Shop @ The Word – Online Gift Guide

Shop @ The Word is filled to the brim with some fantastic gifts, cards and decorations from North East artists and small businesses for all our visitors to browse.

We have pulled together the below gift guide with the details of those artists/companies that we regularly stock. Take a look through the A-Z below and check out the fantastic local businesses to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.

Alec Jones Photographic Services

Alec Jones Photographic Services has a range of photographic items which are perfect for gifts.

“South Shields in Focus”, the sequel to “South Shields through my Lens” is now available.  Once again it is a pictorial display showing the beauty and complexity of our wonderful town and it’s surroundings. In this issue Alec has also included a section on the natural history of the area including birds, wildlife and dolphin sightings. The price is £9.95.

It is a locally based business offering a “no-contact ” free delivery or collection service. A postal service is available for out of area and worldwide orders.

For more details visit:

Angela Ashton

Angela Ashton is a glass artist from South Shields with a studio at Ouseburn. She has been creating colourful, individual pieces of glass art for over 15 years in the midlands and Derbyshire and returned to the North East in 2019. Inspired by science and nature she tries to create unusual pieces using the heat of the kiln.

You can see Angela’s works of art and find out more online:

Carol Ward

Carol Ward is a sea glass artist from Sunderland. She specialises in delicate, minimalist artwork using coloured glass pebbles which have been smoothed by the sea. Collected from Seaham beach, each piece of glass is a legacy of the North East’s glassmaking industry from the early 1900’s.

Inspired by nature and linked to local history, Carol’s work has sustainability and simplicity at its core. Jewellery and personalised gifts are also available.

You can take a look at Carol’s artwork and find out more online:

Di Wilkinson

Di Wilkinson is a local mum and from as long as she can remember has loved all forms of crafting. After always buying gifts for family and friends that are unique and made for the individual, she decided to put the two together and started her business ‘CraftDi’.

CraftDi offers a wonderful range of gifts to suit anyone and everyone. Everything is lovingly handcrafted and personalised by Di herself. Her range of products includes jewellery, baby products, children’s toys, household items, Christmas products and much more.

You can view CraftDi’s full range of products and contact Di at:

Emma Warkcup Art

Emma has been running her art business for around 4 years, working from the comfort of her own home in South Shields. Her journey started after she left school, when she decided to further develop her creative skills by studying a BA Honours Degree in Fashion Design. She then felt the urge to share all her skills and knowledge she had learned to inspire young children and so with that in mind, she trained to become a Design and Technology teacher and graduated in 2013.

Whilst teaching full time, she started creating pieces of art for family and friends as a hobby. She then started to receive amazing feedback and felt it was time to set up her own art business. It wasn’t before long that she started to receive orders and she couldn’t believe it.

Drawing, painting and being creative in general, is something that she has done since very little and she believes she was born to be an artist. The fact she gets to create art for other people to enhance lives brings an abundance of happiness to her. She loves to meet new people and hear their stories.

She still teaches two days a week and for the rest of the week, she hand draws beautiful wedding stationery, creates bespoke greeting cards, paint murals, welcomes commissions and more. She also sells prints of beautiful landmarks of South Shields as well as printed greeting cards.

To find out more about her work and to get in touch visit:

Hand Knits and Bits

Hand Knits and Bits is a small family business that was born from a multigenerational love of knitting, crochet and crafting.

From traditional, to items with a modern twist, it is hoped that the love and joy that goes into creating each piece will shine through.

You can view and purchase their items from:

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith was born South Shields and still lives in the town. He taught Art and Photography at St Joseph’s RC Academy in Hebburn, until he retired in 2015.

He still draws and paints on a regular basis and prefers to work in watercolour and mixed media on paper. He enjoys painting the natural and man-made landscapes of North East England, and locations he has visited on his travels in Britain, Italy and France. Jeff’s artwork reflects a great interest in historic places, buildings, art and artefacts and his appreciation of the people from the past who helped to shape them.

You can take a look at his work and find out more online:

Jo Elizabeth Art

Born and bred in South Shields, Jo Elizabeth takes inspiration from her home town and paints local landmarks using oils and acrylics. Her paintings are available as prints or originals on canvass.

Jo has began putting her art on to T-Shirts and Tote bags.

Jo Studied Fine Art at University and is a trained Artist.

 John Harvey Watercolours

John Harvey’s love for his hometown is easy to see in his watercolour paintings. His inspiration comes from Shields’ industrial past, shipping, beautiful beaches and iconic buildings and people, ships, animals and scenery are feature in his paintings.

For more details or to purchase prints visit:

Karen Griffiths

Karen Griffiths is a fused glass artist. She makes original items, which you may have seen in The Word, including jewellery, coasters, decorations and tea light panels from her studio in North Shields. She can also make bespoke items – you can contact her directly if you have something in mind.  Items purchased can be hand delivered or posted, depending on the distance from her studio.

