Category: Uncategorized

How Not To Kill Grandma: Coping With Christmas

Coping with Christmas

The Aspiration and the Reality

Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time.  An occasion for love and togetherness.  But we all know the reality can be so so different.  Enforced socialising, financial stress, being cooped up together.  It can all put huge pressure on relationships.

We watch happy families in films and TV adverts.  We aspire to be those families.  But we all know our Christmas is far more likely to be bored farting in front of the TV and a few disappointing presents.  Far more Royle Family than John Lewis.  And you know what, I’m OK with that.

Coping with Christmas

It’s just a couple of days.  You don’t need to bottom the house, or get new decorations, or a new sofa.  You don’t need to buy enough food to feed the entire town.  Just plump up the cushions and follow our 5 Point Plan On How Not To Kill Your Grandma.

Your Stay Out Of Jail 5 Point Plan

1 Remove all knives from the house

It’s harder to kill someone when there’s no weapons!  Seriously though, choose not to pick a fight.  We all have a family member who annoys us.  If they truly are trouble makers, don’t invite them.  Or uninvite yourself.  But Great Aunt Bessie going on and on about nothing: just let her ramble and leave the room.

2. Solitary Confinement

Enforced socialising is rubbish.  Make some time to be alone.  Walk the dog.  Tidy the cellar.  Sneak off to the attic for a cheeky snooze.  Even just 20 minutes to yourself will make all the difference.  Set an example and let everyone else do it too.  Teenagers want to slope off to their bedrooms to play with their new gadgets.  Let them – they’ll be far less grumpy.  And younger children might benefit from time to themselves too.

3. Family Therapy

There’s no better way of metaphorically shoving a dummy in everyone’s mouth than a great Christmas film.  If you’ve got to that point where everyone’s over tired, over stuffed, over talked and drunk, then open a box of chocs and stick the telly on.

4. Accomplices

Doing everything yourself? This is no way of coping with Christmas.  You will wear yourself ragged.  And everyone will treat you like a servant.  Or they’ll be resentful that they don’t get a look in.  By the end of the day, you’ll be ready to strangle someone.  Share out the jobs.  Make people feel involved.  Give yourself a break.

5. Calm down!

Being a control freak at Christmas is a sure fire path to murder.  Forgot the holly? Got the wrong napkins?  Cat ate the giblets?  IT DOESN’T MATTER!

Merry Christmas, have a good one!

Coping with christmas





Please like & share the awesomeness:

The Big DYP Christmas Gift Guide 2016

Gift Guide

We have scoured the internet, to give you the DYP Gift Guide.  We’ve gone mostly for independent businesses.  And we’ve aimed for some unusual and unique gifts.  If you can’t find some inspiration here, we’re sure you will on some of the websites we’ve mentioned.

The DYP Gift Guide

Gifts for Travellers

Gift List

Scratch The World Print We found this fabulous concept map from Maps International.  It’s the perfect gift for anyone intent on conquering the world.  Whenever you visit a country, you can scratch off the gold coating to reveal the country beneath.

The Yorkshire Beer Experience  If someone’s grounded for the winter, how about a virtual trip round God’s Own County in beer? A kit with lots of different Yorkshire ales.

Gifts for Babies

What do you get for the little person who doesn’t even understand Christmas yet?  They’re probably going to prefer playing with the box and the wrapping paper anyway.

Teething Ring  How about something useful like this teething ring from Little KG Boutique.  It’s pretty too, and doubles up as a rattle.  Very handy.

Wooden Shape Sorter Or a handmade, personalised wooden toy, like this shape sorter from Auntie Mims.

Personalised Silver Plated Baby Spoon For the baby born with silver spoon in it’s mouth, how about a personalised keepsake to treasure as baby grows up.

Gift List Gift List

Gifts for Parents

You know what mums need?  Time off, of course!  So how about an experience.  There’s a tonne of art and craft days at , as well as plenty of other experiences.  Red Letter Days have vouchers for hobbies, crafts, food and drink, dance and music experiences and more.  We also looked at what our colleagues at Not On The High Steet were offering.  We found, amongst other things, a Harmonica lesson, a luxury chocolate tasting evening, and an alpaca walk and fleece felting experience.

Gifts for the Ethically Minded and Over-stuffed

Gift ListSo many of us just have too much stuff already.  How nice would it be to share the Christmas love with individuals and communities that really need it.  Oxfam have vouchers that will buy a goat for a rural family or provide winter warmth for a refugee, or a toilet for a village, and much more.  Good Gifts have vouchers that help people set up micro businesses, buy text books, provide baby clothes etc.  That’s just how all encompassing our Gift Guide is!

