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Welcome to the Printing Palace...

 

Here you'll find my sporadic (and sometimes nonsensical) musings about what we're up to here at TQE Headquarters, including special offers, competitions, new products, and up-to-the-minute info on which expensive piece of office equipment the kids have broken this time. (In the event of a lengthy silence on the blog front, you can safely assume they've set fire to my laptop, and resign yourself to the fact that you won't be receiving that splendid print anytime soon...)

 

Enjoy the madness, feel free to leave comments, share posts, or send cake.  We like cake.

 

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By thequeensenglishprints, Oct 1 2015 07:00AM

Christmas shopping.


If, like me, you react to those words with a sudden onset of panic-induced feverishness, then I’d first like to apologise for the sweaty palms and heart palpitations I’ve caused you.


We all know it can be an absolute nightmare: endless lists of uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters, in-laws and friends... they’re handy when you need company or a lift into town, but when it comes to December they prove to be downright expensive, and near-impossible to find truly thoughtful gifts for.


But at The Queen’s English Prints, we think we’ve come up with a solution. What if I could promise you a hassle-free December, with the shopping all done, a garage-full of the most thoughtfully purchased gifts money can buy, and – best of all – cash left in the bank for you to splurge on gingerbread and Baileys? Are the heart palpitations easing off? Excellent.


We have a wide range of prints designed to induce sheer ecstasy in every recipient known to man – and what’s more, we can help you get them ordered now, so you can truly enjoy the festive season and all the mulled wine it entails, without stressing over last-minute panic buys. (No-one wants those socks, put them down.)


How, you ask?


Here’s how: throughout October, we’re offering 10% off ALL orders.




That means you can get your Christmas shopping in the bag, and have change left over for a chocolate Santa or twelve. Sound good? Simply use the promotional code ‘OCTOBER15’ at the checkout. Easy!


I know what you’re thinking. What am I waiting for?! And why do I suddenly feel... mildly peckish?


Go on, have a browse through our designs... and get started on that Advent calendar. We won’t tell anyone.


Halloween... what’s that?


Merry Christmas everyone!




By thequeensenglishprints, Sep 10 2015 07:50PM

I happened to stumble across this quirky ‘100-Day Goal’ incentive from The Business Bakery in my inbox a few weeks back… I almost deleted it, but was intrigued enough to grant it the significant honour of a 10-second once-over, since I happened to be experiencing one of those unique blips in the time-space continuum where both children were happily occupied, and there were no recent acts of vandalism to the home that required immediate rectification. And I’m glad I did.



100 Days


It’s just long enough that you think ‘I’ve got bags of time, that’s nearly a third of a year!’ It’s also just short enough, that you’re quietly aware that it’ll be all spent before Christmas (and if you have the 2.4 million nieces and nephews to buy presents for that I do, then Christmas feels a lot closer than it might do to your average hermit).


The Challenge


So the concept of the 100-day challenge is that you set yourself a tangible goal – a measurable outcome that you wish to achieve by day 100. It could be a sales figure, a customer number, a production quota… whatever your business aim, it needs to be a countable output, that comes about as a result of your 100 micro-inputs that you perform over the course of the afore-mentioned 100 days.


Now I’m all for a good To Do list – my life is entirely run by them. I’ve usually consulted at least 3 of the little blighters by 7am, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than TICKING something off. The problem is that when it comes to business, the bigger my To Do list grows, the more overwhelming I find it, and the less I look at it. And if the words ‘Tax Return’ feature anywhere on the list, you can bet I’m shutting that list down until deadline day.


But what’s unique about this challenge is the timeframe – 100 days is a LOT of days, and if your goal is reasonable, you can break down each step towards that goal into a micro-step, and you only need to do one small thing every day. Just a teeny little thing. Then you’re done. Until tomorrow’s tiny little job. And so on and so forth until before you know it you’ve increased your product-range 5-fold, and have a shiny new website to show it all off on (although it’s all behind the scenes until at least day 30… bear with me). And it feels like you didn’t do much… but you well and truly did.


