Upcycle Your Christmas cards

The last of the festivities are over, you never want to see another mince pie again and if your house is anything like mine it looks like an explosion in a toy factory. We also have a ton of Christmas cards still hanging around.  Rather than put them in the recycle bin (which you shouldn’t do with the glittery/foil/sparkly ones anyway) why not have a go at upcycling them!

Here are a few ideas that will keep your children busy whilst you are staying safe at home!

Make Some Bunting

This is a really cute idea to make pretty bunting from your old Christmas cards.  You will need some old Christmas cards, scissors, a ruler, string and some sticky tape. https://www.learning4kids.net/2012/11/25/recycled-christmas-card-garland/

Make A Bauble

These are a little more tricky to make and younger children will need you to lend a hand for sure, but the end result is so pretty.  I remember making something like this in school when I was about 8. You can pretty up the edges with paint or glitter too http://www.keepingwiththetimes.com/handmade-christmas-globe-ornaments/

Make Gift Tags

This is a really simple idea and perfect for younger children.  Let them make their own gift tags by cutting out the designs they like from the fronts of the cards.  You don’t have to stick to the same shapes and you might even find patterns you can use to make tags for giving year round https://www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-Christmas-cards-into-gift-tags/

Make A Book Mark

As mentioned in my previous blog http://www.hannahchappellphotography.co.uk/2020/01/04/brilliant-books-for-babies-under-1/ reading is super important for little ones.

If you have a house of little readers, you’ll know that a book mark is always useful as they are starting to read longer books . http://zenforyou.dalefg.net/2011/11/diy-bookmarks-from-repurposed-christmas.html#.Xe-qSOj7SCg 

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration to upcycle your old Christmas cards.  I’d love to see the results of your crafting. If you make any of these, please tag me on social media  


Keeping It Local Christmas Shopping

As a local business, my photography business relies heavily on support from the local community. That’s just one reason I like to to give back when it comes to where I spend my money. Shopping local with independent businesses has so many benefits – from a better, more personal service, right through to knowing that you are helping Heathfield to prosper and grow. Although there have been many downsides to living through a pandemic, one of the positives is the outpouring of love it’s created for our small local businesses. If you’ve pledged to shop small and shop local this festive season, this is the perfect gift guide for you…..


For those with little ones or expecting a little one

Mini First Aid 

Mini first aid Heathfield classes

Website: https://www.minifirstaid.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minifirstaideastsussex/ 

Jen offers baby and child first aid classes in Heathfield. A perfect gift for parents/expectant parents or even grandparents where they will learn potentially life saving skills with fun and informative classes. You can even bring pre-crawling babies along with you so no need to worry about childcare. Classes cost £20.

Dates available: Monday 25th January 7-9pm, Sunday 21st February 10-12pm, Sunday 21st March 10-12pm.


Mothering Mojo

Mothering mojo Heathfield

Website: https://www.motheringmojo.com\

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/motheringmojo1

Trudi is a lovely lady of many talents whom has managed to work through both lock downs(Kudos to her and her hardwork!)! – Doula, Antenatal Educator, Breastfeeding Teacher and Yoga Instructor, supporting mothers and their partners from early pregnancy through birth and postnatal recovery (be that six months post or several decades). She offers class passes for her Yoga Classes 5 classes for £45 or 10 classes for £80. Gift vouchers are also available.


Zen Baby Massage

zen baby massage Heathfield

Website: http://www.zenbabymassageyoga.com/


Zen Baby Massage offers a friendly and relaxed Baby Massage course available in our neighbouring town of Horam ( is Horam a town I’m not sure maybe a village?). Baby massage is such a fantastic way to bond with your baby in a relaxed and calm environment. Gift vouchers can be purchased for a full group course, a private session, or for a monetary value that can be used against either choice. Available in denominations of £5.


Music Bunnies

musical bunnies

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MusicBunnies

Website: http://www.musicbunnies.co.uk

Offering  action packed, fun, interactive and educational music classes for babies and toddlers using various exciting props and percussion instruments.

