Taking a Break

October 6th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Travel - (0 Comments)

Grand Canyon photograph by Stefan Pearson

Taking a break.

Time to recharge the batteries and absorb some new sights. It’s been a while since I last went proper travelling and it’s long overdue. So, I’m unplugging the computer for at least two weeks and planning on relaxing as much as possible. However I am hoping to share a few pictures on instagram so you can follow me there. And I have been a busy bee on the Heart Home blog so daily posts will be continuing over there.

See you in two weeks.

Grand Canyon photograph by Stefan Pearson.

Simply Black and White

July 28th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Photographers - (0 Comments)

Browsing at the weekend I came across the website of photographer Alice Johnsson and was struck by this series of photographs.

The room is beautiful of course. The restrained palette of black and white with just the pale parquet flooring and brass light fitting to break up the monochrome scheme is calm and restful. I love the casual grouping of the artwork on the wall and the unframed prints hung from bulldog clips make it casual and formal all at the same time.

But it’s the photography and styling that really gives this room life.

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnson [2]

The artfully draped scarf, the open book and the single green stem in an oversized jar. Just beautiful.

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnson [4]

The black bentwood chairs are like a piece of sculpture against all of the pale colours and they echo the black of the photograph frames giving balance and framework to the composition.

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnsson [1]

I wish, I wish, I could group objects like this!

Simply Black and White - Photographed by Alice Johnsson [3]

Simply stunning.

It’s Pancake Day!

February 12th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Events - (4 Comments)

How do you like your pancakes my lovelies?

I’ve been searching pinterest for the best recipes (and photographs) that I can find….

Cappuccino Pancakes with Mocha Syrup

Cappuccino Pancakes with Mocha Syrup from a Pastry Affair

Pancakes with mixed berries

Pancakes with Mixed Berries from Culinary Sweet Nothings

Big Apple Pancake

Big Apple Pancake from Alexandra’s Kitchen

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes

White on Rice Couple


Coconut pancakes from She Wears Many Hats

Or are you a traditionalist like my BF who prefers lemon and sugar?


It’s not every day that you get an email inviting you to be the subject of a photo shoot.  So when I received an invitation to be just that I had to investigate a little further.

Manasi Kashyap calls herself a Lifestyle Photographer but that doesn’t even to begin to describe the talents of this interesting lady.  She prefers to shoot with film saying that she prefers the colours and warmth that it conveys and she is so right because her photographs are simply beautiful.

She is fascinated by the way in which people occupy the spaces where they live and work.  She doesn’t want to shoot just the objects in a room – to her it’s the people who are more interesting.

And so it came to be that Manasi and I spent a few hours together last weekend at my home and I’m just delighted with the results.  It was interesting to see my familiar territory through the eyes of a stranger and believe me she missed nothing!

I wish I’d smiled more, but that’s not Manasi’s fault, I’m just not that comfortable in front of the camera.  I hope you like the few I’m sharing here.  If you want to see more, you can find the whole series over on Manasi’s blog here.

And as if that weren’t enough.  I was also interviewed this week over on the Freshome blog by the lovely Ronique.

Thank you ladies, you have made my week.

I went to a lovely event on Tuesday night at Lifestyle Bazaar organised bymydeco.  A great little shop in trendy but still very gritty Shoreditch owned by Christopher Curtis and Laurent Nurisso. Two of the nicest and most hospitable chaps you would hope to meet.

photograph by Kate Baxter, Zero2one

Their shop is full of quirky and fun products displayed with great style and panache. And as we wandered round with a glass of chilled rose in one hand and a mince pie (don’t ask) in the other, Chris proudly explained that they like to stock the unusual and the exclusive, and that fortunately their products seem to appeal to a wide variety of shoppers.

photograph by Kate Baxter, Zero2one

Fortune has nothing to do with it.  They simply have great taste!

My personal favourites were the Lepidoptera Maximus cake plates, designed for The New English by Maxim, lead singer of ‘The Prodigy’.  Buyers so far have included a man buying the espresso cup and saucer and plate, as an anniversary gift for his wife, and a tattoo artist who bought the whole range to hang on the wall of his shop.

Second favourite the Ibride trays.

photograph by Kate Baxter, Zero2one

I was also tempted by the Marilyn Monroe photograph by Barbara Chandler.

But I didn’t leave empty handed.  Such generous goody bags boys!

Lifestyle Bazaar

I had the pleasure of meeting Rossana Novella the other night and I immediately recognised her flower photography from my frequent guilty perusals of the noths website.  All in the name of research of course.

Rossana was born in Argentina, brought up in Barcelona and now lives in the English countryside which gives her much inspiration for her work.  I just love the retro feel of her photographs.

Her style is quite unique and is created with a variety of old and new cameras, for an authentic vintage look… 

and is available as prints, greetings cards, cushions, coasters and place-mats and soon to be joined by mugs and notebooks.  She was quite excited when we met, that she had just seen some of her designs in Paperchase.  Her enthusiasm and passion for her work was very infectious.

She also has a blog which is well worth a visit.  I think we’ll be hearing a lot more of Rossana Novella.


I think I may have mentioned once or twice about the Blogging Your Way e-course:-) ?

Well, sadly it’s over and I want to say a really big thank you to Holly Becker (Decor8) and Leslie Shewring (A Creative Mint) and of course Thorston Becker (Alternative:Words ).

The past four weeks have been jammed packed with so much practical information from Holly that my pretty notebook is filled, and it has so many post-it notes sticking out of it, to remind me of things I must do, that it will probably keep me busy for many weeks to come.

Leslie has been an inspiration.  She is such a talented lady and she has generously shared with us a wealth of information on styling, taking, and presenting our own photographs.  And much more besides.  All of her lessons have been illustrated with her own work which makes you feel inadequate and inspired all at the same time!

It’s been such an enjoyable experience to get away from the pc for a change and create moodboards with scissors and paste instead of electronically and to style and take photographs instead of downloading them.  A habit that I hope to continue.

It’s not all been practical information either.  Holly has encouraged us all to look into our hearts and truly understand why we are blogging and where we want to go with it.  Personally, this has been the most difficult lesson for me.  Sometimes it’s not easy to step out of our comfort zone and accept change but I am hoping that the rewards will far outweigh the discomfort in the end.


It has also been fabulous getting to know so many new friends.  The class forum has been buzzing and hopefully we will continue to get to know one another for a long time to come.

So, if you’ve noticed a few changes here at Dear Designer’s Blog I hope you like what you see.  And if you are considering enrolling for the next Blogging Your Way course I thoroughly recommend it!

all photographs Dear Designer’s own

Dear Designer would like to introduce you to John Deed of Flying Pigments

An uber talented, up and coming photographer whose work should soon be hanging on many a wall…

Just a few personal favourites…

Flying Pigments

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