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Ah, the Dad with his camcorder. A perfect combination of a man delving into a new form of tech and using his family as puppets. These men were the forefathers to the younger generation’s phone camera. Their role in filming played a vital role as camera technology turned from camcorder tapes to digital cameras and phones.

“It’s the 3rd of August. Day three of our holiday in – oh would you look at that! Tom! Turn to the camera. Turn to the camera. Give a little wave at the camera. Oh! Tom has found a tiny seashell.

 

Well done, champ.”

We’ve seen it, we’ve all heard it, and we might have even experienced it. The audio commentary of a dad turning on his camcorder to record (what he would like to believe to be) a historical document of his holiday. The David Attenborough of Tenerife: his camera skills have mastered the art of zooming and panning across windy shots of the family unwillingly filmed. It is a masterful art. A talent concocted from impeccably awful timing, such as capturing your wife just when she is hit on the head by a beach volleyball.

An art form bestowed upon a few men; his face is never on video, but boy, does he make his presence heard. This dad is an outlier in the family. He stands apart from the group holding the camera and embraces his audience with an audio track scripted by his free-flow thought. Overlaying every video shot is a running commentary of a dad who has no intention to help slather his children in sun cream or catch his three-year-old pelting it down the beach.

“And wow, would you look at our little Tommy run. He gets those legs from me.”

Now don’t get me wrong; these dads do engage with their children from time to time.

Captured inside a few of his camcorder tapes are sports days hardly watched due to the shaky-camera footage and inaudible shouting from the man watching his child lose every race. Now, they have been digitised and poorly edited as a Chariots of Fire inspired YouTube video to share with the rest of the family, much to his child’s dismay.

Nevertheless, his transferred camcorder tapes to digital videos will be shining in all their glory when those 18th birthdays arrive.

Alas, let us not forget those brave fathers embracing the front of the camera.

You will usually find these dads in fairgrounds, mainly riding the dodgems. Their knees protrude from the vehicle, and their large arm casually slung around the squished tot beside them. This ride is for dads. Screw the other kids around them; no child will be hitting this car.

This Dad will reverse out of the tight parking spot the previous child left the dodgem car. Then, with his sporting prowess in full flow, he’ll spin the car around, simulating a handbrake turn and weave between the other kids flying around the arena.

Meanwhile, the camera shows him spelling out the highway code to his daughter sat beside him. She waves to the camera, utterly naive about her dad hogging the wheel.

 

Gift your dad the memories you made together this Father’s Day. Digital Converters are now offering a 25% discount towards converting your dad’s camcorder tapes to digital.

Get started by clicking the link here.

Let’s be honest, avoiding Amazon when online shopping is a mission. No matter where you turn (or click) on the internet, Amazon is there. Waiting. It makes thinking of unique and personal local anniversary gift ideas tricky, especially when giant corporations have swarmed your social media with advertisements.

So, for the good of every couple out there, I did some digging and created a list of locally sourced (as in, “made in Britain”) presents to gift your other half. This list has a present for every person, from anniversary presents celebrating a particular milestone to indulgent hampers.

Local Anniversary Gift Ideas Under £25

 

Handmade and Personalised Couple’s Bracelet

Picture of a personalised rose gold bracelet from ChloBo Made by ESjoradesign – £17.09

Etsy is the perfect place for finding handmade jewellery designed with you in mind. This pretty little bracelet is custom-designed with your’s and your significant other’s initials. It is ideal for the personalised touch whilst staying on a budget.

Buy Here

 

Recycled Glass and Metal Photo Frame

Recycled photo frame displayed with flowers and a succulent.

Made by Amber & Rose – £16.95

Likewise, Etsy is also perfect for finding eco-friendly products designed by local artists. Amber and Rose sell a beautiful selection of recycled frames that would look perfect displayed on your mantelpiece.

Buy Here

 

Bespoke Portrait Of Yours and Your Partner’s Beloved Pet

Made by Art by Tilly – £15 to £120

Does your partner treat your dog like their child? Tilly is a young artist who brings the soul of your pet alive with her paintings. Contact her on her website to have a bespoke portrait painted.

Buy Here

 

Lovingly Home Baked Brownies Delivered To Your Door

Baddest Brownies Company – £13.95

Want to treat your partner to a home-baked treat but can’t bake? Then the Baddest Brownie Company have you covered! You can select what chocolate bar you would like the brownie mixed with or have a selection of their finest sweet treats.

Buy Here

 

Golden Hare’s Book Gift Voucher

Golden Hare Books – £10 +

Buying anyone a book is a difficult task – especially if that someone has read every book under the sun. Golden Hare Books is an independent bookshop in Edinburgh. They have a great selection of books available on their online shop and offer a cute looking gift card to treat your loved one to their new favourite book.

