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Inspiration #6

So what's been happening in the Marigold the Maker HQ this month? Every time I sit down to write this blog, my mind draws a blank and I'm convinced I've done nothing remotely worth sharing, but it's never long before I start to remember what I've actually been up to and before I know it I've been writing for hours.

Firstly, I've moved from Studio 102 to Studio 100 and now have heaps more room and even a window with daylight! The rents went up and we all had to move out but then a short term let came up right at the last minute. It was a miracle: I literally wrote a list of things I'd love to have and on it was: "a large, light filled studio" which then appeared just down the corridor. So I've been spreading out and sorting through my materials and having a general spring clean and even doing a bit of making. I'm still enjoying my cycle rides to the studio along the canal and through the Olympic park - inspired daily by the beautiful wild planting in the park and the elderflower trees and dog roses blooming along the canal side. There's even a great new cafe and bakery that's opened up under the studio which serves dangerously good cakes and soup so I feel very grateful for many reasons to have this unexpected extension as a Hackney Downs Studios resident.

What have I been making?

Well, I'm pleased to say that there are now some new kits available to purchase from my online shop:

Inspired by the gentle magnificence of the magnolia flowers this spring, I created a Lino print outline and then experienced the joy of painting with thread. Turns out all I learnt about colour and painting back in the day is still ingrained in my memory and can be translated and transferred to embroidery. It's a great kit for beginner embroiderers as it's mostly one stitch.

My monthly embroidery kit subscription offer is also well underway, I have just posted out the second monthly kit to my subscribers who are all over the country and even one in Australia. Each month they receive a new seed pod kit with 4 Lino designs printed on beautiful soft linen ready to embellish with embroidery stitches.

The process of drawing the designs, creating a series of Lino prints, choosing the fabric and embroidery threads, printing and embellishing the designs with stitches has been a gradual and instinctive journey.

I'm enjoying the combination of the freedom and creative boundaries that the making process has allowed. There are some things that are the same - each month a different seed pod is explored in its entirety through four avenues: pattern, macro, mid and micro. And the colours of thread and fabric are chosen to enable the six seed pod designs to look great individually as well as combined as a complete collection. It's ideal for those who love having a long term stitching project on the go but broken down into bite sized achievable chunks (one design can easily completed in just a few hours). Each kit comes with full illustrated stitch instructions so it's suitable for the beginner as well as the more experienced stitcher.

Workshops update:

My "Beginners Embroidery Workshops" now have a regular monthly slot at Hackney Downs Studios. Dates for July and August workshops can be found here. I've enjoyed spending a relaxing few hours in the evenings and weekends, stitching, chatting and eating cakes with my stitching students and have received some lovely reviews too:

"I spent the most wonderful afternoon learning embroidery stitches. Marigold provided us with a beautiful piece of organic fabric, with handprinted squares for us to practice our stitches on. We were given a kit with a mini hoop, needles, threads and an instruction sheet with Marigold's beautiful hand illustrations. We were also given tea and scrummy cakes! Marigold is a calm, patient teacher and is a very talented, creative maker. Such a wonderful, relaxing way to spend an afternoon, thanks Marigold! I'm looking forward to spending time on my new craft." (Ella Coleman, 28, film set designer)

Lino Printing Weekend Workshop in Whitstable

I'm thrilled to be hosting my first weekend workshop teaching the art of Lino printing in one of my favourite seaside towns - Whitstable! At the end of June we'll be walking, drawing, carving, printing, stitching, eating freshly baked cakes, delicious lunches and hopefully a fish and chip supper on the beach. We'll all go home feeling creatively refreshed and inspired full of delicious food and fresh sea air proudly clutching our own Lino printed fabric design embellished with embroidery stitches and a set of beautiful hand printed greetings cards and made some lovely new friends.

And there's one space left for a last minute booking!

What's coming up?

Basically, expect all things to do with the Art of Modern Calligraphy. As well as discovering that developing a daily stitching practice gave me an accessible route to finding my "still point in the turning world" (T.S Elliot) and to living my daily life more mindfully, I've also found that developing a scribing practice has had a similar effect. So I'm making plans behind the scenes to launch the next strand of my "Still Point Series" to include an Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy.

And I've been having a bit of a brand face lift and learning some new graphic design skills. I'm pleased as punch to say that I've made some new branded 'belly bands' for the soon to be released "Modern Calligraphy Starter Kits".

Following the success of the "Still Point Stitching Challenge" that I hosted back in February, I'm now working on the "Still Point Scribing Challenge".

Click here to register your interest.

And here's a sneak preview of the new kits and workshops that will be released soon:

I've discovered that monogramming combines my love of stitching and scribing, so I've been honing and perfecting my monogramming skills and linen napkin sewing skills ready to release the "Art of Monogramming" workshops and starter kits next month.

And finally...some big news - yesterday I signed a contract with Daylesford and I'm excited to say that I will now be hosting regular workshops in their London locations!

Meanwhile, I've been continuing my new year theme of "inspiration" and trying to commit to my pledge to draw daily, go on weekly artist dates and learn to trust my sources of inspiration as much as I can but I think that all deserves a new blog post of it's own...

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