My Diamonique anniversary design


And there was me, hoping for better weather when I wrote my last blog, and it’s gone full circle from temperatures in the high 70s to soft summer rain today. What a wonderful July this is turning into, after a far from ‘Flaming June’. Mind you I reckon it was the change in the temperature that caused me to come down with a sore throat, no voice and a cough that made me sound more like a dog barking! I had to miss several days at work, but am feeling much better now and back to my usual schedule.

I’m keeping everything crossed that my mum’s health will improve too, as the lovely photograph I took of all of us just a month back gave us no indication of what was to come. Two weeks ago mum was taken into hospital, completely immobile, and unable to walk. Her legs just didn’t seem to want to hold her up, and it was impossible for her to move from a chair or even her bed without help from someone else. Joe her partner, is so frail now that a breath of wind would blow him over, and he certainly wasn’t able to help her when she fell, so they had to call the paramedics.

Luckily the fall didn’t cause any physical damage, and she’s being very well looked after in the hospital where they’re making sure she’s comfortable and encouraging her with physio. However, it does look as though she’ll have to spend some time in a rehabilitation centre before she can come back home.

It’s come as a shock to all of us, as mum’s always been sharp as a die, and although less able to get about in the last six months, she was managing pretty well. When someone’s been in your life, all of your life, it’s very difficult to imagine a time when they may not be there any more…

I know from reading your comments here on the blog that many of you have gone through similar situations with your parents or partners, so any pointers or advice you could give me would be gratefully received. She was 84 last Wednesday, and Colin and I went to visit her on her birthday when I took this photo. I’ll let you know here on the blog as to how she’s progressing, and hope that the next time I write it will be with more positive news.

Actually I do have some positive and very exciting news! This year is the 25th anniversary of QVC’s simulated diamond and gemstone jewellery range Diamonique! As you know, I am not only an avid collector of this magnificent jewellery but I also present a regular show every Tuesday at 8pm which showcases our newest designs and many of your favourite collections.

I was delighted to be asked by our Diamonique buying team a while ago if I’d be prepared to design a piece of jewellery to celebrate this momentous occasion, and of course I said yes! It’s a number of years since I designed a Diamonique version of the ‘I Hope’ pendant, and so I felt a bit rusty when I took out my pencil and paper and started doodling… no CAD designs for me!

Slightly shamefaced I presented my sketches to the buyers, who were very complimentary about them all, but as the other ideas were close to designs they already had, they chose the Spinner Pendant. I’m not sure if you remember the old spinner pendants that used to have the word ‘Love’ written on them, and when you blew on them they would spin round?

Well, in truth, I’ve loosely based my pendant on that design. I say loosely because although you can spin the centre with your fingers, there’s a lot of solid silver there – being the traditional 25th Anniversary symbol – and over 90 Diamonique stones, so you’d need as much puff as the Wolf in the Three Little Pigs to make this one move!

It’s actually more substantial because of that, and I have left the back of the central element completely plain so that you could personalise it with a special message if you wanted to: a name, a short message, someone you love, someone you miss.

There are more Diamonique stones pave set around the outer circle for that additional sparkle, and the chain is a 46cm sequin link with an extender, that catches the light beautifully. As you can see, there are potentially two ways to wear it, depending on how the mood takes you! I chose this shape as I believe in the circle of life and that we never truly lose those we love, because they will always be with us in our hearts and memories…

You don’t have long to wait to see it either, as I will be unveiling it in the 8pm Diamonique show this Tuesday 9th July. It’s item number 342577 and is just £31.96. Do join me, and join in on Twitter @alikqvc or Instagram alisonkeean1 and be part of the show. Keep your eyes peeled for Dale, Julia and Charlie’s designs too!

Colin and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on the 26th June, and revisited Monkey Island in Bray where we’d held our reception. It’s had a complete refurbishment and along with two fabulous restaurants and a beautiful hotel, there’s now a floating spa moored along the riverbank!

Our meal was delicious – I had lamb with black pudding, and Colin had roast duck – and it brought back some lovely memories of a perfect day.

Thank you for the cards and anniversary wishes – truly appreciated 🙂 I wish I’d have seen the Luca Vanucci range of dresses before that date though as I would definitely have worn this one!