Buy Here

 

Buy a Present and Make a Date With Album and Gig Ticket Bundles

Vinilo (Southampton based) – £15+

Crash Records (Leeds based) – £15+

Okay, this one is probably more suitable for couple’s who are into new music. There is a selection of independent record stores across the country that offer album and gig tickets as a nice little bundle. It is a two-in-one gift – your partner gets a vinyl/CD/cassette and a ticket to see the band live!

Buy Here

 

Handmade and Personalised Clay Mugs Created in Sheffield

The Little Pot Company – £23

One to buy early, these mugs are carefully crafted by hand from clay. You have a wide range of choice in terms of shape and size – and can personalise the cup with your partner’s name.

Buy Here

 

Learn New Recipes and Try Out Veganism With This Vegan Recipe Gift

Wearth London – £13

I’m a sucker for trying new food and recipes. And, I greatly welcome any kit to help me do so. Why not treat your partner to a vegan meal punched with flavour with this recipe and spice kit?

Buy Here

 

Preserve Your Wedding Day Forever By Digitising Your VHS Tape

Digital Converters – £18.99+

Is your wedding video trapped inside a VHS tape? Then send it into Digital Converters to have converted and preserved on a DVD, USB or cloud download. No doubt watching your wedding video again is the best way to celebrate your anniversary – but be prepared for tears!

Buy Here

 

Treat Your Partner To Their Favourite Retro Sweets

The Oldest Sweet Shop In England – £14.99

Watch a film (or perhaps your wedding video) and enjoy a jar of retro sweets from the Oldest Sweet Shop in England. Reasonably priced and delivered straight to your door, these sweets will take you both back to your childhood days.

Buy Here

 

Revel in The Joy of Drinking Tea With Bird & Blend’s Best of British Selection

Bird & Blend Tea Company – £19.75

Bird & Blend are an independent tea company that specialises in all kinds of loose tea leaves. Their Best of British selection box gives you the best collection of black tea leaves to indulge your partner.  You can even personalise the box to add that extra special touch!

Buy Here

 

Let Your Man Show Off With a Smokehouse Kit

Pappy’s Texas BBQ – From £20

Pappy’s is a family-run restaurant based in Kendal, Cumbria.  These kits give you everything (and more). From the most tender and flavourful meat to all the additional condiments, it is an easy kit for your husband to master.

Buy Here

 

Celebrate Your Anniversary In The Garden With A Love Birds Feeder

National Trust – £18

Combine your love for nature with your love for your bird with a love bird feeder. It is a stunning stand to attract birds to your garden and remember your anniversary.

Buy Here

 

Beautiful Handmade Photo Albums Made in Scotland

Kitaken – £24+

Archive your favourite memories in an elegant photo album made from ivory. As always, you can customise it with both your names or leave it with just the pretty printed picture.

Buy Here

 

Mix Art With Practicality With A Maya Wire Jewellery Stand

Sass & Belle – £17

This stylised jewellery stand is a charismatic addition to any lady’s dressing table. Its simplicity as an abstract face mixed with the practicality of a jewellery stand will impress your girlfriend.

Buy Here

 

Stunning Ceramic Vase To Display Dried Flowers

Spruce York – £12.99

Show off your interior design knowledge by buying a handmade ceramic vase crafted in York. Dried flowers are currently the must-have decoration in the house and are an elegant decoration for your sideboard.

Buy Here

 

Date Night In The Kitchen With a Cooking Class

Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School –  From £24

Online classes have been a thing of beauty this last year. These cookery courses run by Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School will take your cooking skills to the next level. There are loads of classes to choose from, and you only pay per household – excellent for a date night in.

Buy Here

 

An Adventure Journal For Your Outdoor Travelling

The Sunshine Bindery – £25

This journal is one for couples who love camping or caravanning. It is bounded by hand and made from 100% recycled paper.

Buy Here

 

Handwritten Wall Art To Display Your Love

Oh Squirrel – £12

Oh Squirrel has a wide range of handwritten art for you to hang on your walls and offer bespoke art as well. They may look simple but are a stunning addition to your wall.

Buy Here

 

Cream Tea For Two From The Comfort of Your Home

Devon Heaven – £19.95

Enjoy the taste of Devon without the staycation weather. The hamper includes four homemade Devonshire scones, clotted cream, award-winning jam and tea bags.

Buy Here

 

Eco-Friendly Tote Bags Perfect For Shopping

Made By Got An Inkling – £8.50

This tote bag is fabulous for those on a budget but still want to gift a thoughtful present. The original design is screen printed by Harriet (the owner of Got An Inkling) and are an excellent price for a unique shopping bag.

Buy Here

 

Spotify Plaques To Commemorate Your First Dance

 

Local Print Shop UK – £19.99

Spotify plaques are a fun way to show off your wedding song – or even prove that you know your partner’s favourite song. The choice is up to you.

