Thursday, 8 December 2011

1st Christmas Gift Ideas...

A baby's first Christmas is an important event - and needs a meaningful and thoughtful keepsake to mark it. There's a whole range of lovely gift ideas available at PhotoFairytales this Christmas, here's some suggestions for you:

1: Ticket to Parenthood, £17.50 - perfect for new parents this Christmas, fully personalised and in a choice of frames (last orders for Christmas: December 13th)

2: Handpainted Personalised Plates, £21.50 - 12 beautiful designs to choose from, including 4 gorgeous Christmas themes (last orders for Christmas: December 13th)

3: Fantasy Portraits, around £10 - beautiful bespoke images created from your ordinary photo, over 100 designs to choose from (last orders for Christmas: artwork only December 17th, artwork with prints December 15th)

4: Personalised Baby Board Books, from £10.95 - stunning books created to order featuring your own photos and words, 6 designs to choose from (last orders for Christmas: December 10th)

5: Personalised Canvas Prints, from £15 - big range of designs available, perfect for the new nursery! (last orders for Christmas: December 13th)

6: Meaning of Name Prints, £17.50 - bespoke prints available in a range of designs and choice of frame finishes, ideal Christening gift too (last orders for Christmas: December 13th)

7: Handmade Personalised Albums & Keepsake Books, £23.99 - a range of lovely designs available, including "Baby's 1st Christmas", perfect for storing Christmas memories (last orders for Christmas: December 9th)

8: Family Tree Prints, £22 - perfect for new parents and grandparents, featuring up to 3 generations and 25 names, available in a choice of frames (last orders for Christmas: December 13th)

Click here to have a browse around the PhotoFairytales site and discover even more gorgeous Christmas gifts!

Sarah x

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Slummy Mummy at Christmas

Things have definitely cranked up a notch at PhotoFairytales Towers with the steady approach of Christmas. I can tell things have got busy, not solely because orders are pinging in at a rate of knots but also because of the following tell tale signs:

1: My daughter had to eat her breakfast this morning with a soup spoon (it seemed the best choice over a tablespoon or teaspoon), because I haven’t had time to load/unload the dishwasher.

2: We are having to use kitchen roll as toilet paper because I haven’t had time to do the big shop.

3: The carpet in the living room has gone from a nice oatmeal beige to a nice oatmeal beige with black hairy divots (haven’t had time to hoover or brush the dog).

4: I’m typing this while constantly having to go “phrffphh” to keep the fringe out my eyes because I haven’t had time to make an appointment to get it cut (hence the picture - which is quite true to life).

5: Every time I get an order in which is obviously for a Christmas present I feel a burst of anxiety because I haven’t had time to think about my own Christmas shopping yet.

So now you know I shouldn’t even be sitting here doing this blog - I should be finishing off orders whilst hoovering. Trouble is, I’m not sure even my (usually) stupendous multi-tasking skills are going to help. I may have to dig out my Wonder Woman costume - problem is, its in the wash - or possibly the ironing basket. One of those anyway…

How are you coping? Got everything organised? Do please leave a comment - but if you are one of those super-organised types please try not to sound too smug. I may cry!

Sarah x

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

PhotoFairytales is an Award Winning Site!

And now for a bit of blatant showing off (sorry!).... This is a snippet of an email that has just arrived in my inbox:

"I am happy to inform you that your website was scored by three professionals within the online industry, and based on the criteria provided to them by Mumpreneur UK your website was scored as a Gold Award Winning Website!"

Mumpreneur UK is a support network for mums in business, offering advice, support, conferences and resources to parents in business. They say:

"Having worked our way through hundreds of websites during The Mumpreneur Award judging, it became very clear that there are so many mumpreneurs out there with fabulous websites! We want to ensure that these sites are rewarded, and that their customers can see that their high standard is being recognised. We're looking to acknowledge mumpreneurs who have realised the importance of getting your business online, and doing it well!"

The criteria used to judge a website are:
  • The website should be visually pleasing
  • The website should be easy to navigate
  • Ecommerce sites should include a simple payment process
  • The website should be clear and easy to understand
  • The website should include ample information about the products/services provided
How chuffed am I?!! So now, when you meet me you'll understand why I'm going around humming a certain Spandau Ballet song...

