Friday 15 December 2017

The top 20 things I love about this time of year...

The panic that tends to come at this time of year can sometimes obscure the little moments of pleasure that the season brings - not on Christmas Day itself, but the few days before and after...

Here are my top 20 that I love:

  1. Hoping for snow (or at the very least, a really heavy frost!) - opening the curtains in the morning or glancing out of the window and seeing everything coated in white.
  2. The smell of the decorations box - OK, I know that’s weird, but the box always has a certain type of smell (loft smell perhaps?!) that instantly takes me back to childhood Christmas’s and gives me a little flutter of excitement.
  3. Putting the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve
  4. Having a house full of food and family.
  5. Trying to get the dog and cat to accept they’re going to get dressed up - albeit very briefly!
  6. Cold turkey and chips for Boxing Day lunch!
  7. Mulled Wine
  8. Watching Christmas movies  - I can never decide which one’s my favourite, but I’d say my top 3 are “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Elf”, “Muppets Christmas Carol”, and “Arthur Christmas”. Oh, sorry, that’s 4. Oh well!
  9. The sparkle of the lights on the Christmas tree
  10. Seeing Freddy dog in his winter coat - technically he doesn’t need it, but he looks so handsome in it…
  11. Enjoying the small squeaks of excitement that my daughter emits every now and then during the couple of days before Christmas Day.
  12. Going off the ‘Wish List’ and surprising someone with a really special present you know they’re going to love even though they didn’t know they wanted it until now!
  13. Going for chilly walks with the dog (bonus if it snows of course!)
  14. Playing ‘Spot the Lights’ to see who’s the first person to spot a house with their decorations up in the run up to Christmas. (I won this year, the neighbours put them up at the end of November.)
  15. Not having to think twice about what to eat - and it being OK to have chocolate or marzipan before lunch (or breakfast).
  16. Candles 
  17. Playing board games over the holiday
  18. Mulled Wine…. Did I say that already?
  19. Taking time off work and knowing that people accept you’re away - it’s the time of year when pretty much everyone is taking a holiday.
  20. That lovely relaxed feeling after Christmas Day when you can sit back and know that all the hoo-har is over and now it’s time to put your feet up.

What little festive pleasures do you have at this time of year? 

Sarah x

Saturday 9 December 2017

My supremely traditional Christmas, totally under control…

This year I am going to approach Christmas being serene, calm, and so organised I’ll have time to make handmade decorations for the tree.

My traditional Christmas daydream is as follows...

I will organise relaxed yet elegant little soirees where I will invite nearest and dearest to my home (tastefully decorated and impeccably gleaming of course, with a hint of wax polish and cinnamon in the air). I will wear a brand new outfit and serve mulled wine in twinkling crystal glasses (all matching, and enough to go round) and the table will groan with homemade food that would give Jamie or Nigella a run for their money in the style and taste stakes.

The weather will be crisp and fresh - just enough snow to look festive of course, and the kind of snow they have in the movies (ie, the non-melting, non-slippery, never grey - or yellow! - kind). I will line the path leading to my door with those little bags filled with twinkly nightlights.

Christmas shopping will, of course, have been completed many weeks before. I will have spent an amusing couple of hours with a glass of wine sitting in comfort and placing online orders for exquisitely appropriate gifts for each and every loved one. They will be tasteful (of course), unique and in many cases handmade and bespoke. The wrapping will be crisply executed (all presents will be square or rectangular), and the paper will be of beautiful quality (with matching gift tags). There will be enough paper to wrap all gifts (no bare cardboard roll panic for me - no trying to wrap things diagonally in the hope it makes the paper go further - no adding lots of bows to cover the gaps). Talking of gift tags, I will write everyone’s names in a beautiful calligraphic style.

No gifts will feature the description “novelty” - there will be no “bog books*”, no “funny” socks or ties. No ironically bad jumpers featuring reindeers.

All cooking for the Christmas season will be planned with military control thanks to the supermarket delivering everything to my door (everything being in stock of course, no substitutions or items close to their sell by date).

Mind you, having said all that, those Christmas decorations that we put on the tree year after year are a bit of a tradition. And being a bit too broke thanks to Christmas shopping to buy any new clothes - that’s a kind of tradition too. And there’s not much point in twinkly nightlights leading to the front door when they are overshadowed by the neighbours inflatable 6’ snowman.

And it wouldn’t be Christmas if I wasn’t sat hunched over the computer wrestling with the “can I get this cheaper/faster/delivered free/with a discount/with free gift wrapping somewhere else” anxiety and generally prevaricating for so long that inevitably “out of stock” becomes the phrase of the season. And wrapping paper with an identity crisis - coupled with homemade gift tags cut from last years’ Christmas cards - that’s definitely traditional. And having a houseful of guests or planning a party can be pretty stressful - and besides, Pirates of the Caribbean might be on that night - and isn’t it so much nicer to be able to put your PJ’s on hours before bed and nick the chocolates off the tree? And I’m sure Tesco will keep up their end of the traditional bargain and try their hardest to run out of a few essential items (turkey’s, Christmas puddings, bread, milk) so that we can all laugh and embrace the fact that year after year Christmas at PhotoFairytales Towers is always traditional.

And you can’t mess with tradition at Christmas.

Sarah x

* ‘Bog Book’ - a book, usually novelty, that is only ever read on the loo. Often contains “amusing” pictures of old cars, bad haircuts, interesting facts and figures that are instantly uninteresting and forgettable, etc.

