something for your screen

30th September 2014

paint me a pattern free desktop wallpaper

Hello again! Just about got this new desktop wallpaper in before the end of the month. It’s almost time for October to begin! Well, go ahead and enjoy your monthly dose of pattern for your screen. All you need to do is download the free desktop wallpapers right here.

plant it pretty

29th September 2014

diy rope planter 1

Sometimes DIY projects take a long time to make it onto this space. I thought this up ages ago but only managed to make it a month ago on holiday and I’m only getting round to posting it now!  Everyone loves a hanging planter these days, so here’s a rope inspired version complete with colour blocking effect. Mine turned out to be quite mini (as I didn’t buy enough rope) but you can make it whatever size you want.

You’ll need…

  • A length of braided rope (check you have enough to wrap around your bowl)
  • bowl or pot (roughly the size you want your planter)
  • craft paint & paint brush/sponge
  • gold embroidery thread
  • macrame thread & wide needle
  • glue gun

instructions

To make…

  1. Firstly mix your paint colours and paint blocks of each colour along the length of the rope. Leave to dry.
  2. Wrap the gold thread in sections along the rope and secure well with a knot.
  3. Cover a bowl in cling film and heat the glue gun.
  4. Start by twisting a section of the rope into a tight coil and secure to the outer bottom part of the bowl with glue. The cling film will form a barrier between the bowl and the rope/glue.
  5. Continue to follow the rope around in a spiral, glueing sections as you go. When you reach the top tuck the end you no longer have a need for the bowl. Discard and glue the last bit of the rope to the inside.
  6. Using the wide needle, thread through the top of the rope planter and pull so that there is a long length coming out from either side of the rope. Do the same at two other points around the planter so that the threads are evenly spaced.
  7. Tie a knot on each length to secure and then gather each length of thread up to a point and either tie here or tie half way up and and finish off with a series of knots.
  8. Know you can sit your plant inside and hang where you’d like. The cling film should waterproof the inside.

diy rope planter 2

Give it ago and brighten up a corner of your home. I’ll focus on trying not to kill my plant! That’s my speciality after all.

an autumnal soiree

26th September 2014

Autumn Entertaining

So for the first year in a long time I’m embracing Autumn. Maybe it’s something to do with not having been on a soaked holiday that’s made the transition a lot easier, I’m not sure. Now I’m just thinking ‘hurry up, get a bit colder so I can get my coats out again.’ Anything in between is just plain confusing. In this autumnal spirit I thought I’d gather together some items to help inspire a spot of Autumn entertaining. Not that you need to go to town every time you have people over but sometimes it’s nice to put a bit of effort in. I enjoy that sort of thing.

  1. Try making a pine cone garland. It’s probably one of the simplest DIYs you could ever make and it’s essentially free.
  2. Why not give the plain white bowls a rest and try these gorgeous ink affect hand painted porcelain bowls. The colours are so striking along with that shot of gold.
  3. Bring food out on a wooden serving board to add an element of rustic, laid back charm. No need to plate everything up before hand.
  4. Tie everything together with a linen table runner. Table runners really do make dinners a bit special.
  5.  It’s pumpkin season. That time of year when Pinterest goes crazy cuckoo with thousands of pumpkin drinks, meals & desserts filling up feeds everywhere. Why not try this pumpkin ricotta gnocci with pancetta and seared radiccio recipe.
  6. Brighten up the centre of the table with some seasonal flowers. Dhalias are about at this time of year and make beautifully big blooms for a centre piece. Arrange them in something sweet like this blue spotted clay vase.
  7. For so many years I had an aversion to candle stick holders and now I love them. Tie the metallics in with this metal candle holder.
  8. Sip your tipple out of a gold rimmed goblet. Classy.

 

Laura Ashley guest DIY post

24th September 2014

Laura Ashley guest DIY

So after such a lovely introduction on the Laura Ashley blog as their Blogger Crush for September, I now get to share a DIY tutorial I worked on for their ‘Make & Do’ category as well. *Disclaimer my old friends spray paint is well and truly involved.

Learn how to make this show stopper cake stand as well as patterned paper flowers to create a pretty cake topper. Both are very easy to make and will add a bit of something extra to your party table. Take a look at the full tutorial here. Thanks Laura Ashley for having me.

And just to let you into the reality behind the polished illusion of styling I often create, that cake was only half iced for the camera angle and was promptly thrown in the bin afterwards as in my cooking haste it was still a little raw in the middle, yum. Sometimes I have to laugh at the notion of styling (even though I love it) so it’s only fair that you do too.

Hobbycraft Giveaway

18th September 2014

sewing machine giveaway 1

My first sewing machine was actually a ‘hand me down’ from my Mum which I think was a ‘hand me down’ from my Grandma. As you can imagine it looked like it belonged in a museum, however that didn’t curb my enthusiasm for the potential to make things. Mum sat and taught me how to use it around the time I took up Textiles for GCSE and lets just say I didn’t take to it like a duck to water. When I got to college I got a brand new sewing machine which was very exciting. The fact it no longer required me to physically turn the dial each stitch when the needle inevitably got stuck, made sewing suddenly a whole lot more appealing. If you see my college projects/sketchbooks I sewed on EVERYTHING. I didn’t care if it was paper, a piece wasn’t finished until it had some neon stitches added to it.

