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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Gifts for tidying and organising

Sometimes a practical gift is the best type of gift (especially if it looks nice too!). Some people love anything that will help them keep things tidy and organised; other people just need a bit of a hint and a helping hand! I've searched the internet for my favourite handmade Christmas gifts that make it super easy to get organised.

Key hook and mail organiser by Factory Twenty One on Etsy
Wall mounted magazine rack by The Metal House on Etsy
Flower power memo board by Thimble and Bobbin on Wow Thank You
2014 diary by Sketch and Note on Etsy
Jewellery display by Witchcorner on Folksy
Sycamore and rosewood jewellery box by Norfolk Woodcrafts on Folksy
Rustic farmhouse chalkboard by Marc Wood Joinery on Etsy
Hand painted toy box by Vintage Pixie on Giggling Hedgehogs
Rustic pine coat rack with shelf by Captains Craftworks on Etsy

Monday, 25 November 2013

Where to buy handmade Christmas gifts

There are lots of good reasons to buy handmade gifts this Christmas, and I could go on about supporting independent artists etc., but the main reason I like to buy handmade gifts is that you can buy something really unusual and often personalised to the recipient. You've probably heard of Etsy and Folksy and possibly Not on the High Street, but where else can you look to find top quality handcrafted presents this Christmas?

Here's my guide to the top online shops selling handmade Christmas gifts from a range of designers. Know of any others? Please pop a link in the comments so we can all take a look. Discover the perfect handmade Christmas gift.

I'm also linking this post up with Handmade Monday, who are a lovely bunch of very talented designer-makers. So why not pop over to Handmade Monday as well and browse their lovely blogs and shops in search of the perfect Christmas presents.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Georgiana May personalised Christmas gift guide

I hardly ever blog at the weekend, but I just had to pop in and let you know that I've done my first ever guest blog post! Pop over to the Georgiana May blog to see my favourite personalised Christmas gifts, all handmade by the wonderfully talented designer-makers selling their work through the Georgiana May shop. Thank you very much Fiona for letting me guest post :-)

Read the full post here...

Friday, 22 November 2013

Gifts for geographers and travelers

This week's gift guide features my favourite handmade gifts for those who love geography, maps or travelling. From recycled vintage maps to country shaped jewellery, anyone who likes learning about or travelling to different parts of the world will love these presents.

Europe calendar by Cecily Vessey on Folksy
Sterling silver country necklace by Jasmine and Coco on Wow Thank You
Vintage world map ring by Beneath Glass on Etsy
Handcrafted personalised scrapbook album by The Scrapbooker on Wow Thank You
Personalised world wall map by Something New Stationery on Etsy
Map notebook by say it on Folksy
Engraved wood phone stand by Not a Scratch on Etsy
Patterned African keyring by Treasure Me So on Etsy
World map cherry wood cufflinks by Silk Street Studios on Etsy

You might also want to take a look at my handmade gift guides for cat lovers and cyclists.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

On my desk... week 6

Predictably this week is all about making up orders and trips to the post office. I like it when it gets busy with orders and I can concentrate on making (my favourite bit of the job!). Thank you so much to my lovely customers this week, your parcels are on their way to you.

This is the last of these 'on my desk' blog posts I'll do for this year, as I think it will get rather boring if I just showed you a pile of orders each week. You can just assume I will be slowly more weighed down by parcels on each trip to the post office.

And if you'd like to add another parcel to my pile (I really don't mind!) you can get 25% off Christmas cards if you sign up to my newsletter this month -

Friday, 15 November 2013

Gifts for cyclists

Have you got a friend who cycles to work every day? Or a family member who is bike mad? Here are some ideas for gifts that cyclists might like, featuring bicycle designs and products made from old bicycles. Everything is handmade here in the UK.

Bicycle print tea towel by Lulu and Luca on Etsy
Bicycle notebook by Kate Broughton on Folksy
Bicycle chain trivet by Created Gifts on Not on the High Street
Wooden bicycle brooch by Rockcakes on Etsy
Macrame bicycle bracelet by Claireabelle Makes on Etsy
His and hers bicycle pencil cases by Modern and Vintage on Folksy
Bicycle wheel clock by Vyconic on Misi
Spring cycle tea cosy by Spring Lark on Folky

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

On my desk... week 5

Well, Christmas has definitely arrived here at say it! The main aim of this week has been to make up as much stock as possible of my Christmas card designs.

