Bloom News

  • The Perfect Puzzle Partner: How Aromatherapy Candles Can Enhance Your Jigsaw Journey

    In today's fast-paced world, carving out moments for relaxation and mindfulness is more important than ever. If you’re looking for a way to unwind, de-stress, and reconnect with yourself, look no further than the surprisingly powerful combination of beautiful jigsaws and aromatherapy candles. With my small British jigsaw puzzle business, Bloom Puzzles, I'm passionate about creating lovely puzzles that offer more than just a fun challenge. I believe that puzzles, when paired with the benefits of essential oils, can unlock a whole new level of mental focus, mental relaxation, and overall well-being.

    The Florist 500 piece Jigsaw Lifestyle Image from Bloom Puzzles

    The Power of Puzzles: More Than Just a Fun Activity

    Long gone are the days when puzzles were seen as a simple pastime for children. Many people rediscovered the joys of puzzling during lockdown, and completing a beautiful jigsaw puzzle offers a surprisingly powerful array of benefits for people of all ages.

    • Enhanced Mental Focus: The process of piecing together a puzzle requires close attention and problem-solving skills. As you carefully analyse shapes, colours and the smallest details, distractions fade away, promoting a feeling of being grounded in the present moment.
    • Mental Relaxation: The repetitive and rhythmic nature of assembling a puzzle can have a calming effect on the mind. The act of concentrating on the task at hand can be a form of mindfulness, reducing stress and anxiety.
    • Improved Cognitive Function: Studies suggest that puzzles can be exceptionally good for your brain; they improve memory, spatial reasoning, and visual-perceptual skills. The mental workout involved in puzzling can keep your brain sharp and engaged.
    • A Sense of Accomplishment: Successfully completing a challenging puzzle brings a satisfying sense of accomplishment, boosting self-esteem and promoting feelings of well-being. You can enjoy a dopamine hit, the reward hormone, for each puzzle piece you place in its correct home.
    • Digital Detox: Puzzles provide a screen-free escape, allowing you to disconnect from the constant digital stimulation in our 21st century lives.
    Bloom Puzzles Festive Harbour 1000 Piece Puzzle & Candle Gift Set Lucy Grossmith

    The Benefits of Aromatherapy

    Aromatherapy, the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic purposes, has been around for centuries. Essential oils, extracted from different parts of plants, possess a wide range of properties that can influence both physical and emotional well-being. When you light an aromatherapy candle crafted using sustainable natural wax, you introduce an extra dimension to your puzzling, so if you’ve never considered combining essential oil candles with jigsaw puzzles, here’s how they can enhance the benefits:

    • Stress Relief & Relaxation: Certain essential oils, like lavender, chamomile, and bergamot, are known for their calming properties. Their soothing scents can help lower stress hormones and promote relaxation.
    • Improved Mood & Energy: Uplifting essential oils like citrus (lemon, grapefruit) and peppermint can boost energy levels and create a more positive mood while you puzzle.
    • Enhanced Focus & Concentration: Rosemary, basil, and eucalyptus are known to stimulate brain activity and improve focus, making your puzzle sessions more productive.
    • Sensory Experience: The combination of visual beauty from the puzzle and the aromatic qualities of the candle creates a truly immersive and multi-sensory experience.

    5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Puzzle & Aromatherapy Candle Experience:

    • Create a dedicated puzzle space: Find a quiet, clutter-free area with good lighting. This helps you focus on the puzzle pieces and avoid distractions. Ideally invest in a puzzle board that folds away to protect your progress and safeguard the remaining pieces. These can be stored flat under a sofa or bed until your next puzzling session.
    • Enjoy the ritual of lighting your candle: Allow the candle to burn for a few minutes before starting your puzzle to let the essential oils fill the room and create a soothing atmosphere. The soft glow of candlelight adds to the ambiance, further promoting relaxation and mindfulness, and making it the perfect evening activity away from the sleep-disrupting blue light of a screen.
    • Set a timer (optional): Setting a timer for your puzzle session can add a sense of accomplishment and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
    • Focus on the process: Don't worry about completing the puzzle quickly. Savour the process of finding the right pieces one at a time, appreciating the artwork, and enjoying the sense of peace in each moment.
    • Take breaks: Once you get started it can be difficult to tear yourself away (every puzzler knows that mantra of ‘just one more piece…’) but if you feel frustrated or your focus fades, take a short break and come back refreshed.
    Bloom Puzzles The Beach Hut 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle Layout

