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  • Easter 2019’s top 3 picks!

    Figolli, chocolate bunnies, almond tarts, chocolate eggs… who doesn’t love them?

    We know we do – we can’t deny that, and we can’t wait for Easter Sunday to dig into our favourite chocolate-coated-real-almonds figolla (yes, we can’t believe we’ve really managed to stay away from figolli for so long this year! 2 more weeks to go! 💪💪)

    Despite our fond love for figolli (and chocolate eggs of course!), year on year, we prefer to combine these mouthwatering seasonal treats alongside some other gifts that would last longer than just a few (or plenty) more inches on our waistline 😆

    Here are our favourite tinks for this Easter!

     1. Sometink for the family!

    This 300x490mm wooden plaque makes a great gift for all the family to enjoy.

    Featuring one of our favourite grey toned wooden textures, and finished off with a pinkish-coral spring tone, this plaque would fit within most home styles and decor.

    It’s available both in Maltese and in English.

    2. Sometink for the kids!

    As for the kids, we’re shying away from an Easter-themed… but surely still something that can make an awesome Easter basket like gift, filled with plenty of Easter goodies – Just imagine a kid’s reaction when getting one of these wooden boxes filled with choc eggs 🤩💯

    Here are some ideas on filling up this wooden box for kids <10:

    • A small figolla (replace with a chocolate egg/s if preferred)
    • A bunny themed book (replace with an activity book for younger kids)
    • A small board game (anyone still remembers ‘guess who?’)
    • Playdough
    • Plush toy (a bunny or a chick perhaps?)

    3. Sometink for Newborns!

    Nothing beats celebrating a first Easter with a photo keepsake!

    This photo frame has 3 different text areas which can be fully personalised – including the colour! It’s also available in a landscape format.

    You can view the full range of Easter related tinks here.

  • #PositiveThinkingDay

    The International Positive Thinking Day is celebrated annually on September 13th.

    Most of us associate the word ‘Positive’ with just being ‘happy’. Well, partly it is, but not just that.
    Positivity is the practice of being optimistic in attitude, that focuses on the bright side of life, demonstrating joy, hope, gratitude, interest, pride, love and inspiration, amongst other qualities.

    Positive thinking is not a concept that everyone believes in and follows. Some do actually consider it to be nonsense, however, apart from the growing scientific evidence that proves the power of positivity, we believe there’s more good than harm in having an optimistic outlook on life!

    When we’re positive we feel better about life in general – we feel more peaceful, happier and calm, which makes us more likeable and sociable.

    Positive emotions create a positive lifestyle. What would you rather be? Happy all the time or constantly angry? Would you rather carry a big smile all day long or a permanent frown?

    Thinking positively will help you accomplish dreams and goals. A study of over 275,000 people found that the happiest people owe their success, in part, to their optimistic and positive outlook, rather than attributing their happiness to their successful results. (full review here)

    The mind has a strong effect on the body and on health, hence why you feel better and healthier when you think positively.

    Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people, and avoid negative ones? Remember that both positive and negative attitudes are contagious.

    In order to stay positive, we enjoy a dose of motivation… daily! 🙂

     

    “People often say that motivation doesn’t last.
    Well neighter does bathing –
    that’s why we recommend it daily.”
    Zig Ziglar

     

    Here’s a list of 5 of our favourite Motivation and Inspiration speakers, including some favourite clips or speeches of them, and our favourite quote (It was very difficult to choose just 1 since they have so manyyyyy we love!).

    1. Eric Thomas (E.T)

    Youtube Channel

    Our Favourite E.T quote: “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
    Our Favourite E.T speech in this link here, and our favourite compilation of E.T speeches, below:

    2. Tony Robbins

    Official Website

    Our Favourite Tony Robbins quote: “If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.”
    One of our favourite Tony Robbins speech (there are so many more!!):

    3. Les Brown

    Official Website

    Our Favourite Les Brown quote: “You have greatness within you.”
    Our Favourite Tony Robbins speech:

    4. Zig Ziglar

    Official Website

    Our Favourite Zig Ziglar quote: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
    Our Favourite Zig Ziglar speech:

    5. Nick Vujicic

    Nick Vujicic is an Australian motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of arms and legs.

