Introducing: Kate Marsden ♥

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Joining us today, is Kate Marsden. A textile designer and fibre artist. I stumbled across her blog and instantly wanted to know more! I love textile art and SO wish I could do it myself.
I hope you enjoy her interview with us this week and like me, can’t wait for her new designs and collections!

✎ Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a textile designer based in far South London. My designs are inspired by life in the city and in particular mid-century architecture and textile design.

✎ Where did your love for fabric and textiles come from? Do you have any upcoming Projects?

I can’t really remember when it started, but my love of fashion (which led me to study Fashion & Textiles at college) started at primary school when I first tried making clothes, and use to make fashion zines for my friends and generally drive them crazy with it!
I’m currently preparing for Thread Festival of Textiles at Farnham Maltings (26-27 September) and looking to apply for some fairs and markets on the run up to Christmas. I’m also working on some new designs and ideas for products.

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✎ Whats a typical working day for you?

I tend to spend most of my time at the computer! Up until now I’ve had three nice long working days each week, while my son has been at nursery, but he starts school in September so I’m going to have to work around that (which could be fun!). I wrote a day in the life post for my blog in July, so you can see what my days (used to) look like there! http://madebymrsm.co.uk/2014/07/28/day-in-the-life-me/.

✎ For you, whats the best part of working in the craft industry?

Having the opportunity to do something I love. I’m so grateful for this after so many years working in the City and often dreading it. I don’t love every element of what I do now (still plenty of admin, spreadsheets and the like) but it feels totally different when you’re doing it for yourself.
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✎ You’ve been featured on many blogs, recently including UK Handmade. Is there a dream collaboration or blog you’d love to work with?

My dream collaboration would probably be Liberty. I’ve already used their fabrics alongside mine in products, and I would love to be able to do more of this. A slot on their craft blog would be a dream too!

And finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting in the creative field?  

Make sure you’re really passionate about what you do before you take the leap. It is really hard work and it can be easy to become discouraged if business is slow/things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like. It’s also helpful if you can learn to accept rejection and not take it too personally (easier said than done!). Oh, and don’t expect to be designing and making all day, as I said, I tend to spend most of my time on the computer, and although part of my design process takes place there, most of the time I’m doing admin or writing!

Join Kate on Thursday 14th August to catch her tutorial on making a vintage fabric cushion. Feel free to check out more of Kates work on her blog or her Etsy Shop (she will be moving her shop to Folksy beginning of September)! You can also take a mooch on her Facebook, Twitter: @madebymrsm, Instagram: @madebymrsm and Pinterest

Tutorial Thursday: Getting Started with Embroidery ♥

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There is a slight change of plan this week. Emily, who shared her interview with us on Tuesday, couldn’t do a tutorial for us today due to spending some time away. However, I didn’t want to leave you lovely readers without a project.

I can’t say I thought about this project for weeks. It was definitely a last minute idea, but a sweet one at that. Also, how fitting is it, what with Great British Bake Off last night?
As Emilys interview was about her life as an embroidery artist, I thought it only appropriate to carry that theme on this week. Today, I am sharing with you how to do a simple but cute embroidery project. Some people are instantly put off embroidery as its fiddly or time consuming or ‘what do you even stitch?!’. Well, I hope after this today, you will be inspired to pick up a sewing needle, grab some thread and do some sewing!

tutorial supplies 

For this you shall need these following supplies:
Fabric
Embroidery thread (I use Anchor)
Hoop (mine is 6inch)
Needles
A design to sew onto the fabric
Pencil/fabric pen

measuring fabric

Completely lay out your fabric onto a flat surface and place your hoop in the corner. I suggest the corner as you then have the rest of your fabric to use, for other projects. You want to make sure that you have enough fabric for the hoop to work with, as when the fabric is placed in the hoop, the fabric will bunch. Always cut a little more than you think you will need. My fabric is roughly 9 x 8 inches for a 5/6 inch hoop. If unsure, always put the hoop together before you cut your fabric, to give you an idea of how much you need. Also, when you take the hoop off, you’re left with crease marks as a guideline.

tracing design

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Once your fabric is cut, grap the design you wish to use and find the right placement. This really is a ‘should it go here? or should it go there?’ step. Once you are happy, place the design under your fabric and trace. I used a pencil, as my fabric is quite thin and didn’t want it to leak through. If what you are using is nice and thick, go ahead and use a washable fabric pen!

sewing the design

When you’re ready, put your hoop in place. You want the bigger hoop to be at the top of your fabric, and the smaller hoop underneath. However, I have seen it the other way around if that works better for you.
Now, begin stitching! For a neater stitch, I find that a backstitch works best. This way you have no gaps in between the stitches and it follows your work nicely.

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As I finished sewing the delicious looking biscuits, I felt it was lacking something. So, I added some text to go with it. This is freehand, but can always trace another design.

biscuit anyone?

