You may remember me introducing you to my own brush lettering workshops over here on the blog, back in November? A big thanks to all you lovely people that have booked on to the eight classes I’ve taught already under The Lovely Drawer. As ever I’ve really been enjoying teaching but I also wanted to take a moment to introduce you to another workshop I’m running. I’ve taken my digital session exclusively to the Lovely Drawer going forward so now there’s a next step to further how you can use your lettering.
Well the day has finally come! I’ve just launched The Lovely Drawer Brush Lettering Workshops and couldn’t be more excited. Any of you who follow along on social media will know I’ve been teaching regularly for a while and doing various different events here, there and everywhere but this is the first time it’s all completely under The Lovely Drawer brand. I would have never envisaged teaching 2 years ago but I’m so glad I embraced this and have been over the moon to see the workshop’s popularity grow. I have two fabulous new venues, West Elm and Smug and come the new year I will be doing three workshops a month with the potential for more, so hopefully this will allow for some of you that haven’t managed to get on a class so far.
Exciting new things have landed in my shop! If you follow me on Instagram you may have already been seeing peeks of the new product I’ve been designing and recently had back from print. I always love escaping the screen and general to do lists and setting aside a few creative days to get my inks and paints out and go crazy with the brushes & usually my clothes as a bi product. Weirdly I come up with a lot of my ideas when I’m swimming on Wednesday mornings which makes me think I should be expensing that activity! Normally I fill my work space with a forest’s worth of paper (don’t panic, I recycle) and then come back a day later to cut through the clutter and pick out the best bits that could be turned into something great! There’s a mixture of illustrations and brush lettering with some fun and quirky sentiments which I hope you lovely people will enjoy.
If you’ve been following along on my instagram or snapchat then you’ll know that last week I spent 3 days in Venice with Jo Malone for their global meet up. They had a day of various different workshops and hired me to teach them brush lettering as just one alongside scentology, badge making, flower garlands and bow tying. I still can’t believe I got this gig but I was all too willing to accept with open arms.
Well friends it’s my birthday today and the final year of my twenties (sob sob). Knowing this fact is a massive improvement on a few months ago when I whole heartedly told someone I was 26. Oh dear, what a shock to realise that wasn’t the case when I did the maths! Anyone else struggle with keeping up with how old you are??
Anyway today isn’t going to be super flashy. For starters I’ll be out the house before 9am to set up for church but it’s pretty tip top to be spending the day with church family to be honest, along with my parents who’ll be coming up for lunch. With all the Blogtacular, workshops and Venice trip (did I mention I’m headed there for work eeek) craziness I’ve had to postpone full on celebrations to next Friday but In the spirit of celebrating another year closer to 30 and another year wiser as they say, I’ve decided to treat you all to a mega giveaway of goodies! You can win ALL of the above (worth over £100) in one fell swoop, perfect for all you paper & stationery lovers out there…I know you’re out there. I’ve picked out all my faves from the shop for you to get your hands on, simply by entering at the end of this post. There are some compulsory ways to enter along with some optional extras for bonus entries.
Well, my new website is finally here, after so many months of back and forth and pestering my web designer husband to keep cracking on in any spare minute he had. Building a new website is like being led down a rabbit warren. Changing one thing means you realise you need to change something else which in turn sets you onto something else. I feel like I’ve been pregnant with this site for all these months! At least now I finally have my pretty bundle of joy eh? Apologies to any of you that visited my site when it was down last week. We had some issues but they’re all sorted now, phew!
Hello hello! It’s about that time when I whip up some free printable Valentine’s treats, don’t you think? Well, that’s exactly what I’ve done with these mini brush lettered notecards and matching envelopes. They’re perfect for writing sweet or slushy love notes to the object of your affection this Valentine’s day. Why not use them all and they can open them throughout a Valentine’s breakfast? Any excuse for a scrummy breakfast works for me as you may well notice from my instagram feed.