    Official Website

    Our Favourite Nick Vujicic quote: “In life, you have a choice: Bitter or better? Choose better, forget bitter.”
    Our Favourite Nick Vujicic speech:

     


     

    Surround yourself with motivation… Check out our favourite picks to motivate your office or home – Click here for the full range.


    Use the below coupon code when purchasing from the ‘Motivation‘ section on thetinkshop.com

    10% Percentage Discount
    positive10
    Expires Today

     

  • Top 5 strangest things we’ve been asked for.

    As Tinkers, one of the best parts of our job, at The Tink Shop, is getting to meet loads and loads of lovely people daily! We get to meet all sorts of people from all walks of life – some of which have become regulars at our shop and we now consider them part of our tink family.

    One of our core values, which we keep close to our hearts, is that we are fun people. We see ourselves as not just another random town shop, but we want to give our clients a full shopping experience, which they can enjoy and cherish. It’s always fun having a chat with a friendly customer, sharing life stories whilst assisting with your queries.

    Nonetheless, this brings with it it’s good share of strange requests and funny stories!

     

     

    1. Do you sell furniture?

     

    Everything we do screams vintage and shabby chic, so we do not really make use of the kind of shelving you find in a usual shop, but mostly use old revamped character-full furniture pieces to add that lovely oomph to our tinks.

    Regularly, and by regularly I mean a few times a week, we get asked by people to buy that “old table in the shop window” or “that old cabinet” or “the mannequin” (We used to have a mannequin in our shop a while back). We try to explain (nicely, of course) that these are not up for sale and instead introduce the products we offer, after which, sometimes we’re greeted with “Jiġifieri, mhux se tiddubbali waħda?” (translates to: So, can’t you get one for me?)

     

    1. Female Underwear

    This happened twice, so far!

    Once we had this not-so-young gentleman walk in the shop and ask one of our Tinkers for “qliezet ta’ taħt” (underwear). The second time it was a lovely woman asking for “panties tan-nisa” (female underwear).

    We’re certainly not trying to mock anyone here – we do understand one can get a shop confused – but not exactly sure what could possible suggest The Tink Shop might sell underwear!

    Perhaps we should start selling personalised underwear?

    You know what? If we get 3 more asking for it, we’ll give it a go!

     

    1. Sun-Dried tomatoes and Cheeslets

    Yes, we actually got asked if we have any “tadam imqadded” (sun-dried tomatoes) and ġbejniet (maltese cheeselets)!

    Don’t get us wrong, we do love our food and in all fairness, we do offer a range of cheese and charcuterie themed wooden boards and plaques. We’re also in very close to a fishmonger, a butcher, pastizzeria and a convenience shop, but to actually ask if we sell food is pretty… erm… cheesy?

     

    1. Cemetery Candles

    A sweet old lady once walked into the shop and asked to buy a dozen red cemetery candles, because she claimed ours are the best she ever bought, smelt nice and do not go out with the slightest breeze – The thing is, we do not sell (or ever did sell) cemetery candles!

     

    1. The Tink Shop is a Hair Salon! (Not!)

    There was the parish priest’s sweet episode too! Yep, a priest!

    A couple of years back, during the local traditional home blessing time, this priest was blessing the shop and after saying a few prayers, he concluded with “Lord, please bless this hair salon and the hairdressers who work here and the clients who get their hair done here”. Epic!

     

    We have had a few interesting encounters and we look back on them fondly.

    Who knows what the next request will bring along…

  • Creating personalised gifts on thetinkshop.com

     

    It’s a very simple process. You do not need any particular design knowledge to be able to personalise any of the products on thetinkshop.com. That’s a promise!

    Here’s a quick video explaining the process;


    Simply, start off by browsing the category sections or using the search function (located at the top right corner of the screen, next to the ‘My Account’ button, to look through the various gifts for different occasions. We’re pretty sure you’d find a gift to fit your special occassion!

