How should your baby’s hand & foot casts be framed?

How should your baby’s hand & foot casts be framed?

Box frames or open frames: How should your baby hand & foot casts be framed?

Once you have baby casts created you will want to display them proudly on the wall of your home. There are lots of different options to do this. 

How do you decide how to frame your baby's hand and foot casts?

In this blog, I am going to share my thoughts on two types of framing - Box framing/shadowing framing behind glass, and Open framing where the casts are mounted in front of the glass.

BOX FRAMES & SHADOW FRAMES

The old fashioned, or common way to frame baby casts was to use a box frame, sometimes called a shadow frame (because they’re dark and shadowy!)

A box frame can be made in two ways.

  1. it can be constructed by a lightweight box, sometimes made out of thin ply, pine or cardboard, with a frame stuck to the front of the box. 
  2. Or it is constructed using a broader frame, instead of this being front-facing it’s used to construct ‘a box’ deep enough to put the casts into. 

Both then have casts attached to the backing mount (cardboard) with a single sheet of untempered (not safety) glass fitted to the front, supported by a few millimeters of frame rebate. 

deep box frame baby casts

“Box frames are safer for your baby casts”

You may have been told, “Box frames are safer for your baby casts”. I recently had a customer tell me they’d been told this. Oh, dear.

Safer than what?

What dangers are your baby casts going to face hanging on the wall of your home?

Personally I don’t think my living room is a high-risk area in terms of safety. I don’t feel the need to wear a high visibility vest, I don’t ask guests to wear safety helmets. I generally don’t feel the need to carry out a risk assessment before precariously making my way through to the kitchen! 

If by safer you mean it’s hidden in a dark, shadowy box behind a reflective sheet of untempered glass...then yes...your casts are safe - safely hidden! #rolls eyes

Obviously accidents can happen. Something might fall or be thrown and hit your casts. Just as any ornament or fragile item in your home there’s always the risk of breakage. 

I don’t know about you, but if I was in a dangerous situation - would a 2mm sheet of untoughened glass be your first choice to provide you with safety??? hmmm

1
Shards of annealed broken glass
Shards of annealed broken glass

BROKEN GLASS

If annealed glass breaks, it tends to break into longer, jagged, unpredictable and dangerous shards  — as opposed to tempered safety glass which shatters into small chunks and pieces.

If you imagine the difference between smashing a drinking glass, and how a car windscreen breaks.

Frames will usually have the cheaper, annealed glass.

Tempered safety glass breaks into small nuggets
Tempered safety glass breaks into small nuggets

What happens if the annealed glass (which is in front of your baby casts)  is broken on your box/shadow frame?

Where will that smashed, flying glass go? Well, the shards either smash back cutting into your precious baby casts with shards of glass, possibly with force. The broken glass will cause more damage to your casts than whatever broke the glass in the first place. As well as smashing back towards your baby casts it can potentially fall out the unsupported frame and injure those nearby. 

That box frame isn’t sounding so safe now, is it? 

Other reasons I prefer not to use box frames -

  1. Box frames are dark and shadowy, they hide the contents.
  2. Box frame contents are only fully visible when you stand directly in front. Who wants to look at the side of a box? 
  3. Box frames hide a LOT of imperfections and poor workmanship. I have nothing to hide 🙂 
  4. annealed glass is not non-reflective. Do you want to see reflections or all the beautifully handcrafted details of your baby’s casts? * nonreflective glass is available.
  5. Baby casts are as tactile as babies themselves! You should touch them, hold them, feel them and enjoy them. Not hide them in a dark shadowy box. 
  6. Box frames are common and (in my opinion) boring. Most are purchased from mass produced makers or made to a standardised format. They have no individuality in design and can be easily copied and replicated. They all just look the same.

 

baby hand and foot casts
A287D242-AE2A-49CF-8322-5304FB0629F6
1DA860DF-F0E5-4140-B5EF-9D868D2EFFA3

OPEN FRAMES/FRAMING BABY CASTS ON TOP OF GLASS

This style uses a more traditional design of frame - the backboard, mounts, display etc is all held within the frame rebate, but the casts are mounted in front of the glass. 

When a suitable frame is created and casts are mounted on top of glass properly, you can admire, touch, feel, enjoy and clearly see your baby casts. They are not at any more risk of damage - in fact, in my opinion, they are less likely to be damaged. In my 16 years of lifecasting I can count on one hand the number of issues that have arisen. And not one of those was made worse by the choice of an open frame.

Why I promote open frames for Impressive Memories:

Back in 2003 when I first started lifecasting I experimented with a lot of new ideas and one of those was to frame the casts in front of the glass instead of behind. I hadn’t seen this being done by anyone. 

My reasons for preferring open frames:

  1. I love that casts are so tactile. I want to touch them, feel those little wrinkles, remembering the tiniest of details.
  2. I don’t have bad workmanship to hide behind reflective glass.
  3. They’re bright & visible to display
  4. Uninterrupted views of your baby casts from any angle. 
  5. No shadows. 
  6. No blocked views. 
  7. Risk of cast breakage is lower.
  8. Risk of dangerous glass falling is minimal.

