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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Wordless Wednesday: Recent Customer Orders

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Happy 60th Birthday Mum

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Today would be Mum’s 60th birthday but on 23rd February 2007 Mum was taken from our lives but there is never a day passes when she is not in our thoughts ๐Ÿ˜”

Happy birthday Mum, thank you for everything you ever did for me, everything you ever gave me, everything you said to me and being the best Mum I could have asked for. The biggest gift you ever gave me was life and the confidence, support and courage to face the world, regardless of what was thrown my way.

I will never forget the card I found in my suitcase when I was in Benidorm, a much needed holiday due to problems at work, it simply read:
“Don’t let the ba***rds get you down! Mum”
I still have that card, and that sentiment is always with me. Thank you Mum!!

“Every day become more like my Mother
And I couldn’t be prouder”

A lot has changed in the past nine years, there are so many differences in my life – I hope you would be proud of the choices I have made, the decisions and options, the walking away and starting afresh. I’m happy now but I always miss you ๐Ÿ’–

๐ŸŽ‰ ๐ŸŽˆ Happy 60th Birthday Mum!!! ๐ŸŽˆ ๐ŸŽ‰

Love you with all my heart, you are always in my thoughts xxxxx

Christine Thomson

Birthday wishes, sent to Heaven
from your family below
We miss and love you dearly
and we wanted you to know

Your birthday’s not forgotten
and your memory lives on
We celebrate the life you had
even though you’re gone

If we were given just one wish
one which could come true
We’d wish you back beside us
to spend this day with you

We will always love and miss you
and often shed a tear
Especially on your special day
today and every year

๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’–

๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’–

๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’–

๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’– ๐Ÿ’”ย ๐Ÿ’–

Exciting #HugsForNoah News!!!

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Anyone who follows our blog will know that we are huge supporters of #HugsForNoah… our friends little boy who was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

Noah with Miss Daisy

The family had their home renovated by DIYSOS a couple of years ago and the episode was first shown on BBC1 in August 2014:

#HugsForNoah BBC DIYSOS 28082014

I have just read the most amazing news on Noah’s mummy’s Facebook page this morning:

Shellybobbins:
“BBC1 31st March at 9pm Noah’s โ€ช#โ€ŽDIYSOSโ€ฌ Big Build WILL be on YAY

Amazing to be on BBC1 again they rang hubby a few weeks ago to ask and we said yes !!!!!!!! For us it’s about awareness

If your thinking of having a baby then please take folic acid B9 & B12 3 months before conception

If you already have neural tube defects in your family then you need a higher dosage and you can only get this from your doctor here’s some folic โ€ช#โ€ŽFactsโ€ฌ

http://www.gofolic.org.uk/facts please copy & paste this info & share this help us raise awareness โ€ช#โ€ŽHugsForNoahโ€ฌ โ€ช#โ€ŽTheBoyWhoGrewABrainโ€ฌ”

hugsfornoah on bbc1

How amazing is this that BBC1 have decided to re-broadcast the episode of DIYSOS featuring Noah Wall and his family – as Shelly has said, it is so important to raise awareness about the conditions which Noah has and also the importance of taking Folic Acid along with Vitamins B9 and B12 pre-conception and during pregnancy. This is something which needs as much awareness raised as possible and through Social Media and public speaking, this family are doing an amazing job of doing so ๐Ÿ™‚

We are incredibly proud of Rob, Shelly, Noah and their family and all that they continue to achieve throughout their campaigning and their own health difficulties. They truly are an amazing family and an honour to call our friends.

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Please share this post far and wide, tell your friends and loved ones, watch Noah’s DIYSOS episode on 31st March 2016 and help share the word on the importance of folic acid and vitamin B9 and B12!!!

Together we can support this amazing family in all that they do โค

Handcrafted New Baby Grandson Greeting Card

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A customer approached us to see if we could create a handcrafted greeting card for her to give to friends to celebrate the birth of their new baby grandson and here is what we came up with.

I have used an 8x8inch square card base, die cut circular layers before colouring this gorgeous Sugar Nellie digistamp image of a very realistic baby, this was mounted onto the coloured circle mats, before I added a layer of baby print paper to our card base, mounted the image and finished with the sentiment.

We can create a design like this for any occasion, this size of card costing just ยฃ3.25 plus postage.

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#HugsForNoah 3rd Annual Gala Dinner – 30th October 2015

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It’s that time of year again folks… a night to look forward to, an evening of amazingness not to be missed!!

