My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Princesses, Princes and Palaces at the Panto - Cinderella brings magic to Christmas!

A couple of weeks ago, me, mummy and daddy were invited to experience the magical performance of Cinderella offered by the crew, cast and friends of the Queens Theatre in Hornchurch, Essex. Mummy was initially a little nervous that I might be a little young for the excitement of a full length Pantomime, but we talked about it lots and she told me what to expect. I was very excited! We read my Cinderella story book cover to cover several times over. I couldn't wait to see the whole story on the big stage!

The evening of the panto finally arrived. A very cold evening in December 2011, and we wrapped up warm, packed a small bag with some essentials (including my pyjamas! It was going to be a late night!!) and we made our way to the theatre. When we arrived, about 40 minutes before the performance was due to begin, and the foyer was very crowded. Groups of excited children filled the Front of House, all clutching their programmes waiting for the action to start. Classes of school children, Brownie Packs, Girl Guides, Youth Groups and many more congregated, chatting and laughing, and mummy & daddy realised I was the youngest there by around 5 years! This didn't bother me in the slightest, however, and it wasn't long before I was off exploring the area. One of the first things we all noticed was how attractively festive the whole foyer looked. A grand Christmas Tree stood near the doors, greeting all visitors with its pretty lights and carefully placed decorations. It all looked really special!

We were greeted at the Press Table and everyone there was really lovely and welcoming, inviting us back for a chat during the show interval. We decided to make our way to our seats earlier rather than later to avoid the rush, and were really happy to see that our seats were just four rows from the front. A very friendly man met us at the doors and showed us to our seats. He immediately offered me a booster seat so that I could see from my very own chair. However, when he returned, he was holding two! They worked perfectly. I could sit comfortably in my own seat and wouldn't miss any of the action on stage.

Waiting for the show to begin - grateful for my Booster Seats!!

Another man then came in and warned mummy and daddy about some activity that was due to happen right behind our seats, so that it didn't come as too much of a shock to me! So far, we were receiving some of the very best service we had ever experienced!

Gradually, the auditorium filled up with children and families, and everyone seemed to find their seats easily and without fuss due to the number of friendly, helpful theatre staff that were on duty, and ready to help anyone that was unsure of where to go. A trolley stocked with drinks and snacks was positioned with an attendant a little inside the entrance and there was always an usher nearby.

The show began, and I was captivated immediately. Throughout the first half, I only took my eyes away from the stage when the action poured into the auditorium, which we were always very close to as we were sitting at the end of the row. The lights were bright, the stage was sparkling and the costumes were simply wonderful! We were introduced to each character in a way that even captivated little me! While I laughed at the crazy antics of Cinderella's best friend Buttons, mummy and daddy chuckled at the humour that was traditionally added for the more adult spectator, but we were all instantly drawn into the delightful friendship between Cinders (played by Natasha Moore) and Buttons (played by Mark Stanford) and into the dazzling way in which it was portrayed!

Cinderella (Natasha Moore) and Buttons (Mark Stanford)
Photography by Nobby Clark

Whilst the audience were touched by the affection between these characters, we were also absorbed by the mischief of the Ugly Sisters, Asphyxia (played by Simon Jessop) and Euthanasia (played by Tom Jude) and intrigued by the fantasies and bizarre ideas put to us by Cinderella's bumbling father, Baron Hardup (played by Stuart Organ). 

L-R Baron Hardup (Stuart Organ), The Ugly Sisters, Euthanasia  (Tom Jude) and Asphyxia (Simon Jessop) and Buttons (Mark Stanford) Photography by Nobby Clark

Sections of the show were narrated by a mysterious old woman at the side of the stage. The unidentified (at first!) character told the story in the most engaging way. She charmed the audience and made me want to hear more! 

Gradually, we were drawn into the unfolding love story, and that of joy, and of a love that was so nearly lost before it was properly discovered! A story of Rags to Riches as Cinderella meets and falls for Prince Charming, played by Niall Costigan. Prince Charming and his loyal sidekick, Dandini (played by Callum Hughes) embark on their search for Cinderella, and take us on their quest which is full of heart warming laughter and plenty of audience participation! With the meddling of the Ugly Sisters, and the helping hand and the bedazzling magic of the Fairy Godmother (played by Karen Fisher-Pollard), the clumsy ignorance of Baron Hardup and the good intentions of Buttons, and the determination of the dedicated Dandini and the slightly love driven Prince Charming ... will Cinderella ever make it to the Ball ...? I'll leave that for you to find out for yourselves!

