Archive for October 2013

Ideas for keeping little ones entertained over the festive season

I used to feel guilty for sitting the kids in front of the TV in the run up to Christmas. However; with all of the cooking, wrapping and card writing to do, and with them so excited and fired up, I needed some thinking time.

Our creative team at head office have really taken this on board and have come up with a great range of “non-gadget” products to keep little ones entertained, leaving you  free to cook and wrap to your heart’s content.

Get the children to help decorate this Christmas : 

Why not get the children to help decorate the house this year?

We have a fabulous range of festive decorations for children to make.

We have colour-in decorations for the tree (code: XM55) and a beautiful Colour-In Nativity Frieze by one of our most popular artists Julia Rigby (code: XCP003). And of course no home would be complete without paper chains and bunting. We have eight fabulous paper chain designs to choose from and, new this year, Christmas Stocking bunting (code: XM97).

Further Reading : Christmas Paper Chain Crafts

christmas paper chains

Not surprisingly, one of my best sellers this year is the Christmas Table Decorations  (code: XM27) – a great way to keep the children busy on Christmas Eve whilst you’re doing those last minute chores. The pack contains a menu and holder, napkin rings, place cards, coasters and a table centrepiece. The children will be delighted to be so involved in preparing the table.

If you’re wondering how you’ll keep them sitting up the table on Christmas Day whilst the adults chat then our Festive Colour-In Tablecloth could be the ideal solution (code: XCP004).

colour in tablecloth festive childrens crafts

Finally, brand new to the range this season is our Christmas Lotto game (code: GP03). The perfect stocking filler at just £5!

Buy these products online via Sarah Loves Cards.

Special Anniversaries

My husband and I had a great time recently celebrating our Silver Wedding Anniversary and it got me thinking about when the next celebration will be.

Surely we don’t have to wait another 15 years until our Ruby Wedding?!

We have a really popular card in our Phoenix Card range called Anniversary Years – code JY57. It lists the main special anniversaries. Many customers over the years have expressed how useful they and their families have found this card. “It’s a keeper”  and “it’s so useful” are the most common responses that I have had.

special anniversaries phoenix trading

Julia Rigby’s Anniversary Years card design


As a quick summary, here is a list of the main special anniversary dates : 

It could give you inspiration for some very interesting presents!

There are a few variations between the UK and other countries. Apparently the designer of our Anniversary Years card Julia Rigby used a number of references and then cross referenced them using the most commonly accepted ones. I have used her card as a basis for my list and have added a few additional anniversaries that are celebrated in the UK

Year Proposed Gift
1st Paper
2nd Cotton
3rd Leather
4th Linen
5th Wood
6th Iron
7th Copper
8th Bronze
9th Pottery
10th Tin
11th Steel
12th Silk
13th Lace
14th Ivory
15th Crystal
20th China
25th Silver
30th Pearl
35th Coral
40th Ruby
45th Sapphire
50th Gold
55th Emerald
60th Diamond
70th Platinum
75th Diamond/Gold
80th Diamond/Pearl
85th Wife’s   Birthstone

Pearl next for us! I’ll be dropping some big hints to Mark nearer the time!

In the British Commonwealth domains you may receive a message from the Queen for your 60th, 65th, and 70th wedding anniversaries, and any Wedding Anniversary after that by applying to Buckingham Palace.

Little chance of that for us as we’ll be in our mid-late 80s but you never know! Never say never!

Small Business Profile – Gylla Wood Pens

One of the aims of my new blog is to introduce you to other small cottage industries that I meet as I exhibit at Craft and Gift fairs around the South of England.

The high street may be suffering but there are thousands of small, home based businesses exhibiting at our local fairs that offer a fabulous range of quality products.

Gylla Wood Pens : 

My first profile has to be about Bob Taylor and his lovely wife Tina. I first met Bob and Tina at a Craft Carnival event over six years ago. At the time Bob and Tina were manufacturing clocks out of CDs and I bought one for each of my children.

Bob has frequently stepped in as my knight in shining armour at events and has got me out of many a fix. He rallied a team of gentlemen to change a blown tyre on my Galaxy for me in record time at a large Craft and Gift Fair at Montacute House. The car was parked right in front of the entrance to the main marquee! He also, just a few weeks ago, helped me manoeuvre my way out of a multi-storey car park when I got stuck in there with my top box on! At our August Bank Holiday Craft and Garden Fair in Kingston Lacy he shot off in hot pursuit of a lady who had stolen some jewellery from a nearby stall – what a gent!

gylla wood vale fountain pen

Gylla Wood Vale Fountain Pen

A few years ago Bob decided to stop producing CD clocks  and started to produce quality handcrafted wood pens made from wood grown in Dorset – Gylla Wood Pens was born! The Dorset wood that he uses has either been pruned or felled due to storm damage, disease or just old age. Tina, meanwhile produces a range of homemade cards. They take great delight in competing with each other to see who sells the most at their various events.

gylla wood pens ballpoint

Gylla Wood Ballpoint Pen with Rubber Stylus

Bob is now a member of the Professional Crafters Guild. All of his bespoke pens are hand crafted in his workshop in Gillingham, North Dorset and he takes great pride in producing each item.

There are various styles ranging from Ballpoint Pens to Fountain Pens. No two pens will ever be the same because wood is a living thing, so this makes them a very unique gift for Weddings, Retirement, Birthdays etc. or just to treat yourself. I treated myself to a ballpoint with a rubber tip – ideal for punching text and data onto my iPhone. It’s wonderfully tactile too!

Do check out the Gylla Wood Pens website.