Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Crafty Fox Market

So the golden rule (of everything) is of course great photographs.... Afraid I had such a good time at Crafty Fox Market in Peckham on Sunday that I forgot to take more than four photos all day and it was rather sunny (excuses, excuses). Anyway, here's a little (four photo) montage of my first time at the market.....

I really did have a fantastic time. The event is so well organised and publicised - it was nice and busy (shot of the room above was taken during one of the very short lulls - I think there were two in total!). As you'll no doubt be aware, the standard of work on sale at Crafty Fox Markets is always very high and I was so excited to be selected. Again, my most popular items were the fabrics so it looks like I'm heading in the right direction.

The new cushion and button brooch kits which I launched at the market are now available in my Folksy shop - please take a look!

The next Crafty Fox Markets are being held in Brixton on 26 and 27 April - there will be lots more new vendors so well worth a visit whether you made it to Peckham last weekend or not.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Visible Mending Exhibition

Last month I submitted a piece for Carol Parker's Visible Mending Exhibition. The brief was to make a stitched, darned or altered postcard of your local area. Here's mine (I couldn't find a good card for Wallington so I went for neighbouring Croydon circa 1974!):

I thought it needed some more sunshine, greenery and flowers!

You can see all of the cards which Carol has received on her Pinterest board here.

Friday, 11 April 2014

New for Crafty Fox Market!

As most of you will know by now, I'm rather excited to be taking my first ever stall at the wonderful Crafty Fox Market in Peckham on Sunday. I am pleased to announce that I will have some new products available at the market - make your own kits for my cushions and covered button brooches!

The cushion kits contain enough fabric to make either one of my large cushions or two of my small ones, and come complete with an optional zip, thread and full instructions....

The button brooch kits contain materials for two covered button brooches in your choice of a Mrs M designed fabric or Liberty print:

I plan to make the kits available online after the market, so you should be able to get hold of them soon - alternatively come and see me in Peckham on Sunday (details here) and pick up one of the original ones! 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Life Drawing Part II

I completed my short life drawing course a couple of weeks ago. It was very short (only 5 weeks) and we all felt we could've used longer. I really enjoyed it though (always good to have an opportunity to draw and paint with others) and I tried out a new painting technique I hadn't used before. I'm eager to have another go and will hopefully get to try something else later in the year. 

Anyway, as promised (and as you were so kind last time!) I'm going to share my progress with you....

The image above is just a bit of skin colour mixing practice - I didn't want to waste time in the class trying to get this right - I quite like the way it looks though!

You can see my drawing from the first week on my earlier post here. Unfortunately in the second week we were without a model, so we had the pleasure of drawing Malcolm:

The stuff of nightmares for some perhaps! He certainly was from a drawing point of view though, and I really wasn't happy with what I produced.

In week 3, our model returned. I started with a pencil drawing and then added grey tones in acrylics. This is the start of the new technique (for me at least!).

Again not that happy with this - but trying to keep an open mind as there were 2 more weeks to go.

In week 4, I started to add colour, and this is where I felt it really went wrong. Initially I was pleased (I liked the way you can see her leg through the semi transparent trousers)...

But then as I added more colour it seemed to go a bit awry (I was assured that I'd be able to "bring it back" the following week).

Hmm. So I went into the 5th and final session a little unsure as to what I'd come away with. Here's the final picture (which could use more work but as it was the last day, it'll be staying like this!).

This is supposed to be in the style of Matisse (the bright colours are, not so sure about the rest!). I am actually reasonably pleased with it as a first attempt in so many years, and I think I'd benefit from another course. I could do with getting some practice in but not sure where I'll find a willing model!

We also did some quick drawings and were encouraged to copy some images the tutor provided as homework each week to help us along. Here are some of my better efforts.

My 5 week life drawing class was held at my local adult education college in Sutton - you can find similar courses across the country. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ombre Landscape Tote Bag Tutorial

I got a little messy this month and had great fun making this simple ombre tote bag. I was hoping to achieve a look like this, but there is a little luck involved! Here's how I did it.....

