Do you Instagram?

For several years, I ignored Instagram (silly me!) and, now that I’ve started to play there, I have a feeling that the real buzz is over.  Typical!  However, many millions of people still visit the site every day, so there is still interesting content out there.

So, what kind of things do I like to see on Instagram?  Well, sometimes it’s nice to follow a real person and see what they’re like in real life.

Happy Valentine’s Day, @MichelleObama. You make every day and every place better.

A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama) on

OK, I haven’t followed Barack Obama or Michelle – but, who knows!

Then, of course, there are the cute dog or cat photos (and, believe me there are millions of them!) so I’m always looking to see something different –

I loved watching the Queen walking through her gardens with David Attenborough, talking about the Commonwealth Canopy – what a project!

Travel photos are another rich area to explore – by jove, there are some amazing photographers out there.

Photo by @lochgmarcp #wigwamtravels

A post shared by Wigwam Digital (@wigwam.digital) on

Just wow – the view is spectacular – and some of us won’t have the oomph to find views like this. :O

So, finally, a little bit of self-interest here – there are also products to be found on instagram – and, on some of them, it’s possible to click through to the website and buy then and there!  So, as you would expect, I have been testing this out in the last few days so I include one of my own images, to see what reaction there will be to it – purely in the interest of self-satisfaction, you understand.

Believe me, this selection is just the tip of the iceberg – and some of the photos are things you probably don’t want to see or hear or read about.  But if you don’t tip your toe in the water, you’re never going to learn.  Enjoy!

Wedding China

As the wedding season gets into full swing, there is obviously a great rush to find the perfect gift for the happy couple.  I recently came across a cake plate which was part of a set of china given to me a long time ago now –

Cake Plate by Noritake

So, what kind of gift is suitable these days for young couples as they approach their special day?

We have just added into our inventory, two different sets of mugs by Dunoon China – and maybe one of these sets would be perfect as your selection for the bride and groom.


This set of mugs is entitled “Samarkand”.  Samarkand is a city in Uzbekistan known for it mosques and mausoleums, of which display some of the most intricate and mesmerising tile work found on the Silk Road. This art is found in beautiful detail throughout this collection of mugs from designer Marlee Fletcher and printed on the highest quality fine bone China from Dunoon. Geometric, three pronged shaped tiles, intertwined within one another across the mugs body effortlessly.

 

Fine bone china again – but this time, Dunoon’s artist has captured the look and feel of a day at the beach.  These charming mugs designed by Rebecca Hogg for Dunoon feature a beautiful blue and white colour scheme. Decorated with seaside scenes, these simple but charming pieces will look lovely on a kitchen counter or breakfast tray.

Silly Saturday!

smallsteiffrabbit

This adorable, cute little Steiff rabbit found it’s way outside to check out the quality of the miniature carrots ….  It’s actually on its way to a customer but needed some breakfast before the journey 😉

#sillysaturday

Corporate Gifts

Little did we think when we went into semi-retirement that we would be asked to fulfill a corporate gifts order – however, we’re definitely up for a challenge, especially when it means that we get to promote Scottish craftsmen and women.  In all, we commissioned work from half a dozen of Scotland’s best silversmiths for an order which had to be delivered in January 2016.  It all went to plan, although we were a little anxious to get the products made and back from the Edinburgh Assay Office in time for delivery.

Celtic silver and leather bracelet
Three Nornes Silver and Leather Bracelet

We would love to talk to you if you are interested in sourcing Scottish gifts or jewellery for your DMC event – we can be contacted on 07955 450739.

In addition, over the years we have built up some great relationships with gift and jewellery companies so we would be happy to search out that perfect gift for your event.  Please challenge us!

The perfect system?

I had it all set up – the perfect place to take photographs of products as I add them on to our site. The pictures were easy to edit to make the mugs, leather goods, etc, stand out against a white background. It’s taken me years to find something which really suited the way I work. I even use my iPhone for the photography because it has inbuilt features that let me edit it easily and quickly before it transfers to my pc.

I have been using a second-hand jewellery display cabinet as my light box because it came already fitted with sparkly white LED lights and cool-white fluorescent tubes diffused behind a white acrylic filter.  The whole thing worked really well until the transformer for the LED lights stopped working and one of the cool white fluorescent tubes started strobing.  Aaaargh – now I’m going to have to spend some time finding the spare parts because it looks as if it was a custom design and getting the bits and pieces isn’t going to be easy.  It’s definitely going to be worth it to find them, though, because, as I say, it was the perfect system!

Semi-retirement!

It’s official – we’ve retired from the shop in Helensburgh – best wishes to Bill, Christine and family who are now running Argyll Chandlers Ltd from our former premises at 89 West Clyde Street.  It’s been a blast, being in business in the town for 26 years but we’re taking the foot off the gas a little bit and starting to enjoy our retirement.

So, I hear you ask, why did you mention semi-retirement??

Well, we’re still selling online on the internet – it would have been too much of a shock to stop work altogether – and that will allow us to do some work most days while giving us the freedom to have days out, work in the garden and catch up on friends and family – but not necessarily in that order.

Here’s to keeping in touch with our online friends and family!