Of course any frame with glass can be broken, but if the glass is fitted in a ‘standard frame’ where the glass sits against the mount and backboard, the glass is more supported. Of course it can still break, but the likelihood of the glass actually falling or flying out in shards is vastly reduced. The breakage is likely held within the backing of the frame and the impact might have missed your casts altogether...but if something did directly hit your baby casts it might break, but they have encountered impact from only one source, not the double impact of shattering glass also hitting them. The damage would be far more localised too.

Silver single aperture luxury baby cast frame
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE FRAME...

It’s important to remember that although we’re discussing frame options, the robustness of your casts themselves is just as important as any frame. No frame will protect poorly made casts, created in a cheap or wrongly mixed stone material that haven’t been dried, sealed or created properly. 

All casts created at Impressive Memories are made from very high density stone which is far more robust than a sheet of annealed glass. Of course they aren’t unbreakable, but in the event of damage occurring I know my materials should break cleanly, not crumble, and I can repair 99.99% of damage invisibly if it ever does happen. 

Some lifecasters choose to use much cheaper and softer stone powders which do not have appropriate strength or longevity.

Frame mouldings can be made from many different materials too. This plays an important part in the strength, longevity and suitability. At Impressive Memories my luxury frame range are hand made for me, from a recycled, environmentally friendly material.  

If I want a box frame does that mean I can’t come to Impressive Memories?

Not at all. I have created several works in box frames over the years, but I’ve never bought from a mass-produced off the shelf company. I have mine hand made for me, reflecting my own style, design, and brand. If you would like your casts framed in box frames, just let me know and we can do that. What I won’t do is copy another life caster's unique style. If it’s a standard generic look that’s no problem. But why would anyone ever want to be standard or generic? 

CONCLUSION

Choose how you frame your baby life casts in a way that you love. Enjoy them, treasure them, touch, hold and let them remind you of how impressively unique and beautiful your baby was - remember how tiny and perfect they were - in all their wriggly glory! Safe in the knowledge that the moment has been immortalised. 

If you like things hidden in glass boxes...visit a museum!!

Would you like to know more about Baby Lifecasting at Impressive Memories?
baby lifecasting answers for new parents in Fife, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh, Lothians, Dundee, Perth.

Grab a copy of this FREE eBook and find out more today!

  • Is it safe?
  • How's it done?
  • What if they wriggle?
  • What frame options are there?
  • What happens on the day?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Can I split the costs?

Baby Lifecasting Part 1

Baby Lifecasting Part 1

Baby Lifecasting: Part 1

Becoming a parent is such a life-changing experience, isn't it?

Watching your baby reach their next baby milestone is always super impressive, but leaving behind all those first memories of tiny wrinkles and scrunched up toes is equally hard.

For me, lifecasting meant I could capture my daughter's memories and physically hold, touch and feel them forever. Letting me move on and enjoy her growing up.

Photographs are great but they are flat...you can't run your finger over a photo and feel those wrinkles, can you?

Pictures are usually stuck inside your phone - if you ever get around to having any of them printed then they tend to live in a dusty drawer. Hidden away - when you want the world to see how proud you are of your amazing new addition!

You want the world to see your amazing baby in all their glory!!

These moments are too Impressive to fade to a memory...you need to capture them NOW!!

Lifecasting means you CAN capture YOUR baby's memories...you can adore these precious early moments while showing the world how incredible your baby is. You can touch, feel and remember the moment - forever.

Lifecasting is great fun! It lets you touch, hold and feel every line and wrinkle of your baby. It captures those tiny fingernails and scrunched up toes. Letting you remember just how little they were.

Baby hand and foot casting have become increasingly popular...BUT...if you want a piece of high-quality work that will last, then I believe you should let an experienced life caster create these for you.

 

an example of poor quality lifecasting compared to top quality lifecasting

Which memory would you rather have? Right or Left?

Before we go any further - icky moment alert - let's just be clear:

  1. There is no such thing as 'A QUALIFIED Lifecaster'. There are skilled & experienced ones, and there are people who think it's ok to replicate (copy) others.
    Are you happy that your baby only has an imitated copy of a generic baby cast? Or do you want to create something unique & original?
  2. There are some who opt for the quick and easy route to learning. Maybe they booked a few demonstrations/lessons and come home with a 'certificate'. Or maybe they learned from Youtube - cringe.
    Are you happy to let your baby be in the hands of a newbie?
  3. Finished casts may look similar, to begin with, but over time - it can be a very different matter.
    How will you feel if your casts crumble to dust in a few years? It happens!
  4. Price is not a guarantee of quality.
    Sadly, those who copy and create poor replica casts also copy costs. They use cheap materials & charge big prices. Sadly, in time you will pay financially AND emotionally.
  5. Don't fall victim at the hands of an inexperienced lifecaster (or worse still a DIY kit!) who might be using low budget materials that crumble, or someone who cuts corners to speed up the process - meaning you end up with mouldy casts in a few months.
    How will you cope if your baby's sweet little toes start growing black, furry mould?

YUCK...that is NOT the memory you want left with! Imagine the heartache you'd feel?

