How Katie decorates for Christmas 15.12.19
With the arrival of baby Woody this Christmas, decorations have taken a little longer to go up but when I finally got a chance to deck the halls I naturally fell back into the annual traditions that I know and love.
I put on a Christmas film, this year’s choice was Home Alone, and dig through my box of decorations. With Baloo as our little sidekick things were a lot less plain sailing as previous years, but I’m in no rush to decorate as it’s always fun to decorate our home.
I always go for natural colours with a hint of brass, copper or gold. Starting with the tree, it always has to be real, we have gone big this year, nearly 8ft to be precise! I combine natural greens, clean white lights and bronze baubles. We have steadily grown our bauble collection, and this year we have had some beautiful hand painted ones from a friend marking Woody’s first Christmas. Call me scrooge but I can safely say there is no tinsel in sight! Its classic, traditional and rather minimal, if a little Scandinavian in style.
I try to reuse and keep it green wherever I can – including old gift tags as decorations for the tree, wooden reindeers and home-made paper chains using our scrap papers. Few green suggestions here such as a wooden tree or recycled cards as gift tags for your gifts.
We have also adorned our tree with our new collaborative ceramic decorations made with Emma Alington; it’s lovely to have something we have made on the tree and I look forward to making decorations with the kids in years to come such as these.
If you’re starting to decorate, then I have a few ideas that I wanted to share with you…
Paper Chains Above The Hearth
The paper chain is one of the most uncomplicated and delightful holiday decorations in my quiver and incredibly easy to make. While you can use a fresh stack of paper, I prefer to cut up old documents I no longer need and repurpose them for use around the home – and always minimal colours.
Two styles of paper chains are prevalent in my household. The first is the plain paper variety with little stars cut into each of the rings. It creates a neat, gentle effect that pairs incredibly well with frosting on the tree. The second is to use holiday-themed coloured card for each link. Natural tones are ideal for when you want to spruce up a bare wall or add a little drama to your pantry – nothing too bright and bold.
Paper Garlands Hung From Beams
Paper garlands are among the most versatile holiday decorations in my arsenal. This year, I’ll be sticking them on door frames and hanging them from overhead beams.
If you want a vintage-themed Christmas, I highly recommend that you use garlands wherever possible, particularly overhead. They work exceptionally well on mantelpieces or in any home with exposed wooden beams. Hanging them is easy. Just place a few small tacks in the wood, attach your cut-outs to a piece of string, and then drape the completed garland over them.
I also recommend purchasing a craft punch, a tool that lets you cut out a variety of shapes for your garlands, quickly and easily. A craft punch can help you get out of last-minute decoration rushes, allowing you to whip up dozens of individual garlands in short order. You can either attach them to a string or fix them individually to a door frame, your mantelpiece, or anywhere else you feel is in a bit of a need of a lift.
Crepe Paper Streamers On Walls And Furniture
Crepe paper streamers are one of the simplest and most affordable ways to add a little festive cheer to your home, providing you with myriad options to spruce up your house.
There are all kinds of ways that I like to use this particular kind of paper for decorations. One idea is to attach a long, thin ribbon to the cornice of your room and start twisting it to create little twirls. Then, once you’ve got the ideal number of rotations, stick it to the skirting board to hold it in place. This way, you can cover vast tracts of bare walls with decorations with minimal effort. Plus, it’s a great way to framing focal points in your home, like the fireplace or the TV.
There are plenty of other ways that I like to use streamers too. One is to wrap them around railings on beds (or anywhere else where there are columns or posts). You can also use twisted crepe paper as a quick garland and drape them from the ceiling – just as you would the punched variety.
Paper Fans And Flowers
Paper fans and flowers are the perfect way to create a big impression while staying within budget. They feature enormously in my household every Christmas time and pair exceptionally well with chains.
When it comes to paper flowers, you can either buy or make your own. They’re excellent by themselves, but they’re particularly useful for concealing joins and ties. You can pair them with paper chains using wire cords, using the volume of the flowers to hide any of the scaffolding behind.
Bought paper globes make excellent, make-shift chandeliers, allowing me to add a little pomp and ceremony to the holiday season. They work particularly well above the dining table.
Finally, two-dimensional paper fans are ideal when I want to conceal any unsightly parts of my home that are bare for the rest of the year. You can place them on walls to create a stunning display that heralds the arrival of the season.
Paper Stars In The Living Room And Dining Room
Stars are intimately associated with the Christmas season, and they’re beautiful too, working in practically any setting.
Try hanging paper stars on a semi-invisible string from the ceiling, creating a mock-planetarium feel – perfect for the living room or dining room.
I’d love to see your photos of Christmas, so why not share them on social media and tag in @katieleamon so we can see your great decoration ideas.
And don’t forget you can buy some luxury Christmas Cards from our store!
Nothing beats receiving a handwritten thank you card after you’ve done something for a friend or loved one. The quality stationery and thought-through message are thanks that make no task too much. The trouble is that the art of thank you notes is dying. Now, we’re more likely to send a quick and thoughtless text than we are to take our time selecting beautiful note cards to show appreciation.
Even if you do embark on the joy of thank you cards, our disconnection from the process may well leave you at a total loss as to what to say. The simple ‘thank you’ that you might send in a text message certainly won’t suffice. In fact, there’s a pretty high chance that your chosen card already states this fact for you in some form.
Instead, genuinely capturing gratitude is about knowing what to write. Of course, your note cards themselves also matter, but we all know that the message inside is the main priority. To make sure you can perfect your thanks in the future, consider the following ways to get that message just right.
Remember to say thank you
This may seem like a simple point, but it’s vital to remember that you’re writing this card to say thank you. While these two words alone might not be enough to complete your message, they certainly need to feature. This is the case even if the card itself does say thank you. Otherwise, your recipient may miss the point of your card entirely.
It doesn’t even matter how you include this sentiment. You could go with a casual ‘Thank you for…’ or a slight variation like ‘I am so grateful for…’ Whatever you do, though, make sure your recipient can sense your thanks! Fail to achieve that goal, and you might as well save yourself the time of writing a card in the first place. Worse, you’re at risk of coming across as ungrateful.
Remember that a simple ‘thank you’ isn’t enough to complete your card. To take gratitude even further, you should also personalise your message. You can do this in two keys ways, each of which is incredibly effective for showing appreciation and also ensuring that your recipient values the effort.
Firstly, you’ll want to personalise your note cards by naming the gift or favour that you’re showing thanks for. This is especially vital in the case of birthdays and other instances where you’ve received multiple gifts. Failure to mention anything specific will make it seem like you’ve just sent blanket note cards to everyone. That’s no way to show your appreciation. Instead, always make a personal note of why you’re thankful to this specific person. That way, they’ll never feel like one in a crowd.
Secondly, you should take this personalisation even further by showing what that gift or favour did for you. You needn’t go into details here, but a few sentences about how you’ve been using whatever the person gave you is vital. This way, they’ll be able to see that their thoughtful effort has found a real use in your life. What could be better than that for showing genuine thanks?
If the person has done a favour for you, you could take this even further by including a few sentences outlining what their help has meant. This way, you can guarantee that they keep hold of that card for a long time to come.
End with an opening
As with any well-written note, a thank you effort should end with a few closing lines. When showing your gratitude, it’s always worth using these as an opening to take your friendship one step further. You certainly don’t want to ruin all your personalisation with a simplistic ‘see you soon.’
Instead, consider an ending that can keep this communication open and meaningful. Some fantastic examples of this would be –
I’d love to meet up soon
I look forward to hearing from you
I’m here if you ever need someone to talk to
This adds a real depth of sincerity to your efforts and shows this person that you aren’t just going through the motions. As well as furthering your message of gratitude, that can extend your friendship, and even lead to meetings. By comparison, a basic thank you with a flippant ending could leave you failing to get together for months.
Think about how you sign off
Even once you’ve perfected your closing statement, you’ll want to consider how you sign this card. As anyone with a love for letter writing will know, your choice of closure can make a vast difference to the overall tone of your message. Even if you perfect all these other pointers, then, a rushed sign off could leave your recipient in the lurch. Don’t let it happen by thinking long and hard about a way to sign off that really captures the tone conveyed throughout your message.
As a general rule, personalised signatures can emphasise your relationship and your gratitude as a result. Opting for in-jokes or phrases relevant to your friendship is always the best option here as that again adds to the personal vibe that you’ve been aiming towards throughout.
If nothing relevant comes to mind, you can still retain meaning with the right generalised sign-offs, including –
And, of course, you’ll want to sign the perfect signature so that your friend can cherish your thank you note and your relationship for many years to come.
A final word
Writing a thank you card might seem like an entirely new art, but it’s surprisingly simple to get this right. In fact, the majority of your success here depends on how much you’re able to convey from the heart. Heart is often what’s missing from computer-based thanks, after all, and it’s easy to overcome when you incorporate stationary instead. Just take some time to think about what a gift and its giver mean to you, then write whatever comes to mind.
The Lost Art of Handwriting 25.11.19
Expressing thoughts and creativity through writing is an art that can be dated back thousands of years, and good penmanship was considered an advantageous skill for many generations. But has handwriting become a lost art? And, if so, can the skill ever be resurrected from the dead?
Handwriting is dead, long live Handwriting!
The digital age has undoubtedly improved our lives in a wide array of areas, but it has come at a cost. While we still communicate through alphanumeric symbols on a daily basis, perhaps more frequently than ever due to online interactions in both business and leisure, the likelihood of picking up a pen or pencil is at an all-time low.
