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.

working_hours

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.

about-your-online-order

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

Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Twitter

Playing Is So Much Fun!!

It’s that time of year where I have taken two weeks annual leave from our business to kick back and relax, catch up with friends and family and do a few bits for myself.

The last few days I’ve been having lots of messy fun with lots of new craft supplies and techniques… Cosmic Shimmer sprays, Dylusions sprays, Tattered Angels sprays, Tim Holtz sprays and Distress Ink pads.

I have been trying out lots of different paper types, different techniques that I have seen on Youtube, etc and I’ve absolutely loved it!!

I have been spritzing, spraying, inking and splodging, stamping and stencilling and generally making a mess with paper, paint, inks, packaging, etc and it’s been fab!!! 😊

Doing something different from the norm, something that “I” want to do, rather than that someone else wants me to do, has been so refreshing and I feel like I’ve really got my crafty mojo back for when Cards And Candles For All Occasions re-opens on Monday 18th July 2016!!

Here are some examples of what I have been working on over the last few days 🙂

The mess is definitely worth it!!  A lot of these just look quite messy but it shows what my mind looks like pretty well!!  A bit of a jumbled crazy space!!

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Merry Christmas Everyone – live, laugh and love!!

Christmas is about love

As Christmas Day quickly comes around
And family all come rushing
We’re bound to gain an extra pound
With all the cakes, sweeties and stuffing

It’s time to buy yourself a treat
While your family all sit on your favourite seat
Browse our albums, see our stock
If you’d like to order we’d love to talk

We have candles and candle holders
Beautiful scents as they smoulder
Quotations and lyrics in bespoke frames
Pretty themed frames and freestanding names

We can create something personalised
An item to treasure which you’ll know what it means
All of our items are reasonably priced
Something pretty to evoke your dreams

Have a wonderful, happy and loving Christmas
A prosperous and fulfilling New Year
Making lots of fun family memories
Which bring lots of laughter, perhaps a little tear

We wish for you love, happiness, prosperity during this Christmas and following into the New Year. May 2015 bring you everything that you wish for and bring lots of happiness to you and your families.

Lots of love, Laura and Gordon
Cards And Candles For All Occasions
Badger’s Woodcrafts

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Silent Sunday – Mum To Be #MumToBe #SilentSunday

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Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

#HugsForNoah #DIYSOS is on #BBC1

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It’s official… at long last the BBC home makeover show #DIYSOS featuring the amazing work on the #HugsForNoah family home is being aired on BBC1!!

Have you seen the DIY SOS: The Big Build – Cumbria advert on the BBC as yet? No, well here is a sneaky peek on YouTube!!

I am guessing that you are all aware of baby Noah’s story but for those of you who are not, then please watch this short video which explains Noah’s health condition:

We first met Noah’s mummy @Shellibobbins via Twitter in 2010 and here is a blog post we wrote explaining why we support this amazing little boy and his family!!

>Click Here< Cards And Candles For All Occasions supports #HugsForNoah – Do You?

Wednesday 27th August 2014 saw the launch of the new #HugsForNoah website which is with huge thanks to Gingerweb Design and Bonnita Graphics – I think you will all agree that Noah’s brand new website looks fantastic!!! What a great job on a very important website for a very special little boy 🙂

By visiting www.hugsfornoah.co.uk you can read about baby Noah’s story, his family’s daily struggle and all the progress Noah makes on a daily basis. You can also shop for #HugsForNoah merchandise all of which gives a donation directly to this amazing charity.

Cards And Candles For All Occasions are very proud to support #HugsForNoah and to enable us to help while doing something we love, we created a special range of #HugsForNoah handcrafted candles… these are available to view and purchase through Noah’s website or by visiting our website directly at
“#HugsForNoah on Cards And Candles For All Occasions”

So set your recorders, programme your TiVo/Sky+ and get your tissues ready to watch a very emotional episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build in Cumbria on

THURSDAY 28TH AUGUST 2014 at 20:00 (8:00pm).

Tivo #HugsForNoah 28082014

We will definitely be tuning in and the TiVo is already set.

xxx Love you loads Noah xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions’ Website

Badger’s Woodcrafts Website

Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook

Badger’s Woodcrafts on Facebook

We’re in Scotland – April 2014

We are currently on holiday in Scotland, a week of celebrations as it was Gordon’s birthday and also the fourth birthday of http://www.cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

We have family visiting from New Zealand too. We’re all staying with my Dad in East Kilbride… five of us in the flat where Dad normally lives alone. It’s chaos but fun 🙂

We have another week in Scotland then we’ll be back home and back to work. In the meantime here are a few random photos from the week so far.

Hope everyone is well and we’ll be back soon.

Love Laura and Gordon xxx

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Kidsgrove Victorian Market – 30th November 2013

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Tomorrow we will be at Kidsgrove Town Hall for their annual Victorian Christmas market… there will be lots of opportunity for Christmas shopping, treating yourselves and supporting local charities including Staffordshire SANDS.

We know for certain that the following will have stalls:

1. Cards And Candles For All Occasions – www.facebook.com/CardsAndCandlesForAllOccasions

2. Badger’s Woodcrafts – www.facebook.com/BadgersWoodcrafts

3. Felt Sew Great – www.facebook.com/FeltSewGreat

4. Kelly’s Enchanted Castle – www.facebook.com/KellysEnchantedCastle

5. Staffordshire SANDS – www.facebook.com/staffordshiresands

and lots, lots more

Come and see us, say hello and join in the festive fun at:

Kidsgrove Town Hall (Victoria Hall)
Liverpool Road
Kidsgrove
Stoke on Trent
ST7 4EL

Saturday 30th November 2013

This event is open from 10:00am until 4:00pm

At this event there will be Santa’s Grotto, Victorian Tearoom, Handmade local products (including us!!), Traditional and Vintage stalls, Dress Up Competition and lots of festive entertainment.

Come along and SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES and join us at this fantastic event… can’t wait to see you all!!

xxx Lots of love from Laura and Gordon xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions – website

Badger’s Woodcrafts – website