Cinderella in her 'Pumpkin' Carriage!Photography by Nobby Clark
Does the slipper fit ...?
Photography by Nobby Clark

The whole cast were just fantastic! The Ugly Sisters made me a bit nervous at the start, but this added to the appeal! 

The Ugly Sisters and Prince Charming
The costume and set designs were fascinating!!

Photography by Nobby Clark

The whole evening, for me, was an experience I will keep with me for a very long time. Mummy and daddy couldn't believe that I managed to sit still, in my own chair, for the best part of 2 hours! However, I think it was quite easy. After all, if I had moved, I might have missed something! I would just like to say a great big thank you to every single person that contributed to making my first ever Pantomime experience so very very special. I will be back next year - that's for sure!!

Here is what The Queens Theatre promises in its wonderful production of Cinderella!

Wishes come true in fun-packed family panto

The Queen’s Theatre’s award-winning resident actor-musician company cut to the chase… is thrilled to present the enchanting Christmas pantomime Cinderella, from 3 December – 14 January.

From pumpkin carriages to lost crystal slippers, there’ll be magic, mayhem and comedy capers in this festive feast, written and directed by Queen’s Artistic Director, Bob Carlton, and featuring a sparkling original score of melodies by Carol Sloman.

Boys and girls of all ages will join kind Cinderella on an exciting adventure from rags to riches as The Fairy Godmother transforms her into a dazzling beauty fit for a Prince. There’s no more scrubbing for Cinders – she’s off to the Ball and everyone’s invited!

The whole family can cheer, boo and laugh at all their favourite panto characters - the riotously wicked Ugly Sisters, stupendously silly Buttons, dashing Prince Charming, thigh-slapping Dandini and bumbling Baron Hardup. An adorable, super-talented Young Company of 24 local school children add to the magic.

This fun-packed tale is overflowing with catchy songs, spectacular sets, colourful costumes, side-splitting slapstick and loads of audience participation! There’ll be plenty of giggles for grown-ups too – with gags poking fun at the coalition and reality telly!

The Queen’s Theatre has been producing pantomimes for nearly 60 years, so families can all look forward to enjoying top-quality, traditional entertainment this Christmas.

Cinderella stars cut to the chase… company members Natasha Moore as Cinderella, Niall Costigan as Prince Charming, Simon Jessop and Tom Jude as the Ugly Sisters,  Karen Fisher-Pollard as Fairy Godmother, Mark Stanford as Buttons, Stuart Organ as Baron Hardup, Callum Hughes as Dandini, with musicians Robert MaloneyCarol Sloman and Al Twist.

This production is written and directed by Queen’s Theatre Artistic DirectorBob Carlton, with set and costume design by Mark Walters, musical direction byCarol Sloman, choreography by Donna Berlin, lighting design by Mark Dymock, sound design by Nik Dudley, with Andy Smart as associate sound designer and Hannah Welch as assistant choreographer.

Cinders and her 'not so attractive' sisters!
Photography by Nobby Clark

Sunday, 4 December 2011

WIN for the KIDS with The Miracle Box!!

At The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we had our very first encounter with The Miracle Box back in August 2011 when we ran a wonderful competition for one of our lovely readers to win a product of their choice from their website. This competition proved to be very popular, which is hardly surprising considering the varied range and superior quality offered by The Miracle Box! 

Miracle products are dedicated to developing and bringing to market unique, high quality maternity products for mums to be under the following brands: themiraclebox, themiraclebag and miracleTENS
They launched their first product in October 2007 at the Earls Court Baby Show. This was a complete exercise and birthball package which received a resounding success and this has enabled them to build a strong product range within the pregnancy marketplace including ...

The Miracle TENS for maternity ...

... Their high quality baby changing bags ...

... their and patented breastfeeding pouch!

All products are endorsed by professionals including Midwifes, Doulas and Fitness Professionals.

