Made By Mrs M

Events

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

Diana Harrison

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!

Prilly Lewis

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!

Warhol in Croydon? Yes, really...

Architecture, Art, Events, InspirationKate Marsden

During the walking tour I joined a couple of weeks ago, I was asked whether I think Croydon has changed over the years. As someone who has lived next door to the place for 7 years, I've gone from pretending I live in Sutton to proudly saying I live near Croydon, so I'm pretty sure that means it has. With no offence to Sutton (which SHOULD be really nice), it has a rather depressing, run down feel and very little is happening there (even my favourite restaurant has closed down and the cinema is shut for refurbishment, so there's really no reason to go at the moment), whereas Croydon feels a little bit exciting, as if more and more good things are about to happen.

I made a little Warhol inspired version of my Number One Croydon drawing!  You can get hold of a copy here.

I made a little Warhol inspired version of my Number One Croydon drawing! You can get hold of a copy here.

This month something pretty exciting is happening... Warhol Croydon, organised by the rather amazing, street art supporting Rise Gallery, brings together an exhibition of original Warhol artwork to the gallery itself (yes, real Andy Warhols, in Croydon) alonside an exhibition of large scale contemporary artworks inspired by the great man.

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So as I mentioned, I joined one of the free guided tours and had a brilliant time, and I can really recommend you try and get yourself booked on one before the event finishes at the end of the month. Do make sure you book though - there were loads of us on a Wednesday lunchtime so I'm sure the evenings and weekends get very busy!

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If you don't manage to book a tour, you can use the Warhol Croydon app and take yourself on it instead. There are also other free events available - head to the Warhol Croydon website for more information.

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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.

All the Fun of Open Studios!

Art, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Painting, Pattern Design, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

A slightly belated end of open studios post for you! We had a brilliant second weekend (you can read about the first one here) and a lovely celebratory get together afterwards. A few more images from our stop on the trail are below. The dates for 2018 have now been set so get them in your diaries - 23/24 June and 30 June/1 July 2018 - see you there!

Claire Chandler's Studio

Claire Chandler's Studio

My gazebo

My gazebo

Marie Ratnam's paintings

Marie Ratnam's paintings

The view from the road!

The view from the road!

Claire's much admired mosaic paving slabs

Claire's much admired mosaic paving slabs

The after party! Image (c) Stuart James

The after party! Image (c) Stuart James

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.

New Work for Carshalton Artists Open Studios

Art, Events, Exhibition, London, StudiosKate Marsden

Preparation for Carshalton Artists Open Studios is now in full swing - we start this Saturday folks - eeek! As I have a rare opportunity to take some larger and heavier work to this event I've been putting together some new original pieces. I'll also be lugging along a stack of sketchbooks for people to look through, alongside my usual work. Here's a little sneak peek at some of the new stuff you can expect to see...

Come and see me this weekend - 24/25 June and next - 1/2 July at 133a Stanley Park Road. Find out more about the event and all the artists taking part on the Carshalton Artists Open Studios website.

Stopping Doing ALL the Things - My Actions from Blogtacular

Blogging, Business, Events, InspirationKate Marsden

I came away from last Saturday's Blogtacular feeling a little different to last year. I don't know if it was the timing (with the election - let's not speak about that), the fact it's been a tough few months for my business, or the fact that I didn't manage to go on the photowalk or to the Friday night party this year but I felt a little tired and flat. By Monday morning though (still feeling tired!) I started looking through my notes, photos and goody bag and I can confirm that the event itself definitely wasn't responsible for my deflation.

Once again the opening keynote struck a chord. I'm really bad at saying no (mostly to myself but also to others) and I'm really really good at allowing the work to heap up until it swamps me and I feel totally overwhelmed. Natalie Lue really got me thinking and I'm pretty sure I'm wasting a whole heap of time doing stuff I don't really need to do (I'm even wondering if I should continue to blog three times a week - radical I know!).

She encouraged us to take a step back and look at what we're actually doing - I need to question if this is where I want to be, and if it isn't something has to change. As ever Blogtacular comes at a good time of year when my work tends to slow down a little anyway so this can be a good time to reflect.

And of course there was the old comparison trap - which we're all aware of yet all continue to fall into I'm sure - and I may have to pop up a quote on my wall - "You're seeing the tip not the iceberg"...