So gone are the To Do lists of yester-year with no tangible goal, deadline or result… and here to stay (or at least until the 9th of December) is the 100-Day Plan, which has so far motivated me to produce five new product designs, streamline my sales process, and gain a handful of brand new customers that I didn’t have a week ago. And all I did was practically nothing every day. Isn’t that marvellous?


And I’ll let you in on a little secret… some days I was so overcome by this strange ethereal impetus (probably the coffee) that I actually did more than one day’s worth of micro-actions. So if I need a day off from the incredibly arduous task of doing barely anything strenuous at all, I’ve got some in the bag! Phew!


Honestly, try it... and get back to me in 100 days' time! X



P.S - You know this blog entry? This was day 12’s micro action… and we’re only on day 10! So… how much is a long weekend in the Med..?




By thequeensenglishprints, Sep 3 2015 06:30PM

So it’s finally back-to-school time, and most work-at-home mums are breathing a massive sigh of relief and cracking open the Pimm’s (by cracking open the Pimm’s, of course I mean knuckling down and reacquainting themselves with the home office).


But for some of us, it’s not as easy as all that. Some of us have to share our workspace with a small person or two every single day, because try as we might, the governors of mainstream education just won’t take them off our hands until they’re 4! So if you think that working from home is lovely, luxurious – or just downright lazy – please spare a thought for those of us who are trying to juggle tantrums and tax returns simultaneously.


These days working mums are expected to do it all – and we do. At The Queen’s English Prints, my boss is an entirely irrational pint-sized sociopath, with a penchant for felt-tip graffiti, complete lack of emotional stability, and unlimited energy resources. Whilst I’m answering emails and making orders, I’m also wiping spaghetti off the walls and cleaning the latest Crayola masterpiece off the dog.



So, if you’re one of those very lucky ‘mumpreneurs’ basking in the glow of complete and utter back-to-school tranquillity today, I cannot wait to join the club. If however, like me, you’re leaning over your laptop whilst blowing on your dictator’s beans on toast until it reaches the optimum tantrum-free consumption temperature, then check out these top tips on how to make ‘doing it all’ just a little bit easier…


One: I Think I’ve Dealt with the Great ’Vegetable’ Debate…


My kids are the fussiest eaters on the planet. The hours and hours I have spent trying desperately to get half an ounce of hidden pureed carrot into them (‘Mummy… this sauce is… WEIRD’) I cannot count. Tricking them didn’t work, begging them didn’t work, bribing them didn’t work and punishing them wasn’t worth it for a slice of cucumber. Then it hit me: competition. My two boys are fiercely competitive over everything so, with absolutely nothing to lose apart from 50 pence-worth of veg, I made healthy eating a competition.




I laid out each food item with a label next to it stating how many points they could earn if they ate a piece; I then gave them a points card each, with their name written clearly at the top, for them to record each momentous victory as it occurred. Quite simply, whoever earned the most points at the end of lunchtime was declared undisputed champion of the world.


I didn’t have very high hopes but I thought, if nothing else, it might be fun. And would you believe, they LOVED it! I’ll admit, they didn’t wholly enjoy every single mouthful, but it proved to them that eating vegetables is not as apocalyptically awful as they had previously envisaged… and it even meant that I could pop the odd spot of salad on their plates from then on, without them flinching.


I know it’s a bit hypocritical... but I treated myself to a big bag of Maltesers that night in celebration of what a 5-star mother I’d been THAT day.


Two: We’ve all said it… “Just go AND PLAY!”


Why is it that when you have absolutely nothing to do, the kids will happily entertain themselves for an hour with no more than a paperclip and a clothes peg – but the minute you need to get half an hour’s work done they have never been more bored and incapable of independent play in all their lives?