Tiny Toes Baby Massage

Tiny Toes Baby Massage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tinytoes.heathfield/

Website: https://www.tinytoesbabymassage.co.uk

Baby Massage and Sensory Play classes in Heathfield. 5 Week course where you will learn the art of Baby Massage in a small and friendly group and where your baby will socialise with others and enjoy sensory development. Classes for babies from 6 weeks. Gift vouchers are avaliable.


Hannah Chappell Photography

Hannah Chappell Photography

Website: You are on it 😊 http://www.hannahchappellphotography.co.uk


Hi I’m Hannah and I offer beautiful Newborn, Children and Family Photography. Gift vouchers are available and make a lovely gift for expectant parents or perhaps you want to buy a voucher for a nice family photoshoot for those that had lockdown babies and missed out on showing off their newborn baby.

You deserve gorgeous professional photographic memories not just phone shots that live in the cloud but actual photographs you that you love and print that you will cherish forever and be able to show your children, and generations to come.

For the sporty ones

Lucy Rose Fitness

Lucy Rose fitness Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucyroseburns

Fitness classes in East Hoathly Monday evenings and Wednesday Mornings for females of all abilities. Gift Vouchers available. Email lucyroseburns.fitness@gmail.com.

Uckfield Yoga Studio

Uckfield yoga studio



A friendly, warm large yoga space on Uckfield high street. They have lots of different teachers teaching various classes for all ages  and are open every day. Many classes are available via zoom at the moment, check out their timetable and see what you fancy trying. They offer gift vouchers for classes and you can purchase yoga mats and eye pillows as a gift to you or a loved one.


Electra Star Dance

electra star dance Horam

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/electrastardance/

Dance classes with ISTD and Acrobatic Arts Certified teacher Laura Farley. Perfect for all girls and boys from 2 years upwards. Held in her beautiful large Horam studio by the Park. My daughter has attended Acro dance lessons for two years now and now attends three times a week doing different classes as she loves it so much. Miss Laura is a great teacher and she also sells lots of great merchandise that make great Christmas presents (which she is very good at sneaking to you).

For those who like a little pampering

Blackdoor Beauty

Blackdoor beauty Heathfield

Website: http://www.blackdoorbeauty.co.uk/


The lovely ladies at Blackdoor Beauty are hidden behind a yes you guessed it black door on Heathfield high street (opposite Tesco’s). I have personally been attending this Salon since it first opened and have always been greeted with a smile and friendly service. I even treated myself recently to some sparkly festive toenails. Gift vouchers are available and make the perfect gift for a loved one. They can be purchased for a sum of money or against a specific treatment.

Sarah Allen Skincare and Make Up

Sarah allen makeup




Offering personalised skincare and make up products and lessons for individuals and small groups in the comfort of your own home.


Charlotte Armstrong – Nailed_It

Nailed It



Charlotte is a mobile beauty therapist offering a range of different treatments based in Horam and has gift vouchers available

For the Arty Ones

Cherry Spring Art Studio



cherry spring art studio

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherryspringstudio

Art Workshops & Private Tuition for Adults & Children at Horam Manor Farm.

For the Furry (and not Furry) ones

The Pet Food Shop

pet food shop Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepetfoodshopheathfield

Website: https://petfoodshopheathfield.co.uk

The Pet Food Shop has been established in Heathfield for over 40 years. Located in Station Approach, Heathfield opposite Sainsburys. They offer a friendy service and will endeavour to meet all your pets needs. If they don’t have what you want they are happy to try and order it in for you. They even do local deliveries.



Sew Lovely by Jilly

sew lovely by Jilly

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sewlovelybyjilly

Website: http://www.sewlovelybyjilly.co.uk

Sew Lovely by Jilly was created by Jilly Wingfield who has a lifelong obsession for clothes. All of her range is handpicked from Italy. It is also the home of magic trousers and slouchies. Check out Fashion Friday every week at 1pm!

Pink Lemonade Boutique

pink lemonade boutique

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pinklemonadestyle

Website: http://Www.pinklemonadeboutiqueuk.com

Fashion, accessories, jewellery, gifts, home decor and so much more! A local boutique based in Horam.


