A recipe for food for thought

This blog is dedicated to:
D.H., thank you for providing the inspiration;
M.B. for sharing your many (amusing) memories;
L.H. for getting me what I needed;
C.H. – trying to get you to recall events from the past is
like pulling teeth, but you continue to be my biggest fan.

Brain recipe

 

Before writing this blog, I have had quite few idea thingies bopping and bouncing around in my brainy brain (fine, we all know this is an oxymoron), almost like a bunch of ingredients but no recipe. I now propose to see how the ingredients come together, and if the outcome is a delicious dish or food poisoning. Brace yourselves my loyal reader fans, brace yourselves….

ice cream recipe

Do you remember the summer vacations of yesteryear? The days when the family packed up the car and drove to a seaside town to escape from a hot and muggy city. Our parents would rent a little caravan or chalet, and there we would settle in for a week or two, and proceed to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. I find seaside towns tend to evoke a jumble of memories: the feel of clumpy wet sand built into sandcastles; the excitement of discovery when rock pooling; that satisfying crunch of freshly battered fish and chips; the heat of the sun during a fun game of beach cricket; the satisfaction of burying a sibling up to the neck in the sand; the sugary stickiness left over from candy floss; that coconutty smell of suntan lotion….

Have I also mentioned that in memories like these there are unicorns flying around and fairies sprinkling pixie dust?

Do you remember the summer vacations of yesteryear? The days when you sat in the family car, so eager to be at the seaside, but the car kept stopping – either because your carsick prone sibling needed to throw up (yet again), or because the car overheated and it needed to be manually cranked to start again. Our parents would rent a little caravan or chalet, sometimes smelling of Eau de Wet Dog, or Eau de Mould, or even Eau de Something Decomposing. There we would settle in for a week or two and try to enjoy ourselves to at least some extent. I find seaside towns tend to evoke a jumble of memories: listening to those piercing shrieks and that incessant whinging of some children who were (for whatever reason) not thoroughly enjoying themselves; the physical pain of tripping and falling on the promenade, coupled with having a broken heart because the ice cream cone fell as well; the disappointment of being dragged to some “Restaurant” because the parents wanted prawn cocktails in fancy glass and scallops on shells; the sugary stickiness of candy floss stuck in the hair; that smell of public toilets….

Have I also mentioned that in memories like these there are roaming orcs and goblins eager to substitute a child in place of the fish and along with the chips?

Whether they be of years ago or of last year, memories of seaside holidays are usually a mixed bag – rather like seaside towns, as some appear to be flourishing while others seem to be deteriorating.

The themes (or perhaps more aptly “the ingredients”) for this blog came from my colleague, who alerted me to an article on the BBC titled Seaside town reinvention ‘should start with Blackpool’, and from English Tourism Week (March 30 to April 7, 2019). Both of these topics made me reflect on the importance of our seaside towns, and the need to preserve and nurture not just our British seaside towns, but also their traditions.

beach seaside fat mabel ice cream recipe

One of my other colleagues was reminiscing about some holidays at the seaside when he was a child, and then what those holidays were like with his own children. He recalled “bumping into a fat lady” who turned out to be Fat Mabel, a photo cutout board who has remained a fixture of the seaside for years (and she does not seem to age – good for you Mabel!). He also told me about playing (or rather trying to cheat at) miniature golf with his sister, and then how he suddenly became a mini golf champ when he played the game with his son (not suspicious at all!).

Not that far from the sea

Mini golf and photo cutout boards are just two of the many things/traditions we associate with the British seaside, and they are also our two businesses (Putterfingers is our portable miniature golf for those of you who have suddenly landed from outer space and are not yet in the loop). At both Photo Cutouts and Putterfingers we like to have fun, we like to make a bit of money whilst having fun, and we love it when other businesses can use our products to promote their business, all the while they are having fun and making that bit of money like we do. I would venture to say this could be called increasing economic growth, which is one of the recommendations from the report published by the House of Lords The future of seaside towns.

seaside beach recipe hut sand

Now wait! One more thought ingredient to add to our bubbling cauldron before you begin to think I am some pontificating know-it-all. Our blogs (this one and the one for Putterfingers) are usually quite light-hearted and fun with interesting facts, a bit of history, some educational material, and usually a good sprinkling of quirkiness, and I certainly do not wish to depart from this, nor do I wish to even suggest I have a solution for the improvement of seaside towns (even though I am excellent at telling people what to do and I am always right). So there! I am not a pontificating know-it-all. Nevertheless, I will impart some parting words – rather like that final seasoning and fancy garnish that finishes the dish. If you have a chance to travel in the UK, whether it be a day trip or that summer holiday, perhaps decide to be one of the tourists that some of these seaside towns would welcome. Most of us have a chance to travel abroad, but sometimes the best holidays are those spent discovering the treasures that are in our own back garden.