Since our last blog post telling you about their fantastic range of products, there has been a new addition to the Shop. The Miracle Box have been really excited about their latest, highly innovative product. This is not a treat for mummies, or a gadget for daddies. This is one just for the kids!!

Introducing the new and unique CroydeB Flash gear for kids! The attractive range consists of backpacks of two different sizes and styles, and brilliant Adventure Cases.

These bags feature unique qualities. Each item contains LED lights to increase visibility in the dark. Make sure your children can always be seen! Keep reading for the special features of these wonderful items ...

CroydeB Flashing Daypack & CroydeB Flashing Backpack with patented LED light technology. Each bag comes with a grab handle, detailed soft rubber zip pulls, reflective strips, soft padded shoulder straps and two compartments. Side metal keyring loops to add the activity keycharms that are also available to personalise each bag! 

Ideal for Ages 3+ (Daypack) and 5+ (Backpack)

  1. Embedded Light Technology for visibilty
  2. Reflective Strips on Shoulder Pads
  3. Soft Rubber Zip Pulls
  4. 100 hr of Light Usage (Watch Battery)
  5. 1 Large Zip Compartment
  6. 1 Velcro Front Pocket
  7. Soft Padded Shoulder Straps
  8. Rear Pocket to attach bag to Wheeled Adventure Case
  9. Covered Name Tag (keep your name secret!)
  10. Personalise with Keycharms (2 x metel loop attachments)
Looking for an Adventure? The CroydeB Flashing Adventure Case is perfect for all children. With patented LED light technology, each case comes with wheels and an adjustable handle, soft rubber zip pulls and two compartments.
Capacity 31 Litres and fits Plane Overhead Lockers

  1. 31 Litre Capacity
  2. Embedded Light Technology for visibilty
  3. Soft Rubber Zip Pulls
  4. 100 hr of Light Usage (Watch Battery) Fast Flash, Slow Flash or Always On
  5. 1 Large Zip Compartment (reinforced with elastic clothes retainers)
  6. 1 Small Zip Front Pocket
  7. Wheels and Adjustable Handle
  8. Name Tag

More details and images of the CroydeB range can be seen on The Miracle Box website. Until 11th December, 2011, The Miracle Box are offering these bags for special introductory prices, details of which can also be found on the website.

Today you can find Miracle Products Internationally and throughout the UK from small independent retailers to major high street names.

Martin Beckley CEO, founder and owner has but one goal;

For all mums to have had, be using or to experience a miracle box, miracleTENS or miracle bag


Here at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we are really pleased to bring our readers a really lovely competition thanks to The Miracle Box. Beat the impending January Blues and enter our competition for the chance to send your child back to school, nursery, or just for the daily walk to the shops with unique style by winning a CroydeB bag AND Adventure Case in your choice of style. You can choose between a girl's or a boy's design. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning these fantastic accessories, is just pop over to www.themiraclebox.co.uk and take a look at the styles and colours available. Then follow the entry points in the form below. The competition will run until 30th December, 2011 and the winner will be chosen randomly from all of the valid entries. 

The Miracle Box can be found on Facebook, Twitter and also through their website.

Good Luck Everyone!

This competition is not sponsored!

Competition Closed

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. Munchkin was lucky enough to find a CroydeB Daypack in her stocking on Christmas morning and rarely leaves the house without it now! They really are wonderfully made, and will make a fantastic accessory for any child! Congratulations to Danielle Parker, our winner of this competition. Please drop us an email to munchkinhart@gmail.com to confirm that you still want a boys' bundle. 
If you were not lucky enough to win this time, these brilliant products can be found on The Miracle Box website.

Keep a look out for some more competitions coming up in 2012!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Caption Saturday

Saturday, 26th November, 2011

Feeling a little sentimental this week whilst looking through Munchkin's baby photos, so thought I would allow this to influence my #SatCap contribution. Not too sure what Munchkin was dreaming about here, at just 2 days old ...?

Maybe you have some ideas?!

And to see the home of #CapSat and view some other great entries, click here .....

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Reach to the Stars with CBeebies Live! Mister Maker joins the fun!!

CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ Tour 2012!!

