Online Shop: What’s changed and why?

Online Shop: What’s changed and why?

Online Shop: What's changed and why?

I’ve been having a spring clean! I’d had so many people asking where to find this, that and the other and my answer was ‘that’s in my online shop’… the only problem was…finding it!

I have spent this week dusting and hoovering all the categories, polishing the photos and making everything much brighter, cheerier and easier to use – I hope you agree.

Here’s a quick video to show you what I’ve been up to…

Shop Categories

I’ve now arranged the items into categories that are customer friendly…

  • Fingerprint Jewellery
  • Hand & Footprint Jewellery
  • Memorial Jewellery
  • Pet Inspired Jewellery

These are the four most visited categories.

Then I’ve added new sections for ‘Locks of Hair‘ jewellery and Gift Ideas for mums and one for dads too.

If you’d like a necklace or bracelet to go with your impressive jewellery they’re all there, as well as spare kits and gift vouchers too.

What if you don’t know what you’re looking for?

Maybe you need some inspiration to find a gift, or just enjoy browsing lots of new ideas? You can do that too…all the items are listed as well as being in their categories…

How do I get back to the main shop page?

The easiest method is to go back to the original ‘Online Shop’ button at the top of the page.

What’s New?

I’ve added two new locket designs – one encapsulates your elements on the outside and the other has then tucked safely inside. A new engraving option has also been added.

There’s a new range of pendant charms. More sizes will be added soon but this dinky charm is so easy to wear. Very impressive.

A new item for the Dads is the tie pin. Great for special occasions where maybe a lost one can’t be with you on a special day, but their memory can.

All can hold locks of hair, cremation ashes or a maybe a piece of pet fur.

Signature & Handwritten Charms

Finally added my Signature and Handwriting charms online too. These charms are a great choice to capture a memory of a loved one…their very own message written just for you.

Coming Soon!

There’s more to come…Keep an eye out for two new earring designs…I can’t wait to add these to the shop too…so pretty.

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fingerprint lily

Would you like to know more about ordering jewellery?

This handy ebook will help you understand what’s best for you and what to avoid when buying handmade, personalised keepsake jewellery.

 

Do You Use Online Shopping?

  • Do you like to buy online or do you prefer to buy from a shop?
  • What worries you most about online shopping?
  • Who do you trust? The BIG online companies or the small independent businesses?

Drop a comment below and let me know.

Have an Impressive week,

Best Wishes

Jen x

Losing My Mum

Losing My Mum

Losing My Mum

At the end of July, my life changed, and not for the better…I lost my mum very suddenly.

No warnings. No health scares. No hospitals. Just gone – leaving behind a lifetime of memories.

Today is day 171. Some days it still feels like yesterday, I’ll tell someone “I just lost my mum”, the next minute it feels like an eternity since I could lift the phone and ask her a simple question. Grief is hard. It’s suddenly becoming part of a club you never asked to join. Similar to giving birth – nobody ever tells you the real truth about that either, and grief is very similar. At least when you give birth they offer drugs, and when the pain goes you have a beautiful baby. There’s nothing very beautiful about grief.

Memories

My passion (obsession) is capturing memories. Recognising the tiniest of moments and holding on to an emotion and memory…it’s my tagline after all – I make memories tangible! I see people celebrate the happiest moments and I also capture some of their saddest. Now it was my turn. I’ve no idea why I hadn’t even contemplated the thought of losing a parent, but I hadn’t. Having spent many years helping families capture their final memories, now it was time to switch roles…the teacher just became the student.

Every snowflake that has ever fallen and ever will is unique, one of a kind and our fingerprints are too. They form while we’re in the womb and are one of the few parts of ourselves that never change throughout our lives. Some people believe your fingerprints can even reveal your personality. Impressive right?