If you are interested in more information about the future of seaside towns, here are some links:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-47800638

Seaside Heritage Network

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/regenerating-seaside-towns/news-parliament-2017/seaside-report-published/
(This link provides a synopsis of the report from the House of Lords along with a link to download the complete report in PDF.)

You might also wish to revisit a couple of our blogs from June 2016: British seaside culture is worth preserving, and Face-in-hole boards: a bit of history.
https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/british-seaside-culture-worth-preserving/
https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/face-in-hole-cutout-boards-around-the-world/

And, finally, check out some of the seaside-themed boards we have on standby, ready for your fun summer event (be it at the seaside or not)!
https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/beach-boards-celebrate-coastal-culture/

I do hope I have given you some food for thought. Until next time my darlings, toodle pip!

Tel: 08450 570 321
Email: office@connectedshopping.com
Online form: https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Bigger is Always Better!

First a disclaimer: When we promised a mega reveal, I know that some of our fans were possibly hoping we had somehow stumbled onto a megalodon. Alas, since we are rather inland and right now quite busy thinking up fun things for Photo Cutouts and for Putterfingers (our portable mini golf business), we have had to put the hunt for the megalodon on the back burner for a bit.

Nonetheless, we promised mega and we delivered MEGA CARDS! Our Mega Cards are giant cards (we offer three sizes; click on the link below to see the options), made of lightweight (but firm) PVC, which ensures they are free-standing and won’t dampen in a drizzle or a downpour. Since we are the ever-amazing Photo Cutouts, we can certainly create a personalised giant card printed with an image (or images) you have sent to us, along with your own message printed inside. If you are short on time and creativity, fear not! We also, of course, have some ready-made Mega Cards to choose from.
https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/giant-cards.htm

Personalised giant card
Personalised giant card. 3 sizes. Waterproof material.

 

Continuing with the bigger-better-giant theme, Photo Cut-outs also offers GIANT JIGSAWS!

Send us an image and we will turn it into a giant jigsaw puzzle with pieces ranging from 8 to 64. And since we like to think outside the box, we didn’t feel the need to be boxed in with a rectangular shape! Our team of technical wizards can create some unusual shapes like a heart or a panda or a plane, or maybe even a megalodon (but better check with us about the possible size!). Again, send us the image(s) you want for your giant jigsaw, and we’ll print it on our durable and weather-proof PVC board. You can also opt to have a different design printed on each side of your giant jigsaw – fun times two! Aside from being a good-time gift, we think this could provide some fabulous fun for youngsters at school (see below for a tip on how to celebrate St. George’s Day).
https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/giant-jigsaws.htm

Personalised giant jigsaw

Now that you have taken a peak at our new product reveals, who knows, maybe you (and others like you with a fantastic feel for fun) will be mega adventurous and order both a Mega Card and a Giant Jigsaw for your next party. Most certainly it will be a mega good time!

 

And (a) Longer Length (Blog) is Lovely

What with focusing on all the other fun things Photo Cut-outs offers, and the MEGA reveal of more options for entertainment, we have nearly not had time for April Event Delights for you to plan. To paraphrase Mr. Monty Don from Gardeners’ World: Here are some events you can be celebrating in April.
Of course there is Earth Day, Passover, and Easter (and we have Easter-themed photo boards to buy or hire), but just like our not-necessarily boxy giant jigsaws, I have thought and went outside the box, and hereupon are some other events to honour.

Now it’s true that Britain’s National Beer Day isn’t until June 15 (mark your calendars!), and International Beer Day isn’t until (Friday!) August 2 this year, BUT for all you American expats here in the UK, your US of A National Beer Day is April 7. True, it is a Sunday, but how better to celebrate the end of the week, the weekend, AND beer?! I also think that us Brits will be more than happy to make merry with you Yankees for your national beer day.
So, calling pub hosts and hostesses, why not order a Mega Card (maybe photos of your business printed on the front), with the words You’re Invited …. Then write the details on the dry-wipe inside of the card, pop the card outside the pub door a few days prior, and ensure your beer cellar is well stocked!

April 23: St. George’s Day
As I am confident all of us English know all there is to know about our patron saint, I will not misuse my time by providing a history lesson. Instead, I offer a wise suggestion on how to celebrate this (non-bank) holiday: how about a giant jigsaw puzzle of St. George slaying the dragon? This presents as an opportunity for a fun and some educational history for children in school.

April 29: International Dance Day
International Dance Day had its inception in 1982, and is celebrated on the birthday (April 29) of the creator of modern ballet, Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810). According to the website, “The intention of the International Dance Day Message is to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language – dance.”
https://www.international-dance-day.org/index.html
This time I’m calling out to you dance companies: whether you wish to promote International Dance Day, or simply promote your business, why not order a bespoke photo board, or a Mega Card you can use as an invitation (see above under National Beer Day). Either choice would be a marvellous marketing tool that will have you dancing with the delight of being able to teach and share this art form with so many more people.

As always, to place an order or to simply ask a question, please feel free contact us by phone or email or via an online form:
Tel: 08450 570 321
Email: office@connectedshopping.com
Online form: https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

But before I sign off dear readers, here is another late month haiku to bring some cultural enrichment to your lives 🙄

March showers are done.
April springs forth daffodils:
May they smell sweetly.

Teaser: fun new things on the way!

More Fun Things from Photo Cutouts

We have been writing about all kinds of delightful photo cutout events to plan for in this month of March, but perhaps now is also the time to remind our readers of some of the other fun options we offer for events. So find a bit of time, pour yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee or a gin and tonic (no matter what time of day, I don’t judge), read our blog and then peruse our website – a picture is worth a thousand words!

Fun Hand held speech bubbles

The beauty of our reusable Speech Bubbles is twofold: First you get to use them for your event, then you can reuse them at home! Our set of six speech bubbles are very popular at weddings* (particularly if you have a photo booth), though feel free to be creative with how and when you want to use them. Then, bring our speech bubbles home and use them as a message and reminder board at home – much better than having a chalkboard and dusty chalk everywhere! And you can always be super generous and present a few to extended family as the gift that keeps on giving … messaging … reminding …

https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/speech-bubbles.htm

* Though we do have a set of Wedding-Themed Speech Bubbles in case you are concerned about what your guests might write!

Fun Giant cheques printed

When you are celebrating big money being handed to your charity, what will truly stand out in the press photos? Why, Big Cheques! (OK, technically they are Giant Cheques.) We have three different sizes available and can make either a printed version or a re-useable dry wipe cheque. Whatever your preference, our giant cheques are a wonderful way to announce that big sum!

https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/charity-cheques.htm

AR photo boardsFun AR seaside photo boardsAR Christmas photo boards

If reality sometimes needs some pizzazz, why not zing it up with our Virtual Reality Boards? Here you get to combine a photo cutout board with a downloaded app that then gives life to your photo board. While, in my ever-so-humble opinion, my writing is quite lively, it may be best to check out the link below which shows a photo board coming to life:

https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/virtual-reality-photo-boards.htm

So, does anything strike your fancy? Something surely must! Then contact us by phone or email or via an online form:

Tel: 08450 570 321

Email: office@connectedshopping.com

Online contact form: https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Here’s a Little Teaser

Now, here at Photo Cutouts we not only have a talented team who design and create photo boards and the other amazing and fun things I wrote about, we also have a team of innovative – nay! strike that, I am being faint with my praise – genius, yes, I said, genius thinkers of fun. (Well, to really tell the truth: they are actually grown men who are wishing and acting like they could still be young boys.)

Our Fun Think Tank Team (FTTT) have come up with some new products for more fun times. I don’t want to give away anything quite yet, but I have been authorized to tell all our readers that it will be MEGA …

Tune in next time for some April event planning and fun times with photo cutouts!

And keep on tuning in for the MEGA new products reveal coming soon.

Photocutouts.co.uk

08450 570321

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March Delights, Part 2: The Second Half of March

March hare

As promised, here are March Delights, Part 2: The Second Half of March

(Don’t forget, last week we started brainstorming about some fun-filled festivities that could be celebrated in March, and if that includes some photo cutout boards, then so much the better!)

Ides of March

  • March 15: The Ides of March

Ooops! Last time we totally forgot to add this delight…though some might wonder if it is a true delight when you are told to “Beware the Ides of March!”  Well, to those doubters we say “Doubt not!”, but instead celebrate Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with a toga party and Roman-themed feast.  And if ever there was an opportunity for a photo cutout board or two, this is definitely it!