It’s the third annual Hugs For Noah Gala Dinner ๐Ÿ˜€

Tickets are officially on sale for Noah’s gala dinner, it would be really wonderful to see all my friends come along to support Noah on Friday 30th October 2015.

Venue: The Halston Aparthotel, Carlisle.

The evening will start at 6.30pm until 1.30am and I am sure will prove to be another fantastic evening!!

Tickets are ยฃ48per person. To book your tickets, please go to www.hugsfornoah.co.uk then click donate and pay either through PayPal or credit card. Please leave your name and the names of those who are attending with you in the message (for your seating arrangements).

Dinner will be set menu.

As Noah is currently being filmed for a documentary, there will be media there on the night filming all that’s going on, it would be amazing to have lots of Noah’s friends, family and supporters in the video footage too ๐Ÿ™‚

On the night Noah will be launching his wheelchair giveaways and rocking with the wheelchair dancers – it really is a night not to be missed.

Noah with Miss Daisy

After routine scans during Shelly’s pregnancy it was discovered that Noah had sever Spina Bifida and wasย given little chance of survival at birth. ย Noah was born with just 2% of a supposedly normal brain tissue and has been blogged about since before his birth.

Noah’s parents set up HugsForNoah to both raise much needed funds to help provide for Noah’s future needs, as everything for a disabled child is so much moreย complex and in turn more expensive, but alsoย help raise awareness among would-be parentsย of the importance of taking folic acid at least 3 months before getting pregnant.

As a part of their campaign to raise awareness of the importance of Folic Acid pre-conception and during pregnancy, Noah is now an ambassador forย FolicAcidUk.

Folic Acid UK

This year Noah was invited to join the Music Man Project on-stage at the London Palladium as ambassador for their amazing organisation. On 21st June 2015 they performed the “Music Is Magic” show. I have taken two quotes from the Music Man Project’s website to give you a brief insight into their work:

“The Music Man Project provides a comprehensive range of music education services to enhance the quality and breadth of musical opportunities for all people, regardless of any learning disability, difficulty or special educational need.

As UKโ€™s first full-time music education service specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities, our core aim is to provide a high quality and enjoyable music education which leads to unique and inspirational performance opportunities for our students.”

“Experiencing the atmosphere and emotion of live music can develop skills and confidence in a fast and enjoyable way. Attending music concerts and taking part in music making with professional and amateur musicians is a fundamental feature of the Music Man Project.”

Noah at the Palladium

Noah’s modelling career recently began and all money earned through this will be used to buy fantastic ZipZac wheels just like Noah’s to donate to other small children who desperately need independence.

This photo was taken by Noah’s Mum on his first ever photoshoot for his new modelling career… you can clearly see the connection between Noah and the photographer and just how much difference their artificial lawn is making to Noah’s life and independence.

Noah's first modelling photoshoot

Noah Wall is an ambassador for the fantastic company Artificial Grass Limited and SIS Pitches, you can read about why they chose Noah on their website by clicking here.

Noah is now the Ambassador for the American brand (ZipZac) and the beginning of his journey as Ambassador will be launched on the night of his Gala Dinner. Noah has two of these amazing ZipZac wheelchairs to give away on the night, which will be donated from Noah to staff at the RVI Hospital Newcastle ward 1b. The story is a very touching one and will be shared at the gala dinner as to how this came about!

Noah’s Zipzac has made such an amazing difference to his life… he has so much more independence and enjoys doing his own things, he loves to dance in his wheels as you can see here:

Noah disco dancing

I am sure there will also be much, much more happening on the night and you’d be crazy to miss it!!!

Can’t wait to see you all on 30th October… Love you Noah, you are such an inspiration xxxxxx

Handcrafted Exploding Box Keepsake – Mum’s 50th Birthday

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This is a four inch cube, exploding box keepsake… handcrafted from three sheets of 12×12 inch card and layered using shades of lilac, yellow, green and printed card.

This has been decorated using co-ordinating diecuts from the same colours of card as the box in a ‘countryside’ theme for our customers Mum’s 50th Birthday with sentiment wording, flowers, butterflies and finished with a horse ornament in the middle.

Our exploding boxes are ยฃ10.00 including postage – this includes all elements, EXCEPT the central focal point which would be dependent on the item you wish to be included in the middle, in this case the horse ornament was ยฃ6.00.

Our exploding box keepsakes can be made for any occasion and can be embellished with a theme of your choice.

If you would like to discuss your personalised greetings card or keepsake requirements please email us at admin@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk or visit us ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions Website

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