Gold! Always believe in your soul, you've got the power to know you're indestructible, always believe in.... Because you are GOLD! Dum de dee dum de doo....

Sarah x

Monday, 28 November 2011

Brand New: Hand Painted Personalised Plates!

Brand new today! These gorgeous plates are hand painted individually to order, and can be fully personalised with your chosen name, dates or message...

From Mince Pie plates and Baby's 1st Christmas plates, to weddings, anniversaries, christenings and special birthdays - there are 12 designs to choose from to suit many different occasions.

Now available at PhotoFairytales, these stunning 23cm plates are created individually to order by a family run UK business, and are truly unique keepsake gifts. Only £21.50 which includes UK delivery. Orders for delivery in time for Christmas need to be placed by 13th December.

These plates are absolutely adorable, and I hope you'll like them too!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

They're here... Letters from Santa now on sale!!

I'm so pleased to let you know that the personalised Letters from Santa have just gone on sale - as ever, they're fantastic value at only £5.95 including delivery, and they include 4 great gifts and a hand signed certificate too!

This is the third year that I've sold these letters, and for the last two years they completely sold out so I have high hopes for them this year too - especially as I'm going to donate 50p for each letter sold to Action for Children, a UK charity that works with children and families to tackle issues such as neglect and abuse.

Each letter is created individually (they're not just generated by a computer programme like most letters you see), and they are also hand signed in ink by Santa himself! He prints all his letters on lovely parchment style paper, and pops everything into a jolly big red envelope (along with a few sparkly sprinkles from his workshop) - he even handwrites the address on the envelope for you too. They make a fantastic surprise for any little girl or boy in the lead up to Christmas. All the letters are posted in December so that they arrive close to the big day, and the gifts inside will certainly keep little ones busy!

If you ordered a letter last year, don't worry because Santa always varies his letters from year to year. And if you have siblings and need more than one letter, each one will be slightly different (because it would be odd if Santa wrote identical letters to both children, wouldn't it?!). The letters are packed with detail, and no child will be left in doubt about whether Father Christmas truly exists after reading one!

Reserve your letter now before they sell out - you can find out more by just clicking here.

Ho, ho, ho!
Sarah x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Fabulous Gift Idea this Christmas: A Family Tree Print

I wanted to introduce my latest new gift for PhotoFairytales: personalised Family Tree Prints! These would make a fantastic present for Christmas this year, and are just £22 which includes UK delivery too...

A wonderful family keepsake, these prints will make a lasting and truly thoughtful gift. Available in a choice of frame styles, the Family Tree can feature up to 3 generations and 2 families.

Got a complicated family?! Don't worry, because each print is designed individually I can usually accommodate variations! For every order a proof of the artwork will be created and emailed to you to check before your print is made so that you can ensure everything is completely right.

Find out more by visiting the new Personalised Family Tree Prints page on the website.

Sarah x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Support British Designers, Creators and Crafters...

When you give a handmade or personalised gift, it says so much: "you're a unique and special person, and so I am giving you a unique and original gift you won't get from anyone else..."

That's what I've got on the home page of my website - and I was prompted to write this piece today following a discussion taking place amongst members of UK Handmade on the Linked In site. The question posed was: "Do you think its important to support local designers and why?"

As a supporter of their "Buy Handmade" Campaign, I feel so strongly about the reasons why it is important to encourage everyone to buy from independent crafters, designers and creators. Why?

When you make a purchase from one of these talented and highly committed people, you are supporting their family and their talent - not a faceless corporation with shareholders and company Directors. You're not funding a new yacht, or another holiday home - you are making a difference to someone's day by buying their work and you are gaining a totally individual and unique item. When you think of the term "handmade" this doesn't mean knitted toilet roll holders or macrame pot hangers by the way - there is an extraordinary amount of British talent out there creating modern, contemporary (and traditional) work that you will love.

