Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Teacup tuesday- Displays

As well as running the lovely u-ni-k gifts, I run a little market to help me quench my passion for things made with love and care by talented creators. 
It's a way to envelope myself with inspirational people and their wonderful makings. 
The makers inspire me to get home and get my tools out. To be creative and to be crafty.
To have a go and jump in. 

Not only are they creative in their makings, they are also creative in their lovely displays at the markets I run.
An interesting stall or space invites you to come inside and take a peek.
Invites you to stop and peek, and if allowed to touch and investigate.
It should give an impression of how to use the product and be styled in a simple aesthetic way that makes the products shine.
Here are a few inspirational displays that i LOVE and aspire to. 

Here are a few of the market stallholders wonderful displays too!

Kate Smith Ceramics

Lucy Litchfield's pinnies and cards

Splendid Ocassions

English Handmade Soaps

Feel free to share your wonderful displays. I would love to love them too and PIN them to share what you do!!
Lets inspire each other !

Monday, 28 October 2013

Monday Maker...Britte & Markus, our wonderful Carpenter duo.

Today we meet Britte & Markus our talented woodcrafters!
(Sarah from u-ni-k has added some typical English grammar otherwise the words are all from Britte & Markus)

One of their lovely children's toy cars

Name: Britta Steinnökel
Year of Birth: 1958
Current City: Borgholzhausen in Germany
Company name: Sternengasse GmbH

How would you describe a typical Sunday?

Breakfast is commonly served on a breakfast board.
The hole is designed to hold a boiled egg.
We like to lie in, wake up slowly and have a leisurely breakfast with our family. Typically we'll do the things we like; read a book, ride our bikes, bake cakes or meet up with our friends & family for a chat over something nice to eat.

And here a quite obvious question: How did you become a talented crafts person / designer? What inspired you to do this?

When I met my husband, he is a carpenter, and I learned to love working with wood. Together we started to build wooden toys and eventually sold them at our local christmas markets. With our own children we learned to love the simple toys.

This beautiful rainbow maker twirls like a
seed blowing in the wind.

Its Fill-in-the-blanks time. So, please fill in the blanks:

I love nature because she gives us power and inspiration 

If I could live anywhere I'd live at my place, an old farmhouse in the country side

If I weren't a designer / maker I'd be a cook

People who like nature will like our creations.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Friday Funny...

Don't forget to come at see us at Godalming Independent Market!


More Mummy humour over on our Pinterest Boards.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Knitting time again

Well, wool week has been and gone (don't tell me you missed it?!) but the clocks go back this weekend here in the UK and the mornings & nights will be getting darker. So I've turned back to my knitting needles; it's an activity where I don't need a lot of light. My other hobby, photography, is very dependent upon light so it's this time of year that I pick up my needles and start creating.

Currently I am working on another Bunny... a small challenge as the stitches are very small and I need to concentrate with each clickedy clack of the needle.
After I've finished the bunny, I'll work on a few mice.

I'm retiring the Squishies... Lazy Susan & Big Boss Panda. They've had a good run but it's time they went off into retirement. I think Lazy Susan has bought an apple orchard somewhere and I'm too scared to ask Big Boss Panda what his retirement plans are!

So what to replace the Squishies with?? Well I'll keep my eyes open for something... I've found a hedgehog but I need to know how to crochet for that. Perhaps I'll put some of my knitting knowledge to good use and make something a little more special... I feel a very dinosaur feeling coming on!

Don't forget to keep checking our website, it's updated regularly! So head over to www.unikgifts.co.uk for a browse

Monday, 21 October 2013

Teacup Tuesday... exclusives

Both Anna & I strongly believe in supporting small businesses. We do this through social media support, sharing of our knowledge, and using other small businesses when we want to purchase gifts or cards.

We have spoken before about Small Business Saturday, and shared our thoughts on why people should support small businesses. We find that many of our most ardent supporters are themselves, small business owners.

Most of these people are frequent users of Facebook; this is because most people have a personal Facebook account to keep in touch with close family & friends - and their business page is an extension of their Facebook communication process.

So we've launched an exclusive stocking filler sale on our Facebook page - IF you'd like access to our sale prices (all the items are on sale at full price on the public pages of the website), pop over to our Facebook page & 'Like' us for your chance to see our exclusive pages first!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sneak peek at our next Monday Maker...

We've just received our latest order from the lovely Markus & Britte. They're also filling out our maker questionnaire to feature in our Monday Maker!

Here's a sneak peek at what you may see:

From the sustainably sourced farm they live on, as you can see, no part of the tree is wasted!

The designs are all from Markus & Britte themselves:

And each piece is hand carved by the man himself!

They've bought out some new products for 2014, and I LOVE them... but will not spoil the surprise for you. In the meantime why don't you head over to www.unikgifts.co.uk and take a look at some of their lovely work we currently have on sale.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Friday Funny...

Yesterday I put on a pair of boots, black leather boots with a small heel 
(practical for walking in Autumn).

Usual look: unbrushed, unpolished, Mummy!

My little one declares; 'WOW! Mummy, are they your dancing shoes? Look they have one of these (lifts up to show me the heel)... You MUST dance with Daddy in these shoes!!"

Hmmmm me thinks I may wear my flipflops or clogs a little too much!

Have a happy weekend in whatever footwear you choose.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A sentimental sausage

Did you know this week is Grandparents week? 

Nor did I till stumbled across it in Facebook. 
So with that in mind and because it would have been my Dads birthday today, I celebrate my Dad.
He died before ever meeting his Grandchildren but I know he would have been a super duper Grandaddy who would have adored them all and spent endless hours playing, being silly and teaching his now four grand children whilst watching them grow into happy little grown ups
Today I SMILE for my Dad and all the other Grandparents who can't be with us anymore.
I'll be sipping a pint of T.E.A and eating cream crackers by the stack with him in mind today.
Miss you X


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Teacup tuesday... things in twos

Sarah and I have been tackling our end of year accounts. 
This year we have decided to bite the bullet and do as much of it as we can....
hoping that we can do it all. 
After all, we are intelligent ladies. 
We've done the majority of our bookkeeping in the past. So with both of our knowledge of running a small business and project management between us, we have almost mastered it. 
Almost there...

We've used a few tricks of the trade like running the accounts from the bank account and through the help of Paypal downloads. We (I) have made it pretty by colour coding it to simplify things. 
And of course look pretty!

Between us we have mastered it.
Between us we can do anything!

So today I congratulate us and our team work.
Well done us working Mums!


Monday, 7 October 2013

Monday Maker- The lovely Sarah is in the PRESS

Today I share a WONDERFUL press article 
that Sarah from Beetroot Press and her gorgeous house have featured in.

Find Sarah's things here  on the unikgifts website
Beetroot Press

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A look behind the scenes

I'm in our local hospital as you read this, nothing serious just having my back / hip problem looked at by a physio. Why am I telling you this on the blog? Well although we share our business updates & product updates we rarely give you a peek behind the scenes.

Well, I work from home. I tuck myself away in the study / old garage (my desk is white, in a corner and from IKEA). I surround myself with photos & images that inspire me. My family features in them a lot.

My desk is a mess. Full of bits of paper, ribbon, yarn, and pieces my Daughter has given me to keep for her. Actually as I type I can see her 'My First Visit' Disney World badge and a Rabbit headdress she gave me for sake keeping a while back. I keep meaning to make time to tidy my desk...

My professional printer is here beside me as well. This is for my Sarah D Photography image printing. I shall spare you the description of the space between my desk & my husbands desk (he has a space in this room too). Mountains, paper, & junk spring to mind when looking at it though.

I used to have all the stock we currently show / sell at craft fayres tucked away in a corner behind me but Anna came & swooped on that while we were away. So now there's some empty shelves behind me instead.

I can spend upto 4 hours a night sat in here (it's not heated) on my laptop tapping away trying new things for the website / touching up images / trawling through press requests seeing if there is anyone interested in the pieces we do... And that's on the nights that I'm not scheduled as on duty!

My husband usually pops his head around the door about now (2330) to remind me to go to bed at some point.

When I'm not in here on the laptop, then I'm on my phone - checking emails, updating Facebook & Twitter, messaging Anna about my latest thoughts. I put the phone down to take the little one out for an hour or so a day (when she's not a playgroup) and I organise at least one activity for us to do every morning and every afternoon (painting, baking, gardening, modelling with airclay, science experiments... well cornflour and food dye).

In between all of this I try to keep up with my knitting, the house work, putting 2 home made (from scratch) meals on the table, the constant stream of visitors that come to stay, and all the admin that comes with owning a house & garden.

I sometimes wonder how I manage to fit it all in (those who are waiting for me to respond to Candy Crush requests have a LONG wait).

At least there's a Friday Funny to look forward to...

Night All.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Support small or independent businesses this year

Teacup tuesday.....Puss in boots eyes!

It's always lovely to see our chosen products being cared for, loved and used. 
Especially by little ones. 
So when we take part in markets & shows, we encourage people to play, touch and have ago. It's the only real opportunity that the general public get to see how special our things are. 
We are a gifting website after all! Although an image speaks 1000 words seeing the actual physical thing is something you just can't beat.
You see how vibrant a colour is, how soft the cashmere is and how something has been lovingly made with much love and care.
I am always overwhelmed by the gorgeous feedback we receive when we take our things out to be seen. Everyone swoons over the cashmere, laughs with us at the paper animal names (Sophia Le Hen, Eggory Peck and Cluck Gable to name a few) and I have caught many a man gazing adoringly at the Handmade wooden train and carriage and  the wonderful Mr Moose. It's understandable, both are incredibly handsome. Ive caught myself doing the same many times.
So, what more of a compliment is needed than a little girl who has been allowed to play and take bobbing bunny out on a little walk round the market to become a little bit tearful when she has to be parted and say goodbye. With proper Puss in Boots eyes.
We felt saddened that she felt so sad at the farewell but apparently she LOVES bunnies!
We do too!!!
What more can I say, our gifts are u-ni-k and quite irresistible. 
That's why we get a little saddened too when a piece finds a  new home.
We may be sad but it only lasts a moment, till we see a child's happy face and the thought of  it finding a happy home and being lovingly played with.

Image courtesy of Sarah D photography


*P.s Apologies for the lack of blog yesterday. Mummy duties called!