Original gifts from a crafty bird.

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to today! It was my mate Claire's 40th birthday recently and we are celebrating today with a spa day, afternoon tea and a Thai meal later.

I really wanted to get her something special but after months of looking round the shops, browsing online offers and debating gifts vs experiences I had still not found the perfect present.

Debbie Hendey
A chance conversation with another friend Debbie, who was asking about my social networking for business workshops (one of my sidelines!) was a breakthrough!

Debbie started Crafty Bird Homestyles a year ago today (insert loud cheer here!)
Her love of crafting started a young age when she used to make stuffed teddies out of her mum's old tea towels, tights or whatever was in the sewing box. She said: "I cut out a big piece from my school skirt once-much to my mum's dismay. Cute teddy though!"

Her passion for interior design and home-styling turned into a business, simply because she started to run out of space in her own home for her up-cycled furniture projects and craft creations. She was already sharing pictures of her finished projects on Facebook and had so much great feedback she started selling some of creations - and over the last 12 months has acquired a huge following of fans!

Debbie says she enjoys embroidery, applique and knitting, especially when making cushions, curtains, doorstops and bunting, and loves to use vintage and retro fabrics, materials and embellishments in her crafts. She specialises in WordArt pieces (which start at just £12!), Applique Cushions which can be personalised and bags (from just £7.50 for the cutest peg bags you will ever see!)

She invited me to choose something from her Facebook page for my friend and I've gotta tell you there were so many lovely things on there it was really difficult to choose just one thing!

But in the end I went for one of Debbie's WordArt pictures which I knew Claire would love! I was able to choose colours to match my friend's bedroom and a theme of friendship and asked for the picture to be personalised with my friend's name and date of birth.

Within a week the piece was with me - very carefully packaged and wrapped beautifully in tissue paper and brown string which I didn't expect. It came with a cute brown paper label and a lovely personal note from Debbie.

The picture was even nicer than the photos on the Facebook page and I was delighted with the lovely worlds Debbie had chosen to incorporate, and the quality of the piece.

I know my friend is going to love it  and I'm sure she will appreciate the genuine sentiment behind the printed words.  It marks her 40th without being garish - I hope she will look at it in years to come and remember our many
outings and antics with a smile!

Debbie is often asked to make similar pieces for weddings and baptisms and I can't imagine a nicer, more thoughtful present.

She has just started making  things for Christmas too - I spotted some gorgeous Christmas stockings which  would look lovely hanging on my mantelpiece on Christmas eve!

Disclaimer: I was invited to choose one free item from Debbie's Facebook Page for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions as always remain my own.
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