writing, still an important skill?!

While I won’t say that my grammar is beyond reproach, I will say that I try. I’m a self-confessed bookworm and, as a result, know first-hand how important it is that people write well. It’s not simply a matter of having a great story or topic, of having well-rounded characters or a great plot… you must be able to tell that story in a readable way. It needs to flow well and be free of error. Having the skills to deliver your thoughts, ideas or even your personal profile in a resume in a coherent and readable way is very important. It’s a skill that we use every day, whether we are five years old or fifty. We write stories, we write in journals, we write essays, poems, emails and text messages. In short, we rely on our writing a lot, no matter our age or profession and it’s interesting to see how the development of this seemingly simple skill can have such a big impact on our futures or even our pockets!

A little while ago, I was sent a great infographic from the team over at Grammarly, which showed the correlation between a person’s writing skills and the impact of those skills on their career. You’ll need to click on the image to open up the full infographic, but it’s really no surprise to see that writing well pays off {pardon the pun}!


source – Grammarly

I think we all prefer to read things that are well-written. Text that is badly phrased, clunky or misspelled is often harder to read and not nearly as enjoyable. You can imagine that this kind of text might also make a bad impression on future employers or colleagues. Writing as a form of communication is really a cornerstone of any career. The more effectively you can communicate, the better off you will be.

From a teaching point of view, this is also one of the reasons I’m so passionate about really good children’s literature, and encouraging young people to keep trying different books until they find the ones that appeal to them. Just as different topics appeal to different people, so to do different writing styles and mediums. My middle son, Gabriel prefers stories that are action packed and loves books with cartoon-style illustrations included by teams like Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, whereas my elder son Noah has always been drawn to fantasy/fiction novels with no illustrations. They’ve both found their niche and hopefully this impacts on the way they write as well. When you learn to appreciate and understand what makes writing, good writing, then I think you’re halfway there!

dinna fash lassie’s, it’s an Outlander swap!

Thanks for stopping by! This is a general craft swap for those of us who are either a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s fabulous books or the more recent TV series… or both! The swap is being organised by myself (alittlereddress) and Hannah (quirkyhannah).

As this is a general crafty theme, you can make whatever you like tailored to your partner’s desires and it can be one big thing or a number of things. All we ask is that you check out your partner’s feed and create something special. You can include extra items (handmade or purchased), but these are left to your discretion.

Now for the the important bit:

Sign Ups Close: 13th February 2015.

Partner Allocation: Will be sent out by 20 February 2015.

Deadline to Send: 01 May 2015 for International 14 May 2015 for Domestic.

Now for some pesky rules…..

  1. This is a blind swap – you will create something for your partner in secret and not reveal your identity until your package is received. You will not know who is creating for you.
  2. This swap is open internationally so there is a possibility you may have a partner in another country. If we get enough interest we will try and match where possible to keep postage costs low.
  3. The shipping deadline is 14 May 2015 for Domestic and 01 May 2015 for International. You may ship a little earlier but please do your best to ship on time! If you are unable to do so or need to pull out of the swap for any reason please let Hannah or myself know as soon as possible. It is not much fun to be on the receiving end where nothing turns up.
  4. This swap is open to all abilities and all crafters.
  5. You must have an active and public Instagram account to participate. This makes it easier for your partner to find out info about you and your tastes so that they can create items with you in mind. Posts from private accounts will not show up in the hashtag feed. I apologise to those who are unwilling or unable to be public but this makes it easier and fairer on all.
  6. You need to complete the online questionnaire available here. Please be as helpful as you can in your answers but also bear in mind your partner might not be able to cater to all your requests.
  7. Please post teaser photos on Instagram using the hashtag #outlandercraftswap so we can all see your progress and wonder who the lucky recipient will be!
  8. When you have sent your parcel please post on Instagram tagging either alittlereddress and/or quirkyhannah or email us.
  9. When you have received your parcel please post it and a thank you on Instagram tagging us and your partner.

Sign Ups are Now Closed!

Any questions? Comment below. We’re both really looking forward to this and seeing what you all create!

xoxo Kylie

purr… an open letter to T2


Dear T2,

Just writing to say I had a lovely time in your Highpoint store this afternoon. I picked up a “Purr Mug“. Unfortunately when I took it out of the bag to unwrap it from the swathes of protective tissue paper you had wrapped it in, the cup was upside down and the lid (the reason I purchased it in the first place) fell from my grasp and smashed all over my kitchen floor. Is there any chance I can get a new lid?

Kylie xoxo


Edit: later that week… a large black box, filled to the brim with further swathes of orange tissue paper arrived on my doorstop and inside? one new mug, complete with lid! Thank you T2. You are the bomb!



mrs darcy

As a big fan of reading and the lovely Jane Austen, I literally squeaked when I came across a craft swap themed around one of my favourite authors and her fabulous {sometimes outrageous} characters pop up on IG. The ‘For the Love of Jane’ swap, hosted by Molly McMahon Martin aka Rose & Odin, is a general craft swap which means you can make whatever you like, tailored to your partner’s desires. If you like, you can make more than one thing and of course add some fun extras for your partner. To get to know what your partner loves best about Jane, the etiquette is all about secretly stalking their social media, because this is also a ‘blind’ or secret swap!

If you’re interested in taking a look at what the participants are working on, you can type in #fortheloveofjaneswap in your mobile IG app, but be careful not to swoon…

To get into the Austen groove, I got my creative on made a few downloadables for my fellow Janenites! There are versions in both A5 {148mm X 210mm} and A4 {210mm X 297mm} for you to enjoy. Just download and print!





diy for tea…

So, just recently I posted about a cute sharpie marker style mug that I quite liked, but unfortunately it was a link from Pinterest and the shop doesn’t appear to still exist on Etsy. It was a bit of a shame, because the cup was cute and for some reason that song routinely pops in my head when I least expect it, so it really resonated with me.

I decided that because of that little fail, I should have a go at making my own sharpie marker style mugs. I have a neat little collection of plain, white mugs that came with a new dinner set I bought last year and thought they would be perfect for this project.

Generally in reading through the loads of tutorials around online, these tips seem to offer the most success:

  1. Give the surface a quick wipe over with alcohol first.
  2. Keep your design clear of the lip of the cup.
  3. Use oil-based sharpie markers.
  4. Leave your design to dry for a couple of hours before baking.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 180 degrees Celsius.
  6. Leave to cool in your oven overnight.
  7. Hand wash your mug!

1.Lots of tips like this on Craftaholics Anonymous. // 2. These ones on PopSugar are sweet! // 3. The Gold Jellybean shows oil based vs. regular sharpies. // 4. Pounds for Pennies also try oil based sharpies. // 5. Another tutorial over here on A Beautiful Mess.