Gifts for Music Lovers

If you have a music-lover to buy for, look no further than Guitar Geekery, with mugs, tshirts, posters and more.

Gift Guide

Gift GuideOr the best of musical biographies in the Rough Trade shop. Or some vinyl from an independent record store. To find a local one in the UK, search here or for the USA search here.  They aren’t definitive lists, but they’re a start.


Gifts for Foodies

True foodies are a bit tricky.  Do they really want a kit?  They probably have half the ingredients already.  And they’re probably sinking under a mound of recipe books.  But what about something a bit unusual?  Make your own bacon perhaps?  Or cheese?

Gift Guide

Yorkshire’s finest, Betty’s do vouchers.  Treat someone local to a posh afternoon tea, or a choice from the Betty’s mail order service for those further afield.

Gifts for your Lover

Gift GuideAhem, well, it depends doesn’t it.  Romantic, sexy, practical ?  Well, here’s something cheesy.  Or should we say chocolatey.  A Romantic Chocolate Gesture from Morse Toad.


What about some gorgeous jewellery.  We like this pendant by Kaila Jewellery, if Santa’s reading this, nudge nudge.  And who doesn’t want a swish new watch eh?  This Zoom Beat Watch from Maxout is something a bit different.

Gift Guide Gift Guide

Gifts for Children

Children can never have enough books.  In our humble opinion.  Whatever they’re in to, there’s a book for that.  The Book Trust gives exhaustive lists and ideas for all ages and interests.  Have a browse.  What could be better!

Gift Guide

Gifts from DYP

Of course no DYP Gift Guide would be complete without including DYP gifts too!  Lots of cheeky mugs, prints and teatowels.

Gift Guide Gift Guide




Please like & share the awesomeness:

Hygge Christmas Cards with Melissa Holmes

My, it’s busy at DYP headquarters this month.  But that hasn’t stopped us from producing a fabulous new range of Hygge Christmas cards.  And in the spirit of Hygge it’s come about with a lovely collaboration with a great friend.


If you’ve not yet heard of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) it’s a Danish word that describes simple pleasure, comfort, and good times.  It’s all about being with friends and family, cosying up, happiness, kinship and simpleness.    Well, running a greetings card company is not always simple and cosy, but we do thrive on friendship and family.  So we were thrilled when a friend got in touch with a proposal.

Hygge Christmas Cards


The fabulous papercutting artist and all round good egg called us to see if we wanted to collaborate with her.  How could we say no?  Her designs are amazing, and we couldn’t resist.  This is a first for DYP, and we’re really excited about it.

Hygge Christmas Cards

Melissa Holmes

Melissa Holmes of Holmes-made Papercuts is a self-taught papercutting artist.  She creates her delicate works of art using paper, fabric, watercolour and a scalpel.   Formally a journalist, Melissa shares our passion for words, and combines those with her love of natural surrounds.  Her work often includes flowers, architecture, quotations and typography.  She produces special personalized commissions for clients, as well as teaching workshops.

Hygge Christmas Cards  melissa1

Hygge Christmas Cards

We have worked with Melissa to create a gorgeous range of Hygge Christmas cards.  The artwork by Melissa is inspired by her papercutting and is printed using luxury archival ink on luxury 400gsm paper.  We think you’ll agree, they’re a little bit special.


Please like & share the awesomeness:

Halloween: It’s Just a silly American Import, Or Is it?

Halloween sure is a big thing in the USA.  Costumes, Trick or Treating, parties, the lot. Here in the UK, we’re a bit prone to dismissing it as new-fangled American stuff.  But stop right there fellow Brits, because …..

The origins of Halloween

There’s lots of evidence to suggest that Halloween has it’s origins in Celtic and Pagan traditions.  The end of summer – Samhain – festival was seen as a time of year when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld was thinner.  That meant that spirits could easily pass through into our world.  It was a time when souls of the dead could visit their families.

Then came Christianity.   The festival of All Hallows is a time for honouring pious souls and saints.  Did they impose a Christian meaning on this Celtic Pagan tradition, or did the two just mingle?  We don’t know.  Anyway, the result is the Halloween we have today.  Which of course varies from one part of the world to another.


Medieval Britain

At All Hallows it was customary for children to go door to door collecting Soul Cakes in exchange for praying for the dead.  Soul Cakes were bread usually marked with a cross, a bit like Day of the Dead bread.  Will that be Soul Cakes for the kids round your neighbourhood this year then?