For a bit of a background on the Ides of March (and to confirm there really is nothing to beware of) check out:

https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beware-the-ides-of-march.html

And if you are in Manchester, why not visit the Manchester Art Gallery and gaze at Edward John Poynter’s The Ides of March

https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/the-ides-of-march-205859

 St Patrick's Day

  • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

We did address St. Patrick’s Day in our last blog (which was a delightful read!), and so this is only a reminder that those lucky Irish have a Bank Holiday on Monday, March 18.  In other words: an extra day to party and commemorate that fun-filled party with photo cutout boards!

Spring butterfly

 

  • March 20: First day of spring!!!!!! (aka Vernal Equinox if you wish to be posh)

True, this is a Wednesday, but sometimes a party or even an enjoyable event mid-week is just the ticket.  To add to that excitement, there is a super moon on Thursday, March 21.

Explore equinoxes and solstices courtesy of the Royal Museums Greenwich:

            https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/equinoxes-and-solstices

Mother's Day

  • March 31: Mothering Sunday Day (We also “spring forward” with a time change)

We have saved the best event for last!   Whether you take mum out for a fancy lunch or tea; or buy mum an extravagant gift or make one for her yourself; or spend the day (or even the week) cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, remembering to replace the toilet paper, and all the endless little tasks mums take on – it really does not matter what you choose to do.  The point is to treat your mum to a treat!

There are of course still other holidays and just plain fun days to celebrate, like Holi (March 21), Purim (March 21), PI day (March 14)…but if we were to go through them all, you would have way too much to read, and not enough time to plan and organise your festive event!  Don’t forget that part of that party planning involves calling us fairly promptly.

So, calling all you ladies and gentlemen, and hostesses and hosts who are planners of parties and events: call us at Photo Cutouts (tel: 08450 570 321) so we can begin on bringing your vision to life!

Once you have hosted your event(s) with our enchanting photo cutout board(s), we would be thrilled to receive some of your photos that we could then share on our social media web pages.

Here’s to  wonderful, fun-filled March!

https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Some early March events to celebrate

A late February Haiku

Oh February.

January sales are done;

We look to March on!

March hare

Yes, the January sales are done, and though the stores have new arrivals (with an appalling colour choice of mustard yellow this year, but I digress), one isn’t quite in the mood for buying a new spring wardrobe yet.  February is supposed to be a short month, but it seems (to me) to somehow drag on.

So what to do, what to do? How does one deal with splattering rain, blustery winds, and inadequate sunshine?

Well, how about plan?  Yes, plan for the delights that March will bring!  Now, it is important to note that with delights there is always an opportunity to host a party, soiree, rendezvous, shindig, bash, get-together, revelry, festive social gathering, and/or merrymaking event (as I exhaust my computer’s thesaurus skills).  And our charming team at Photo Cutouts are on hand to start turning your vision into a reality so you will have photo (cutout) memories to last a lifetime!

And so, here are March Delights, Part 1: The First Half of March

You don’t have to be Welsh to celebrate with daffodils and leeks, sing a Welsh song, eat some Welsh rarebit, Welsh cakes, Glamorgan sausages…and also just celebrate all your friends named David (but make them buy the booze!).

Apparently dating back to pagan times celebrating spring and fertility rites, it is now also called Carnival or Carnaval and it’s the decadent party before Lent.  So channel your pagan god/goddess; or dress up like they do in New Orleans in masks, feathers, and a colourful costume of green, purple, and gold; or even celebrate for a week like the Brazilians! And I invite you to click on the link above, and read what the Danish do….

Celebrating, appreciating, recognizing women.  Need we say more?

  • March 17: Patrick’s Day

Celebrate this sainted lad by putting a shamrock (or a bunch of them) in your buttonhole; wear your fanciest green outfit but make sure you have a stretchy waistband to accommodate for eating some corned beef and cabbage (and the possible festive flatulence that comes with this dish); and finally toast all things Irish with one (or more of these Irish beers):

TOP 12: Beers that everyone should try in Ireland…

So, my planners, I have given you some ideas for celebrating delightful things in the first part of March.  All you need to do now is contact us at tel: 08450 570 321 or email: office@connectedshopping.com or fill in an on-line form at https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Until next time, and don’t forget we love, love, love when you send us photos of you and your photo cutouts!

Photo board boosts seasonal campaign for Christmas Tree grower

Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Photo Cutouts customer The Natural Christmas Tree Company have given us some nice feedback on Facebook about their Christmas 2018 campaign:

“Fantastic service and quick and efficient design and logo placement! The photo cutout has been a great success for us!”