It’s on waitlist now, but the 100% linen and classy design made it a joy to wear. Helene Berman is another range I try to wear as often as possible. Her pleated midi skirts are fabulous, and this new one and the caramel animal print option  are bound to sell well! You’ve probably noticed my preferred choice of footwear in the warmer weather – the Vionic Kirra Toe Post Sandal in brown. They are SO comfortable, and because they have an ankle strap, they stay very securely on your feet.

New beauty on the block

Oxford University scientists and sisters, Lauren and Charlotte founded LAB and are rapidly becoming known as ‘the beauty tool experts’! Working for over 10 years in research and development they use some of the most advanced technologies in their products and this Saturday 13th July at 9pm, they’ll be launching their very first body tool!

Using light, micro current, massage, electro muscle stimulation and thermal warming it can decrease the look of crepiness and wrinkles on the skin and increase the use of your body moisturisers and faux tans! We’re talking backs of the thighs, above the knees, the tops of your arms and your décolletage.

Using the device you spend two minutes on each programme and the results I’m told are pretty much immediate! As with all the LAB products, the girls insist you stick with it – 5-7 times a week initially, then 3-5 times after that. There’s a 60 day money back guarantee, and I’m going to be trialling mine on Instagram and Twitter prior to the launch to show you how it works. It’s item number 402585 and at £199 that’s a great deal less than you’d pay for single sessions at a beauty salon, and you can use it as often as you’d like in your own home.

Well, I’d better fly as I’m back to visit mum this afternoon, but I wanted to leave you with this lovely photograph of Honey, after she’d won the sprint at her school’s sports day – a very proud mummy/nanny moment.

As always, thanks for taking the time to comment and for keeping in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – so many different ways to communicate these days I sometimes have trouble keeping up! Enjoy your week, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

With my love,

Ali xx


  1. Alison Ashby July 9, 2019 at 4:17 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alison I’m sorry to hear about your mum. She looks a real trooper and I’m sure if she’s anything like you she will be up and about in no time. Sending hugs xx Ali

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm -  Reply

      Ali, that’s really kind of you. I’ll pass on your best wishes – she’s made of stern stuff 🙂 Hope all good with you prior to your exciting move?! Love Ali xx

  2. Karen B July 9, 2019 at 5:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry to hear you have been ill but so glad that you are now back. Also very sorry to hear about your mother’s fall. Glad to hear she is being well looked after. Bless her lovely pic of her, you can tell shes a real trooper – just like yourself. Happy belated anniversary to you and Colin. Such a cute pic of Honey – no wonder you had a proud nanny moment. Looking forward to seeing your pendant design, looks lovely xx

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm -  Reply

      Dear Karen, Lovely to hear from you, and I really appreciate you asking after mum. She’s just been moved to a rehabilitation centre, so we’re hoping very much that it will help her to become more mobile. Thanks also for your anniversary message – Colin and I did enjoy ourselves 🙂 I hope you were able to join me last Tuesday, so you could see the pendant design for yourself? And yes, Honey really is the apple of my eye – seeing her for her school graduation next week when she moves up from reception class! Can’t quite believe it. Take care, love Ali xx

  3. Carol July 9, 2019 at 7:21 pm -  Reply

    Love reading your blog Alison I hope your mum is feeling better soon xxc

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:04 pm -  Reply

      Carol thanks so much – I very much enjoy writing to you each fortnight! And thanks for your kind words – I’ll pass them on to mum when I next visit. Love Ali xx

  4. Loraine Plumb July 9, 2019 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison so pleased your anniversary was nice but sorry to hear about your mum it’s true you think they will always be around and ok it’s so horrible when they are taken ill hope she gets better soon I lost my parents quite close together when I was in my late twenty’s such an awful time. Anyway on a lighter note I love the stripey dress you have on in the photo I bought a few new things on Saturday ready for the holiday Les and I are going to lake Maggiore in September we will be able to relax because the baby is due in two weeks so everything should be settled down by then. I have been enjoying Wimbledon big tennis fan as was my mum. Look forward to seeing you on QVC again now your better just realised haven’t seen Jill Frank’s recently has she left. Look forward to hearing from you love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:08 pm -  Reply