Originally from Yorkshire, Karen has made her home in the North East for over 20 years and loves it here.

To view her original items online or to contact her at:

Kelly Beard Foden

Kelly Beard Foden is an artist who lives in South Shields with her husband Mike and three children. She’s always had a keen interest in art, both creating and enjoying it. She gained a BA Honours in History of Art from Warwick University and an HND in Graphic Design from Plymouth College of Art and Design. After moving to South Shields in 2003, she worked as a Graphic Designer for 3 years. She then took some time out to start a family and has now gone back to her first love of painting.

Kelly uses a variety of media in her work but particularly enjoys painting in acrylics and watercolours. She is inspired by the beauty of her everyday surroundings and likes to paint scenes from the local area. They can be natural landscapes (such as Littlehaven Beach), local landmarks or more urban scenes, such as back lanes. Recently, she has been painting works related to running, which is another interest of hers. She has a variety of art for sale, catering to a range of budgets. Items for sale include original canvases, prints, mugs, coasters, Christmas cards and baubles.

You can find our more about her work and contact her online:

Malcolm Bawn

Malcolm Bawn is a published landscape photographer living in South Tyneside. His work has appeared in nationally esteemed photography magazines, hardback publications and international calendars. His passion for the landscape and the outdoors takes him to the beautiful places of the UK and can be often found early morning capturing the beauty of our local coastline.

His craft does not stop at taking the photo as he takes great care in printing and mounting, using only quality materials like OEM pigment inks, ArtSure approved papers, acid free mounts and backing board. This process ensure his prints when displayed appropriately will be enjoyed a lifetime.

His work, contact details and information on buying his mounted prints can be found online:

Ruth Haldon

Ruth Haldon has been creating jewellery for everyday wear plus unique and special statement pieces, in her County Durham home studio since 2004.

Her passion for jewellery drives her to source unusual, different types of bead whether natural semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, crystals or gorgeous Czech glass. With an eye to select the highest quality beads and stones Ruth can see which elements work well together, making the most of the gorgeous beads.

Using only the best quality components, and sterling silver findings, Ruth’s pieces have a look of their own, bringing colour and style to both the wearer and the market place. All items come with their own beautiful gift box.

You can take a look at her work online and contact her at:

Sanddancer Clothing

Sanddancer Clothing is a regional clothing brand and online apparel store based in their hometown of South Shields, for those who are #ProudToBeASanddancer. They offer a variety of quality products including t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, baseball caps, bags, mugs and, most recently, custom metal wall art/ signs. Founded in Oct 2019, a label for those proud of their South Shields heritage, the brainchild of their head designer with over 30 years in clothing manufacture and product development, they have quickly become a local favourite.

Working with likeminded businesses and organisations they supply both their own products and offer own label support. This year they have supplied South Shields FC, the South Shields Surf School, SBG Gym, the SandDancer dance team and The Sanddancer Bar & Crabshack Restaurant.

Sanddancer Clothing loves to champion those who have put Shields on the map and their designs have been worn by local celebs. Their aim is to create a better known town and to enhance the community around it. Worn by expats around the globe from Australia and Canada, to Africa and beyond, catering to those who want to display their hometown proudly whilst on the other side of the world!

You can take a look at their collections and order online:

Sheila Graber: An Animated Life by the North East Film Archive (NEFA)

In the midst of the COVID 19 lockdown, North East Artist, Animator and Teacher Sheila Graber marked her 80th birthday. In celebration of Sheila’s birthday and illustrious career, the North East Film Archive, with The Customs House, South Shields have produced a limited edition two-disc DVD – Sheila Graber: An Animated Life.

From pastel to pixel, Sheila has produced over 100 films from her home-based studio covering a wide range of subjects. In 2012 the North East Film Archive, were privileged to acquire this internationally significant animation collection. Mainly shot on 16mm and 8mm cine film, the DVD is a fascinating window onto Sheila’s animated legacy.

Super Sunny South Shields

Super Sunny South Shields souvenirs are handmade by Margy B.

Her range includes cards, plaques, canvas’, magnets, keyrings and jewellery which celebrate the love of her hometown and also her unique Great North Run collection which can be personalised.

You can find out more online or contact her at:

The Canny Candy Gadgies

The Canny Candy Gadgies are a third-generation family business based in Seaham on the Heritage Coast and David Richardson is the Chief Gadgie.

Specialising in handmade fudges, honeycombs, brittle and coconut ice, their products’ key attributes are they all have NO Palm oil, NO GMO’s, NO artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and NO nasties!

You can find out more about their products and order online:


Wotmalike are husband and wife team Jo and Nick Burrows. Jo is from Byker and is a trained illustrator and was the creator of the original Geordie dialect cards way back in 2010 – the cards still sell really well as they are bright and colourful with a cheeky Geordie accent.

Jo and Nick also produce personalised wooden signs and keyrings as well as tea towels and mugs.

You can find out more about their products online: