Tuesday 20 December 2016

Happy Christmas - and thank you!

Well, that's it for another year... the last few orders have gone, and it's time to wind down (and open the Quality Street tin). It's been an absolutely fantastic year for PhotoFairytales, and that's down to all of you - my lovely customers. I want to pass on a HUUUUUGE thank you to each and every one of you. The buyers, the followers, the supporters - thank you.

PhotoFairytales is closing at 3pm today, and will reopen again after a Christmas break on January 9th. You can still place orders while I'm away - the website is still open - but I won't be able to acknowledge or start work on your order until I'm back.

I wish you all a fantastic, relaxing and peaceful Christmas. I hope Father Christmas brings you everything you wished for, and I look forward to catching up with you in January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sarah xx

Friday 16 December 2016

Christmas Orders - final deadline call!

Last call for Christmas orders today!

The last items still available to order close at 5pm today, as follows:

 Santa Letters & Telegrams
Birth Prints
Happy Faces Prints
Tooth Fairy Letters
All Personalised Prints, 8x10" size as listed below:
Ticket prints
Family prints (eg, 'Tree' and 'Nest' designs)
Ministry of Silly prints
Mother's Day prints
Love Poems
My Message to You prints
Personalised Prints for Teachers
I Love You This Much prints
Love Prints
Superhero Prints
Vintage Prints
Cook's Conversion Charts
Meaning of Name prints
New Home Prints
Word Art Prints
Timeline Prints
Grandparent Family Prints
Our Dad Prints

You can still order PhotoFairytales gift vouchers up until 5pm on December 19th.
To view these items visit the website here: http://www.photofairytales.co.uk/allgifts.html

Thursday 15 December 2016

Personalised Mugs, Family Tree prints, and more - last call for Christmas orders!

Last orders for many items today!

The order book for the following items closes at 5pm today:

Personalised Garden Fork & Trowel Sets
Personalised Mugs
Fantasy Portraits, artwork only orders
Family Tree Prints (8x10" size)
Personalised Gift Sacks
Metal Street Signs
Official FC Gifts
Personalised Magazines
Personalised Newspapers

You can find them on the website here: http://www.photofairytales.co.uk/personalisedgiftplates.html

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Personalised Canvas Prints, all A3 wall prints, handmade Hoop Prints - last call for Christmas orders!

Last orders for all many items today!

The order book for the following items closes at 5pm today:

All A3 sized prints
Personalised Hoop Prints
Fantasy Portraits with Unframed Print or Mounted Print
Canvas Prints

You can find them on the website here: http://www.photofairytales.co.uk/personalisedgiftplates.html

Monday 12 December 2016

Personalised Blue Heritage Plaques and Wall Signs - last call for Christmas orders!

Last orders for Blue Heritage Plaques and Wall Signs/House Signs today!

The order book for Blue Heritage Plaques, House Signs and Wall Plaques closes at 5pm today! 
You can find them on the website here: http://www.photofairytales.co.uk/allgifts.html

Sunday 11 December 2016

Personalised Board Books, Photo Albums & Memory Card Games - last call for Christmas orders!

Last orders for all personalised Board Books, Memory Card Games and Photo Albums today!

The order book for these items closes at 5pm today! 
You can find them on the website here: http://www.photofairytales.co.uk/allgifts.html

Friday 9 December 2016

How to wrap presents - Top 10 Easy Gift Wrapping Tips!

Personalised Santa Sacks hessian gift sack PhotoFairytales
The perfect place for Santa's presents this Christmas... a special personalised
sack under the tree! More designs at PhotoFairytales.co.uk
Buying Christmas presents is just the beginning: that's the easy part(!). Now comes the wrapping...

If you're a bit fingers and thumbs when it comes to wrapping a present you're not the only one. Sellotape that sticks to itself (assuming you can find the end), paper that isn't quite big enough, weird non-square shapes (ever tried wrapping a football?), scissors that won't cut... any of that sound familiar?

Do you wish you were the kind of person that could do that slidey scissors thing? You know, those superior beings that don't have to chomp, they just open their scissors and swish through the paper in seconds?

Here's my easy Top 10 Gift Wrapping Tips to help you through - and if you need some inspiration take a look at my Gorgeous Gift Wrapping Ideas over on Pinterest!

  • Rather than adding labels (and all that endless 'To' and 'Love From' writing), wrap presents in a specific colour for each person - either a certain colour of paper, or ribbon - that way they know exactly which colour-coded gift is for them without the need for a label.
  • Use a tape dispenser - whether its a hand held one (Scotch Tape do a great one that actually fits on your hand - they've got it on half price at Tesco at the moment!) or a super-posh one - doesn't matter which but its so much easier that trying to get it straight off the roll! If you're a sellotape fiend and tend to overdo it, use patterned decorative tape instead and make it a feature!
  • Don't necessarily buy posh paper with a Christmas theme - buy something plain so that you can use leftovers for birthdays, etc, during the following year. Dress them up with Christmas themed ribbon or tags instead. Plain brown wrapping paper looks fantastic for Christmas presents - it can be dressed up to look fantastic (take a look at my Pinterest board for inspiration), and its super on-trend this year!
  • Use the roll of paper as a cutting guide to make sure you cut a straight edge.
  • Don't be tempted to use too much wrapping paper - the more you use, the bulkier the folds will be. Essentially, you need the width of the present plus two heights (see image below). The length needs to be enough to wrap around your present and overlap by no more than about an inch.

  • Not enough paper? Yep, we've all done it - got half way through wrapping to discover the paper isn't big enough! Wrap the bulk of the present, leaving gaps on the ends, then add a sash in a coordinating paper around the middle to disguise the gap. Here's a video to show you how!
  • No ribbons or bows? Cut a strip of the same, or a coordinating paper, and use that as a finishing touch instead.
  • How to wrap a football! Watch this lady, she makes short work of it and I love the ribbon trick! She's got another great video on how to wrap a wine bottle, and one on how to wrap an awkward shaped present.
  • Put some good Christmas music on - you can't wrap Christmas presents without a bit of Slade or Wham on in the background!
  • Oh, and the slidey-scissors-through-the-paper thing? The trick there is to have nice sharp scissors and good quality paper. But if you can't master it and need to cut the traditional way, use decent sized kitchen-type scissors and don't cut right to the end of the blade: stop just before and slide your scissors along the cut to continue. That way you don't get the snipped/chomped look. And if you do still get the snipped/chomped look don't worry about it: just do a little fold over to disguise it and give a neat edge.

Take a look at my Pinterest board for some stylish gift wrapping ideas that are all simple but, I think, pretty cute and effective!

If you've got any tips for gift wrapping, please do leave a comment and let us all know - I'd love to hear from you!
Sarah x

Personalised hand painted gift plates - last orders for Christmas!

Last orders for all Gift Plates today!

The order book for handpainted gift plates closes at 5pm today, so don't dilly dally! 
You can find them on the website here: http://www.photofairytales.co.uk/personalisedgiftplates.html

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Wondrous and whimsical gifts for babies, toddlers and younger children: Christmas gift ideas

Christmas is a wonderful time for littlies - and shopping for presents for babies and children is a joy. Make the moment even more magical with a totally unique and handmade gift...

1: Santa Telegram, actually signed by Santa himself! (Also available in a 'Baby's 1st Christmas' edition) £6.50
2: Fantasy Photo Portraits created from your own photo, many designs available, from £15
3: Wooden Keepsake Plaque, available in pink or blue and with hearts or stars, £19.95; Personalised 'London Bus' mug, other designs available, £12.75
4: 'Winter Wonder' personalised board book other designs also available, £25
5: Personalised Memory 'Pairs' Game, featuring your own photos, £29.95
6: 'London Bus' canvas print other designs available, from £16.95
7: Personalised Santa Sack, other designs available, £14.95
8: Personalised Hand Painted Gift Plate, other designs available, £21.50

Visit the PhotoFairytales website now for even more fabulous handmade and personalised gifts for babies, toddlers and young children: there are some great gift ideas for you...

Gift's you'll love giving this Christmas at PhotoFairytales.co.uk

Sarah x

Saturday 26 November 2016

Handmade personalised gifts for Him: Christmas gift ideas

Christmas gifts for men - unusual, unique, thoughtful and fun gifts, made to order just for them

1: Blue Heritage Plaque, personalised with any wording of your choice, £17.95
2: 'Always Be Yourself' personalised superhero print, other designs available, from £14.50
3: 'Dad' personalised wooden photo blocks ('Daddy' also available), £25.95
4: 'The Rules' wall sign (exterior or interior use) personalised with your message, available in a range of colours, other designs also available, £17.95 
5: 'Garden' personalised mug, other designs available, £12.75
6: 'Dandiest Beard Wearer of the Year' personalised Vintage print, other designs available, £14.50

This Christmas be a #giftgivinggenius!

Sarah x

Thursday 24 November 2016

Handmade personalised gifts for Grandparents: Christmas gift ideas

Grandparents are probably one of the trickiest to buy for at Christmas - but don't panic, I've got you covered!

1: 'Shipping Forecast' Word Theme print available in any colour, other designs available, £21.50 
2: Wooden Photo Blocks handmade featuring your photos, from £6.25 per block (min order 3) 
3: 'Everything Stops for Tea' personalised mug other designs available, £12.95
4: Personalised Hammer personalised with your message, £17.95 
5: Grandparent Print, other colours available, £14.50
6: Personalised Garden Fork & Trowel set, £17.95

This Christmas be a #giftgivinggenius!

Sarah x

Saturday 19 November 2016

Handmade personalised gifts for Her: Christmas gift ideas

personalised handmade Christmas gifts for her

Stunning handmade and personalised Christmas gifts for her - truly thoughtful and unusual gifts to delight on Christmas morning!

1: Personalised Cook's Conversion Chart available in a wide range of colours, from £14.50 
2: 'Spectacled Rabbit' design canvas print from £16.95, mug £12.95 - other designs available 
3: Personalised Family Prints available in a choice of designs and colours, £14.50
4: 'Kitchen' wall plaque available in a range of colours, other designs also available, £17.95 
5: 'Yellow Spot' design handmade photo album, other designs also available, £25
6: 'Mum is Never Wrong' personalised print available in a choice of colours, £14.50
7: 'Summer of Love' personalised mug other designs also available, £12.95
8: Blue Heritage Plaque personalised with your own wording, £17.95

Visit the PhotoFairytales website now for even more fabulous handmade and personalised gifts for her - mum, gran, auntie, sister, friend or colleague: there are some great gift ideas for you...

This Christmas be a #giftgivinggenius!

Sarah x

Friday 18 November 2016

Brand New: personalised handmade Memory Pairs Card Game for children

New and exclusive to PhotoFairytales!