Last month, we were pleased to bring you news of a wonderful live show touring the UK in 2012, where a host of the biggest stars from Britain’s most popular children’s channel CBeebies are coming out to play in a brand new arena spectacular CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’. More details of what promises to be a fantastic show can be found in my earlier post.

We are very excited at receiving the great news that the much loved Mister Maker is now joining in the fun and will perform alongside his fellow CBeebies characters to bring children and adults alike a truly memorable experience! And the word is also out that, due to the popular demand for tickets, an extra date has been set for an additional performance at the SECC, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow.

CBeebies’ favourite making-man, Mister Maker, is packing up his craft box and taking his artistic talents on the road to join the channel’s biggest stars in the brand new arena spectacular CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’. Fun, inspirational and very good with his hands, Mister Maker has just been confirmed as part of the stellar line-up for this 9-city UK arena tour from 31 March to 14 April 2012. With strong advance tickets sales since the on-sale date of 7 October, an extra performance has been added to the Glasgow run to keep up with demand. For the revised schedule please see the listings grid below. 

This autumn’s box office activity suggests that CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ will be one of the hot children’s theatre tickets in 2012!

Joining Mister Maker will be Justin Fletcher MBE, Postman Pat with Jess the Cat and the ZingZillas, together with CBeebies presenters Andy Day, Katy Ashworth and Andrew Agnew in this all-action show. Combining big screen video footage and live performance, a host of CBeebies favourites including Squiglet and Robbie Rotten, Stephanie and Sportacus from LazyTown will join in the fun, interacting with the audience for an incredible live experience. Robbie Rotten is determined to show that he is the biggest star on CBeebies!

His dastardly plan involves the capture of the other CBeebies characters and it’s up to the audience to work with PC Plum and the rest of the stars of CBeebies to find out what has happened and set them free. Action-packed and full of surprises, the whole family will enjoy singing along and dancing in the aisles!

Mister Maker said: 
I can’t wait to get out and about with my gloopy glue and sticky tape to help put an end to Robbie Rotten’s nasty old tricks. I’m sure we can come up with all kinds of super crafty ways to sort him out with the help of all my mini-makers in the audience!

CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ will begin its UK-wide tour at Wembley Arena on the 31st March 2012 before travelling to a further eight cities. It marks the first CBeebies Live! arena tour since 2008. More than 550, 000 people have attended a CBeebies Live! show to date and CBeebies Live! ‘Reach to the Stars’ promises to be an even bigger spectacular with an all-new show, massive video screen and more audience interaction than ever before!

Children’s tickets from £12.50 and family tickets (for 4 people) from £50 (subject to booking fee).

For tickets or more information about the show visit: www.CBeebiesLive.com

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

WIN Panto Tickets for Cinderella (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch)

It’s nearly panto time at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch ...
 "Oh yes it is!" 

Families won’t want to miss this year’s fun-packed festive tale, Cinderella, playing from 3 December, 2011 – 14 January, 2012.

Boys and girls of all ages can join kind Cinderella on an exciting adventure from rags to riches as The Fairy Godmother transforms her into a dazzling beauty fit for a Prince! There’s no more scrubbing for Cinders, she’s off to The Ball and everyone’s invited!

From enchanted pumpkins to lost crystal slippers, there’ll be magic, mayhem and comedy capers in the best panto in town this Christmas - starring the Queen’s professional resident company of actor-musicians, cut to the chase.

The whole family can cheer, boo and laugh at all their favourite panto characters - the riotously wicked Ugly Sisters, stupendously silly Buttons, dashing Prince Charming, thigh-slapping Dandini and bumbling Baron Hardup. And supporting the professional cut to the chase… cast is a Young Company of 24 super-talented local schoolchildren, who’ll be singing, dancing and playing various small roles.

Written and directed by Queen’s Artistic Director Bob Carlton with music and lyrics by Queen’s Musical Director Carol SlomanCinderella is full of catchy songs, spectacular sets, colourful costumes, side-splitting slapstick and loads of audience participation! For nearly 60 years, the Queen’s has been producing hugely popular Christmas pantomimes enjoyed by young and old, so families are guaranteed plenty of top-quality, traditional festive entertainment!

Cinderella stars cut to the chase… company members Natasha Moore as Cinderella, Niall Costigan as Prince Charming, Simon Jessop and Tom Jude as the Ugly Sisters,  Karen Fisher-Pollard as Fairy Godmother, Mark Stanford as Buttons, Stuart Organ as Baron Hardup, Callum Hughes as Dandini, with Robert MaloneyCarol Sloman and Al Twist as musicians.

This production is written and directed by Queen’s Theatre Artistic Director Bob Carlton, with set and costume design by Mark Walters, musical direction by Carol Sloman, lighting design by Mark Dymock, sound design by Nik Dudley, with Andy Smart as associate sound designer, choreography by Donna Berlin and with Hannah Welch as assistant choreographer.

Cinderella will be performed at the Queen’s TheatreBillet LaneHornchurch from 3 December - 14 January. Tickets are £14 £21.50, with discounts for groups and families. Call the Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit www.queens-theatre.co.uk

Competition Time!!

Here at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we are really excited to be going to see Cinderella at The Queen's Theatre at the beginning of December. We are also delighted to offer one of our lucky readers an opportunity to win a Family Ticket (up to 4 seats) to see this wonderful pantomime in January 2012. What better way to beat those 'New Year Blues' than a good family evening at the theatre?! For some photographs of the standard of performance held at the family friendly Queen's Theatre, take a look at the pictures from previous panto spectaculars!! The prize details are as follows:

Performance Date:    Wednesday, 4th January, 2012
Performance Time:    6.30pm
Address of Venue:    Queen's Theatre, Billet LaneHornchurch RM11 1QT
Prize:                     1 Family Ticket (up to 4 seats) 
All you need to do to enter is fill in the entry form below, completing the mandatory steps, and the optional steps for bonus entries!

Good Luck Everybody!!

Competition Closed!

Thank you to everyone who entered this wonderful competition. Our review of this fantastic production can be found HERE. Our experience at the Queens Theatre was truly magical and one that we will never forget. The family atmosphere at the venue is just perfect and I am sure that the winner will enjoy a simply dazzling experience!

Congratulations to our winner Kelly Butterworth! You have won the Family Ticket to see Cinderella at the Queens Theatre on Wednesday 4th January, 2012! Well done! Please email me at munchkinhart@gmail.com with your address and I will arrange for your tickets to be sent out to you! I hope you have as much fun as we did!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

And it begins ... "I Want one of those ...!"

As most of you may know, I am 2 years old. I like the usual things that a 2 year old girl likes: I like my toys (especially the noisy ones!), my books (especially the noisy ones!), and going to the park. I like my Fudgy Bear, seeing my nanna and granddad and having long 'mummy cuddles' on the sofa whilst watching a Winnie the Pooh DVD. 

However, whilst having some TV time with mummy today, I made a mammoth discovery ....

Why did nobody tell me ....???
Watching Bubble Guppies on Nick Jr was nothing out of the ordinary. It was an episode I had never seen before, but nobody had prepared me for what came after my 20 minutes of routine singing and dancing to the sounds of Mr Grouper and the Guppies. 

Adverts ...? What are these adverts ...?
Right, so these are just the time fillers that break up my favourite programmes, yes? The bits I take no notice of, my cue to switch off, switch my attention and find something else to do. That's how it works ... right?

Not today. Today I found a whole new appreciation, built a whole new opinion, developed a whole new understanding about these little 'time fillers' that frequently result in me grabbing my noisiest toy to drown out the sound of endless information about things that aren't Bubble Guppies, Peppa Pig or Team Umizoomi. 

These little clips of 'nothingness' had toys! 

"Why has no one ever told me about this?"

Oooh, whats that ...? Milky the Bunny ...? I want a Milky the Bunny ...!

Oooh, what's that ...? A Paper Jamz Rock Girl Pink Microphone ...? I want a Paper Jamz Rock Girl Pink Microphone ...! I'm not sure why. I'm only 2. But right now, it's on my telly and I want one!

Oooh, what's that ...? An Ozbozz My First Scooter - in PINK ...? I neeeed an Ozbozz My First Scooter ... in pink ...!!