Buy Here 

 

Pick Your Box of Beers Tailored to Your Partner’s Taste

Purity – Price dependent on selection

Choosing the correct box of various beers is always difficult when your partner is specific about what they like. Purity, a beer company based in Birmingham, has solved this problem by giving you the choice of selecting what beers you would like to gift.

Buy Here

 

Anniversary Gift Ideas Under £50

 

ChloBo’s Open Heart Gift Set

ChloBo – £44

If you want good quality, fashionable jewellery, then ChloBo is the place for you. Their jewellery is handmade in England and is gentle on the skin. This gift set is fabulous for accompanying your wife’s new outfit for your anniversary date night.

Buy Here

 

Quench Your Thirst For Theatre With A Framed Shakespeare Quote

 

Royal Shakespeare Company – £35

Shakespeare created the language of love, and these framed quotes are a striking decoration to show it. This gift is a lovely and supportive present for partners longing to revisit the theatre.

Buy Here

 

Limited Edition Homemade Love Candle With Reusable Mug

Rebecca Tracey – £42

Rebecca Tracey specialises in handcrafted candles, perfumes and oils. You can reuse this mug after finishing the candle by simply washing it out. Or, if your other half loved the candle, you can send it back and have it refilled!

Buy Here

 

Congratulate Your Husband On Your Third Year Of Marriage With  A Leather Wallet

Lakeland Leather – £34.99

Lakeland specialises in making stunning leather products for everyday use. This leather wallet will never leave your husband’s back pocket – and the zip-up coin pocket will stop him from trailing his coins around the house.

Buy Here

 

Stamp Your 5 Years Together With Wood Printed Art From Shropshire

Made by Ellie Cliftlands – £38

We’re back to Etsy with this gift. If you want to expand your art collection, then Ellie Cliftland’s wood prints are a charming choice. She has a wide selection to choose from, but I love the homeliness of her “Feed The Snails” print.

Buy Here

 

Let Your Wife Relax With Yorkshire Soap Company’s Luxury Hamper

Yorkshire Soap Company – £45

Your wife will feel pampered right from the moment she opens this luxurious wicker basket. It contains a fabulous selection of moisturisers, bath bombs and soaps to have that “spa day” feeling from the comfort of your bathroom.

Buy Here

 

Spruce Up Your Kitchen With A Contemporary Oak Chopping Board

Bradgate Woodcraft – £35

Everyone says the kitchen is the heart of the house, right? Handcrafted in Leicester, this chopping board is an attractive addition to any new home bought as a couple. Time to show off your culinary skills.

Buy Here

 

A Hot Chocolate Lover’s Selection Basket Made For Indulging

Cocoa Joe’s – £27.50

Indulgent hot chocolate hampers filled with chocolate bars, chocolate spread, tiffin and hot chocolate buttons. These buttons create the creamiest hot chocolates – or you can eat them as is! Unfortunately, this present is limited to those who live in North Yorkshire as you have to pick up the hamper in person.

Buy Here

 

Time to Take an Adventure With The Adventure Challenge’s Couples Book

 

The Adventure Challenge – £39.99

Let’s be honest: it is easy to fall into the same routine when going on dates. And, if this year has taught us anything – it is time to stop relying on restaurants for your Friday night treat. This book offers refreshing ideas for date night and is perfect for any couple. No matter the age.

Buy Here

 

Bespoke Keepsake Box For Wedding Memories

Harris and Jones – £47

This charming box will hold all your special memories from your marriage to your first holiday. It is handmade in a UK workshop and made from 90% recycled materials.

Buy Here

 

Desk Organiser For Those Who Work From Home

 

Present and Correct – £42.50

This desk organiser is crossed with a bag designed for taking to and from the office. It’s a sleek and roomy storage holder with all the versatility and space for every stationery obsessive.

Buy Here

 

Striking Aroma Diffuser That Looks Like An Artist’s Piece

Karma – £46

This gorgeous aroma diffuser will look striking in your living room or bedroom as your partner relaxes. Pick out some calming oils, and you’ve got a flawless present.

Buy Here

 

Gifts Under £100

 

Easy To Care For Plant Bundle With Pots and Fairy Lights Included

Bloombox Club – £85

The Urban Jungle Bundle is a great gift for home workers and plant lovers. Brighten up their office with a selection of fun and easy to care for plants, including a coffee bean plant! The pots are the correct size for the plants and look fabulous when placed around the room.

Buy Here

 

Stay Eco-Friendly With a Zero Waste Starter Kit

Wearth London – £60

It can be challenging to know where to begin with being eco-friendly. Every product out there now tries to advertise that they are better for the environment – but Wearth London actually achieves this. Treat your partner to a zero-waste starter kit, including a bamboo water bottle and coffee cup for taking into work.

