them out there! I've sold quite a few things too so let's see.

No pressure Kate, but it's time to get churning!!

Picasso 1932 is at Tate Modern until 9 September 2018.

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.

Things to look forward to in March

Art, Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, London, Shopping, TravelKate Marsden

It's nearly spring!!! Yes, really! Here are 10 good things coming up this month...

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1. Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings at Tate St Ives - Oh how I wish I lived closer to St Ives - I'd be visiting this exhibition in a heartbeat. I've been a fan of Virginia Woolf since I was a teenager (as evidenced recently by my illustration below).

To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway print available in my Etsy shop

To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway print available in my Etsy shop

2. A Journey Through Brutalism at RISE Gallery Croydon - one for all you concrete fans. This new exhibition at one of my local favourites opened last week.

3. Crafty Fox Market is going monthly! While I'm cutting down on selling events this year I see some more shopping in my future... the first one is this Saturday.

4. Spring blossom (goes without saying!).

5. I'll be running two lampshade workshops on Saturday 24th at Creative Happy London - you can choose from morning or afternoon slots. Only a few spaces left so get booking!

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6. The National Trust are running a series of walking tours in Croydon to accompany the RISE Gallery exhibition above - now taking bookings.

7. If you're up in Scotland, the wonderful Artists' Textiles exhibition which has been touring since it's appearance at London's Fashion & Textile Museum is open now at New Lanark.

8. Hot cross buns (mmmm).

9. If you're quick, there's still time to see the Bridget Riley exhibition in Mayfair (open until 10 March).

10. And if you're still feeling far too wintery, British Summer Time begins on Sunday 25th! Not long now...

Dulwich Village, Moomins and the urge to paint...

Art, Architecture, Exhibition, Inspiration, LondonKate Marsden

The main point of my plan to get out more this year was to help with my total lack of inspiration. January was a funny old month, in that despite spending less time working (more time either being ill or at the gym - unsure as to whether these two are connected) and not getting out anywhere near as much as I'd wanted, the inspiration was forthcoming to the extent that it was a little overwhelming at times.

Not content with this though, I really do need to get out and see exhibitions and generally do stuff, even if the ideas are just tucked away in a notebook for the time being (as there's bound to be another drought at some point!).

Having failed miserably to make it to the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Tate Britain before it closed, I was determined to drag my sorry self up to Dulwich Picture Gallery to see Tove Jansson.

Tove was famous for creating the rather magical Moomins, but they were only a part of her wider work...

Tove Jansson -  Sleeping in the Roots, c.1930s -   Credit: Yehia Eweis

Tove Jansson - Sleeping in the Roots, c.1930s - Credit: Yehia Eweis

The exhibition closed on 28 January (so sorry if you're reading this and are now desperate to visit!). It was very very busy (on a Friday morning in term time...) but just wonderful. I found the range of Tove's work really inspiring and it made me want to crack my paints out immediately (most specifically the gouache - I need to check what I have as a know I'm running a bit low..). I also spent time thinking about scale - perhaps working on some larger illustrations, if I can find the space in my tiny studio, and just all manner of different ideas.

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So in my new spirit of experimenting with my work, I think it was quite timely. As well as making me want to do some painting, I felt inspired to do more sketching (I'm actually considering taking my sketchbook to a cafe this afternoon but I'm not sure I'm brave enough for that just yet!). As a fan of drawing buildings, Dulwich itself definitey doesn't dissapoint as it's just so pretty. This house was a VERY popular post on Instagram, and I feel an illustration coming on (maybe I'll actually paint it for a change!!).

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I may need a lottery win to be able to afford to live in Dulwich, but it's a lovely place for a wander, and I would have spent longer if it hadn't been so bitingly cold. There was also the lure of Gail's and the cinnamon buns, which I'm sure are meant for 2-3 people to share, but I persevered like a trooper!

I'm detemined not to let any more exhibitions pass me by this year - maybe I need to start viewing these things as work rather than just a nice day out. My lack of such experiences last year definitely showed when it came to my (lack of) new work, so...

What's next? I think it's nearly time to book Orla Kiely and I'm expecting that one to be very good/inspiring/overwhelming.

Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was on at Dulwich Picture Gallery from 25 October 2017 and closed on 28 January 2018. Next up they have a rather interesting looking exhibition of paintings from Canadian artist David Milne (from 14 February).

Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern will be at the Fashion & Textile Museum and opens on 25 May 2018.

Back to School...

Inspiration, London, Pattern DesignKate Marsden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come and see me Tonight! And on Saturday...

Events, London, ShoppingKate Marsden

My last two events for 2017 (and other than the Quilter's Fair at Farnham Maltings next month my last for quite some time!) are tonight and Saturday. I'll have a few bargains as I start to clear my stock of products (more info on this here) so it'll be a great opportunity to get those stocking fillers!

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Tonight - from 4-9pm - you can find me at the wonderful Geffrye Museum for the Crafty Fox Night Market. This is one of my favourite venues - a perfect stop off on the way home from work...

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And on Saturday, it's another Crafty Fox but a new venue for me - Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle...

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Sounds like you'll be able to get some great food at this one too!

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Get the full list of stalls at both events over on the Crafty Fox Market website and find all of my upcoming events (including workshops) here.