Mummy thought she was winning in her fight against TV advertising. I don't watch lots of telly, and until today, these 'advert' things really weren't of any interest to me. But now I know they are there ... in between every single programme. 4 - 5 minutes of pure product pushing! Toys, toys, toys and more toys! Of course, many of the toys shown are not necessarily suitable for me. I am 2, so would have little use for a set of Hot Wheels Wall Tracks right now, but they look like fun, and they're on my telly, so I want that too!!

This is a little reminder for mummy and daddy, and maybe even a subtle warning ... You can't hide these things from me! The people inside these adverts are trying to tell me things ... wanting to show me things ... willing you to buy things, and all this time I never even knew they were there!! But that all changed today. Today, I listened to their messages, watched their colours and felt the temptation induced by the sheer, unmeasurable joy on the faces of the children on the screen. Mummy and daddy, nanna and granddad, in fact anyone that fancies listening, I have a little announcement to make that I hope sums up what I have learnt from this afternoon's events ...

Just saying ... in case you needed to know!

This is not a sponsored post

Monday, 7 November 2011

POYNT - On a Device Near You!

Poynt is the award-winning, all-in-one, free local search App that connects consumers to businesses, retailers, movie theatres, restaurants, people, weather and local events, whenever and wherever they're needed.

With all the kids now back at school, time will be precious- and any timesaving applications are always welcomed!

This is a FANTASTIC  mobile app to meet the busy back to school rush that parents face- the application is called Poynt and is completely free!
 Poynt is a local search application which allows you to find businesses, restaurants, cinemas and events in your local area and will even provide directions to them for you.
 The Poynt app is ideal for busy parents for a number of reasons: 

      Find doctors, pharmacies, crèches, swimming pools, museums, zoos,      
      cinemas, ice rinks, restaurants, etc   
      Search for local family events – fairs, fetes, bonfire night celebrations

      Book tickets for cinema and other leisure activities

      Make a restaurant booking

      The app is available on all mobile platforms

SAVE TIME - Avoid copy and pasting details – MAKE CALLS DRIECT FROM APP!!!
 You can find out all detail via the Poynt website at http://poynt.com/However, below is a list of a few of the key USPs:
      Poynt is completely free to use.

      It offers users the chance to find businesses, cinemas, restaurants and 
      events in the local area.
      Poynt is available in eight countries – USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany,   
      Spain, Italy and Australia and will shortly be available in India.

      Whichever country you are in the directions and info will all appear in 
      English if you are English or in the local language if requested.

      Poynt is available on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Blackberry Playbook , 
      Nokia QT, Windows Phone 7 and Android.

      The app is deeply integrated with the handset so that you can add details
      to your contacts and calendar, call businesses, share the details via email
      Twitter and Facebook with friends and send invites all within the app itself

          iPhone features call gesture to call restaurants, cinemas, businesses etc. by 
    holding the handset to your ear
           AR which allows you to walk to your chosen destination with arrows pointing  
    the way – ideal if you are visiting a new location

Blackberry Playbook
         Allows you to pair your Blackberry device with the Playbook to add people to 
   your contacts and calendar

I decided to put the Poynt Application to the test last week when I was searching the local area for activities for my 2 year old daughter. I opened the application, and once it had searched my current location, it took me to an attractive menu screen which offered me 4 options: Businesses, Events, Restaurants and Movies, as well as displaying the local weather conditions and temperature. 

After selecting 'Businesses', I was taken to a Search Bar where I could enter my search words. When I typed 'Children's Centre' into the search bar, I was presented with a list of local results including their distance from my current location in kms. Above this list of results were 2 sponsored results selected by Thomson Local, both of which were reasonably nearby. On opening the business that seemed most suitable, I was given the address and telephone number of the children's centre, but also had the option to call them directly from the App, saving me from having to copy & paste the details. I was also given a Map and Directions information that would lead me straight to where I want to go. 

Poynt is easy and convenient to use and is great for finding locations in and around your local area (and beyond) which you may not have discovered before. And best of all, it's FREE! Give it a go and see in which direction this new App will POYNT you today!

This is not a sponsored post

Saturday, 5 November 2011

WIN 1 of 3 letters with love from Peppa, Pooh and Disney Princesses from Hart & Design!

