Win A Personalized Copy of ‘The Great Gatsby’

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We’re celebrating the release of U Star Novels’ latest personalized classic novel, The Great Gatsby with an awesome competition!
Now you can personalise your own copy of The Great Gatsby

Two winners will receive a personalized copy of this classic novel. Will you star as Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan or someone else? Up to 11 characters together with physical descriptions such as hair and eye colour can be changed in this tailor-made novel just for you!

To enter, simply ‘Like’ Us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and tell us who your favorite character from The Great Gatsby is.

Competition closes 31st October 2013.

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5 Best Mother’s Day Gifts For The Techy Mum

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If your mum is interested in tech-related gadgets and items, you might be thinking about getting her something electronic for Mother’s Day instead of all of the typical Mother’s Day flowers and gifts. There are lots of tech-related gadgets out there that are great for mums, and you are sure to find one in your price range if you shop around.

Digital Camera

If your mother doesn’t already have a digital camera, or if you feel that she deserves an upgrade over her new one, consider looking for one of these gadgets to give her as a Mother’s Day gift. She can use her new camera to take pictures of all of her family members and other loved ones, and she might even develop a passion for taking pictures of other things as well. Along with looking at traditional digital cameras, you can even take a look at the models that shoot videos. In some cases, you can get a nice camera that has some video-shooting abilities for a very reasonable price.

Mp3 Player

Even mums have their favorite tunes, and you can make it easy for your mom to bring all of her favorite music with her with an mp3 player. If you are feeling a bit spendy, you can go for one of the nice new iPad Touch models. If you are on a tighter budget, however, there are plenty of affordable mp3 players that still pack tons of great features. If you are shopping for one of these devices, reading a lot of reviews can help you find the model that fits your budget but that will still make it easy for your mum to carry her favorite music with her when she’s driving, working out, traveling or just hanging out at home.

Why not personalise her Mp3 player with a custom case or skin with photos of the family or her favour artist.

Flat Screen Television

Nice TVs aren’t just for dads. If your mum doesn’t have a nice flat-screen TV, consider picking one up for her. When they go on sale, they can actually be pretty reasonable. If she already has a nice TV in her living room, she might still want one in her bedroom, kitchen or spare room. Consider hinting around about TVs to see what she says.


Tablets are handy for a host of reasons, and your mum is sure to find plenty of things to do with hers if you buy her one for Mother’s Day. From surfing the Web easily on the go to downloading her favorite applications, your mum is sure to love using her tablet both at home and on the go.

Why not personalise her tablet with a custom case or skin with photos of the family or her favour artist.


If your mother is an avid reader who doesn’t yet have an e-Reader, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to introduce her to one. Some of the more basic models are very affordable, and there are more feature-packed options available as well. Including a gift card that will allow her to purchase a few books for her new model is a nice touch as well.

Why not personalise her e-reader with a custom case or skin with photos of the family or her favour artist.

Jessica is a stay a home mum and when her kids are at school she loves the art of flower arranging in her spare time. She loves sharing her tips and tricks with other fellow green thumbs and is currently sharing ideas for those stuck on Mothers Day Flowers and gifts this month.

Blog post courtesy of: JulietSF

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Making The Right Impression With A Birthday Gift

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No matter who you’re buying for, there’s a certain etiquette attached to buying gifts. The rules tend to vary from person-to-person, but whatever you buy, making the right impression is incredibly important. Let’s take a look at some basic guidelines for buying gifts for certain people.

A New Partner

There’s no need to go over the top if you’re in the early stages of a relationship. By purchasing an elaborate or expensive gift can leave the recipient feel uncomfortable. If you spend too much, this may make them feel pressurised or trapped – and they may feel that they need to provide you with something equally expensive.

Birthday Style
photo By wernerslave

Small gestures are always more appropriate when a relationship is in its infancy. Even if you’re not planning on spending too much, it may be an idea to opt for something subtle rather than something too romantic. The more your relationship progresses, the more confident you should feel about making bigger gestures in order to make the right impression.

A Family Friend

When you’ve been friends with someone for a long time, so it may seem appropriate to buy them a gift. Again, it’s never a great idea to be too elaborate when buying for a friend because they will feel the need to reciprocate. You should be careful not to make the present appear as though you are giving to charity too, especially if the friend is hard up at the time.

Once you’ve known them for some time, and they have cooked for you or helped you out in other ways, it makes sense to show your appreciation. Popular gift ideas for a friend’s may involve something like a bottle of wine, chocolates or perhaps something ornamental.


No matter what your relationship with your mother-in-law is like, at some point you will need to buy them a gift. IF your husband suffers from bouts of the forgetful flu, you may end up with the duty of chief gift buyer.

Not everyone gets on with a mother-in-law, but most people try to make relations as civil as possible nonetheless and it’s a great opportunity to endear yourself with the opposition. You’ll need to find out what kind of things she is interested in, either by talking to her yourself or asking your other half.

Impressing with a Gift

In order to impress them and to make the right impression, it pays to spend some time shopping around or being diligent in the weeks approaching the date. When people have put little effort into finding the right gift, it shows – especially if your relationship is fragile at the best of times. This rules out gift vouchers for example unless you feel highly confident that they will be appreciated and used. A well-considered gift may play a pivotal factor in improving relations.

Many people have inadvertently caused offence or simply given off a bad impression when buying gifts for people, even when their intentions have been good. It’s always a good idea to approach gift-buying with caution and to take your time when browsing online or on the high street. The more you get to know someone, the smaller your chances of making the wrong impression become.

Don’t Give to Receive

If you go out of your way to be considerate and thoughtful, but have nothing of the sort given back to you when your birthday comes around, don’t fret, just move on. You should never give to receive regardless, of how a lack of consideration by others makes you feel. Rise above the gesture even if you think it is intentional and you will instantly feel better.

Sheila Watson has been organising birthday parties and planning events for many years and is a strong believer that good party bags are much preferred to birthday cakes at parties.

Blog post courtesy of: foxhunt

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Helpful Hints For Picture Perfect Wedding Guests

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You may be on schedule for the big day and have your photographer in place, but even a professional cannot predict to absolute certainty the outcome of your wedding shots. For a wedding album that you’ll want to re-visit again and again, try these useful tips:

1. Get the Balance Right

The first thing to remember is that, much like the event itself, there is no way to fully predict what is going to happen, and the need to control every last detail will only make you and your guests uncomfortable. And everyone has been to parties where you’re hounded all night by an overzealous photographer. Mathematically speaking, the more photos you take means a greater likelihood of having lots of great snaps, but there comes a point where guests can clam up and feel like they can’t enjoy themselves for fear of being papped, making for tense and unnatural poses. Advise your photographer to circulate but be sparing, just taking two or three shots for every worthy setup. If you’re a fan of the candid approach, try and shoot from a little distance, so the result looks like you’re in the moment rather than interrupting it.

2. The Right Ambience

The perfect lighting is the key ingredient for every photograph. Bear that in mind with your choice of venue, and think about the season you’re getting married in. Think about the amount of natural light you’ll have available on the day and exploit that resource. Step outside as much as you can. For the evening, try and set the tone with lots of candles and lamps rather than harsh overhead bulbs. Fantastic lighting will do all the work for your guests once they’re posing.

3. Blink and You’ll Miss it

It’s important to let people get comfortable when you’re staging a photograph with lots of subjects, keeping in mind that people move at different paces. Once your guests are settled, the best trick is for the photographer to count to three, instructing everyone to blink on the count of two, eradicating shut eyes from your shots.

4. Bring People Closer

A little alcohol and a mixed seating plan has hopefully meant that people who met on the day are hitting it off, but if that isn’t the case you may have to encourage people to move a little closer. There’s nothing worse than a phantom arm looming above a relative’s shoulder, so even if it doesn’t quite feel right at the time, make people huddle up and remove any negative space from an image, it’ll turn out beautifully in print.

5. Go Back to Basics

A novel idea (made very popular by Chandler and Monica on Friends) is to have a couple of disposable cameras on every table ready for when people hit the dancefloor. This DIY approach is great for when the night gets a little crazy. It definitely isn’t recommended for the ceremony itself, but clumsy candids can often provide the most funny, touching and memorable results.

Natalie Little has been working as a professional photographer in the UK for nearly a decade. She is currently assisting Staffordshire-based wedding photographer Cris Lowis as his company gears up for the marriage season!

Blog post courtesy of: fse

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What Kinds Of Photo Damage Can Be Fixed

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Touching Up a Damaged Photograph

Water Damaged

There is nothing worse than digging out some old boxes of treasured items and finding out that some time down the line, water has gotten in somewhere and ruined the whole box. This can be even worse when you find that the box was full of old photographs which are now faded, cracked and bleached by being steeped in water.

