Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Alex Monroe's New Jewellery Collection

Jewellery Designer and Previous Interviewee Alex Monroe Releases the 'Banquet' Collection

Alex Monroe Baroque Parrot and Fruit Necklace
Alex Monroe Baroque Parrot and Fruit Necklace

I had the pleasure of featuring the very talented jeweller Alex Monroe in the November issue of Make & Sell Jewellery magazine, the last issue I worked on before I left. I had been after him for a while as my colleague on the magazine had one of his signature Bumble Bee necklaces, which I loved.

Alex Monroe Bumblebee Necklace
Alex Monroe Bumblebee Necklace

The design sums up his style; natural, detailed, unusual and with a little touch of whimsy.

He was ahead of his time as bee jewellery is becoming a big trend, I did a feature on it in the November issue of Make & Sell Jewellery.

Make & Sell Jewellery magazine feature

I was lucky and managed to interview Alex for one of our regular features, How I Started, which was also in the November issue. As the name suggests, the piece is a look into how big-name designers began their journey. Alex was really interesting, funny and refreshing, plus he comes from Ipswich, so he's local to me. His story is fascinating; he's gone from being homeless to one of Britain's most successful jewellery designers.

Here's the feature in the November issue of Make & Sell Jewellery magazine.

Make & Sell Jewellery magazine feature Alex Monroe

Now Alex has released a new collection of jewellery called Banquet. It's a fitting title, the range features Baroque style pieces depicting delicious fruit and exotic birds. It makes me hungry just looking at it.

Alex Monroe Perching Parrot and Fruit Ring
Alex Monroe Perching Parrot and Fruit Ring

Alex Monroe Split Pomegranate Necklace
Alex Monroe Split Pomegranate Necklace

Alex Monroe Split Peach Necklace
Alex Monroe Split Peach Necklace

I particularly love the Asparagus Bundle Necklace, I never would have thought to include vegetables in my jewellery.

Alex Monroe Asparagus Bundle Necklace
Alex Monroe Asparagus Bundle Necklace

Check out Alex's Banquet range, and all his other collections, they are beautiful.

I'm afraid the November issue of Make & Sell Jewellery is no longer out (due to my slowness at posting) but you can order back issues here. Or you could buy a current one, it's a pretty good mag, even if I don't work on it any more.

Happy December!

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Still Going: Freelance Copywriting

I know I haven't written anything for ages.
You'd be fair in thinking my freelance writing career had crashed and burned. Luckily it's quite the opposite. I have gradually built up some regular clients and have quite a mixed workload, varying from writing product descriptions for children's clothing to informative articles on haemorrhoid treatment (I kid you not).

I'm still writing for children's fashion and gift company Kidsen, as I described in my previous post. I've been writing descriptions for some of their Christmas stock, including this cherry print dress which I want in adult size.

Child's cherry print Christmas dress
Mini Rodini Mon Cheri Dress from Kidsen

I've also been working for a medical information site called Health Beacon, writing informative articles on subjects like pregnancy and, yes, haemorrhoids. Here's a link to a few of my health articles, I'm afraid the haemorrhoids one isn't up yet.

As well as that, I'm also writing freelance for, which, as the name suggests, helps websites build links and increase their audience. I write website copy for their various clients and I've also written a few blogposts for them, including this one on building links.

It's really great to work for these websites as it gives me a chance to increase my knowledge of web writing and SEO. Plus, they pay me, which is always good.

As you can see, I've been pretty busy with work and blog posts have got a bit left behind. I've also been busy as my boyfriend and I have recently adopted a puppy.

Rescue Puppy

This is Jack. He's about seven months old and was a stray in Bulgaria before he was rescued and brought over here by dog charity K9 Rescue. They do great work helping stray dogs and increasing the public awareness of the plight of Bulgarian street dogs.

Jack's lovely but still a little nervous so we're working on increasing his confidence and socialising him. He already likes hanging out with our cat Otis (who we got from Suffolk Animal Rescue, another great animal charity).

Cat Selfie, Dog Photobomb
Jack and Otis - Cat Selfie, Dog Photobomb

I don't want to be one of those people who ramble on about their pets all the time, but Jack's part of my excuse for not posting more regularly. He's cute but he's hard work.

So that is what I have been up to. I'll attempt to post more regularly now, when I'm not looking after Jack or writing about bodily functions.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Off to a Good Start: Freelance Copywriting

Child's La Loi Paint Leggings Kidsen
La Loi Paint Print Leggings, £39, Kidsen

I've been quiet for a bit as I've been busy working on my freelance writing career.

I found my first job as a freelance writer through Elance. The site connects freelancers with people and companies looking to hire them. For any other journalists, copywriters, bloggers and proofreaders out there, Elance is a good place to look for work, although you do have to search through some rubbish for the decent jobs.

I did find some gems on there though and one of them was a job writing product descriptions, meta descriptions and tags for children's clothing company Kidsen. Luckily they liked my proposal, plus the first few descriptions I wrote, and I'm now writing for most of their AW/13 range.

Dolly Child's Pink Pettiskirt Kidsen
Dolly Dusty Pink and Cream Pettiskirt, £50, Kidsen

I didn't think I'd luck out with my first freelancer job, but I really did. It's a lovely company with friendly people, plus it's so nice to write about interesting and attractive things. I just wish the clothes that Kidsen stocks came in adult sizes.

I particularly love this bear jumper.

Tootsa Macginty Bear Knit Jumper Red
Tootsa Macginty Delamere Jacquard Knit Jumper in Ruby, £43.99, Kidsen

Here are a few other products I've been working on.

Bobux Child's Brown Chelsea Boot Kidsen
Bobux Chocolate Chelsea Boot, £23, Kidsen

Kidscase Baby Knitted Onesie Red Kidsen
Kidscase Harvey Knitted Red All-In-One, £53, Kidsen

Child's Sweater Snow Leopard Beige Kidsen
Mini Rodini Snow Leopard Sweater in Beige, £50, Kidsen

Mini Rodini Fox Leggings Kidsen
Mini Rodini Fox Sweatpant in Grey Melange, £35, Kidsen

Nice, right?

I've got a few more writing projects in the pipeline. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Roald Dahl Day

Roald Dahl Day - Image by Quentin Blake
Roald Dahl Day - Image by Quentin Blake

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

And happy Friday 13th. It seems rather fitting that Roald Dahl day has fallen on this mischievous date.

I love Roald Dahl, I remember desperately trying to move a spoon using only my mind when I was a child. I was very annoyed when it wouldn't budge and blamed my parents for being too nice, unlike Matilda's parents, whose ill treatment lead to her amazing power.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - Image by Quentin Blake
Matilda by Roald Dahl - Image by Quentin Blake
I also loved Matilda because she read books all the time, like myself.

However, my favourite Roald Dahl book has to be The Twits.

The Twits by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl's descriptions of the vindictive couple and their practical jokes are wonderfully horrible. I also particularly loved the poor monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps.

But my main reason for liking The Twits is that it taught me two very important life lessons. One is that, "If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." The other is told by the Roly-Poly Bird to the Muggle-Wumps; "It's no good going to a country and not knowing the language." I'm not fluent in any other languages, so can't follow this 100%, but if I am going abroad I always make sure I know the basics. It's much better than doing the typical British thing of thinking that if you speak very loudly and slowly in English then people will eventually understand.

Thanks Roly-Poly Bird.

I hope you have a lovely Roald Dahl Day.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Adrian Mole

I've been rereading the Adrian Mole books recently.

Adrian Mole Books

Check out the post on my other blog for more details: The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole.

Yes I have another blog and a secret identity,

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Penguin Books Nail Art

Penguin Books Nail Art
Penguin Books Nail Art - One Nail To Rule Them All

I just had to post about this amazing nail art from One Nail To Rule Them All (good name).

She's recreated the classic and instantly recognisable Penguin Books covers on her nails.

I'd never have the patience or talent to paint these myself. Plus my nails are a chewed mess.

Penguin Books Nail Art
Penguin Books Nail Art - One Nail To Rule Them All

Check out the One Nail To Rule Them All blog for details of how to paint these yourself.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Last Day

I have now officially left Aceville Publications and have started on my exciting/terrifying new career as a freelance writer.

It was a bit of a strange last week; we were on press with the October issue of Sew magazine so I barely had time to think about the fact that I would be leaving on Friday. I still don't think the realisation has sunk in.

I got a good send off and some lovely presents, including Rob Ryan goodies and my very own Sew magazine cover.