If the 5 statements above don't worry you too much, then Impressive Memories is not a good fit for you.
I believe that YOUR baby deserves THE very best of everything.
  • No imitations.
    All my work is designed and created by me, for my business. All of my designs, frames & branding are unique and bespoke. Please don't be offended if I won't recreate a design you have had made elsewhere. I will not copy. I equally expect other lifecasters to respect my design rights and not replicate (copy) my work in any way either. Sadly some have less integrity and do so - but that says more about them than it does about me!!
  • No substitutions.
    I don't use budget-priced materials - I use the finest the industry produces, selected to suit the needs of YOUR baby. You won't see any cheap, pink chromatic alginates here!! These are fine for beginners but just aren't superior enough for the results I want to create for you.
  • No short cuts.
    You waited 9 months for your baby...you can wait a few weeks for a lifecast right? Rushing a lifecast is pointless - it will need about 4 - 5 weeks minimum. If you're offered a quicker turn-around time then you have paid for cheap plasters/stone that dry quicker, have been 'encouraged' to dry quicker by heating them (this breaks the chemical structures of the plaster and weakens it) or the outside felt dry and was painted too soon, trapping in air and making your casts rot from the inside out. Hmmm nice...

Impressive Memories is NOT right for you if:

  • The 5 statements above didn't worry you too much.
  • If you're OK paying high prices for lower quality, run-of-the-mill lifecasting.
  • You think that copying other artists' designs is fine - there's no need to be unique.
  • You quite like mould!!

PHEW! Glad that's out the way...let's get back to Baby Lifecasting...

1
baby lifecasting answers for new parents in Fife, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh, Lothians, Dundee, Perth.
4

What is Baby Lifecasting?

Lifecasting is where I recreate an exact replica of your baby's hand or foot. Capturing the tiniest of details letting you hold onto a memory to last a lifetime.

Taking the cast involves dipping your baby’s hand or foot into a liquid gloop. I’ll help you and baby get into a comfy position, and once their hand or foot is submerged it only takes about 3 minutes to set.

Don’t worry – wriggling is not a problem!

As the gloop sets the mould turns to a soft, spongy consistency that will come away from baby leaving them virtually clean and me with an impressive impression of their hands and feet.

I will be 99% sure whether your mould has been successful at this stage and I usually only need to take the impression once. (Occasionally I might have an issue after you’ve left, and I may need to call you back another day, but this is extremely rare. It's happened once in 16 years!)

IMG_1196

How are baby lifecasts created?

For every cast you would like made I need to take an impression. The mould cannot be reused.

Although I can create duplicates of your casts, I prefer to take a separate cast for each mould you’d like created – each cast is then as unique as your baby.

For hands, I occasionally take extra moulds to ensure you get the best results.

Most casting appointments last about 45 minutes to an hour for a set of three or four casts.

If your baby needs to feed or take a break, that's no problem...the appointment focuses on keeping them happy, relaxed and content.

baby lifecasting glenrothes kirkclady fife

Would you like a FREE Ebook?

Would you like to know more? I have a FREE ebook designed for new parents who are keen to learn more about baby lifecasting.

What's Inside?

  • Is it safe?
  • Should I buy a kit?
  • What frame options are there?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How do I book?
  • What happens on the day?
  • How long will it take?
  • Can I pay in installments?

Pop your name and email below and then check your email. Your ebook will be there, waiting for you! Grab a coffee and enjoy at a time that suits you!!

Lead magnet_ blog opt-in buttons (1)

Thanks for reading...I hope you're having an Impressive Day!

Best wishes

Jen x

Baby Hand & Foot Casting

Baby Hand & Foot Casting

Are you thinking about Creating Baby Hand & Foot Castings?

Baby Lifecasting

Having a new baby arrive in the family is a moment worth celebrating. Let's face it - who doesn't adore newborn babies? Those tiny little hands and feet, oozing with adorable cuteness.

Every day is a new adventure watching them grow, change and become their own little person. Before you know it those changes have happened and that tiny bundle you brought home is growing - far too quickly!

They don't stay little for long, do they?

Much as you adore all the new developments you can't help but feel a twinge of sadness knowing they will never be that small again. Those wrinkles will fill out into chubby little hands and feet.

What if you could capture the moment? Exactly as it is right now...and be able to touch it, hold it, remember how little they were. See and feel those wrinkly toes and scrunched up fingers - forever!

Baby hand and foot castings can do that for you and at Impressive Memories you are safe in the hands of an experienced specialist. Within a multi-award-winning business, in a warm and cosy studio based in Glenrothes, Fife. Within easy access of Dundee, Perth, all of Fife, Edinburgh & the Lothians.

If your baby is Impressive, don't compromise. They deserve the best - don't risk your Memories.

 

What is baby lifecasting?

Baby lifecasting is a technique that, by submerging your baby's hands and feet in a special moulding compound called alginate, you can recreate in great detail an exact replica of your baby. A competent life caster will capture the smallest of detail.

When you pay a life caster to cast your baby you should be investing in a high-quality product, with longevity & skillful results.

But before we go any further...let's talk about the elephant in the room.

Which life casts would you choose?

an example of poor quality lifecasting compared to top quality lifecastingNot all people claiming to be able to create baby lifecasts - can!! Baby lifecasting is an art. Sadly there has been an influx of 'wannabe' copiers who think that creating a low-quality product is acceptable. It's not. Worse still they are expecting to be paid for this too!! Not only do they copy the original artist, but they also copy the prices too.

Don't pay (emotionally or financially) for poor workmanship.

