styling the seasons – september

1st September 2014

styling september1 I was excited to be asked to take part in ‘Styling the Seasons’ series thought up by Katy at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lots. I love the idea of not allowing each month to just pass by undocumented but instead styling a surface in your home that reflects that month and what associations it has for you.  Months do seem to steamroll by don’t they? Top idea Katy and Charlotte! For September I decided to style my bedside table. I kept it fresh and minimal with lots of white to show new beginnings. September is always a month of new starts for me even since leaving academic terms behind. 3 years ago September was the month Nick and I embarked on marriage, 2 years ago September was the month we were able to raise the funds to move to London for Nick to do his internship and suddenly life was orientated in that direction. Last September I started doing 4 days a week in my job so I could freelance properly on the fifth and inevitably that led me to what I’m doing now. This September Nick leaves paid ministry behind to start a new job and a new chapter which will mean our life looks quite different. There’s always something new and fresh in September! I also love having my bedside table clean and white so that’s the first thing I see when I wake up. A big pile of colour and clutter would more than likely make me want to turn over and go back to sleep! As for the sun glasses….well that’s a nod to my year on year September optimism. I always hold onto summer for dear life, lamenting the dark and cold months ahead so I’m hoping for another wave of sun and heat to round things off. Extra Indian Summer anyone?

styling september2

If you want to play then style a surface, upload and image and tag Katy and Charlotte on social media and use #StylingTheSeasons.

something for your screen

26th August 2014

oranges & lemons desktop

Hello from our cute little holiday abode in Cheshire. This month’s helping of desktop TLC is a bit late in arrival but as I’ve mentioned previously, it’s been quite the month. The weather outside may have turned decidedly Autumnal here but let’s fight off the inevitable loss of sunlight hours and sniffly noses with a big dollop of vitamin C! I had lots of fun painting these with watercolour and ink yesterday and now you can download them for free to jolly up your screens. Simply find your free desktop wallpapers here.

victoria & abigail giveaway!

22nd August 2014

giveaway

It’s Friday! That doesn’t mean tons for me as tomorrow there is yet more work to do but Sunday I’m off on holiday so it will all be worth it! Fridays are great anyway but to maximise that Friday feeling I’m bring you a giveaway in association with the fab Victoria & Abigail. You may have been drooling over their products after my post yesterday, well here’s the chance to win some. All you need to do is to enter via Punch Tab below to win these stunning 100% cotton printed tea towels and set of typographic coasters. They’re screen printed onto chip board. The giveaway is running for a week and Victoria & Abigail can ship anywhere so there’s no excuses!

I’ll have some of that

21st August 2014

Abigial & Victoria

bowls cushion cover // geometric fruit bowl // tin can bowls // hexa side table // wood pile cushion cover // pebble design napkins // sunset radiance table lamp // flamingo print cushion cover

Today I’m bringing you the delights of an up and coming online shop dedicated to showcasing independent designer makers. The South African duo behind this fab shop are, you’ve guessed it…Victoria and Abigail have been friends for years and are passionate about what they do and all round lovely (I met them last Friday, kind of by accident).

abigail & victoria

I fell in love with their bold and interesting choice of products from designers such as Moko, Chandler House, Indigi, Skinny Laminx, Paper Tales and Jesse Breytenbach among others. Above are some of my absolute faves and if I had some spare pennies right now I’d be headed straight to their online checkout with these in my basket. These lovely ladies ship globally so go take a look at their shop, there’s all sorts of colours and shapes bouncing around over there. They’ve also very kindly given Lovely Drawer readers a special discount code for 15% off, whoop! Just enter LOVELYDRAWER15 at checkout to claim your discount and it’s valid until the end of September. Tomorrow I’m excited to say I’ll be running a giveaway with the chance to win an assortment of Victoria & Abigail products. Excited? I am!

This was a sponsored post, however I never post material or products on The Lovely Drawer that I don’t agree with or absolutely love. This is a space that will always be governed by my passions and personal style.

 

front + main: downloadable desktops

20th August 2014

summer printable desktop wallpaper

Half way through the working week already and that’s right, it’s that time again. This is the final post in the Summer series for West Elm’s fabulous blog Front + Main. Still super duper pumped to have my work on there.  Thanks West Elm! You can go and check out the full post here where you can download two different desktop wallpapers to brighten up your screens. Take your pick and have a lovely evening. I’m off to shake what my Mamma gave me. It’s just Zumba, don’t worry.

New to Etsy

16th August 2014

New wedding set

Happy Weekend! I’ve got a brand new set of wedding stationery waiting for you in my Etsy shop, hurrah! For choice sake I’ve been trying to create a wedding stationery range with lots of variety, each one with a very different feel and this is the newest addition. You can find this set right here. And remember I receive custom orders on Etsy too, so if you want to add or remove something or even change the design slightly then a price can be arranged for that. I always have ideas for more Wedding sets but not enough time to do them all, such is life. But I’ll continue to add to the collection so stay tuned.

I’ve also finally updated my wedding page! That took about a century longer than intended. Now if you click the ‘Weddings’ heading above you’ll find a much more comprehensive site section to navigate around. It outlines the 3 different types of wedding design I do and whilst I still very much supply finished artwork as PDFs, The Lovely Drawer now prints your invites too! ‘Finally’, I hear you say…I know. Having spent a lot of time working for clients that wanted digital designs, more and more I was having requests from people who wanted the whole shebang from start to finish, understandably. So take a look! Once again my lovely husband coded it all from scratch and within about a day once I gave him all the elements. I literally don’t know how things would materialise at The Lovely Drawer without him….well I guess my purse would just be a lot lighter.