 

But these weren’t just fingerprints. These hands had held me since I was born, picked me up when I fell, gripped me tightly to cross over roads. They’d waved me off to school, and hugged me when I got home. They’d taught me to bake, sew, knit, decorate, draw, cook and write. I’m sure they were clenched as I drove off in my first car, and I recollect them skelping me for being cheeky once in a while too. They’d clapped for me as I graduated, and they always pushed me forward in whatever I chose to do. Without those hands, I couldn’t and wouldn’t be the mum I am today. Those same hands that taught me, were there for my daughter too, every step of the way. All too suddenly our snowflake was gone.

I didn’t want it to feel like work…

I worried that I would treat this like work, and I didn’t want this to feel like I was ‘working’…this was my mum. These were MY memories. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I’d done it many times before for others, but now it was time to do this for me.

What Would I Make?

I knew I wanted to make myself fingerprint jewellery. I’ve made fingerprint memorial jewellery for many people over the years and they always told me it brought them comfort…I sure as hell needed some of that! I have lots of favourite pieces I make, but I wanted this to be different.

I am very lucky to still have my Nana. My mums mum, now 96 (very nearly 97) and an absolute inspiration and gem of a human being. It does feel totally wrong that nature didn’t follow the expected path, but we can’t change that…nor would I want it to. Losing your mum is horrendous, but for a mum to lose her child is just incomprehensible – no matter what age you are, you never expect to outlive your children.  

I decided I wanted to make myself a necklace with Nana, Mum, myself and my daughter Erin. Four generations of amazing ladies, four fingerprints that bond us together. Each of us unique quietly determined and forever connected.

fingerprint teardrops

My Necklace

We each have our own teardrop with our own prints. Nana is largest and we all follow after her.

I made it within days of mum passing and I haven’t taken it off since (I’m not sure I ever will). The comfort it brings is hard to describe, but it has without a doubt helped me.

When I panic and think ‘fuck my mum’s died’  (which happens a lot by the way…in the strangest of places and at the most awkward of moments. Another joy of grief that I never knew about…) my necklace actually helps calms me down again. It reminds me that there’s always a little part of her with me, she is still here beside me, and I know she would want me to keep going.

What does all this have to do with my business – Impressive Memories?

I have a much clearer understanding now than I ever did about what happens when we lose a loved one.  I genuinely had no idea about the amount of work involved. It is physically and mentally exhausting and you’re expected to make so many important decisions.

It is easy to see why capturing a memory like a fingerprint might be forgotten or missed.

My mission now is to help as many people as possible. So many times I’ve been told that families wished they had known this was possible, but nobody told them…so, it’s time to let people know.

What I’d like to do –

  • Help raise awareness of the variety of memorial work that can be done
  • Offer the best advice to help families make the choices that are right for them now and in the future
  • Make the process as straightforward for grieving families as possible

I know grief makes your head fuzzy and just functioning feels virtually impossible…but if you can, please consider capturing all that you can. You might never need or want to use these for anything more than a memory box but it’s better to give yourself every opportunity that you can.

Don’t ever be left wishing you had. I am so glad I did.

What’s Next?

Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing ideas and suggestions of how to capture memories before and after we lose loved ones. Don’t worry…it won’t be all sad and gloomy…far from it. This is about celebrating and recognising awesome and impressive people!

As well as giving me a lifetime of memories to hold onto, my mum also gave me the strength and tenacity to always keep going…which is exactly what I’ve been doing, as best I can, since the day she left us.

Already I’ve been inspired to design a new range of memorial jewellery which I hope to launch in springtime – they’re all being road tested just now, and I look forward to sharing them in the coming weeks. If you like the teardrop necklace I designed for myself it will be available soon too in different shapes and sizes…more about that later…that’s another exciting development that’s happening in 2018!

I’d like to thank each and every person who has been patient, understanding and incredibly kind to me over the last few weeks and months.

Finally, I want to thank my mum for being the most Impressive Mum I could ever have asked for.

Love Jen x

Remembering Jak Trueman

Remembering Jak Trueman

Remembering Jak Trueman…

Today I am looking forward to spending the day amongst friends. Some I have known for a long time, some I haven’t seen for a while, and others that I consider friends yet I have never met them face-to-face – until today. So where am I heading off to?