Trick or Treat

One tradition from the Middle Ages is the belief that not all the visiting souls were benign.  Some were looking to wreak vengeance on their enemies.  People wore masks to that they wouldn’t be recognised by these vengeful souls.  So there’s the origins of Trick or Treat and Halloween costumes.



Lanterns were made to frighten away souls from homes of the innocent.  And on the subject of lanterns:  Here in the UK, before it was easy to get pumpkins, we made lanterns from turnips.  Now that was hard work.  While our US friends had easy access to pumpkins.  Thank goodness for pumpkins!

Break out the Binbags

So, time to start making your Halloween costumes.  Get out there with your binbag witches dresses, and your pumpkin lanterns (or turnips, go on, we challenge you!).  Pray for some souls!  Or just stay in and eat the kids’ chocolates.

Please like & share the awesomeness:

Gamhammer and bobswinkles, it’s Roald Dahl Day!

I’ve learnt a new word today, and the word is neologism.  And Roald Dahl Day is a fine day to learn it.  Neologism is what Dahl did best.  Or at least one of the many things he did best.  Neologism is a newly invented word.  And Dahl was always newly inventing words.

The BFG is full of neologisms.  Infact the BFG himself has an entire language of them.  And it’s called – yet another neologism – Gobblefunk.  Getting words mixed up is the BFG’s speciality.   Dahl loved playing with words.  Adding the start of one word to the ending of another.  Sogmire is a soggy quagmire.  Or spoonerisms: Dahls Chickens, is a spoonerism of Charles Dickens.

Roald Dahl

Children love the slightly naughty word play.  It’s like a secret language that goes outside the rules of English.  It’s a bit silly and a bit disruptive, and would the grownups entirely approve?  The grownups on the other hand, might be chuckling into their fizzwiggler too.   If you read it as an adult, the words also sound ever so slightly suggestive.  I’m sure this wasn’t lost on Dahl.


So in honour of Roald Dahl day, we’ve invented our own neologisms.  We present our DYP InsultOMatic.  Create your own signature insult be using the initial letters of your first name and last name to pick a word from each column.  We challenge you, on this most auspicious day, to get your new insult into conversation.  Let us know how you get on!

DYP Insult-O-Matic

Initial of your first name Initial of your last name
Arsling A Applesucker
Bonquirked B Battlecoot
Crorked C Clingpat
Durful D Dupper
Esturian E Endkock
Foreskoopered F Fogwotton
Grotched G Googleknacker
Honked H Hupplewart
Insopulent I Iffelhooker
Jorkled J Jerrycracker
Knipped K Kackhandle
Licktent L Lopster
Monted M Moof
Nockeled N Nozzart
Orped O Oskrank
Perforine P Porkpucker
Quoofled Q Quikfick
Ringpulled R Rockledinger
Swooned S Snortleberry
Twyked T Trickler
Uncripped U Underpicker
Vancing V Vanny
Witchetfaced W Windlefacker
Xlavering X Xylox
Yonked Y Yupront
Znocklewinked Z Zooglecrack


Please like & share the awesomeness:

Obscenity and the Law: The Trial of Stass Paraskos

As purveyors of filth and obscenity we know we’re lucky.  We live in a century, and a part of the world, where we can get away with it.

Had we lived in different times, we’d have felt the full force of the law.  A few hundred years ago, we may have been punished with the scold’s bridle.  Or been ducked in the pond.  Or humiliated in the stocks.  Or burnt as witches.

People are still prosecuted for obscenity in the UK. It’s been argued that in a world of online pornography and changing social mores that the 1959 Obscene Publications Act is something of an anachronism.  But the Act was always problematic.  It hinges on very subjective responses.

In 1966, Leeds-based artist Stass Paraskos was fined for lewd and obscene paintings.  But even back then, the courts had to use a different law to prosecute him.  The Vagrancy Act of the 19th Century included clauses about “wilfully exposing to view in any street or public place, any obscene print, picture or other indecent exhibition”.  It was that under which he was prosecuted.

The court case was widely criticised.  Many suggested that had the exhibition been in London rather than in provincial Leeds, no one would have batted an eyelid.  Eminent art critics tried to explain to the court that displaying a painting of a sexual act in public was not the same as actually having sex in public.  Prominent MPs spoke out on his behalf, and criticising the prosecution. But it all fell on deaf ears, and Paraskos was fined £5.

The actual painting is barely lewd at all.   There’s a bit of full frontal, but no more that your average Renaissance painting.  And yes there’s a bit more to it than that.  But you have to be looking for it.  Which says something about the person who originally alerted the police.  And the irony is that he produced far more naughty work after his prosecution!