Not only that, but you'll probably receive amazing service and customer care too. So many of my own customers comment on the fact that it is me that answers their emails personally and that despite the fact that I'm a small business I look after them too - old fashioned good service is what I'm all about. And I know I'm not alone in this, there are thousands of us out there waiting to make or design something wonderful for you! Plus, you are also supporting the UK economy by buying from independent British designer-makers. It's a win-win!!

So what do you get when you "Buy Handmade"? Something that has been made with love and care, and probably created individually to order just for you. A truly bespoke item! It won't have been assembled on a production line in a factory, and you won't be buying into child labour or exploitation issues. And if you're buying the item as a gift, it will show the recipient how much care and thought you've put into the purchase.

So when you start your Christmas shopping this year, or next time you fancy something new for your home or need to find a great gift for someone - think "buy handmade"!

Sarah x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Are you a Clickaholic..?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, then the answer is a resounding: YES

I run my own business, I have orders I need to fulfil, I have a website I need to promote, I have emails to answer and paperwork to sort. And yet the one tool that has made my business possible in the first place (ie, my computer), is my biggest distraction.

I’ll check my emails and amongst the orders and other more urgent stuff, I’ll find an email relating to an article that looks really interesting. So “click!”, I’ve followed the link. Lo and behold, after reading the article I see something else that catches my eye, and “click!”, I’m off again. I’ll decide to post a quick message on the PhotoFairytales Facebook wall - and after doing that, “click!”, I’m just checking the newsfeed to see what everyone else is up to (and leaving the odd comment or like…). Then I’m heading over to Twitter (all in the name of promotion you understand), and find myself in conversations I don’t have time to have, or looking at people’s links I don’t have time to visit. And all the while, in the corner of my eye is the pile of things I really should be doing along. The trouble is, every now and then I’ll stumble on a nugget of information or a fabulous site, that will give me inspiration or an idea that makes it all worthwhile. And I guess its that that stops me from being able to crack my habit!

So, the question is, am I investing my clicking time productively, or am I wasting my clicking time? Well, I reckon its half and half. OK, I’ll be honest, 30/70. Oh, OK then, 20/80 (but I won’t go any lower than that!). Is it research, am I learning, or is it procrastination….? Hmmmmm, tricky one that!

So if you find yourself having to give your brain a mental shake every now and then to stop yourself hunching over the screen, site hoping and clicking, then maybe you’re a clickaholic too. Feel free to leave a comment to make your confession and get it off your chest so that I don't feel so alone! And then move on, you’ve got things you need to be doing - go on, no more links here, move along please.

Sarah x

Monday, 3 October 2011

A sad end to the day...

“Man dies in sea at Gorleston” - that’s the headline on our local news site today, and sad to say we were right there when it occurred…

Like much of the UK yesterday, we were basking in baking hot sunshine and decided towards the end of the afternoon to head down to the local beach in Gorleston for a paddle. We went unprepared, though cobbled together some towels found in the boot of the car, and camped down by the edge of the sea with ice creams all round.

All was lovely - Amy enjoyed paddling up to her waist (fully clothed!) with her dad, while I sat and relaxed watching them. After a moment I realised that the huddle of people about 10-15 metres away from us weren’t the family group I thought they were - they were a handful of people trying in desperation to resuscitate a man who was laying at the edge of the sea. It seems a child found him floating in the water and raised the alarm. He was pulled out of the water, and a brave and calm lady was carrying out CPR and trying hard to get his heart pumping. This was taking place just a few feet from Amy but thankfully I managed to catch my OH’s eye and get him to bring her back over, where we suggested maybe it was time to get dry and changed. Things weren’t looking good, but by now paradmedics had arrived on the scene swiftly followed by the police, and the local coastguard truck. Just as we hurriedly scooped up our belongings, the police started to push people back off the beach to make space for the helicopter to land.

We got back up to the prom and while we finished sorting out our things the helicopter landed on the beach. But sadly by now it seems resuscitation wasn’t possible. The helicopter returned, and the body was loaded onto the coastguard van to be delivered to the waiting ambulance which couldn’t get across the sandy beach. By this time we were heading for our car, feeling a little numb. Amy was full of questions, but we told her the man was being taken to the hospital and he would probably be better soon. When the helicopter arrived most of Gorleston stood to watch - its natural I think to stand and see what’s happening. But when it took off empty handed it was obvious things weren’t good, and the feeling in the crowd took on a different tone.

The identity of the man hasn’t been discovered/released at the time of writing this, but no doubt a local family will be experiencing a dreadful time today. So why am I telling you all this? Well, although that lady who was trying to save his life didn’t succeed, she tried all she could - whether she was trained in first aid or not, she did her very best. At 8 years old, Amy has just undertaken a first aid course at school - and if you’d like to learn too you can find information here: http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/default.aspx (because you never know).

Sarah x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Win a stunning Fantasy Portrait & Print from PhotoFairytales!

Here's a sneaky peek at a competition I'm running at the moment to win a free Fantasy Portrait for up to 2 people, plus a quality A4 print - all you need to do is click to enter, it takes seconds and you have a great chance of winning this fabulous prize which would make a great Christmas gift!

Find all the details here: http://competwition.com/photofairytales

Good luck!
Sarah x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

PhotoFairytales in the Movies (kind of...)!!

As you may know, many of my designs are available via Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous - they have put together a great little video highlighting some of my gifts, so if you'd like to see it just click on the frog image here to play it.

Enjoy!
Sarah x

Friday, 2 September 2011

Photography Tips & Tricks: get the best snaps!

As the summer holidays draw to a close, I guess many of you will be uploading your photos to your computer - so, how many have you deleted, and how many made the grade and were saved?!

Getting great, natural photos - particularly when children are involved - can be tricky. And if you've ever asked a child to smile, only to be faced with one of those toothy fake grins it can be hard to know what to do!

I often have customers facing this dilemma - they probably need to take a photo of their son or daughter so that they can send it to me to be created into a Fantasy Portrait, but they struggle to get a photo that looks natural. So, with this in mind, you can now find a great article on the PhotoFairytales website, written by professional family photographer Blue White, who specialises in working with very young children. She has put together a great piece packed full of tips and inside advice. Whether you're planning to order a photo gift or just want to know how to get fantastic, relaxed photos, do take a couple of minutes to read through Blue's friendly and helpful words of advice.

Happy snapping!

Sarah x

Friday, 26 August 2011

More new designs...!

I'm on a design roll at the moment, so there are yet another two new designs that have just been added to the "Meaning of Name" print collection!

Both are available in options for boy or girls, and come with a choice of frame finishes.

At just £17.50 including UK P&P, these are a perfect christening gift or present for new parents. They will look lovely in the new nursery!


Hope you like them -would love to hear what you think, so do feel free to leave a comment.

Sarah x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Gorgeous Things...

A little while ago I joined Folksy.com, and listed a selection of my own work on the site. The idea of course was to sell some of my own items, but in the meantime I've also been rather tempted by several other goodies for sale by other designers and creators! If you haven't discovered the site yet, do take a look.

Here are a few of my favourites (it's an eclectic bunch, but that's what Folksy is all about!):

1. Moustache Necklace, Tara's Arts, £6 - mad, utterly mad, love it!
2. Handstitched Leather Satchel, Bespoke Leather, £140 - yum, yum, yum...
3. Floral Storage Basket, A Crafty Hen, £9.50 - pretty and useful
4. Hand Bound Notebook Journal, Kate Bowles, £20 - love the exposed spine on this very pretty book
5. Vintage Bee & Glass Bead Bracelet, Josephines, £15 - this is sooo me!
6. Vintage Button Beauty Bag, Natalie Farrell, £15 - I was hard pressed to choose just one of these bags!

If you want to visit the PhotoFairytales shop you can find it by clicking here.

So, when you start your Christmas shopping don't forget to take a look at Folksy for something both hand made and different that has been created with love.

Sarah x

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Brand New: 2 new "Meaning of Name" designs!

What's this? Blogging twice in one day? Well, I just wanted to squeeze in an extra post before I finish up for the evening because I've just added two new designs to my "Meaning of Name" framed print range.