The brains and the creative fingers behind Hart and Design is Neil Hart, who has been digitally designing for many years, but on a small scale. It all started a number of years ago when he became interested and involved in a design forum where he spent time designing forum sigs and graphics for people he met along the way. Eventually, his work was recognised by people who wanted graphics designed for their websites and forums. After spending a number of years as an active member of the much loved DeviantArt.com, and receiving a continuous stream of encouragement and appreciation for his talent, he recognised that his love for art ran deeper than he had thought. This is when he started to explore his love for photography. He was greatly inspired and encouraged by long standing professional photographer, Barrie Tumbridge, who helped him to realise his potential and to develop it as far as he could. With trips to various parts of the country ...

Macro (Close up) Photography is definitely a speciality, as this blade of grass and dew drop demonstrates!

... and the birth of his beautiful daughter ...

The patter of tiny feet must be inspiring to any photographer!

... Neil gradually found himself with more and more opportunities to demonstrate his creative gift, as well as enhancing his results by combining his love for both photography and digital design to create some wonderfully unique pieces of art! And, in 2009, his work was even more widely recognised as he came Runner-Up in (Macro) Digital Photographer of the Year with this beautiful, eye-catching piece ...

A single dandelion seed holding a tiny water droplet!

More recently, and since his daughter has reached the age of 2, Neil has turned his attention to more child focused work. Never leaving his camera in its case for too long, he has started to work in a way to appeal to a younger audience, creating items that he would make for his own daughter and the children in his family, and that he believes would be popular items amongst many children of many ages. 

Customizable, fully personalised letters to AND from Santa

One of the wonderful things about the work he does is that everything he makes is fully customizable! You can choose every aspect of your item, whether it is a greeting card, party invitations, or his most recent designs - the personalised letters to your child from their favourite character(s).

Personalised Character Letters to your child

Here at The Hart of the Munchkin Patch, we think these are a really lovely idea, as the design possibilities are endless! They can be used as a good behaviour reminder, encouragement if your child is toilet training, struggling with the transition from cot to bed, settling into a new playgroup or school, or as a confidence builder for ANY other reason. They would also make a great treat for a child that deserves praise for good behaviour or as a special reward for personal achievements. Your child could also receive a unique, personalised letter from their favourite character(s) to wish them Happy Birthday when their special day arrives! And the character options are not limited to Peppa and George. How about Disney Princesses, Disney Cars, Barbie or Ben 10

I love the work that Neil does at Hart & Design, and I hope that you do too. Although he has started to concentrate more on his digital talents, we know that his love for photography has not, and will never die. With a daughter as photogenic as his, how could he ever abandon the camera ...?

For those of you that don't know me personally, and for those that haven't made the connection yet, Mr Hart & Design (Neil Hart) is more commonly known in this household as 'Daddy'! Yes, he is my partner and daddy of our darling Munchkin! We are very proud of the work he is doing and that he has started to make his creations more widely available to allow more than just friends and family to benefit from his wonderful talent! And, of course, it goes without saying that his photography inspiration, and the man who led him down the path he always believed he wouldn't be good enough to travel, is my wonderful dad, and the other most important man in Munchkin's life!

To celebrate Neil's new Facebook Page, and the fact that it has received interest and orders in the short space of time that it has been running, he has decided that he would like to give something back to the people that have been supporting him so much!


Hart & Design would like to offer a competition to the readers of The Hart of the Munchkin Patch! THREE lucky readers will win a personalised character letter of their choice for their child(ren) You can choose the character, the message, and have it looking exactly the way you wish! To enter the Giveaway and be in with one of three chances of winning this lovely item, see the requirements below. 

Competition Closed!

A huge thank you to everyone that entered this competition! The 3 winners have been randomly selected by Rafflecopter and are listed below. Congratulations to Rachel, Sarah and Georgina! Please send an email to hartandesign@gmail.com listing the following details:

Chosen design (if you would like a design that is not yet shown on Hart & Design's Facebook Page, I have been assured that this is fine, as ALL designs will be considered!)
Child's name (if you would like more than one name on the letter, this is also fine)
Reason for letter and any special wording you would like.
Your address.

A low quality draft will be sent to you via email for your approval before your letter is printed and sent to your chosen address.

Congratulations and thanks to you all!!