The offending painting is currently on exhibition at The Tetley gallery in Leeds: Stass Paraskos: Lovers and Romances

Please like & share the awesomeness:

It’s International Friendship Day !

Today is International Day of Friendship.  We know you guys love to insult your mates, because we’ve seen the cards you’ve ordered!  But today is a day to appreciate friends.  And not just ones that have been with you for ever.  New ones too.

So what’s all this International Day thing all about then?  Not another excuse to sell cards to you.  Oh no, it’s far more profound than that.  (Well, that as well : ) )

Friendship Day goes way back to the 1920s, when, yeah, you guessed it, it was promoted by the Greetings Card Association of the USA!  But hang on …

World Wide Friendship

The idea of making it a worldwide thing came from a certain Dr Ramon Artemio Bracho of Paraguay.  In 1958 he and some mates set up the “World Friendship Crusade” to promote friendship amongst everyone, regardless of race, colour or religion.

The World Friendship Crusade lobbied the UN for a more than 50 years.  How’s that for stamina? Finally in 2011 the UN General Council recognised the 30th July as International Friendship Day.

Peace and Unity

The UN says that promoting “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.”  See, it’s not all about cards!

The idea of the day is to hold events and activities that bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together in friendship.  Now we know you won’t have had time to organise anything like that – it being – erm – today, but you could invite your neighbour in for coffee, chat to the person sat next to you on the train, smile at a passerby.  Go on, make a new friend today.

And don’t forget your old friends too.  We love a curse, we love throwing around profundities, but we do it with love.  We love our friends!

Friendship Friendship Friendship

Please like & share the awesomeness:

Cool things for teenagers to do in the hols


Do your teenagers need cool things to do in the hols?  Or do you need you teenagers to do something in the hols?  If you don’t know the difference, ask your teenagers!

Mumsnet had a little discussion about holiday activities for teenagers a while back.  They came up with a bunch of ideas.  The kind parents everywhere would probably suggest, with the purist of intentions.  A raft of teenagers signed up to Mumsnet so they could wade in:

“Right, guys you might want to listen closely, all this rubbish about yeay lets go on a treasure hunt is pure bullshit, no offence parents.  Swimming?? Seriously??”

“I’m 15 and these ideas suck, sorry J”

“The important point I think parents should know is that most probably your teen already has activities planned.  So let them have some freedom and let them decide for themselves how to spend their holidays.”

That’s us told then!

Of course, teenagers are people.  Some might like treasure hunts and swimming.  Some would rather chill with friends and, importantly, away from parents.  And of course, there’s a difference between a 17 year old and a 13 year old.

For teenagers who come asking for ideas

If a teenager is needing something to do  here’s some thoughts.  Let them reject them out of hand, ridicule, adapt or embrace at their leisure:

  • A photography project: “the stupid things my family did this summer”
  • A blog “the boring things my family wanted me to do this summer”
  • A playlist “all the music my mum hates”  “favourite music”  “stuff I’m not supposed to listen to”
  • A wardrobe revamp – clear out, adapt, swap with friends, recycle, repurpose your clothes

For teens who are fed up of you wanting them to do stuff

If a teenager just wants to be left alone here’s a thing:

“A few years ago, I took three teenagers camping: one son, one niece, one friend of niece.  I went for walks, read my book, had leisurely pub lunches, painted, cooked.  They slept, festered, flirted with other young people on the campsite, festered some more, slept some more, played with their phones til the batteries went flat.  I could have forced them to join my activities, but they’d have been grumpy and I’d have been cross.  As it was, we all had a bloody fantastic time.”

For teens who just want you to butt out

Lets face it, what teenagers mostly want is autonomy and adult-free time.   Give them a summer budget.  Set some mutually agreed ground rules (curfew, how far you can go, communication etc).  Get them to plan some activities.  Hand over the dosh.*


*Obviously some teenagers are more vulnerable than others.  Some may need more guidance than others.  Be sensible.  Be a parent!

Please like & share the awesomeness:

School’s Out For Summer! School Holiday Activities

School’s out for summer…Yay! Or Arghhh!  Depending on where you stand.    The long school holiday is the time when we lose our free childcare.  We have to think of STUFF TO DO.  And hope that it’s not gonna rain all summer.  Of course it’s great to spend time with the family.  But six weeks?  SIX WEEKS!   We’ve come up with a few activities for primary school age kids.  If you’ve got any more ideas, let us know.  It’s six weeks, we need lots.