I love the time between Christmas and New Year, where life is slow and without the ‘to do’ lists and usual routines, there’s space to ponder the year that’s just flown by. I think it’s so important to give thanks and at the same time take stock for the upcoming year. Me and my husband aways make the point of spending some of New Years Eve day looking back on the year. We dig out the prayers we wrote down at the same point in the previous year and get to praise God for so many answered as well as think through how we’d like to grow and the things we’d love to see happen for the coming year. It reminds us how faithful God has been and whilst hard work counts for something, it’s all made possible by him!
It’s been an amazing year for The Lovely Drawer and I continue to be blown away by the new directions it’s taken me and the opportunities I’ve had come my way. Thank you so much to all of you lovely people that have ordered from my online shops or commissioned me for projects, as well as all of you bloggers and creatives that have kept on inspiring me and swapped advise and empathy. The road has been hard but I’m so thankful to love what I do and still get find myself in disbelief explaining I’m a small business owner when people ask. Me? Really?! I don’t think anyone who knows me saw that coming. I’m actually earning a decent living doing me dream job! Whilst it’s tons harder than my ‘not so’ dream jobs but I couldn’t care less.
I’m so excited to be kicking of this Christmas blog series and excited to reveal all the other bloggers I got involved each of the 12 days. Thanks to West Elm for supporting the series and making it even sparklier. It seems logical to start with myself so here goes. And don’t forget you can also follow along on the Front + Main and #kindredspirits.
Happy Friday folks! I guess I should say happy Black Friday but that sounds a bit weird. Remember you can get 15% of in my Etsy shop on all prints and cards through today and tomorrow with the code BLACKFRIDAY. Just enter at the checkout.
Back to the point of this post and I’m so excited to finally reveal my exciting plans for December! For some reason I was unusually organised in thinking up and setting this plan in motion way back in August but I’ve been bursting to let you in on the fun in store ever since. I’ve teamed up with West Elm and 11 über talented blogging pals to bring you a little peek into our Christmas style for the first 12 days of December, hence the rather self explanatory title of this post.
This month has been manic which I haven’t kept a secret from any one. It’s left me totally overwhelmed most of the time and feeling like I’m doing a very bad job at juggling 20 balls in the air. My November Styling The Seasons shots hopefully give you a peak inside my head with things dotted all over the place in confusion whilst longing for rest and a chance to take note that November is even happening. We’re slowly moving from Autumn to Winter and I haven’t given myself a moment to take that in until now.
A few weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of teaching a talented group of bloggers how to brush letter. I was over the moon that Etsy asked me on board for the Making With Etsy blogger event and doubly happy when I saw the stunning location for the afternoon. If you haven’t been to Bourne & Hollingsworth in Clerkenwell then you jolly well should. The painted white walls, string lights, marble tabletops, botanical patterned chairs and hanging planters in every corner make this place so instagrammable you’ll want to have your phone glued to your poised hand. The large windows and glass ceiling panels mean the whole space is flooded with light even on a cloudy old day.
If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know I’m a brush lettering fanatic and teach classes with Quill London to help other people perfect the technique. It’s such a satisfying, not to mention therapeutic discipline that translates into so many different applications and is a great skill to have, particularly with all the potential Christmas gifts on the horizon. One that I often mention for exploration is brush lettering onto porcelain. It was something I tried a while ago but I wanted to give it another whirl and share the technique as I know using porcelain paint is a bit different to putting ink to paper.
Since arriving back from Budapest it very feels like it’s time to take the bull by the horns and throw myself head first into the run up to Christmas. I can’t live in denial any longer. To kick things off I’ve added a bunch of new products to the shop! I’m excited to reveal a new selection of prints, including a completely customisable print where you can decide on the phrase or sentiment, as well as the size and colours. Not only does it mean you can get exactly what you want, it also makes a great Christmas gift for someone special. There’s nothing quite like a personal touch. Find all of them right here.