Natalie Lue - Image (c) Blogtacular/ Amber-Rose Photography

Natalie Lue - Image (c) Blogtacular/Amber-Rose Photography

I also got to show off my amazing new necklace which was made for me especially for the occassion by Ruth of I Am Acrylic - isn't it amazing?! It features my drawing of the National Theatre complete with polka dots! I had lots and lots of complements and you can be sure to see this one again (in fact I'll probably be wearing it to every event for the foreseeable future!).

So as ever, Blogtacular was a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with other creative bloggers (and non-bloggers) - it was great to catch up with people I hadn't seen for months, and in some cases years, and to meet some people I've known online for years (yes, my "computer friends"!).

After the opening keynote I went to a really good panel session with Alison Perry, Sunita Harley and Emma Gannon - it followed on nicely from Natalie's talk and focused on staying sane online. I defintely took some actions away from this one - social media has been making me pretty stressed recently but it's vital for driving traffic here and elsewhere and for staying in touch with people, so I need to look at how I'm managing this.

Alison Perry, Sunita Harley and Emma Gannon - Image (c) Blogtacular/ Amber-Rose Photography

Alison Perry, Sunita Harley and Emma Gannon - Image (c) Blogtacular/Amber-Rose Photography

After a really tasty lunch (and a look at Lucy Heath's wonderful photo backdrop stall - see below - I'd pre-ordered one which you'll get to see lots of over the coming months!) I headed to the Finding Your Niche session with Cath Dean, the editor of Mollie Makes.

Cath took us through various exercises to help us to identify our niche and while I had done this type of thing before, it was a while ago, and I realised I needed to sit down properly and do it again. I didn't have time in the session to really think about things properly, so got to work on Monday and I'm still working on it. Needless to say quite a few things have changed since I last did this 2-3 years ago...

Cath Dean - Image (c) Blogtacular/ Amber-Rose Photography

Cath Dean - Image (c) Blogtacular/Amber-Rose Photography

Finally it was on to what was probably the highlight of the day for me - Xanthe Berkeley's video workshop. I chickened out of going to this last year as I'm a bit scared of video - both filming it and being in it (OK, mostly being in it!) as it was a toss up between this and the self-doubt session I decided I'd just throw caution to my self-doubt and do the video!

Xanthe Berkeley - Image (c) Blogtacular/ Amber-Rose Photography

Xanthe Berkeley - Image (c) Blogtacular/Amber-Rose Photography

And I'm so glad I did. We had so much fun and I learnt quite a lot in just an hour and a half! Here's my little film...

So now I'm completely addicted and may just start filming EVERYTHING (and really annoying my husband and son!)...

The closing keynote was the rather lovely Emma Gannon (I bought her book and I'm already racing through it - by my standards anyway as I have so little time for reading!). I had that whole "Emma's so young and successful and I'll feel inadequate" thing, but she is so very good at what she does that I forgot all about that. Lots of words of wisdom and again following on so nicely from Natalie's opening keynote, it gave me plenty of food for thought...

 Emma Gannon - Image (c) Blogtacular/ Amber-Rose Photography

 Emma Gannon - Image (c) Blogtacular/Amber-Rose Photography

So onto my actions...

  • Video - I really want to do more of this. So I set up a new YouTube channel the other day and now I need to fill it with stuff! I made a slightly less successful film in Columbia Road Flower Market on Saturday and shoved that up there too (not sure what happened to the format it looks pefect on my phone - still lots to learn!) but anyway - following Natalie Lue's advice again and taking an "imperfect step"! You can see my YouTube channel here - I don't expect anyone to subscribe but if you do it'll make my day!
  • Working on my niche - this is both for the marketing of my products and services, and for this blog - the audiences are similar but not the same so this is going to take some time. I've started though and plan to finish and start putting it into action asap.
  • Create Twitter lists - Emma Gannon recommended making a list with the people who inspire and lift you so you can essentially create a curated feed. As mine's been getting me down so much recently I'm planning to do this. Doesn't mean I won't look at my whole feed but it'll be nice to be able to step back from some of the negativity when I need to.
  • Podcasts - they're up there with books as something I say I don't have time for - but you know I'm sure I do. I've subscribed to Emma's and I'm keeping an eye out for more - let me know if there's one you think I'll like!
  • Identify new blogs to read - I'm guilty of just reading a handful regularly and dipping in and out of others as and when I see an interesting tweet or Instagram post - I'm going to hunt out some which will inspire me - starting with people from Blogtacular...
  • List everything I do - in a typical week and work out what I can stop doing - there must be loads of stuff! I'm feeling completely frazzled at the moment - so I will be going back to think about how often I blog and whether that's too much.
  • No more actions! So one of my actions is to stop writing so many actions! I've attended online webinars and talks and all sorts of events lately and have so many pages/books full of things I HAVE to do - it's too much - hence I'm frazzled. I need to take that step back, stop doing ALL the things and start planning out my time in a more effective and efficient way. It might even mean I get some time off occassionally!

