sweet home sweet

17th December 2014

gingerbread house 1

Making a gingerbread house has always been lurking somewhere on my Christmas list of things to make. I’ve literally never got around to it before now which was all thanks to Biscuiteers who supplied me with this gorgeous gingerbread house kit. It was as if they read my mind! I took my first trip to this magical iced wonderland last Christmas for Aspiring Kennedy’s fabulously festive blogger social. We iced gingerbread decorations and sipped Prosecco, which was a jolly nice way to spend an evening. They’ve recently opened a sister icing boutique in Northcote Road to join the original in Notting Hill. Anyway back the kit…they pretty much had me at the packaging!

gingerbread house 2

I remember my Mum starting a tradition of making a gingerbread sleigh and reindeer to house the Christmas chocolates each year. She did it once and me and my brother had the expectation going every year until we were leaving for uni! I think she regretted even beginning.

This kit made things very straight forward and even came with all the pieces cut out so you can focus more of your attention on decorating. I managed to find some extra mini smarties (the exact same ones as in the kit) from Tiger to create a really elaborate roof. You simply mix the royal icing with water, transfer into a piping bag and get cracking. With Christmas music going in the back ground, tree lights on, I found it quite therapeutic.

gingerbread house 3

And here is the result. The only nail biting part was attaching the roof but that icing really is strong stuff so I needn’t of tentatively crept in next morning, thinking I’d have to mourn over my building site. Why not have a go with your own! You could start a tradition to carry on into the never never too.

gingerbread house 4Thanks to Buscuiteers for providing me with the kit!

 

Etsy House Pop Up

16th December 2014

Etsy house 1Photos from Etsy

You may have seen me keenly instagramming this a week or so ago and if you didn’t make it along then you missed out, but perhaps a blog post will suffice. Etsy became a bricks and mortar pop up for 3 days in central London and it was a sight to behold. There were so many good looking pieces under one roof, all merrily mixed in with each other and styled like a real shop. Thankfully I got to have a peak with the press before the shop actually opened to the public because I hear it got super busy with manic Christmas present shoppers.Etsy house 2It was a brilliant idea to be able to see many products I’ve only seen on line, in the flesh and being an Etsy seller myself I found it really exciting get a sense of Etsy growing and becoming more established in this country. There are so many people supporting what they’re doing for independent sellers. I picked out some of my favourite picks from the day but of course there were many more!Etsy house 2origami lamp by nellianna // cement diamonds by Pasinga // pillow set from Old English Co // tassle necklace by Loukippi // typographic banner by Summer Boyfriend // metallic pouffe by Maison Marrekech // tropical sweatshirt by Yeah Bunny // felt cloud coasters by Pygmy Cloud

A tree for your tree

12th December 2014

DIY tree decoration 1Happy Friday to you all! I hope you have lots of festive fun planned over the weekend. Perhaps you fancy making some tree decorations? Well if you’re in the market for some Christmas craft, why not give these tree ornaments a go? They are so simple to make and it also means you get to go on a little twig hunt walk.

DIY rustic tree decoration 3All you need is…

  • Twigs
  • White paint
  • Paint brush
  • Glue gun or strong all purpose glue
  • Copper wire
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • White cotton

DIY tree decoration 2

To make…

  1. Cut your twigs into varying lengths to create your Christmas tree shape. I applied a bit of pressure with the scissors and then snapped the twigs.
  2. Then roughly paint white strips on each twig. You really don’t need to be neat as it just adds to the affect.
  3. While you wait for the paint to dry you can fashion the star shape out of wire. Kink the wire with your pliers while the wire is straight and then pull round so that the bottom wire ends meet. Twist the ends around each other to secure and adjust the shape if it needs tweaking.
  4. Then cut another strip of wire and wrap one end around the bottom of the star. Heat your glue gun.
  5. Lay the twigs out, front facing down and lay the wire running down the centre, with the star at the top. Secure with dots of hot glue.
  6. To finish off, thread the white cotton through the top of the star and tie at the top. Now you can hang away.

DIY tree decoration 4

I told you it was easy! Hope you have a go and have a lovely weekend.

 

 

Something for your screen

10th December 2014

festive desktop wallpaper

Hello, me again! I’m aiming to be posting a lot more regularly on here in the lead up to Christmas as I just have so much content in storage or in creation that aint gonna work post Christmas. Gingerbread houses and Christmas trees will not have a great reception in January!

Sneaky apologies as I actually missed last month’s free desktop wallpaper post. The end of November was beyond hectic so I hope you’ll doubly enjoy this festive set of wallpapers instead. Both are hand drawn especially to decorate your screens this December and are totally free. Download them both here.

Bake up a storm

9th December 2014

Rich tea 1Disclaimer: Today’s post may leave you feeling more than a little hungry for sweet treats. 

I got the opportunity to review this scrummy recipe book by Jen Rich. Rich Tea is one of Blurb’s many self-published books. If you are unfamiliar with Blurb, it’s an established self-publishing platform that wants to see creative’s ideas realised in book form. They make high quality books easy to produce and there’s such an array of options on their website you’ll be left like a kid in a sweet shop. I first came into contact with Blurb when I designed and made ‘The Panda That Lost His Smile’ story book for my Husband. It’s lurking in my portfolio. It was so much fun to see all my collages come to life in a book!

Rich tea 2

Any food focused book with lovely photos immediately draws me in and leaves me flicking through page after page with my mouth wide open. I have a whole board devoted to food styling on Pinterest and it’s by far my favourite to pin.