Wow, it’s that time of the month again! Time for some more free desktop wallpapers and this month I’ve kept it simple with my trusty watercolours and a limited colour palette. Both sets of text seem particularly relevant to me at the moment. Summer was definitely a time of learning to say ‘no’. When you start out as a freelancer in many ways you have to say yes to nearly everything to get known, be ‘out there’ and build up a body of work. I didn’t need any one to point a gun to my head in order to see streams of yes’ pouring out of my mouth. I’m the kind of gal that finds it hard to say ‘no’. I’ve had so many good things come from all those yes’ but there finally came a time when I had too much work and was in the rather fancy position of choosing between projects and even prioritising those with more financial gain (madness). The learning process has made me much more selective in business, which I think has done wonders for my sanity but I also don’t want to totally shelve that eager spirit that says ‘yes, yes, yes’. Sometimes saying yes to things brings you down a route you never thought you’d go and opens up other possibilities for your business or creativity which is a great thing.
Last time I talked about making the jump to freelance and perhaps the word jump is an understatement, at least for what it felt like at the time. In this post I’ll talk about the day to day of setting up on your own and the great bits as well as the many challenges. Hopefully I can give a realistic view of growing your own creative business. As I’ve said before, these posts are coming from my own experiences and friends in similar positions that I’ve chatted to. Just because I’ve made the jump and come out the other end unscathed doesn’t make me an expert. Having said that I don’t really know what you need to qualify as an expert on any given subject. I definitely wouldn’t say a degree or even a masters or PHD could make you an expert in any field without years of experience living out the day to day of whatever it was you studied.
Starting out on my full time freelance journey, I felt liberated and that kind of nervous excitement you get that’s mainly powered by adrenaline. I finished work on a Tuesday weirdly enough and lots of people asked if I was going to take the rest of the week off before diving in, to which my answer was ‘no, I’m just going to get on with it’. As I said previously, I’d decided on what my days would generally be looking like with a bare bones structure but it was surreal hearing my alarm go off the next morning and knowing that I was officially the boss (eek). I set off on my walk around the park on my fake commute (I’m weird I know) and realised I could just take my time if I wanted. I started noticing parts of our neighbourhood I’d never had the time to notice before and actually finding inspiration all around me. It helped that it was a super sunny Spring morning, of course.
I just made it! It’s nearly the end of the month but July’s free desktop wallpapers are up! This time around I decided to brush letter some encouraging phrases to spread some creative love. It’s always nice to be met with something inspiring when you face your screen at the beginning of the day…or the middle…or the end for that matter.
You can download both of these designs for no pennies at all right here. I hope you enjoy using them and as I said last month, if you do instagram the wallpapers in action then use the hashtag #somethingforyourscreen and then I can have a peek.
Well hello! No need to panic, I’m still alive and kicking! I say this as the one who’s fully aware I haven’t posted in over a week, whilst realising you probably haven’t even noticed. Throw a holiday on the horizon into an already busy season of work and it makes for carnage! Anyway I’m not going to babble on about workload. It is what is is and all you self employed fellow team mates out there will empathise with getting (or not) the right balance.
The reason I’m posting this is to show you one of the many things I’ve been up to recently. I don’t tend to share my private commissions in this space anymore but this one was such fun and so beautifully photographed that I thought, why not?!
…And breathe! The bank holiday weekend is here! I am in fact working today, leading the very first two brush lettering classes open to the public with Quill London which I’m really looking forward to. Although I’m rather looking forward to a work free Sunday and Monday too! To celebrate, I’m running this awesome giveaway with Spreadshirt. You may not have heard of them but Spreadshirt are T-shirt printing experts but don’t just print T-shirts. They print on 180 products, from totes bags, to mugs, to aprons, to hoodies, to scarves, to shopping bags, to badges, to mouse mats, to phone cases, to umbrellas….the list goes on. You can choose from a number of their own designs or upload your own custom design or photo, which got me very excited!
Spreadshirt is all about letting your creativity run wild, to personalise a range of things for yourself, as a gift or even for events like weddings and parties. You can even offer your designs to the marketplace and start earning money from every one sold! Uploading designs is easy and you even get a little preview of what the the product will look like.
Good news, I’ve finally gotten / made a moment to add my brand new wedding set to my Etsy shop and it’s feels very Summery indeed! Meet ‘Watercolour Meadow’. I fancied creating another floral design but this time looser and fully designed with watercolour and ink. I had such a fun day creating the original artworks for the set. I’m sure I could just doodle away with ink and watercolour all day long.