The Christmas present hunting is hotting up now, and I'm really pleased to let you know about my new personalised card game which will be a perfect gift for youngsters this Christmas!

Beautifully packaged, this handmade personalised Memory Card Game is the one we've all played as children, where you have pairs of cards that you turn over to match. It's a simple game, quick and easy for even young players to pick up, but one that they can play with adults and older children too. 

What makes this pairs game unique though is that it features all your own photos, so children will adore turning over the cards and seeing pictures of themselves, family members, pictures of their pets or favourite toys - anything you wish!

The game consists of 20 cards featuring your chosen photos - and the backs of the cards are also personalised with your child's name. The cards are a lovely big size, so easy for small hands to pick up, and they're made of chunky thick board too. The cards are packaged in a lovely linen-effect white gift box which is also personalised for them. It's all tied up with white ribbon and ready to pop under the Christmas tree or in their stocking!

Not just a great present for Christmas, this personalised card game will also make a lovely gift for a birthday too.

Visit the website now for full details - and if you'd like to order in time for Christmas, the deadline for orders is December 11th!

Sarah x

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Personalised baby board books - brand new handmade range

I've been offering handmade personalised board books on the PhotoFairytales site for a while, and they have always been incredibly popular gifts. Unfortunately, the small business that created the books for me has ceased trading which left a bit of a book-shaped hole!

Not one to hang around, I decided to take action and create my very own line of personalised board books - all handmade in-house. After literally working day and night for a few weeks (and when I did sleep, dreaming about books!), I'm now able to reveal my new board books and they're now on sale on the PhotoFairytales website.

There are seven designs to choose from, and each book is fully personalised with your own photos and wording.

The books make wonderful gift ideas for babies and toddlers - ideal for a christening, birthday or Christmas present. They are also a lovely and touching gift for new parents, a truly special keepsake. The books are a lovely present to mark that first Christmas or birthday for mum and dad too, and make brilliant presents for Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Young children will adore seeing themselves in their very own personalised book, and they're a great way of snuggling up together and sharing special moments and memories.

The books are made from chunky thick board, and measure 10x10cm - perfect for little hands to hold. They have rounded corners, and a glossy finish to bring your photos to life.

Visit the site today to see full details - and remember, everything comes with free UK delivery too! Please note: if you want to order in time for Christmas, the deadline for orders is December 11th.

Sarah x

Tuesday 8 November 2016

They're here!! The 2016 personalised Santa Letters are now on sale...

Now that Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone, I think it's OK to talk Christmas don't you? Let's face it, it isn't that far away now... so, light, baubles, action!!

The 2016 personalised Santa Letter Gift Packs are now on sale - and they've been joined by the brand new Santa Telegrams this year too!

This is the eighth year in a row that Father Christmas has used PhotoFairytales as his official supplier for his extremely special (and very rare) personalised Letters. Plus, to satisfy demand, this year he has also introduced fabulous new Telegrams too.

As with previous years, the Santa Letters are limited edition which means that only a limited number are available. They are so popular it is advised that you reserve yours now before they all go. Each letter is created individually (no computer generated nonsense here!), and is packed with detail so your child will know for sure that Father Christmas truly exists. Santa also personally signs each and every one, and the letters are printed on lovely parchment style paper. 

Remember, if you get a PhotoFairytales Santa Letter you'll know that Santa has actually handled it himself and written it himself. Forget those cheap horrible ten-a-penny fake letters: they're fed into a database, someone hits the 'print' button, and every letter comes out exactly the same as the last. But not these - oh no, these are genuine!

The Letters also come complete with a high quality personalised Nice Certificate, and 3 mystery craft gifts that will keep your youngster busy in the lead up to Christmas. Each letter is sent (with a pinch of genuine North Pole sprinkles) in a big jolly red envelope which is labelled with a 'special delivery' North Pole sticker and the Elf Quality Stamp of approval. The letters are only £7.50 including UK delivery (overseas orders are also welcome), so they certainly are a bargain! And remember, if you ordered a Letter from Santa last year it won't be the same this year - and if you order letters for siblings they will always be different (Santa never repeats himself!). 

The new personalised Santa Telegrams are fabulous value at just £6.50 including UK delivery - and each one is also personalised and hand signed by Santa too!

The Telegrams are printed on lovely quality kraft-style card and are hand stamped and signed by Santa (yes, the same Santa who signs the Letters - because there is only one official Santa!!). There are 3 versions to choose from: the Nice Telegram, the Baby's 1st Christmas Telegram, and the Naughty Telegram (perfect for adults who need a little reminding about being better behaved!). They come with a Nice Certificate just like the Santa Letters - except the Naughty Telegrams which don't (for obvious reasons). They come with something else instead...!

For every Letter and Telegram you buy, I'll also be making a donation to a fabulous UK charity; STEPS. They are a national charity working for all those whose lives are affected by childhood lower limb conditions. I'm so pleased to be fundraising for them this year, so every time you make a purchase you'll be helping their great work too.

The Letters and Telegrams are on sale until December 16th, so be quick and reserve yours now. All orders will be sent out during the first week of December (when everyone is seriously in the Christmas mood!), and orders from the beginning of December onwards will be sent within 2-3 working days. 

Ho, ho, ho!
Sarah x

Monday 24 October 2016

Brand New: personalised Poster Name prints - great baby gift!

