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Showing posts from 2016

Stylish gift ideas for homemade Christmas Crackers

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I don't know about you, but things are starting to feel very festive down here at Redside. Advent calendar doors are being opened, the "Sleeps 'til Santa" list has several nights crossed off of it, and preparations around the steading for the big day are well underway.

At this time of year my artistic temperament really comes to its fore. I just can't contain it! The abundance of natural materials from the surrounding woodlands, combined with found objects during walks with my pooches along the shoreline, are perfect for creating homemade Yuletide decorations.

Something else that I like to hand make are Christmas crackers. These are relatively easy to put together, especially if you download and print out one of hundreds of templates that can be found online! The fab thing about making Christmas Crackers yourself is that you can stuff them full of your own festive goodies. I think it’s much nicer to put in bespoke gifts, rather than receive cheap offerings which …

St. Andrew's Day Gifts with a hint of Scotland

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Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, - both of which are US imports - there’s only one date between now and Christmas that really matters to us here in Scotland. That’s St Andrew’s Day, our national day on the 30th of November.

Many people are unaware that in 2006 the Scottish Parliament passed the St Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007. This designated the day as an official public holiday. If the 30th of November falls at the weekend, then the following Monday is a bank holiday instead.

Although most of us seem to go to work on St Andrew’s Day - Boo-Hoo! - there are still plenty of events taking place to entertain folk. Out here in East Lothian we’re home to The Saltire Festival from 24–30 November, which features a great selection of activities across the region. Do visit their webby for more info, and pop out if you can!

All this chat about St Andrew’s Day got me thinking about gifts that incorporated a hint of Scotland. Here’s what I found:

Tartan Hi-Tops




Immediately …

Gifts of Remembrance for Armistice Day

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Remember, remember the fifth of November. Gun powder, treason and plot! However Guy Fawkes Night and fireworks isn't the only historical event we commemorate this month.

November also includes Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. Often two separate dates when the nation, as a whole, stops for two minutes at eleven o'clock.
Time to remember the servicemen and women who lost their lives, or have been injured, in protecting the freedom and democracy that we all enjoy. Tragically this includes my Uncle Ian who was killed in battle at the tender age of 21, so sadly I never knew him. He was a gunner in World War Two and his plane was shot down over the sea.

I know that here in East Lothian many of our local villages will have a parade of some kind on Remembrance Sunday, and wreaths of poppies will be laid at their local war memorials.

I've previously had the privilege of working with two major Scottish charities who support ex-service personnel. I've assisted both in sourcin…

Introducing Branding Up for promotional gifts and personalised incentives

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Hello dharlinks! It’s Rhona Hartley, your promotional gifts and personalised incentives whizz here!

Don't know about you, but we’re well and truly in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness down here in East Lothian. So I thought I’d take the opportunity of the longer evenings to jot down a few lines and let you know what I’ve been up to.

As many of you know, back in 2013 I decided to leave the glam world of promotional gifts behind me to join hubby Allan’s up-cycling venture. I’d reached a point in my life where I wanted to indulge my artistic talents again and get all-creative. And UP-recycling certainly provided that for me!

Originally we were based in North Berwick, but relocated to the Merryhatton Garden Centre, where we had a fab time. Our bijou retail unit was divine, and we had such fun welcoming lots of happy visitors through our doors.


However old customers of mine kept contacting me to ask for help with their branded gifts. So I had to make a decision, and during t…