Two Sisters Deli

two sisters deli Horam


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/twosistersdelihoram

Website: https://www.twosistersdeli.co.uk

Great, honest, homemade food brought to you from a five star hygiene rated shop in Horam, East Sussex. Plenty of parking on site … eat in, take away and free local delivery. Food hampers and gifts are also avaliable.

Horam Emporium & Tpodz Tea Room



The Horam Emporium is where you will find all kinds of unique treasures you won’t find on the high street.Antiques, collectables, clothing, garenalia, vintage toys, artisan crafts and much more. From shabby chic, to random retro.

Dizzi Cakes

Dizzi Cakes


Website: https://www.dizzicakes.co.uk/

New Orleans-style Doberge layer cakes made here in Heathfield. I have never personally tried a Doberge cake but they sound delicious. This description on her website has me sold: I had never tasted anything like it. With its slim, seductive layers, refreshing lemony filling – not quite custard, not quite buttercream – and delicate, glossy coating of poured fondant (think Fondant Fancies), it blew me away.

Rachie Bakes

Rachie Bakes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachiebakes1/

Specialising in luxury celebration layer cakes. Six layers of sponge with your choice of up to two lusciously flavoured fillings and wrapped in a decadent, whipped buttercream. Based in Heathfield.


Cuculo Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cuculosussex

Website: https://www.cuculo.co.uk

Specialising in cheese, wine and chocolate, what more could you want for Christmas! Yummy!

Everything else

Fiona Godwin

Fiona Godwin Cards

Website: http://www.fionagodwin.co.uk

Fiona is an Independent card retailer supplying cards illustrated by British Artists. The Christmas cards are supporting Macmilla, Alzheimer’s Society And Together for short lives and are not available from retailers.

Avon with Michelle

Heathfield Avon

Shop from the comfort of your sofa, delivered directly to your door

Sarah Rickard Ceramics


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahrickardart/

Handmade, decorative ceramics created in a local studio. Online vouchers available. Immediately sent to your email inbox, or that of the gift recipient. Never expires!


All Wrapped Up

All wrapped up Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allwrappedupheathfield

A lovely card and gift boutique. Offering a wide range of cards, gifts, jewellery, handbags and much more.  I bought my mum a lovely scarf from there for Christmas last year. I spied some yummy looking chocolates in there too which were beautifully packaged. They are open Sundays now too until Christmas.


Farrago Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/farragosussex

A beautiful Aladdin’s cave on Station Road in Heathfield. Filled with beautiful candles, Jewellery, Clothes and many many other things. I have purchased many a Jelly Cat cuddly toys for various children in my family here although funnily enough never a cat.

Gemini Greetings

Gemini greetings Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gemini-Greetings

I love this shop and it’s my go to shop if I need to buy a card or gift wrap. They have a huge amount of choice and are a lovely friendly couple always welcoming us with a smile even when they reopened with no ceiling due to an unfortunate water leak from the flat above.

Wanted on Voyage

Wanted on voyage Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wantedonvoyageltd

Website: https://wantedon.voyage

Wanted on Voyage is a retail and online store providing a broad range of innovative products for anyone travelling on foot, by car, by bike or in the air. It is on the main highstreet just up from Costa. I bought my daughter a Kanken backpack from here. Ordered and paid for online and then I collected it in the shop. It was a very quick and easy process.

Metal Smiths

Metal smiths Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Metalsmiths

Local business down station road (opposite Sainsbury’s) providing jewellery repairs, alterations & custom orders. I have used them for replacing many watch batteries which they do while you wait.

The Flower Workshop Heathfield

the flower workshop Heathfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heathfieldflowerworkshop

Website: https://theflowerworkshop.biz

The Flower Workshop is full of the most beautiful flowers and plants. They deliver locally or you can collect yourself. I have purchased some beautiful bouquets from here which they tailor make to suit your budget.


Dream Catchers Luxury Glampovers

Dream Catchers Luxury Glampovers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamcatchersluxuryglampovers

Website: https://www.dreamcatchers.fun

Dream Catchers Luxury Glampovers parties deliver the most magical and unforgettable experience for your child and their guests.