Do you want to create a work of art with your baby? Or are you happy to pay for a replica that has copied a genuine artist?

Just to clarify - the image on the right is an Impressive Memories baby cast. The image on the left is not.

 

Would you like a freebie?

As a new parent thinking about baby lifecasting, it's important for you to understand what you're investing in.

I've created this FREE ebook just for you! 

Pop your details in the box and I'll email your copy.

Grab your FREE eBook here...

BABY LIFECASTING

What's Inside the free Ebook?

  • What is Baby Lifecasting?
  • Is it safe?
  • How's it done?
  • What if they wriggle?
  • What frame options are there?
  • What happens on the day?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Can I split the costs?

Back to School…

Back to School…

Who’s heading off to school?

Erin starting P1 – ten years ago xxx

  • Are you relieved to wave them off back to wonderful school life?
  • Maybe you’ll be looking forward to a moment of peace and not hearing “MUUUUM” repeatedly?
  • Have you started threatening that bedtime will be becoming earlier yet?
  • Does the prospect of going food shopping alone actually sound quite appealing?

Starting School…

Waaaaahhh…The moment feared by many! The BIG day arrives – THEY’RE STARTING SCHOOL!

You feel excited and proud that they are growing up, but sad to watch them becoming more independent and not needing us so much.  Realising how precious those first few years are and wanting them to slow down!!

  • Is your little person skipping off down the school path, beginning their journey into education?
  • Have you been reminiscing and wondering where the hell the last 4 years have gone to?
  • Have you ironed name labels onto every piece of fabric? (Did you see the hack to use your hair straighteners instead of the iron? Personally, I’d rather break my iron than my GHD’s…)

Are you lying awake at 3am overthinking?

  • What if he doesn’t make friends?
  • What if she gets bullied?
  • What if they can’t manage the work?
  • What if they cry when I go?

Stop Worrying!

Be impressively proud that you have created an independent little sponge who is ready to soak up all the new learning and experiences that school will bring them.  Capture this milestone, remember with satisfaction that YOU created this fabulous little human who is now stepping up, and stepping out into their journey.  What better reward could you ask for than knowing you helped them begin their expedition?

Mums know how hard it is to let go of that little hand, and teachers do too. That little hand that you’ve nurtured and watch grow. You held it tight and kept them safe, and now it’s time to let it go…just a tiny bit…

handsSo STOP WORRYING about them, because they will be absolutely, perfectly happy…they will have a coat hook AND a tray…with THEIR name on it.  Your little sponge will be safe, cared for, looked after, guided, nurtured and ready to flourish – Why? Because YOU gave them everything they needed – go you!!

Celebrate the impressive memories of this special day.

Starting school is one of life’s very Impressive Memories.

Letting go of that little hand at the school gate. Trusting your most precious possession to skip off along the path, on their new adventure.That little hand that you’ve held so tightly, has grown, and keeps on growing. Where do the years go??? Your little person has reached ANOTHER milestone.

Here at Impressive Memories we prefer to hold on to these moments. Don’t let them fade to a memory…treasure them! It’s time to reward yourself!

 

Come and Paint a Memory!

Make an impressive memory of that little hand on a beautiful ceramic mug. Treasure the moment and remember how much this little hand has grown, and how much more growing it has ahead of it! A great way to remember this milestone moment.

Why not make one for an Impressive Granny too?

Message me, comment or call to find out more…

Have those cameras poised with stiff new uniforms (with plenty growing room) and smell the whiff of new gym shoes in the air.

Oh, and guess what?…there’s only 38 school days until the October Holidays! YAY!!

Cremation Ash Jewellery

Cremation Ash Jewellery

Cremation Ash Jewellery

Cremation ashes can make you a beautiful and unique piece of jewellery, with a look that is as subtle as you want it to be. Cremation ash jewellery can bring comfort if you are grieving the loss of a loved one. It lets you capture a moment and hold it close when you need it the most.

I appreciate this is a bit of a ‘Marmite’ topic, isn’t it? You might love the idea or hate it…

I get it, I do…but if it’s something you’re not sure about, or you haven’t seen the results of making cremation ashes into jewellery then please take a look…maybe you’ll like what you see. Please feel free to comment below on your thoughts and feelings (please be polite and respectful at all times). 

Cremation ashes all vary a great deal – colours & textures. If you think of cremation ashes as being similar to the sand on the beach…from coloured pebbles to super smooth pure white sand…ever changing and always unique.

I think they give the effect of a beautiful stone – what do you think?

Cremation Ashes hold a beautiful spectrum of natural colours and every example is as unique as the memory it is creating.
  • What do I need to be able to do this?
    You just need a spoonful of cremation ash, often less.
  • How much will it cost?
    From £49+
  • Are there time limitations for this to be feasible?
    No, so long as you have the ashes there is no time limit on being able to create jewellery.
  • Do I need to be able to visit your studio in person?
    No. This can all be done online and through postage (see below). Distance is no problem – keep reading to find out how you can order yours.
  • Can this also be offered for pets?
    Yes. Pet ashes can be used too. 

I have many other pieces of jewellery that can also hold cremation ashes, but as yet I don’t have photographs which are shareable. When I make these it is at the families discretion whether the images are shared. Due to the personal nature they often choose not to.

The following products can also make cremation ash jewellery…

Concerns or Worries…

How do I know that these are definitely the ashes that I send?
  • I only work exclusively on ONE order of cremation ashes at a time. Each item is handmade by me in my studio, undisturbed in a safe and purpose-built environment.
How safe are my ashes while you are working with them?
  • The safety of your cremation ashes is of utmost consideration when in my care.
  • Your ashes are stored with your order paperwork and again have their own designated area at all times.
  • Ashes are touched only by tweezers and individually placed and set within your jewellery. All equipment is cleaned thoroughly between orders.
  • It would be virtually impossible for my system to go wrong and I treat your cremation ashes with the utmost of respect. They never leave the container/sealed bag that you send me.
  • I don’t ever transfer the ashes into anything else. There is absolutely no waste. Everything that is not used is returned back to you along with your impressive jewellery.

If you have any questions or queries, no matter how small, please just ask…I’m human! I’m here and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have…go on…ask me!!

How do I order?

Ordering ONLINE

If you order online, follow the various options on the item you are ordering and add it to your basket.

For postage options choose EITHER –

a. All inclusive – I will send you out a prepaid, ready to return box for you to send me the cremation ashes. You may wish to upgrade the postage to return the ashes to me, for their own safety during transit. Proof of postage should always be requested but think about the consequences if anything were to happen to the ashes.

b. Arrange delivery of the ashes yourself and opt for the £7.95 Special Delivery option to return your finished jewellery back to you when completed.

Legally it is no problem to post up to 50g of cremation ashes via Royal Mail.

How do I order?

Ordering IN PERSON

If you’d like to order in person, make a booking to come to my studio HERE.

When you come to your appointment bring with you the cremation ashes. It’s best to keep it in a sealed plastic envelope.

If you have an idea or a request that isn’t shown, please just ask…it may be possible to create something unique, exactly what you are looking for.
If you’d like advice on any aspect of creating jewellery with locks of hair…please ask.
Best Wishes,
Jen x

TESTIMONIALS

“I wear mine every day without fail, and I can’t imagine not wearing it now.

It keeps me sane a lot of days and it helps more than I thought a little locket ever could ❤”

Louise

Learn More

If you’d like to know more about what happens at Impressive Memories…head on over to the ‘Learning Centre’ and take a look!

Family Hand Casting

Family Hand Casting

Family Hand Casting

When it comes to capturing memories, who better to do it with than your very own family?

Who would YOU create a family hand clasp with?

Whatever combination our families are made up of – whether it’s mums, dads, stepfamilies, brothers, sisters, grandchildren or even our pets…Who better to capture a memory with than those that stick by us through thick and thin?

A Memorable Family Casting…

Back in November 2017 I was awaiting the arrival of my last lifecasting appointment before Christmas. I was exhausted, up to my eyes in hands, feet and fingerprints, the phone never stopped ringing and I remember thinking “Just one more…just one more…you can do this…”

The car arrived…

Out gets one young man, followed by another…and another…the lady driving gets out, as does the gentleman in the passenger seat…

Where was the baby???

This wasn’t a baby casting…it was a very poignant family casting.

Mum had organised a hand casting for three sons and their Dad.

**usually once you make a booking I get in touch and we have a chat about what you’d like created…somehow in the festive madness, I hadn’t done this…I should have known it wasn’t a baby arriving!! I’ve now amended this on my website…

family hand cast 1
family hand cast 2
family hand cast 3

Here we are trying to organise the four of them. What a giggle they all had trying to arrange themselves.

Sadly, the reason this family were capturing a memory was due to David (Dad) having a terminal illness and a prognosis of only weeks to live.

Read more

Making Jewellery with Locks of Hair

Making Jewellery with Locks of Hair

Locks of Hair Memorabilia

Have you kept that first lock of hair from your baby?

Or

Are you holding onto a treasured lock from a loved one that you’ve lost?

Keeping a lock of a person’s hair is not a new idea, it began back with the Victorians. Hair was seen as a precious memento, and it still is…

Why is this a problem?
Well, let’s be honest – how many of us just have it tucked away in a ‘safe’ place? hidden away and not seen and enjoyed…
Instead of leaving it to lie in a dusty old drawer, why not create something beautiful to last a lifetime?
  • What do I need to be able to do this?
    You just need a little lock of hair (or pet fur)
  • How much will it cost?
    From £45+
  • Are there time limitations for this to be feasible?
    No, so long as you have a lock of hair there is no time limit on being able to create jewellery.
  • Do I need to be able to visit your studio in person?
    No. This can all be done online and through postage. Distance is no problem – keep reading to find out how you can order yours.
  • Can this also be offered for pets?
    Yes. A lock of pet fur can be a lovely way to remember a treasured and loved pet.

Keeping a lock of hair in a locket or charm is a subtle way to hold onto a memory – take a look…

How do I order?

Ordering ONLINE

If you order online, follow the various options on the item you are ordering and add it to your basket.

For postage options choose EITHER –

a. All inclusive – I will send you out a prepaid, ready to return box for you to send me the lock of hair.

b. Arrange delivery of the hair yourself and opt for the £7.95 Special Delivery option to return your finished jewellery back to you when completed.

How do I order?

Ordering IN PERSON

If you’d like to order in person, make a booking to come to my studio HERE.