And that's that for my annual dose of creative business fun! I'm interested to know what plans Blogtacular will have for next year - you can find out more about the event on their website.

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!

Studio Tour - Abel Kesteven

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

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

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

(c) Abel Kesteven

(c) Abel Kesteven

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

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

(c) Abel Kesteven

(c) Abel Kesteven

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

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

Image (c) Bill Mudge

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

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

Studio Makeover?

Blogging, Events, Inspiration, Interiors, Products, Shopping, StudiosKate Marsden

Having shared my studio with you last week, I'm even more concious than ever that it's a bit of a mess (and yes I'm always the one to tell artists that this is a good thing as it demostrates your creativity!). It was actually the ticket holder competition Blogtacular are running with one of my complete faves West Elm (where I've popped up a couple of times - you can see me there again in September!) that really got me wondering what I could do with it. I'm always wandering around the store thinking how lovely their stuff would be in here, but can't justify spending money on making my studio look pretty. However, if there's a giveaway which could enable me to do this... well, I'd be silly not to enter!

This is the look I'm going for:

And here's a reminder of what it's like now (I said it was messy!)...

There are certain things I need to keep in the room for practical reasons, and my choices from the West Elm range reflect this. They have the most beautiful desks, but I currently have a long bench running the full length of the longest wall (and as you can see from the image above I make FULL use of it!). I also have the little plan chest above and a whole wall of storage (behind me in the top picture).

I would however like the room to look a little more cohesive, I hate the beige carpet and could do with yet more table space and at a different height. Here are the items I chose and why:

1. Wire Frame Dining Chair - I'd like to have 2 of these. One by the sewing machine and one by the computer - this would also give me a second comfortable chair for guests. Obviously in the yellow...

2. Large Globe Ceiling Lamp - For no other reason than that I like it - and the little man likes the one I have at the moment and wants it for his room.

3. Box Frame Counter Table Marble - the dimentions of this table are the real selling point - that and the marble top which would be a great photo backdrop! I've seen these in store (and was positioned right next to one at my last pop-up) so I know I love it. It's quite high so would sit over my little plan chest and provide more storage (the plan chest is on wheels so I could still use the top of that if I wanted to as well).

4. and 5. White Rim Lacquer Trays - I fell in love with these last year - I'd actually like to use them to display my work in at events as well as at the studio, as they look so good with my notebooks, fabrics, pretty much everything in! I'd like a rectangular one (or two!) and a round one.

6. Margo Selby Zigag Stripe Kilim Rug - to cover up my nasty carpet. I can take this up when I'm doing anything messy then hide the stains with it afterwards...

7. Papier-Mache Round Mirror - The mirror I have at the moment was left behind by the previous owners of the house and it's a bit sad to say the least. I do need one in here though as it's a small room and it helps to make it feel a little bigger.

Fingers crossed for the competition! But if nothing else I now have some new ideas!

Last Year's Blogtacular Actions - How Did I Do?

Blogging, Events, LondonKate Marsden

Before starting this post I went back and read my epically long post about last June's Blogtacular - how this can be very nearly a year ago is beyond me. It's been quite the year for most of us, on all sorts of levels...

Anyway, before I head back off to Blogtacular next week (yes the end of next week - squeee!), I wanted to revisit those actions I set myself and see if I actually managed to do any of them. I've yet to decide what exactly I'm aiming to take away from the event this year, but with the most amazing sounding line up (and so many sessions I'm keen to do) I'm sure to have a plan before the 10th...

