Thursday, 31 May 2012

Finding a new home...


Find out where our beautiful blankets now live.




'My name is Emma. 
I make quilts, so I have to confess I bought the Shuktara blanket for myself really. 
I was intrigued by how something so simple could look so beautiful. 
Quilting has a history of recycling old garments just like the Sari's used in these blankets.  
At the moment, the blanket spends most of its time in my daughter's room, but occasionally it gets dragged around the house for her to use in a game, as the roof of a camp, or in some other way that only a 5 year old can imagine!
I also write a blog about Brighton based artists and makers, (http://madeinbrighton.blogspot.com)

This beautiful blanket has found a very happy home with Emma and her daughter.
To find blankets as beautiful as this, see our other shuktara blankets proudly sitting waiting to find a special home on our new shuktara page. Take a peek before they fly the nest!





Take a peak at why these blankets are so extra special here

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Our Jubilee Party preparations




Our Shuktara blanket...

We have a photo album on our Facebook page entitled 'we use our products so that we can recommend them to you' (short catchy title I know).

Anna and I try to update this album with recent pictures of her Naughties and my Dangerbaby using our versions of the products that we personally recommend.

Time and time again, our products show up in our personal Facebook page photo albums as well... because we really do use them!

On our trip to Wales, DangerBaby always slept underneath her favourite Shuktara blanket.



















When we have baby visitors we try to make them a comfortable safe spot (with the ever present Shuktara blanket to hand... far right)













Doesn't matter where you are in our house, the shuktara blanket isn't far away!



















Over the past 2 years our blanket has been used as a den, a table cloth, a show curtain, a bed blanket, a pram blanket, a comfort blanket, a super hero cloak... the list goes on.

I can honestly say that buying the blanket was fantastic value, it's been used every day and has brought comfort, warmth, softness and joy each day.

We're currently in the process of uploading our purchase pages for our new Shuktara stock. However they are proudly on display on our Shuktara page and you can buy them from us via email (we can invoice you) here.


Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday mentor

Today's Monday Mentor is... Facebook!



Nearly everyone I know is on Facebook, it's become our primary source of open communication! We share our thoughts, our activities and photos of our children all through this mega communication portal.

It has simplified the life of every parent I know, suddenly you are not queueing in Boots to print out 5 sets of your baby photos...a quick upload to a Facebook album and a privacy setting to just family' or 'just friends' and all your relatives can view and download the photos themselves.

As time has gone by it's become even bigger than a social portal, it's become a mass marketing tool. With a reach of over 100million users, large companies have been advertising on Facebook for years. This may, however soon come to an end. With users largely shown to ignore Facebook ads, and companies concentrating more on their Facebook & Twitter presence instead - Facebook has started to trial 'promoted posts'.

It may come as a surprise to you but your Facebook posts are only seen by a small number of your friends / page likers. Facebook is thinking of charging you a small fee to 'promote' your post to more of those nearest and dearest that follow you on Facebook.

The process is simple, you write your post and then like a PR machine, Facebook will ask you if you wish to 'promote your post' before you publish it. It'll tell you that for a small fee it will reach x% more people. Payment would be through a seamless link to PayPal or your preferred payment selection.

We've not seen these changes ourselves, but we know those who have. I'm not sure if 'promoting posts' is very us, so if you want to stay in touch with our new products, press releases, and discounts. Come over to our Facebook page and interact with us... that way you'll be sure to see our posts whether we 'promote' them or not!

Click here to see & like our page if you haven't already

For more information please visit Social Fresh: http://socialfresh.com/facebook-promoted-posts-go-live/

Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday Fun-days





I've been a pregnant lady travelling on the under ground...it's not nice, it's not pleasant, and other commuters are certainly not friendly. I saw these the other day and they made me chuckle. I could have certainly done with them on my commutes! If only they really existed! 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

We are in the Stylista PRESS





One of my own favourite unik pieces has been featured in the May edition of Stylista Homes magazine.


Every issue looks at the latest colour and style trends featuring new and exciting products as well as inspirational ideas for those who are looking for something a little different. Inspiring, enlightening and informative for style conscious men and women and teens!