Buy Here

 

Bespoke Memory Books For Cherishing Your Special Day

Bound By Hand – Price dependent on service wanted

Have a personalised book of your wedding commissioned. These bespoke memory books are completely tailored to you and look beautiful on your bookcase.

Buy Here

 

Cotton Dressing Gown to Celebrate Your Second Year of Marriage 

Bonsoir of London – £75

This dressing gown may look like a simple gift. But, I promise you, it will be worn by your wife for years. It is 100% organic cotton, and you can definitely feel the quality when you wear it.

Buy Here

 

Go “Upmarket” With a Celebration Gift Box From Betty’s 

Bettys – £55

Bettys Tearooms, based in Harrogate, specialise in crafting high-class cakes, chocolates and tea. Their hamper solves any afternoon tea craving. It includes champagne truffles, fruit cake, chocolate and tea.

Buy Here

 

Have A Date Night-in With a Couple’s Pottery Kit

London Wildflower – £55+

Pottery date nights is a gift that I have shouted about previously on my Valentine’s gifts article. However, last time I advertised Sculpd – a cheaper gift but missed a few key essentials needed when beginning pottery. London Wildflower has an extensive tool kit (including rolling pins) to make your clay creation a great one!

Buy Here

 

Learn The Art of Coffee & Brewing With An Online Course

North Star Roast – £80

Does your partner bang on about loving coffee? Make them an expert in what they love with this 8-week course, including two tasting sessions.

Buy Here

 

Have a Merry Time With Whittaker’s Gin Box With Glasses

Whittaker’s Distillery – £60

Does your partner have a taste for the finer things? Whittaker’s Distillery has put together a luxurious personalised box of gin, gin glasses and garnish. If you want a particular type of gin, you can even request it in the additional notes.

Buy Here

 

Commemorate Your Marriage With Wine and a Newspaper Published On Your Special Day

Historic Newspapers – £54.99

If you are about to celebrate a landmark anniversary, mark the special day with a newspaper from the date you were married. This gift was made for husbands who love reading the morning paper.

Buy Here

 

Have a Wine and Cheese Night With Your Own Personalised Cheese Board

The Oak Chopping Board Company – £65

Have you and your spouse consumed more cheese than your proud of over lockdown? It is time to treat yourselves to a bespoke cheese board made of French or English oak.

Buy Here

 

A Round Yoga Mat Designed For Every Yoga Move

 

The Form – £79

Have you noticed that your wife constantly has to move her yoga mat to watch her YouTube video? Then this is a fantastic solution! The Pro Round Mat is designed for every yoga move in mind – and it is sustainably sourced.

Buy Here

 

A Bathrobe Designed for Outdoor Bathing

Outdoor Living Hot Tubs – £53.99

A popular gift for those who have a jacuzzi in their garden. This bathrobe will keep your spouse warm when running to the tub.

Buy Here

 

Gifts Over £100

 

Make Use of Your Garden With This Modern Fire Pit

Cox & Cox – £175

An obscure present, I admit. But, we are heading into summer now and with social distancing continuing after June still on the cards, then preparing for an outdoor celebration is the best foot forward. Cox & Cox create beautiful home and garden furniture fit for gifting your partner.

Buy Here

 

An Answer For Your Spouse’s Ever-growing Guitar Collection

Stand Made – £185 to £345

Recently, I really struggled to find a nice looking and good quality guitar stand for my boyfriend’s abundance of guitars. Stand Made makes bespoke guitar stands to cater for your every need. You can choose the colour of the wood and the size it needs to be.

Buy Here

 

A Monthly Bouquet Subscription To One Up Your Friends 

Freddie’s Flowers – £25 a Month

What’s better than one bouquet on an anniversary? How about eleven more bouquets gifted throughout the year? This present is sure to wow your spouse – and make all her friends jealous at the same time.

Buy Here

 

Are You Still Struggling To Find A Gift?

Try our Valentine’s article for more ideas.

Or, if you want to shop locally…

I recommend Googling local shops near to where you live to see what places have websites and the services they provide. I was surprised with the number of good quality products sold only miles away from where I live.

 

 

In awareness of National Pet Month, we want to celebrate our former pets captured on camera. You can help raise awareness around pet care and wellbeing by sharing your videos and stories on social media

National Pet Month is about promoting responsible pet care through fundraising and creating informative content on caring for your animal. The educational campaign runs from April to May every year, and this year we want to help you get involved.

The theme for 2021 is looking into how pets and people care for each other, particularly during the pandemic. A total of 3.2 million households have acquired a pet over the last year, and unfortunately, 5% of those who had bought a pet have already given them up (BBC News). With these statistics in mind, you can understand why National Pet Month is an important campaign for stressing responsible pet care.