And ta-dah! There you have a one of a kind embroidery project! Something like this would look perfect in the kitchen as a decoration or if you know someone who has a bit of a biscuit addiction, it would make a perfect gift!

Thank you for joining me today and if you wish to see Emilys interview, you can click here. Next Tuesday, we will have Kate Marsden, who is a textile designer and fibre artist.

Until then, happy dunkin’!

A fresh start… ♥

Hello my lovely readers! I’m so sorry its been a while since my blog has seen some action. I can’t work out if its because life has passed me by, or life has been too busy. Either way, I’m back now and with awesome news!

For months, I’ve been desperate to create a pretty, eye catching, wonderfully inspiring blog. The first blog I ever made was on Freewebs when I was about nine (if I could call it a blog, it was more a page to share my girly obsessions! Oh wait…). Since then I have gone on a whirlwind with every blogging network possible. Luckily, WordPress has been my saving grace as I was definitely close to giving up! Also, working for someone else’s website, really gives you the blog bug! (Feel free to check out the lovely lady herself!)

So, what is this awesome news you ask? I guess its been since I last blogged, I’ve really had to think about where I want this to go and what I want to do with it. How do I make this different or my blog? Its so easy to route through other blogs and feel like yours is crap, or its terrible compared to theirs and think whats the point? Its always good to have healthy competition, but I got to the point where I thought mine would never be good enough to carry on. However, many words of encouragement from my boyfriend later, changed my way of thinking and I started to put plans into action! Why let talent go to waste right?

This is my new plan. Every month, starting in August, I will be having three guest bloggers! Two are covering specific topics, and one free reign! I shall be including my own inspiration related posts and more tutorials. Every guest blogger I feature, will have two slots. One day for an interview, the other to give us a tutorial on their chosen idea. Ideally, giving you a lovely connection!
I’m all about supporting other bloggers. The internet is a tough place, so sticking together is what I wish to do with everyone I meet and greet. If you wish to be a apart of this, please contact me here.

I don’t wish to give too much away, such as the topics and who I have planned so far, but I am really excited about where this is going and what could come of this. Fingers crossed everything goes to plan and, watch this space! Join me on August 8th with my first guest blogger. In the mean time, expect some stuff from myself.

Until then,

Happy Blogging!

 

 

 

It’s a… ♥

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Today I am doing something a little different. Today is ‘BLOG-HOP’ day! Last week, I got a lovely long email from Kirsty Neale, regarding taking part in this ‘blog-hop’.

What is a blog-hop? Well, its simply hopping around loads of different blogs every week, that have been personally invited to take part. Its such a wonderful way to get the blogging network connected, and to share such brilliant work! (Also, to meet new people and to keep blogging very much alive!) Yay for the blogging world!

You can check out the lovely lass that invited me, Kirsty Neale, on her blog Ginger And George. Kirsty has recently released a book, Hoop-La!: 100 things to do with embroidery hoops, which I had the absolute delight of working for and has an upcoming book due out in a few months time! Her work is very much ‘all things craft’ and is definitely for you if you believe in cute creatures and embroidery. You shall also find on there, her blog hop post, along with 3 other bloggers for you to check out. Its a very back & forth type thing, however I believe that adds to the fun!

I hope you have just as much fun following this round, as much as we have taking part! Below you will see the bloggers I invited, and I very much hope you will take the time to have a look, as they are all so wonderful and amazingly talented!

So, here we go…

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1. What am I Working On?

Currently, I am working on making an awesome career for myself! I can’t say I am doing some kind of HUGE project or working for a upcoming designer, because I’m simply not. (Unless, I count myself as the designer, then yes I am!)

I recently took on the challenge of making a dress, with a zip! Normally I skip all dress patterns that involve some kind of technical sewing. But, I wanted to push myself harder and thought a zip would be a good way to go… Can I get the zip in right? Of course not! Nevertheless, I shall not be defeated.

In September I shall be attending Bridalwear Summer School. My next, massive step into becoming a freelance Dressmaker! Until then, I shall be constantly working on my sketchbook and getting as much inspiration for my collections.

Over the last few months, I have done work for some really wicked people and I love that I’m constantly talking to new people from all over the world. You can look out for an article I did in the latest issue of ‘Mollie Makes’ magazine and please check out my previous work on www.shimelle.com.

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2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I always try to make my work stand out from the others out there. I always try to produce a unique creative solution; depending on the project. I constantly push myself to learn new skills so everything I do has my own touch on it.

I rarely settle on one style of work. I think thats what makes me stand out a little, every project I do, I do differently! Whether it be the photography/the style… I don’t see the point of sticking to one way of doing things as after a while, you get bored of it yourself – and thats not what you want!!

