Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Children's Interior Ideas |  Decorating your Child's Room | Little Extras for your Child's Room | Kids Rooms

I think I could honestly change my son's bedrooms every month, there is so many lovely themes and ideas out there. I am glad with my first son we opted for the traditional nautical theme, now 4 years on, its still all in keeping with him, he hasn't outgrown it at all, so thats one good thing for the pocket, especially if you spend a bit more on the bedding which we did from Laura Ashley, its still in great condition. 

He absolutely loves the little paper boat bunting hung around his wardrobe, not to mention some lovely keepsakes I have picked up from maritime museums and gifts shop down by the coast. Beautiful lighthouses, boats and ropes to complete the look. Just perfect like him!

I always say its great to go for off-white or pure white walls, with either a boy or a girl, then you can go totally mad with the extras you add to the room. Adding special things that are important to your child, like photographs, personalised items (great to get them recognising their name) and even their own choice of poster, I have given in to the Dr Who and Ben 10 poster, on the back of the door is my trick! Oh how mean am I! He he

My youngest who is now 8 months is still waiting for his room to be complete, due to having an extension and him being moved around a bit, we wanted to wait till everything was complete before making his room a real adorable place to be! I have gone for a more contemporary look, lots of bright/vintage looking bits against off-white walls. His bedding is my favorite of all, the Cath Kidston mini cowboy range! Not to mention the fabulous alphabet wall art stickers which are bright and funky, and some little extras I have picked up like 'laugh' hooks (above), vintage disney pictures framed, everything of which is all ready to put in place, just once the extension is complete! Not long now Maxie!

I haven't had the luck of being able to decorate or even think about a little girl's room! I suppose thats where I compensate with my business, as I love all things pink for little girls and their rooms, so I like to make sure my range has something for everyones taste and various themes. Only yesterday a customer requested she didn't like pink for her daughter, so she went for my very own Silhouette Art in lilac and purples, I really believe in offering options and different colour choices to suit your child's bedroom or playroom, so always ask if there is something you can't find or see within our range. 

If your little girl likes princesses, fairies or even toys! And your son is dinosaur mad, we have so many themes and adorable interior extras which are the perfect little extras for any child's room! 

Enjoy browsing the full range at Illustrate My Name.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Customers can say the nicest things!

I am so busy moving Illustrate My Name into my new studio tonight, so only time for a quick blog. Are you a working from home mum? Are you working from home around your children? I am indeed an official mummy working from home, and although very hard at times, I try and enjoy it as much as I can. I think one fond memory will be when I first went into labour with Max back in August last year, I was actually processing orders on my iPhone as we drove to the hospital - nothing like a working mum my husband said!

And there I was today working from home for just an hour, around my two little ones and I had the pleasure of receiving a lovely email from Amanda Wring: "Hello, Firstly what a superb website full of many lovely goodies!!! I can feel a real spending spree coming on!!! " 

Amanda Wring who is from Bristol, emailed me today and then we went on to talk on the telephone, it was comical and the usual story, the minute I decide to pick the phone up, my two boys decide to cause chaos! Amanda totally understood, as I was so apologetic that there was commotion in the background, she went onto tell me she is also a working mum and said I think most mums these days are working from home around the children. Thanks Amanda for being so understanding and shopping with us today. She went onto email me this evening, which bought a smile to my face:

"I will pass your website about amongst all my friends. Many thanks and please do not worry about being a working mummy, its better than you having to be stuck in an office block all day - its nice you create and source such lovely things to sell, well done you! You should give yourself a big, pat on your back you know! Take Care and I look forward to receiving the gifts for my son"

As well as this, its great to be following my sister-in-laws blog Unique Gifts 4 Kids. Whether you are looking for children's gifts or some great party supplies take a look at Joanne's site. We are happy that we are both working from home to be with our children and do as well as we possibly can from being working mum's in this day in age. Its really important to support your family and we are proving this first hand.

Right no rest for me this evening, although I must say its extremely exciting to be moving in to my purpose built studio to continue growing Illustrate My Name - for all your children's gifts and for any special occasion, we are here to help you.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Best Friends Wedding - What a film!

It was so lovely to sit back and enjoy 'My Best Friends Wedding' last night, which was on TV, a real chic flick if ever you are with the girls or just need a good girly film! It bought back wedding memories, as I have been lucky enough to experience some lovely weddings over the last few years. 

My own best friend had the most amazing winter wedding in November 2007 in Broadway, just outside of Cheltenham. The day was very magical, with fairy lights decorating the beautiful venue, not to mention christmas trees and real burning fires completely set the scene! And being her bridesmaid was a true honor.

Then my brother and sister-in-laws wedding in Spain last October, was very intimate and a beautiful summer beach wedding! Little touches like a table just for the children, with their own little boxes on with gifts and things to do, and we all got a lovely gift too, it was a special day for the family, not to mention my little Max who was only 6 weeks old and had his first trip abroad to share in the special day.

And going back almost 5 years was my own special day just outside of Oxford at Eynsham Hall, it was a sunny/rainy day in July, but even a few showers didn't change the day for anyone, it still is one of the happiest days of my life, on top of the arrival of my two sons! This is us pictured below x

Anyone planning their wedding will know they want to get everything just right, but no matter what you decide as a couple, enjoy every minute and appreciate every minute; do it just how you dreamed and it will be perfect - all the best to those on the trip to married bliss! 

Plus, if you have any new arrivals, or perhaps you a seeking high and low for a personalised bridesmaid gift or personalised pageboy gift, we have some adorable products which would be something your special bridesmaid or pageboy would treasure for years.  We are also going to be adding a section to our store to show the best for different occasions such as bridesmaids gifts and pageboys gifts, naming day gifts, baptism gifts and much much more.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Delicious Doorstops! 

Everyone will want one of these, they are adorable and personalised, and will soon be available within our beautiful range at Illustrate My Name. 

The Ideal vs A Great Deal
The pictured doorstops are priced at £37 each, but you couldn't make more of a statement with one of these holding your door open, so all you Yummy Mummies out there will love them. Also they are available in lots of lovely fabrics for girls and boys! But in these economic times I know too well that we are all looking for a DEAL when shopping online, which is why we will also have a range of doorstops around the £20 mark, so something for everyones pocket, just finalising the details with a very talented individual.

The added benefit is they are not just for little ones but gorgeous for mummy too, I am definitely going to be adding one to my new study when I move in next week! 

For all your children's and baby gift ideas visit US
My Baby Won't Sleep!! Please Help I am Deprived of Sleep

I think every mother at one point or another will be pulling their hair out why their baby isn't sleeping and why it seems everyone else's baby is! Well my first child took over a year to fully go through the night and although to some people that probably seems a long time to have the 'all through the night routine' its not compared to others I have spoken to. My second child who is now almost 8 months, is still waking just once, which of course feels so tiring but actually is quite quite normal at this age. 

I personally would recommend Gina Ford Books to anyone expecting or anyone who has just had a baby, read the Contented Baby Book, as early as you can is the key. I read the book when my first son was 3 months, although eventually it worked, lots of sticking to the routines of course, I felt I was a little late in implementing the techniques. 

Having read the book and seen the outcome, I decided to try again with my second child, but this has been so difficult, firstly when you have a toddler you just cannot stick to some of the techniques like controlled crying, as you don't want a toddler and the your new baby awake at 2am! 

So how impressed was I to find out Gina Ford is launching a brand new book called 'Contented Baby with Toddler Book' - she is a genius!  Although its not out to buy until July, so my little one will be almost a year, I will still have a read! And definitely recommend to people who are expecting their second child. We all do things in our own ways but she is a realist more than preaching what is right and wrong. Focussing on ways and means that may or may not work for you and your family environment, not to mention your child, they are all so very different and mothers instinct is always right - remember that.

I think we all can agree anything is worth a try when your deprived of your sleep - Good luck to all new and expectant mothers out there and why not treat your little one to something from our range of  Baby and Children's Gifts at Illustrate My Name. 

My Little Max at just a few days old x

Monday, April 20, 2009

Personalised Children's and Baby Gifts -
Why not spoil your little one because you love them!

We are adding a huge range of new products soon to Illustrate My Name, some of which can be found at our COMING SOON page, not to mention the personalised children's fabric doorstops which we have sourced from a very talented business and can't wait to show off!

As well as this I have personally been spending lots of time illustrating a new artwork for children, pictured below! These are being added in the next few days and are so bright and contemporary. I am thrilled that already a number of companies are adding them to their select ranges, so not only available at our online baby store, but at other reputable online and retail stores. My sincere thanks go to the businesses and individuals who have continued to support me and my own Illustrated Name Art since I began supplying this to trade back in 2006.

NEW SILHOUETTE NAME ART (above) featured in Fairy Pinks and Boys Toys Themes! I am busy illustrating lots more themes, not to mention Dinosaurs!

For all your baby, christening and children gift needs - visit Illustrate My Name

Sunday, April 19, 2009

So, what is your favourite penny sweet?

One thing when we are all grown up is we never grow out of penny sweets! Everyone must have a favourtite, I think mine has to be the really chewy flat strawberries (which I think were always 2p). Thats what I love since being a child, penny sweets are still penny sweets, and although I am not one to encourage sweets for my children, it is a real treat when we pop into a shop where the infamous penny sweets are, that I let my son have a paper bag and choose 10 little sweets! 

Having looked on the internet a few shops that I like which focus on some all time favourties and lots of options from filling your bowl to just some real great sites to bring back some of your penny sweet memories are:

Get Creative!

I had a little go at being creative and made these lovely sweet cones, out of some adorable vintage wrapping paper, so easy to fill with someone's favourite penny sweet and tie up with a beautiful bow! I had some time out with my son on Saturday and we made these and we added them to a birthday present as a little extra for a family member, and yes it was a grown up because we all love sweets for a treat! I have been busy making lots more to take to my next events and fairs I visit in and around Oxfordshire. I am going to place them in an ice cream cone tray so people can pick their favourites and buy for either presents or just a little treat on the day!

If you are looking for that all important present for a new baby or child, we specialise in personalised gifts for any occasion, whether its unique christening gifts or newborn baby gifts we have so much to offer. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Best recommended products for Mums!

Illustrate My Name now feature in the mumsjustlove product directory. find the best products, retailers and offers online for mums and their little ones. everything promoted on the site is hand-picked by their editorial team, no listings are paid for which means they are really showcasing the best! 

We are thrilled to be part of the mumsjustlove range! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

We put the 'Yummy Mummy Factor' into our local event in Oxfordshire!

Are you a Yummy Mummy? Do you like everything Yummy? We sure do, so look our for future Yummy Mummy events coming soon in Oxfordshire and to the web!

Pictured above from left to right: 
Laura Hardwick of Choochee Comforts and Jodie Gaul of Illustrate My Name. Photography by Studio 8 Photography

Myself and a very good friend, Laura Hardwick worked extremely hard in organising and promoting the recent 'Yummy Mummies' event which took place in Oxfordshire on 26th March 2009. We were lucky enough to get some great press coverage locally prior to the event and with our own hands promoted the event around West Oxfordshire to get as many mummies through the doors. The event was held between 10am till 2pm, allowing mums of older children to come along while their children were at school and the younger children to enjoy the crafts we had on offer!

We had a huge table for easter crafts, ranging from easter cards to easter puppets and more, as well as The Pottery Place attending which allowed the children to paint easter cups and more. I am so please The Pottery Place are designing a selection of exclusive ceramic products from cutlery sets to name plaques, all made exclusively for Illustrate My Name. 

As this was our first event, myself and Laura were delighted to see a huge amount of people come through the doors, who not only enjoyed our own products, including personalised children's gifts and toys. A selection made by our very own hands, but also on the day visitors got to enjoy health care products from Forever Living; fair trade jewellery and accessories from Sago Jago and much more. It was great to have Studio 8 Photography at the event, they displayed a range of their contemporary family photography and also took photos on the day. The venue we chose was Carterton Community Centre which is a brand new purpose built community hall, with its own cafe area, we received lots of positive feedback from the day about the event and the venue itself. Our next events our in the pipeline, we are hoping for a 'Summer Yummy Mummy' event and a 'Winter Yummy Mummy' event so we will keep you posted.

YUMMY MUMMY BLOG - Coming soon will be our very own Yummy Mummy Blog bought to you by myself and Laura Hardwick, working together for all you yummy mummies out their who love everything 'yummy'! Lots of treats and tips coming soon from great ways to prepare your body for summer to places to enjoy just with your friends, perhaps a lunch out or a day at a spa. We all need some time out from the children, but of course we will also bring to you adorable treats and gifts for the children.

MORE NEWS - Not only have we exclusive gifts from The Pottery Place coming soon to Illustrate My Name, we are delighted Precious Parcels, who produce beautiful handmade gift and decorative treats are supplying us a selection of their adorable gifts to add to our store, with thanks to Natalie Hickey. 

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Christening Season is Here!