You will need:

  • Somewhere to contain the mess (I sat everything in the bath)
  • A washing up bowl (or you could use a stainless steel sink - I don't have one...)
  • A measuring jug
  • A calico tote bag (I bought mine here - you could always make your own)
  • A pack of dye
  • Salt
  • Rubber gloves
  • An apron.

I used a Dylon cold water dye in Intense Violet.

1. Wearing your apron and rubber globes, make up your dye according to the pack instructions

2. I then disregarded the instructions somewhat! Still wearing your rubber gloves, open up the tote bag and place one hand inside. Very slowly lower the bag into the bowl of dye, ensuring that the bag fills with water as it goes (this will ensure a more even covering at the base of the bag and should help to prevent any spillage over the side of the bowl - you might get a few splashes though so be careful!).

Once the bag has enough water/dye in it to enable it to support itself, leave it for 15 minutes. You can choose whether to tuck the handles into the dye at this stage or whether to keep them out - I chose the former.

3. When the 15 minutes is up, put your rubber gloves back on and push the bag a bit further into the dye. Try not to do this too evenly if you'd like to achieve the landscape effect. Leave for another 10-15 minutes.

4. Finally, submerge the rest of the bag in the dye and leave for 5-10 minutes.

5. Remove the bag from the dye - I placed mine on a bin liner which I laid in the bath to reduce the mess!

6. I then wrapped my bag in the bin liner to transport it down to the kitchen sink where I soaked it in cold water.

7. A gentle warm wash in the machine and a steam press later, the bag was ready!

I took advantage of the left over dye to brighten up a faded old white t-shirt as well. I scrunched it up first and only stirred once (and left in the dye for a total of 30 minutes) to achieve this look, which I'm quite pleased with.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Month in the Life - March

We had some lovely weather in March so I enjoyed having the opportunity to get out and do lots of gardening. I also spent every Wednesday morning at my life drawing class, which was great fun (more to come on this next week). Several days out in London and meeting friends completed a very nice month!

Don't forget to scroll to the end of this post for my March Spotify playlist!

Giving a talk

Balham Bowls Club Craft & Vintage Fair

Starting work on new products for Crafty Fox Market

Painting plates with the small boy

Enjoying some time in the garden

Receiving new fabric samples!

Sending off the first order from my fabric shop

A day out in Lewes

More prep for Crafty Fox Market

Making my Tilly Buttons Coco dress.

And here's the playlist (link to this list on Spotify)

The Mother We Share - CHVRCHES
Straight - Veruca Salt
Feeling Good - Muse
Chevy Thunder - Spector
Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedys
Lightening Bolt - Jake Bugg
Not Nineteen Forever - The Courteeners
What's My Age Again? - Blink 182
Temple - Kings of Leon
No One Else  - Weezer
No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
Recover - Dexters
Little Monster - Royal Blood
Hallelujah - Happy Mondays
Mad World - Tears For Fears
She Said - Longpigs
Wake Up - Arcade Fire

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Ohh Deer - Another Competition!

I really like taking part in the Ohh Deer competitions. You get the opportunity to design something which might be a little different and to purchase one for a limited time. I entered the second Pillow Fight competition back in the autumn and unfortunately couldn't afford to buy myself one, but this time I'm after a vest! 

Yes, for this competition I've designed t-shirts! This is the one I'm planning to buy for myself:

We were able to submit 3 different designs to the competition, all of which are available on men's and women's t-shirts, the vests I've shown here, and sweatshirts, all with 3 background colour options. I think my favourite is the one above (which is called Paint). I also have a Park Hill Sunset....

And the old South Bank Centre and London Eye....

There's more than one way to support me in the competition this time (if you would like to of course!). I get the most points for sales (and a little commission too!), however I also earn points if you tweet from the page links (click on the links above to be taken there) or retweet such a tweet (tongue twister!) or share or like them on Facebook.

As ever, I'm really grateful for any support, and I hope you like the designs! The competition shop will stay open until Monday 28 April at 5pm GMT, and the points will be added up then!