Making up retro pattern Christmas cards

When I create a new design to list in my shops I usually just make up one card. I normally don't hold much stock and simply just make up the cards to order as they are needed. But as it gets busier leading up to Christmas it's helpful to have more stock ready made. And I'm also doing a Christmas fair at our local church which was very well attended last year so I'm hoping for good sales.

Completed Christmas stock so far - I need to keep making!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Gifts for cat lovers

Whether we like it or not, Christmas is fast approaching. And this year I want to encourage you to buy handmade. Don't get a present that's mass produced in China and the same as 100,000 other people will open with rapidly fading excitement on Christmas morning. Buy something really special. Like these gifts for cat lovers. Every single one of these is handmade in the UK. And they make purrfect (sorry!) presents for anyone who loves cats.

Orange cat necklace by Sour Cherry Co. on Etsy
Rose the cat by Millicent on Folksy
Cat tote bag by Charlotte Farmer on Etsy
An incomprehensible guide to cats by Doodlecats on Etsy
Cat crayons by Colour Me Fun on Folksy
Blue Oscar cat mug by Lumme on Not on The High Street
Cat brooch by Art you Wear on Folksy
Silver cat stud earrings by Dream of Silver on Georgiana May

Thursday, 7 November 2013

On my desk... week 4

It's starting to get busier here. Yesterday I made up three personalised travel journals. I thought the popularity of these might die down now the summer is over, but it seems that people are off on special Christmas adventures or buying them as Christmas presents for holidays planned for 2014.

I've added last order dates to my Folksy and Etsy shops to ensure your order arrives in time for Christmas. I'm planning to take a proper break so the shop will be closed from 16th December to give me chance to get the last few orders out before I go away. I won't reopen until January so I'm looking forward to a proper rest. It's nice to have that booked in my diary :-)

Alongside making up orders this week I have been writing my November newsletter. I use Mailchimp, which makes it nice and easy to edit the text and add pictures. I just have to decide what I'm going to talk about! It's not always easy to work out what my customers want to hear. Generally I try and feature a little piece of news about the shop, show off some new products, and give an exclusive special offer.

Adding Christmas cards to the November newsletter
Speaking of special offers - would you like to get 25% off Christmas cards? If you sign up to receive the say it newsletter I'll send you a copy so you get access to November's special offer. It's exclusive to newsletter subscribers though, so simply sign up below so that you're on the list.

Get 25% off Christmas cards when you sign up to the say it newsletter

Monday, 4 November 2013

Handmade Christmas cards now in the shop

Well, we've turned the corner into November and that can only mean one thing - Christmas is coming! So I thought I'd show you some of the new Christmas card designs added to my shop this year.

All these cards are available in my Folksy shop and are slowly being added to my Etsy shop too. You can also see the full range of Christmas cards and gift tags on my website.

Personalised cards are very popular at the moment so I've designed a couple of personalised Christmas cards, one suitable for an individual and one to send to a family.

And there are two very different Christian Christmas cards for those who like to send something a little more connected to the real meaning of Christmas.

I'm linking up with Handmade Monday again - why not pop over there and see what other crafty peeps have been making recently?

Friday, 1 November 2013

On my desk... week 3

Apologies for not doing an 'On my desk' post last week - I wasn't feeling too well and didn't do much besides the essentials.

This week I have been thinking Christmas. Whilst the shop is still reasonably quiet I'm trying to get prepared for the Christmas rush, making up stock and prepping materials for personalised items that are made to order. I've been cutting up a lot of cereal boxes ready to make notebooks and stitching the inside pages. I've also been stocking up on materials and some new packaging which will hopefully make it super quick and easy to send out orders.

I have a LOT of board backed envelopes on my desk! 

Today I am working out what Christmas advertising to apply for. So far I have decided not to do Craftfest, which is a bit of a shame because it is great fun but it is also quite a lot of work to prepare for. I am definitely going to join in with The Crafty Network Christmas album and will apply to the Blog and Buy Sale Christmas Wish List. I can submit five items to both, so just got to make the final decision on which ones to choose! It's hard to decide how much to spend on Christmas advertising. I don't normally pay for much advertising during the year, but I think it's worth putting aside a little bit of a budget for November and December. A lot of my customers find me through Folksy and Etsy search so I should hopefully be pretty busy with those orders, but it's always good to draw in new buyers who don't necessarily think to go to Folksy or Etsy for their shopping.

I'm hoping the Christmas rush doesn't start too soon though, because I still have a lot to organise!

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