Handcrafted for Mothers Day 2017

As we all know, Mothers Day is fast approaching… Mothers Day this year is on Sunday 26th March 2017 so there is still time for you to place your order with us here at Cards And Candles For All Occasions.

We have already been working on bespoke Mothers Day cards for our customers and here are the first few that we can show you.

This year the common theme our customers have been requesting are flowers and butterflies, so far all of the Mothers Day cards we have been working on have been for this theme.

Our eight inch square handcrafted greetings cards are our most popular size and decoupage is very popular at the moment with glazed elements and glitter.

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Our eight inch square easel cards are also very popular at the moment, with the same butterflies and flowers theme, these cards are just a little bit different and fold flat to go in a standard envelope for posting.

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All of our handcrafted greetings cards can be designed and created to your choice of colours, theme and personalised message or quote.

If you would like to discuss your personal greetings or keepsake card requirements, you can contact us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk or via our website which is Cards And Candles For All Occasions

Customer Orders – February 2017

Our blog has been pretty quiet lately as my Fibromyalgia has been playing havoc so I have been concentrating on working on customer orders and not spending as much time on the computer but I’m hoping that as my current flare starts to settle down I’ll be able to post more regular updates.

Today I thought I would share with you some of my latest customer ordered, personalised handcrafted greetings cards. All of these are eight inch square cards with designs chosen specifically for our customers requirements – I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed working on them 🙂

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A New Year, A New Plan… Moving Our Business Forward

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We are back!!!

Happy New Year, I Hope you all had a wonderful festive period with your loved ones and are having a great start to 2017.

Today we re-open Cards And Candles For All Occasions after our extended, one month, Christmas break and along with those closest to me we have decided that I need to make some changes to the way I run the business.

As much as I love the handcrafted work I do and dealing with so many amazing people, both customers and suppliers, over the past few months I have been forced to stop and look at my own health too. Since launching Cards And Candles For All Occasions in April 2010, I have been working full time hours every day of every week, some times working straight through the night to meet customer deadlines or get things all done and the realisation has now come to me that I cannot continue in this way.

At thirty six years old, I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia, Depression and Anxiety for a number of years and especially over the past eighteen months my health has been deteriorating, there are days where I feel unable to function but I sit at my desk doing the best that I can to fulfill all of my commitments to our business and customers.

The end part of 2016 was particularly difficult for me as my health was not in a good place due to the hours I was working, I was taking on more orders than I could handle as I did not want to disappoint anyone and in turn this was adding to the need for working excessive hours and stress levels were rising. It was getting to the stage whereby I could barely function effectively as I was so exhausted, in huge amounts of pain and I constantly felt stressed. Something needed to change.

I took the decision to have an extended break over the Christmas period to give myself some time to recharge (I slept most of Christmas, only really waking up for my pain medication), re-evaluate the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and plan the best way to move forward with my business. The thought of closing the business was considered and discussed, but this is the last thing I want to do. I know what I want to do, I just have to put those plans into action.

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Over the last couple of weeks we have made a lot of decisions about the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and how we plan to move the business forward… in order for me to be able to continue with the handcrafted business which I love, the biggest change I have to make is to reduce the hours in my working week.

Until now I have pretty much been working seven days a week, every hour possible and it is having a detrimental effect on my health – the increasing pain, the insomnia and exhaustion, the mental effects of Fibromyalgia, they all contribute to making me miserable and the thing I have found hardest of all is accepting that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle and working life I held before Fibromyalgia took over.

I never thought I would end up in a wheelchair with a chronic illness at just thirty five years old!! But here I am, this is the life I have and now I have to move forward with a plan to make the most of what I have, make things so that they are manageable and in the bigger picture remember to look after myself too.

I need to find a suitable “Work + Life = Balance” otherwise, as a friend stated this morning:

You need to stick to the plan sweetheart or you will be permanently closed. Invest in you xx

The last thing that I want to do is to be forced by my health to close my business, but I can totally agree with the above comment as the way I was going before Christmas I was heading for a serious burn out and I cannot afford either physically, mentally or financially to risk this in the long-term.

Today is a big day for Cards And Candles For All Occasions as not only are we re-opening for 2017, but today is also the day we are implementing the changes which have been decided upon which will allow me to continue to work with you, our wonderful customers, on the unique, handcrafted and personalised products we all love.

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As I have said above, the biggest change we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions is our business working hours, with immediate effect our working hours are as follows:

Monday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Tuesday – open from 12:00noon until 6:00pm

Wednesday – CLOSED

Thursday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Friday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Saturday – CLOSED

Sunday CLOSED

We hope that you will understand our reasons for reducing our working hours and in time, once we adjust to our new schedule we are hoping that it will make us more efficient in dealing with your enquiries and processing/handcrafting your orders. My hope is that by reducing my working hours it will help to improve my mental and physical health allowing me to be more productive when I am working, therefore if all goes to plan there should be minimal disruption to our customers.

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The second change that we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions to help in moving forward more efficiently is lead times for our orders, with immediate effect we have listed below the minimum amount of notice we will require for each product we sell to allow us to source materials, design and handcraft your product ready for dispatch:

Standard Greeting Cards
Minimum 10 days notice

Keepsake Cards (eg. Bookatrix, Easel Drawer, Handbag)
Minimum 14 days notice

Exploding Box Keepsake
Minimum 21 days notice

Ecosoy Candles
Minimum 14 days notice

Wooden Gifts (eg. Themed Frames, Plaques, Candle Holders)
Minimum 21 days

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you throughout 2017 and beyond.

xxx Love Laura xxx

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#HugsForNoah has been on Channel5!!

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Tonight we watched Channel 5’s Extraordinary People: The Boy With No Brain – an amazing programme about a truly dedicated and inspiring family who we are proud to call our friends.

The programme gave a very inspiring insight into daily life for Noah from pre-birth until his fourth birthday, showing his progress and the lengths his family go to in order to create the best possible quality of life for him and to raise as much awareness as possible about Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

It is clear to see from the documentary footage just how brave Noah is, no matter what obstacles are put in front of him he will face them head on with a huge, infectious smile.

You will see that there were several medical professionals included in this programme who each gave their views and opinions on Noah’s case.

Clearly each child with these conditions are different as is the progress they make through life, this is something also explained by the medical profession and they also go into detail about the ‘growth’ of Noah’s brain, potential reasons, etc.

Nobody has ever stated that Noah has no brain, since he was born it has been common knowledge that only 2% of his brain was showing which by the age of three years had ‘grown’ to 80% which I am sure anyone would agree is superb.

The documentary also features another little boy too with is own very interesting and emotional story… the other child’s problem is not Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus related.

We are so proud of Noah and his family, proud to have them in our lives and be able to call them our friends.

We love you lots and lots Noah, you really are a superstar!!! ❤ 💛 💙 💜 💚

Sending you all lots of love and hugs, you did amazing!!!!! ✨✨✨

You can follow Noah’s story and support him by visiting Hugsfornoah here on Facebook or his website at www.hugsfornoah.co.uk

Love Laura and Dan xxxxx

MarkThreeMedia #TheBoyWithNoBrain #HugsForNoah

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As anyone who follows our blog will know, we have always been massive supporters of HugsForNoah… Noah’s mummy was a friend of ours way before her pregnancy with Noah so we have followed this journey from the very beginning.

Little Noah was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and was not expected to survive birth as the medical professions thought his illness too severe and his parents were advised to plan his funeral while Noah was still in the womb. Noah has exceeded all expectations and is now four years old and continues to amaze everyone with his progress.

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His story has been recorded by Mark Three Media to show the advances his health has made, along with the intensive work his family put in to make his life the best it can possibly be. The documentary will follow every day life in Noah’s family along with a few surprises along the way.

I don’t know about YOU but WE cannot wait to see Noah on television… he is a true miracle baby, an inspirational little boy who is growing into an amazing and intelligent young man who is a pleasure to have in our lives.

Noah has an amazing family and support network, without whom he would not be the fantastic little boy he is. Noah we love you very very much ❤

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📺 Set your tv recorders to RECORD “Extraordinary People: The Boy With No Brain” on Channel 5 at 10:00pm on Tuesday 11th October 2016 to make sure you don’t miss this fantastic programme showing Noah’s resilience and amazing progress!!! 📺

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Of course, the haters are going to hate… the family have already received some very nasty and uncalled for messages from people who ‘claim’ to understand what they are going through. People who claim that the television programme has been inaccurately named – the name “Extraordinary People: The Boy With No Brain” was NOT chosen by the family.

The point of Noah’s documentary is to outline the complexity of his health problems, the fantastic development he continues to make each day and everything his family does to help him to lead the best possible life. Noah was born with only 2% of his brain showing on hospital scans and in July 2015 an MRI scan showed is brain had developed to almost ‘normal’ which is a remarkable progression.

Even before the programme has been aired, the family have been accused of scaremongering which is exactly the opposite of what the programme is intended to do… the programme (which has not yet been aired, and I have not yet seen) will show the story of Noah’s life with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, explaining that prior to Noah’s birth his family were advised that he would not survive, they were advised by medical professionals that if their son did survive he would be severely disabled however Noah goes on to inspire and amaze both his family, friends and the medical professionals with the progress he continues to make.

Just remember, this little boy and his family mean the world to us so the minute you upset them you are also upsetting us along with their many thousands of supporters.

Surely everyone should be looking at the positivity and awareness which will come from sharing Noah’s story?

Look at how this FACTUAL programme covers all aspects of Noah’s health including input from medical professionals across the country!!

This is a story of hope and positivity. This story shows that regardless of the diagnosis or outlook you are given, with love, commitment, support and determination anything is possible!!!

Handcrafted Exploding Box Keepsake – Special Memories

One of our lovely regular customers recently contacted me looking for something special to give to her Mum who is terminally ill.

She was looking for a handcrafted exploding box keepsake which could incorporate some of her Mum’s special holiday destinations, favourite musicians, tv programmes, etc so we decided that the twelve internal sides of the exploding box would have photographs of each of her Mum’s likes including her favourite flowers, cream tea, cruise ship holidays and a photograph of her great-grandsons.

The recipient is a lover of cream tea and loves to bake cakes for her family, hence our chosen centre piece of cup and saucer (she only drinks from a china cup and saucer, no mugs for this lady!).

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Our customer received her order yesterday and is over the moon with the finished piece, so I just hope that her Mum loves it too 💖

I am quite pleased with how this keepsake has turned out and would love to hear your feedback.

xxx Laura xxx

Wordless Wednesday – Our Etsy Shop Has ReOpened

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