      Dear Loraine, lovely to hear from you and to know that you’ve been enjoying the tennis – my brother in Australia records it all, and then watches it back to back – the time difference of course making it difficult for him to watch it live! Thanks for the compliment about the dress -I bought in a market in Portugal and it’s a lovely light fabric so really cool. I remember me telling you about your parents – so dreadful for you, but I’m glad you still talk about them and tell us about them here. My mum’s just been moved to the rehab centre, so we’re hoping that’s going to make all the difference. Not long now before you and Les head off to Lake Maggiore – I had the most wonderful time there years ago when Jack was just a baby… bittersweet memories. Take care, and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali x

  5. Vivien Gore July 9, 2019 at 8:44 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali so sorry your lovely mum hasn’t been well. I do hope she feels better soon. The pic of her is lovely and you do look like her.
    Belated anniversary wishes to you and your lovely man. I hope you had a lovely time in your favourite place. You do have some great pics of your son Sam and yourself, also Honey as well she’s getting so big. There not babies for long they grow in the blink of an eye. I’m just watching yourself on diamonique as usual. Love the pendant your very clever. Well l will go for now lve no news to tell you except lm getting my kitchen renewed in a couple of weeks looking forward to that l will let you know how it go’s bye for now. Love Viv 💖💖

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:11 pm -  Reply

      Hi Viv, I’m so glad you liked the pendant. I had hoped to do a little more promotion for it, but I think we may well be seeing it again as we head towards the anniversary in September. I’m excited for you for the kitchen renovation! I’m sure it will look lovely once it’s done and as it’s a room we all seem to spend a fair bit of time in, it’ll be well worth while. Nice to know you’re still enjoying the blog and the photos too. And you’re right about the children.. Honey is graduating from reception to full time school next week… I remember when she was just born. I’ll pass your good wishes on to mum tomorrow, and thanks for them, thanks too for keeping in touch. With love, Ali xx

  6. Christine July 9, 2019 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali sorry to hear about you mum just hope she gets better soon. We just don’t know what’s round the corner. Hubby goes for his check up next week. It is five years ok. Fingers cross.
    You necklace is beautiful.
    The weather we are having is rain and more rain.

    Take Ali x

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

      Dear Christine, I will keep everything crossed for your husband’s check up. Five years is definitely a mile stone – I’m sure all will be well though – do let me know. Thanks so much for your kind words about the necklace. I think they’ve done a great job of replicating my initial sketches! I’m sorry you’ve got all the rain – hopefully the sunshine will follow. Love Ali xx

  7. Linda July 9, 2019 at 10:02 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear about your lovely mum Alison, treasure each day, I’ve just lost my lovely mum, life is cruel, love reading your blogs, love to all x

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm -  Reply

      Linda, I’m so sorry to know you’ve lost your mum… I very much hope you have family and friends around you who will love and look after you. I hope the blog is a source of comfort and Ali’s Army too..? Take care, and keep in touch, love Ali xx

  8. Carolyn frost July 9, 2019 at 10:07 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear your Mum has been so poorly and hope she gets home soon. My Mum has late Alzheimer’s and been in nursing home for 3 years I see her nearly every day- I know how hard it is to watch your Mum’s health deteriorate. Just enjoy all the time you can with her and my thoughts and prayers are with you. She looks a lovely day.

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

      Dear Carolyn, Thank you for your kind wishes – I will pass them on to mum when I next visit this weekend. I am so very sorry though to know that your mum has Alzheimer’s … difficult in all its stages, but particularly hard once it’s taken such a hold. I hope that the times you have together will bring you comfort, and thank you for your words of advice – I will definitely do as you suggest. Take care and do keep in touch, love Ali x