So, back to last year's actions. Here they are, and how I got on:

1. I think that part of my ideas drought/current funk comes from feeling like a bit of a fraud (Lisa Congdon spoke about not feeling like a "real artist" and getting over this) - so I'm planning to have a proper clear out/reorganise of my studio - get rid of the stuff that doesn't feel like me any more, re-do my inspiration wall... hoping this will help (I should also get a blog post or two out of it!!).

I think it worked! I did have a big studio clear out (and have done this again more recently - I also have a computer in here now, and so work in here most of the time, which is helping too - see my post from last week). I'm also throwing myself in the deep end a lot more, and saying I can do stuff. I've discovered that people describe me in all sorts of ways (designer, blogger, artist) and I quite like all of these hats - I think the more you do something (and do it reasonably well) the less of a fraud you feel. I'm sure the old imposter syndrome thing will never really go away but it's progress!

2. From the ideas workshop - taking the post ideas I already have that don't work very well and looking at them in a different way - maybe it's not the idea that doesn't work, but the format - how many formats are there? I need to brainstorm ideas in a different way - I drew a little chart in my notebook after Kirsty's session and I'm going to go back to this.

And this has absolutely worked - quite a turnaround in the types of post which are popular. I have had an ideas drought when it comes to tutorials though and haven't posted one for months. Perhaps I'll feel a little more inspired once I've chatted to folks next week.

3. I'm going to make a proper effort to come up with some more properly collaborative blog posts - if you have any idea for something we could do together and want to get the ball rolling let me know!

Managed a couple but then life got in the way. I'm going to treat this as an ongoing action - once again, if you're reading this and fancy working together on something, give me a shout!

4. I'm going to make more effort to keep and write in my many notebooks....

Hmmm, well my current one is full so that's a start?!

5. I've been working really hard on my Instagram account but I'm going to make more effort to keep it consistent to increase followers and engagement - I've already started limiting myself to 2-3 filters (and A Color Story - not Instagram's own!).

I still don't have a huge number of followers, but my account is so much better. I think long and hard about what I post and what order I post in. My 365 project is proving fairly popular and it lends a consistency to my gallery. I also make a concerted effort to post plenty of pictures of my work so people know what I do. I've been posting images which don't fit in my grid on my other account Sundays in Suburbia.

6. I'm going to use my other blog (Sundays in Suburbia) to really work on improving my writing - as that's the one where I go for the full stream of consciousness thing...

And this one is on hiatus. I kept going with it until October and then found I was so busy what with this blog, Just A Card and actual paid work, I had to drop something. The first few months of the year are a lot quieter, but I've been completely stuck for ideas. It's still up there though and I plan to go back to it.

7. I'm going to stop being scared of talking to people. Almost everyone I spoke to - speakers or not - knew who I was when I introduced myself. I need to stop being silly. Also need to stop worrying that people think I'm some silly kind of a fangirl (apologies to Lisa Congdon if I came across like that - hope I didn't - will stop worrying about it now!).

A big one. I've gone out and done so many things that have terrified me in the last year that it makes me exhausted just thinking about it. I've also been applying for lots more stuff (so have been welcomed back to the endless stream of rejections too!). I've been recognised in the street (yes - that was really wierd), and people come to events just to see little old me all the time. Oh and people do usually know who I am (this community isn't that huge after all). So I've started being braver and will carry on! I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen?

All in all I think that's a success. I often find that I get quite stuck working on my own all the time, and events like Blogtacular help to shake me out of my rut and give me some completely new ideas to try. Even if I only take one tiny little gem from each session I attend it's well worth it.

If you fancy joining us next week, you can get a ticket here.

A Tour of My Studio

Art, Events, London, Inspiration, Pattern Design, Studios, TextilesKate Marsden

I've been sharing lots of studios ahead of Carshalton Artists Open Studios (links to all of these are at the end of this post), but hadn't shared mine. Partly because I won't be opening it! My studio is upstairs in my house (and just off the map for CAOS as well) so it wasn't going to happen. Anyway, here is a little look at the studio I won't be opening, but a taste of what you can expect to see when I pop up at Claire Chandler's...

