I came across this blogger relatively recently and I'm completely hooked. For starters, she's a real ale drinker like me! :-) Anyway, lets get cracking and find out more.
Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?
Hello! Like a number of interviewees on this fine blog before me I am proud to live in Yorkshire, in a village outside Sheffield. I spend half my week working at a college and half as a freelance copy editor. My life is full of transitions at the moment so I cope with this by enjoying the simple things in life and embracing my creative side - I love so many different arts and crafts and am at my happiest when making something or writing stories. Making doll’s house miniatures is my real passion. I also love walking, checking my teapots for dormice (not a euphemism) and going on vintage foraging adventures. I am scared of toasters.
What's your creative space area like?
I work in a little room which used to be called the Blottery – because I do a lot of writing in there - and is now called the Bloggery! It contains a large glass desk, a bookcase stuffed with books, lots of special photos and I have a kettle and teapot in there too.
If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
I’m writing a few nautical-themed craft posts at the moment so it would actually be quite helpful if you could arrange it? I would like to say my Fimo modelling clay because I could be forever remoulding it into new things, but as it would probably go all melty and sticky I will say embroidery – it’s a new craft to me but I love the precision and the way it calms my mind. I’m hooked!
How do you work and get inspired?
I usually have several projects on the go at once but never two of the same craft. I talk about my childhood a lot on my blog. I think play is really important – not being afraid to make believe, and to pull all your crafting materials out and just be free to experiment. I come up with lots of ideas by looking at the world as I remember it from a child’s perspective. Books are another huge inspiration for me – I get so emotionally
attached to stories and one can influence a project years after I read it. Lastly, I love social history, so learning how people used to live in decades past inspires my work with miniatures. I would love to do a 1940s doll’s house one day!
What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and/or those thinking of selling their designs/crafts?
Well I’m currently working towards opening an Etsy shop (you read it here first!) so perhaps I shouldn’t advise on selling until I’ve tried it. I’ve been blogging nearly a year now and have learned so much in that time. In my last job I used to attend up to four networking events every week and it was like an epiphany for me. I saw that great opportunities and relationships form when you actively network and are happy to help others out. So my best advice when it comes to blogging is to just talk to people. Social media means there is now no excuse not to. Join craft forums, chat on Twitter (I never shut up on there!) and remember blogging isn’t a solo enterprise, it’s actually very much a community thing. So praise and share others’ great
blog posts, share your experiences on forums and communicate. You’ll find your passion shines through and folks really warm to that. It takes time and effort, but the results will be invaluable… not to mention the friends and handy contacts you’ll make! I guess I’ll find the same advice applies to selling, too!
Is there a story behind the name 'Miss Beatrix'?
There is! Beatrix is the name of my dog, and she in turn is named after my heroine, Beatrix Potter. I have always wanted a dog, but when I got Bea eighteen months ago I had no idea just how much she would enhance my life. She sits with me when I’m crafting, she joins me on inspirational walks, her big ears are perfect for listening to my ideas (and my grumbling when projects go wrong) and she makes me laugh, so it just seemed right that the representation of my creative self online should be named after my two favourite Beatrixs! Not to feel left out, Alfie the guinea pig makes occasional appearances on the blog too.
If you could be given an award for your creative blog by any person/fictional character (dead or alive), who would it be?
Seeing as my blog is named after Beatrix Potter, I like to think she would approve. She was both an intensely creative and academically minded business woman who made great things happen despite her background and the era in which she lived. She overcame personal tragedy, prejudice and restrictive social and family expectations, and she reminds me to pursue my own goals and live a creative life despite whatever
challenges cross my path. I wonder if she would write a blog instead of letters if she were alive today.
And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
I’m partial to both but think I’ve given this answer away already! Book, tea and Bea cuddles sound perfect. I’m a tea snob though, so it has to be Yorkshire Tea!
Thanks so much, Anna! No problem, I'll arrange your passage to a desert island, so that you can do some blogging research! ;-) I reckon you should take some Yorkshire Tea with you for sustenance and maybe Bea for company?
It's been lovely getting to know you and your blogging world, Anna. Best of luck setting up your Etsy shop! I cannot wait to see the grand opening!
I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for the next one! Happy reading!
All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Anna at Miss Beatrix. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.