Artist Katharine Watson on Her Garden Series Prints

Artist Katharine Watson on Her Garden Series Prints

I came across Katharine Watson’s work on instagram. I immediately fell for her tomatoes from her Garden Series prints. The colors and design are so appealing and happy. She recently added a strawberry version and I had to have it.

I am planning to have framed for the kids room. The cheerful strawberries feel like a perfect fit. I recently painted the room blue, white and yellow. I was intrigued to hear more about Katharine’s work so I asked her if she would do an interview with me so I could share her work with all of you. Enjoy!

katharinewatson.com


Q: How were you inspired to design your garden series?
A: I’ve been gardening for several years but it took on a new life during the pandemic as it became my main hobby and social outlet. It just made sense to do a series of garden-inspired prints since I work so much with floral and botanical patterns anyway, I wanted to make that more literal. Plus, I can see my garden out the studio window so the inspiration was literally right in front of me.

“I can see my garden out the studio window so the inspiration was literally right in front of me.”

Katharine Watson

What is a risograph? Risograph is a process similar to screen printing where the design is burned onto a screen and the ink is pushed through it. I knew I wanted to do multi-colored prints for this series, and when I’ve done multi-colored linocuts in the past they’re often smaller runs and more expensive because they’re time consuming to print, and then they sell out quickly. I wanted these to be more accessible, so I knew from the beginning that I would use risograph to do the final print.

I carve the design from linoleum, print the original block print, then turn that into a risograph print. That way it has the same look and feel as my other work, but I’m able to offer more of them and keep them at a lower price. 

Will you be creating more design this year to add to this series?
Absolutely! I have a long list of plants I want to work on, I’m sure that list will grow now that the actual garden is getting going again. I’m hoping to add a handful of new prints every few months. It will be a waiting game just like a real garden!

Tell me more about your garden and what your excited to grow this year?

My garden is in my backyard, and has had several versions over the last few years. We fully finished setting it up and got it to a really good place in 2019, then in the fall a massive tree fell and destroyed the entire thing. It was devastating, but it meant that we started from scratch in 2020 and had a lot more time on our hands, so we built it back bigger and better.

There’s not as much structural work to do this year, although we are planting a few more fruit trees and vines this spring. My favorite thing to grow is Zucchino Rampicante because it turns into a massive vine with giant leaves that you can grow up a trellis (and I think the squash is delicious).

I’m also growing some new-to-me flower varieties this summer which I’m excited about. I know that Mexican Torch sunflowers are a gardeners staple and favorite but I’ve never grown them, so I’m excited about that! If they look good, maybe they’ll become a print! 

All images courtesy of Katharine Watson

All images courtesy Katharine Watson

katharinewatson.com



The Jelly Jar Flush Mount Light

The Jelly Jar Flush Mount Light

When you are renovating you spend thousands of dollars on structural fixes and then furnishings. But when it comes to the lighting budget you might not have much left. I offer a simple solution that won’t break the bank. The simple jelly jar flush mount. It is aesthetically pleasing and solves the problem of lighting hallways, pantries, bathrooms, closets and porches. A simple glass jar illuminated with a clear light bulb is quite elegant.

You can find Jelly Jar lights at most big box stores. They are under $20 and come in oil rubbed bronze, white or antique brass steel bases. Flush mounts are perfect for halls or closets where a sconce would be super sweet in a bathroom with a a vintage vibe.

I bought a set for my hallway in the oil rubbed bronze. Once I installed them I liked them but I didn’t love them. I kept thinking about Thomas O’Brien’s Perry Flush Mount and this updated jelly jar light by Deborah Ehrlich . I was worried I was being cheap in buying in the basic jelly jar and I should have just sucked up the extra cost and chose a different designed light.

I decided to try giving the base an antique brass treatment using Rub n’ Buff wax metallic finish paint. I only used a tiny bit and squirted on onto a piece of cardboard. I used a soft cotton rag to rub onto the lamp base. I added just a tiny bit of paint and rubbed back and forth all over the base. I wanted the black tone to show through so I was careful not to over apply the paint. I think it gives it more of an aged brass look rather then flat brass. I then covered the screws with paint to match too.