With Spring in the air here at Illustrate My Name, it puts a smile on our faces to know that the most popular times for christenings has arrived! From now until late September there is an evident trend that people decide to have their child's christenings, its always nicer when the sun is shining, or should we say when we expect the sun to be shining and garden parties and outside parties are becoming more popular. Within this extensive marketplace we love bringing beautiful Personalised Christenings Gifts to your fingertips! 

Having been trading now for over 3 years,  we have seen a common trend in sales for Christenings between these months. What with the current financial climate on top of us all, we are becoming more and more selective of what we spend our pennies on! Thats why we pride ourselves with bringing to you such a wide selection of gifts handmade in the UK by talented individuals and businesses selling through our site. Some of which start at only £10 so something for everybody's pocket in these difficult times.

Not to mention as an individual, I myself began Illustrate My Name from illustrating a piece of art for my son's nursery, 3 years on my very own Illustrated Framed Names are our biggest seller and very well received by our customers. This is why we have been searching for something else for our customers, something that doesn't cost anything, is absolutely free and also lots and lots of fun.....I had the idea back in 2006 but as you can imagine, running the business, bringing up my son, then having my second son and not to mention all the other things.......

So now we are delighted to be working on a new BABY NAME GENERATOR APPLICATION which will soon be available to use within our site. You will be able to search the alphabet for any name and find out the meaning of the name and the country of origin. Its will be something nice for 'mums to be' when looking for some different or unusual names and also for all of us with little ones already. Although lots of these generators are on offer on the web, at least we will be a one stop shop to use applications such as this and also buy beautiful gifts, so we really hope you will continue coming back to see what we can offer you.

The amount of people who don't even know what their own name means! Are you one of them? Well soon we will have this great application for you to come and use, and of course tell your friends about! You will be able to search our database and find almost any name! Please bear with us we will keep you posted, it will arrive soon :o)

With Easter here I must get back to my beautiful boys, come back soon.

Monday, April 06, 2009

DAY FIVE - Personalised Children's Bunting

Half way there on bringing to you the Top Ten gift ideas for personalised gifts for children and babies! Today's feature is Personalised Bunting, from letter bunting to beautiful hand knitted bunting, there are so many types of personalised bunting out there to choose from. Not just your ordinary bunting from high street stores, but lets find something unique and different that cannot be found everywhere. 

Add that extra special touch to any child's bedroom or playroom, or even a great piece to use in the garden when entertaining for someone's birthday (pictured above). With some adorable bunting handmade in the UK you can't go wrong. Why not be creative and give it a go by making your own!

The Easiest Way to Make Fabric Bunting
You can make fabric bunting using scraps of left over fabric, perhaps some adorable pieces of your children's old clothes (recycling stuff you would usually throw away) or an alternative is cheap cotton sheeting - a small amount really goes a long way if cut very carefully! For lasting bunting use pinking shears to cut out your triangles, then either use the drinking straw sewing method or sew a simple channel in the top of each flag.  An easy to make guide can be found here.

or Get Creative with Knitting
Enjoy some creative time and perhaps if you have younger children you can teach them to knit, I remember so well my grandma teaching me and I still know how, its a special memory of mine! If you can knit then help your little one knit some little triangles and neatly piece together with some wool. Some lovely handmade knitted bunting all made by yourself to give as an easter gift or birthday gift for anybody to keep. We have an adorable range to offer but also believe its fun to get creative and have a go yourself, like I said a memory of mine that will never be forgotten, give your little ones some 'making' memories to cherish.

Our Personalised Knitted Bunting range as seen below really is delighful if you want to impress. 
Please visit us tomorrow for another entry into the TOP TEN personalised gifts for children and babies. As well as bringing to you adorable gifts, as an illustrator and designer I love bringing you ideas and simple ways to make beautiful things, with a personalised touch! During the easter holidays we all need some creative ideas so keep coming back for more.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

DAY FOUR of the Best Personalised Gifts for Children and Babies!

Its a real quick one today as I have lots of preparing to do for my little one's 4th birthday next week, how time flies by! It was 3 years ago now when Illustrate My Name was started by myself and now my little boy is turning 4, a moment of inspiration for some art for his bedroom and now 3 years on we are bringing to you an array of personalised children's gifts as well as our exclusive Illustrated Name Art produced by my very own hand.

