Tuesday 11 November 2014

Presents with a personal touch

Is there anything quite as nice or as touching as a gift that's a) just perfect for a particular person, and / or b) something that's unique and handmade?

I don't think so either.

I like to put a lot of thought into the gifts I buy and I really do subscribe to the belief that it's better to give than receive. I love this time of year for many reasons but now more than ever, I will browse online and flick through Christmas magazines and gift guides for present inspiration. I love it when you find something that's 'just right' for someone. And if that someone happens to be me sometimes, then that's great too.

Last year, being on maternity leave, I spent a long time researching new ideas and different places to shop online to get my gifts for friends and family and Not On The High Street was a main source of inspiration for presents and for Christmas decorations.

This year, I've found somewhere else.

I am a frustrated crafter - I love making things but my skillset is limited, my patience more often so and I haven't undertaken a project since last Christmas (I'll be re-sharing some of my Christmas crafting soon) - so I have a deep appreciation and love for all things handmade.

So, I was delighted to discover Izabela Peters. An online shop filled with handmade items which can be personalised to make them even more special, I just love everything about it.

Using quality textiles and fun prints, the specialist team hand-make everything from their boutique workshop in the North West and what's amazing to me is how much things can be personalised and how quickly too.

I chose a bespoke iPad Mini case in a pastel zigzag print so that I'd have something to keep it safe when taking it out and about (which I often do, in my Cath Kidston busy bag, for when I might want something to read or watch or need a distraction for Ethan).

I also chose to have it personalised with my blog name as a way of making it even more personal to me, and seeing as I use my iPad a lot for my blogging.

And oh my, is the finished item something quite special indeed.

I love prints, I love stationary and I love handmade items so this pretty much is the best thing I could have chosen for myself.

The pattern is really nice, with a contrasting coffee polka dot interior, it's well padded so my iPad is sure to be tucked away safely and the finish makes it hard-wearing and easy to wipe clean if needs be.

I just love the personalised element and will proudly carry this around with me - it just looks so different and unique. I like the clash of technology with handmade. Perhaps I could even pass it off as my own handiwork? No? Ah well!

For £29.99, including personalisation, I think this is a great case as it's good quality and being handmade, it's great value. Even more so when the team are really responsive, making a tweak to the design following my feedback and sending this out within a day of my order. This really impressed me and goes to show that it's the smaller, unique businesses that care the most.

It was hard to choose an item and I very nearly chose a stocking for Ethan, a pump bag or some handmade Christmas bunting. Gotta love a bit of bunting! We have bunting all over the house and Christmas is no exception.

Last year I bought a Santa sack, personalised with Ethan's name, but if I had found Izabela Peter's sooner, I would have chosen one of their options as they have such a classic, vintage look about them.

If you're looking for a special gift that you can personalise for a friend or family member, or something for your little one which is just for them, then I'd definitely recommend you take a look as there's lots of inspiration to be had for Christmas or birthdays.

Or you could just be selfish and choose something just for you. I won't judge.

* Thank you to Izabela Peters for sending me my beautiful iPad Mini case. It was made just for me and I was really impressed with the quality of the product, the speed of delivery and just how lovely the team were. You deserve the 'TBM Loves' badge of honour!

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