If you work from home school holidays can be a challenge. But it’s best to accept that your working day will be disrupted rather than getting annoyed.  Whether you can spare the time to play with the kids, or need something to distract them while you work, have a bunch of activities ready to pull out of the bag.

Stuff to do with your kids in the school holiday

Chuck ‘em outdoors.

If you’ve got a safe space for them to be outside, that’s where they should be.  Raining?  That’s what coats are for !

Set some challenges: build a den, dig a hole, learn to juggle

Water.  Water is the best fun.  If you haven’t got water pistols and cannons, try empty washing up bottles, and balloons filled with water.  They’ll soon find a way of maximising the fun out of that.  Have a towel ready for when they’ve done.  For little ones, fill an old baby bath or washing up bowl with water and provide beakers, plastic bottles, kids’ tea sets, yoghurt cartons, large spoons and let them at it.  Again, towel.

School Holiday Stuff to do in the City

Ready Made Activities Check your city’s websites – councils and museums usual run summer activities for kids – craft, sport, creative play, that sort of thing.

Shopping Taking the kids with you on a shopping trip can be a nightmare.  So don’t fight it, turn it into an activity.  Set them a treasure hunt.  Provide a tick list of things to spot, like those old I-Spy books we had, but specially adapted to your kids.  Don’t expect to be able to do a full afternoon’s shop without moaning.  Timetable in some café breaks or sit-downs.  Icecream for final reward?

School Holiday
Set the kids a DIY I-Spy challenge


Cooking afternoons – bake a pizza and a pudding for tea

Tea-party for friends/dolls/teddybears – get them making buns and sandwiches with their fave fillings

Build a den.  Provide blankets and sheets and cushions.  Help younger children but if they can do it themselves, let them get on with it.  Tea-sets, teddy-bears, etc optional.

Write or draw a journal.  Whether it’s on the laptop with accompanying photographs, or a notebook and felt tips, set them a challenge to keep a diary for a week.  It can be true-to-life or total fiction.  Let their imaginations run wild.  Don’t worry about the final result, just let them enjoy it.   If you’re out and about some days, they can collect “souvenirs” to add to their journals (till receipts, tickets, postcards, feathers, sweet wrappers, whatever they fancy holding on to.

Have a film day.  There’s always gonna be a day when it’s just horrid outside, and everyone’s a bit demotivated.  Have a film afternoon.  Invite friends round if you can cope with more kids.  Make popcorn and snacks in the morning (see, there’s another activity!).  Arrange the chairs, close the curtains.  Serve snacks in the “intervals”.  By evening, you’ll all be square eyed and ready for something different, so get round the kitchen table for a fish and chip/burger/pizza supper, with special drinks and silly straws.

Model-making Invest in model making kits and commit the kitchen table to construction for a week.  If you get age/ability suitable kits this should be pretty self-maintaining a lot of the time.

Next week:  Prising Teenagers out of their Rooms

Please like & share the awesomeness:

Name the Beast: A New Printer at DYP

We have a new beast and it needs a name!  Enter our Facebook competition to help name our new printer.   Whoever comes up with the best name will win one of our This Kitchen Runs On Love Laughter Gin and Prosecco teatowels.


DYP has been growing fast.  We’ve expanded our operation massively this year.   A lot of that is down to the support we’ve had from Entrepreneurial Spark.  E-Spark is a Natwest and KPMG initiative to support new businesses.  The support has been amazing.  But it’s getting hard to keep up with all your orders.  We’ve been working round the clock to meet demand, but with our clunky old (otherwise known as huge high quality) printer just wasn’t up to the job.  So we’ve had to upgrade our technology.   It’s a major investment, but we know it will improve our production and our service.

Relegating our workaday printers to the sidelines.
Relegating our workaday printers to the sidelines.
New Printer
Should be just about enough room for it in this corner!









The New Arrival

This week a new beast arrived in the DYP Shoffice.  It’s so massive it almost didn’t fit through the door.  There was a lot of late night shuffling around of furniture in the Shoffice to make room for it, and relegate our itsy bitsy printers to the sidelines.  And we had a special technician to come and install it.  This is no desk-top printer.  And at 20 cards per minute it’s already changed how we work. We’re ready for your orders guys!

New Printer
The new printer installed.

Competition Time

But, we need your help… the beast needs a name.  We want you to come up with it’s moniker.  Get creative, no Printer McPrintfaces, we want original!  Hope over to our Facebook page to enter your suggestion.  Best one will be decided 29th July and the winner will receive one of our fab Teatowels.

Please like & share the awesomeness: