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FREE!

INSIDE! 8 BOTANICAL PAPERS + MEET lisa congdon

VINTAGE-STYLE

CROCHET KIT

MAKE IT!

EASY-SEW

FRIENDSHIP DOLLS

UPDATE YOUR SNEAKERS

CUSTOMISE WITH MIX & MATCH OUTFIT S!

BOHO CROCHET

SUMMER TOP KIDS' FISHING GAME

PATCHWORK THROW WOVEN

GARDEN CHAIR COLOUR TREND

PLANT POTS

3

&more..

Style savvy


CONTENTS

18 16 ON THE COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSE WILD, STYLING: HELENA TRACEY & BECKI CLARK, MODEL: LEANNE MEGSON

MINI-ME DOLLS

Talk to us!

pinterest.com/MollieMakes

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All-white clay planters

INTRODUCING... LIVING

The latest news from the world of handmade

Fill your life and home with crafted goodness

9  INTRODUCING…

45  LIVING

Handpicked crafty happenings

Our top picks of the loveliest buys for a hand-crafted, creative home

14  TRENDS Our pick of white and grey products, plus how to DIY it yourself

18  MINI-ME DOLLS Customise this pattern to look like you, your pals or a special relative

26  TEA AND A CHAT

48  HOME TOUR Rachel Bassinger of Oh No Rachio fills her flat with plants and mid-century finds

55  MACRAMÉ CHAIR Make over a plain thrifted lawn chair into a colourful statement garden piece

Self-taught artist Lisa Congdon

63  FELT WALL HANGING

33  SEWING HACK

A colourful, 70s-inspired piece that can be scaled up or down to suit your home

Jewel-embellished T-shirt

36  GOOD READ facebook.com/MollieMakes

issue number sixty six

@MollieMakes

MollieMakes

youtube.com/user/MollieMakes

67  PULL-OUT PAPERS EXCLUSIVE!

Decluttering rules for makers

Cut, stick and wrap however you like with our illustrated bonus papers

38  HAMA BEADS

100  TEMPLATES

Three ways to use this nostalgic craft: coasters, phone case and a necklace

Everything you need to make all the issue’s projects


79

NEVER MISS AN ISSUE

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Subscribe today and get a cute storage set for your craft room

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55

33

Macramé lawn chair

The beauty of handmade lies in adding something personal to every make, and it’s easy with this month’s sweet customisable cover girls. Change up the outfits, accessories and hair colours to recreate yourself or a friend in miniature on page 18. Unique designs also take centre stage in our new online Mollie Makes Shop. It’s packed full of beautiful buys from some of the UK’s most talented makers, so take a look and start shopping at shop.molliemakes.com. If you need some inspiration to develop your own creative style, our interview with artist Lisa Congdon on page 26 is a must-read – we love everything in her studio!

T-shirt hack

LOVING

Treats and treasures to fall in love with

MAKING IT PERSONAL

81

Printable jewellery

Cath Dean Editor

Psst... There’s still time to enter the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards: www.molliemakes. com/mollie-makes-handmade-awards

77  LOVING Beautiful things to adore and make

78  COLLECTOR An impressive Liberty fabric stash

79  PRINTED BISCUITS Plus free patterns to decorate with

81  COLLAR CLIPS Another project using your printables

83  FISHING GAME Old-fashioned fun for the family

93

Doodle trainers

88  CROCHET TOP Laidback boho style for summer

93  DOODLE TRAINERS Turn plain sneakers into unique designs

97  GEO QUILT Brighten up a gloomy corner Subscribe at molliemakes.com

Turn the page to learTun rn about your free gift!papers to page 67 for your


INTRODUCING trends

THIS MONTH WE’RE OBSESSING ABOUT...

WHITE & GREY Minimal neutrals will never lose their understated cool

Pale shades can still feel warm, as this faded dining table proves. www.loaf.com

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PHOTOGRAPH: FRANCOIS KÖNG, STYLING: KARINE KÖNG, WWW.KARINECANDICEKONG.COM

INTRODUCING trends 01

03

02

01

A pale grey tutu

makes a gorgeous gift for little girls. www. bodieandfou.com 02

Clean geometric

shapes are an ideal match for pale colours. www.teaandkate.co.uk 03

Add a touch of

positivity to your daily chores with a printed sentiment tea towel. www.

04

thewhitecompany.com 04

An elegant home for

spring and summer’s

07

many blooms. www. coxandcox.co.uk 05

Marbled grey and

white looks great offset with a touch of neon. www.oliverbonas.com 06

Add cosy Scandi

cool to your sofa with this knitted cushion. www.oyoy.dk 07

A riot of texture

brings single shade pieces to life. www. blockcolourdesign.com

05

06

MAKE IT! TURN THE PAGE FOR HOW TO DIY PALE SHADES Subscribe at molliemakes.com

66 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 15


The Mollie Posse

PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSE WILD, STYLING: HELENA TRACEY & BECKI CLARK

Create your own troupe of mini-me dolls with Louise Kelly’s customisable pattern

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66 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 19


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How would you describe your style in a few words? Feminine, bright, colourful, graphic and bold. I’m drawn to, and inspired by, colour.

Discovering your creative self with…

LISA CONGDON Fine artist, illustrator, author, pattern designer and hand lettering connoisseur – is there anything this self-taught artist can’t do? Words: SOPHIE BROWN Photographs: JACLYN CAMPANARO

Lisa Congdon isn’t like most worldrenowned artists. She never went to art school and didn’t start drawing and painting until she was in her 30s, but her less-than-conventional route into the art world hasn’t held her back. Sprawled out at her kitchen table 15 years ago, Lisa taught herself how to draw and paint during evenings and weekends while working day jobs as a teacher and at a not-for-profit. But it wasn’t until she started a blog and began sharing her work online that she came crashing onto the art scene. 26 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 66

After years of striving to find her own unique voice and style through relentless practice, her distinct bold, bright and outrageously colourful work has now won her clients all over the world, including Martha Stuart Living and New York’s influential MoMA. She’s even gone on to author and illustrate six art books – plus a whole bunch of colouring books. We caught up with Lisa to find out how she honed her craft, figured out her style and ditched her day job for a life of full-time art and creativity.

How did you kick off your art career later in life? I didn’t start drawing or painting until I was 31, so I had already had a whole other career. For years I just did art as a hobby, and I had no plan to become a professional artist. Slowly I started sharing my work online, then people started to show interest and ask if they could buy it. At first I just did art at evenings and weekends alongside work, then I went parttime and got my own studio space. After a while I quit my job all together and opened a gift shop with a friend to supplement my art income. Eventually we sold that, and I became a full-time self-employed artist. It took around five or six years to get there. A lot of people say ‘quit your day job’, and I think it’s good to do that, but it’s also important to have all your ducks in a row before making that leap. What does a typical working day look like for you? I wake up at about 6am, then I get up and have a coffee and some breakfast. I usually go for a run or to the gym, then I come home and get ready for the day.


In association with

‘There are always tensions between your creative and business brains.’

02

01

Part of what I love to do is get dressed like I’m going to a job. Most days I only see my wife or my studio manager Kristen; sometimes I see no one at all, but I never take that into consideration. I do my hair, I put on my make up and I wear a dress that some people might only wear when they’re going out to a concert at night. It just makes me feel better about myself. When I’m ready, I head out to my studio in my back garden at around 9am. I chat with Kristen about what we have on that day and then get to work.

I’m typically working on between three and six big projects at a time. Right now I’m working on three books and one big illustration job. I do a lot of public speaking too, so I’m usually preparing for one or two talks. I try to focus on one project for a few hours, then I’ll shift gears later in the day.

03

01

The bright and

02

Lisa’s signature

airy back garden

sketchbooks helped

studio that Lisa

her blog get noticed

shares with her

when she first

studio manager

started painting.

and ‘mama bear’ Kristen.

03

A collection of

vintage erasers add interest to the space.

How do you find a balance between business and creativity? I think there are always tensions when you’re an entrepreneur. The tensions between your business brain and your 66 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 27


PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSE WILD, STYLING: HELENA TRACEY & BECKI CLARK

NECKLACE

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COASTERS


Beads & pieces Have fun rediscovering the nostalgic craft of Hama beads with these three different ideas by Charlotte Smith

PHONE CASE

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ILLUSTRATION: MAIKO NAGAO

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INTRODUCING good read

DECLUTTERING FOR MAKERS Can advice on ‘how to Kondo’ help you organise your creative studio and supplies, or do crafters need a different approach? Words: ANNE WOLLENBERG Illustration: MAIKO NAGAO

W

e used to call it tidying. Now, decluttering is all the rage. Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and follow-up Spark Joy, even made Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. But are principles such as “keep only those things that bring you joy” and “you will never use spare buttons” useful for makers or is a different approach needed?