Here are a few ways you can get involved with the campaign:

Share Your Story

Twitter post from Museum of HomeFirstly, The Museum of Home is currently looking for stories exploring the role pets play with your wellbeing. This is a fantastic opportunity for those of you who have transferred your camcorder tapes to digital and have footage of your pets you want to share. It is a nice way to reflect on how your former pet has helped you and how they transformed your life.

To get involved, email: curatorial@museumofthehome.org.uk

If you need help editing your videos, we have created a video editing guide to help you with the basics.

Or, if you don’t have a story to share, why not post a picture/video of your pet on social media with the hashtag #NationalPetMonth?

 

Support Your Local Shelter

Considering the number of pets that have been given up in lockdown, it is now more important than ever to help your local animal shelter. Usually, support would come from fundraising. However, being in lockdown has made it difficult for many charities to run their usual bake sales.

Instead, many shelters have created Amazon Wishlists to help collect items desperately needed for the shelter. It is a great way to see how your money directly helps rescued pets.

Here’s a link to every Dogs Trust Centre’s Amazon Wishlist: https://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/2SOJHEBJ27SP4

Join the Community

Owning a pet is a sociable activity, particularly if you own a dog! Network with other pet owners and share your own story on social media by following #NationalPetMonth on Twitter or joining advice pages on Facebook.

There are plenty of free advice pages to help you give your small animal the best quality of care. The National Pet Month campaign has groups on Facebook for advice on caring for your pet and celebrating the highs and lows of owning a pet.

Two pages are particularly useful for connecting with other dog or cat owners:

Dog owners: https://www.facebook.com/joinparkbench

Cat owners: https://www.facebook.com/joinscratchingpost

Dear Mum,

The camcorder was always the working of the Devil. It coaxed and caressed you with the tapes’ capability to save your baby’s laugh forever —a beautiful present for your partner to bring out on every occasion. Yet, you never thought about how the devilish thing would affect you.

You’re forever telling your partner to “turn the damn thing off!”. How do they always manage to turn on the camera at the most inconvenient time? Like that time, you had to scream at your precious little toddler to stop bounding around the kitchen wielding a pair of scissors. Why on earth would you want that moment printed onto your Hi8 tape?

As a daughter of a mum who never asked to be filmed, I’m here to tell you that those moments are just as glorious and precious as listening to my three-year-old self’s angelic laughter. I relish watching these raw moments of Motherhood captured on camera – it is an artefact lost to the phone’s snippet filming.

The camcorder gave us a chance to observe hours of everyday memories when families forgot the camera was even there.

What you may believe to be nasty captures of your grumpy and ugly self, the rest of us remember as your loving care.

There is a video of our whole family at a local theme park. I remember it being an exhilarating day, but you insisted on holding our bags than joining us on the rides.

When watching that video again, I noticed you in the background cleaning up my brother’s Spiderman top. You were right; we should have never trusted him with that ice cream.  The camera focuses on my sister and me laughing at poor little Tommy.  Whilst you kneel there in the background, gently dabbing away at his slime-stained top. You kiss the top of this head and remind him to not listen to me. It was only an accident.

So what, you’re not at the forefront laughing at the joviality of your son tripping up and spilling his treat everywhere?

You were never there to mock – you were there to care, to love… and to hold our bags.

Yet, the video I really love watching is when Millie and I are prancing around the living room dressed in matching leotards and tiaras. Our bags are dumped on the floor, and you can see the scratchy ballet skirts discarded on top. Dad is cooing at us as we both fight for the attention of the camera. He prompts us to do cutesy curtseys and pirouettes.

In the darkened corner of the room is where you sit. The camera zooms into your slumped state; your thumb is rubbing the condensation on your wine glass, and you take a huge glug as Dad asks us to spin another time. Your eyes roll back as you notice the camera.

Obviously, we have not been this cutesy all day.

Millie dances into camera shot, her arms swinging without a care as she imitates a ballerina leaping across the stage. The camera catches your eyes flickering towards Millie’s hand barrelling towards the table lamp. Without a breath, your hands catch the knocked lamp, and sweep my little sister into safety.

I’ve watched that clip a thousand times and still have no idea how you managed to save her without spilling a drop of wine.

Now I know it was never your idea to document our family’s everyday life.

Dad encapsulated all the best parts of you in all of its worst ways. Your bad hair days, your quiet busyness, your slumped posture is all love without the show. Parenting is not like those bad comedy movies – and camcorder footage makes that apparently obvious. There was never a school run where you were wearing stilettos and swishing your beautiful locks whilst holding a Starbucks coffee.

But there were many days when the camera showed us how to be a good mother. And for that, I must thank Dad for never turning off the camera when you instructed him to.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Here we go again: a second Mother’s Day in lockdown.

I have learned from my past gifting mistakes; selecting new jewellery for her by online shopping is a fool’s game. Those online shops are crafty at hiding what is wrong with their product. I have quite frankly had enough of placing bets on whether that beautifully photographed rose gold necklace does, in fact, have a chain that doesn’t dangle at your ankles.

Settling for a box of chocolates is just as poor an option. I look towards my pile of festering Christmas presents, still waiting to be gifted for that little pocket of knowledge. Similarly, gifting a Day Out voucher does not work. I attempted that one last year and still owe my Mum an Afternoon Tea.

This Mother’s Day, I have learned. This time, I am giving her a unique present like no other; I am gifting my Mother with the past.

“How?” I hear you cry.

Well, my dear, by converting my cherished childhood camcorder tapes to digital.

All through my childhood, I had a camera pointed towards me. My mum loved to document my world: the woeful dance routines to Atomic Kitten; declaring I had “gone blind!” after rubbing sun cream in my eyes; the disastrous September morning when I decided to give myself a fringe to impress the boys at school. My mum documented it all (much to my dismay).

Every memory recorded on that hugely intimidating camera is special. Unfortunately, they are all imprisoned inside those tiny plastic tapes, and we do not have the tape player to access them. Hours of cherished footage lost to changes in technology.

So, I decided to do some research and found that all was not lost in the world! I could watch these videos again, and even better, I could gift these beloved videos to my mum. I found there are companies that will transfer your video files and preserve them in a variety of modern digital formats.

How Do I Digitise My Memories?

Digital Converters is the most popular and reliable tape digitisation service in the UK. The website is simple to use, and they give you the option of transferring your videos onto DVD, a memory stick or cloud download.

Personally, I recommend choosing a cloud download to ensure your mum will receive the videos on the day. Since we’ll still be in lockdown, choosing to save your videos on the cloud means you have the versatility of sending them over email or text. This option has been beneficial for me because I have not seen my own family for nearly 6 months – hence the heap of Christmas chocolates wallowing away.

After placing my order, I chose which videos I wanted to have converted for my mum. It was a blessing in disguise because I could pick which parts of my childhood I wanted my mum to remember. Finally, I am ridding myself of that terrible wonky fringe haunting my memories! Likewise, you can skip all those hours of footage of your siblings and savour the ones of yourself prancing around as a child. A beautiful keepsake for your mother!

Are all your childhood videos trapped in your parents’ attic?

Stop typing that message to your Dad begging him to sneak those tapes past your mum! You can now give the responsibility of converting the tapes to your mother. Digital Converters have solved all your gift-giving crises with their new gift card option!

Gift cards allow the giftee to choose which memories they would like to keep. No more worrying about your mum asking why you converted the video where she is downing a glass of wine whilst your childhood-self swans around the kitchen.

Besides, if you have left your Mother’s Day present really late, then the gift card is the perfect option. When digitising your old tapes, the one downside is the amount of time it takes to parcel up your media and send it off to be converted. Digital Converter’s gift card can be ordered and sent to your mum on the day via post or email. No more I.O.U’s!

To begin digitising your childhood videos or to buy a gift card, follow the links here:

Videotape Transfer

Gift Voucher

One might say that if you have had one Pancake Day, you have had them all. Well, this year it is different. It is 2021. Impressing your kids with a measly pancake flip just won’t cut it.

What better way for your family to flex their artistic muscles than with some pancake art! And, since we specialise in analogue technology, what better way to celebrate Shrove Tuesday than with a guide to making your pancake look like a VHS tape. Converting your VHS to digital is so 2020. Get ready to make breakfast time exciting again.

You Will Need:

  • A frying pan or griddle
  • Pancake batter (2 large eggs, 300ml milk and 100g flour)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Squeeze bottles

Recipe

The Batter

1. Most culinary quests require only the top-shelf ingredients. Thankfully, nothing fancy is required here. Just mix-up your bog-standard pancake mix – there’s a great recipe for pancake batter over on BBC Good Food.

Tip: Keep the batter slightly thinner so that the mixture can travel smoothly out of your squeeze bottle and create the flowing lines of an artist’s brush.

2. Split the mixture into 3 parts. You will need to add cocoa powder to two parts to create various colour shades for your art.

Tip: If you want to really wow your audience with your pancake art, you can add some food dye and bring a splash of colour to your drawing of choice.

3. Add 1 tablespoon to one part of your mixture to create a dark brown shade for drawing the main outline and details of your tape.

4. Add 1 teaspoon to another part of your mixture to create a lighter brown shade for darker shading.

5. Leave the third part of your mixture as a plain batter. This will be used to fill in the rest of your design.

6. Once your batter is prepared, whack each shade into its own squeezy bottle.

 

The Drawing

Personally, I recommend using a griddle as the canvas for creating your magnum opus. Yet, a non-stick frying pan works just as well.