Can you believe that it's only 2 months now until Christmas? I'm not sure why it always seems to creep up on me, but it always feels as though it's there ready to pounce as soon as you're settling into autumn and getting used to having the heating on!

So with the festive shopping season just around the corner, I'd love to tell you about my new range of A3 poster sized personalised prints - perfect for children and babies this Christmas

There are 5 designs to choose from, and each one features you're chosen name. They're a lovely finishing touch for a baby's nursery or a child's bedroom. With lovely graphics and a fresh contemporary feel, I'm sure children will love these on the wall of their room.

Perfect for Christmas or birthday, a christening or naming day gift, or a present to welcome a new baby

The prints are just £21.50, including UK delivery. You can view the new personalised print designs on the PhotoFairytales website here. I really hope you like them!

Ooh, and don't forget, there's a discount code on the PhotoFairytales Facebook page this month - but be quick, it ends on 31st October! Just head to the page and click on the 'Secret Fans Only' tab on the left of the page (you might need to view the non-mobile version of the page to see that tabs as Facebook doesn't show them on their mobile site unfortunately).

Sarah x

Thursday 13 October 2016

Brand New: Personalised Christmas Mugs, perfect stocking filler gift!

Personalised Christmas Mugs

It's gradually getting more Christmassy here at PhotoFairytales - someone even referred to my office as a grotto this week! New items are arriving regularly on the website, and I'm busy putting the finishing touches to even more new goodies...

Amongst the latest new additions, are these Christmas themed personalised mugs - the perfect personalised Christmas gift stocking filler, or a great Secret Santa gift for a friend or work colleague

The mugs are part of a larger range of designs, all featuring gorgeous graphics and each is fully personalised. At just £12.75, including free UK delivery, these will be perfect to pop under the Christmas tree.

Little tip: if you follow PhotoFairytales on Facebook you might have spotted my secret discount page! If not, take a look now and grab a special voucher code. Be quick though, it's only valid until the end of October...

I really hope you like the new mug designs - have they put you into the Christmas spirit just a tiny bit yet?!!

Sarah x

Monday 19 September 2016

Brand new: personalised House Signs & Wall Plaques

Exciting news: I've added another new gift line to the PhotoFairytales website today! This new range of round wall signs and house plaques are available in lots of different designs and colours, so something for everyone and every occasion!

The signs are made of tough acrylic which means they can be displayed both inside and outside - put it on your kitchen wall, in the bedroom, on the front of your house, in your garden: wherever you like!

The plaques can be personalised with your very own wording and dates, and each one is created to order. They measure 20cm (8") in diameter and are just £17.95 including UK delivery.

Visit the website today to see the full range of personalised wall signs available!

Sarah x

Sunday 18 September 2016

Shhh, can you keep a secret?!

Are you a Facebook user? If you are, make sure you follow me at facebook.com/photofairytales and see the post pinned to the top of my page. There's a secret sale discount code for everyone who likes my page, so head over and take a look!

Be quick though, the discount code expires soon - it can be used across the PhotoFairytales site, so it's a great way to get a bargain and start your Christmas gift shopping early!

You don't have to keep it a secret though - so feel free to tell your other Facebook friends and family to head over and take a look...

Sarah x

Thursday 15 September 2016

Brand New: personalised Wooden Gifts & Plaques

Personalised bespoke wooden gift plaques and signs

It's always exciting to announce new gifts for the PhotoFairytales website - trust me, I have a HUGE folder full of not-quite-finished ideas and plans. If I could take a couple of months off just to immerse myself in working on new designs and new plans I think I could practically double the size of the gift range on the website!

There are lots of new gifts in the pipeline, but let me tell you about some of the latest brand new wooden gifts that have just been added to the site...

These are all handcrafted from start to finish (from woodcutting, to painting, to personalising - everything!) by a small family-run British business. I'm so proud to have their work on PhotoFairytales - their work is superb quality, you won't be disappointed.

Prices start at a tiny £10.95 (which includes free UK delivery too), and there are lots of styles to choose from. Bespoke plaques that feature any wording of your choice, family tree plaques, children's bedroom plaques and special keepsakes for the new baby's nursery too - and lots more.

Sarah x

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Brand New: personalised Wedding Gift Parcel Sacks

Personalised Wedding Gift Parcel Hessian Sack

Well, it seems summer is officially over (she says, whilst sitting in a boiling hot office while the temperature outside climbs closer and closer to 30degrees...). It seems August went by in such a bustle I forgot to blog - although in my defense I did have a couple of weeks holiday so I'm forgiving myself!

I've not been dragging my feet though - I'm working away on some new goodies for you this autumn, so time to let you know about the latest new addition to the PhotoFairytales site...

These gorgeous personalised hessian sacks are a great, practical idea for your wedding day - keep all your cards and gifts up together in one place. Then after the big day you've got a lovely keepsake to keep as a memento of you wedding day - a lovely place to keep those wedding cards, photos, etc.

Not just for weddings though - these are perfect for any big gathering: birthday parties, anniversary or wedding celebrations, Christmas, baby showers or christenings

Because these sacks are fully personalised, you have 4 lines of text that you can use for any wording you like. Take a look at the website to see more examples of the wording styles you can use on these gorgeous personalised wedding gift sacks.

You can find lots more gorgeous bespoke wedding gift ideas over on the site too - so if you're looking for a truly unique and thoughtful wedding present that's a little bit unusual (and won't break the bank!), take a look today. Remember, everything comes with free UK delivery too!

