Summer Stew

Today is a fun day as it's my very first guest post over on my lovely friend, Lauren's blog. She has a really sweet blog full of all sorts of interesting reads, giveaways and fun photos of their travels so I'd definitely check it out if I were you.

When I think stew, it conjures up images of chilly winter days, big cardigans and a huge bowl of something warming but this Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew with Lemon Cous Cous, is what I'd consider a summer stew, if there ever was such a thing. The Mediterranean flavours would be really nice on a warm Summer evening with a glass of wine. For the full recipe skip on over to Aspiring Kennedy.

cut & stick

Oooo I do love these cards by by Fair Morning Blue. They have an Aztec feel about them but look as if they were created in some kind of exciting cutting and pasting craft session. I’m such a colour geek and these colour combinations really excite me! Check out the Etsy shop here for more lovely cards for your peepers to feast on.

so glad you made it

After what felt like an abnormally long winter, Spring finally showed up this week! I've heard countless people say 'I'm very ready for winter to end this year' and I in fact am one of those people. I love Spring. Perhaps its mostly because it brings the promise of Summer with it but I just love that suddenly birds are tweeting in the evenings, the trees are full of blossom, the sound of kids playing drifts out of every park and thick coats go into hibernation. Every one's mood seems automatically lifted. What I do find hilarious about Spring in England is the unashamed over-enthusiasm for a teeny bit of sun and a temperature reaching little over 12 degrees. The amount of bare legs and flip flops I've seen in the last week has made me chuckle. I think I'll stick to tights for now.

a nice surprise

One of the great things about having a blog is you get a peak into what people like to look at and read about. It’s fun because sometimes there are some real surprises. You may remember my DIY geometric necklaces I posted back in August. I have to say this post continues to surprise me! The amount of traffic this one DIY project has generated for my blog is crazy, especially when you compare it with all my other posts. It’s been repinned to excess and even pinned by some bloggers I really admire and follow daily (one of those exciting moments when you try to play it cool but really you're squealing on the inside). I’ve had lots of emails from people asking for advice on making them which has been great and I was even asked to visit a school to give this tutorial in person. All of this from a DIY inspired by Fimo modelling with my Mum and executed whilst on a British Seaside holiday. Pretty funny! Today I came across this post which put a big smile on my face. Brit + Co is a great blog full of so many fun DIY ideas amongst other things. To inspire people to get making, each month they put together Brit Kits which have all the materials needed for the most popular DIY’s. You can subscribe and get them sent straight to your door. What an awesome idea! This month my geometric necklace idea is among the pins chosen to be voted into next months box. So if you’ve enjoyed my tutorial at any stage please do have a look and like or repin it on their 'Projects to DIY for' Pinterest page. There are lots of quirky and creative ideas on this page, by some really talented bloggers who frequently inspire me and might inspire you too.

handmade with love

Today the spotlight falls on my good friend Lora, who has recently launched her own accessory business called Lora Dora. It’s early days but her Etsy shop is up and running and full of gorgeous bags in all sorts of colours and patterns. She has been working as a fashion designer since graduating but has chosen to specialise in accessories for her own venture. 

Lora and I go way back to the teeny age of 7 and most of our friendship has revolved around art and design. Back in year 3 we would spend ‘wet play’ drawing side by side and funnily enough producing spookily similar pictures. Our secondary school French lessons were less about French and more about doodling cartoons to pass back and forth to each other. Come our BTEC National diploma we were desk buddies, covered in paint and buried under a pile of material and masking tape. Lora moved to London just a few months after we did and is set to give Lora Dora a shot. She has always been a very skilled maker and has tons of drive when it comes to design. Check out her Etsy shop here. She commissioned me to do some branding for Lora and Dora and I happily obliged. It’s very different designing for a fellow creative. She knew exactly what she was after and even gave me a mood board and colour palette which made it a whole lot easier. What a pro!

spring clean

Well once again, 6 months on I'm re-designing The Lovely Drawer again. It's turning out to be a bi-annual occasion, although not intentionally. This time I can conveniently blame it on the season and call it a 'Spring clean'. The good and bad thing about being a designer is your style is constantly evolving as you work and so things that please your eyes one month, may not the next. I guess that's what keeps designing exciting and stops us from becoming stagnant. Any way it's not ground breakingly different but I hope you enjoy the clean up and new colour palette.

stationery geek

Stop and take a moment to admire all this lovely stationery from Le Petite Papeterie Francais. I wouldn't know what to buy first! The bold colours paired with kraft and recycled paper make them super yummy. If only I had more of a need for mountains of stationery! Check out the online shop here.

so that was march...

From top right...
*I spent a lot of time going back to my surface pattern roots and ink & felt tips were my materials of choice.
*A wet but fun day trip to Hackney City Farm; a surreal experience I'd recommend.
*My Mum in Law always buys me the most lovely flowers. 
*Nick's Birthday made it very necessary to make a monster cake.
*This cute little chicken hut made me chuckle, although I think it promised more than it delivered 
*RIP my favourite brown boots. After only 9 sweet months together I well and truly broke them. On the up side it meant I got these very yummy replacements.
*It was a happy moment when I realised my nail polish collection made a rainbow.
*My favourite building on my way down to Shepherd's Bush green. I love, love, love the retro typography!