Friday 8 December 2017

Christmas: Last orders and opening times

Here's a round up of all the last order dates for delivery in time for Christmas - please note that I am now unable to accept overseas orders in time for Christmas I'm afraid. The following dates may change over the next few days, so please visit the Christmas Opening Times page on the website for the latest information - just click on the image below:

Opening Times over the Christmas period: I will be closed for a Christmas holiday from midday December 19th and will reopen on January 8th 2017. The website will remain open and you are very welcome to place orders or contact me while I'm closed, but please be aware that I won't be able to process your order or acknowledge your message until my return.

Last Orders by Date:

December 3rd:
Wooden Gifts 
Birth Announcement/Invitations 
Fantasy Portraits with Greeting Cards 

December 7th:
Mixing Bowls 
Fantasy Portraits with Canvas Prints
Gift Plates 

December 10th:
Memory Card Game 
Photo Albums
Board Books
Bunny Rabbit Family Prints
On Our Wedding Day Prints
On This Day Birthday Prints

December 11th:
Love Gift Boxes
Rocket Photo Holder
Christmas Eve Boxes

December 12th:
Family Tree prints, A3 size
Fantasy Portraits with Unframed or Mounted Prints

December 14th:
Canvas Prints
Blue Heritage Plaques
Round Wall Plaques/House Signs  
Hoop Prints
Fork & Trowel Garden Sets
Personalised Gift Sacks
Family Tree print 8x10" size
Metal Street Signs
Fantasy Portraits artwork only   
All Personalised Prints in A3 size  

December 15th:
Official FC Gifts 
All Personalised Prints in 8x10" size

December 17th:
Santa Letters - UK orders 
Santa Telegrams - UK orders  
Standard Greeting Cards (fast dispatch cards)  
Tooth Fairy Letters 

December 18th:
Gift vouchers 

December 19th: closed from noon

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me!

Sarah x

Thursday 16 November 2017

How to keep the magic of Santa alive - the definitive guide and top tips when your child has questions...

Children seem to grow up so fast these days… and at this Christmas time of year a casualty of this is their belief in Santa. Sometimes it can be their own natural suspicions creeping up on them, or it can be the result of a conversation with a school friend - so here’s what to do when your inquisitive child starts asking some tricky questions!

Is your child starting to ask difficult questions about whether Santa exists? Here's a definitive guide to answering those questions, and some top tips to keep the magic alive this Christmas!

Some typical questions you might face:

Q: How can Father Christmas visit every house in the world all on one night? And how can he know who’s been nice and who’s been naughty?
A: Santa uses special cosmic short-cuts provided through wormhole technology - he carefully plans where he’s going before Christmas Eve so that he knows his route off by heart, and he travels at such high speeds that he can travel on special space-time continuum pathways that only he can use. It’s all very complicated, and something that even grown up scientists have never truly understood. He also uses the International Date Line and follows the earth’s rotation which helps him to gain many extra hours of time as he travels. This two things combined make it possible for him to travel around the world leaving presents all on one night. As far as knowing who’s been naughty or nice, Santa uses various techniques throughout the year such as helicopters and low flying planes, Santa helpers in shops, teachers, and CCTV in grottos. Crucially, he also just knows...

Q: How can Father Christmas get into our house because we don’t have a chimney? How can Santa fit through our chimney?
A: Santa knows that lots of houses these days don’t have chimneys which is why he’s learnt lots of other ways to get in. Sometimes he uses a magic key, other times he sprinkles himself with his special magic dust - you can find Santa’s full explanation right on this blog by clicking here.

Q: I’ve seen reindeer in real life and they don’t fly!
A: No, well, that’s because the reindeer you’ve seen are either normal reindeer or it isn’t Christmas Eve. Not all reindeer can fly, and besides, even Santa’s reindeer don’t fly every day of the year you know, that would be crazy!

Q: How does Santa fit everything into his sleigh?
A: Santa Claus is a very intelligent man with a vast knowledge who has spent many, many years perfecting this. Quite simply, in the same way that he manages to travel around the world all on one night, he uses science - or to be precise, nanotechnology (which is nothing to do with your nan). He has developed a way of reversing the irreversible thermo-dynamic properties of presents - essentially,  this means that all the presents are shrunk to a microscopic size and they don’t take on their full proper size until he takes them out of his sack. I know this may sound confusing, and that's because its meant to be - Santa keeps all the details a close secret.

Q: How can Santa eat and drink all the food that’s left out for him?
A: Well, firstly because he’s quite fat and likes his food, secondly because he uses a lot of energy on Christmas Eve and so burns it off meaning he gets very hungry, thirdly because his Christmas Eve night is longer than yours (see Question 1 above), and fourthly because he has the reindeer and elves to help him (they like eating too).

Q: Why doesn’t Santa leave presents for grown ups? Why don’t teenagers and grown ups believe in him?
A: Sometimes of course he does leave presents for grown ups, but not always. Santa’s main priority is to leave special presents for children (if they’ve been good of course). Some grown ups (and older children and teenagers) might say they don’t believe in Santa, but no matter how hard they try his spirit still lives in them. That excited magical feeling that everyone gets on Christmas Eve, the little fluttery excited feeling in their tummy, is what’s left over from when they were your age. Santa doesn’t mind if you stop believing, he knows that it’s a sign you’re growing up and that’s just how it should be.

Q: I’ve seen lots of Santa’s in the shops and I know they’re not real…
A: No, they’re not (always) the real Santa - but, they are his official fully authorised helpers. He uses them to help him and if you meet one and he asks you what you’d like for Christmas he will always pass what you say back to the real Santa.