Front + main: printable party

13th August 2014

west elm printable labels

Hello! Just lifting my head out from the endless work pile I’m immersed in, long enough to bring you a breath of fresh air and Summer colour. Here’s the second instalment of the party printables for West Elm‘s, Front + Main blog. This week you can download free labels to pretty up your table spread. You know you want some! Head over to the awesome Front + Main for the full post and your colourful freebies.

Paper Fest 2014

11th August 2014

PaperFest 2014 1

All photos curtesy of the talented Holly Booth

This post is a little overdue having attended this fabulous event over 2 weeks ago but nevertheless here it is. I’ve used Holly Booth’s official photographs from the day as with all the chit chat meeting new people in between the talks I barely had an opportunity to grab a drink let alone take photos. For those of you that don’t know what Paper Fest is, it’s an event focused on inspiring those in or interested in the paper and stationery industry. The whole thing was organised and styled by The Paper Girls, Abigail Warner and Lucy Ledger. Those lovely ladies have poured a lot of time and energy into helping people start up their stationery businesses and learn about the industry.

It was pretty amazing to be around so many people doing a similar thing to myself and to discuss the things that often other people find mind numbing. I mean who doesn’t want to talk about card stock and CMYK colour ways right? The event was styled to perfection from the moment you entered the doors of One Marylebone, which wasn’t surprising considering who was organising it. It’s fair to say it was a girly affair with sugar pinks, bright whites and pistachios greens every where you turned. Definitely my cup of tea! Oooo and all the treats…pink lemonade on arrival, customised cakes and biscuit pops and a lunch of perfectly formed miniature morsels, not forgetting the jam packed goody bags we skipped home with.

One of the most exciting parts of the day was of course Anna Bond’s interview (swoon) about how Rifle Paper Co came to be the global success it is today. She was just as sweet as I imagined and it was so interesting to hear the story of how the business grew with her and her husband working side by side as business partners. She said that in the early days they just said yes to everything they thought would benefit the business whether they were pushed for time or didn’t even really know how to do it. She also emphasised that steady growth is healthy growth. Growing too slow or even too fast could kill a business.

PaperFest 2014 2

The main things I took from the day….

1) It’s ok to let things develop organically. So much advice seems to come in the form of ‘you need to know exactly where you want your business to be in 5 years time otherwise it will never happen.’  So many of the speakers said that things developed very organically. They were proactive but often new things came along and their course changed slightly. You need to be prepared to change and grow and adapt. ‘Don’t plan more than 6 months out. Be ok with change’, Anna Bond.

2) ‘Be your products biggest fan. If you don’t who else will’, Miranda DickensonWhich sounds a bit cheesy but is really true. All of us creative lot so often get shy about singing and dancing about the things we make, or even showing people at all. We don’t want to appear arrogant or receive rejection when it’s something close to our heart but it aint’ going to become a business if we hide it away in a box and just drop it in to conversations every now and again. I’ve always found this very hard. If you don’t love what you’re creating then people are less likely to buy into it. When I see people who are pumped about their products the hype is a kind of infectious and suddenly I want a piece of the action.

3) Use your Instagram feed to the max! Not only is it an instant and visually powerful way of showing potential customers how you’re developing your products and receiving interest and feedback but all the editors in the panel (Rock My Wedding, Betty Magazine and Mollie Makes) section of the day said they use it as a quick way to discover new talent or interesting products or services to feature. With so many emails pouring into their inbox every minute Instagram is a much quicker place to keep up with new things alongside all the email sifting. Having to pay attention to my Instagram account is something I’m happy to hear as you can probably tell I enjoy it just a little bit. Thanks so much to Abigail and Lucy for putting on such a great event!

home cooked hug

7th August 2014

pea, mint & feta risotto

Hello! Me again, bringing you this month’s over due recipe for Aspiring Kennedy. I promise I’ll stop linking you all over the place soon, but it’s quite fun really! This is one of my favourite home cooked dinners so I felt like I had to share it over on the lovely Lauren’s blog. The flavours are fresh for Summer and yet it leaves your belly fully satisfied. I’m not sure you can ask for more than that.

Go over to Aspiring Kennedy to see full details of this pea, mint & feta risotto recipe. I know she’s busy getting things ready for her team effort blog event this weekend, The Hundred. Kind of wish I was in Dallas right now as it looks awesome. Have fun guys!

front + main feature: summer party

6th August 2014

summer printables west elm

Happy half way point in the week! I’m very excited to link you to the first in a series of posts I worked on for West Elm‘s global blog Front + Main (let’s out a little squeal). Firstly if you’ve never visited this blog then put wrongs to right now and head over. I’m sure it will become one of your regulars! It’s full of design inspiration, gorgeous home styling and makeovers as well as tasty recipes.

Secondly, I was super duper happy when I was asked to come up with some free Summer printables to be styled for a Summer soirée! I have no idea why but this colour palette instantly popped into my head and so out came the watercolours. I wanted to make something fresh and fun, which is what any summer party should be right? Thanks so much to West Elm for all the beautiful products I requested for styling this. It was better than Christmas when that enormous parcel arrived! The recycling bin has recently recovered.

So head on over to Front + Main to see the full post and to download some of the freebies and tips for a great summer party. Keep your eyes peeled for more!