Over the last year, I have had the best teacher showing me the ways of the internet world! As well as showing me that you can do what you love, she’s taught me too learn as much as I want, teach as much as I can and proudly show it off however I wish!

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3. Why do I write/create what I do?

The same reason as anyone else who does something they love. I love doing it! I love everything about it. The process, the creating, the creation, the feeling of achievement and it getting recognised. The sharing part is definitely one of my favourites as you get a sense of pride and am like ‘yes! I made that!’.
Everything I make, I do because I want to. I may of seen it elsewhere and wish to re-create it or an idea pops into my head and I then turn it into something physical. Enjoyment definitely plays a massive part!

I’ve always know that THIS is what I want to do with my life. Being creative, hands on, bringing handmade goodness back to light, showing everyone that you don’t have to have a boring job to make a living! Whatever your dream job may be, make it happen.

The whole reason for doing this today, is not only to introduce you to my blog, but to show you other bloggers that I love and want to share! So, enough chatter now and I leave you with these three darling people.

imageAbigail Beach is a student studying at Durham University. She used to be a paper scrapbooker but with the demands of a student life and budget she has turned to digital memory keeping. She loves documenting the everyday, rejoicing in the ordinary and trying out all sorts of crafts. She writes about this at Creating Paper Dreams. You can also find her on Instagram as @abibeach.

image Anna Fazakerley is dotty about crochet, jewellery making, sewing and more. She love to design and crafting is an extension of that. Anna is constantly adding to her list of things to make and learn. Blogging about crafty life is a great way to document the journey to look back on. You can check out her blog, Dotty Doily & follow her on twitter.

image Lindsey Portas lives and grew up in Essex with her family and creates her work in her extremely cluttered bedroom. She studied BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design at the University of East London and is graduating in November. She now hopes to find a job within the printed textile design industry whether it specialises in digital print design or screen printed design. Please check out Lindsey’s website where you can find her blog, twitter and pinterest.

You can see their ‘blog-hop’ posts on Monday 9th June. Make sure not to miss out! 

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Weekly Event: Pick Me Up! ♥

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This Saturday (3/5/14) I got taken to a ‘Pick Me Up‘ – a Graphic Arts Festival. As I am not a graphic designer myself, it was nice to see for myself what it truly is and to discover new artists.

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The exhibition was based in Somerset House, Londons host to a whole variety of wonders from film festivals to ice skating. This festival ran over a course of three weeks with different events happening every day and weekend. Some days would host workshops for budding designers, talks for the studying designer and always members around for the people who don’t know much when it comes to graphic design aka, me.

The day I went was the start of ‘Childrens Weekend’ & I worried that it would be full of children creating havoc, high on paint fumes and wacky drawings – luckily, I was proved wrong. There was still a very ‘adult’ atmosphere and at no point did I feel like I didn’t belong.
Some exhibitions you go to, you can feel a divide between people and I’m normally the person staring at a painting with a thoughtful face, when in actual fact I have no idea what I’m looking at. Everyone seemed very welcoming and up to talk to you if you had any questions or thoughts.

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I really felt it was a great exhibition. It certainly wasn’t boring. The amount of colour that surrounded you definitely put you in a happy bubble.
I think what made this exhibition stand out, was the fact that as well as being able to look and observe artists work, some artists would want you to get involved with letterpress machines or let you watch them work. You wasn’t restricted by barriers or have security guards watching over you, you felt completely free to really get involved and take a closer look at what was in front of you.

Over one floor were lines of stools with the artists work and the artist themselves. The variety of creativity stood out brilliantly. You could pay to get a drawing done of yourself by a ‘mystery artist’ in a photobooth, or have a photo taken in cardboard cut out frames; all designed by the designers themselves. And most importantly, a cute tea/cake part in the middle, to rest your bursting imagination.

It definitely was an eye opener for me. There is no limits when it comes to design and if you have an idea, create it how you want it. Every style is different and its constantly evolving. Don’t Hold Back!

 

I have found finding the perfect Christmas cards really HARD this year! There either too expensive, too traditional or hardly get any in one pack making it not worth it. However, a little while ago I bought a pack of 50 scalloped shaped cards with envelopes and thought what a better time to use them!

All I used are scrapbook embellishments, patterned paper and stamps/ink. Once I got into the swing of it I found it really fun and got more ‘crafty’ on each card.

The only thing I would change is maybe using current paper trends and designing them before hand (planning a theme!)

Support homemade crafts this year and give out something personal 🙂

paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Two Tutorials :: Floral Headbands and Paper Pinwheels

Floral Headbands was the first project I did for shimelle.com. The idea is I do a practical project, whether it be fabric, stitching, photography… and the lady I work with re-creates the project but in papercraft. It suits all types of lovely crafters out there!

paper: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: Two Tutorials :: Floral Headbands and Paper Pinwheels