Despite being great for your memory, very few people keep a diary in the modern age. Instead, they choose to broadcast their lives on social media. Likewise, sending an instant email notification has taken over from written letters to become the norm while even shopping lists and notewriting activities have been replaced by using the smartphone App equivalent. Essentially, digital writing has become faster and more convenient than the traditional route – not least because a pen and paper are rarely to hand in today’s climate.
Unfortunately, as was shown when you first discovered how to write back in your primary school days, practice is an essential ingredient in the recipe for handwriting success. While inactivity with a pen won’t make you forget how to form basic letters, it will have a negative impact on the ability to keep your writing straight or join letters through loops, arcs, and curvatures.
In many cases, this results in ineligible writing. Sadly, if the writing cannot be read and comprehended, it does not serve a purpose. While the value of language still remains, the ability to collectively express ourselves through penmanship is seriously on its knees.
Is it Important?
While there is no denying the decline in the penmanship capabilities of the average person, many people would question whether it truly matters. Similarly, large sections of the population would suggest that its merely another sign of a conscious and significant shift towards the digital age, especially as baby boomers (who are significantly less computer literate than younger generations) edge closer to retirement.
Nevertheless, there’s something special about the uniqueness and individuality of a person’s writing. While we all understand the same codes, symbols, and identifiers, we all express ourselves in a slightly different way. Let’s face it; we can all identify our mum’s handwriting from our dad’s handwriting or our partner’s handwriting from a friend’s. This instant association can generate emotional responses that easily outweigh the reaction gained from reading a text or email.
On a separate but related note, the digital forms of communication will eventually be lost. It might not seem like it right now, but the social media channels we use today are sure to be replaced one day. Likewise, smartphone and tablet devices are destined to become obsolete at some point in the future. Sadly, those digital communications will be lost, whereas the handwritten letters and greetings cards can be kept as personal keepsakes forever.
The sentimental value of handwritten messages isn’t the only reason why the art of handwriting should be treasured. The National Handwriting Association champions “handwriting as a vital component of literacy” and alludes to the fact that many application forms are still completed by hand. It should also be noted that, when dealing with professional endeavours, judgements will be made (even if it’s on a subconscious level) based upon the aesthetic appeal of your writing. Conversely, illegible writing will distract and frustrate the reader, which will negatively impact their mood.
Furthermore, despite our constant reliance on technology, there are times when you cannot get to a tech device. Writing is also scientifically linked to good hand-to-eye coordination while it can also be an indicator of an individual’s capacity to learn.
In short, then, the obvious decline of handwriting and penmanship is something that should concern individuals and society as a whole.
Can the Art of Handwriting Be Saved?
While handwriting standards have plummeted, people still know how to write – they’re just not very good at transferring their vision of letters and symbols onto paper. Therefore, it is possible to resurrect the art form and improve the general standards. As was the case during childhood, practice is the key to success.
There are several ways to consciously take responsibility and become more confident with a pen in your hand. Keeping a diary, going back to traditional shopping lists, writing cards rather than choosing personalised online designs, and dedicating a few minutes to writing each day can have a truly positive impact.
If restoring your former handwriting standards isn’t enough, and you wish to become better than ever, conscious efforts must be made. While modern technology is one of the primary causes for the problem, it can also become the solution. The Lernstift – a term that translates to “learning pen” – is a German-manufactured pen that vibrates to alert the user to poor technique. By identifying and correcting poor technique, positive habits can be formed to reach a higher level of legibility than before.
Technology can also teach you to become a more competent pen user through guides and video tutorials. From rediscovering how to form letters and symbols in the correct way to learning new skills of calligraphy, investing time into these tasks has to be more productive than checking out your ex’s new partner. We know you all do that, don’t pretend otherwise.
Alternatively, joining a group or attending workshops can give you that additional motivation to pay greater attention to your handwriting. It’s enjoyable, rewarding, and can help you rediscover skills that you thought had been lost forever. You can buy some new pens, pencils and even a leather pencil case from our store. The days of scratching your head while trying to work out what that note to yourself actually meant can become a thing of the past.
Even with some institutes fighting to preserve the art of handwriting, the truth of the matter is that we all need to take personal responsibility. Now is the time to make it happen.
The English language can be confusing at the best of times, let alone when two words that look virtually the same have completely different meanings. There are several opportunities to get the spelling and meaning of words wrong when putting a letter, article, feature or blog post together, and one of the most common grammatical mistakes is getting stationary mixed up with stationery. If you’re one of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people who struggle to distinguish your envelopes and cards from issuing instructions to stay still and not move a muscle, this guide should come in handy.
Stationary and Stationery definitions
The words stationary and stationery may look very similar, but that subtle vowel change alters the meaning of the word entirely.
Stationary is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “not moving or not intended to be moved,” while the definition of stationery is “writing and other office materials.”
Stationary is an adjective described to use a person, object or situation that isn’t moving or changing, while stationery is a noun used to describe a collection of office items such as envelopes, papers and cards.