When you come to your appointment bring with you the lock of hair. It’s best to wrap it in a piece of tissue and keep it in a sealed envelope.

If you have an idea or a request that isn’t shown, please just ask…it may be possible to create something unique, exactly what you are looking for.
If you’d like advice on any aspect of creating jewellery with locks of hair…please ask.
Best Wishes,
Jen x

TESTIMONIALS

“I wanted something personal of my mum I could wear and it holds a very precious memory. It brings me comfort knowing I have a little piece of mum with me always”

Pamela

“I wear mine every day without fail, and I can’t imagine not wearing it now. It keeps me sane a lot of days and it helps more than I thought a little locket ever could ❤”

Louise

Learn More

If you’d like to know more about what happens at Impressive Memories…head on over to the ‘Learning Centre’ and take a look!

Photographing your baby

Photographing your baby

Photographing your baby

So you’ve had 3D impressions created of your gorgeously Impressive baby…now it’s time to choose a photograph to complete your framed work of art. Your 3D life casts will be of the highest standard (because you’ve been to Impressive Memories) and you want your photograph to be fabulous too.

Your photo should compliment your casts and also capture the moment of your impressive little person too. The photograph helps to tell the story of those unique wrinkly toes and chubby little fingers.

HELP!! Where do I start?

  • Which pictures work better than others?
  • What should I avoid?
  • What will compliment my casts the most?
  • Should it be in colour
  • Is black and white better?
  • Can I take a picture myself?
  • Should I use a professional photographer?

Don’t panic…I’ve teamed up with the pro’s on this!

A few weeks ago I asked on Facebook for recommendations for great photographers of babies and children – did you see it?  I contacted as many as I could over the next couple of days and asked if they’d help, and lots of them said yes!!

I asked them for their personal thoughts on what photography worked well in a framed cast and their professional opinion on how best we can achieve this.

I also asked them what we SHOULDN’T do if we are taking the photos ourselves…and how to avoid photobombing cats and my pet hate…out of focus pictures…with shadows!!!

Top Tips from some of the best local children & baby photographers – as recommended by customers past and present.
Here’s what the professionals said…

The order of appearance is chronological (as each photographer responded to my questionnaire)…There is no favouritism or bias, just gratitude that they each took the time to help put this guide together.

Sara Webster Photography

Sara Webster

Lochgelly, Fife.

07921215005

[email protected]

Who’s behind the lens?

“Sara. Mum to 3 boys and owner. My studio is on Main street in Lochgelly. I tend to advise that mums book newborns in advance using their due date to secure a place however occasionally I can take on last minute bookings

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

“It will complement the time, effort and detail put into their cast”

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“Something that is in keeping with the cast colour and frame. Nothing too busy or that will date. The image should be timeless.”

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

 

1.Make the main focus the baby and no busy backgrounds.

 

2. Don’t have colours that are too harsh for baby’s skin.

 

3.If using a professional photographer and know in advance that you want an image for your frame cast, ask for one to be shot in portrait to best suit the frame.

Cherry Blossom Newborn Photography

Michelle Sinclair

Thornton, Fife.

[email protected]

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

“A beautifully framed casting with a professional image.”

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

All about the baby .”

If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer 3 top tips for us to get the best results?

  1. Plain background
  2. Be still
  3. Nice light

Leigh Tilley Photography

Leigh Tilley

Rosyth, Fife.

Facebook page – Leigh Tilley Photography

[email protected]

Who’s behind the lens?

“My name is Leigh, I’m 19 and I am studying higher photography at Fife College. My love of photography really started as a child. Instead of being in front of the camera, I was always behind taking images of my family. That’s when I realised portrait photography was my passion. I now focus more on newborn photography and although newborns are my passion I love to photograph children of all ages and also family images. “

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Clean, sharp, stunning images that will be an amazing memory to cherish forever and pass down to family.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“A simple, clean image will add so much to the simple beauty of the castings helping you remember how your baby looked and also how their hands or feet looked that small.”

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

 

“Try out your baby on a bed or something that has a nice background so it’s harder for photobombing pets or anything in the background. Normally a white bed sheet is perfect.”

 

 

Laura Spence Photography

Laura Spence

Fife

www.lauraspence.com

Who’s behind the lens?

“I’m Laura, Crazy busy, business running supermum! “

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

“When you choose a photographer your image will be styled to be pleasing in composition, you get a photo that is high quality and in focus and your photographer will know and use best lighting to flatter the model. Will settle and pose babies (with knowledge of baby safety and confidence) meaning they look relaxed and comfortable.”
 

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“For me, it’s a photo from that same age showing them how you want to remember them being at that age for the rest of your life. You will look at this for years and years to come so I’d want it perfectly lit with a comfy and happy baby. high quality with no background distractions. “

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

 

1. Make sure there is plenty light! on camera flash on compacts or phones can often create harsh shadows, startle babies or cause red eye…not good.

2. get rid of all distractions in the background, your baby should be the main focus of the photo your eye shouldn’t be drawn to what’s in the background.

3. avoid filters and over-smoothing on apps etc.

 

 

Lorelle Elizabeth Photography

Lorelle Elizabeth

Glenrothes, Fife.

I work from a small studio. Bookings can be made online via my website and an online booking calendar.

www.lorelleelizabethphotography.co.uk

07757251180

https://www.facebook.com/lorelleelizabethphotography

Who’s behind the lens?

“I am Lorelle and I am the only photographer. I have owned the business for 6 years and photograph newborns, children, families and weddings.”

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Using a professional photographer allows you to get fantastic photographs. I have taken part in numerous training courses and ensure baby’s safety is a priority.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

A beautiful posed newborn image

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips TO AVOID? 

1 Photographs with babies posed in unsafe ways

2 Bad lighting ie too dark or too light

3 A very patterned background that will detract from the child

 

 

Helen Jones Photography

Helen Jones

Glenrothes, Fife.

https://m.facebook.com/helenjphoto/

07909901563

Who’s behind the lens?

Helen. I’m a freelance portrait photographer who loves baby shoots.

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Sharp focused images in large format with good contrast and detail available.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

Sharp focused images of the required areas. An opportunity for several images to give all-around optimal visual representation.

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips TO AVOID? 

1 Hurrying to take the image.

2 No stability in the subject.

3 Poor lighting.

Sarah White Photography

Sarah White

Ilford, Essex.

https://www.facebook.com/SarahWhitePhotography

[email protected]

Who’s behind the lens?

Hi I’m Sarah and I’m a big believer in there being Beauty in Everything. I love to capture those special moments in life and know it isn’t always smiles and flowers.

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

You are hiring someone with the correct knowledge and equipment and eye to capture something precious. Not only is it their job but it is also their passion.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

Something simple so you see the beauty and detail of the item.

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

Use natural light, no flash.

Make sure that backgrounds a clean and tidy.

If the item is small enough just a clean white sheet of paper can work in a nice crisp look.

 

Clare Gourlay Photography

Clare Gourlay

I cover Dunfermline area and ideally, I prefer customers to message me with days and times that suit them so I can fit them in on days that work best for them so they don’t feel rushed.

People can contact me via facebook page which is clare gourlay photography or by my contact number.

Who’s behind the lens?

“I am Clare Gourlay I have been photographing babies/kids for 4/5 years now and I love it. Love interacting with little ones to get the perfect shot “

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

They will have precious memories of their little ones to cherish and have images that capture their little ones and there personalities which sometimes you cant always capture with a phone

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

I think the process of it would compliment it. From start to finish. You can capture a behind the scene shot for the memory for the client then the finished design of the cast

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips TO AVOID? 

“I would avoid anything in the background of the photo so move away from any items that shouldn’t be there. Also, I always try to avoid using natural lighting as well as sometimes you can gain dark shadows in the images which sometimes doesn’t look great.”

 

Anna Moffat Photography

Anna Moffat

Edinburgh and the surrounding areas

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/annamoffatphotography

@annamoffat

Who’s behind the lens?

I am a baby and family photographer specialising in taking natural, unposed photos.”

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Your image should be of exceptional quality, just like the casting! 

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“An image which makes your heart sing and reminds you a very special time in your life.”

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

1. Good light is key – avoid overheads and opt for natural light instead – moving near to the window when taking your photo is a great idea.

2. Focus – I am a total ‘pixel peeper’ and like the eyes to be super sharp.

3. Don’t over process – filters have their place but if you’re editing an image I think it’s nice to keep things simple and clean.

 

Conclusion

A professional photographer will have the skills and knowledge to capture the best (and safest) results for you and your baby. Have a look through their work and decide whose style of photography you like and who feels a good fit for you and your baby.

If you’re using a picture you’ve taken yourself, take advantage of all these great tips and advice from those who know best!

Think about:

  1. Good lighting
  2. Simple backgrounds
  3. Clarity & focus
Thank you to all these great photographers for taking the time to offer their fantastic help and advice.  

 

Hope you have an Impressive day!

Best Wishes

Jen x

What is a Hallmark?

What is a Hallmark?

Impressive Memories now has its own unique Hallmark

I am delighted and quite proud, to say that I now have my own Sponsors Mark registered with the Edinburgh Assay Office. To me, this means a great deal but I suspect you read that opening sentence and thought – “So what? Who cares? Does that matter? Is that important?” or something along those lines…hopefully this article helps to explain why it is important.

What is a hallmark?

A hallmark is a legal mark stamped on to articles of gold, silver, or platinum by the British assay offices, certifying the metals standard of purity. It’s impossible to tell the purity of metal by just looking at it. It has to be tested at an Assay Office.

There are four Assay offices in the UK – London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. You won’t be surprised to know that I chose to register at the Edinburgh Assay Office.

A Hallmark consists of four parts of separate information

Three are compulsory, the fourth is optional

1 Sponsor’s Mark

2 Fineness Mark

3 Assay Office Mark

4 Traditional fineness symbols and date letters indicating the year the piece was created

What is a Sponsor’s Mark?

This is the part I got excited about! The Sponsors Mark is the stamp (or punch) that is unique and created for each individual person. There cannot be two the same in the world, or in history, so you are given a choice of letter combinations and various shapes to choose from for your unique sponsor’s mark.  

What is a fineness mark?

Even precious metals are rarely used in their entirely pure form. They are alloyed (have other metals added) to make them more durable, workable and wearable. You cannot tell the fineness of a metal by sight, it needs to be Assayed (tested). This is what the assay office does – it tests the pieces by removing a tiny sliver of it to make sure the metal is the purity that the maker says it is, and the stamp then guarantees this.