Fortunately there are photo touch up experts out there who can repair even this kind of damage. As long as there is still some semblance of the photos image still visible through the damage they should be able to create a brand new photograph for you.

Torn or Cracked

It can be mortifying when you go to pick up a treasured photograph and catching it on something pull a tear straight across it. Additionally you might find that an older photo that has been crumpled or kept in someone’s pocket will have formed cracks.

While you might be tempted to tear up the photo in a rage as a result of this, DON’T! This is not a lost cause.  In fact this is one of the most common repair jobs for photo touch up experts. By utilising the shades and definite lines either side of the crack they can piece together the two parts to create a like now image.

Faded or Poor Quality

Some older pictures are simply of a far lower quality due to being significantly older. It stands to reason that this would be more common in older photos. They didn’t have the enhanced focus mega pixel cameras way back when. Other photos will simply have faded due to being kept in bright light or through natural deterioration.

As a result, this can make some elements of the picture somewhat difficult to make out. However, this is not a lost cause to a photo repair expert. Whether it’s a colour or black and white photo an expert should be able to put a bit more detail into the image utilising shading enhancements to ensure that the image is crisper and that the vital elements stand out.

Ruined by Flash or Blurring

Unfortunately this isn’t witchcraft or wizardry so some forms of repair simply aren’t possible. When a photo is taken and there are obvious issues like blurring or obscuring due to the flash, there is little that can be done.

This is simply because there isn’t the image available to repair. That part of the photo was never captured so anything added in this place would simply be made up. This is a case of either cropping the photo or accepting that it’s unfortunately a lost cause.

Featured images:

License: Image author owned

Steven Roecamb has conducted some photo touch up on his own damaged pictures. However, he knows that a more skilled professional is required for severely damaged photos.

Blog post courtesy of: adam01

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Make Her Smile: Great Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day

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Mother’s day is a special time when you can give thanks to your mother by giving her flowers, chocolates and fine wine. You could buy her a special card and write a poem inside, or take her for a meal. There are so many ways to cherish a mother on her special day.

Be Generous With a Gift Card

Putting money in a card differs from buying a mother a gift card. This way she has to spend the voucher on herself, rather than selflessly on others. There are thousands of gift cards to choose from that cater toward clothing, perfume, hair care, beauty and furniture.

Make Her Smile with a Bunch of Flowers

Flowers are colourful and have a delicate fresh fragrance, but the quality of flowers is also evident. Visit a florist for a custom made flower display, or buy a houseplant. Both are lovely gifts on Mother’s day.

Fragrance the Home with a Scented Candle

Candles are romantic, fragrant, and relaxing. Do not buy the cheaper candles, which are made with paraffin, but opt for beeswax or soy wax candles, which will burn for up to 100 hours.

Encourage Her Green Fingers

Pot plants are a pretty addition to any home or garden. Alternatively, buy a medium sized houseplant. A hanging flower basket is always a pleasant gesture on her special day.

Beauty to Match Her Heart

Treating your mother to a beauty facial or day out at a spa is a great way to relax her. Each booking will vary amongst spa or salon. Alternatively, buy her a generous gift set containing bath salts, perfume, and skin softening moisturiser.

Treat Her to a Gourmet Food Basket

Make your own food basket containing wine, cheese, fruits and fresh bread, or buy a customised gift basket online or through a high street store.

Colourful Plush Furnishings to Bathe Her in Comfort

Curtains, bedding, throws, cushions, or a plush rug is a luxury gift to buy your mother on her special day. If she is into colour coordination then there is no ending to the colourful array of home furnishings on offer today through high street stores or online.

Dark Chocolate is Rich in Antioxidants and Releases Feel Good Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine is an amino acid that is responsible for the release of dopamine. This neurotransmitter affects pleasure, memory, reward and cognition whilst lower levels of dopamine are linked to Parkinson’s disease, addiction and depression. Dark chocolate is also higher in antioxidant rich cocoa and darker chocolate is naturally sweeter. Treat her to a box of her favourite posh chocolates.

You Can’t Go Wrong with Fragrance

Buy her a bottle of her favourite perfume, which is always a pleasant gift on Mother’s day. There are many gift sets with a matching fragrant soap and shower gel. Many online retailers offer great deals on fragrances, so be sure to shop around for the best deals, unless she is a lover of the classic Chanel No.5, which is sold in every high street perfume shop and chemist.