Q: The presents you get from Santa you can buy in the shops, so I know he hasn’t made them…
A: Well, that’s an easy one - there are simply so many children in the world nowadays that Santa’s workshop simply doesn’t have the time to make everything from scratch. That means he has to ask some shops to sometimes help him, and he also knows that sometimes children ask for something very specific that he can’t make - so that’s where the shops step in to help, and that’s why you might find things that he’s given you are also in shops.

With a bit of luck those answers will help you out of most situations - now, read on for some easy practical tips and tricks you can start planning and thinking about!

A few rules you need to remember to help Santa this year…

  • Remember that Santa has special handwriting and uses different wrapping paper.
  • Santa is a messy eater - mainly because he has to eat and dash in a hurry! So there’ll always be a few crumbs left behind from the snack you leave out for him.
  • Hiding presents before the big day is vital (as is hiding your online browsing history if you’re using the family laptop)!
  • Santa can sometimes forget to wipe his feet - a few muddy or snowy (flour/icing sugar) footprints on the carpet proves that he was really here.
  • Equally, sometimes Santa brings his little elf helpers with him on Christmas Eve and they can be a bit cheeeky and messy. Don’t be surprised if they leave a little bit of glitter sprinkled around the room here and there, or move things about! If you find a cushion in the fruit bowl, a banana on the Christmas tree, or a picture turned upside down, it’s sure to be those pesky Elves! Maybe mention to your child in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas Eve that you’ve heard that can happen...
  • The reindeer don’t have to eat carrots - they also like raisins, oats, breakfast cereal (any kind), most other vegetables, or even just a bowl of water. The reindeer may (or may not) come into your house, but if they are left outside Santa will take whatever you leave out to them so that they can have some food and/or drink. Sometimes you’ll find hoof prints and traces of magic dust on your front path or in the back garden, along with a few spills or leftovers from their food.
  • Track Santa on Christmas Eve - now, this is a good one! The North American Aerospace Defence Command are a proper military organisation who protect the air space over North America. For many years they’ve picked up Santa on his travels around the world on their special tracking equipment. You can find out where he is all day long on Christmas Eve, so log on to during the day and you can follow his travels and watch him getting closer and closer. 
  • Children all over the world write to Father Christmas every year, but only a very few special children get an answer. If your child has been extra good this year and you think they’d love to hear from Santa, why not reserve a Santa Letter or Telegram? The PhotoFairytales personalised Letters & Telegrams are packed with information and detail that will make your child know for sure that Santa is real - how else could he know so much about them?! Definitive proof when you need it:

PhotoFairytales personalised Santa Letters & Telegrams help keep the magic alive - each one is individually prepared and signed in ink by Santa himself. They're packed with detail and are superb quality. Visit the PhotoFairytales site for full details. Limited number available!

One final piece of advice: just because their friends don’t think Santa exists anymore doesn’t mean your children have to stop believing too. But it’s OK for them to pretend he doesn’t exist when they’re in front of their friends - because when they’re at home with you they know they can still talk about him because you still believe he’s real.

Banish your child’s scepticism this Christmas, help them keep the magic of Santa alive just a little bit longer! And if you’d like even more great advice, read Santa’s own top tips that he kindly wrote for everyone on this very blog - just click here to read.

Ho, ho, ho,
Sarah x

Monday 6 November 2017

Christmas Eve Boxes - the 'must have' item this Christmas!

It is odd how a trend arrives with such certainty that it's hard to imagine how and why it's only just arrived... and one case in point is the Christmas Eve Box. These have become huge - and I mean, HUGE this year.

Everyone wants one this Christmas...
well, who wouldn't, they're a gorgeous idea?!

'Festive' design personalised wooden Christmas Eve Box - from PhotoFairytales

The personalised Christmas Eve Boxes you can find at PhotoFairytales are truly lovely - available in a range of designs and styles there's something for everyone: whether you're just looking for something to pop a couple of little trinkets in, or something bigger you can fill to the brim!
Visit PhotoFairytales now to see the full range of personalised boxes available

All the Christmas Eve Boxes are personalised to order and made from solid wood. They have attractive catches, and are lovely robust boxes that you'll be able to use year after year. A new family tradition!

There are designs for children, couples, families - even ones for your pet (because they love Christmas too)!

'Mistletoe Wreath' wooden Christmas Eve chest, available in two sizes - order now at PhotoFairytales 

What to put in your Christmas Eve Box? Here's some ideas:

  • Children will love little treats such as a DVD, a book, chocolate coins, reindeer food, stickers, Christmas crafty bits, a colouring book and pencils or crayons, a special decoration to hang on the tree, a little game, some new pyjamas or slippers, a little storybook, a small toy, jewellery or hair accessories.
  • Teenagers will also love receiving chocolates and sweets, popcorn, pyjamas and slippers, hot chocolate (with a sachet of marshmallows perhaps), a CD or DVD, smellies, new undies or fun socks.
  • Adults are usually ready for a little tipple by the time they sit down on Christmas eve, so perhaps a bottle of wine or beer, pyjamas, some cosy bed socks, candles, chocolates or liquors, smellies, new undies or silly socks, a microwaveable hottie or hot water bottle, perfume/aftershave, jewellery. Something romantic, something saucy, or just something to to enjoy together and toast one another as another year draws to an end...
  • Pets are easy - food (of course): think yummy treats, chews, tasty bites and munchies, a new toy, perhaps a little cuddly to take to bed, a new collar or ID tag, perhaps even a new bowl or an outfit to wear for the big day?!