    Bloom Puzzles: Where Art Meets Relaxation

    The Bloom Puzzles range is a stunning collection of beautiful jigsaws, featuring wonderful artwork by talented artists. Whether you're drawn to expansive landscapes, vibrant colours, or captivatingly detailed images, there is a puzzle waiting to transport you to another world. As a jigsaw puzzle business based in the UK, I prioritise sustainability, eco-friendly practices and materials, while supporting other British businesses wherever possible.

    The Bloom Puzzles approach of pairing puzzles with aromatherapy to unlock a whole new level of relaxation and mindfulness is unique (there is also a playlist for every puzzle but that’s for another time). The essential oil candles I’ve chosen to complement each puzzle image are designed to enhance your relaxation journey. If you can’t wait to try it for yourself, take a look at the puzzle and candle combinations under Gift Sets here. A Bloom Puzzle and aromatherapy candle set also makes the perfect gift for any occasion. Share the benefits of relaxation and mindfulness with your favourite people.

    So, take a deep breath and prepare to lose yourself amongst the puzzle pieces. These are puzzles to make you feel good…

    Happy puzzling!

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  • 5 Mindful Creative Activities that make Amazing, Relaxing Christmas Gifts

    If you're looking for a creative activity for yourself or as a gift for someone you know who loves all things artistic or crafty, you're probably already aware of how relaxing these sorts of mindful pastimes can be.

    Slow living, hands-on time carved out of an otherwise busy, digitally crowded day or week can prove invaluable for your sense of well-being and your mental health.

    Ways to spend your time that don’t involve a screen or batteries (perfect for these current times when energy prices are going through the roof!) can concentrate your mind and prove extremely mentally relaxing as you focus only on what is right in front of you.

    Not only that, you can sit back and admire what you have created when you've finished! Win win!

    So here is a selection of creative activities and kits that provide everything you need to take some time out, and they make perfect gifts if you are looking to give some artistic downtime to your favourite people.

    They make the perfect gifting solution all year round but especially when you are searching for present ideas in the run up to Christmas.

    All of these suggestions come from small British businesses so you also have the satisfaction of shopping small and local to support passionate, female led independent businesses, who will celebrate every order and recommendation. Feel good gifting!

    1. Knitting

    I ordered the Cheeky Chunky Yarn (100% merino wool) from Wool Couture in Duck Egg during lockdown to make a gorgeous moss stitch blanket, pictured here.

    It was quite a daunting project as I hadn’t knitted anything in a long time but as my blanket started to grow it became quite an addictive process to finish just one more row, until I literally ran out of yarn!

    The result is a beautiful, amazingly soft, incredibly warm layer that I am so pleased with.

    Bloom Puzzles - Mindful Creative Activities that make Perfect Christmas Gifts - Moss Stitch Blanket in Duck Egg Cheeky Chunky Yarn by WoolCouture

     

    Wool Couture offer all sorts of different kits, and whether knitting, crochet, or macrame is your bag, they have something suitable for beginners through to advanced level; you are sure to find something to take your fancy.

    Knit one of their lovely blankets, create a super cute mouse or octopus, or even crochet your own Christmas decorations. There is a huge range of options to choose from; find them at woolcouturecompany.com.

     

     2. Crochet

    If knitting a blanket feels too much of a commitment or you want to be able to see results sooner, and you love the idea of wearing your finished creation, a crocheted necklace (or two) might just be the answer. Offered in a rainbow of colours, you can choose whatever takes your fancy and will fit with your wardrobe from Emma at Stitching Me Softly.

    You won’t need to put aside hours to create your masterpiece and you can wear it with pride afterwards. It’s sure to be a talking point, as admirers will want to know where they can get one. Other options include kits to crochet your own basket or hat, or a friendship bracelet kit. 

    Take a look at all the lovely options at stitchingmesoftly.co.uk.
     

    Bloom Puzzles - Mindful Creative Activities that make Perfect Christmas Gifts - Stitching Me Softly Crochet Necklaces

    3. Calligraphy

    Calligraphy has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years. Feeling just as at home in a traditional or modern setting, beautiful, graceful lettering makes everything look better, whether you want to make your own wedding or party invitations, place names or gift tags.

    With a bit of practice (OK, quite a lot of practice, it’s not as easy as it looks!) you too can impress your friends and family with the stylish elegant simplicity of your dinner parties or gifts.

    Writing and rewriting individual letters with a nib and pen that looks like it has been borrowed from a historical novel, is in itself is a pleasurable, meditative activity that will make you lose track of time in your search for the perfect sweep and downstroke …

    Another Christmas present request from me was this beautiful starter set from Judy Broad Calligraphy, judybroadcalligraphy.co.uk. Gift-ready with everything you need to get started (and hooked) it comes tissue wrapped in a sturdy box and would make a unique gift. You can also sign up for an online course for additional guidance and expert support.

     

    Bloom Puzzles - Mindful Creative Activities that make Perfect Christmas Gifts - Judy Broad Calligraphy Starter Set

     
    4. Paint by Numbers

    Not something I have tried yet but I’m sorely tempted! Painting by numbers is another offering that has enjoyed something of a makeover in recent times.

    Find an artist you love, and recreate your very own version of a piece of their art, which when finished you can hang on your wall to remind you of your artistic genius!

    This is such a great option if you would love to paint but have no idea where to start. Everything is provided, from paints to brushes, a carefully laid out canvas showing you how to progress from start to finish!

    Enjoy the therapeutic process of applying beautiful colours and textures, almost as if the artist is standing right beside you cheering you on, as your masterpiece takes shape. The only difficult bit is deciding which picture to choose.

    Rhi James at Hebe Studio offers the most beautiful, colourful paint by numbers kits, as well as prints, homewares and even gorgeous travel inspired scarves. You can find them on her website hebe.studio.

     

    Hebe Studio Paint By Numbers
     

    5. Jigsaw puzzles

    As the founder of small British jigsaw business, Bloom Puzzles, I can’t not include puzzling in this round up of creative, mindful ways to relax! The perfect way to tune out the day to day, as you focus on finding that piece you’re sure looks like it should be blue with a tiny dab of red on the corner...

    Take up the challenge of a 1000 piece jigsaw, puzzle alone in peace or make it a social event with family and friends. Either way, make sure you’ve got some puzzle refreshments to hand and settle in for as much time as you can spare (be warned, that voice that keeps telling you ‘just one more piece…’ can be very persuasive!).

    Perfect as a quiet escape from the festivities over the Christmas holidays or whenever you need to be able to take a deep breath to gain some mental clarity, puzzling could be the answer (it’s almost definitely the answer!).

    Add in an aromatherapy candle to naturally elevate your mood and help you unwind, a carefully chosen selection of music completes your relaxation essentials to provide maximum jigsaw puzzle enjoyment.

     Bloom Puzzles - Mindful Creative Activities that make Perfect Christmas Gifts - Festive Harbour 1000 piece Jigsaw Puzzle


    Visit Emma Shipley, Prints in Pieces or Pieces Store for gorgeous, anything-but-twee British jigsaw brands or take a look at Bloom Puzzles jigsaws and aromatherapy candle gift sets here, for some seriously relaxing downtime and the perfect unique gift solution for any one of a number of discerning people on your Christmas present list.
     
    Shopping small and local, buying quality gifts made by people who are passionate about their products and their customers, will not only help boost every small business you support after what has been a difficult couple of years, but it will also leave you feeling extra good about the thoughtful gifts you give to the people you love for Christmas this year!
     
    Happy gifting!
     
    Philippa x

    ps If you enjoyed this blog post, you might like to subscribe to our email list, the Bloom Edit, for information about new designs and special offers, or follow Bloom on Instagram @bloom.puzzles :) 

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