ORGANISED CHAOS

“I found [Kondo’s book] life-changing,” says jewellery designer Laura Hunter (www.ilovecrafty. co.uk), whose home office used to be crammed with clutter. “Now I have room on my desk, I don’t feel so cramped and everything in my office is cute.” Illustrator and blogger Lily von Cupcake of Tiny Grey Cat (www.tinygreycat.etsy.com) isn’t convinced. “Anything regimented instantly puts me off,” she says. “I’m a very visual person, so I like lots of pretty things around me to inspire and stimulate. My workspace can get pretty messy, but I still mostly know where everything is.” Blogger and designer-maker Claire Wilson (www.claireabellemakes.com) loves organising her studio. “I enjoy sorting and clearing out items that have served their purpose so they can be used by someone else.” That doesn’t mean asking if they spark joy, though. “A skein of yarn might not spark joy until it’s been crafted into something special.” “I have the most cluttered workspace imaginable and the thought of Marie Kondo makes me feel a bit dizzy,” says illustrator Toby Dean of I Like Cats (www.i-like-cats.co.uk). “I tidy once a month but it doesn’t take long for the mess to creep back.” That’s not the same as being disorganised: “I try to keep my stock ordered and file paperwork away.” “Organisation is sometimes more challenging for the most imaginative and artistic people, but it’s still vital for creating an efficient and productive workspace,” advises Nicole Anzia, owner of Neatnik and organising columnist for The Washington Post (www.neatnik.org). “You should be able to find the

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things you need without too much searching and have a space that lets you work comfortably.” She recommends clear plastic boxes. “Creative people often need to be able to see their supplies,” she explains. Laura agrees, partly because clear storage helps her monitor stock levels. “It also reminds me of what I do. I like looking up from my laptop and thinking: what I make is cute!” Laura’s office is organised in zones: a work desk with easy-to-reach tools, a designing desk, and an old writing desk repurposed into a packing station, plus she reuses empty Ferrero Rocher boxes. “I keep items visible so I don’t have to rifle through boxes for a particular thread or paintbrush,” agrees Claire. “I use big baskets for large items, clear acrylic containers for small things and a pegboard for hanging scissors and items I use daily.”

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

Claire has repurposed her grandfather’s wooden wine rack to store spray paint cans. Lily also likes borrowing solutions from elsewhere: “Ikea’s kitchen hanging pots make great pen pots and free up work surfaces. You can also use a spice rack or kitchen roll holder to keep washi tapes together and organised.” Just don’t overthink it, says Lily. “If you try to implement a rigid system that doesn’t feel natural, it won’t work. Condense where possible – do you need five glue sticks? – store little things inside a bigger thing and embrace a bit of creative chaos. If your studio doesn’t feel like ‘you’, you won’t like using it.” “I don’t think it matters if your workspace is tidy, as long as it’s inspiring,” agrees Toby. “As long as you’ve got a grip on the important stuff, your creative space should be as expressive as you like.” Laura feels differently about the effect of clutter. “I always thought that by surrounding myself with things I loved and found interesting or inspiring, my work would be better,” she says. “But actually, after getting rid of excess stuff, I find my work is fresher and more focused. It’s easy to be inspired when you can actually see what you love.”

66 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 37


LIVING home tour

This page: Rachel loves to add colour and pattern with rugs and cushions, to give the room personality. The Super Moon is her design.

Rachel Basinger works from her sunny, plant-filled Southampton flat Words: LARA WATSON Photography: RACHAEL SMITH

It’s the mix of mid-century furniture, tactile handmade goods and more plants than you can shake a leaf-covered stick at that makes Rachel Basinger’s Southampton marina flat feel so alive with colour and warmth. The designer-maker shares this space with her boyfriend Jack and their two cats, Ruben (the fluffy one) and Luna. They’ve been here for five years. “It was the curve that we fell in love with,” she says of her first home. “And the number of windows! As

48 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 66


LIVING home tour

66 MOLLIEMAKES.COM 49


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LOVING

66

THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE: FROM STITCH TO STYLE (QUADRILLE £25) PHOTOGRAPH: JENNI HARE © LOVE PRODUCTIONS

OH, YOU PRETTY THINGS! MOODBOARDS & MUSINGS TO INSPIRE US

This month sees the return of The Great British Sewing Bee, and to accompany the series is new book From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner (Quadrille, £25). With 27 on-trend fashion projects and full-sized paper patterns for each, it’s a must for sewists. www.quadrille.co.uk

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PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSE WILD, MODEL: LEANNE MEGSON, STYLING: HELENA TRACEY, BECKI CLARK


The lazy days tank Crochet Jennifer Reid’s all-white slip-on top for laidback warm weather style

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MAIN IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY: JESSE WILD, STYLING: HELENA TRACEY & BECKI CLARK

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Mollie Makes #66  

Inside this issue: • Customisable dolls • Macramé garden chair • Printable biscuits and jewellery • Clay planters • Children’s fishing game...

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