The Mystery in Whispers of Spring - Part 1

Amanda Coen

Hello there,

I love giving thoughtful gifts. Do you too? At the very least I try. They should be relevant and even meaninfgful to the people they are for. That's not always an easy thing to figure out and worse, great gifts are not always easy to find either.

I have tried to create a beautiful gift guide where you can find thoughtful gifts with particular things in mind to narrow down the search not for everyone in the world but for my particular customers. 
The detection has been done in preparation for my recent exclusive Whispers of Spring handmade gift guide and now there will be more detecting. Yes, the work has been completed and the results are compiled and listed. However, some of the jury has yet to vote! That’s the order of things when a new gift guide goes live. The search for clues goes on & on.

Did you answer 'light weight', 'birds', 'flowers', 'nature', 'blue' & 'green'? Click the image for more options in different colours too!

Little Bird Blooming Boho Earrings in Blue by Lapanda Designs - Parade Handmade
'Little Bird Blooming Boho Earrings' in Blue, by Lapanda Designs - Blooming Florals Collection

The mysterious business of creating gift guides.

The business of creating gift guides is more than a little mysterious, let me tell you. First and foremost you have got to be nosey. Ask a lot of questions. It’s crucial to ask about lots of things to find out what your customers would actually like from you. Not from the next shop but from you particularly. There really is no point in popping things into collections that customers have absolutely no interest in at all but you thought they were ‘nice’ and said to yourself ‘sure I love them and anyway I could give them away as presents if nobody wants them.’ You have got to try to find out what people actually wish from you. People are individuals. It's good to observe & to respect that.

Would you wear a beret? Try clicking the image for more choices!

Boho Slouchy Beret in blue with lace - embroidered heart and two paw prints by Amanda - Parade Handmade
'Boho Slouchy Beret in blue with lace' - embroidered heart and two paw prints by Amanda - Parade Handmade

Things my customers might like in Springtime.

To this end my Exclusive Whispers of Spring Handmade Gift Guide is directed. It is a guide to the things that my customers might like in Springtime. Things they have said they would like to see and things they would possibly need. The colours and styles in each collection have been deduced based on clues from the answers to many questions asked over the last few years through social media channels, newsletter emails, in transactional emails to customers and by verbal means . In some collections I’ve gone nice and wide with a broad selection of favourite floral themed gifts taken from the whole of Parade Handmade.

Take for example my ‘Floral Gifts’ collection which you will recognise from the cover with the fun ‘Flower Garden Quirky Handmade Tea Cosy’, by Shoreline. I love this ‘Floral Gifts’ collection as it showcases a selection of quirky and unusual floral themed gifts from floral style jewellery and hats to original paintings and much more. 

Pretty wool shoulder bag in soft grey & lemon yellow. Try clicking the image!

Recycled Wool Shoulder Bag in Grey and Yellow by Shoreline - Parade Handmade
'Recycled Wool Shoulder Bag in Grey and Yellow', by Shoreline - A luxurious roomy vintage style bag giving a nod to boho with a beautiful floral brooch detail, lined in pink floral fabric & very comfortable to carry. Dreamy.

They all seem to love gardening or nature.

My customers and creative enthusiasts seem to love gardening, flowers, animals and nature. Perhaps they are not all gardening enthusiasts. A little like myself. I adore beautiful gardens, flowers, animals and nature but I am no expert at gardening for sure. I like to ‘muck in’ from time to time though if I am needed. Not everyone is equal of course but these seem to be the recurring themes. There are more too if I look a little closer. Practicality is a favoured attribute amongst my customers when choosing gifts. This deeper dive is reflected in other more specific collections.

Consider Lucky Horseshoes by Liffey Forge. Try clicking the image!
Recycled Mounted Lucky Horseshoe Key Rack by Liffey Forge - Parade Handmade
Recycled Mounted Lucky Horseshoe Key Rack by Liffey Forge 
Don’t let the whimsical concept of ‘luck’ or ‘Lucky Horseshoe Folklore’ fool you. These recycled real worn horseshoes have been beautifully upcycled by skilled smithy hands in the traditional Liffey Forge and have very practical uses. 
The key racks for example have hooks made from nails used to fit the shoes. These horseshoes are not only pretty and imbued with luck (they come with a sheet explaining this long standing folklore) but they have very practical purposes such for keys or storage for pet leads and the holding of any other small item you wish to find easily by giving it a permanent home. They make fantastic new home gifts and that goes for any kind of home be it a new bedsit, new house or even a new boat. They’re great for engagements, weddings, good luck wishes, special birthdays and much more. 

‘Lucky Horseshoe Fairy Doors’, is a whole other collection! Click the image to see!

Magical Horseshoe Fairy Door Keyrack with Birdcage Heart Key and Fairy by Liffey Forge - Parade Handmade
Magical Horseshoe Fairy Door Keyrack with Birdcage Heart Key & Fairy by Liffey Forge

There’s imagination and magic involved here. Each one has a theme and features a different selection of charms and details such as fairies, owls, keys, birds, mushrooms and other natural and imaginative things to appeal to different tastes. Perfect for indoors or outdoors for creating an atmosphere of magical wonder in your garden, flower border, tree stump, windowsill or inside like a mouse’s door against a wall, skirting board or secret place like under the stairs.

Floral Phone sleeves for bigger mobile phones. Click the image!
Pretty Handstitched Floral Pouch Phone Holder Lined - Parade Handmade
Pretty Handstitched Floral Pouch Phone Holder Lined by Parade Handmade
They're bigger than before with elasticated closure for easy speedy use & varied sized phones. This season they have a floral theme.
Have you noticed that mobile phones are getting bigger again and I don’t know about you but I like visual cues when looking for things. I find labels inefficient sometimes. Colour codes or an actual picture or visual difference helps me better. I have created a collection of bigger, more practical, tactile and colourful phone sleeves with a simple elasticated closure that are easy to see in your handbag or lying around the house. Vintage style with florals for Spring. I love them because I love tactile practical things.
I can never find my glasses. Click the image to see more about them!
Woman using pretty multi-coloured eyglass holders to read something - by Lapanda Designs - Parade Handmade
Pretty multi-coloured eyglass holders to read something - by Lapanda Designs 
These handy eyeglasses holders are a beautiful of mix of many colours with an overall leaning towards blues. They have a smattering of little floral heart shaped beads too as a subtle sentimental suggestion.

So many of us must switch glasses so often or take them on and off in order to jump between seeing near and far objects. I am at that tedious time when I haven’t progressed to varifocals but I could do with them very soon. I can see great up very close but not well after about four or five feet. Grr! Not to worry. I have come up with some lovely eyeglasses chains too. These pretty glasses chains have been made in a multi-coloured bead mix with glass beads (you should have seen the mix in the bowl - I wanted to dive in while I was mixing the colours), where the focal beads on the strand are blue hearts with a pretty millefiori floral pattern - This was my choice especially for Spring.

That’s the round up for today. Keep posted for part two where I will discuss the other gifts and inspirations behind my handmade artsy collections.

Until Soon, Amanda

Get on my newsletter list for all future launches of handmade goodies & for now the whole Whispers of Spring Gift Guide Here!

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