It wasn’t just the stunning images that I liked about this book. I really love recipe books that keep ingredients simple and that fuss free approach is taken by Jen Rich. There weren’t any crazy ingredients involved which keeps things straightforward and means you can just pop to the corner shop to pick up ingredients or even find them in your cupboard. There are 3 sections to the book: Pastry, Cakes and Biscuits; with some delicious classics like buttermilk scones, jammy dodgers and coffee and walnut cake.

What better way to review a book than to actually make one of the recipes. So, in-keeping with this ‘most wonderful time of the year’, I chose mince pies.

Rich tea 3

They were so straightforward to make and the addition of ground almonds to the pastry gave it a lovely consistency and taste. I thought I’d use my alphabet cutters to decorate some of them and they certainly got me feeling very festive! Rich Tea would make a great gift for someone this Christmas whether they were an aspiring Mary Berry or looking to try out baking as a total beginner. Buy it in hard cover right here.

Rich tea 4

This post was written in collaboration with Blurb Books but the opinions and views are my own. I never post material or products on The Lovely Drawer that I don’t agree with or absolutely love.

Styling the seasons – December

7th December 2014

december 3

It’s already a week into December so I’m a bit behind but here’s this month’s styling the seasons and what a fun month it is to style. I’m a big fan on December and decorating the house. I do wish we had space for a real Christmas tree but hey…maybe one day. Our fake number is a lot less messy after all. In the mean time let me introduce you to Doris the dear with her sparkly hoofs!

I couldn’t make the Crafting The Seasons event at Liberty but I was excited to receive a piece of liberty fabric in the post from Katy and Lotts to include in my December post. I decided to rustle up a little stocking to go with my styled set up and perhaps it can be filled on Christmas eve, you never know.

december 3

 

Obviously for me Christmas isn’t just about pretty decorations and all the trimmings. I don’t want all the little traditions to over shadow the focus of Christmas which is the birth of Christ our saviour, when God’s love came down to us to offer salvation and lasting joy to this fallen world. That’s something to celebrate!

december 2

A lovely DIY Christmas

4th December 2014

DIY Christmas

phone pouch // printable advent // printable tags // clay decorations // painted bowls // tube necklace // printable advent // glitter candle // geometric pendant // wrap necklace

Is it just me or is Christmas so much cosier when it’s handmade? I love making decorations and gifts for people. Unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot of time for that this year but hopefully I can still make a few bits and pieces here and there. I’m so excited about putting up our tree on Saturday! I thought I’d gather together and in some cases dust off a bundle of fun DIYs to decorate or make as gifts for your friends and family. They are all very simple, don’t panic.

win £80.00 worth of vouchers

2nd December 2014

Homebase giveaway

ladder shelves // knot floor cushion // polished pebble matt emulsion // large mango wood vase // diamond cotton throw // retro style end oak table // ceramic table lamp

As promised here’s an exciting giveaway for you all to enter. Thanks to Homebase I have £80.00 worth of vouchers to give away to spend in store! Ooo just think of all the things you could do with that. Perhaps you want to update a room as I did or maybe a fresh coat of paint in the new year sounds appealing or maybe you just want to run out and buy new Christmas decorations! Find some of my fave picks above. Whatever your brain is imagining, it’s really simple to enter. Just use the punch tab box below and follow the instructions.

I’m afraid this competition is open to UK residents only. You have a week to enter. What are you waiting for??

 

freshening up our living room

1st December 2014

room updates

Hello friends! I hope Monday hasn’t been to bleak for you all. I’m feeling slightly bogged down as I got ill again (feeble, I know) or perhaps I didn’t really get better in between…I’m not sure. Either way it’s not been great especially when I have so much lovely work from people to do!

Today I bring you some little additions to our living room to spruce the place up a bit. We were STILL been using a battered ikea tube paper light since we got married and I’m pretty sure it cost us about £6.00 so longevity was never on the cards. It was one of those purchases that you tell yourself isn’t permanent, just a filler until you find something better and then it’s still there staring back at you 3 years later. Our little side table was a crate but that kind of got reclaimed and painted white when I needed it for a recent wedding fair so I was really happy to add these two mid-century style pieces into the mix instead.

room updates 1

I chose this tripod lamp and lacquer side table  from Homebase to go in their place to liven up this corner and they definitely do the job. The textured cotton on the lamp shade is so natural and tactile and the table’s bamboo leg detail is really striking. Oh yes and it just so happens to be the exact right height for the arm chair…magical! That wasn’t even something I thought to check!

room updates 2Hooray for extra prettiness around the house! I love it when things are functional and good looking all at the same time. Now all I need is a new sofa to replace the butch one that occupies most of our living room…hmmm, Santa? It might be a bit big for a stocking.

Thanks to Homebase for providing me with these new additions and I’ll also be running a fab giveaway with them tomorrow on the blog. It’s been a little while since there was a giveaway around here. Keep those eyes peeled for freebies!room updates 3

sticky goodness

27th November 2014

sticky toffee 3

This month’s edible treat is up on Aspiring Kennedy. I’ve been making British classics with a twist, partly because I just can’t leave things as they are and partly because in general I’m not a big fan of British cuisine hence the twist. I can hear your gasps and I’m sorry but in general it’s a bit boring isn’t it? Anyway one thing I like regardless and with a passion is many British puddings. We definitely do them well, hear hear! So here’s a classic with a teeny twist that makes it simpler and quicker but is no less tasty. And yes this does have dates in it. You sillies that refuse to eat sticky toffee pudding with dates in need to try it. Dates are a food of wonder if you ask me! Enough dreaming, you can find the full recipe over on Lauren’s blog Aspiring Kennedy. Make sure you stick around to follow her endless adventures across the globe with her lovely husband and adorable toddler. They’re sure favourites.