Cymru Culture

Articles / Erthyglau

Birthday gift ideas

(March 01, 2018)

So, you have a birthday for a friend or family member in early Spring. Great, but what do you get them as a gift? 

Everyone (should?) have alcohol and chocolates left over from Christmas (invariably all the favourites were greedily eaten and drunk first), but you'll still have biscuits, cheese and jars of chutney lurking in the back of cupboards and fridges, making a meal out seem friviolous? Unopened boxes of chocolates are perfect for regifting. But, did you remember who gave you what at Christmas. Did you write that list that you intended to for just such an occasion? No?

The best way out of this conundrum is to buy something which is truly unique, and what better gifts than those made by local artisans and craftspeople?

Below are some present and gift ideas from producers whom I can personally recommend, and whose items always prove very popular when presented to friends and family.


Valmai Davies

Valmai 3
Lavender stuffed penguin and mouse,
by Valmai Davies

Valmai has been producing beautifully hand-sitched pieces for a number of years and her collections range from handbags to adorable Christmas decorations (of which I have many).

She has recently expanded her cast of vintage Welsh-wool characters to Scottie dogs, Dachshunds and Elephants, together with charming mice doorstops that match beautifully with her lavendar filled mice (of which I and my family have many, adorning wardrobes, shelf edges and basically anywhere you can fit them as they smile down on you).

Stuffed penguin, by Valmai Davies Lavender stuffed mouse, by Valmai Davies
Lavender stuffed penguin,
by Valmai Davies
Lavender stuffed mouse,
by Valmai Davies

Another favourite (and a recent design) is her sheep doorstop, which I have ordered as a birthday gift for my mam this year.

Valmai will happily advise you of the vintage textiles she has in stock, and therefore you can get something which will fit in with any colour scheme, or preference.

She sells her beautiful designs through a number of outlets, some of which are listed below. She can also be contacted direct via her Facebook page.

She occassionally attends craft fairs at the National Botanical Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, Sir Gâr. Dates can be obtained from her direct.

Tŷ Bach Twt, Crymych, Sir Benfro: on Facebook, wefan/website.

The Golden Sheaf Gallery, Arberth, Sir Benfro: on Facebook.


Cheeky Bucket Art Work

Sheep, by Cheeky Bucket Art Work
Sheep, by Simon Williams at Cheeky Bucket Art Work

Founded in 2011, the delightful artwork by artist Simon Williams of Cheeky Bucket really caught my eye one year when wandering around the Cardiff Christmas Market (the stall of which is manned by his welcoming and helpful dad). I am a great fan of street art, and the style of this artist really appealled to me because of this. I also like that his work has a great sense of fun, which comes across in each piece.

I have a number of prints from this artist, the most spectacular of which is his bright red dragon; a favourite of my husband and made a great birthday present one year.

Red Dragon, by Cheeky Bucket Art Work
Red Dragon, by Simon Williams at Cheeky Bucket Art Work

I also bought a set of three unicorn images which made a lovely birthday present for my sister one year, and treated myself to images of a great white shark and a group of sheep, which hang on our gallery wall at home – so as you can see, I am quite a fan!

All the prints can be framed using Ikea standard frames, which is a nice and considerate touch as this makes the prints much more special and economical to frame.

Pug, by Cheeky Bucket Art Work

Pug, by Simon Williams at Cheeky Bucket Art Work

Wefan Cheeky Bucket website:


NomNom Chocolate

Nom Nom Chocolate; pink pepper

So all the chocolate you had for Christmas has been eaten, and you cannot regift anything you didn't like (come on we all do this)...  so, what do you get a chocolate lover?

Might I suggest a bar or two (or more) of NomNom chocolate, which is made in Llanboidy, Sir Gâr.

Available direct from the website, or from a large selection of outlets in Wales, the beautifully presented bars of chocolate range from the sold-out Honeycomb to Pink Pepper and Apple Sherbert. They also do a range of traditional favourites, so there is something for everyone.

One bar which looks particuarly delicious is the Flame Roasted Hazelnut. A more grown up take on the Cadbury's Wholenut, perhaps?

Nom Nom Chocolate; flame roasted hazelnut Nom Nom Chocolate; peanut butter

Other than the exquisite flavours and textures, what I particuarly like is the attention to detail in terms of its presentation, from the textured papers to the richly coloured foils. It makes them perfect gifts as they have a real artisan and luxury feel. Bars such as 'Espresso Martini' looks particuarly chic and special.

You get free delivery with any order over £30.00, so you have the perfect excuse to order one or two bars for yourself, as well as your loved one.

NomNom Choclolate are planning to expand, by moving production into Pemberton chocolate's abandoned factory nearby, which closed in 2011. Athough they seem to be trying a unique way to finance it: see here.

Love what this company does and are trying to achieve? Then buy a brick and help this innovative company grow and grow.

Checkout or NomNom Chocolate on Facebook 

Claire Meredith, March 2018

If you liked this, you'll also like:

      Christmas craft ideas; December 2017
Stylish present wrapping ideas; December 2017
Handmade gift ideas for Christmas; September 2017
Get crafty this Christmas; December 2016
Christmas gift guide, December 2016
Upcycling home accessories: part II; March 2016
Upcycling home accessories: chalk paint; June 2015
Steampunk #1, photo frame; March 2015
Steampunk #2, glass bottle pendant; March 2015
Crafting: felt accessories for your home; March 2015
Crafting: 'vintage' frame; March 2015
Vintage-inspired gifts; December 2014

Handmade cards; December 2014
Handmade gift tags; December 2014
Stylishly wrapped presents; December 2014
Personalised Christmas decorations; December 2013
Accessorize your home this Christmas; December 2011
Shades of Grey; Caregos Couture new collection; September 2011
History of costume Jewellery; September 2010
Statement pieces from Caregos Couture, September 2010
Easter/Spring party gift and decoration ideas; March 2010
Modern accessories vs retro-chic; March 2010
New Art Gallery in Cardiff 'Off the Wall'; Septermber 2009
Statement necklaces; September 2009
Stylish party canapés, September 2009

George Thomas Hospice 'Style In the City' event; May 2009
Whitefriars Glass, March 2009


cylchgrawn Cymru Culture magazine
Published by/Cyhoeddwyd gan: Caregos Cyf., 2018


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