Simply choose a theme and they come along and set it up for you. You can even have party add-ons (midnight snack boxes, silk robes, party bags, balloons, photo back drop and props + more).

They have lots of themes to choose from  for both boys and girls.There’s even a rather cute Christmas theme!

Local Events

A Countryside Christmas – Heathfield area virtual winter market


Heathfield Christmas virtual market

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/253894239331693/

Raising money for Horam Community Pre School, Young at Heart Community Club Heathfield and The Raystede Centre Of Animal Welfare. A place for local people to sell their products.

Angela Marcella Murrell’s Cake and Wine club choir

Local uplifting Cake and Wine club choir if you would like to join contact Angela on 07957405342 . They meet every Sunday and sing an upbeat selection of rock, pop and gospel songs . They appeared at Le Marche last year and joined the band with a stomping rendition of Rag n Bone man’s ‘Giant’ amongst other familiar and fun songs . They also perform at public events and raise money for local charities such as St Wilfreds and Hailsham Food bank. What a lovely group you are 😊

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/283202622265060

Brilliant Books For Babies Under 1

Book’s may not seem like the ‘go to’ choice of gift for a baby but studies have shown it’s never too early to start reading to your baby – even from them being newborns.  As a busy newborn photographer here in East Sussex, I have a steady stream of new and experienced parents visiting my studio. Newborn photographers need to be patient to get the best images for parents and as my sessions are totally baby led, I can spend some time chatting to parents while they feed or change baby during the session. [find out more about my newborn sessions Here ]  Those families who bring siblings into the sessions often bring books to occupy them and I love watching the different book trends come and go.


Books for bonding

Reading a book to your newborn can be a lovely way to bond.  Your soothing voice as you read is really comforting to your baby and a study in the Journal of Development and Behavioural Pediatrics showed that reading to newborns in NICU can help parents develop the same feelings of intimacy that parents of health babies develop when they take their babies straight home.


Reading for development

It’s also really beneficial for your baby’s own development.  Research shows that the more words and books a baby is exposed to, the better prepared they will be to start reading on their own.  Studies have also shown that children who were read to as newborns have a larger vocabulary as well as more advanced mathematical skills than other kids their age!  How incredible is that.


Best Buys

Young babies love high contrast images to look at while older babies might like looking at pictures of other babies and children.  Both love gentle rhyming stories. Here’s my top pick of books for babies under 1

Where’s Mr Lion


Perfect for really young babies – the high contrast images and bright felt flaps make it a winner.


Baby’s Very First Black and White


This whole series is brilliant for young babies.  They love the black and white illustrations with splashes of colour.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar


This is obviously a classic and for very good reason.  The brightly coloured illustrations and the repetitive nature of the text make it a winner from newborns up to toddlers.


Where to Buy

As a small business myself in East Sussex I always champion buying from other small independent businesses.  We have a brilliant children’s bookshop in Lewes called Bags of Books. They run from a beautiful store and have been there over 20 years – well worth a visit https://bags-of-books.co.uk/


I hope you’ve found this useful but if you have a favourite book I’ve missed from this list, let me know in the comments.



Take Your Family Time Travelling

Why Printing Your Pictures of your Family Is So Important

Girl with an old fashion camera in a Sussex photography studio

I bet you’ve used your mobile phone to take a picture of your family in the last week?  You might have even used your phone camera today or maybe you use your camera every day. It has never been easier to take photographs as we all carry a camera on our mobile phones!  And yet our children have fewer and fewer physical prints to hold and look at.

An old fashioned photograph of a couple om their wedding dayWhen I was a child and even now I love to look through old photographs.  Mostly there is pencil writing on the back with names I don’t recognise and dates from long before I was born.  The oldest ones are very formal black and white photographs mounted on fancy card. I remember as a child it feeling like looking at a mysterious forgotten time and I loved looking at the clothing, the old vehicles in the background and seeing how my grandparents and parents looked when they were young.  It was like I was time travelling. I could spend hours in a box of photographs and chatting with my Nan about the people, places and times they pictured.