Fine Dining and Theatre

Why not take your mother for a meal, treat her to a three course meal with fine wine and then take her to the opera or theatre.

A Weekend Break

If you believe that your mother really deserves a treat, then why not buy her a weekend break in London, Dublin or anywhere in Europe. Two or three day’s abroad is a nice way to relax her and make her feel cherished for her selfless deeds.

Whether you opt for perfume, chocolates, a luxury meal, or a weekend break as your choice of gift on Mother’s day, she will be grateful and feel loved and respected, whatever the gift. This article has provided some basic gift ideas, but try to think out of a box if you are positive she will prefer something different.

Jess Toogood is a writer who loves her mother dearly. Therefore she is going to make sure this year that the mother’s day gift ideas that she came up with are undoubtedly going to make her mum smile.

“For even more unique mother’s day gift ideas don’t forgot to check out DigiGifts extensive range of personalised and photo gifts.” – DigiGifts

Blog post courtesy of: Jess Toogood

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5 Different Types Of Photography

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Photography is one of the most varied and dynamic art forms in the world. The majority of professional and amateur photographers will try specialising in one type of photographyfrom wildlife to glamour. Let’s take a look at the different fields that photography has to offer.

1.) Photojournalism

Photojournalism is a form of photography that is mostly practiced by professional’s and not so much amateurs. Photojournalism is about capturing aspects of comtempory life through a series of pictures and combining this with a powerful written story. This is not the type of photography that is done for any piece of news. It’s more about trying to reflect on various social concerns in today’s society.

This type of photography is something that is very difficult to teach someone. It relies heavily on intuition, instincts and good reactions. Having a comprehensive understanding on how the image adds value to your story is crucial.

2.) Underwater Photography

When you dive underwater you never know what kind of obstacles might be in your way. Before you go out into the sea, make sure you practice your photography in a pool, taking photos of random objects. You will then learn how do make manual adjustments for specific kinds of shots. Practicing to use a camera manually is far better for training your eyes rather than using auto-focus. Taking photos underwater is a completely different ball game when compared to any other form of land photography.

3.) Advertising Photography

There are many professional advertising photographers out there due to the fact that pictures play such an unbelievably important role in the world of advertising and therefore there is a need for talented and creative photographers. Adverts require unique, diverse and eye-catching photos. An advertising photographer needs to have the ability to understand what type of message is being communicated towards their target market and capture this message in the form of a photo.

4.) Ariel Photography

Ariel photographers specialises in taking photos from the air. This may be done for research purposes such as surveying the weather or analysing construction. This plays a large role in real estate, because Ariel photography has the ability to illustrate the value of a building since it shows the geographical location, placing and size.  Cannon cameras are known to be the camera of choice in this field of photography.

5.) Macrophotography

Macrophotography is where photos are taken at close range and requires very advanced and expensive equipment (A Cannon camera macro lens can cost up to $3000) macrophotography is something that amateur cameramen are able to practice more,duedigital cameras coming out with various macro settings. Photos are normally taken of insects, flowers, fabric or anything that will look interesting close up.

If you want to get started in photography as a hobby, then I suggest you do some more research on it before deciding on what aspect you would like to specialise in. You also need to consider the cost of all the equipment as well as printing costs. I personally use Cannon cameras because of their outstanding value. Nikon cameras as well Fujifilm cameras are other brands I would strongly recommend you have a look at.

Justin wrote this article after doing research for Canon cameras

Blog post courtesy of: Ruan Smit

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Set your bathroom theme with unique shower curtains

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You can now set the theme of bathroom with personalised shower curtains made to match your colour scheme, design or style. Match up your curtains with your tiles, towel colours, bathroom accessories or do something completely different depending on your tastes.

These durable and fully waterproof polyester shower curtains are designed to fit standard bath tubs. They are even suitable for you to machine wash, but we would recommend on a gentle cycle. All images are printed onto the curtains using heat dye sublimation so they are designed to last for a long time.

(Source: MadSilence)

(Source: Stylefile)

(Source: MyBathroomGuide)

(Source: Curtains & Draps)

(Source: Curtains & Draps)

(Source: Curtains & Draps)

The possiblities are endless and only limited by your imagination.

Create and order your unique curtain at DigiGifts Designer today.

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Showcasing Kids Artwork – Beyond the fridge

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Do you have a famous artist in the making, or just a child who loves to draw, colour and paint? If so, you likely have an ever growing collection of craft and artwork they have created that your running out of fridge space to showcase. Even worse you may have already surcome to putting them away in a cupboard or drawer out of site, never to see the light of day again.

Below are some gorgeous, fun and very unique ways we have found online for displaying your little artists projects, which you may never have considered:

Frame artwork individually or as a collage
Frame your children’s favorite drawings and paintings to preserve them from getting lost or damaged over time. Forget the fridge – give these creations pride of place on the wall!

An easy way for children to put their own distinctive stamp on a room is with framed works. Children are thrilled to display their artwork or have family photos or treasures on the walls.

You can purchase cheap picture frames or shadow box style frames (which store more bulky items) from many discount stores these days. Alternatively have the artworks scanned and printed directly onto a canvas for a contempory finish.

Scan and frame artworks in unique ways:
If like most artwork your children bring home they vary in shapes and sizes, which can make them quite messy to hung all together on a wall; however if you have a scanner you can easily scan each of them, resize to similar shapes and size, then print out and display neatly or in specifically sized frames.

As previously mentioned, shadow boxes can enable you to include more than just a flat printed photo or artwork. Be creative by adding some of your childs keepsakes such as favourite toys, first booties, hospital tags, postcards, birth certificates, and more to make it truely unique.

Create photo cards or a calendar:
Photo greeting cards and calendars are a great way to showcase artwork. Photo greeting cards enable you to send your friends and family fun, personalised greeting cards featuring your little artists designs. A photo calendar allows you to have a whole 12 months to highlight either one artwork per month or multiple per month.

Print onto placemats and coasters
Get artworks (photographs, certificates, personal messages and more) printed onto placemats and coasters so you can enjoy looking at the artwork whenever you sit down at the table for a meal.

The artworks will become talking pieces at the dinner table for years to come.

Create a photobook of memorable artwork:
What a lovely way to showcase hundreds of artworks that you’ve collected over the years.

Create fun, cheap, coffee coffee-table style books that include anything from photos, messages, scanned artwork and much more. These books are so cheap these days that you could create one for your home and one for each of the grandparents and any other relatives who’d love a copy. What a lovely Christmas gift idea!

Limitless unique gift ideas:
There is limitless ideas of what you can do with your kids artwork these days to showcase them in unique ways instead of just sticking them on the fridge with fridge magnets. You could create a photo mug, mousepad, keyring, throw cushions, jigsaw puzzles and much more for using around the house or giving as a gift to friends and family.

Tell us about some of your creative ways to store or showcase your kids artwork that we haven’t thought of.

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Fun, creative photo bag ideas

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We are still amazed by all the clever uses we see on the internet for many of the custom giftware we offer. Recently we came across some great out-of-the-box ideas for custom photo bags. Instead of just printing photos of holiday memories, family or friends, below are some clever alternative ways you may consider decorating some bags.

Storage ideas for messy kids room
This idea would suit pretty much any untidy room in your house. How about using this idea for a neat and tidy way or organising your sewing, craft or scrapbooking supplies?

See more clever storage ideas here.


Decorative storage ideas
Why be boring when you store stuff around the home? How about keeping things organised with a simple alphabetical or number system printed onto some tote bags? It simple, stylish and practical for any home.


Advertise your business
Make your bag a talking point every time you step out! Whether you’re a photographer, designer, artist or just want to flash your logo around the place for people to remember, printing it onto a bag will increase exposure and talkability. It does matter if you are a painter,  hairdresser or beautician, a styling photo bag with your logo would help keep your gear with you where-ever you are, as well as organised.

Share your family memories
A photo bag is a great gift idea for new mothers who wish to show of their babies. Imagine giving a new mum a bag that has the picture of their beautiful baby’s faces on it. It simply melts their heart every time they look at it! Everyone will be gushing and gooing at your bag featuring adorable photos of your family. Or better yet, why not create one for the proud grandma to showcase to her friends and family.

Stay organised on your wedding day

Get a bag for yourself and one for everyone in the bridal party filled with all their supplies (makeup, accessories and more) for the big day. Mothers of the bride and mothers of the groom would be equally delighted with their own momento to take away on the wedding day.

This is also a great gift idea for a bride-to-be too! It will come in handy on the honeymoon as well.

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