  9. Joanna Downey July 9, 2019 at 10:12 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali, I know that you wrote in your last blog that your mum wasn’t well but to be taken ill so suddenly was obviously an awful shock for everyone, especially her. I would imagine that all she wants to do is get home & she must also be concerned for Joe. Nobody wants to have a negative change of lifestyle so hopefully help in a rehabilitation unit will enable her to get home as soon as she’s well enough. As for advice all I can say is share visiting with other people, find out what help she may need when she does return home & listen to what she wants to do; I know you wouldn’t waltz in & rearrange her home but she may be happy to have others do things that make life easier for her. I felt very sad to read your words about someone who has always been in your life one day no longer being there, however, I agree with you about the circle of life & it’s always been a source of balance for me. My parents died 14 months apart & for years I still expected them to just arrive at the door, it’s the ordinary days & the little things I’d like to tell them, but can’t, that I’ve found most difficult but my memories keep them a part of my life, especially the truthful ones – teenage arguments included! Blimey, that was all a tad heavy going. Your pendant is beautiful & I love the idea of getting it engraved, you obviously have an artistic soul with your super photos & the jewellery designs you’ve given us. It’s Colin’s birthday on Saturday but his celebrations will be slightly delayed because we’re Etty-sitting this weekend so coming up to London on Monday when he’s going to tour the new Spurs stadium & I’m going to Chelsea Physic Garden or shopping or both. I hope your mum’s health improves & that you’ll have good news next time. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

      My dear Jo, your words have moved me, and your advice is particularly useful. We are currently in No Mans Land – with very little idea of where exactly mum will be in a months time. She was moved yesterday to the rehabilitation centre, and I spoke with her this morning and she sounded so much more lucid. She now has a room of her own and once she is settled they will begin to help her to exercise and hopefully regain her mobility. I remember you telling me about losing your parents, although I don’t remain remember it being so close together – so very hard for you… And it’s always the little things that hit us like a brick wall. Not heavy going at all to read what you’ve written, just incredibly honest. I’m so glad you liked the pendant, and are enjoying the photos on the blog. Fingers crossed your weekend isn’t too exhausting with Etty and that you’ll have some energy left to enjoy Colin’s birthday in London. Can you believe it my Colin is a Spurs fan as well? Enjoy the Chelsea physic garden and the shopping! I’ll keep you in the loop regarding mum. Look after yourself, Love Ali xx

  10. Susan July 9, 2019 at 11:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Firstly, I’m sorry your lovely mum isn’t too well at the minute. It’s not easy running to hospitals, medical appointments and caring. Hopefully she will be a bit better soon. I’m sure it’s hard on Joe. They’re lucky they still have each other and hopefully will be reunited soon. Did you see the programme on the care system recently? It was a good programme and important to highlight the extent of caring a lot of people go through day in day out.
    I love your design by the way. It’s very elegant just like you! You really suit your hair in a blonde bob, just like Anne does too I think. Haven’t her and Kathy just got a real glow about them?!
    Honey also is just gorgeous in her sports photo! Is she going to be a little Bolt?! Well done honey! Take care and let us know how your mum is x
    Ps stop hogging all the sun in London!

    • Alison Keenan July 12, 2019 at 3:24 pm -  Reply

      Dear Susan, I sense from what you’ve written that you have been where we are? And thank you for asking about Joe. He really is very muddled at the moment, and as he said “Kath is my memory”. I did not see the programme on the care system, but I know that we are very lucky to have the NHS in place. Mum was moved to the rehabilitation centre yesterday, and seems far more settled already. Fingers crossed this will be the right thing for her and she will improve rapidly.
      I had a lovely long walk with Kathy the other day, and you’re right she always glows – Anne Dawson suits her new hairstyle too! They both have a real sparkle about them.
      Yes it’s funny that honey is good at running – my brother and I used to do the Sprint, so who knows she may be really fast on her legs! Thank you for your kind words about mum – I’ll pass them on to her and keep you in the loop. Sending you as much sunshine as I can, enjoy the weekend, love Ali xx

  11. Alan Hildred and Ellen July 10, 2019 at 10:56 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali do wish your mum a speedy recovery lovely blog always a joy to read.

    • Alison Keenan July 13, 2019 at 1:28 pm -  Reply

      Dear Alan and Ellen, thank you for your kind wishes. I’ll pass them on to mum when I see her. So glad you enjoy the blog and thank you for writing to me. Love Ali x

  12. Violet July 10, 2019 at 6:44 pm -  Reply

    Your mum is lovely
    And reminded me of my mum, when she fell aged 90 and broke her wrist, those tri wheeler with handles and brakes are a must, mum had all she needed in the bag it has, phone, remote control, keys and tissues mint etc she was so funny… but it was a great help, all the best to your mum xx

    • Alison Keenan July 13, 2019 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

