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

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