So, with Christmas fast creeping up on us, and now that Bonfire Night has been and gone, we can get down to some serious Christmas shopping. Don't leave it too late to order these massively popular Christmas Eve Boxes - visit the PhotoFairytales site today.

Sarah x

Friday 3 November 2017

Magical unicorns... I DO believe!

Mention the word 'unicorn' to most little girls at the moment and they tend to go a bit misty eyed - you can practically see the glitter and fairytales spinning in the air above their heads! Any why not, unicorns ARE pretty special...

My brand new 'Believe in Unicorns' print is available exclusively at - it's an indulgent, sweet confection of pinks and blues, and sure to hit the spot with any little unicorn fans!

Each print is created to order, and comes smartly presented with a front mount, backing board, and sealed in a clear presentation sleeve. The print measures 8x10" and will fit into any standard 8x10" picture frame.

Featuring a lovely glittery effect and soft pastel shades, the print is a lovely finishing touch for a little girl's bedroom, and it would be a fabulous gift for a birthday or Christmas. 

Remember, always believe in magic and unicorns....!

Sarah x

Wednesday 1 November 2017

To boldly go... into a space themed child's bedroom!

It's always great fun decorating a child's bedroom - it's a time when you get the opportunity to do something adventurous and daring that you probably wouldn't do in any other part of your home!

One of the hottest trends at the moment is all things space themed: think retro rockets, moons and stars, with colours in deep blue, teal, muted soft dusky purple - offset with neutral grey, taupe and white. In fact, if you fancy delving into the theme for some inspiration I've created a board on Pinterest for you!

I thought I'd pick some items from the PhotoFairytales site with the space and astronaut theme for you, starting with a brand new item: this cool wooden photo holder in the shape of a rocket!

Wooden Memory Photo Rocket
- personalised with your chosen name, available at PhotoFairytales

Created from solid birch wood, the photo holder is personalised with your chosen name and can take 5 photos of your gorgeous little boy or girl. Find the new Wooden Memory Photo Rocket at PhotoFairytales by clicking here.

Here are some more fun space-inspired finishing touches for your child's bedroom...

1: 'Space Man' fantasy photo portrait, created from your own photo - from £24.50

The retro 1950's and 1960's space theme is very on trend too: think The Jetsons, Cath Kidston-type pyjamas, the Festival of Britain... do take a browse through my board on Pinterest for more inspiration!

Sarah x

Friday 27 October 2017

BRAND NEW: 'Sweet Dreams' personalised baby board book, handmade especially for your little one...

Looking for an unusual baby or toddler gift this Christmas? Something really special, personalised? Handmade? I think I have the perfect gift solution for you..!

I’m so excited to tell you about my new addition to the personalised board book range - a new design called ‘Sweet Dreams’ that will be perfect for cosy bedtime stories!

'Sweet Dreams' personalised, handmade baby board book

This brings the collection of designs to 10 now, with all the books handmade to order and featuring your own wording and favourite photos on every page. The books have solid board pages, and are now also available in a hard wearing laminated style which gives them added protection and a lovely shiny, glossy finish.

These personalised board books make a perfect gift for a baby or toddler, ideal for birthdays or Christmas. 

'Sweet Dreams' book, outside covers

The Sweet Dreams board book has lovely soft dark blue colours and the pages feature lovely illustrations of twinkly stars and sleepy sheep to count. All designed to hopefully prompt a good night of sleep for your little one!

Your baby or toddler will love looking at their book which has been designed especially for them. A truly unique and personal gift that will be a lovely keepsake.

All personalised board books are gift wrapped in pretty pale blue tissue paper

Visit the PhotoFairytales website now to view the full range of designs available.

Sarah x

Friday 20 October 2017

They've arrived! The 2017 Santa Letters & Telegrams are now on sale...

Too early to talk about Christmas? Not when you realise there are only 9 weeks left before the big day! So, it's undeniably 'that time of year' and it's been feeling incredibly festive this week at PhotoFairytales HQ as Santa and I have been having lots of last minute meetings to organise this years' official Santa Letters and Telegrams.

And I'm delighted to announce that they went on sale today - the 2017 Santa Letters & Telegrams are now available to buy on the PhotoFairytales website.

Many of you will know that every year I donate a share of the proceeds from sales to a UK charity. A few days ago I asked my Facebook fans to nominate a charity to support, and you didn't disappoint! A lovely list of suggestions came through - making it impossible to choose. So I did it the only way I could: by asking Santa to draw a name out of a (red) hat (with white fluffy fur on).

The 2017 charity we'll be proudly supporting this year is The UK Sepsis Trust. This fabulous organisation seeks to save lives and improve outcomes for survivors of SEPSIS by instigating political change, educating healthcare professionals, raising public awareness and providing support for those affected by this devastating condition.

So, every single Letter and Telegram that you buy will support this hard working charity - how brilliant is that?!

The PhotoFairytales Santa Letters and Telegrams are truly special. Each and every one is written uniquely by Santa himself - and he personally signs each one individually too. He's been using PhotoFairytales as his official Santa Letter supplier for 9 years now, and it's a true honour to have been selected by him.

If your baby is celebrating their first Christmas this year why not mark the moment with a special 'First Christmas' Santa Telegram - a lovely memento to keep in their memory box!

His personalised Santa Letters are EXTREMELY rare - he only produces a very limited number of them every year. If you know someone who deserves to receive one of these special letters he advises you to reserve one now - every year they sell out! His Santa Telegrams are equally special and a great way of letting the recipient know that their good works and behaviour this year won't go unrewarded. (Although, if you know someone who's been a bit naughty he's got a special version for them too to help them back on track before the big day!).

