While many of my Hebridean small business friends do have social media and their own websites, some of them use Etsy to sell you their stunning handmade wares. I thought I’d share a few of them here to give you some Christmas ideas. I’m always amazed by the level of talent available on our Hebrides islands. I hope this guide will help you support our local businesses and maybe you’ll discover some small business you didn’t know we had here.
My top 8 Christmas gift ideas from the Hebrides on Etsy
Lewisian Nice Harris Tweed Decor and Hair Accessories
Rainbows, hearts and Harris Tweed – the perfect combo
You can’t go wrong with rainbows, hearts or Harris Tweed and Sarah’s heart garlands always catch my eye. What a fabulous gift for someone who has everything, especially good taste.
Sollas Books – beautifully bound in Harris Tweed
Perfectly bound notebooks – in every way
I had the pleasure of visiting Corinna’s workshop in North Uist while on a family holiday some years ago. Seeing the whole hand-binding process was fascinating and the quality of her work will leave you speechless. And you can never have too many notebooks!
Coll Pottery – and so much more
Not just pots!
Coll Pottery used to be just that when I first came to Lewis but since Alan took over it is so much more.
You can’t go wrong with a new piece of jewellery for a gift and with each of these unique glass pendants your gift is going to stand out from the crowd.
Designs on Benbecula – inspired by our beautiful beaches
Jewellery befitting of our landscape
Handmade and unique from biwa pearls and silver…and adjustable too so it will fit anyone.
This stunning choker from Deborah from Designs on Benbecula is a gift to wow both when given and every time it’s worn.
Loch Sealg Designs, handmade for you
Made to order and worth it
Katie has several designs to choose from her own fashion collection and this green agate caught my eye (perhaps because I married an Irishman).
Hallmarked and handmade and if you’re not a green person then Katie will happily do the same design in your gem of choice.https://tidd.ly/3tciTra
EJay Design – when you’re not sure which island
Have them all!
You might not be able to have the whole world in your hands but you can hold the entire Scottish Hebrides in your hands with this gorgeous teatowel from Ejay Designs.
Eilidh does the most amazing watercolour illustrations of our islands and further afield. If teatowels aren’t your thing then check out her maps, they have gold highlights!
The Herring Girl Posters
Memories of Stornoway
If the whole Hebrides is too much, or you have fond memories of somewhere in particular then take a look at Lauren’s vintage posters.
This one of Stornoway with the famous Lews Castle is a favourite of mine with many a Sunday afternoon family walk taken round its grounds.
Hair Accessories for everyone
I can vouch for Catherine Anne’s hair accessories as my girls have been wearing these for years.
At Mamayana you’ll also find Mother and Daughter sets which would be a lovely idea at this Christmas time of sharing.
Our Scottish Hebrides are filled to the herring gills with talent and I’ve only shown a handful of Christmas ideas from Etsy here . I’d love to know what you choose please let me know in the comments below.
Looking for something last minute – you might want to check out Etsy’s top recommendations for last minute gifts
October is my favourite month of the year, and it all starts with World Postcard Day!
World Postcard Day is celebrated on October 1st every year to promote the use of postcards as a means of communication. It dates back to the first printed postcard in Austria in 1869. On this day, people send postcards to friends and family to keep the tradition of handwritten communication alive.
And you can even put a special postmark sticker on your postcards to ‘mark’ the occasion.
My childhood October memories are (mostly) fond ones of the playground construction of the annual den.
The only play equipment in our school was a tree swing, some planks of wood and a few old tyres. But if you stuff the middle of tyres with damp autumn leaves and then prop them up with old planks of wood while filling in the gaps with more damp dead leaves you get a fantastic den. 🍁🍂🍁🍂
Then you get arguments over whose den it is and who’s allowed in but we’ll gloss over that bit 🙄
There are many other reasons why I love October, but the main ones are jigsaw puzzles, cozy nights in, socks, and hot chocolate.
October Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles are great for relaxation. As the days get shorter and colder, solving puzzles can be the perfect way to unwind. It’s a fun and calming activity to piece together the puzzle, revealing the image bit by bit. It’s also a wonderful way to spend quality time with loved ones, working together to complete the puzzle.
I really enjoy October because it’s perfect for cozy nights in. When the weather gets colder, there’s nothing better than snuggling up on the couch with a soft blanket and enjoying a good book or movie (and of course Strictly is in full swing!). I love listening to the raindrops on the window, lighting a scented candle, and feeling all warm and cozy. It’s a time to relax, take it easy, and appreciate the little things in life.
Socks are also a big part of October don’t you think?
As the weather gets colder, it’s time to break out the warm and fuzzy bamboo socks. There’s something very comforting about slipping your feet into a pair of soft, thick socks on a chilly morning. They keep your toes toasty warm, and add a little bit of fun and personality to your outfit.
And on Saturday nights when Strictly is on, light the fire and toast your tootsies while you indulge in all the glitz.
Of course, no cozy night in would be complete without a steaming mug of hot chocolate. October is the perfect time to indulge in this decadent treat. Whether you prefer it plain and simple or loaded up with whipped cream and marshmallows, there’s no denying the comfort and joy that a good cup of hot chocolate can bring. It’s a little bit of sweetness in a world that can sometimes be bitter.
October is a month that holds a special place in my heart. It’s a time for jigsaw puzzles, cozy nights in, socks, and hot chocolate…and the beginning of Strictly escapism. A time to slow down, unwind, and enjoy the simple things in life. It’s a time to be grateful for the warmth and comfort that we have and to appreciate the beauty of the changing seasons.
What does October mean to you? Leave a comment and let me know.
Originally designed as a set of stickers for one of my monthly Subscription boxes I expanded the design a little to suit cushions and prints for the Wraptious competition.
There are 5 different designs, all from a similar colour scheme but with different colour highlights and different flowers. From poppies to bluebells, cornflowers to daisies these will brighten up your home and bring a bit of the great outdoors indoors.
You can see all the cushion designs together on the Wraptious Facebook page, please give the post a ‘like’. Or visit the Wraptious website where you can vote for each individual design. You can even buy a cushion or a canvas/print. Not only will your likes, votes and sales count as votes towards the competition, they will also make me smile. And I will do a happy dance!
Visit the Wraptious website where you can buy each individual design as a cushion, print or canvas. (Please send me a photo of your cushion in your home, I’d love to see it in place!)
About the Wraptious Design Competition
Artists and Photographers are invited to submit their work to the Wraptious website during the competition. There is no theme or preferred medium. Your work could be turned into a beautiful giftware range. It’s free to enter, open to all artists globally and any age. You own copyright always, earn commission and it’s the only time we take on new artists. 6 artists with the most points are automatically shortlisted, while a further 6 are chosen by us. Give it a go! 🙂 (or please vote for my designs!)
I’d love your feedback on the designs in the comments below. Which is your favourite? Which would best suit your colour scheme at home or would you love a mix of 2, 3 or more designs? Let me know below.
So this week, while we’re all in awe of the blooms at Chelsea I thought I’d do a little focus on some of our favourite floral artists.
Claire is well known for her coastal and floral designs, has been a firm favourite throughout Phoenix Trading and Flamingo Paperie and I am delighted to find her cards are available through the Eco-friendly Card Company too so her cards will be available to you for years to come at Cards and Gift Wrap.
It’s not surprising that when most of the 18 species of penguins live in cold, icy parts of our Southern Hemisphere that we often think of penguins at Christmas time. World Penguin Day is a chance to learn more about these feathered, flightless wonders and how they can inspire us all year round.
Penguins have some endearing qualities that make them great for cards and gifts.
Penguins mate for life.
They can recognise each other’s smell. When you consider that the largest penguin colony in the world is located in Antarctica and has over 1.5 million Adelie penguins – that’s quite some smell! But their commitment to each other makes them the perfect subject of a gift for a loved one.
Of course there’s a serious side to World Penguin Day. Like many animals penguins are extremely vulnerable to climate change. You can adopt your own penguin and help WWF monitor their status and support campaigns to ensure they continue to inspire us for years to come.
Happy World Penguin Day, I hope it’s slightly warmer than Antartica where you are!
What will your Royal Coronation Celebration look like? I think Eilean Siar (the Outer Hebrides), where I am, might be the only council that isn’t having a bank holiday for the coronation – or perhaps you can tell me otherwise? But at least with it being on a Saturday that won’t stop us having a little tea party.
During the coronation of King George IV in 1821, the King’s waistcoat was so tight that he had to be cut out of it.
In the 17th century, it was believed that the monarch had the power to cure people of scrofula, a type of tuberculosis. As a result, the coronation ceremony included a “touching ceremony” where the monarch would touch the affected area of people’s skin to cure them.
At the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the Archbishop of Canterbury accidentally knocked the Queen on the head with the anointing spoon.
At the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, the congregation shouted “God save the King” so loudly that it caused a nearby tower to collapse.
During the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, a boy named William Jones snuck into Westminster Abbey and hid in the organ loft. He remained there for the entire ceremony and was discovered only after everyone had left.
I’d love to hear your plans for the Coronation – inspire me with your recipes and menu plans in particular in the comments below.
Are you Volunteering for the Big Help Out?
A couple of my children are volunteering at a local woodland pulling up trees (not as bad as it sounds, it’s the ones that have seeded themselves through a boardwalk they are pulling) and I’ll be taking my Cubs and Beavers for a beach clean, all part of the Big Help Out.
Are your Coronation Decorations up to Royal Standard?
No Coronation party would be complete without some decorations and luckily we have just the thing to make your street fit for a King to visit!
20 pieces of Royal pageantry to colour in and string up to help decorate your party.
Not had the time to polish your tiara? Don’t worry you can make a new one!
Etsy can be a great place to find Mothers Day gift ideas that little bit unusual, special, artistic and unique. Perhaps you’re looking for artistic ideas for something made by hand or personalised or just want to know that you’re supporting small businesses with your purchase.
Top Mothers Day Gift Ideas from Small Artistic Businesses
This brilliant mummy’s wine gift is perfect as a wine holder for mummy’s grapes! An ideal gift for mummy this wine butler / wine caddy is made from solid oak and finished in oil to enhance and protect. Such a unique gift for wine lover, would make a beautiful centrepiece at a party too!
Beautiful curved and smooth edges hold two glasses included in the price. Unique engraved design on one side and comes with two standard wine glasses.
I didn’t know where to start with IAmRachelShop as Rachel has so many beautiful understated jewellery designs but I remember my mum teaching me to make daisy chains so this stood out for me as a Mother’s Day gift.
Pretty flower pendant in a daisy style made by firing white and yellow enamel onto a copper floral shape.
This flower necklace is a beautiful piece of nature jewelry and would make a lovely gift for a gardener or flower lover.
This architectural art print has been inspired by the quaint and unique buildings on the North Yorkshire coast of England, the place Jessica Hogarth is happy to call home!
The linear illustrations are typical of her artistic style, and once they have been hand drawn, she digitally enhanced them with pops of colour for print.
An ideal gift for anybody that has an appreciation of British architecture and likes unique artwork. It could also make a great housewarming, wedding or engagement present as well as birthday gift for males and females alike.
This could either be a gift or what you use to wrap your Mother’s Day gift.
And yes you might have seen this on my website too as I am also on Etsy!
Strong, sticky and very very pretty the bees paper tape like all our tapes is 100% recyclable and totally plastic free.
All these gift ideas were chosen by me because I know the people behind the products. Many of them I’ve met personally or I’ve come across them on social media and got to know them and can see how hard they work to make these beautiful creations.
When you buy from a small business they really do do a happy dance but you also know you are getting something personally made that has had a lot of love and effort poured into it. Your Mother’s Day gift will be truly special and appreciated.
Disclaimer – there are some affiliate links in this post and I may get a small commission if you buy but this doesn’t affect the price you pay or the quality and love that has gone in to each item!
Mothers Day is all about the card right? Choosing a card can be hard enough but what should you write in it? Do you go all sentimental or do you feel that a more down-to-earth verse is appropriate?
If you’re really lucky you’ll find a card that has the right image on the front and a perfect verse inside but the chances of the two matching your needs perfectly are remote and that is why so many cards are now blank inside for your own message.
But What Should I Write in a Mothers Day Card??
The good news is that if you find it difficult to express yourself in verse there are some lovely Mothers Day cards that have a beautiful thoughtful message on the front of the card. Leaving you to keep it simple on the inside and just say ‘I love you’ or ‘thank you for everything’. As a mum to hear my children say ‘thank you’ means the world, I can’t be alone in thinking it doesn’t happen very often!
Keep it simple, keep it short and keep it honest.
Mothers (I know from experience!) just want to feel appreciated and loved. To know that everything they sacrifice for you hasn’t gone unnoticed.
All this will be yours when you place your end-of year order for your last-minute Christmas cards, wrap and gifts from my online Flamingo Paperie shop. We are sending all orders received from today by courier to guarantee*(as much as possible!) that your order will not be delayed by the current Royal Mail industrial action.
If you’re already organised for Christmas, think of all those birthdays that get overlooked during the Christmas festivities. After all, who needs two major celebrations in December? The 5,591,666 people (180,376 a day) who have birthdays that get overshadowed by Christmas every single year…!
Who do you know with a December birthday? Choose 10 of our greeting cards for just £1.90 each (save £5) and make someone’s (birth)day!
For National Nest Box Week we’re giving you the chance to win!
FIRST PRIZE A beautiful cedar nest box, a packet of 18 ‘Chunky Dumplings’, and a dozen of our bestselling greeting cards, featuring a flock of fabulous, feathered friends (Worth over £60)
2 SECOND PRIZES A dozen of our bestselling bird-inspired greeting cards (Worth £22.80)
6 RUNNER UP PRIZES Half a dozen of our bestselling bird-inspired greeting cards (Worth £14.40)
HOW TO WIN! To be in with a chance, submit an original photo of a bird/birds in your neighbourhood, an original artwork, write an original bird-inspired poem, or share an original anecdote. We will put the shortlisted submissions online for you, our 17,000+ strong Customer Club members, alongside our 2000 Partners, to vote for the winning entries.
In case you need any persuuasion – just look at this!
Details of the prizes The nest box is made exclusively from long-lasting cedar sourced from expertly managed Canadian forests. The timber ages naturally and attractively and, at 19mm thickness, gives excellent insulation and strength, tempting generations of birds into your garden. This beautiful box is ruggedly built using Canadian cedar from managed forests that weathers attractively and lasts for years without the need for preservatives or varnishing. Ideal for Great, Blue, Marsh and Coal Tits; Redstart; Nuthatch; Pied Flycatcher; House and Tree Sparrow Or, you could choose an open-fronted version more suitable for Wrens, Robins and Flycatchers Chunky Dumplings are a ‘better kind of fat ball’!
All submissions must be your original work. The initial shortlist will be selected by the three directors and the final winners will be decided by our Partners and Customer Club members.
The deadline for submissions is midnight, UK time, Monday 28th February. The shortlist for voting will be made available on 7th March and the winners will be notified during week commencing 21st March. By submitting an entry, you agree that Flamingo Paperie may use your submission for the purposes of publicity. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.