"Sugar and Spice" in pink for the girls, "Slugs and Snails" in blue for the boys - both available in a choice of frame finishes and only £17.50 including UK delivery. I've got more designs in the pipeline which will be coming in the next few days too (the creative juices were flowing today!).

Hope you like them - you can see the whole range here: http://photofairytales.co.uk/meaningofname.html

Sarah x

Exclusive discounts for Facebook fans!

If you haven't already discovered the PhotoFairytales page on Facebook, then head over there now and "like" the page quick! I'll be running exclusive discounts and special offers for all my fans on there over the coming weeks, and there's one on there right now (but be quick, it only lasts until midnight this Friday!).

Currently on offer is a fantastic 15% discount on all personalised canvas prints - that means that you could order an 8x8" canvas for just £12.75 including UK postage. What a bargain!

For details just go to www.facebook.com/photofairytales and "like" the page - then you'll see details of this special offer posted on the wall.

Sarah x

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Art of Buying a great Wedding Gift

Well, wedding season is well and truly here. Which means one thing for the rest of us - gift buying! And that can be sooo hard sometimes. Most couples have either spent time living together before tying the knot, or have already established a home before even getting together. The traditional, practical sort of gifts are often simply not needed. The days of buying a toaster or a set of towels are pretty much over.

Unless the couple have a pre-prepared gift list, this can leave you with something of a nightmare buying situation! What to buy the couple who has everything? Wouldn’t it be great to find a gift that has a personal meaning behind it for the couple? Well, one way to do this is with a personalised gift which is special to the wedding couple. There seems to be a lot to choose from, but when you get right down to it, do you really think the couple would want a silver cake slice or a glass wine decanter with their names on it? Don’t leave taste behind when you go shopping! And it can be even harder if you don’t know the couple particularly well, or have a budget to work to.

The average spend on wedding gifts in the UK in the past year is just under a whopping £50 (that’s gone down by the way, a couple of years ago it was just under £80!). And when you factor in the cost of attending the actual wedding the costs can rocket. Considerations such at travel, childcare, clothing, spending money during the reception (and possibly the hen or stag night before hand!) all mount up. You don’t want to appear stingy, but in the current recession, cash-strapped guests can struggle to find a gift that fits within their budget.

So I’ll let you into a little trick if you’re heading to a wedding this summer: think of a gift that is something totally different and harder to put a price on. Perhaps you could offer your services to the couple as a wedding gift: decorate a room in their house while they are on honeymoon, organise a coming-home party when they arrive back, offer to help with their plans for the garden during the coming summer? Time to put your thinking cap on and think outside the box. Give yourself plenty of time too - rushing out to the high street to buy a gift at the last minute is a sure way of spending more than you wanted to.

Of course, you could always head over to PhotoFairytales too - you’ll find some amazing and totally unique wedding gifts there that won’t break the bank! All with free UK delivery (I’ll even post it direct to the couple if you like) and nothing over £30 - and it will be a gift the wedding couple will hopefully treasure throughout their lives together. (Plus, you don’t have to think about whether they would prefer the blue towels or the green. What colour was their bathroom again…??)

Sarah x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I really need your help!

With the new website now finished, I feel as if PhotoFairytales has been given a new lease of life - a bit like coming out of the changing room realising you're a size smaller than you thought!

As all my regular customers know, feedback is a wonderful thing. With every single order I receive, I always strive to offer not only a great product but also great service. I know that shopping online can be a daunting prospect: you can't pick up and touch the product, you have natural concerns about the company you're buying from, etc. That's why I think it's so important to look after my customers and make them feel happy about shopping with me. And that's why I wanted to relaunch the website to give you all a much nicer environment in which to shop too! I might not be able to offer you a glass of wine or a cup of coffee while you're "walking" around my shop, but I can make sure it looks clean, attractive, presentable and is easy to walk around. If you see what I mean!

And this is where I need you're help..! I'm really excited to let you know that PhotoFairytales is part of the Website of the Year Award 2011. But I really need your support, because I'm up against the big guys! If you can spare a moment to help me it would be fantastic if you can just click here and just leave a sentence about why you think the PhotoFairytales site should win. It will take you just one minute, and will mean the world to me.

