Wednesday, October 26, 2016

CrossTimber (A Homeschool Crew Review)

What is in a name??  When naming our children, we often put a lot of time and effort in finding the perfect name.  Does it sound good with the last name?  Do the intitials spell anything bad?  Will the other kids that my child goes to school with make fun of her if I name her after Great-Grandmaw Helga?   I know I spent much of the 10 months of pregnancy with each child worrying about the perfect name but I never gave much thought about the meaning of each name.  For all I knew, Alyssa Janine means "She who lives in the Slums",  Garrett Benjamin could have meant "Pigherder who smells like onions",  and Ashleigh Jordan could mean "Child who eats bad sushi".. I just never gave it much thought beyond how it sounded with our last name.

I recently got the wonderful opportunity to review a Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse from CrossTimber.  CrossTimber offers a large array of personalized gifts that features your name's meaning and origin as well as an inspirational verse from the Bible.   They offer a number of different gift options: Framed Plaques featuring a single name (in either 5x7 or 8x10 sized options),  Name Plaques featuring two names (in the 8x10 option), Coffee Mugs, and Music Boxes. They also offer Plaques that feature the Names of God.  For this review, I was offered a Framed Plaque in the name of my choice.   The hard part was choosing who's name to select. 

The first thing I did was email John & Katie, the couple who run CrossTimber together, to find out the availability of our names.  Granted, names like Charles and Alyssa are pretty common but our spelling of Ashleigh is a bit unique and not one you often see on personalized items.  John and Katie quickly responded to my email (even though I know they were getting flooded with emails asking the same type of questions) and were nice enough to list the meaning and origins for each of my family member's names, mine included.  

Turned out, the selection wasn't as hard as I originally thought.  With my husband's birthday falling in the same time frame as the review period, I ended up deciding that I wanted to make this part of his birthday present.    In addition to the review item, I also decided to purchase a personalized mug to go along with the Plaque.  

With the name narrowed down, I needed to narrow myself down to a specific design for my items.  Easy to navigate, the website gave me a drop down menu that helped me to narrow down the type of background I wanted. 

 CrossTimber offers HUNDREDS of various backgrounds to truly make your gift personal.   Each option from the above drop down menu takes shoppers to a webpage that shows each of the available backgrounds for that option.   Each image is in stunning full color and shows the font style and color that will be used with that particular image.  Whether your looking for a gift for Granny who likes kittens or for a son in Boy Scouts, there's sure to be an option for you.    

A Very Small Sampling of Available Backgrounds Offered By CrossTimber

For my gift, I was decided to focus on the fact that my husband's name (Charles) meant Strong or
Manly.  Strong was fitting for my husband as he is the strength behind our family.  I ended up selecting an imagine that I thought truly displayed strength in character but also represented strength in Christ.  I could only think of one image that would display both of these - a lion.    Even then, I had several choices on what image of a lion I wanted - I narrowed it down to two and finally decided on what I thought would be the one that my husband would like the most.   With my selections made, I placed my order.  Since I opted to order a coffee mug in addition to the Framed Plaque, I was very pleased when John and Katie emailed me to verify the order and asking if i would like to personalize the mug even further by including a message to be included on the back of the mug.   I thought this would be great to include, considering this was going to be a present.  

Considering these were custom made items, I knew that shipping would take a bit longer than simply ordering a premade gift from another company.  CrossTimber is located in Ohio, so my order would have to ship cross country to California.  I found the shipping and handling time acceptable (it took about 2 weeks from the time I placed my order until I received it) for items that would have to be custom made.   The items were shipped together and were packaged well to avoid damage in shipping. 

Yeah, he's going to hate me for posting these pics as he had JUST woken up!!  

First, let me discuss the Framed Plaque.

I was very impressed with the quality of this item and my husband was pleased with it.  He ended up placing it in a place of honor in our glass cabinet.

The frame itself was very nice and of good quality.  There were a few different options for frame choices and I opted for the Ornate Frame - a solid plastic frame made from 85% recycled material looks like dark wood.  The frame has a nice weight to it and didn't feel flimsy or like it would break apart in my hands from handling it. Hanging fixtures on the back of the frame allows for easy display on a wall if wanted.

The print inside displays my husband's name, the origin of his name (Teutonic - which was a Germanic people) followed by the meaning of his name (Strong, Manly: One who is Valiant and Honest).  Isaiah 33:15 accompanies his name (He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly: he that despiseth the gain of oppressions...and that shutteth his eyes from seeing evil:  he shall dwell on high) and I found that a fitting verse for him.  I found the print to be very vivid and sharp and found this to be of great quality to give as a gift for a loved one.

While I could have selected a different background for the coffee mug, I decided that I wanted the two to match.  My husband's previous F-22 coffee mug had seen better days as it was chipped pretty bad so I thought it was time for a replacement.  The mug is a standard sized white ceramic coffee mug with the same image as the Plaque printed on the front. On the back, CrossTimber indeed included the verse that I had send them to place on the back.  I'm not sure what method of image bonding CrossTimber uses for the mug, but both the image on the front and the writing on the back feel extremely smooth and of high quality.   My husband has used the mug ever day since he's opened the package and is enjoying it very much.

I should also mention that CrossTimber also included a matching bookmark card along with my order, which was very nice of them. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photograph of it and my husband has put it in his wallet and he's at work while I am writing this.

I am very pleased with both the plaque and the coffee mug but I also want to say how happy I am with the customer service I encountered with CrossTimber.  John and Katie were quick to answer my emails and to help me with the details of my order. In an automated world of "Push 1 for this", "Push 2 for that", you just don't see personal customer service anymore and it was very nice.  They made for a wonderful birthday for my husband and I couldn't have asked for better :)

#hsreviews #name #namemeaning #CrossTimber #gift #personalizedgift

Now through December 4th, CrossTimber is running a contest to win your own personalized name gift. Be sure to head over and enter at the CrossTimber Christmas Giveaway page.

CrossTimber 2016 giveaway

For more information about CrossTimber, be sure to visit their website. Also, visit them on the following social media sites:

Personalized Framed Plaque with Name Meaning and Bible Verse {CrossTimber} Reviews

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