It’s clear to see that there are major differences in the meanings of the two words, but the trouble is that it’s often difficult to determine which spelling is right when you’re writing. To make the task easier, here’s a couple of demo sentences:
During the storm, I accidentally drove into a stationary car.
The caravan is not stationary, and it can be moved very easily.
I’m looking for the best supplier of personalised stationery in the UK for my wedding invitations.
Have you got the stationery you need to start the new university term?
The history behind stationary and stationery
Sometimes, when you find it tough to remember which spelling fits within the desired context, it helps to have an insight into how the word originated. Stationary comes from the Latin word stationarius, which was used as a military term and referred to soldiers who belonged to a military station. The indication was that being stationary meant being attached to a station and maintaining that position. Today, the meaning isn’t restricted to a military sense, but if you recall the origins, it might help you to remember that stationary implies being static and not moving.
The word stationery is derived from stationer, a term used to describe booksellers and publishers. If you associate stationery with books and writing, this should hopefully ensure you get the right spelling next time you’re writing about bespoke cards or you’re on the hunt for personalised writing sets or notebooks.
Stationary and stationery may sound the same, but that single letter makes all the difference when it comes to the meaning of the word. If you struggle to remember which spelling to use in which scenario, you’re not alone! Hopefully, this helpful guide will come in handy next time you’re looking for the best personalised stationery in the UK, or you’re searching for the perfect adjective for a person or object that isn’t budging anytime soon.
Brain training to keep the memory in tip-top shape is a growing concern for millions, not least because increased life expectancy has seen the number of people that will suffer from memory-related illnesses skyrocket in recent decades. Could writing a personal diary be one of the smartest steps to combatting the threat of those conditions?
Despite an increased willingness to read about the lives of others (as is shown by the growing popularity of autobiographies), as well as a desire to broadcast our daily lives on social media, the concept of writing a diary has become far less common. But it might be one of the key ingredients in the recipe for success; here’s why:
Expressing Your Experiences Helps You Reach Better Conclusions
Understanding our experiences and being able to learn valuable outcomes from them is a central feature for building a better memory. Writing them down, either in a paper personalised diary or via a blog, can is the perfect way to relive those recent experiences and actually contemplate what can be ascertained from them. Writing rather than other forms of communication actively force you to think more about those outcomes as you attempt to make sense of them and express them in a coherent fashion.
Reaching more reasoned conclusions will give you the best chance of recalling the information at a later date. Meanwhile, this analytical thought process can establishing winning habits that influence the way you process and remember information in other aspects of your life.
Writing A Diary Reinforces The Memory During Sleep
It’s very easy to experience something and forget it almost immediately. However, writing a diary encourages the mind to consolidate and stabilise those thoughts and memories during our sleep. This significantly boosts our ability to recall this information at a later date. Studies have been conducted into this, concluding that writing a diary in the evenings is the best option by far. The suggestion is that the memories are fresher in your mind during your sleep, which helps cement them in the individual’s mind.
Even writing yesterday’s memories in the evening is better than doing it in the morning, which gives greater credence to this reasoning. Either way, the ability to accurately recall memories is far better when you have written them down. This is reminiscent of academic learning too.
Putting Your Thoughts Out There Establishes Greater Clarity
We can all appreciate how difficult it is to remember things that were said while our minds were focused elsewhere. Unfortunately, having thoughts of yesterday’s events swirling around your mind can cloud those interactions, which will impact the ability to absorb info and remember it. Expressing your thoughts via a diary takes them off of your mind, which subsequently provides the clarity of focus needed to take more from new experiences.
The increased organisation of your mind can support short-term and long-term memory benefits. Moreover, the diary writing procedures can help internally compartmentalise the various experiences and info that you’ve learnt, further supporting your memory.
Writing Gives Permanence To Your Past
Expressive writing is shown to boost your working memory, but it also ensures that your past is not forgotten. When we remember past events, we are actually remembering the last time we thought about them. Therefore, having them clearly defined in the form of a diary actively stops those memories becoming warped over time. This ensures that the mental imagery remains clear for many years to come, which can only have a positive impact on your long-term memory.
As well as permanence to the past, the bookmark lets you reflect on the moment and make a mental bookmark. Consequently, then, contrary to some people’s beliefs, it’ll aid your future rather than hinder it.
Journaling Boosts Your Cognitive Processing
Cognitive processing is central to our memory and brain capacity. In act, cognitive decline is one of the most significant factors in the onset of dementia. Writing a diary encourages us to interact with our surroundings and our own experiences in a far more meaningful manner, which brings increased cognition and will keep the mind well trained. Slowing and halting declines in this sense won’t make you invincible but will significantly reduce your vulnerability.
Keeping the memory sharp through journaling will support cognitive processing in the short, mid, and long-term future with greater effect than many of the alternative activities that you may have tried to incorporate into your world.