Thank you for your continued support... (and I do mean that, whether you vote or note!)
Sarah x

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

For a gift less ordinary...

Did you know that you can now purchase many PhotoFairytales items at Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous?

If you haven’t discovered this site yet, it’s a great online gift shop packed full of unique gifts designed and created by British designer-makers and artisans. You can browse by gift category, and also view each supplier’s own shop and check out the range of items they have on offer. Many of the supplier’s offer free postage and packing too (including PhotoFairytales of course!), and many items are also exclusive to the site and can’t be found anywhere else.

You can sign up to the newsletter too, and receive updates with new products and special offers direct to your inbox.

Here are some of my personal favourites:

  1. Wooden Heart Napkin Holder, £8.50 (Beth & Ellie Interiors)
  2. Two pint 'Chicken' jug, £21.99 (Dawn Critchley Designs)
  3. Personalised house cushion, £36 (Linterior Design)
  4. Stamped Silver Word Ring - Laugh, £42 (Dream of Silver)
  5. Personalised Wedding word tag favours, £6 for four (Emma Learoyd Textiles)

You can find the PhotoFairytales shop front by clicking here. I hope you enjoy having a browse and discovering something new!

Sarah x

Monday, 1 August 2011

All new at PhotoFairytales...


So, have you been over to take a look at the new PhotoFairytales website yet? What do you mean "no"!! I'd love you to head over and have a good poke around - the site has had a total makeover and I think it looks a lot fresher. You should find it easier to navigate and faster to load too - which is no bad thing, considering the quantity of images on there!

And the site has become even bigger too - with lots of new things to see. The biggest seller has always been my Fantasy Portraits, and I've added a whole new gallery for you: the Fairytale Collection. Inspired by classic fairy stories and traditional tales, I've no doubt that this will prove popular - especially for children. I'll be adding to the collection over the coming months, so do please check back and see what's new.

In addition to the new Portrait designs, there are lots of other new things to see - just click here to take a look at all the new additions.

I really hope you like the new designs and products, and would love to hear your thoughts on the website too so do please leave your comments...

Sarah x

Monday, 25 July 2011

Holidays in 70's... those were the days!


Yes, that is me on the donkey (aged about 7 or 8 I think) - and yes, I feel sorry for him/her too!

Living near the Norfolk seaside, we're surrounded pretty much all the time with the typical British holiday scene: beaches and donkey rides, ice cream and donuts, "kiss me quick" hats and fish & chips on the pier. Whilst its great to see the bustle of holiday makers in the area at the moment (usually sitting on the beach wrapped in coats), I have to confess I prefer the out of season seaside resort. When you get to be the only nutter sitting on a bench on the prom eating chips while the wind blows all your vinegar off!

Now that Amy has just started her school holidays, its definitely got me into the holiday mood though. My childhood holidays were usually spent in motor caravans, touring the English countryside. We would camp where the mood took us, even on the beach at times. I still can't drive past a good, big lay-by on the side of the road without thinking "good place for the night"! Because we were usually in the middle of nowhere, the nights were usually pitch black - very thrilling for a Surrey townie like me. I seem to remember we all pretty much went to bed at the same time (not much else to do when it got dark!), and as a family we'd lie in our sleeping bags singing silly songs. My mum would recite that fantastic monologue by Stanley Holloway, "The Lion and Albert", then we'd all round it off with a blast of:

"Chips and Fish, Chips and Fish,
Eeh bah gum, it's a champion dish!"

There were other verses which have escaped my memory but that's probably because we'd all end up in fits of giggles before we got to the end of them. Aahhh, simpler times...!

This little ditty was the inspiration behind four new canvas designs I've just added to the website today - all designed to keep you in the seaside holiday mood, no matter what the time of year. Hope you like them! Simple, typographic designs in a choice of blue and white, or sand/navy and white, I think they are stylish but a bit of fun for your home too. You can find them in the "For Him" and "For Her" sections of the canvas gallery:
  • Kiss Me Quick
  • Sand Dunes
  • Beside the Seaside
  • Chips & Fish
Now, if anyone does know the rest of that song, do let me know!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Beware: the Summer Holidays Cometh....