My 10 Favourite Things to do in London

Architecture, Art, Inspiration, London, TravelKate Marsden

In 2018 I will have lived in one London borough or another for 20 years (and in 2018 that will also represent half of my life - eeek!). During the last 20 years the places I love the most have changed a little but some are the same - here are a few of my favourite spots at the moment. A nice little list if you're visiting over the Christmas break!

So, in no particular order...

1. Shoreditch

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I'll admit I chose this first as I love this picture so much! Shoreditch is really easy to get to on the Overground from West Croydon, so I actually visit more often since we moved further out of town. Great street art, the first ever social housing (the stunning Arnold Circus - definitely worth a stroll away from the main drag), and if you walk a little further on a Sunday morning the lovely (if heaving) Columbia Road Flower Market. So many photo opportunties...

2. The Geffrye Museum

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Just up the road in Hoxton is the Geffrye Museum - the Geffrye is amazing and features room sets from the 1600s to the 1990s (at this time of year it's all decorated for Christmas too!). In the summer you can take a stroll in the beautiful walled garden and almost forget you're in London.

3. The Horniman Museum

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Heading back down the Ginger Line (or the Overground) you come to Forest Hill and my son's favourite place in London (or so he told me this morning!). The Horniman is a lovely spot with a brilliant natural history gallery ("I love the stuffed in animals best Mummy") including the famous walrus, and a bargantastic aquarium in the basement and lots more besides. Another lovely garden if you visit when the weather's nice too.

4. Tate Modern

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I became a member of the Tate in 2000 and it's been the best investment. I haven't managed to visit as much as usual this year but I intend to remedy that in 2018! I love the new Switch House extension shown above (you need to see the stairs!) and I make full use of the members rooms as places to sit and relax to get away from it all.

5. Tate Britain

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And that leads nicely onto Tate Britain - very different architectually but still completely ace. I love the Pre-Raphelites and this floor (amongst other things!).

6. The View from Alexandra Palace

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Whether the view from Ally Pally is worth the trip up there is perhaps debatable but I do turn and stare in wonder ever time I visit. The view above is from the terrace at the front of the buiding but you get a pretty awesome view on the walk up the hill too - use it as an excuse to stop and catch your breath on the way up!

7. The Fashion & Textile Museum

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A brilliant line-up of exhibitions in a lovely little museum. The Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey is a real gem (and also has a lovely cafe). I think this year's Josef Frank exhibition above is probably my favourite so far.

8. The Barbican

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I love this place so much. Back in the day I used to run around here in my lunchbreak or after work (particularly good on a wet day as so much of it is under cover) and I stared at it from my office window. The Barbican boasts amazing Brutalist architecture, great places to eat, look at art, see shows, shop... the list goes on!

9. The South Bank

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The picture above was taken just outside the Royal Festival Hall during the Mollie Makes Awards Photowalk this summer, but I love pretty much the whole stretch of the South Bank (the National Theatre being a highlight though of course). Last year for a homework project for the little man we walked (and photographed all of the bridges) from Tower Bridge to Battersea Park and there are so many great things to see and do along the way. Friends who visit London almost always get dragged along here!

10. Croydon

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Croydon is my neighbour (and yes it's a London Borough so counts!) and it's having a bit of a renaissance. When I get suburban cabin fever but don't have time to venture into town I hop on the 157 and go to Croydon instead. Boxpark isn't massively popular with all the locals but it's bringing people from all over the place so is basically a good thing, and the street art is starting to rival Shoreditch. They even had a month long Warhol festival back in September. So plenty to see and do!

Where do you like to visit in London? Anywhere a little different/off the beaten track?

Come and see me in December!

Events, London, TextilesKate Marsden

As I mentioned in my post the other week (where I announced that I plan to stop making products and selling at markets - you can read more about my decision here) I mentioned that I have a couple of events lined up so I plan to go out with a bang!

Just two markets in December and as only seems fitting they're both from my favourites, Crafty Fox! The night market at the Geffrye Museum was one of my most successful single day events last year (and it's only a few hours long!) so I'll be back there on Thursday 14 December...

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Then two days later I'll be at a new venue in Elephant & Castle - Mercato Metropolitano...

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This one might be your last chance to get hold of my notebooks, cushions and other products, depending on stock levels - I will let you know if they're running low beforehand so you know what to expect!

In the New Year I'll be at Farnham Maltings again on Sunday 14 January at their Quilting Fabric Sale - here I'll have discounted fabrics (all kinds not just my own) and anything I have left in the way of products after Christmas. So a date for your diary if you're after fabric!

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!

Made By Mrs M at West Elm!

Events, Interiors, London, Products, ShoppingKate Marsden

I'm really excited to be back at the wonderful West Elm store on Tottenham Court Road this coming weekend 9/10 September.

If you haven't visited West Elm before, now's your chance! It's a lovely store with the nicest staff, and the added bonus of lots of mid-century inspired furniture (and good coffee).

I'll be popping up all day on Saturday and Sunday launching my brand new collection - all the usual bits and bobs will be available too. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!

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West Elm is at 209 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PN and they're open from 10-7 on Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday.

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!).

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.