      Hello Violet, thanks for writing to me, and yes, you’re right, the wheeler frame that mum had was the only thing that enabled her to move around the house prior to the fall. We’re hoping that now she’s in rehabilitation, they will be able to teach her to do this again. Thank you for your kind words – I’ll pass them on. Do hope all well with you, Love Ali x

  13. Judith Lennon July 12, 2019 at 3:38 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    So sorry to hear about your mum. I hope by now she is improving and if she is anything like her daughter, she will soon be bouncing back. Just go on doing the things she likes and give her lots to look forward to and talk about her great granddaughter. She may not be her buoyant self right now but she has a lovely family to be proud of. You keep your pecker up too, I know it’s hard as I have been there too. Honey is such a sweetie and looked very proud of her award. I do love to see the little ones achieving in school and it’s such a boost for them. My youngest was presented this week for an achievement in school. She’s keeping it secret till she sees me!
    Katie is entering another ice skating competition this weekend, so fingers crossed for her. Mum and dad do her proud with all the ferrying about and I know it’s very tiring for them, especially as they both work full time. Well the sun has eventually shown its face today so I will close and grab a few minutes in the garden. Lots of love to you and your mum, judith xx

    • Alison Keenan July 22, 2019 at 9:37 am -  Reply

      Dear Judith, I’m sorry I’ve not seen your comment until now, and thank you for your kind words about mum. I wish I had better news, but she really hasn’t improved much at all. She was moved to the rehabilitation centre which is fabulous, but still doesn’t seem to be able to move her legs. She’s very accepting of this which in its own way is sad, although she did say she hoped they could ‘cure’ her, so we’ll see what the scan shows up. Congratulations to you for your family achievements! I hope Katie did well, and that you enjoyed your day in the garden? We’ve got some lovely weather coming so fingers crossed, you can spend some time with the family in the sunshine. Thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  14. Linda Richards July 21, 2019 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    Sorry to hear that your Mother is poorly, I hope she gets better and home safe soon Happy Anniversary to you both It was my 25th wedding Anniversary on the 25th of june.Keep well and safe to you and all your family.

    Love Linda x.

  15. Una July 22, 2019 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison.
    Firstly, sorry to hear your mum has been poorly. I hope she is on the mend, and back home in her own bed.
    Secondly, watching your show with Charlie. Emmm, what did he say? Lol. He’s so funny. How can he not remember where he went on holiday?!?!
    All quiet here right now. The 2 terrors are away on the bikes with Graeme. It’s soooo quiet lol.
    We’ve been busy these last few weeks. We had 3 properties all ready for completion in the same week, so it was a bit hectic. All signed off now though and we can relax till the next one is ready in about 8 weeks ( fingers crossed!)
    Can’t believe Honey is leaving nursery already!! She’s just a darling.
    Adam is now officially forever part of our crazy family. He’s settled so easily. He’s just lovely. Still a ways to go with some of the issues he has, but every day, we see a difference in him. His little personality is starting to shine through. He needs to go for surgery in the next few weeks, he has some problems with his ears and it’s affecting his speech. He should have already had it done, but twice we had him booked and both times, he had an ear infection, and it was cancelled.
    Meli is doing so well too. She’s managing a few steps without her walker and is delighted with herself. We’re not expecting her to get by without it permanently, but it’s lovely to see her not relying on it totally.
    I was invited to be a Mother of the bride a few weeks ago. Such an honour. It was my friend (THE friend) daughter. Sadly they didn’t reconcile before my friend passed. I forgave her, life’s too short to bear such a grudge and I promised her I would always be there for her girls. The wedding was lovely, and Meli and Adam were both in the wedding party. They looked so cute walking down the aisle together. Meli had a beautiful navy dress and a gorgeous Swarovski headband. She was so happy and loved all the attention. Adam had a kilt. I’ve never seen such a teeny wee kilt. He looked adorable. We were so surprised that he did it, took it all in his stride. He’s VERY shy but not that day! He was on the dance floor all night!! Pair of party animals!!!
    Peace will be shattered soon. The bikers are on the way home. We’re trying to get Meli out on hers as often as we can, to help strengthen her leg muscles and it also helps with her coordination and balance. She’s loving it.
    You’re looking so well Alison. We always try to catch your diamonique shows. Meli loves a bit of sparkle! Don’t know where she gets it from!!?
    Lots of love from all of us.
    Una X

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