The installation is pretty simple but if you are new to installing lighting please contact an electrician. The glass jar screws into the bottom of the base with three screws.

I am super happy with how they turned out and can’t be more satisfied with the results. Step-by-step photos below.





4 Ways To Fill A Big Empty Wall with Art

4 Ways To Fill A Big Empty Wall with Art

I made this piece of fabric using indigo. It would be beautiful framed and on a large wall.

Hi Katy! I really love your style and was hoping you could give me some design advice… I have a HUGE wall in my living room behind our couch that is begging for some kind of art. I’ve looked into wall tapestries and blanket to cover the space but haven’t found anything that’s quite my style (it’s all pretty modern). Any thoughts or recommendations? I am open to a DIY project!!! Thank you 🙂

I received this reader question through my contact page. I decided to share because I know a lot of us struggle with how to fill a big wall. A big wall is BIG. You could build a gallery wall of frames or one big piece of art. Below are five ideas I sent to CG (reader).


  1. FRAME A BIG PIECE OF FABRIC
St. Frank sells beautiful one of kind textiles framed.

I love St.Frank. Their large framed textiles are to-die-for. The large scale pieces are one of kind. Because of the unique quality you are going to pay $$$. Sourcing large textiles and framing is expensive so the price is reflective of those costs. BUT you can source textiles and frame yourself too. I would suggest a deep dive on Etsy. Anything can be framed, a small scrap of fabric, tablecloth, coverlet. Look for pieces that have depth and layers of color. Try searching the terms: Suzani, Block Print Fabric, or Otomi Fabric.

After you find the piece you need to get it framed. Online framing shops like Framebridge. The note on their website:

We can certainly frame textiles such as scarves, handkerchiefs, knitted hats, embroidered art like Otemi, shirts, baby clothes, or really any cloth piece (as long as the item can be folded or lie fairly flat, we need the depth to be 0.5″ or less). For items like this, we’ll need to use a special technique called a sew float, which is an additional $25. Sew Floating means we will gently pin the textile on top of a mat using nylon fasteners. We’ll also iron or steam your textile free of charge when it arrives for a crisp clean look if applicable.

-FrameBRIDGE
A framed Suzani in a Nantucket Beach House featured in Architectural Digest.

#2 Potato Print a Large Piece of Fabric

A potato stamp textile by Rebecca Atwood for Emily Henderson

I love the idea of creating your own art work. This potato stamp textile made by Rebecca Atwood for interior designer Emily Henderson. The variation of blues really elevates the piece. I think if it was all one color stamp it would not have the same impact.

Learn how to make one on Rebecca Atwood’s website. She walks you through all the steps: rebeccaatwood.com.


#3 Enlarge a Landscape Photo From a Favorite Place

A beautiful interior by McGrath II. The landscape photo is one of my favorites.

Take a photo of favorite place and have enlarged. I have a really cool photo I took of seagrass that looks like a lion’s mane that I have wanted to enlarge for years.

Websites like Framebridge make this super easy. You can easily upload via your phone and they will tell you how large you can print the photo so it retains it’s quality. When thinking of a photo brainstorm texture, or a photo that recedes into the distance (which creates depth in the room) or a photo you snapped that feels like a painting. You will treasure this photo for the rest of your life and well worth the cost.

Seagrass that looked like a lion's mane
A photo I snapped of seagrass
This is what my photo looks like in the Framebridge app

#4 Make a Gallery of Cyanotype prints

Make a gallery of cyanotype prints and arrange in a grid on your wall. The bright blue color is gorgeous and arranged in a group you can create a beautiful composition of color and texture. I included an informative youtube video I found above explaining the process so you can make any size you want. I like the versions where the paint is laid on painterly and not quite touching every edge. You can also buy Sunprint kits at a local art store on or online.

I hope that helps and gets your creative juices flowing. I could probably list about 800 more ideas but this should help to get everyone started to thinking about how to fill a large wall. xoxo



From Sweatpants To Spring Dresses

From Sweatpants To Spring Dresses

A colorful patterned dress makes me feel amazing

Have you tried putting on a pair of jeans after months of being in sweats and yoga pants? ROUGH. I might suggest forgetting pants this Spring and moving straight to airy floral dresses. I love the ease of dress. You can throw it on put your hair in a ponytail and you look instantly put together. Jeans never have that magic. ABSOLUTELY NEVER.

Women’s Floral Print Flutter Sleeve Dress, WHO WHAT WEAR, $37, target.com.

On a warm day this week I wore my new Target dress with my J.Crew trench to a doctor’s appointment. It seemed like a good reason to take a shower and take off the yoga pants. When I showed up at my daughter’s pick-up; friends literally didn’t recognize me. That is the power of a dress.

I rounded up a a few dresses I am eyeing and adding to my cart. They all have the block print feel like I am loving in home interior textiles too. I always gravitate towards prints and florals. And if it can be just as pretty as a curtain; I will probably be smitten.

FLOWERS COTTON DRESS, $80, Mango.com. I picked up a Mango dress over the winter and it’s quickly become a favorite. This dress is so perfect in it’s coloring and style. I HAVE TO HAVE IT!
WOMEN’S FLORAL PRINT FLUTTER SHORT SLEEVE A-LINE, $37, Target.com. The color pops and instantly makes you feel brighter. The dress runs true to size. I own it and love it.
Cotton Block Print Dress, $46, etsy.com. A friend recommended this Etsy shop to me. She got a few dresses from them last summer. It takes a bit longer to get because it’s coming from India but I can’t wait to wear. I am going to pair mine with a woven belt (like this) I picked up at Todd Farm Flea market a few years ago. Here I am on rainy day wearing it with my J.Crew trench.
CANDICE DRESS XIII, $80, zojora.com. I love all her things. She has a stunning collection of dresses and home goods. Be warned they sell out quick!
Jasmit Dress, $159, daughtersofindia.net. I have not bought anything from this brand yet but I just love this dress. The lavender looks so flattering and the style looks like something I would reach to over and over.
Maeve dress in Mughal Flower, £195.00, daydress.co.uk. A wish list item. I just love their dresses. They are beautiful and romantic.
SMOCKED FLORAL-PRINT DRESS, $40, Oldnavy.com. I’m a huge fan of Old Navy dresses. I find the sizes to run a little big compared to brands like J.Crew.
Molly Dress, $88, shadeamour.com. I have a few of their shirts and got a cotton robe for Christmas. The colors and prints are always super pretty. This dress looks so easy to wear over a swimsuit or pair with a denim jacket for the Spring.

Photos at the beach were taken by Frances Williams, age 8.




3 Ways to Reuse Your Hippy Tapestry From College

3 Ways to Reuse Your Hippy Tapestry From College

Remove from the wall and use to cover an upholstered headboard

I am a child of the 90’s and when we went to college many of us brought with us a tapestry to hang over our bed in our dorm room. They were considered this kinda hippy accessory that went a long with tie dye. But just like tie dye what is old is new again. Block print tapestries can still be found at hippy shops but also at online retailers too. They are affordable and can be used in many ways. I share three ways to rethink the tapestry using this cotton tapestry at mexicaliblues.com.

  1. Wrap it around your headboard I picked up a twin size tapestry from mexicaliblues.com and wrapped it around my upholstered headboard. The print instantly updated the room and made it feel more Springy. I didn’t do anything special other then wrapping, folding and tucking it around. You could secure with a few straight pins on the back. When I get bored with fabric I can just take it off. An easy and doable update.

2. Use it as a tablecloth There are so many options now with tapestries. Many of the colors are brighter and more saturated. The twin size sheet fit perfectly over my dining room table. The colors with the daffodils and my thrift store napkins are happy. When I walk in the room it’s like, POW COLOR!

3. Use as a bedspread You could do this two ways. Lay on your entire bed during the hot summer months. Or fold it up and put at the end of your bed over a coverlet. I see fancy designers like Ben Pentreath do this all the time. It just adds an extra layer of color into the room. As we transition our beds from down comforters and wool blankets this is a great go between.

Provincial Block Print Tapestry, $25, mexicaliblues.com
Indian Hand Block Printed Geometric Bedspread, $75, etsy.com
Indian Hand-block Printed Floral Bedspread, $85, etsy.com
India Arts Sunflower Print Tapestry Cotton Bedspread, $22, amazon.com
Block Print Indian Tapestry Cotton Bedspread, $40, amazon.com