The room is pretty small! The last time I shared my studio I didn't have the little IKEA plan chest in the shot above - this is a pretty useful size as it comfortably takes A3 sheets (I mostly work on A3 as it doesn't take up too much space and is small enough to scan), I also worked from a computer in another room. But now I have my laptop I can work in here (almost) all the time!

My storage isn't particularly pretty (the white unit has been in here for years, the brown one on top was in the little man's room before his refurb) but there's quite a lot of it now and it does the job.

One of the reasons for the clutter is that I like to have colourful, inspiring things around me all the time - the combination of that and a small room is asking for trouble! I still dream of that larger studio at the end of the garden one day, but it won't be happening in the near future!

I will be attepting to create a miniature pop-up version of my studio at 133a Stanley Park Road as part of Carshalton Artists Open Studios on 24/25 June and 1/2 July. Find out all about the open studios and the artists involved here.

You can catch up on my previous studio tour posts below.

Kathryn Sherriff
Kendra Haste
Simon Burder
Claire Chandler

Dulwich Artists Open House 2017

Art, Ceramics, Events, Exhibition, Inspiration, LondonKate Marsden

I love Dulwich Open House - it's basically my idea of heaven and I wish it were on every weekend - partly because I never manage to get very far! Last year I did an epic route taking in Sydenham Hill, Lordship Lane and then down to Forest Hill (when it was nearly 30 degrees), this year's route was governed by a combination of wanting to see some different people and which trains were running...

Ceramics by  Mimi Joung  and textile art by  Melanie Bowles  at  Julia McKenzie 's house

Ceramics by Mimi Joung and textile art by Melanie Bowles at Julia McKenzie's house

And I only managed to take in four locations! Anyone who knows me knows I like to chat... First stop (after getting lost - if you ever do Dulwich folks make sure you only loosely rely on the map in the brochure - you need your phone as well, unless you know everywhere like the back of your hand!) was the lovely Snowden Flood.

Snowden was showing her work at a lovely house on South Croxted Road and had a curated selection of other artist's on display too - Scarves from Karen Mabon, Sulpture from Dido Crosby, Jewellery from Clara Francis and Prints by Hannah Coulson.

Hannah Coulson  - I loved the print on the bottom left but it'd sold. Still thinking about it through so might need to get Hannah to make me one!

Hannah Coulson - I loved the print on the bottom left but it'd sold. Still thinking about it through so might need to get Hannah to make me one!

I was there for the best part of an hour before we headed off to West Norwood. First stop was Michelle House...

Textile Art by  Michelle House  - Furniture by  Mandie Beuzeval

Textile Art by Michelle House - Furniture by Mandie Beuzeval

Michelle was showing her beautiful, colourful work alongside some pretty gorgeous furniture by Mandie Beuzeval. Oh and she had a lovely yellow living room too!

Next stop was next door and the envy inducing end of garden studio belonging to Julia McKenzie. I'd "known" Julia online for years but we'd never met before and I loved her studio where I kept spotting more interesting things - I may also have shopped a little (see below).

Julia McKenzie 's Studio
Mimi Joung  at Julia McKenzie

Mimi Joung at Julia McKenzie

Julia was showing her work alongside that of her husband Robert McKenzie (stunning detailed paintings), wonderful stitched collages by Leonieke Kormelink, and Melanie Bowles and Mimi Joung as seen in the first image in this post. So again, I stayed there for ages!

As with last year, this was the point at which I started to flag! I headed down the hill to Bainbridge Studios and put my feet up in Ray Stanbrook's studio for a few minutes (or closer to an hour - there was cake, what could I do?!).

Ray Stanbrook

Ray Stanbrook

I had a little nose around the rest of the studios there too and managed a little light shopping! You can see all my purchases from the day below.

Cards from  Julia McKenzie , tea towells from  Ray Stanbrook , fabric scraps from  Kangan Arora  (at Bainbridge Studios) and crochet garland from  Paola Moglia  (also at Bainbridge Studios).

Cards from Julia McKenzie, tea towells from Ray Stanbrook, fabric scraps from Kangan Arora (at Bainbridge Studios) and crochet garland from Paola Moglia (also at Bainbridge Studios).

There were other places on my list but my legs were tired and the train home was calling.

Keep your eyes peeled for details of next year's event here. Maybe I'll manage to attend both weekends next time!

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.

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.