• adventure

    Meeting Puffins


    Puffin 1


    Funnily enough, puffins have become one of the most requested designs to be painted on my buttons over the last few months – I’ve posted out four in the last fortnight. I’m always happy to receive a puffin commission though, because I never get tired of studying and painting their detailed, comical faces, their stripy beaks, and their soulful eyes.

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  • Books

    What I Read in April

    Miss Beatrix Anna Reading

    April was the month I rediscovered reading. Not-so-coincidentally, the desire to read wandered casually back in as if it had never left immediately that I did three things:

    1. I finally succumbed to buying a Kindle

    2. I closed my personal Facebook account and

    3. I bought a new car (bear with me on that one).

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  • crochet

    Latest Crochet Make: Weather Baby Mobile

    Weather Baby Mobile

    Apparently there’s some sort of rule hanging around the blogosphere these days that you shouldn’t start a post by apologising for bad photography. Perhaps that’s because it’s no longer acceptable to post non-Pinterest worthy photography in the first place. Sadly, finding a time window of daylight at this time of year is a wholly tricky business, and the images in this post were taken in a ten minute slot where I could leave the house a little later because I had an early morning dental appointment. So they aren’t images to be proud of, but as long as you can see what they are photos of, we’ll say no more about it.

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  • adventure

    On Camping

    Bea and Tent Camping

    I recently spent a week camping with Bea and family in Norfolk. This was my first camping experience since I embarked on my Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award thirteen years ago, and my first camping holiday in around two decades. Camping is enjoying a huge renaissance at the moment as a result of more and more people choosing to save money by holidaying in the UK. But having spent a week getting the full experience, (and yes, I did have the little natty tune from Carry on Camping roaming around my head all week as I marched to and from the toilet block, and yes, I did make adorning my tent with nautical bunting and fairy lights a priority). I’ve decided that there is more to camping, and its new-found popularity is about more than having a break as cheaply as possible.

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  • photography

    Food Photography at the School of Artisan Food

    Crumbly Vignette

    Yesterday I went on a course called An Introduction to Food Photography at the School of Artisan Food at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire. I’m always ogling what the school is up to on Twitter, and because I work in food marketing and spending more time creating beautiful photographs of chocolate is high on my work agenda… well, it would have been rude not to snatch up the opportunity when it arose! Especially as Welbeck is only twenty minutes’ drive from my house.

    Our tutor for the day was the lovely and talented Joan Ransley, who built up the course from camera settings to composition to practical exercise and then onto feedback, when we tentatively uploaded our day’s work for inspection.

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  • creativity

    On Sundays We Explore


    Every weekend Bea and I make sure we get out and about for a couple of long walks. It makes up for the necessarily shorter walks on weeknights, and does us both good to have time off the lead – for Bea, literally, and for me, away from time constraints the inevitable ‘stuff to do’ of the average weekday.

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  • blogging

    The Project


    I love a project, I do. I remember vividly being at school and doing a project for Music on the composer Haydn. If my teacher had used the word ‘homework’ – which it was – I wouldn’t have been interested. Homework was something that just had to be done and got out of the way. But because she called it a project, well, let’s just say that by the time that project was handed in a couple of weeks later it was in its own special ring binder, and even had a cassette {old school} taped to the front of the folder with music clips that corresponded to different parts of the text within. Geek? Yes. OTT? Oh yes. But proof that if you want me to do a job well you have to call it by the magic P word? I think so.

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  • buttons/ craft

    Latest Button Commissions

    Bee Earrings

    I’m making a conscious effort in 2015 to share more of the ongoing story behind my little button-making business with you. It’s an odd hobby/enterprise choice; people always require me to repeat myself when I mention what I do ‘on the side'; “You make what? Buttons? Really?!” Never fails to make me smile.

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  • #creativesunite

    A Tweak to Creatives Unite


    …Aaaand another change to announce. Lots of us have been setting ourselves creative goals and challenges with the start of a new year. I’d like to finish a granny square blanket I started months ago, and stop stockpiling white cotton thread “because you can never have too much”, when it turns out that, in actual fact… you can.

    One change I’m bringing in to my crafty creative world is to take Creatives Unite back down from two hours to one. We’ve all become so busy over the last year that the number of us able to join in each week – myself included – has been reducing, and I think that as well as all the commitments modern life brings, that this is down to being too tired for two hours’ crafting, as much as anything else.

    So let’s make it more manageable. From 8-9pm every Thursday, I’m aiming to work on a creative project, and really hope as many of you as possible will join me on Twitter, to work on a project of your own, chat with fellow friendly creative types, and enjoy a scrumptious something. (I think Maltesers win “Treat of Choice 2014.”)

    See you there!

  • #PostCircle

    Sad and Wonderful News


    How can a piece of news be both sad and wonderful at the same time? Well pull up a pew, for this is how:

    After an extremely busy 2014, and a number of large but exciting challenges coming up in 2015, I have taken the sad decision to give up running #PostCircle. When I set it up on a whim almost two years ago I had no idea it would grow to the size it has, and I couldn’t be more proud. We have gained  hundreds of members from all over the world, created hundreds of friendships and generated hundreds of smiles  through happy post. The problem is that a lot of administrative work goes into keeping the project running, and unfortunately I just no longer have the time. I’m very sad to be letting it go.

    …But the wonderful news? I couldn’t be more pleased that my superstar #PostCircle Angel, Annee has agreed to take #PostCircle over, and make it her own. Annee has been a wonderful support since she volunteered for the project a year ago; she’s made many of the admin processes run more smoothly and has been so efficient. I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather hand the project onto.


    So it’s goodbye from me – I’ll be spending the extra time on writing for this blog and tackling everything 2015 has in store. And please welcome Annee McBride, your new #PostCircle host! Annee has just created a shiny new #PostCircle Twitter account, so hop over and give it a follow

  • seasonal affective disorder

    A #BashSAD Update


    It’s a new year, and for many of us, a fresh start and a time to get started on some big goals. Last year I blogged about how I’ve shifted my own New Year – in terms of goals and resolutions – to start in April, because Seasonal Affective Disorder means that cold, dark January is the worst possible time for me to begin. It’s the period where I feel the most sluggish and run down and sleepy – so I’d be setting myself up to fail.

    Well, after lots of us took part in a #BashSAD challenge in October, it’s time for an update on my own SAD journey, three months on. And things have changed somewhat!

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  • buttons/ craft/ crochet

    A Pop Up Virtual Shop Event!


    It’s been a quiet year for craft fairs at Miss Beatrix, with life being so busy and all, so I’m doing just the one before the clock ticks over into 2015, and I intend to go all out. Even better, I am sharing my humble plot with the talented crochet genius, Adele of Nice Things By Adele. Even better than that – we have made a few collaborative pieces, teaming my handmade, hand illustrated buttons with her splendid crochet to make some special one offs. And even better than that …. we decided to hold an online pop up shop at the same time as holding our real life one.

    Basket of Roses


    What?! Yes, we are like slightly eccentric but very enthusiastic Christmas elves.

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