What is an Assay Office Mark?

This mark tells you which of the four UK offices tested (assayed) and hallmarked the piece.

What will my hallmark look like?

My Sponsors mark is “IM” representing Impressive Memories and the letters are in a cartouche shape. This punch has now been made for me and can only be used at the Edinburgh Assay office on work that I submit, that has been made by me.

Impressive Memories Hallmark

Is silver Jewellery stamped with 925 hallmarked?

No. Some jewellery is stamped with 925 which is the symbol used to represent sterling silver but this is NOT a hallmark, it is just a stamp. Anyone can stamp 925 onto metal but without the other Assay office stamps it is worthless and cannot be a sure sign of the metals purity. You can buy a 925 stamp on eBay and do this yourself…you cannot stamp a hallmark yourself!! That is the difference.

My advice on 925 stamps is to consider the reputation of who is selling the jewellery. If I bought a ring on Ebay and it was costing 25p and being shipped from China – I’d suspect this was NOT an indication that the item was genuine sterling silver. If I was buying jewellery from a trusted and well-known supplier, I would be satisfied that it was more likely to be genuine sterling silver.  

Interesting fact No.1

The number 925 indicates the amount of pure silver per thousand parts. The other 75 parts in sterling silver are made predominantly from copper. 999 silver is the purest form of silver you can buy and is quite a soft metal which can scratch fairly easily. By adding copper and making 925 silver you are making it more hard wearing and durable…

Interesting fact No.2

When people say they are allergic to silver, it is usually NOT the silver that irritates their skin, it is the additional copper.

If you think you can’t wear silver, but wish you could…ask me about making your jewellery in 999 pure silver instead.

Have I been breaking the law by NOT having a hallmark before now?

Eek…if you’ve bought jewellery from me in years gone by, you’re maybe now wondering if it has been illegally sold to you??? Don’t panic!!! I haven’t been breaking the law…I promise!!!

Not EVERYTHING needs a hallmark. As I make predominantly silver jewellery the law states that an item weighing less than 7.78g does not need to be hallmarked. (It’s less for gold, an item made in Gold over 1g must be hallmarked)  My jewellery weighs less than 7.78g so there was no need for me to invest in my own hallmark.

It cost me approximately £200 to register myself and have my sponsor punch made. Because the jewellery I made wasn’t over this weight limit and I don’t mass produce items it just wasn’t cost-effective, or necessary to do it.

BUT THEN THIS HAPPENED…

You might have read my recent blog called ‘Losing my mum’, where I shared my personal story about my grief journey and how I made myself a stacking necklace with four generations of fingerprints on silver teardrops, all soldered together onto one pendant. This piece exceeded the 7.78g limit. Legally it was OK as I wasn’t selling this, I made it for myself.

BUT when other people saw it, they liked it too and people began to ask if I would make something similar for them too – my answer had to be ‘No, sorry I can’t – I don’t have my own hallmark, and would be breaking the law to make this and sell it to you.”  

This was when I decided to go ahead and register myself at the Edinburgh Assay Office.

I started the process in the first week of January 2018 – it was one of my New Year Resolutions – to stop faffing, and just do it!! So I did…

Will all jewellery I make now be hallmarked?

The simple answer here is – No, for two reasons.

  1. Legally it is unnecessary if your piece weighs less than 7.78g
  2. It is not cost effective – yet!!!
How much does hallmarking cost?

Due to the fact that all the jewellery I make is so unique and I don’t mass produce things, it makes the cost of hallmarking quite expensive. For one or two pieces to be hallmarked costs £15 with approx £15 spent to safely post and return it to and from the Assay office.

Would you be willing to pay £30 more for your charm to be optionally hallmarked? Probably not.

If, however, I send 26 or more items to be hallmarked the price drops down to 45p. Splitting the same £15 postage over the value of 26 items and adding 45p to a charm is not expensive.

For now, it will only be offered on pieces that legally require it, and sadly it will cost the higher rate – but who knows what the future might bring???

Conclusion

As I said at the start, I am proud to now have my own sponsor mark and I am looking forward to having my own jewellery hallmarked with it. The first piece I send will be the necklace made in memory of my mum.

One of the hardest parts of coping with bereavement is that life carries on. It has to.

Of course, I wish I had done this before losing my mum, I reckon she would have been really proud to have seen it.

I don’t know about you but I am guilty of putting off doing things – either because

  • I lack the confidence in myself
  • or I wrongly assume I can do it tomorrow…

Does that sound at all familiar?

Is there something you’re putting off doing?
Maybe you should just go do it right now?
What are you waiting for?

Hope You Have an Impressive Week!

Jen x

How should your baby’s hand & foot casts be framed?

What is the best way to have your baby’s hand and foot casts framed? Are box frames safer? Find out here…

Baby Lifecasting Part 1

All you need to know about baby lifecasting. Is it safe? Cost? Options?Grab your FREE Ebook too!

Baby Hand & Foot Casting

Are you a new parent thinking about creating hand and foot casts for your baby? Find out all you need to know here.

Christmas Cast Competition

Would you like to win £100 towards a life cast of your choice this Christmas?