Remember, if you get a PhotoFairytales Santa Letter or Telegram you'll know that Santa has actually handled it himself, written it himself, and signed it himself. He even writes the envelope himself! Forget those cheap horrible fake Santa 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!

Visit the PhotoFairytales site now and reserve your Letter or Telegram - don't leave it too late in case they all go! Don't worry though, they won't get posted until the beginning of December when everyone is seriously in the Christmas mood!

Ho, Ho, Ho!
Sarah & Santa x

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Theme of the Week: Nursery Decor & Finishing Touches

Planning your new baby's nursery is a lovely time - shopping for all those essential items, choosing a cot and furniture, creating a fabulous environment for your little one to grow and enjoy. It doesn't seem 5 minutes ago that we were doing exactly that for our daughter - but it was actually (unbelievably) 14 years ago!

Sorry Amy, I know you read this blog sometimes but I can't resist adding one of my favourite photos of you!!

Tastes have certainly changed in the last 14 years though, and there are some stunning trends this season for nurseries - ranging from soft neutrals and Scandi-style simplicity, to tropical and nature inspired themes full of pops of bright colour and eye-catching detail. 

If you're looking for a lovely print to compliment the nursery I've got some gorgeous ideas for you - with colours and designs ranging from soft and dreamy to fun and whimsical. My prints and canvases are created to order, and I'm always happy to tweak colours etc for you to create something that suits your decor.

1: 'Dragon' personalised canvas print, from £18.50 - part of a range of personalised canvas prints
2: Alphabet personalised watercolour print, £23.95 - a stunning A3 sized poster print on quality traditional moulded paper
4: 'Hush Little Baby' personalised canvas print, from £18.50 - part of a range of canvas print designs
5: Personalised Birth Print, £18.95 - personalised prints available in a range of colours
6: 'Raining Love' personalised 'Smiler' print, £22.95 - A3 sized poster print available in a range of colours, other designs also available

Sarah x

Monday 25 September 2017

How to claim a FREE print, worth £10!

There are so many ways of keeping up to date with things here at PhotoFairytales HQ... (if you're one of my followers on Facebook you'll have heard about my traumatic water-through-the-ceiling boiler troubles last week, although my posts are usually more upbeat than that!!). You can find me in all the usual places (Twitter, Pinterest, etc), as well as this blog (of course), but I also have a mailing list which often has exclusive offers just for members.

Plus, everyone that signs up can claim a FREE print worth £10!

With Christmas just around the corner this is also a great way to tick a gift of your shopping list for free...

Yep, by signing up to the mailing list you can claim a free print - and there's a choice of 4 designs available too. All you need to do is spend £15 or more and quote the special order code that you receive when you sign up.

"Yes, but I don't want my inbox clogged up with constant mailshots", I hear you cry! Fear not, I usually only send once a month so I won't be pestering you day in day out!

Plus, your details will always be kept private - I'll never sell, rent or share them with anyone else. Ever.

So if you love a bargain every now and then, or you like to be always up to date with what's going on, or if you just love PhotoFairytales (who wouldn't?) then you need to be on the mailing list! Click here to visit the site and add your email address now.

I look forward to adding you to the exclusive list!
Sarah x

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Personalised Baby Board Books: now available laminated!

It's almost a year now since I introduced my new range of personalised baby board books - and in these last months they've become one of my most popular lines! The books are all handmade, and feature your own photos and wording throughout.

Measuring 10x10cm, the books are ideal for younger readers who love looking through them and recognising the images inside. I even had a customer this week who told me that her little girl kisses every page! 

There are currently 9 designs to choose from, and I'm really pleased to announce that all designs are now available in a more hard wearing laminated version.

Let's face it, younger readers can be dribble chops so I wanted to introduce the laminated version particularly for them! The laminated board books can be wiped clean with a damp cloth so if your book gets a little bit sticky its not the end of the world!

The laminated books also have a brighter, more vibrant feel to them and smooth glossy finish. 

In response to customer demand I've also introduced a faster delivery option too, so those who need their book with them a bit sooner than upgrade to 1st class recorded delivery so that their book reaches them in 1-2 working days.

If you haven't seen the board books yet do head on over to the website and take a look: they're perfect for Christmas, birthdays, and much more - and not just for younger readers either, parents and grandparents love them too!

Sarah x

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Theme of the Week: Typography

The trend for graphic typography prints and word art has been around for a while, and shows no sign of leaving - with good reason. The strong graphic style suits just about every decor and adds a timeless and classic feel whilst also giving a contemporary touch to your home.

I have a slightly obsessive love of typefaces - I have an ENORMOUS range on file that I've gathered over the years, and I still can't get enough! I'll happily sign up to 'font of the day' emails just to get a daily fix in my inbox!

My typographic prints and gifts have been my most popular lines in the last couple of years, and my ranges have grown to embrace the trend, incorporating both strong colours, monochrome, softer pastels and bold word styles to hopefully suit all tastes!

So, my Theme of the Week this week is Typography - and I've rounded up a few choice from the PhotoFairytales site that I hope you'll love:

1: 'Family Sayings' canvas print, printed to order and available in any colour of your choice, from £18.95 - part of a range of canvas designs
2: NEW Personalised Alphabet Nursery print, £23.95 - a generous A3 size print on beautiful traditionally made watercolour paper
3: 'Written in the Stars' personalised print, from £15.95 - part of the range of 'Love Print' designs in a choice of print sizes
4: Wooden Photo Blocks, from £27.50 - stunning sepia-toned hand crafted blocks in a choice of wording options featuring your favourite photos
5: 'Biscuits' Word Theme print, £22.95 - part of a range of A3-size word theme prints, created to order and available in any colours of your choice
6: 'Word Art' print, £15.95 - personalised inspirational monochrome prints, available in boy or girl options 

PLUS: See the 'Competitions, Discounts & Giveaways' tab above for details of a discount code for the Word Art prints - ends soon!

I hope you've seen something you like - there's plenty more on the PhotoFairytales website, so if you're looking for a special gift or a treat for your own home do have a browse around the site today and see what you can discover!

Sarah x

Monday 4 September 2017

Theme of the Week: Back to Nature

September... it's a funny old month... according to meteorological types the 1st of September heralds the first day of autumn, but the shift from one season to the next is always tricky. Not least in the wardrobe department: what to wear!

Is it going to be cold? Hot? Can I wear a jumper yet? Do I still wear my shorts? Yes, us Brits often find that transitional time a bit hard (she says, wearing a summer t-shirt and fluffy slippers).

So let's not say goodbye quite yet to summer - let's enjoy those last few warm days (possibly wet, yes, but at least vaguely warm), and postpone moving indoors completely for a little while longer.

My theme this week is all about nature: except spiders, they're a nightmare at this time of year!

Here's a few of my picks for this outdoor/indoor time of year:

1: Bee's Knees canvas design, from £18.95 - part of the new canvas collection
2: Bespoke Wooden Plaque, from £10.95 - add any wording of your choice, choice of bow styles
3: Berries personalised mug, £13.50 - lots of other designs also available
4: Farmyard personalised board book, £25 - handmade to order, other designs available
5: Forty Winks fantasy photo portrait, from £24.50 - created from your photo, other designs available
6: Garden personalised embroidery hoop print, £19.95 - handmade, other designs available

So, which is your favourite season - summer or autumn? Are you looking forward to cosy nights in and frosty lawns, or will you be missing the long hot days and lazing in the garden? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Sarah x

Thursday 24 August 2017

The post holiday meltdown...

As lovely as it was to have a couple of weeks holiday, the pay off for any small business owner is always the tidal wave of orders, emails and messages that build up while you're away. I got back to work this Monday, and I'm just about up to date with things now after a few days of real 'nose to the grindstone' type long hours!

So with my little moment of time I have this afternoon I thought I'd share a very rare image with you taken during our holiday... this is my dad, baking a cake. And not just any cake - the very first cake he's ever baked. In fact, the first of anything he's made food-wise (if you don't include tea making and biscuit tin pilfering)!

What the photo doesn't reveal is my mum off camera, with hands to cheeks and more than an air of anxiety! And what you can't tell from the picture either is that seconds after it was taken he decided he couldn't 'fit' all the cake mix in the tins so he might as well eat the rest. And we won't mention the icing debacle... let's just say it came out quite runny... 

But hey, there's a first time for everything - although I have an idea it'll be the last time too, if my mum has anything to say about it!

As well as going to stay with my mum and dad down in Somerset, we had a few days at home, stay-cation style, with day trips out and about in our lovely Norfolk. One of our days out took us to a smashing park in Norwich next to the University campus. It has a lovely clear bubbling stream and Freddy couldn't believe his luck when we told him he could actually go in!

It's unbelievable to think we've only got just over a week left of the school summer holidays - the summer always goes so fast! Before you know it we'll be nearing Christmas... in fact, now I've said that I've realised I can't stick around any longer, I've got some new goodies for the website I really need to get started on!

What have you been up to during the summer, been anywhere nice?

Sarah x

Friday 4 August 2017

Summer Holiday time!

Just a quick reminder that I'm now away on my summer break for a couple of weeks. You're still very welcome to place orders while I'm away, the PhotoFairytales website is still open, but just be aware that I won't be able to start your order now until I'm back on August 21st so there will be a delay I'm afraid.

Sarah x

Thursday 3 August 2017

Spotlight on Wow Thank You - the British marketplace for crafters and artisans

It might be the height of summer right now, but the weather has a determinedly 'British Blighty' feel to it this week! I'm heading off for a couple of weeks' holiday next week, so it looks as though it'll be windy trips to the seaside trying to stop our chips or ice cream from taking flight!

Oh well, I prefer the seaside when it's good and blustery, and a bit damp - it's character building!

Before I head off though, I wanted to show you a few things I've discovered this week on It's a British online marketplace for UK designers, crafters and artisans and there's a huge range of items there waiting to be discovered - here's just a few:

British handmade gifts at

1: Gin Chopping Board, from DaleWood Craft Designs - engraved and personalised solid beech chopping boards, ideal for chopping your lemon when you're fixing that perfect British G&T!
2: Personalised Pudding Dessert Spoon, from Impressions to Keep - a vintage silver-plated spoon personalised to order - a stylish way to eat your Eton Mess this summer...
3: Beefeater Felt Name Garland, from Fuzzy P's Crafts - handmade to order, these gorgeous garlands add a fun finishing touch to your child's bedroom or the baby's nursery.
4: London Bus canvas print, from PhotoFairytales - created to order and personalised with your chosen name and date, a lovely gift for a new baby or child's birthday.
5: Calming Lavender Gift Set, from Just Be Natural - luxury handmade treats created using Carshalton lavender, a heritage lavender favoured by Queen Victoria herself!
6: Handmade Chocolate Buttons, from Cocoa & Heart - yes, these really are chocolate! Stunning handmade Belgian chocolates lovingly created by hand in Kent.
7: Bicycle Basket Garland, from Anne's Floral Gifts - fun, quirky and quintessentially British: who wouldn't want a handmade flower garland on their bike!

Have a browse around the site, I'm sure you'll find some new discoveries you'll love!

Sarah x

Thursday 15 June 2017

Last minute Father's Day gifts - still time to order a personalised print!

Last minute Father's Day gifts - beautiful personalised prints for him

It's Father's Day this weekend, but if you haven't got anything planned yet don't worry there's still time - but be quick!

Order a 10x8" size print before 5pm today and I'll make sure it's dispatched 1st class tomorrow. There are some great ideas here, but find even more over in the Gifts for Him section on PhotoFairytales.

  1. 'I Love You this Much...' personalised print, available in a range of colours, £15.95
  2. Father's Day personalised print, available in a range of colours and wording styles, £15.95
  3. Cook's Conversion Chart, personalised and available in a choice of colours, from £15.95
  4. Family Print 'Tree' Design, range of colours and other styles available, from £15.95
  5. Superhero personalised print, £15.95
  6. 'Giant Vegetable' personalised Vintage Print, other designs available, £15.95
  7. 'Always be Yourself: Captain America' personalised print, other characters available, from £15.95

A gorgeous wall print, created and personalised just for Dad or Grandad!

Remember, only the 8x10" size prints can be guaranteed to be dispatched on Friday - there are other designs available too, so do take a look on the website. All prices shown include 1st class recorded delivery. When you place your order, pop a note in the 'special instructions' space on the order form to let me know you need it for Father's Day and I'll make sure the order is prioritised for you!

Sarah x

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Brand New: personalised Canvas Prints

'Bee's Knees' personalised canvas - a lovely gift for all ages in a bright, summery dotty yellow!

I'm really pleased to announce the arrival of lots of fresh new canvas designs for the summer!

All the latest new designs have been gathered on one page on the PhotoFairytales site, so you can easily find them. Each one can be personalised, and there are designs to suit all ages and occasions.

With Father's Day just around the corner, a personalised canvas would make a really thoughtful and lasting gift for dads and grandads. Be quick though: last orders for delivery in time for the 18th is next Tuesday (the 13th June)!

STOP PRESS: I'm running a brilliant Flash Sale on the 8x8" and 10x10" canvas prints over on Facebook right now - but be quick, its for a very limited time only! Visit the PhotoFairytales page now by clicking here.

My artwork designs are printed onto canvas and assembled by a small family-run business based in England who specialise in creating quality prints. The canvases are stretched over strong, quality wooden frames with corner wedges to ensure the correct tension.

'Daddy Snores' - a sweet gift for dad this Father's Day!

I really hope you like the new designs - which one is your favourite? 

'Princess Kitten' and 'Bear Prince' - perfect for a child's bedroom or baby's nursery

Oh, and don't forget to take a look at the Discounts and Giveaways page (link at the top of this page) as I'm running that FANTASTIC limited time offer on all canvases AND a giveaway too!

Sarah x

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Brand New: 'Family' wooden photo blocks

I'm so pleased to introduce these gorgeous new 'Family' wooden photo blocks - they're a truly special sentimental gift, beautifully finished by hand and featuring your own photos too

These are an addition to the range of stunning handmade wooden photo gifts already available on the site, and I think they'll be absolutely perfect to celebrate your family or mark an important event such as a wedding or anniversary - ideal for Mother's Day or Father's Day too! 

Each block is created from solid wood and has the 'Family' lettering on two sides, plus your own photos on the remaining sides - featuring 12 of your favourite photos in total. The blocks are carefully sanded and hand waxed with Annie Sloan wax to give a wonderfully beautiful aged look. With gorgeous sepia tones to compliment the wood, you can arrange the blocks any way you wish: in a tower, in a row - change their layout every day, and turn the blocks to change the photos on view.

These handmade blocks are part of a lovely range of wooden photo gifts, created for me by a small independent business based in the South of England. Their attention to detail is wonderful, and their items are really special. Take a look at the PhotoFairytales website now to view the full range.

With wedding season upon us now, these will make a really unique gift for the bride and groom - something they will treasure and enjoy forever. Looking for a Fifth Wedding Anniversary present? The 5th anniversary is represented with wood, so these wooden blocks would make a perfect gift!

I really recommend these (I've got a set of 'Dad' blocks in the same style here at home which my daughter gave to her dad for Father's Day), so do take a look at the rest of the items available.

Sarah x

Friday 10 March 2017

Mother's Day is soon - check out these truly special gift ideas!

personalised handmade gifts for mother's day

Before you know it Mother's Day will be here, so it's time to start planning that special gift for her!

Mums are experts at being organised and getting things done on time: don't let her down on Mother's Day, get super organised and order that unique personalised present now. Something that's been made to order, just for her...

  1. 'Mum is Never Wrong' print, available in a choice of colours, £14.50
  2. 'Kitchen' design wall sign, available in a choice of colours, other designs available, £17.95
  3. 'Practically Perfect' canvas print, other designs also available, from £16.95
  4. 'Housework' Vintage personalised print, £14.50
  5. 'Springtime' handmade board book, other designs also available £25
  6. 'Everything Stops for Tea' personalised mug, many other designs available, £12.75
  7. Personalised Newspaper, available framed or unframed, from £15.95
  8. Supermum personalised print, available in various wording options, £14.50
  9. 'Mummy' personalised hand painted plate, available in a choice of colours, £21.50

Don't forget, there's free UK delivery on all items too. There are loads more great gift ideas over on the website, so do take time to have a good browse! Please order soon as all items are handmade to order and take time to complete before they can be dispatched. See the PhotoFairytales website for full details.

Sarah x

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Dates to celebrate in March (that you really shouldn't miss)...

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month! 

It's March already, what have you got planned for the month? Nothing exciting in your diary? Well, worry not, I've found some special dates for you to pencil in and add a little sparkle (kind of) to your day...

  • NATIONAL PIG DAY – March 1st A day for celebrating all things swine related (I'm not sure having a bacon sandwich counts).
  • NATIONAL COLD CUTS DAY – March 3rd Absolutely not related in any way to the event that took place two days previously.
  • NATIONAL FROZEN FOOD DAY – March 6th Fish fingers, chips and peas for dinner tonight then...
  • NATIONAL CROWN ROAST OF PORK DAY – March 7th Is it me, or is there a theme playing out for March..?
  • NATIONAL PROOFREADING DAY – March 8th The day four cheking you're righting and tpying does'nt have any mistooks and is perfcet.
  • NATIONAL MEATBALL DAY – March 9th But not pork ones hopefully...
  • NATIONAL PLANT A FLOWER DAY – March 12th Ah, that's more like it - sounds nice!
  • NATIONAL EARMUFF DAY – March 13th Rain or shine I'll be wearing mine, will you?!
  • NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CRAFT DAY – March 14th Pritt stick and glitter at the ready! Followed by damp cloth and hoover in overdrive...
  • EVERYTHING YOU THINK IS WRONG DAY – March 15th Yes, you're right, what you thought is wrong today. But it'll be right again tomorrow so don't worry.
  • ST. PATRICK’S DAY – March 17th See, a proper day - celebrate by having a Guinness.
  • NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY – March 18th Celebrate this day by doing that thing when you meet someone walking towards you on the pavement and both step in the same direction. 
  • NATIONAL POULTRY DAY – March 19th If nothing else at least it gives pigs a day off.
  • NATIONAL PUPPY DAY – March 23rd Awwww......
  • RED NOSE DAY - March 24th Don't forget to donate
  • NATIONAL SPINACH DAY – March 26th Yum! (Or yuk, depending on your preference)
  • NATIONAL BUNSEN BURNER DAY – March 31st The day for marking the birthday of German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunsen who invented the telephone. No, just kidding, he invented the Bunsen Burner. Not sure how you'd celebrate this one, but you've got a whole month to plan.

See, barely a day to get bored in March! Oh, and the first day of spring is on the 20th too, so it just gets better and better!

Sarah x

Monday 27 February 2017

Brand new Personalised Board Book Designs!

I've just introduced two new designs to my existing range of personalised board books - including one that will be perfect for Mother's Day!

Since I introduced my new handmade board books at the end of last year, I've received some fabulous feedback. It's also been really interesting to discover who the books are being given to - to begin with a lot were being bought for youngsters as Christmas gifts, but it soon became apparent that my customers were being rather inventive with their books! I've received orders in foreign languages (to help spouses with their studies!), orders for birthdays and christenings, honeymoon keepsake books, bon voyage books, lots and lots of 'I know we're moving/live far away, but don't forget us' books, quite a few lovely adoption books, Valentine theme books, and loads more!

To keep up the new tradition, when I started designing one of my latest books ('Springtime', pictured above), I wanted to create a book with parents in mind - something that would work really well for babies and toddlers, but would also make a really unique and special present for Mother's Day, Father's Day or for new parents/adopting parents. So this book is full of parent and child images - gorgeous illustrations of animals with a soft, pastel colour scheme that I think will appeal to all ages. 

So if you're looking for something really different for Mother's Day for a new mum, or perhaps granny, this could fit the bill perfectly!

The other new design I've introduced is quite different. The 'Jungle' design is full of bright and colourful animals in really bold colours. Something that will appeal to both little boys and girls, with cute friendly jungle animals on every page. The existing 'Farmyard' design is one of my most popular, and I'm hoping that the new 'Jungle' theme will give customers an extra choice with plenty of colour!

You can find all the designs (there are now 9, and I have more ideas in my head so watch this space!) over on the PhotoFairytales personalised board book page here.

I really hope you like the new designs!
Sarah x

Friday 10 February 2017

Last minute personalised Valentine Gift Ideas

Put some love on their wall this Valentine's Day!

There's still time to order an 8x10" personalised print in time for Valentine's Day.
Make sure your order is placed by 3pm this Sunday and it will be completed and dispatched via 1st class recorded delivery on Monday.

Shown above: Personalised Timeline Prints
Celebrate all the most important moments of your lives together with this romantic contemporary print in a clean and simple design. Available in a wide choice of colours, 8x10" size £16.50 including P&P

Scroll down for more gift ideas...

  1. 'Waves in the Sea' personalised 10x8" print, more designs available £14.50
  2. 'Bowls' personalised 10x8" print, available in a choice of colours £14.50
  3. 'Kissing' Vintage Print a fun personalised gift with a nostalgic feel, other designs available only £14.50
  4. 'I Love My Home' personalised 8x10" print, available in a choice of colours only £14.50
  5. Family Prints personalised 8x10" print, in a choice of styles and colours £14.50
  6. 'You Rock My World' personalised 8x10" print, other designs available £14.50
  7. 'Written in the Stars' personalised 8x10" print, other designs available £14.50
  8. 'Love You This Much' personalised 8x10" print, in a choice of colours £14.50

Don't forget: you must have your order placed by 3pm this Sunday if you need delivery in time for Valentine's Day! Visit the PhotoFairytales site today

Sarah :)

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