7. Put your hob on low heat. It is important to keep the heat low to start with because you will need the time to shape your ideas into reality.

8. Start with your darkest shade of batter and draw the VHS’s main outline and details first.

9. Next, it is time for your darker shading. Use the lighter brown batter to shade in the plastic case and tape reel.

10. Fill in the rest of your design with the regular batter.

11. All being successful, it is time to turn up the heat! The pancake should start bubbling and slightly change in colour.

The Magic Flip

Arguably, the best part of Shrove Tuesday is that all those years of perfecting your pan-flipping prowess is about to pay dividends. As I mentioned earlier, the simple flip of a pancake will not impress your kids like it used to. But! Combining the flip with the sweet reveal of your VHS masterpiece is sure to leave your kids’ jaws on the floor.

12. When you start to see the bubbles pop on top of your pancake, it is time for action. Employ your method of choice and watch as your finished masterpiece is revealed with great fanfare!

 

Have you got tapes which you would like to have converted into pancakes? Then, it is probably better to ask your local cake shop! But, if you are looking for a video to DVD service, then Digital Converters have got you covered.

Follow the link here to get started.

Your wedding day should be one of the most unforgettable days of your life. But the celebratory drinks at the afterparty may have other ideas. Thankfully, with the trusty wedding video, couples can now preserve their special day forever.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, you may be one of the many couples who are reliving their special day by converting their wedding tapes to digital formats. In this article, we will dive into the origins of the wedding video and how it has become the home essential for every married couple.

Home Movie Genesis

The introduction of 8mm and 16mm film made shooting videos vastly cheaper, smaller, and more accessible. The film cameras were specifically designed for amateur filmmakers to use and began a new phenomenon: the home movie.

During the 1930s, motion pictures were still associated with the theatre. The idea of an established genre of ‘Wedding Video’ was still unheard of. Thankfully, as technology improved and cameras became smaller, families began filming special occasions with their 8mm or 16mm film. Wedding videos were restricted to 4-minute clips as film reels had to be reloaded after this time. Furthermore, wedding videos’ novelty was limited to wealthier families who could afford the camera and film reels.

The Rise of Super-8

The beginning of professional wedding videography came with the introduction of Super 8 film cameras in 1965.

Super 8 set out to remedy the many quality issues present in the existing 8mm film cameras. They utilised pre-loaded film cassettes rather than reels. This meant that those who were not gifted with dexterity or finesse (like me) could load new films with ease. Subsequently, wedding videos became longer in length; the video’s quality was higher in low-light settings, and weddings could be recorded with sound! The latter feature being introduced in 1973.

As some budding videographers’ general skill level improved, people began offering wedding video production as a paid service. A more convenient option for some – instead of forcing a family member to stand behind a camera while everyone else enjoys the occasion!

Wedding Videos Become Truly Professional

As the home video market grew exponentially, so did the development of new technology. Wedding videographers continued to use Super 8 until the early 1980s when JVC introduced a compact camcorder recorded onto a VHS-C tape. It could be operated by one person and changed the filming of home videos from Super 8 film to the VHS tape.

Wedding videography was now establishing itself as a genuine market. This resulted in the formation of various local and national organisations of videographers. Wedding videos became a mainstay in popular culture, and many families possessed documentation of their special day.

However, the videos lacked the fanfare and pizzazz of wedding videos we see today. This is because analogue media was restricted to a few hours of filming, and videographers did not have post-production technology to edit the films. The videos were simply a point and shoot of the bride and groom.

Style Evolution

The 1990s brought a boom in digital technology and with it came a swarm of digital cameras and post-editing equipment. This was fantastic news for wedding videographers who could film hours of footage of the wedding day and edit it to a tidy two-hour video.

The DSLR camera development began a whole new evolution of professional wedding videos as videographers developed their own style of filming and editing. Bride and grooms also had more of an input in how they would like to preserve their day. The couple could now decide on the style and budget of their film:

Journalistic

This is the most common form of wedding videos. The videographer would document the entire day from the morning preparations to the ceremony and reception. This video style aimed to remain faithful to life and required simple cuts to keep the video concise.

Short Form

This form was better for those on a smaller budget as the videos were more concise and once edited were under an hour of filming. It is essentially a montage of your best bits of the day. This video style is likely to include some more complex editing but is very versatile to the couple’s needs.

Cinematic

The name gives this one away. A cinematic style of wedding video is when the videographer can turn their tech dial up to 11 and flaunt their skills. This style can manifest itself in various ways and uses effects like slow motion, transitions, and emotive music.

The production of cinematic wedding videos was especially sought-after in the ’90s when editing was a practice mainly reserved for industry professionals who had the kit to create special effects.

The Modern-Day Videographer

In the present, many weddings are filmed on phone cameras owned by guests. Instagram filters are created for guests to use when posting on social media and are invited to create a joint video album documenting the day’s event.

Thus, professional wedding videos use a cinematic style that aims to tell the couple’s story. They tend to be shorter than the traditional VHS wedding tapes and use high-tech equipment (like 4K cameras, Steadicam rigs and drones) to show off the location, wedding outfits and decoration.

 

At Digital Converters, we can preserve your wedding video forever by digitising your wedding tapes and reels.

If you want to gift your wedding tape to your partner for Valentine’s Day but are pressed for time, why not buy them a Gift Voucher from our store?

Here we are again with another holiday in Lockdown. Only Valentine’s Day feels way more restricted due to not being allowed to venture out onto dates. Even worse, the novelty of cute date nights at home has really worn off this time and ordering a takeaway does not have the same spark it used to. 

So, to stay positive this Valentine’s Day, we have compiled a list of our top 5 gifts to make your day a little more exciting and special. Hopefully, these ideas will help you get out of your date night rut:

1. Romantic Spa Day With a Care Package From Etsy

Travel restrictions mixed with the cold, dark days of Winter have made wanting a holiday at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Treat your partner to a relaxing spa day with personalised care packages created on Etsy. 

Spa day gift from Etsy

These kits usually include face masks, bath salts, candles and tea bags/hot chocolate for a warming drink. The prices range from £15 to £75 depending on how many gifts you want and the quality of the items. 

Here are two of the more popular gift sets available on Etsy. They are a great way to support smaller, local businesses whilst treating your loved one to something special.

Home Spa Kit (£25): The perfect gift for bath lovers. 

This kit includes soy tealights, sleep spray, cocoa butter, a selection of face masks, organic tea, chocolate and bath salts.

Couple’s Spa Pamper Package (£15.99): A gift for yourself and your partner.

This kit includes 2 x face masks, 2 x eye patches, 2 x lip masks, 2 x packet of biscuits, 2 x tea bags, tea light, bath salts and face cloth.

2. Replicate That Passionate Scene From Ghost by Buying a Pottery Kit

Are you wanting to learn a new skill this Valentine’s Day? Get your hands dirty with clay-sculpting kits and learn how to create new pieces of art with your partner. 

There are a few companies which now specialise in artsy packages of air-drying clay, tools and guides from around £30 to £70. 

Sculpd currently has a great Valentine’s Day Kit which includes a pottery cocktail masterclass where you learn how to make a cheeky-looking pot whilst drinking espresso martinis! At £65 you receive: two packets of air-drying clay, tools, alcohol for espresso martinis and two virtual classes to teach you pottery and cocktail making. 

If you want a cheaper option, then their classic Sculpd Pottery Kit is great too! It includes all the essentials needed for creating your own pottery.

3. Reminisce The Good Times by Getting Your Old Family Tapes Converted

For those of you with partners who are missing their children, then this will be the gift for you.

You can now convert VHS tapes, cine reels or slides to digital formats and preserve your memories forever with Digital Converters. This is a great way to reminisce about the better times and bring the family closer to home. 

If you are pressed for time with your Valentine’s present then I recommend buying a Gift Voucher.

They start from £20 and you have the choice of a free email voucher or to have it delivered in a beautiful gift package. That way, your partner can choose which videos they want to see again and it can be a lovely present for both of you to watch at a later date.

4. Bring The Date to Your Home by Buying a Mini-Golf Kit From Plonk

This is definitely the best gift for those who want to get creative on Valentine’s Day.

Plonk golf make at home kit

The mini-golf company Plonk have now designed DIY mini-golf kits for you to build and play in the comfort of your own home. An easy way to practice putting without damaging the house!

The kits range from £6 to £50 depending on the size of your group. Their Plonk Pack for Adults is an especially brilliant buy for Valentine’s Day! 

The pack includes cocktails, a large activity pack, a craft pack of scissors, pencils and glue, and 2 x vouchers to play mini-golf once out of lockdown! 

5. Celebrate The Good Times With a Virtual Cocktail-Making Class

Innovation has been at the forefront of this pandemic. One of the newest and trendiest ways to satisfy the public’s need for bars has been virtual cocktail masterclasses.

These classes will send you the equipment and alcohol needed to follow the session online. 

Boozyevents is a simple website for ordering the right masterclass for you. They range from £34.50 per person to £53 per person depending on how many cocktail recipes you want to learn.

Mixology is another intuitive company which was famous for its in-person cocktail classes before they moved to virtual lessons. You can choose to be in group classes or have private ones. The only downside is that the classes are only taught on Fridays.