There was once a time when I thought I’d go into fashion design (splutter). Thankfully I was steered away from that idea by my college tutor…phew. I definitely aint’ cut out for that world and I was still no whizz on the sewing machine but I did carry on getting lots of use out of it. Stitch featured heavily in all my uni projects and then post uni it came in handy too. Being a broke graduate meant getting very thrifty, changing old skirts into dresses, trousers into summer shorts and making £2 T-shirts into waist skirts.

Since then my sewing machine has been endlessly useful for little DIY projects like the fruit purses and phone pouch above, styling jobs and altering my charity shop finds from enormous tents to something wearable. There are so many simple projects to get you going on a sewing machine like cushion covers, wall hangings and tote bags. It’s soooo handy to have if you’re even the teeniest bit crafty.

So I’m very excited to announce this sewing machine give away in association with Hobbycraft! Check out this beaut Singer 3210 that’s up for grabs. You can take a closer look here. It’s a brilliant machine whether you’re a beginner or professional and it’s got flashes of hot pink on the body. Need I say more.

sewing machine giveaway 2

Even if you don’t win the giveaway, Hobbycraft have this very handy sewing machine guide to help you pick the right machine to buy. It’s pretty thorough and will leave you with a much better idea for sure.

So if you fancy winning this sparkly new machine then all you need to do is enter via Punch Tab below. The competition will run for a week but I’m afraid it’s just open to anyone with a UK address. Get entering!

diy neck candy

16th September 2014

diy necklace 1

Yes people! I finally have a new DIY for you! I’m so sorry for such a canyon sized gap between this and the last one. It certainly wasn’t intentional but design work very much got in the way. Actually ‘got in the way’ makes it sound like an unwanted obstacle but I’ve been very thankful for it. To prove I’m not just a one trick DIY pony (I’m referring to spray paint) I thought I’d whip out another favourite to make these simple but stylish necklaces. Say hello to my friend Fimo once more. I was quite taken with the ‘Fimo Effects‘ range of polymer clay and ordered a marble and granite block to turn into these tube beads. It looks really affective and the clay even has tiny glitter pieces worked in.

You’ll need…

diy necklace 2

To make…

  1. Preheat the oven to 110 degrees C
  2. Cut a chunk of the Fimo and roll and handle to soften in your hands. Then roll on the cutting mat into a long sausage shape. Keep on rolling to make an even cylinder about 1/4 inch in diameter.
  3. Cut the long sausage into sections about 1 1/2 inches long. Then gently push the skewer into the cylinder until it goes the whole way through. Give it a wiggle to make the hole a little bigger and take the skewer out.
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 25 mins. Leave to cool completely.
  5. Then tape a section of each bead so that no gold colour can reach that area. Then spray the exposed area with the metallic spray paint. I did this on the skewer and left it to dry in this way too so as not to scuff any of the paint.
  6. Once dry you can now thread the bead onto your chain and wear!

diy necklace 3

There will be more DIYs coming your way soon along with a way to get your hands on some of these necklaces. I made loads!

new etsy print

12th September 2014

new etsy print

I found out that I won the room makeover challenge, hooray! You may remember the print I made for it and now you can buy it from my Etsy shop, double hooray!  If you fancy adorning your walls with this inky number then you can find it right here. A little note to say a change on delivery in my shop. If you buy two prints then postage is the same price as one so that’s pretty handy!

Have a fun weekend!

another anniversary

10th September 2014

Anniv 3 years

I don’t often get super personal over here at The Lovely Drawer but I had to mention it was our Wedding Anniversary. 3 years ago that fresh faced pair was us! People say hasn’t it whizzed by but actually it seems like ages ago! That’s not to say it’s been in any way a drag, let’s just set that straight. I haven’t forgotten life before marriage but in a way I feel like it’s taken over a greater chunk of my life (weird). Our lives have merged so much and we’ve changed in so many ways. Each season I’ve liked better than the last even if it’s been a harder one, as that’s how God grows us and keeps us focused on him.

Even though our wedding day was such a gorgeous day, marriage definitely trumps it. It’s much harder and lacking the pretty dress and wedding cake but I’ve enjoyed learning to do life with someone else. I’ve been completely humbled by God’s provision in Nick. He can tell when I need encouragement, he says the things I don’t always want to hear but need to hear, his strengths are different to mine, I see Christ when he still loves me even when I’m unloveable and sometimes seeing him go about something a different way to me shows me my own broken way of relating to that something. It’s taught me so much more about God’s grace and makes so real the biblical picture of marriage, Christ and his Church. We’ll keep on struggling away with God’s help to reflect that.

It might sound puny to be getting all reflective after just 3 years of marriage but if I feel this way now I’m excited to see what the years ahead bring. It’s no fairytale (pssst rom coms lie) but it’s so worth it! I love that I laugh with Nick more than I ever have, that I still get excited about date night or even just when he walks through the door after work and more than anything I love serving other people with him, whatever that looks like…Team Muncey!

Reflective and moderately sentimental post over FYI. Hope you have a lovely day!

Anniv 3 years 2

Photos by Rebecca Wedding Photography

room makeover part 2

9th September 2014

Budget renovation 1

Hi guys! Sorry that this wasn’t posted when promised. Something very strange was going on with my blog and it was having some serious blog doctor attention. Anyway all is back to normal and so I can get on with posting the second half of the room makeover challenge in association with Direct Blinds. Here’s the brief in case you’ve forgotten and here you’ll find the ins and outs of  the £50 transformation. So ‘where did the money go?’ you may be asking. Well here’s the break down…

  • Small table – £3.00 from Furnish charity shop
  • Vase – £1.00 Age concern charity shop
  • Bowl – (originally for a hanging basket) £1.00 Pound World
  • Wool – £6.00 Ebay
  • Cardboard ampersand – £3.00 Ebay
  • Doweling rod – Free Found on the on my road in a pile of items being thrown away. You could also use a long found stick.
  • Shelves – £12.00 Ikea
  • Stools – £6.00 Ikea
  • Mini Cacti – £4.50 Ikea
  • House plant – £1.00 Ikea
  • Light cord – £4.00 Ikea
  • Montana spray paint in mint and pale pink – £5.98 Ebay
  • Gold metallic spray paint – £1.95 Ebay
  • Table cloth – Free old white table cloth I had in the cupboard
  • Black pixar lamp – Free already own but was positioned awkwardly in the room next door and so moved it.
  • Both black frames – Free already hung in that room but with different pictures
  • Flowers – Free picked from our back garden space
  • Candle and saucer – Free already in that room

Total – £49.43

Budget renovation 2

Below are some of the objects before they’d been made all pretty. All of the projects I did for this room are very easily recreated and don’t take too much time either.

Budget renovation3

I knew that a bright wall hanging would make a focal point with impact. I just loop tied sections of the wool around the doweling rod and trimmed the bottom into an arrow shape, finishing each piece off with a knot. I created new artwork for the wall and shelves, one using cut out shapes from an old magazine and the other using ink to paint a phrase. If you don’t have ink you could use black acrylic instead. If you aren’t confident with a paintbrush then keep it simpler and spell out your phrase in capital letters.

Spray paint is one of my favourite ways to give something a new lease of life. I honestly feel like I should be sponsored by a spray paint brand. Nick often asks what I plan to do with whatever my latest random purchase is and then he stops short, knowing the spray paint cans will be merrily making their way out of the draw. The sprayed colour worked a treat on the stools to break up some of the white. I also attacked the cardboard ampersand, the vase and the small table with my cans (it’s just like Pringles I’m telling you). I made sure I sanded the table before applying the spray paint which helped to get an even finish. I also sprayed the hanging basket and then cut a circle in the wire at the bottom so I could turn it upside down and secure to the Ikea fabric cable. A really easy and cheap way to create a statement light.

Budget renovation4

I added some pattern to a plain white table cloth that was tucked away, sad and lonely in a cupboard. Most people have one of these lying around somewhere. I have a huge stash of all sorts of arty materials and so I used some black fabric paint for this however you could also use black acrylic paint which you may be more likely to have. If so then simply prewash the table cloth without using fabric softener to prepare the surface. Then you can just scalpel out a triangle or shape of your choice from an old eraser or even a potato and stamp away to your hearts content.

Shelves added interest at different levels to a very plain section of wall and plants really bring the room to life. As soon as there’s some greenery in a room I feel like it becomes more homey.

All in all I’m happy with the results. The room is definitely brighter and full of personality, with some quirky one off pieces. It’s much more in keeping with the rest of our flat now. Anyone out there share a spray paint addiction such as my own? 

 

makeover a room with £50

4th September 2014

Budget renovation 1

Along with other bloggers, I was asked to take part in a renovation challenge in association with Direct Blinds. We were given £50 to brighten up a tired room and all purchases had to come within that budget as they explain here. It’s such a fun idea, the kind of thing I dream up when I catch myself aimlessly staring out the window. Our dining room seemed the perfect space to work some magic on. I’m by no means going to pretend our dining room was a hideous mess of dated junk but it’s the plainest room of the house by a long way and has always lacked any character. It’s a lovely bright space but it’s always bugged me that the walls seem quite bare and it generally lacks the personality that the rest of the flat seems to hold.

I’m not sure it would be OTT to say I’m a bit of a bargain queen. When you’re a keen DIYer it’s hard not to be in bargain mode 24-7, scouting them out and visualising them after you’ve thrown a ton of spray paint or embellishment at them to make something awesome! I rarely buy things full price much to my husbands disgrace (you think he’d be happy). Charity shops, markets, sales and Ebay are some of my best friends but transforming a room with any noticeable impact for £50 was still quite a challenge even for me. But I did it! And below is a brief glimpse of the results. I’ll be sharing more photos of my new look dining room tomorrow, along with a price break down and behind the scenes ‘how to’.

Budget renovation 2