-Harry Edwards

If you run a Christmas tree business, as Natural Christmas Tree Company owner Harry Edwards does, it’s probably fair to say that your business is seasonal! It involves work all year round, but the bulk of sales will happen during a short and very busy period each year. What can you do to maximise sales during this period? It would be pretty disappointing if you worked so hard and not enough people got to hear about your business.

Seasonal Marketing Campaign
Branding can be as subtle or as in-your-face as you choose.

To avoid seasonal sales flops, businesses can do a range of things to boost awareness and get people buying. One part of this mix is a photo cutout board: a colourful stand-up board that projects a friendly image of your brand. It comes with face holes so that customers can take funny photos of each other – with your company branding front and centre!

This helps create a buzz about your company by word of mouth and via social media. The board can be anywhere that helps to get the message out: at shopping centres, in front of your premises, at trade shows and other events, or just via social media by sharing photos of employees and others posing and making faces!

Other seasonal business include fireworks, food stalls, lawn care & gardening, outdoor adventure, travel, and many more. If you run a seasonal business, don’t let all your hard work fail to pay off at peak sales time by not shouting loudly enough about your business! A Photo Cutout board is a proven (and fun) part of the seasonal marketing mix.

Here are a couple of boards we made for seasonal fireworks supplier Standard Fireworks, to help make sure their peak season wasn’t a damp squib and really went off with a bang.

standard fireworks seasonal campaign Seasonal Marketing campaign

Get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements for your next peak season!

www.photocutouts.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

 

 

 

 

Bigger, better, faster

It’s all go here at Photo Cutouts! We have just bought another brand new large format printer that enables us to print your boards in record time, and with the best quality and colour reproduction in the business. We’ve also invested in some more top-class cutting and laminating equipment to enable our experts to make an absolutely perfect board every time.

large format print promotional materials
Our awesome new printy thing

Why have we invested in this new machinery? Because we need it to supply the ever-growing demand for face in hole boards! More and more businesses, charities and campaigns are adding the simple idea of a face in hole board to their promotional arsenals because it’s a great way to draw people in and encourage them to interact with the brand.

Marketing promotional branding print
One way to distract children before they see the dentist!

It can be a simple as an off-the-peg board to help create an atmosphere – see the range of themes on our site. Or we can add some personalisation or branding to one of these boards, which is quick and easy. Alternatively we will use a design that you provide, or design it for you ourselves as a full bespoke service. We make space-saving folding boards, cutout props of any size and shape you want, and even AR boards that come alive with an app. If it’s large-format free-standing promotional props you need, we’ll print them for you and ship them out in a matter of days.

Promotional cutouts and standee props print
Make it big, bold and larger than life! (As you can see, it doesn’t have to be a rectangle)

Our success with face in hole boards has proven they are one of the best ways to get a public image across and communicate a message. Your design or our design – we’re happy either way, and now with our industry-leading new equipment we can print and deliver your board to you even faster than ever!

Face in hole board marketing
You’re safe with us!

Visit our site to see your options

Email us

Give us a call on 08450 570321

 

Garden centre chain puts Snow Globe boards to good use

Snow Globe boards add Christmas cheer

This week’s blog post is about how a business used Photo Cutouts boards to promote its stores and gave customers a fun experience at the same time. It’s the story of how a garden centre chain boosted its public image with a co-ordinated set of our Snow Globe boards distributed across 22 of its branches. It’s also the story of how you can do the same to promote your business.

Snow globe christmas face in hole board
This is the Snow Globe board before being customised with the customer’s message.

Klondyke & Strikes Garden Centres like our Snow Globe board so much they ordered 22 of them – one for each of their branches in England, Scotland and Wales. For use during the festive period, the boards are placed strategically at each branch to encourage visitors to pose in them and take photos. The sharing hashtag for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is #KlondykeSnowglobe.

To tempt customers to share their photos on social media, Klondyke & Strikes are running a ‘Show us your best festive face’ competition with a prize for the best snow globe photo. Customer have really gone for it – just look at the Instagram page for the hashtag #KlondykeSnowglobe and you’ll see how well the campaign is going!

Snow Globe scene
Some of the Snow Globe layouts are absolutely gorgeous.

We really love what Klondyke & Strikes have done with the snow globe boards. Face in hole boards have a vintage feel, and these scenes are examples of real old fashioned window dressing which has always been a vital part of retail but which so many other stores forget to do well. We wish them every success with their seasonal campaign and hope that these beautiful displays make customers feel like spending more! It just gives a nice warm fuzzy feeling for customers that their staff have gone to all that effort, doesn’t it?

Visit our site

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08450 570321