Writing A Diary Organises Your Emotions
Severe memory problems can often manifest in confused emotions. Not knowing how to process experiences and memories from an emotional viewpoint inevitably leads to a host of further brain processing issues. Unlike social media, which usually present a false happiness, a diary is likely to paint an honest picture of your world. By enabling yourself to express emotions, even to yourself, is shown to have hugely positive long-term impacts.
Regulate emotional responses in this manner, you become more synchronised with experiences and memories for immediate and ongoing benefits. This increased brainpower and emotional awareness will boost your quality of life while allowing you to tap into memories with greater results.
Writing Keeps The Mind Active
Apart from anything else, writing supports the idea of keeping the brain active. Spending hours sat in front of the PlayStation can slowly but surely turn your brain to mush. Attention spans are falling as a direct result of changing lifestyles and the fact that we are more engaged with screens than our surroundings, loved ones, and selves is the key. Writing helps you reconnect while also ensuring that the brain remains engaged at all times.
While there are no guarantees involved, the correlation between brain training and brain power cannot be ignored. An active mind is likely to hold onto its memories, along with other key capabilities, for a happy and fulfilling life.
The Final Word
Writing a diary is great for the brain, providing clarity, and supporting the idea of accessing memories for years to come. If you are yet to document your life in this way, now is the time to start.
Upgrade Your Gift Wrapping This Year 14.10.19
If you’re one of those people who likes to get organised early, and you have an eye for detail, you’ll know all too well that preparing doesn’t just involve compiling lists of gifts and recipients. It’s also about buying into the excitement and exercising your creative talents to make your presents look incredible. If you’re keen to up your wrapping game this year, here are some wonderful ways to dazzle your friends and family.
There’s nothing more visually enticing than a beautifully wrapped gift. Whether you have a pile of parcels, or you’re making your way through the crowds to greet friends laden with sparkling bags or glistening boxes, there’s no doubt that wrapping can make a difference. If you tend to go for low-key wrapping, or you’re always on the lookout for novel ways to make your gifts stand out in the crowd, here are some innovative ideas to inspire you this year.
Embrace the natural look
An affinity with nature and the great outdoors doesn’t have to stop at buying decorative accessories or choosing furniture or flooring for the home. Why not consider using this trend as inspiration for a wrapping theme? In addition to using sustainably resourced paper printed with trees or animals, you can also go a step further by incorporating tangible touches like holly sprigs, pine cones, berries, and pine leaves. Finish the look with a raffia bow or a simple string tie for a chic, minimalist aesthetic that will look stunning.
Personalise your presents
Personalised gifts have become incredibly popular. The good news is that if you love the idea of personalising your presents, you don’t have to stop at buying a gift that features meaningful dates or initials. You can carry the theme, and add a personal touch to your wrapping. You can do this by designing your own paper or by creating bespoke gift tags.
Gift tags serve a purpose, distinguishing the recipient from other family members and friends within the pile, but they also have serious aesthetic appeal. For a personal gift for somebody special, you could add a monogrammed tag or even use a photograph to make it clear who each gift is for. Retro-style polaroids are an excellent option, and you can choose to add words or simply let the image do the talking.
Utilise your creative talents
Have you ever trawled stationery and card shops desperately trying to find wrapping paper or gift tags that have that extra special edge? You can buy all kinds of paper from stores, but nothing compares to designing your own if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re an artistic type, or you enjoy doodling or drawing, have you thought about putting pen to paper and letting your creative juices flow? Using your own designs will ensure you end up with paper and tags that you love, and it can also add an extra dimension to your gifts for others, as you can customise different designs for each recipient.
Gift tags can have a dramatic impact on the look of a gift, and they can really elevate even the most simple and modest design. Once you’ve wrapped your presents, don’t forget to add a tag of some sort. You can buy all kinds of tags, often as part of matching wrapping sets, or you could make your own. Ensure that the tags you buy or design complement the paper and any other accessories you plan to add, for example, ribbons or bows. When you’re putting a mental picture together, think about how you’re going to fasten the tag and where to place it for full effect. You could use string to tie a tag for a rustic look or opt for a silk or velvet ribbon tie for a more glamorous, opulent effect.
Invest in a paper cutter
If you like to get creative and you’re looking for ways to spruce up your wrapping and turn heads, investing in a paper cutter is an excellent idea. With this kind of tool, you can use all kinds of shapes to decorate your gifts. Choose from stars or Christmas trees for a classic festive vibe, or hearts or reindeer for children’s presents. Once you’ve chosen a shape, you can select coloured or white card and use your cutter to create strings for tying tags or adding interest to plain paper. White stars work brilliantly on black paper, for example, and you can finish the look with a larger star-shaped gift tag in gold, silver, or craft paper.