    If not, may we introduce the ‘Create Your Own Design’ section? Here you can create a new design completely from scratch! But more about this in the coming days.

     

    The icons

    You may notice that some products have a ‘Fast Buy’ icon, whilst others have a pencil, a camera or two pencil icons attached to them. Some of them might have a combination of multiple icons, too.


    Here’s the difference between them:

    Fast Buy icon: These product belong to The Tink Collection, and do not require any personalisation, thus can be ready for pickup or dispatched within 1 working day. These are the same products that you may find available at The Tink Shop in Ħ’Attard.

    Pencil icon: This means that this product can be personalised with text: be it a name, or a paragraph – not all the designs available allow the same type of personalisation.

    Two Pencil icon: Whenever you see this icon, it means that this product is available to be ordered in either ‘Single Personalisation’ or ‘Multiple Personalisation’. This is not a site wide function, and only available on selected products.
    When you purchase 10 pieces of the same product with a Single Personalisation, it means that you will get 10 pieces with the same exact print. When you opt for 10 pieces of the same product but with a Multiple Personalisation, you will be prompted to input the personalisation details 10 times, so each item will have a different personalisation (Additional charges apply for Multiple Personalisation). This function is particularly useful for party giveaways, merchandise, organisations’ and schools’ small tokens and gifts.

    Camera icon: This icon refers to products that can have photo personalisation.

     

    The Customisation Tool

    Once you’ve decided which product you’d like to have, you can then click on ‘Customise’ from within the product’s page, which would launch the ‘The Tink Customisation Tool’ – where all the magic happens!

     

    The Tink Customisation Tool

    The Tink Customisation tool – Where all the magic happens!


    The Customisation tool shows you a preview of how the design for your gift will look like.

    The easiest way to start personalising your gift, at the Customisation Tool, is to click on ‘Manage Layers’, located at the top red part of the Customisation Tool, to see which areas of the design can be customised.

     

    Text Personalisation

    Not all the designs allow the same changes to the text.

    Some allow all the text within the design to be changed, whilst others only allow specific parts of the text to be modified.

    Some designs also allow the text to be scaled up or down, rotated and have it’s position and colour changed. It’s important to always refer to the ‘Manage Layers’ to explore which elements can be modified.

    Changing of text is fairly easy, you can type into the layer itself, by selecting the text directly onto the canvas, or into the character panel which pops up at the bottom of the Customisation Tool when a text layer is selected. The tools available on the character panel are more or less those you find in a word processor. These tools are displayed or hidden depending on the permissions allowed for that particular design, as explained above.

    Refer to the below image for all the tools explained:

     

    Photo Personalisation

    We offer 3 options to upload photos for photo personalisation. You can upload photos directly from your library saved on your device, choose a photo from Facebook or one you have on Instagram.

    Once you’ve chosen the desired photo, you are asked to confirm that you hold the rights to use that particular image. For more details about this, kindly refer to Clause 19 in our terms and conditions.

    Once uploaded, you can change the transform properties (scale, rotate, position) of your photo to fit it as nicely as possible within the designated photo area.

     

     

     

     

    Advanced Editing Tool

    Another tool you can use to tweak your photos is the ‘Advanced Editing’ feature, where you can custom crop your photo, apply filters to your photo, and manipulate colours with the brightness and contrast controls. A useful function is the ‘Remove White’ tool, which as the name suggests, removes the white from your picture – this is mostly useful when you are using either silhouettes or one colour logos saved with a white background, to be able to replace the white with a transparent background.

    At any point, you can ‘Restore Original’ photo or ‘Save’ your photo. This will update the preview of the gift you are designing.

    Once all your changes are ready, you can set the quantity required (all items will have the same identical print) and choose ‘Add To Basket

    Here, you will be prompted to confirm that all the wording and amendments for your personalised gift are final and confirmed. We will make no adjustments (except for minor design related changes – see Clause 9 in our terms and conditions for more details about this) to your personalisation.

    Wishing you Happy Shopping!!

    For queries or enquiries, get in touch with a Tinker from our team here.

  • Our favourite FREE Online Photo Editors

    We’re living in 2018, where almost all of us have smartphones capable of taking some pretty amazing pictures. Most phones today, come pre-loaded with very efficient and feature-full camera apps, which allow you to instantly change and enhance your picture straight away – which is great!

    Moreover, you can download from a series of iOS and Android apps, some of which are also available for free, for your devices, which allow you to further enhance your pictures.

    From time to time we get asked about photo editing software which you can use to change your pictures before printing them on one of our products. Some of you might think that you’d have to break the bank to get your hands on a good quality photo enhancing app to just crop and boost your favourite pic – The good news is, this is absolutely not true!

    There are tens (if not hundreds) of available FREE online photo editors.

    After weeks of testing these platforms out, here are the top 4 chosen by our team at The Tink Shop.

     

    Your photos won’t look the same ever again!

     

    1. PhotoCat

    We bet it’s one of the simplest to use, and one of the most tools and features packed app.
    Photocat offers 3 main features: Photo Editing, Photo Retouching, and a collage maker.

    All the basic functions you’d need to tweak your photo are available here too, but not just, PhotoCat also offers a variety of filters, borders, and photo overlays too!
    Added to the list, is a full set of retouching features including spray tan, blemish removal, smooth skin, red-eye removal, lip tinting and eye colour changer!
    Another amazing tool is the ‘Compare’ feature, where you can compare your edited photo to the original one.


    2. Fotor

    One of our very favourites for online photo editing and manipulation! It’s very intuitive and easy to use. Offers all the basic tools such as cropping, brightness, saturation and colour temperature altering.

    One of it’s most cool features is the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature; where you can combine three photos with different exposures into one image!
    It’s important to note that some of the tools would work only if you create a free account.

     

     


    3. PIXLR

    PIXLR offer a variety of free tools and apps for photo editing and manipulation, including PIXLR editor and PIXLR express with almost all functionality of a professional photo manipulation software, including the ability to create a custom sized canvas to build a design from scratch.

     

     

    4. Cut My Pic

    This one is surely the most simple to use – you just upload your photo, choose from a set of image altering features (including the tilt-shift effect! so cool!) and hit preview button to compare the edited photo to the original one, before saving it to your computer, emailing it or sharing it on Facebook.

     

    All the above apps, together with our online customisation tool would make a great set of tools to help you design your next gift!

    If you’re looking for a Free vector graphics app (especially if you want to design items for laser-cutting or perhaps computer cut stickers), you should consider Vectr – easy to use, yet very robust!

  • Say Cheese!

    Parmigiano-Reggiano, Old Amsterdam, Maasdam, Gouda, Stilton…. or even plain good old (matured) cheddar!  mmmmmm….. shall I go on? Pure cheese heaven! Don’t you just love all the different types of intense flavours there are to choose from?

    I heard someone the other day claim they don’t like cheese! Say what?? Is it even possible?

    I believe that the flavour and textures are one of the best pleasures this earth has to offer us.
    Each to their own I say!

    I’m thinking of celebrating cheese lovers day (this Saturday 20th January 2018) with a nice selection of my favourite cheese from the local deli and one nice bottle of wine (while watching the Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture celebrations)

    I can safely say I’m so fondou of cheese from my head to-ma-toes… (tomatoes… got it?) Too Cheesy??



    Speaking of cheesy – if you’re fun and wanna have a laugh with your partner, husband or wife… this Valentine’s day go for something with maximum cheese factor from our ‘Cheesy Valentine’s’ section…

    We once heard the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra cheese!
    The cheesiness in these products is intended as a joke… please don’t take it literally!
    NB: Not for the laughtose intolerant!

    #ġobon #kwartminkollox #ġobnuz

    On a side note… did it ever occur to you why do we say ‘Cheese’ when taking a photo?
    Rumour has it the ‘ch’ in cheese forces us to position our teeth nicely and the long ‘ee’ makes us put our lips apart in a nice smile-like fashion! No cheese for those who pout! Sorry!

     

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    Click here to get extra Cheese for Valentine’s Day!

  • The day my life changed forever!

    It’s been a whole year! One roller coaster year! Twelve months! Three Six Five Days! Oh, wait…. Eight Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Hours! (yes, I googled this one!)

     

    Why all this emphasis you ask? Well, one year ago, my wife was pregnant – the baby was due in mid-September so we had ample time to plan and sort things out (or so you’d think!)  One year ago, I got a call from my crying, panicking, 35-weeks pregnant wife, Barbara, saying that the doctors wanted to have the baby out TODAY!  Between one sob and another, I sort of managed to understand that I had to go to the hospital NOW!

     

    I remember vividly the exact design I was doing when I received the call.  I just grabbed my things and left on the spot.  I rushed to the hospital, found the wife in a now calmer state and wearing a huge ugly nightgown!  Doctors told us we had a long wait and so we did… At least Barbara wasn’t in pain so we tried to kill time the best way we know how…  brainstorming ideas for Christmas at The Tink Shop – which really kept both our spirits high!

     

    Meanwhile, the missus was calming down the rest of the family and telling them not to come to the hospital yet as there was a long wait, whilst I was making some work calls and delegate the unfinished tasks to my colleagues.

     

    The Tink Shop is always very busy in August, even though sometimes we close for a period in August, we use that time to work on new material and ranges – We were waiting for an important shipment to arrive so I had to call the shippers, my colleagues, suppliers, courier agents, a few clients who had important pending work and a bunch of others. Thankfully, we have a great team I can rely on! They all came together and worked meticulously to get everything sorted out properly and on time.

    So there we were, my wife on the bed stuck to monitors and wires, and myself slouched in a chair next to her! We laughed all the way through and joked about the situation until the doctors informed us that it would be best to proceed with an emergency c-section!

     

    Everything happened so quickly that the next thing I knew, I was holding my son in my arms, in a room, alone. That was the day that Baby Jack was born and we became mummy and daddy!  

     

    One year later and baby Jack is no longer a baby but a crawling, here-comes-trouble little cheeky monkey! I just love him to bits! Can’t wait to start breaking a few things with him 😀

     

    It’s not just Jack who is growing, one year later the team at The Tink Shop is growing stronger than ever! And we’re now looking to get more Tinkers onboard!

    If you think you’re a Tinker stop thinking and start Tinking. Drop us a few lines and a CV to [email protected]

  • In the summertime…

    …when the weather is hot…. Lalala…. And it’s really getting hot! 🙂

    Well it sure is Summer and we can feel it! While many of you are enjoying the summer heat, we’re already thinking about Christmas! Yes, Christmas!! And yes, we know it’s early but with so much to plan ahead, we have to start as early as possible!

    Christmas is a very special time of the year to us… We love everything about it – the decor, the gift giving, the carols, the get-togethers, the warm drinks and that nice chilly weather it brings! But most of all we love seeing your happy faces when you get hold of or receive one of our keepsake gifts that are increasing in popularity year on year! So we start gearing up for it as early as possible, because we hate to disappoint. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it; new gift ranges, new designs, new products and plenty and plenty of stock! Since it’s a very busy period across all departments all around the world, we have to get our hands on raw materials and stocks very early in order to have enough supplies for our customers to enjoy.

    Planning started back in June, with a bunch of brainstorming sessions within the team to come up with new concepts and ideas. This year it was extra challenging since we’re also working on expanding our offices and expanding our reach within the local market – more news about this pretttyyy soon!! 🙂 Next, we start sourcing raw materials and the different parts and components that compile our final products – a big headache, especially since most material and parts are not available locally!

    The workshop has been extra busy for quite a while now preparing loads of blanks for printing. Meanwhile, our creatives are working full speed ahead on designing some great art to go onto our products – both for personalised gifts and off-the shelf merchandise. We’ve been hinting for quite a while now, that this year would be our biggest ever Christmas range to date! So whilst most of you are sunbathing and sipping coladas, we’re thinking about hot chocolate, snowmen, reindeer, santas and cribs!

    The printing team are pretty busy too – though they will be busier in the weeks ahead (sssSShh! Don’t tell them!) We’ve been printing loads and loads of wall hanging plaques, coaster sets and keepsake boxes for you to choose from!

    Our printers (whom we nicknamed Leli and Ben) work almost round the clock all year round, and even more from now till Christmas – so this is usually the time where they get some extra pampering! A thorough clean and a well deserved all-round service to make sure that all the nuts and bolts are in place to reduce the risks of nasty surprises in the run up to Christmas.

    Well, for us Christmas is just round the corner so we’re all set for some thundery days! (Yep, you guessed it, we’re all winter-loving design geeks!) but in the meantime, we’re going to enjoy some sunshine like the rest of you!

    The Tink Shop will be closed between the 13th and the 20th of August – we need to get back to reality and realise it’s August… not December! 🙂

  • Research… At A Tangent

    RESEARCH
    noun

    1. the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

     

    An essential part of our work here entails research and development, and by research I mean a lot of heavy-mind-boggling-nail-biting-teeth-grinding research!

     

    Most often than not, our concepts are born very casually, over a quick cup of coffee between the gang – or even sometimes, we get that creativity spark out of a very silly joke or comment! We do also hold a few of the ‘official’ brainstorming sessions, though we tend to keep it as simple and casual as possible, so most of the times we brainstorm over coffee or food!

     

    When one of us comes up with a new concept or idea, research kicks off immediately with intense fact-finding, possible options, possible designs, we experiment with colour, print, engraving, new materials, investigate what works and what doesn’t, heavy thinking… sleep on it… back to drawing board, test prints, inquire with our suppliers and many long hours of discussions after, (and well, some of us tend to be very opinionated so the discussions get quite heated at times!), our little new proto-type baby is born.

     

    Sometimes, we get so passionate about our research, that we end up on totally different planets…. errrmmm I mean subjects! Often, the original subject gets so sidelined that we even forget where we started from! Let me give you an example, a few months ago we were about to launch a brand new range of coasters.  Have you seen it yet? They’re really cool – seriously you should have a look! (You see how we get easily distracted?) 🙂

     

    Anyway, so we’re doing our research on these coasters and all of a sudden we find ourselves discussing options of upgrading some of our machines.  But seriously, how do you go from coasters to machinery upgrade you would wonder?  Well, there we were with our dear friends, Google, Instagram and Pinterest and one thing led to another. Well, actually one window led to another, to another, to another and that’s how we got from coasters to machinery! Kapixx? We haven’t upgraded any machinery, YET, but that’s for another discussion altogether!

     

    This research thing happens to us very frequently.  We get sucked into anything remotely interesting. We consider ourselves a very curious (some call us weird!) bunch – so if it slightly tickles our brain cells, we google about it!  It’s amazing how many things we learn through this process. And it doesn’t even mean that whatever we encounter in our research gets transformed into another new project but this is how we get most of our inspiration. We’re like little bees, going from one flower to another absorbing all the knowledge we can get…. And while hopping from one subject to the other we use the inspiration gathered to infuse multiple ideas together and create something new! Got it? Knowledge is a big factor in anything we do. It’s our breakfast, lunch and dinner! (and snacks too!) It’s what fuels us! (apart from coffee!)

     

    Last week’s topic of research was motivation – we’re working on a new range of motivational products… something you look at when not in the mood to study/exercise/or whatever and go “Bamm… I wanna do this! Bamm… Bring it on” – we started off with interesting quotes, catchy phrases, attractive pictures, famous people who said cool stuff, well you get the picture right?

    One search window, leads to tens of others, which then open to plenty more and without even noticing we ended up on something great which gave us a huge spark. A bright idea. Our creative buds started tingling. The imaginary light bulbs started flickering on our heads! Thinking caps on. OMG we got sooooo excited !!! So now, we’re working on this amazing new project!!!  Research is still underway so I can’t really tell you anything about it right now…. Let’s just call it Project X for the time being.  We’ll tell you all about it soon!