Any working mum will be feeling a mixed bag of emotions now that the summer holidays are just around the corner. Or is it just me that always ends up feeling like a pair of scales: the need to get on and do your job on one side - the guilt for not spending enough time with your child when they're on holiday, on the other? Surely it can't just be me - tell me I'm not alone!

It's around this time that I feel I should be spending the sunny summer days (yes, I know, but surely there should be a couple of those during the school holidays, right?) having picnics and planning get togethers with other parents and their children. Days out at the seaside, trips to the park, baking cakes in my sparkling kitchen with my child at my side sweetly icing lopsided cupcakes.... yeah, it's not really going to happen is it? The reality is that I'll probably be praying for decent weather so that she can play out with her friends while I sit hunched over my desk drilling my way through the day's work. Oh, I'm such a bad mother...

Or am I? I know that by working I can contribute to the family finances, my daughter is getting a little bit of independence and can amuse herself without me constantly hovering (or hoovering!), and I'm hopefully being a good role model for her too. So it's not all bad...

So why do I feel guilty much of the time too? I do think us women can be so hard on ourselves, perhaps as a backlash to the years of us being domestic housewives who raised children and "kept house". Along came liberated, emancipated, 20th Century Women and we wanted it all: children, lovely home, career. As a consequence, I do think that working mums still feel a dollop of guilt - let's face it, it was only a few years ago that women were forced to leave their jobs when they became engaged. The marriage bar was common place during the time our own mothers and grandmothers were working, especially in the civil service, the police force and banking industry. As late as 1972, women who worked in the Foreign Office had to leave when they got engaged! So, given that, it's not really surprising that we still have a little bit of ingrained guilt when we become working mothers ourselves is it, even a generation or two on?

So, don't beat yourself up if you're working during the summer holidays. And if you work at home, just bite your lip when you get this (because you probably will):
  • "I bet you're looking forward to the holidays aren't you - no more having to get up in the mornings, eh?"
  • "How are you going to be spending the school holidays then? Anything planned?"
  • "It's all right for some: being at home all day with the sun shining!"
  • "Summer holidays are so boring aren't they? Shall we come round and spend the day at yours, then the kids can play while we have a natter..."
Stay calm, smile sweetly, and just remind them "I'm working" - the penny will drop eventually!

Happy holidays all,
Sarah

PS: The lady in the photo is wearing a ring on her left hand - so I guess a good caption would be "...and here's your P45 Muriel - now you can enjoy those long summer holidays, lucky girl!"

Friday, 15 July 2011

Where has PhotoFairytales gone..?

There is a chance that you may notice the website is down during the next 72 hours. This is while the email issue is being sorted out, and the domain transfer is taking place. Don't worry, it won't be for long and it will be back very soon! Thanks so much to everyone for their patience - if you have any questions you can reach me via the PhotoFairytales page on Facebook, or by leaving a comment below.

All the best,
Sarah

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Filth! Utter filth....


Have you seen the dust in here? It's been so long since I last ventured onto this blog that I'm almost embarrassed to show my face! This blog needs a darn good clean and tidy - so I've given it a spruce up: hope you like it!

The last few weeks have been a bit epic in PhotoFairytales world - I've been burning the candle at both ends working on a completely new look for the site. New logo, new designs, new products, you name it! The site now has a much brighter and cleaner feel to it, and hopefully you'll find it easier to navigate and faster to load too.

I'm having some technical issues with my email address however, so at the time of writing I'm pretty much without any email at all. If you need to contact me, or have a query about an order, the surest way of getting hold of me during the next couple of days will be via the PhotoFairytales page on Facebook. So, although the new site is "live" and it hasn't been properly launched until I've managed to sort the problem out. But in the meantime, if you're not a member of my mailing list or a fan of the Facebook page, I suggest you get joined up to both pretty sharpish: I'm going to be announcing some exclusive offers on both very soon to celebrate the new site!

Join the mailing list by clicking here, and visit the Facebook page here.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new site, let me know what you think - really hope you like it!

All the best, Sarah
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