Have a lovely day!
Sarah x

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Exclusive treat tomorrow for mailing list members!

PhotoFairytales discount code

Are you a member of the PhotoFairytales mailing list? Keep an eye on your inbox as I've got a special exclusive treat coming your way tomorrow! 

Not a member? Don't worry, just enter your email address here and you can start receiving special, exclusive offers too!

Tip: Once you've signed up to the mailing list, don't forget to add queries@photofairytales.co.uk to your trusted list so that emails don't get diverted and lost in your junk inbox!

Sarah x

Friday 15 July 2016

New look PhotoFairytales website!

PhotoFairytales website online gift shop handmade gifts

Firstly, let me apologise - I've been a bit absent recently as I've been a little bit obsessively preoccupied with creating a new look for the PhotoFairytales website!

It's been a long haul, but I hope you'll agree that the site has a lighter and fresher feel to it with a new look logo and softer colour scheme. I'd love you to take a look and let me know what you think, so do leave me a comment as I'd love hearing from you!

Sarah x

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Top 10 personalised Father's Day gift ideas

It's a strange fact that we, as children, spend on average less on gifts for our Dad's for Father's Day than we do when it comes to Mother's Day. And it's an even stranger fact that we tend to do most of our shopping for gifts at those big retail giants - you know, the supermarkets, the website biggies that name themselves after rivers, that type of thing... How boring!

Let's put an end to all that - it isn't all about the money, and how much we spend on Dad, it's all about the thought and love that goes into the gift we buy. Whether we spend a £1 or £100 - or even nothing at all, and just treat him to breakfast in bed!

So, forget those hideous conglomerates and stop giving your hard-earned cash to those uber-businesses that aren't really bothered about you - why not treat Dad this Father's Day to a truly unique and special gift, something you'll love giving and that will make him smile with real pleasure!

Here's a run down of the Top 10 gift ideas I think your Dad (or Grandad) will adore this Father's Day - handmade, British made, created to order, and really special (and all with FREE UK delivery too):

1) Personalised Blue Heritage Plaque, £17.95 - personalise with any wording
2) Personalised Beard Wearer Vintage Print, £14.50 - part of a range of designs (there's one for moustache wearers too!)
3) 'Always Be Yourself' personalised print, from £14.50 - comic book superhero prints for your SuperDad...
4) Personalised Hammer, £17.95 - perfect for the DIY dad, personalised with any wording of your choosing
5) Personalised Fork & Trowel Garden Set, £17.95 - the best gift for the green-fingered gardener
6) Personalised 'Garden' Hoop print, £18.50 - a really unique gift idea, part of a range of designs
7) Father's Day print, £14.50 - available in a choice of colours and wording styles, this print will leave him in no doubt as to how special he is!
8) Personalised Mug, £12.75 - beautiful range of personalised mugs, you'll find some lovely designs here that he'll love...
9) Handpainted personalised 'Daddy' gift plate - a stunning plate, created to order and perfect for serving that toast in bed on Father's Day!
10) Official Football Gifts, from £11.99 - got a footie mad Dad? He'll love these official personalised gifts for his favourite team

And if you need even more ideas, take a look at the personalised Gifts for Him section on the PhotoFairytales site. With a bigger than ever range of gift ideas this year, you'll be spoiled for choice!

Sarah x

Wednesday 25 May 2016

What to buy for Father's Day when men are SO hard to buy for?!

It's Father's Day on June 19th this year... so what do you get the
man who pretty much has everything he could ever want? 

Why are men so impossibly hard to buy a gift for? Unless they are the type who has a specific hobby or interest (or unless you have an unlimited income!), it can be difficult to find the right present. Which can make the looming Father's Day (June 19th) a bit tricky...

Take my own husband (please! - ha ha, only joking, ahem), he is a prime example. Come birthday or Christmas or Father’s Day for example, and it’s usually the same scenario: me stumped for ideas. If I ask him what he wants his usual reply is: “nothing really”. I think perhaps one of these days I’ll call his bluff - I know for sure that if he was really given “nothing” he’d feel pretty fed up!

I think this is one of the main differences between men and women. Ask me what I want for my birthday and I usually have a list for you - a rolling one - which gets carried over from Christmas to birthday! It’s not that I’m greedy, but there’s always something you’d love to own, right?

I’m assuming your man is not a millionaire and therefore already has everything in the world, so when you put aside the unrealistic sports-car-type gifts, is there anything left out there that you can buy for him that would really, really delight him? Something with a “wow” factor?

The tacky gadgets that get left in a cupboard - the golf ball polisher and the remote control fart machine - understandably have a short life. So what can you buy the man in your life who either has everything, or more likely, no idea what he wants?

The right personalised gift can prove to be an ideal solution. Something that raises a smile, or laughter even. Get it right and you could just be finding the perfect gift that ticks all the boxes. Ideally it would be something truly thoughtful that will be treasured for many years, or perhaps something both fun and practical. If you can do all that you can relax - you’ve done it, you’ve found the perfect gift. Now all you need to worry about is the next gift time…!

Find fun, touching, thoughtful and practical personalised gifts for him at www.PhotoFairytales.co.uk. Bespoke gifts and keepsakes created to order and truly original. Gifts for him: for birthday, Christmas, Father’s Day, anniversary.

Sarah x

Friday 20 May 2016

New range of personalised mugs - and a FREE one up for grabs!

Have you seen the new PhotoFairytales personalised mugs yet? 

I'm rather pleased with my new range of personalised mugs! With gorgeous graphics and colours, I think there are designs that will appeal to all ages...

Each mug can be personalised with your chosen name or message, and they're completely dishwasher proof too so they can be used every day.

At just £12.75 and with free UK delivery, they make a great little present that they'll enjoy using for their daily cuppa. These personalised mug designs are all exclusive to PhotoFairytales - see the full range by clicking here!

A fun and practical personalised gift, for so many different occasions:

Father's Day
Teacher 'Thank You' Gift
Gift for a Work Colleague
Mother's Day
Valentine's Day

Would you like a FREE mug?

Head on over to the PhotoFairytales Facebook page before midday on Friday 27th May and see the post pinned to the top of the page for details!

Sarah :)

Monday 16 May 2016

Handpicked Gift Collection from Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous

I'm very proud to say that I have a PhotoFairytales boutique on the Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous site. If you haven't discovered the site yet, I'm sure it will become a firm favourite with you.

Full of carefully curated and chosen gifts, fashion, jewellery, home decor items and more, the site picks a wide range of items from small and independent British creators and designers like me.

Their slogan is 'a gift less ordinary' - and a well chosen slogan it is too!

Here are just a few picks I've personally made from the site - it's a hard job, because there are so many gorgeous things to choose from!

1: A Star is Born New Baby Personalised Keepsake, by Little Things by E - £18.00

2: Personalised Wedding Dress Label, by Extra Special Touch - £18.50

3: Love from Lola 'Bloom' Felt Flower Dog Collar Accessory in Fuchsia and Lime, by Love from Lola - £14.50

4: Delicate Lace Design Fused Glass Coasters, by Claire Demetri Glass Design - £27.50

5: Crystal Bulb Atomiser Guinevere Fragrance 70ml, by Les Romantiques - £80.00

6: A Metal Chicken Garden Ornament Called Henny, by Down To Earth Metalwork - £19.75

7: Personalised Solid Oak Wooden Benches, by Make Me Something Special - £395.00

Sarah x

Friday 13 May 2016

The joy of bread...

Trust me, if I could find a way of turning this into a Scratch 'n Sniff Blog I would - because if you were here right now with me you'd be breathing in one of the MOST delicious smells on the planet... the smell of bread baking. Ahhhhhhhhh.... heaven!

Let me give you a little glimpse into life at PhotoFairytales HQ: every Friday morning I bake bread. I do it during the week too, but on varying days. Whereas Friday morning has become a pattern because the whole bread eating thing becomes more frequent when everyone's home all day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not elbow deep in flour, kneading and proving, and being all uber-houswifeish! Nope, I cheat, I've got a bread maker - in 5 minutes flat I have all the ingredients chucked in the pan and the machine is doing it all for me. It's on just shy of a 3 hour programme, which means that about this time on a Friday morning I'm getting both barrels of that gorgeous bread smell. It's almost ready!!

I started baking bread not long ago, so I'm just starting out. My mum kindly let me borrow her bread machine for a few months to see how I got on before making the commitment and buying my own machine. Within a month I was online and scouring the many different brands available having quickly made my mind up that there was no going back!

So what have I learnt in the 3 or 4 months since I started baking my own bread? Well, I know that mixing white and wholemeal flour works when I want to do my own version of that 50/50 type bread. I know that adding as much sugar as it states in the recipe is too much - I've cut down from 2tbsp to 1tbsp. I found 2tbsp made the bread far too sweet, but bread seems to need some sugar to help the yeast do its thing. I use just less than half of the recommended salt too - and I've used Low Salt and normal salt, and both work just as well. I've experimented with yeast amounts too - and found that cutting that back a tiny bit actually makes for a nicer loaf.

But my biggest tip of all? How to get a soft crust...

Don't get me wrong, we all like a nice crunchy loaf - but when you're using the bread for sandwiches, etc too you don't always necessarily want the loaf to be crunchy all the time. So, to get a nice soft crust that still has a bit of good 'chew factor' to it, and to stop the bread being a bit on the crumbly side, I've basically upped the fat content. The recipe told me to use water - but I now use roughly 2/3 milk to 1/3 water. And instead of using 2tbsp of butter I now use 2tbsp of oil. And it works every time :) When I get the bread out of the machine I wrap it in a clean tea towel which also seems to help it keep its softness as it cools.

Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a cooking and baking type blog this week, hasn't it? Ooh, the bread machine's just beeped - got to go!

Sarah x

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Tuesday 10 May 2016

Sugar-Free Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Fruit packed sugar free chocolate truffles
It was good news today when Public Health England announced that tooth decay in five year olds has dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade.

As a mum, I’m aware of how much we have to keep an eye on sugar consumption, especially as so much of it isn’t always easy to spot. But it’s important to strike a middle balance I think in the battle to keep sugar at bay - some would say swinging too far in the other direction makes sugar even more tempting!

I know we’re supposed to stop thinking of certain foods as ‘treats’ - or if we must, to term healthy options as ‘treats’ too. But it’s hard to persuade your child (especially as they get older) that some carrot sticks or an apple are a treat in quite the same way as a biscuit! Unless you start with that ethos from the moment your baby is born - and get everyone they’re ever likely to meet out of the home on board too - you might be setting the bar too high!

So, to maybe help a little bit, I thought I’d share my sugar-free chocolate truffle recipe with you - my daughter loves these, and certainly looks on them as a treat! I think part of the reason why they work so well is because they tick all the sweet treat boxes:

  1. They’re sweet
  2. They look and taste chocolatey
  3. They’re ‘picky’ sized - so you can get that “ooh a treat”/finger food type feeling you’d get from chocolates or sweets!

Now, I’ll be honest here: they’re not 100% sugar free - but they’re as near as dammit! And if you wanted to make them completely free of sugar it wouldn’t be too tricky. They take about 10-15 minutes to make, there’s no baking, they are more filling and satisfying than sweets, and they’ll keep for a good few days (in theory, although the ones I make never seem to last much longer than about 24 hours!). Here’s the recipe:

Sugar Free Chocolate Truffles

200g stoned dates (chopped or whole, doesn’t matter)
1 dessert spoon cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g rolled oats
1.5 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
1 dessert spoon water

A note about ingredients:

  • Cacao: I use cacao powder in my recipe rather than cocoa powder. The reason being cacao is a purer version of chocolate - there’s no added sugar and it hasn’t been highly processed. It’s basically chocolate in its pure form. It is more expensive than cocoa powder, and harder to find in the supermarket - but a little goes a long way as it has a more powerful chocolate punch. If you can’t find cacao you could use sugar free cocoa powder instead.
  • Vanilla Extract: The vanilla extract I use (Tesco Madagascan Vanilla Extract) does have sugar in it - the ingredients are listed as: Water, Ethanol, Sugar, Vanilla Extract. But as I’m only using a teaspoon I kind of figure that it won’t really break the sugar bank (if you see what I mean)!
  • Peanut Butter: The peanut butter I use is whole peanut butter - ie, it’s 100% peanuts and nothing else. I buy mine from Tesco and use either the Meridian or Whole Earth (whichever is cheaper at the time I buy it).  If you don’t want to use peanut butter you could probably substitute it with perhaps some ground almonds, although you might need to add more water and maybe a small dash of honey to the mix as the peanut butter acts as a kind of ‘glue’ to the mixture.
  • Chocolate Chips: Again, I have to admit that these do have sugar in them, but I'm only adding in a tablespoon of them so... - but you could substitute them with a sugar-free chocolate if you wanted to, or you could leave them out entirely if you prefer.

  1. Add all the ingredients, except the water, into a food processor and whizz it up until it’s crumbly. This will probably take 1-2 minutes. 
  2. Add in the water and blend for a few more seconds. 
  3. Transfer the crumbly mixture to a food bag and squish it up into one big ball. Then simply break off pieces, roll them into balls, and you’re done!
  4. The mixture should make about 15/16, depending on the size of your balls [insert own joke here]. The mixture will feel a little bit crumbly when you’re rolling the balls, but it does firm up - I put mine in the fridge for half an hour and they go firm with a nice non-fall-apart consistency!

I hope you enjoy them - if you have a go at making these I’d love you to come back and let me know what you think! And if you have any recipes or healthy sweet treat ideas, please leave a comment and share :)

Sarah x

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Wednesday 4 May 2016

Bank Holiday days out in Norfolk...

It's a rare gift, a May Day bank holiday weekend with the sun shining! But that's exactly what we got last weekend - and we managed to get a couple of fun days out and a chance to top up our Vitamin D at the same time!

Day one was pretty boring: housework and staying in waiting for the TalkTalk repair man to arrive blah blah, but Sunday and Monday we made the most of it and headed out for the day.

On Sunday we visited Sheringham Park on the North Norfolk coast. Run by the National Trust its a little gem, although I think we were a week or two too early for all rhododendron bushes; but hey ho! With several walks to choose from of differing lengths, you can opt for a short meander or a good old trek. We went for the middle option! There are some great viewing towers to climb, with some fabulous views across the Norfolk countryside and out to sea. There are hills too (take that Noel Coward)!

Bank Holiday Monday threatened a bit of rain in the forecast so we decided to head to Hunstanton (or 'Sunny Hunny' as it's known) - the only west facing seaside resort in Norfolk. It was actually another lovely day (thanks Sunny Hunny) - so we had chips on the prom followed by a visit to see Ernie the Turtle and some very cute smiley Rays and Pot-Bellied Seahorses in the Sea Life Centre. We got to see the otters and seals being fed, and visit the poorly rescued baby seals in the hospital.

We thought about bringing one home - because, let's face it, who wouldn't want a baby seal for a pet? - but decided we didn't want to give up the bathroom that much. 

We stared at the penguins and they stared back, and we decided that they could probably be replaced with plastic ones and nobody would be any the wiser.

Half an hour walking in circles around the gift shop, and then just as we were about to leave the heavens opened. And yes, we'd parked the car a million miles away so we ended up having a squirmy damp drive home in wet jeans. But it didn't really matter - we'd had a good time and although it was back to work/school the next day we had a 4-day week ahead of us. And look: it's Wednesday afternoon already!

Sarah x

Tuesday 26 April 2016

So, what do you do then…?

Let me be perfectly honest here - as a child, whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t know what to say. Most things I said in reply would have a question mark after them, suggesting pretty clearly that I didn’t really know: Vet? Lorry Driver? Police Detective? Zoo Keeper? 

Yes, these were all things I stated at one time or another (I think Police Detective also entailed the vague idea of moving to America and being a bit ‘Starsky & Hutch/Charlie's Angels’ so I don’t think it was a genuine dream…).

And, the thing is, I still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up…

At school it seemed as though every one of my friends knew exactly what they were planning for their future - and it usually involved a proper job title. Something like: Teacher. Doctor. Hairdresser. And so on, and so on… Even now, here, right this moment, there is a proper grown-up woman typing away at her computer who struggles to actually know what to call herself. You see, I don’t really have a proper job title these days. Mumpreneur? Graphic Designer? Business Owner? Erm… Artist? - crikey no, that’s much too grandiose!

As business owners we’re supposed to have this thing called an ‘elevator pitch’. For those who don’t know, this is a sentence that perfectly sums up what we do and who we are in the time it takes to move between floors in a lift. You know, just in case we end up in one standing next to Richard Branson or one of those Dragons who asks us to validate our existence. With the idea being that we have this sentence so well-honed and keyword packed and witty and entertaining, that they are bedazzled by us and immediately offer us a quintillion pounds to be a part of our exciting venture. Makes sense.

Erm, I’m still working on my elevator pitch… and I think, if I still struggle to find a job title for myself, it’s going to still be a while coming!

So, whenever anyone asks, I usually say I’m either a graphic designer - which I think makes them think I’m working on multi-million pound contracts creating advertising campaigns, or I work in media or something flashy - or I say I run my own design business. If I say that they usually ask, ‘ooh, what do you design?’, and I mumble things about websites and personalised prints and gifts and things… before abruptly running out of steam. And the problem there is I think they then go away picturing me playing with Pritt sticks and glitter and an online account with Hobby Craft, and selling my sticky crafting in village halls and scout huts (but mostly to my mum). And that’s not what I do at all!

It really is hard to come up with something that sums it all up - and I’ve been doing this since 2009! I wear so many hats in my PhotoFairytales role that it’s nigh on impossible to find a sentence (or even two) that describes all the various parts of my job.

So, if you ever do meet me and inquire politely ‘So, what do you do?’ don’t be at all surprised if I sigh a bit and say something like ‘Orangutan Charmer’ or ‘Handsome Cab Light Fitter’ or ‘Dog Whistler’ - because any of those sound much more interesting than my usual mumbling!

Sarah x

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Tuesday 5 April 2016

Personalised Family Tree prints - new colours, new sizes!

My bespoke Family Tree prints are a perennial favourite with my customers - they make such a fabulous gift for so many occasions, it's not hard to see why they are so popular...

  • Now available in a choice of 2 sizes, and 6 gorgeous colours.
  • Prices start at just £16.95, including UK delivery.

The perfect gift for those hard-to-buy-for grandparents, a stunning wedding present, a unique keepsake to mark the arrival of a new baby...and so much more; this personalised print is a wonderful way to mark so many special occasions.

Your Family Tree can feature 3 generations across two families, up to around 28 names. Each print is created to order for you, and you receive a proof copy of the artwork to check before it is completed. The prints are smartly presented with a backing board and mount, and are sealed in a clear presentation sleeve. They will fit into any standard 8x10" or A3 size frame.

Next time you're looking for a truly unique gift and feel a little stumped, why not take a look at these Family Tree prints - and be a gift giving genius!

Sarah x

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Wednesday 30 March 2016

Competition: ends very soon!

My fabulous competition this month ends tomorrow - so only a few hours left for you to enter!

Entry is really easy - just click on the 'Competitions, Discounts & Giveaways' tab above and you'll see all the details.

You could win one of 3 'Word Theme' prints - a series of 8 designs, which can be printed in any colour to suit your interior. You can choose any of the designs, and this bespoke A3 size print will be winging its way to you!

Go on, have a go - you just might win!

Sarah x

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Tuesday 22 March 2016

Free Easter Egg Hunt Kit!

It's an early Easter this year, which means the chances of having a warm and sunny day on Easter Sunday for an Egg Hunt are slim!

So if you think you'd rather stay indoors where it's warm and dry, why not download my free Egg Hunt Kit printables - everything you need, right down to the invitations, to plan a fun hunt for your little ones.

Free Easter Egg Hunt Kit Printable

I've left the clues blank, so you can create your own to suit the ages of your participants. The age group I think the hunt is best suited to would be roughly 5-10 years, but younger ones will still have fun taking part (they might just need a little help from an adult!).

There are 5 parts to the Egg Hunt Kit, to download just follow these links:

Egg Hunt 'To Do' List - this lists everything you need to plan the event, and what you'll need to buy
Egg Hunt Sheet 1 - print one of these sheets
Egg Hunt Sheet 2 - this has invitations and instructions for each participant, so you'll need to print off as many copies as you may need depending on how many people you are inviting or who are taking part.
Egg Hunt Sheet 3 - this is a sheet of 4 clues, so depending on how many clues you are planning to hide you may need to print off more than one sheet.
Egg Hunt Sheet 4 - this has 4 sets of bunny feet, so print as many as you need to dot around your house!

You can print the downloads onto normal paper. Sheets 1-4 are laid out '4 up' so you'll need to slice these sheets into quarters.

Ideas for clues: Depending on the age group of those taking part, your clues to range from the super-hard cryptic type, to the more straightforward! There are some great ideas here...

(You are welcome to download this kit for your own personal use only. It is not to be sold or used in any commercial way.)

Have a fun egg hunt this weekend - whatever the weather!
Sarah x

PS: While you're here, why not enter my competition too? Just click on the 'Competitions' tab at the top of this page!

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