So today our feature is Personalised Children's Ceramics, why not take your child out for the morning or afternoon to a ceramic centre in your local area and have fun some and come away with a beautiful ceramic piece to keep! We will soon be bringing personalised 'Exclusive' ceramics to our site but until then have some fun with your little ones! Its easter so go and paint beautiful egg cups or duck ceramics and give as gifts to your family, what more could someone receive than something handmade from their grandchild or child! 

Come back tomorrow for DAY FIVE of our TOP TEN personalised baby gifts and personalised children's gifts!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

DAY THREE of the Best Personalised Gifts for Children and Babies

Today we are featuring Personalised Greeting Cards as one of the top ten personalised children's and personalised baby gifts you can buy! Obviously its not a gift in itself, but why not choose an adorable handmade personalised card and buy a frame to go with it, then the child has a beautiful card to display on their special day as well as framing it to make a piece of art for their bedroom or playroom! 

Personalised Fabric Initial Cards Only £2.50 each

We are about to launch our EXCLUSIVE range of handmade personalised greeting cards (as seen above), all lovingly made by our own hands here at Illustrate My Name. Our cards feature beautiful fabric and felt letters, with beads and embroidery on a plain white card, very contemporary and could be used for any purpose not just greeting cards. 

Personalised New Baby Card -  A beautiful baby arrives what better card to receive than the babies initial, it will sure make pride of place in their keepsake box! 

As these are being lovingly handmade, please bear with us to get them online, with the full alphabet, so which ever initial, boy or girl design you will be able to see before you buy!

These cards plus more designs will sit alongside our delightful range of children's invitations, thank you cards and baby announcement cards we already offer. We will keep you informed of when these are live on our site, but for as little as £2.50 per card, what a bargain! Leaving you more to spend on indulging in a really special picture frame to accompany your card, all wrapped in some beautiful coloured tissue paper and sealed with a giant bow and ribbons, it couldn't be easier to impress a little one! If you are interested already then just CONTACT US.

We feel something handmade and personalised is a beautiful gift or special way to say thank you! Why not get creative and try making some cards yourself! It really is lovely to just play around with craft and fabrics and design your own thing, grab some quiet time if you can and have a go - The best place to go is Hobbycraft  as its got everything you could want at such reasonable prices. 

Have fun getting creative and don't forget to come back tomorrow for another personalised gift idea which has made our top ten personalised gifts for children and babies!

Friday, April 03, 2009

DAY TWO of the Best Personalised Gifts for Children and Babies

Today we are featuring Personalised Children's Cushions as one of the top ten personalised children's and personalised baby gifts you can buy! But lets not forget we all want something that you can't find everywhere, something not on the high street! We are pleased to bring to you a selection of adorable personalised cushions that really are different in lots of design choices.

Whether it be an initial or the child's full name, cushions are great, suitable for all bedrooms and can grow up with your little one so really can be treasured! Even our letter cushions are soft enough to cuddle, and the giant ones really make an impression in any child's bedroom.

Children grow up so fast so why not choose them a gift which can last and has so many uses! Whether you dress your child's bed with lots of scatter cushions and then a real statement cushion which is personalised; or place on a shelf, or hang our hanging cushions on a hook. My favourite thing is placing a beautiful cushion on my grandma's old rocking chair, a real centerpiece in the nursery! 

Please come back tomorrow for another personalised gift idea which has made our Top Ten Personalised Gifts for your little ones.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Top 10 Personalised Gifts for Children - The Best Personalised Baby Gifts

When looking for personalised gifts for children and babies we must remember why. The dictionary states that 'Personalised' means: made for, to a particular individual, make personal or more personal than usual. 

We also believe personalised should be to treasure thats why over the next 10 days we will bring to you ten of the best personalised children's and baby gifts. Our first entry has to be the one and only:

Personalised Children's Art - Whether it is a framed piece of artwork, a canvas or embroidered artwork; personalised art for children is something so intricate and timeless, which is why we have featured it as our number one today for a child or baby personalised gift to treasure. 

Something to remember, if its been created or made by someone special, for example Mummy makes them a piece of art using fabrics or Grandma sews them a piece of art, it has that extra special appeal and is priceless!

We are happy to bring to you some of the best in Personalised Children's Art that have all been lovingly made by hand in the UK by extremely talented individuals. Below are our Fabric Name Pictures which are so beautiful for only £30.00.

ILLUSTRATE MY NAME prides itself in bringing to you the very best in personalised children's and personalised baby gifts. Please come back tomorrow for another suggestion of a personalised gift which will really impress!