I managed not to cry but I was very touched. I will miss everyone on Sew and Make & Sell Jewellery magazines and all of Aceville.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Going Freelance

That's right, I'm leaving full time employment and becoming a freelance writer

As of 5pm this Friday, I will no longer work for Aceville Publications.
It was a very tough decision to leave as I have loved working on Sew and Make & Sell Jewellery magazines, plus I have learnt so much during my employment on the publications. However, I feel now is the time to take the risk and become self employed.

I will be working as a freelance journalist, writer and proofreader.

May the fates shine upon me.

By the way, if you would like anything written, proofread or gone through with a red pen, then contact me here.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A Mug's Guide to Grammar

I need these Grammar Grumble Mugs from The Literary Gift Company so badly. This is mainly so I can clonk people over the head or scald them with boiling liquid when they get their grammar wrong.

I think this one is my favourite.

I'm surprised there isn't a your/you're one, it drives me nutty when people get that wrong!

Am I petty? I don't care.

I am now going to check this post very carefully for grammatical errors.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Alyssa Smith Jewellery

Gingerbread men jewellery - Alyssa Smith

We've recently launched a new feature in Make & Sell Jewellery magazine called How I Started. It's a feature on an individual from the jewellery world about, you guessed it, how they started.

I've been lucky in managing to get some big names, including Alyssa Smith. She's got a strong celebrity following (Sheridan Smith and Dawn Porter to name a few). I thought because of this she would be too big to talk to me, but oh no, she was actually one of the nicest and funniest people I've ever featured.

Alyssa Smith

Happy Ever After Necklace - Alyssa Smith

She started her company straight out of university, even though she "didn't know how to fill in a tax form." Now she's a successful business woman. Her Tweetie necklaces in particular are popular.

Tweetie Necklace - Alyssa Smith

I think I like her best because when the magazine came out she posted this on Twitter:

'I put the magazines on the main stand and left all the pages open at my interview. Had to be done! :-D xxx'


The magazine is out now so take a look.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Business Cards

Look at my spanking new business cards. It's great to have my own cards and not ones that I have to scribble my name on the back of anymore; people tended to look at me like I must have stolen them and was playing make believe.

This is how I felt when I got my two boxes of cards...

You've got to love a little bit of The Emperor's New Groove.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Lou Gardiner, Free Machine Embroiderer

A National Treasure - Lou Gardiner

A great part of my job is getting to contact and write about stupidly talented people, one of them being designer Lou Gardiner. She creates amazing works of art using just a sewing machine. It's a level of talent that I'm in awe of.

Lou Gardiner

Pink Fizz and Feathers - Lou Gardiner

I interviewed her for one of our regular features on Sew magazine, My Sewing Room, which is a one page in depth piece on a person from the sewing world. She talked about her inspiration and her work with Sensations crisps, designing the logos for their new flavours.

Kettle Chips - Lou Gardiner

Also, she designs pictures of ducks wearing chef hats.

Bonjour Canard Cupcake - Lou Gardiner

She's now become a regular columnist for Sew where she frequently talks about her love of sherry, my kind of girl.

Friday, 28 June 2013

I'm Back

So, it's been a year or two with no word.

Anyone would think I'd given up this writing milarky completely, but actually it's sort of the opposite. I was trying to fit in writing around my (rubbish) job but in April last year I managed to get myself a real life journalist job, yay!

I work for Aceville Publications who produce lots of magazines on a variety of topics, including several craft titles. I work as an Editorial Assistant on Sew and Make & Sell Jewellery magazines.

Make & Sell Jewellery - August Issue

Sew Magazine - July Issue
No, I am not doing any of the sewing projects myself, my stitching skills aren't quite up to scratch yet, but I do proof read, write, copy write, source pictures, style photo shoots and help in the design stage. In fact it's a really great job as I get to discover and work in all aspects of the publishing business, not just the writing.

They even occasionally let me out of the office to represent the magazines at events, I must be doing something right. A colleague and I recently attended Treasure at Somerset House, which is part of London Jewellery week. I saw so many amazing designers and spent my day looking at pretty sparkly things. Quite chuffed I get to do that as a job.

Anyway, I will attempt to post a bit more frequently now (once a year maybe). I'd like to give a good excuse for not writing, but it was mainly lazyness. Plus, you know, I'm busy.

Friday, 31 May 2013

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