Well, I stole this idea from Channel 4’s The Three-Day Nanny, but honestly, it works! It’s based on the idea that a child’s attention-span is only 20 minutes or so long, and involves you setting up ‘play stations’ (no, not the ones you need to plug in) around your home, so that they can independently bounce from one to the next, without needing to moan at you when they lose interest in something.


So you might set up a lego corner, a musical instrument corner, an action figure corner, a Play Doh corner… I could go on but unless your living room is octagonal that’s probably enough corners to get you going. All of a sudden, the room looks pretty exciting to a small person, and you’ve encouraged independence, creativity and imagination, all whilst getting your order book up-to-date!


Three: “But I’m NOT TIRED!”


Oh… yes you are. Bedtime is non-negotiable in this house, because the moment you show weakness to an overtired pre-schooler, they see it, and they run with it, and you can kiss those evening hours of precious distraction-free productivity goodbye.


Develop a nightly routine, and stick with it; my children get a warm bath, a glass of milk each, two bedtime stories and cuddles-all-round. For children, predictability and routine is settling, and a nice settled bedtime has got Pinot Grigio written all over it. (And when I say Pinot Grigio, I obviously mean a solid couple of hours of online networking, filing and creative brainstorming.)


Good luck! x

By thequeensenglishprints, Aug 10 2015 08:41PM

If you're not following us on Facebook right now, you probably don't know how absolutely hilarious we can be on Facebook (honestly, you'll snort your Weetabix) but that aside - you also won't be aware that we're currently running a competition!


We're a friendly bunch; we love having people around to laugh at our jokes and throw us a high five every once in a while, so we thought we'd launch a competition to encourage a few more like-minded friendly folk to stop by our Facebook page, and give us the metaphorical thumbs up.


If you'd like to be in with a chance to win your very own personalised design from The Queen's English Prints, then you've very little you need to do to action that! Simply pop by our Facebook page, check out the pinned competition post, and follow the ultra-simple instructions. I road-tested it on the resident Corgi, and while he's not strictly eligible for legitimate entry, he said it was one of the easiest competitions to get involved in that he'd ever laid his whiskers on.


So what are you waiting for? Not only will you be in with the chance of getting yourself something sublime for entirely zero fiscal expenditure, but you'll have an absolute blast mooching around our Facebook page too. Because it's pretty ... and I'm talking

Special-Edition-My-Little-Pony pretty.


Remember, you've got to be in it to win it... so GET IN!





By thequeensenglishprints, Aug 7 2015 05:51PM



The Queen’s English Prints is a tiny little family-run business, born out of a love of words, art and all-encompassing quirkiness (we’re a quirky family, and we think you can never have too much of that out there in the world). So when you order a personalised print from us, there’s no corporate computer that whirrs into action and automatically produces your print. Instead we have something far more impressive… actual human people.


That’s right, when you place your order, it comes straight through to an actual human person (namely myself), who will produce your print personally – by deciding what will look best where, based on the design you’ve asked for, and the words and phrases you’ve provided.


If I think you haven’t given me enough info, I’ll get in touch with you and ask for more; if you’re after a specific colour background, I’ll get in touch with you and email some samples for you to choose from; If you want to know what happened in Eastenders last night, I’ll get in touch with you and discuss it at length.


Once I’ve put your personalised print draft together (with the professional aid of a couple of cups of tea and a biscuit or six) I’ll email you a draft copy to make sure you’re absolutely ecstatic with it. If you’re not, I’ll tweak it until you are. There are no print-bots here – only a truly personal touch that ensures you receive the very best, most perfect print when all is said and done.


So, whether you’re shopping for yourself, or treating a loved one, once you get your hands on that print you can bask in its absolute beauty and magnificence, knowing that we’ve created it with all the care, attention and patience we’d expect to use if we were delivering a litter of kittens. The truth is, a personalised print from The Queen’s English Prints is significantly less expensive and a lot easier to live with than a litter of kittens, so we recommend you stick with us, have a browse through our designs, and get in touch if you have an idea in mind.



Have a lovely day! x




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