Precious Memories

Imagine if those precious memories were instead sitting on something that needed a machine to let me see them.  A machine that was around in the 40’s or even the 70’s.  Even if my Nan had kept the machines I’d needed, would just seeing them hold the same magic for me.  Definitely not.

So have a think about where you store your own family photographs.  Are they on your mobile phone?  A hard drive?  CD’s?  Floppy discs?(remember those!?) You get my point – technology is changing so rapidly that it can be difficult to keep up.  The must-have storage of today is archived in favour of something new every few years.

The only way you can be sure to preserve your picture memories for your children and grandchildren is to print them.

Mum and daughter's photograph taken in a Tunbridge Wells Kent ParkYour Mobile Phone Pictures

For most of us, our mobile phones are where the majority of our ‘snaps’ are kept.  The everyday images of holidays, days out, toothy grins, first foods, and silly selfies.  These are the images your children will cherish when they grow up – you must print them!  There are lots of options for printing from your mobile phone including apps like Free Prints and Chatbooks or online print companies like  Photobox . I always print a photobook of our family holidays and my children love looking through them and sparking previously forgotten memories.


Your Professional Pictures

As well as the everyday snaps, most families choose a professional photographer such as myself to capture more important milestones.

Newborn baby girl studio photograph


New additions to your family


First Birthday Cake Smash Sussex Photography Studio




kent sussex pet photography


A new pet




Family group photograph on location in Sussex


or the annual family portrait

Family of four group photograph in Sussex woodland





All involve a professional portrait photographer who can capture you all in a perfect setting, looking your best.  The portraits I produce at my photography studio in Burwash, East Sussex or on location are your own personal works of art and are designed to be displayed.  There’s lots of evidence to show that it boosts self-esteem, confidence and contentment when your portraits are displayed in your home.


Girl in a Sussex photography studio with a glitter background

I offer clients print packages as well as wall art, and although I do sell USB’s which hold the digital copies of your images, I would always recommend purchasing prints and wall art products from me as I use professional labs so I can guarantee you will have the best quality items on the market that will last a life time.  You don’t want to invest in beautiful portraits only to have them printed poorly.


Time for new family portraits?  Click here to browse my portrait photography services.

Gorgeous little Min Pin dog family photography – East Sussex

Recently I was asked to take some images of one of the nicest couples you could ever wish to meet. The star of the session was their utterly adorable little min pin dog. It was an honour to capture their little family.

We met for their family photography session in a gorgeous woodland area here in East Sussex on what was the only non rainy day that week thankfully!

We took a little walk to start with to allow us to chat about what images they were wanting and also allow the dog to get used to me. Although I learnt very quickly that if there was a treat involved she would do anything!

It was so lovely to watch them all interact and capture these memories for when she is no longer around. It was very clear to see how much they all loved each other. I even shed a little tear while I was editing them as the emotion poured out of all the images. They clearly adore their little fur baby! How can you blame them, look at her adorable little face !!

Min PIn Dog Family Photography

Here are a few of my favourites from the family photography session.

Min PIn Dog Family Photography

I love how you can see her sniffing the air in this one:

Min PIn Dog Family Photography

These are some of the images that brought a tear to my eye. First of all you can see the lovely bond these two have and I’m sure the dog is smiling in the larger of the images!

Min PIn Dog Family Photography

This was one of the must have images that they wanted. Her lifting her front paw and pointing it was a signature move of hers !

Min PIn Dog Family Photography

Such a beautiful little family inside and out!

Min PIn Dog Family Photography

Personally I absolutely adore this image and if she were my dog I would print this as a big canvas on my wall. I love how you can see how tiny she is compared to her owners and the love she has in her eyes looking up at them is just priceless!

Capturing dogs and their families in family photography sessions is one of my favourite type of sessions. You can have your session either in the studio or on location. You can see some examples of my work here: Pet Gallery 

Customers can contact me on smile@hannahchappellphotography.co.uk to discuss their family photography shoot. Also I should mention we are coming into the perfect weather for outdoor family photography sessions!

In addition if you are wanting a Sussex newborn baby photographer then head over to our sister site http://www.teddyandbebe.co.uk and they will be happy to help.



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