With Christmas shopping, there’s no better time to start thinking about what you’re going to buy and how you’re going to present your gifts. This year, why not up your wrapping game and try something a little different? You can design your own paper, create your own tags or take inspiration from trends or ideas you’ve seen on the catwalk or in interior magazines. From sprigs of holly and personalised gift tags to custom-designed wrapping paper and ribbons made using a paper cutter, there’s a host of simple but effective ways to upgrade your wrapping and wow your friends and family.
Gifts For People Who Have Everything 30.09.19
Most of us have at least one friend or relative who has everything. When it comes to buying gifts, shopping for presents for those hard-to-buy-for people can be daunting, but there is a solution. In the last decade, there has been a noticeable rise in the popularity of personalised gifts, with a dazzling array of options now available both in-store and online. If you find yourself in a scenario where you’re struggling to think of novel ideas for a sibling or a friend who already has every gift on your mental short-list, adding a personal touch could solve your dilemma.
The history of personalisation
The popularity of personalised gifts may have soared recently but adding personal touches to presents is not a new concept. If you look back through history, there are some very early references to personalisation. In the Middle Ages, artisans often added a symbol, a name or carefully-selected lettering when creating bespoke items to take ownership of the product, but this practice quickly evolved. Monogramming became a means of marking your work, but also adding something extra to a token or gift. In the Renaissance era, incorporating personalised messages became more commonplace, and sweet ditties and romantic verses were often used for engagement and wedding gifts. Today, personalisation takes a diverse range of forms, and it’s possible to purchase a selection of objects branded with letters, poetry, dates, and places. Personalised gifts have a luxurious edge, and they are often associated with exclusive brands.
Why are personalised gifts so popular?
We all have an affinity with our names. Of all the names that our parents could have chosen for us, they selected one moniker. As a child, I would get excited whenever I saw something with my name on, and although the intensity of the feeling may wane as I aged, it never really leaves. (This was our only drawback in choosing an unusual name for Baloo!) Another draw is the thought that goes into buying or designing a personalised item. Usually, when browsing the aisles and shelves, either physical or virtual, we select a product, wrap it, and give it to a loved one. With a personalised present, there’s an extra stage in the process, and this automatically makes that gift more thoughtful. As a buyer, you’ve gone out of your way to do something different and select an item that is unique. Human beings are innately sociable creatures, and we’re programmed to respond positively to warmth and affection. Feeling like you mean something to others can fill you with unbridled joy.
Personalised gifts have also become more popular because we buy tokens for an ever-growing range of occasions, and many of us have an innate desire to purchase something that isn’t ordinary or run-of-the-mill. We’re increasingly keen to swerve the tried and tested and think outside of the box to show those closest to us just how much they mean.
Personalised gift ideas
Personalised gifts have become much more accessible, and for shoppers searching for tasteful, meaningful presents for relatives, colleagues, or friends, this is excellent news. There is a broad spectrum of gifts available to cater for all kinds of interests and tastes. Here is a carefully curated selection of ideas to provide inspiration if you’re looking for the perfect gift for somebody who has everything.
Personalised notebooks and stationery
If you have a friend who loves to write, or you’re on the hunt for a classic, timeless gift that looks beautiful and also serves a purpose, bespoke stationery is a wonderful option. Products like monogrammed, personalised notebooks and customised writing sets are a cut above standard items you would find in a stationery store, and they’re likely to appeal to a wide range of recipients. From those who keep a journal to list lovers and those who like to make notes either inside or outside of work, this is a perfect choice. We have a great selection of personalised notebooks, correspondence sets, and leather stationery.
Jewellery has been a popular gift for centuries. Although styles and trends have changed, many of us love nothing more than opening a box to reveal something shiny or sparkly. Personalised jewellery adds another dimension and adding a date or a name can elevate what is already a beautiful item to the next level. For any occasion, incorporating details and letters and numbers that mean something can make your gift even more precious. I was given a tiny gold disc pendent with a ‘b’ on it when I had baloo and it hasn’t left my neck in over 2 years.
Prints and artwork
There is something special about gifting prints and artwork. To choose something like a picture or a framed image requires you to know somebody well, as you’re looking for a style that would jump out and evoke an emotional response in another person, rather than catering for your own taste. When choosing prints, you can enhance the gift by incorporating a personal touch. Adding names or special dates, for example, can make that person feel as though that design was made specifically for them and create a present that will forever bring back memories or conjure up happy thoughts. We have a range of personalised prints available.
Gift hampers have become incredibly fashionable in the last few years. While going to a store and selecting a basket filled with treats is a lovely idea, you can go one step further if you choose to embrace the personalisation trend. If you know the recipient well, you can put together a sumptuous selection of their favourite things, creating a bespoke hamper. From toiletries, candles, and luxury pyjamas for a relaxing, tranquil night of pampering to a decadent selection of edible delicacies, you can adapt this idea to suit any occasion. My favourite hampers come from Fortnum & Mason.
Trying to buy gifts for people who have everything can be exasperating. If you’re fretting about treating somebody special, and you’re experiencing a mental block, personalised gifts could provide a solution. Adding personal touches not only creates unique presents, but it also adds a meaningful element. Once you’ve selected an item you know your friend or family member will love, you can put your own spin on it or add words, letters, or dates that mean something to them to elevate that product and make it extra special. Gift buying doesn’t have to be a chore and there are some fabulous personalised items out there to suit all occasions.
Take a look at all of our personalised gift ideas.
Why Do We Give Birthday Cards? 16.09.19
Nowadays, sending a birthday message on Facebook or Whatsapp might seem like an easier option than sending a loved one a physical greeting card, but by sending them an online message you’re unintentionally missing what the message is all about. Yes, more of us are becoming reliant on technology in our daily lives and use it to communicate regularly with others. This shouldn’t, however, mean that you should send your family members or friends an impersonal e-card.
A personalised birthday card is a wonderful addition to a gift (or a solo recognition of their birthday) – bespoke to the person, you can add a handwritten note to wish them an unforgettable day. Personalisation is what is missing from an online message. No matter what your online post says, it simply won’t match up to what you could have written in a card.
A physical card also shows that you have spent the time and effort to go out and purchase it for them; instead of simply sending them a message from a phone – which can look as though they had forgotten about their birthday until you were reminded about it on the day.
Even if you are reminded of their birthday with a Facebook notification, you should try and get ahead of the game by sending them a physical card. When you purchase a card, it shows that you have thought about that individual person, paying attention to the style of card and message within it. With so many different styles of cards available, there is bound to be one that suits them to a tee.
A sentimental gift in itself, they can be looked back on for years to come. Transcending time, you can look at a birthday card from relatives that have since passed away or from people that are no longer in your life. A sweet symbol of each birthday that you have, it will be a shame to not reciprocate the gesture when it comes time for that loved one’s special day. We often take loved ones for granted and regret the number of physical items we have from them to remember them by – which is where a birthday card can come in.
Yes, a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Whatsapp message might remain on your timeline forever, but is it really a sign that you took the time to remember your birthday? Even if it’s a long message filled with emoji’s it simply does not match up to the joy that they will get from opening a card that you have taken the time to send. Arriving on their doorstep on or before their birthday, it will undoubtedly put a smile on their face – that an online message simply can’t replicate.
Facebook or other online messages might be fine for those who you aren’t great friends with, but it shouldn’t be used for those that you truly care about. If a loved one’s birthday is coming up, start to think about ordering a birthday card.
The History of Birthday Cards
Greeting cards date back to ancient Chinese and Egyptian history, as a way of sending goodwill to those around them. With greeting cards in China being in the form of handwritten wishes and Egyptian wishes on a papyrus roll, the tradition started to become prevalent across the countries. Developing from a New Year’s card to Easter, Valentines and birthday, it was the initial way of celebrating an occasion before gifts were given. In the early 15th Century, this new way of celebrating special occasions came over to Europe and transformed rapidly into what it is today.
The first birthday card to be sent is still unknown. However, it is clear that throughout the years this tradition has evolved to become an important pastime – whether it’s your loved one’s 1st or 100th birthday. A staple in many countries, it’s a tradition that shouldn’t die out. Even if writing on someone’s Facebook wall might be tempting.
When the first postage stamp was issued in 1840 and with the advances in printing, birthday cards began to be sent not only across the country but across the world.
Why Else Do We Send Birthday Cards?
Sending a birthday card could also be an act of communication. It’s clear that as you grow older, you won’t be able to see certain family members as often as you once did. Everyone moves on – whether it’s a case of moving abroad or simply a little distance away from your family home. When you receive a card from a family member, it shows that they still remember your birthday and despite you not being 5 years old anymore, you still mean a lot to them. Keeping in contact with them is undeniably important and a birthday card is one of the ways to retain the bond that you have with them.
They also give an authentic touch. Personalised cards are a far more meaningful greeting than a simple Facebook post – which anyone could do with the click of a button.
Shop Katie Leamon Cards
If a loved one’s birthday is fast approaching, show them how much they mean to you with a beautiful card from our bespoke collection. With a variety of birthday cards, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card for them – no matter what their age or personal taste.
Affordable yet luxurious, the majority of our birthday cards are handprinted and include elegant patterns that differ to the shop-bought alternatives. We strive to showcase the importance of sending physical greeting cards to your family or friends. And that’s why we have created a collection that can bring people together, harnessing a tradition that has grown throughout the years. Here are a few of our personal favourites.
The Art of Wrapping Gifts 02.09.19
Wrapping paper – with a history dating back thousands of years, we frequently purchase to wrap birthday, anniversary, Christmas presents and any other special occasion gifts. But have you ever wondered, why do we wrap gifts?
In this journal post, we will take you through a brief history, show you the importance of gift wrapping and why it is now considered an art form that shouldn’t be ignored.
A Brief History of Wrapping Paper
A tradition that dates back to ancient China (in the 2nd Century BC in fact), gifts were wrapped and then distributed by government officials.
In 14th Century Japan, gift wrapping soon became an art. Furoshiki, which involves the technique of pleating and folding cloth meant that people could wrap gifts in an exciting and aesthetically-pleasing way. A method that is still seen today, it is delicate and elegant.
Fast forward to 1917 in Kansas City. The Hall brothers (who later created the internationally-renowned Hallmark company) owned a stationery store that sells greeting cards, gift tags and white tissue paper. After running out of the tissue paper, they attempt to find an alternative. And they settled on envelope liners. This crucial choice developed into the wrapping paper that we see today. Since then, the technique of wrapping gifts has developed so that it is now considered a work of art.
In 18th Century Scotland and England, decorated wrapping paper rapidly became a huge craze. From gold-embossing to marbled papers, it was no longer about plain wrapping paper. Instead, people wanted to receive and give gifts that were wrapped in a remarkable paper.
In the modern-day, people are looking towards higher-end wrapping paper that follows interior design trends. Whether it be marbling or polka dots, there is always a new trend that is echoed in the stationary industry.
Making Gifts Extraordinary
Alongside the wrapping paper you can add wonderful touches like twine, ribbon, a bow (the US believe that the bigger the bow the better!) or even a simple gift tag. A great way of enclosing the present so that it is a surprise for the receiver, it shows that you have taken the time to not only select a wrapping paper that suits them but that you have put the effort into concealing what you have bought and adding to the suspense of the unveiling.
Just think about it. A bare gift in a bag is bound to make the receiver feel a little less enthused. Not in an ungrateful way, by any means. But a wrapped gift adds a special touch that simply can’t be replicated by an unwrapped gift. Heightening the experience overall, there is nothing quite like ripping open a present – no matter what the occasion.
For me, I reminisce about being a child and it came time to opening presents on Christmas Day, now I am older and have a child, it’s as exciting again, if not more, to see his expression when faced with an array of oddly shaped objects all mystically covered in colourful gift wrap.
An Art Form in Itself
Now, not everyone is amazing at wrapping. And I’m sure that your relatives or friends won’t be distraught if your wrapping isn’t a complete work of art. Speaking from experience – Ruairi’s signature wrap is ton foil, but it still adds to the excitement! But with the right tools and materials, you can wrap gifts in a way that will make them eager to see the gift inside.
One thing to remember is to not use too much paper or tape. Too much tape on a gift shows that you have rushed the wrapping process. Whereas too much paper is not only wasteful, but it can make the process of unwrapping more difficult than it should really be.
Not everyone can afford professional gift wrapping. So if you are looking for a fun (and more budget-friendly) alternative, the first step you can take is using good-quality wrapping paper. Even though it is tempting to use the cheapest wrapping paper you can find, this could rip when it comes time to enclose the gift – sending you into a panicked frenzy. High-quality wrapping paper will also make the gift look a little more premium – which therefore gives off a good impression when you hand the gift to them.
With numerous inspiration posts across the web, it’s clear that the world of gift wrapping will continue to grow. So make sure that you aren’t left behind. Invest in some wrapping paper and gift tags, so that when it comes time to wrap a gift, you aren’t left in a last-minute rush that means that the gift isn’t wrapped how you would have wanted.
Add a touch of creative flair with wrapping paper that you are proud of. And by doing so, your loved one will love your remarkable gift. Just remember to not go too over the top on gift wrapping – even if it is a Pinterest masterpiece, it probably won’t be worth the effort or money that you have put into it.
Tips for Wrapping
- Cut your wrapping paper so you’re able to wrap the gift with 5cm extra. Paper should cover both sides of the package’s height.
- Position the narrow side of your box diagonally across the sheet of wrapping paper. Yes, diagonally, trust us it’s better.
- Fold the bottom and left sides up and over the gift.
- Tape those sides together on the top of the gift.
- Fold the top and right sides up and over the gift.
- Tape those and you’re all done.
- Tie the gift with a length of luxury ribbon – the quality really shines and they’ll likely want to reuse it on their own gifts.
- Attach one of our gift tags, sign your name and you’re done.
Shop Katie Leamon Wrapping Paper
Is your loved one’s birthday coming up? Or perhaps another special occasion is rapidly approaching. Don’t worry, we have you covered. With a wide collection of luxury wrapping paper, you are guaranteed to find a style that you adore. We also have a collection of beautiful gift tags, which you can use to write a memorable handwritten note on. Better still, use one of our hand printed monogrammed postcards with your recipients initial on and combine great wrapping with a personal touch.
Our selection provides you with wrapping paper that your family member or friend will love. Adding an extraordinary touch to their day and with designs that will make your gifts stand out. Created with love and proudly made in England, our collection is perfect for any occasion throughout the year.