This magazine is dedicated to all those home and aspiring home owners who love creating their own individual space. This magazine is for you. 
What it doesn't tell you is that as the wind catches it, the mobile spins and replicates the motion of a sycamore twist propelling and fluttering to the floor.
Quite possibly the most beautiful mobile and rainbow maker I have ever seen!
Watch your little one dance with their hands as the sun catches the crystal and creates beautiful rainbow patterns on the nursery wall. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Look what we caught this morning!



Look at what I found my little boy dancing with on his bedroom wall this morning.
An array of Rainbows!!!!!!




Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Liberty Longevity


Amelie in Original Liberty "Tana Rose"

It's Chelsea flower show this week.  As budding Gardeners, Sarah and I are both enthused by pretty petals, budding blooms and succulent foliage. We love the outside; getting our hands muddy and seeing the fruits of our fun thrive and grew alongside our children.
I’ve always had a weakness for florals. Especially liberty florals. It’s not just my hippy roots or my love of gardening that fuels the love of pretty petals.
Liberty fabrics are very special. They are an English Heritage, a truly English statement of quality and style and and many of the prints are so well received that they are known by their print names all over the world. Not only were liberty fabrics the first to incorporate subtle colourings and dye techniques brought over from the East, they also helped establish the trade of  block printing to the UK. The Liberty Tana lawn florals are known worldwide as the leading contender in popular floral 
prints .



The Liberty fabrics date back to 1875 when the Liberty shop in London opened andArthur Liberty printed the first of the soon to be famous Liberty Silks. Imported from India, the Mysore silk was dyed in England and then hand-printed with wooden blocks.





Liberty Rosa, A
Liberty’s imported oriental silks were dyed, printed or woven in Britain and France. The cottons were printed in Scotland, Cumbria and Lancashire. In 1904 Liberty took over a print works that specialised in block-printed silks just up-river from William Morris’ works in Merton. It is because of this print works that the company still has such a large textile archive.
"Liberty’s greatest triumph in those early days came from a co-operation with Thomas Wardle, the dyers and printers of Leek in Staffordshire, who also worked for William Morris. Between them, Liberty and Wardle introduced dyes which had until then been supposed to be a closely guarded secret of the East. Delicate pastel tints which they called ‘Art Colours’, soon became described all over the world as ‘Liberty colours’. Silk in Liberty colours were an influential element in the Aesthetic Movement. Liberty’s windows had white painted fretwork screens, and the silks were draped in front of these in graduated tints. They became one of the sights of Regent Street." 
Liberty's: a biography of a shop, Alison Adburgham, 1975
Today designers for Liberty still come and visit the archive for inspiration. New patterns are either designed by the in-house Studio or are commissioned from freelance designers. Each spring and autumn season new textile collections are produced to complement the range of classic designs that are not so bound to the seasons. Some of these latter designs, such as Peacock Feather, date back to the 1880s.
*"Lawn"  used in the description of the liberty cotton describes the quality of cotton used in making the liberty printed fabrics. In the description of cotton, the amount of  threads per cm square describe the quality of fabric. The more threads the finer the cotton is. Tana lawn  has a very high thread count and is 100% cotton.
"Betsy" Liberty print
Liberty prints play a very special place in my heart. I love them. They express a little part of me that I would love to show everyday. The girlie hippy little girl inside me.  The traditional girl I most certainly am!


Amelie in "Lilac"

If you are partial to a pretty floral, take a peek at the unik website.
Here are two of the liberty prints soon to be added to the unik website.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday mentor...

Theo Paphitis #SBS website

http://www.theopaphitissbs.com/

Following on from his success both off screen and on screen, Theo Paphitis is supporting small businesses over on Twitter with his Small Business Sunday.

Each Sunday between 5pm & 7.30pm he gives small business users the chance to pitch their business to him for a chance of a retweet and inclusion on his SBS website.

Previous winners of #SBS have reported that endorsement from Theo Paphitis has provided their small business a much appreciated boost. The retweet usually benefits the business more Twitter and Facebook followers - increasing their market presence and resulting in more traffic to their website. This can often result in an increase sales!

#SBS winners also join an exclusive community of former winners who offer rewards, discounts and offers to their fellow small businesses.

If you're a small business owner who wants to enter #SBS, here are the tips the official SBS website provides:


What to do...
  • Tweet about your business in 140 characters or less, directed to @TheoPaphitis, adding the hashtag #SBS.
  • Tweet on a Sunday between 5.00-7.30 PM.
  • Use humour and topicality if it feels natural to you.
  • Feel free to add a link or web address in your tweet.
  • Having a website increases your chances of being noticed.
  • Ensure your profile sells your business and has a link to your website. Include a colourful graphic.
  • It helps to know the names behind the business. #SBS is for small businesses. The personal touch is liked.
  • Just tweet once in each weekly time slot.
  • Look out for the re-tweets.
  • If you are not chosen, don't despair and try again!


Boosted by our #WOW win, Anna and I have been entering #SBS believing that we will one day win this coveted accolade.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Happy Birthday Smiley Sue!

Tomorrow is Ida's birthday... Here's a few things about our favourite girlfriend:

Ida LOVES Mr Elephant

Ida LOVES animals

Ida LOVES being out & about

Ida LOVES art

Ida LOVES her Daddy
(Sorry Mummy Kathryn's the same)

Ida LOVES talking
(we're in trouble when they want phones of their own)

Ida LOVES music
 Happy Birthday Ida! We hope you still love all these things and more this time next year!

Love Kathryn, Sarah & Ian x x x

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I'm sorry I'm being a Mum right now, please leave...

I hate voicemail. I rarely leave a message. I'd rather call back later and speak to a human. In fact I'll hang up and text the person letting them know I'll call them later. I'm a communicator, I need to talk to a person.

Those answer phone systems? Don't get me started... it's best when you leave the computer voice behind and hit the Now That's What I Call Answer Phone Music CD. Probably 'Lady In Red' on repeat or something similar depending on the season (it seemed to be 'Last Christmas' back in January). I sigh with relief when I finally hear -"Hi you're through to Jason, how can I help you today?"

So instead of fobbing you off that I am sat typing this over a cup of coffee moments before publishing... I'm not. I'm not actually here. In fact as you read this I'm rushing my family off to London for a photo shoot that I won on an online auction in aid of NAS.

The National Autistic Society - a charity that helps those with Autism. A condition that effects people's ability to communicate or interpret the world around them in a way that we see as 'normal'.

NAS is a very important charity, it's the largest charity for Autism in the UK. Did you know at least  1 in every 100 people are on the Autism spectrum? To explain, Autism is a spectrum condition because it affects people in different ways to different degrees. Which also makes it harder to diagnose, treat and understand.

Since Autism effects the communication and social parts of the brain this is even more frustrating to those that know someone with the condition.

As someone who hold clear communication and the proper use of language close to her heart, Autism is hard to understand. The world to them is very different from the world I see and understand. They don't interpret the communications and situations in the same way as I do... and sometimes can't communicate why.

Someone with Autism would probably not expect me to be here having just written a blog and hitting 'publish' for you all to read. In the way that they interpret the world, this blog maybe viewed as just a written letter and it has reached the internet the same way a paper letter would hit your doormat... long after it was written.

So go and read more about Autism and Aspergers on the NAS website, or alternatively... leave me a message after the beep.


BEEP

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Welcome to my World



Meet Sam, my little man.

To read the article click here c/o Baby Surrey and  Matt Pereira photography 

*printed edition has published the wrong website. Our correct website is http://www.unikgifts.co.uk

Thank you Matt for being a fabulous photographer and setting my whole family at ease. You've caught my naughties to a T! I LOVE the photographs! 
Thank you a million times.
Baby Surrey thank you for choosing to publish my story. Your magazine is fabulous. I'll treasure this edition forever.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A rare Diamond Jubilee gift...


It’s almost HM The Queen’s diamond Jubilee. Our naughty clothes have been caught on numerous occasions partying without Sarah and I. How naughty!  
Our silversmith, Mr Ord has joined the celebrations by making some very special pieces especially for us.


To celebrate, the bangles have been hallmarked in Edinburgh and include HM The Queens Jubilee mark. This Jubilee mark is being used for one year only, from September 2011 to August 2012; thereafter, it ceases.The hallmark itself depicts a young Queen Elizabeth wearing an over sized crown, the image itself set in a diamond shaped surround.

Mr Ord is a Grandfather to Tabitha, Magnus, Suzanna, Isobel, Jonathan and Eden as well as a wonderful silversmith. When he’s not busy with his Granddad duties, our silversmith keeps himself busy by making silver for unik. Mr Ord was brought up in South Africa, commissioned from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into The Gordon Highlanders, commanding his battalion in the first Gulf War. He retired in 1992, and took his MSc degree, at The University of Stirling.

His understated pieces are beautiful, timeless and perfect for a new baby born in the Queens diamond Jubilee year. Equally perfect for a Birthday or Christening gift for a special little one. Each bangle can be engraved with the details of the child it is being given to or with a special message.
The bangle is expandable so perfect for growing children. Smaller sizes are available.


To order contact sales@unikgifts.co.uk. 
They are so special and new that they haven't even be added to the website yet! The special hallmark expire at the end of July so these pieces are limited.  Order early to avoid disappointment. 


A simply beautiful keepsake to be treasured forever.

Monday, 14 May 2012

MM= Daisy Bridgewater

It's Monday.
It's Monday Mentor.

So I am sharing with you a little note that a certain wonderful lady writes every Saturday in The Telegraph. Daisy Bridgewater's notebook.

Her weekly collection of helpful finds and snippets of thing you know you'll need as a parent or grandparent are rare gems of goodness.
In the past her notes have be based on the essential guide to head lice and how to get rid of them, child friendly festivals, green fingered little ones, must haves for swimming alongside superhero costumes and designer labels for children.

If you haven't been lucky enough to catch the snippets of knowledge from the lady who knows best (she has sons coming our of her ear's and been writing the column since 2009) make sure you make the time.
A few of my favourite's...









So when Saturday morning comes, while your little one is munching or their muesli, sit back and put your feet up with your coffee or tea and read these gorgeous gems.

Daisy has also her own website, Notes on boys where you will find her blogs about her life as a Mums of boys, activities, games and projects that make boys tick.





Friday, 11 May 2012

Friday Funny...

For those who have supported me while I've spent an inordinate amount of time in & out of hospitals, medical centres, doctor surgeries....


HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, ENJOY THE SUNSHINE!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

We won Jacqueline Gold's #WOW Award!

Anna & I work very hard to bring high quality, handmade, unique children's gifts that should be loved by children and their children.

This work continues everyday (there are no such things weekends or bank holiday's off when you work for yourself) and we hope brings happiness to people all around the world.

Well yesterday, some of our hard work paid off...

We won the Jacqueline Gold (Ann Summers and Knickerbox) #WOW award. The Women On Wednesday award is run on Twitter every Wednesday by Jacqueline Gold herself. She chooses three winners every week from all the entries she receives.

That's right everyone - This is our week!


We're proud to be successful working women and really proud to support other successful working parents! So we're happy to share this recognition with our lovely makers, as without them we wouldn't be u-ni-k gifts!

Thank you Jacqueline Gold, your recognition of all our hard work means a lot to us.


NB
Along with our Mumpreneurs Website Award, our Mums Club Business Award Shortlisted badge and now our #WOW badge award we're going to need an award page on our website.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

May... Strawberry Month!

We're celebrating Strawberry Month!

Have you noticed how our Facebook cover has gone all strawberry red?
www.unikgifts.co.uk


We love strawberries, both Anna and I have wild strawberries in our gardens and our Daughters can be found foraging our vegetable patches for the delicious red delights...

So whether you like yours with cream, ice cream, sugar, black pepper, or just on their own, remember to celebrate strawberry month with a splash of red!