Ladies Afternoon Tea & Fashion Show

Balgeddie House Hotel – Sunday 7th May, 2017.

Following the hugely successful event at Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club in November, this is the first event hosted here in Fife.
We will be enjoying an Afternoon Tea with a glass of prosecco and Fashion Show hosted by the lovely Zara Janjua from STV Grampian & Edinburgh.

Without Jak the event today would not be happening, but sadly it is the very fact that Jak is not with us that brings us together. Today we are recognising and celebrating a young lad who is no longer amongst us, but will very much be at the heart of today.

Jak’s Story

(Extract taken from here)

Jak’s Journey was set up by my beautiful son Jak Trueman in September 2014 after he awoke from a medically induced coma after taking very unwell with what was diagnosed as Gama Delta T-Cell Lymphoma-a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Sadly after an amazing fight and show of strength courage and determination beyond his years and unending thought for others, Jak lost his battle on 2nd February 2015.
Jak’s passing will not be in vain though as he set out clear requests to help others through Jak’s Den.
Jaks Journey page will continue keeping everyone up to date with all Jak’s plans and how his family and friends and new Charity Trustees being set up are making Jak’s wishes a reality.
In the 3 weeks since he was given the terminal diagnosis, Jak raised more than £57,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and we will continue to support this Charity whilst realising Jak’s wishes. To find out more about Jak’s Den and how you can get involved please go to-
www.teamjak.co.uk.


Jak’s passing will not be in vain. I’d still have my boy over any of this in a whisper but there is a higher purpose in all of this to touch many lives in so many ways because of my boy and we will make sure many many other children teens and adults are helped because of Jak.
Simply The Best xxx – Allison Barr

Jak’s Impressive Memories

I first knew of Jak’s journey when friends started to share his fundraising work in 2015. A friend, Teresa (who I’d met when we both waddled into antenatal classes together and then spent 5 years with our little ones at nursery) asked me about making a fingerprint charm for her friend Allison, mum of Jak.

When we first started to arrange this we hadn’t realised how quickly Jak’s health would decline, and sadly Jak passed away. But this didn’t stop us! Taking impressions after someone has passed was something I offered and Allison was still able to capture Jak’s prints.

Fingerprint jewellery is such a subtle and discreet way to hold onto a memory. Our fingerprints are as unique as we are and being able to capture, keep and cherish Jak’s prints has brought comfort to many of his family.

Photo credit – Allison Barr.

At the event…

We shared funny moments about handbag contents and watched the amazing achievements so far that have been done at Jak’s request. Allison makes it look so easy as she stands and shares their journey.

Watching the progress of Jak’s Den opening, families being supported, funds being raised, music therapy sessions helping young warriors and their families. But it doesn’t stop there…

There are plans now to open more Dens, one here in Glenrothes and another in Aberdeen, to support more families across Scotland. An online facility for those who can’t meet in person is also in the pipelines. This family don’t do things by half!

As we drank coffee and enjoyed a sandwich we were entertained by a fashion show or we could browse the local business stalls – Bodyshop, Cherished by Lynsey, Impressive Memories, Robyn Rocks, Scentsy, Crystals and jewellery.

Thank you

Well done and thank you to Allison and Team Jak for a lovely afternoon.

How to take a Doggy Nose Impression

How to take a Doggy Nose Impression

HELP! How do I take an impression of my dogs nose?

It is easier than you think to capture an impression of your dogs nose.  When your kit arrives please read through your instructions, watch this video…then have fun!

Remember…

  1. Mix your putty well…make sure there are no streaks

  2. If you press it onto your dog’s nose but you’re not happy with the impression…reform the blob quickly and try again!

  3. While the putty sets, you can manipulate it a bit in the palm of your hand. Do not touch the impression itself, but try to get a good, straight finish to your mould.

How did you get on?

If you’ve ordered already – I look forward to getting your prints back!

If you’d like to order a silver dog nose – click HERE!!

Did you read my article on 3D casting with Dogs? Read it HERE.

Have an Impressive Day,

Best wishes

Jen & Farrah x

Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery

Memorial Fingerprint Jewellery

Memories are never more precious than when we lose someone we love

I have had the honour of helping many families capture these final memorial memories. Creating a tangible memory they can treasure and hold onto forever.

Capturing a Fingerprint to Create Jewellery

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What Options Do I Have to Make Jewellery?

1. Ask your funeral director or celebrant if they already work with Impressive Memories.

I work with several Funeral Directors and may already have a system in place for you. If not, no problem…read on.

2. Arrange for me to capture prints for you.

Contact me HERE or call 07837800353 and we can see if it is possible for me to capture the prints for you.  I have a standard call out charge, plus additional mileage (for 15 miles and over).

3. Buy a fingerprint kit and capture the prints yourself.

Not sure if you want to order jewellery yet, but worried you may regret not taking prints while you still can?

Buy a kit HERE. Once you have the prints they are viable for years and years to come – no obligation to buy jewellery, just peace of mind that you have given yourself the option to do so if you wish.

4. Already know which memorial jewellery you'd like made?

When you order a fingerprint charm from Impressive Memories you can take advantage of a FREE fingerprint kit. Postage offers are available on my website, or you can arrange collection – whichever you prefer.

See some designs HERE.

Taking a Fingerprint Impression

It is very easy, quick and gentle to take a fingerprint impression.  It is not complicated and I will give you all the information you need for it to be successful.

Taking only minutes to do, it gives you the opportunity to hold onto a memory for a lifetime.

What Next?

Once the prints are taken you can keep them for as long as you wish, or you can go ahead and order a piece of jewellery.

If you have jewellery made, the prints can still be reused in the future if you’d like more pieces made.

Most orders will be made within 10-14 days of me having the prints. All my work is handmade by me, kiln fired for strength and I solder all my work.

After losing my husband very suddenly I found sleeping impossible.  The first time I wore my necklace, I found it such a comfort, I fell asleep holding it.

Why Make Fingerprint Jewellery?

Every fingerprint is as unique as we are. Capturing your loved one’s prints and wearing them in pure silver. Why just wear jewellery, when you can wear personally designed and handmade jewellery, capturing those we love the most?

When we lose a loved one, we long to keep a hold of them forever.  By creating a fingerprint charm you can keep a cherished imprint from them and wear them with you forever.

Capturing a fingerprint takes only minutes, is simple and gentle. One print can be used to make as many charms as you wish, and will be reusable for many years to come.
If you are unsure whether you would like to have jewellery made, by having the prints, you are giving yourself the option and possibility to create memorial jewellery for a lifetime.  Capture the opportunity.

I haven’t had my bracelet off since I got the charms – they are so very special and mean so much and I feel like I have a little bit of Jak with me if that makes sense”

Please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you would prefer to have your funeral director, a family member or a friend contact me on your behalf, that’s no problem.  Time becomes precious and the sooner you can contact me the more options we will have.  I appreciate it is a very difficult time, but I need only very basic details and then will be able to provide you with all the information you will need.

I can liaise with funeral directors, and make all relevant arrangements, keeping you fully informed throughout, or work directly with yourself. Whichever you prefer.

Impressive Pets, Paws and Pooches

Impressive Pets, Paws and Pooches

Pampered Pets, Paws and Pooches

All are welcome at Impressive Memories.

With an estimated 60 million pets in the UK, most households share their day to day living with a furry friend. Dogs are still top favourite…

Some of my earliest and happiest memories involve the pets I grew up with. I couldn’t imagine life without them – I am definitely a fan of dogs – if you are too, then read on!

For me, dogs are a huge part of day to day life and they have been a big part of my most Impressive Memories over the years.  I would encourage all pet owners to consider capturing a memory of their pet.  I am happy to help explain what can and can’t be done with your four-legged friend.

I think it is also very important when you choose someone to work with your pet that they are relaxed and happy to be around dogs and that they have enough experience to keep your pet safe, relaxed and enjoying the whole experience too!

MY DOGS!

Raffles – 1979 I was just 5 when we got Raffies, he was a Yorkshire Terrier

Ziggy – 1992 West Highland Terrier

Eilidh – 1997 West Highland Terrier

Arthur – 2009  Arthur is our beardie – with his one blue eye and one brown, he is quite a character.

Farrah – 2014  I decided I wanted a cockapoo!!  Farrah is a lively little lady who drives us mad with her nonsense!

3D Paw Casting

I absolutely LOVE casting paws.  The detail in them is so amazing and paws are so unique…just like our hands are…so combining the two is such a fab memory to capture.

I have cast enormous Rottweiler paws, down to tiny little terrier paws…each paw I’ve cast has had its own story to tell. Some happy, some sad but all impressive.  The bond between a dog and their owner is so special and seeing the dogs trust their owner, and me, letting me dip them in sticky gloop is magical.

Impressive Tales, about Impressive Tails...

Digit was a very impressive Rottweiler.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t petrified when he arrived! He was a very VERY large dog who had been through a lot of treatment and had every right to not trust me…but he was an absolute gentleman. (He did terrify me by growling in my left ear as my jugular was within eating distance, but of course he didn’t…he much preferred his tub of fresh strawberries! No sausages for this beautiful boy).

We knew when casting him that his time left was shortened, but nobody realised that by the time his cast was finished and competed (approx. 5-6 weeks) he would no longer be with us.  It made the cast even more impressive for his owners who were very glad to have captured and held onto a memory of Digit.

Guide dogs are truly impressive and I was genuinely in awe of the bond this chap had with his long serving owner.  Man and dog relied on each other.  They communicated in their own language and in their own way.  It was a heart breaking situation as both man and dog now needed different levels of care which meant staying together was just no longer possible.

Thier friend arranged for me to cast the loyal duo.

Nothing was going to stop the pain of separating them, but having a tactile memory of his best friend, we hoped may bring comfort and reminders of happy times. This guide dog deserved a long and happy retirement by the sea…which is what he got.

Not all castings are sad occasions.  Most are done for fabulous four legged furballs who are just as much part of the family as the human ones are.  Do you know a dog owner who might like to have a cast created?

FAQ's

Can all breeds of dog be cast?

Yes, and no. Some are much more suitable than others but potentially all can have a cast taken. It’s the final end result that is important and that is why I prefer to have a chat to owners first to explain some of the problems which might make your dog more or less suitable to have a paw cast taken.

Is it only for dogs?

No, I have cast cats too, again…best to get in touch if this is something you’d like to do.

My pet has passed away, am I too late?

I am able to help after your pet has passed away, but timing is absolutely essential. Every minute that passes makes it less likely to be achievable so please, I know it is a horrendously difficult time, but if this is something you’d be interested in – contact me.

Do I need to travel to you with my dog?

Yes, I need to meet your dog in ‘person’ to create a 3D life cast. I live beside a reservoir and woodland area which is a fantastic walkies for after your work of art is created. I can sometimes arrange a home visit. Again, just ask.

What other Impressive Memories can I have made?

2D Imprints & Outprints

I offer a range of 2D paw imprints and outprints. These are perfect for dogs that are less suited to 3D casting.  They are quick, fairly mess free and still give lots of in depth detail.  You can create plaques, framed pieces, hanging decorations, Christmas decorations…all sorts.

Ceramic Painting

Yes, I mean ceramic painting for dogs…why not? Have you seen the mess a toddler makes with a paintbrush? Well trust me…dogs can be just as creative!!!  Proud parents love to see their child’s hand prints painted on mugs…why shouldn’t we celebrate those paw prints too?

Jewellery

One of my absolute faves…solid pure silver dog nose, but not just any dogs nose…YOUR dogs nose.  Those noses are as unique as our fingerprints.  On a necklace it can look stunningly abstract and certainly a talking point.

Paw prints can be shrunk onto charms just as hands and feet prints can.

Distance is no problem for all jewellery items. All pieces can be bought online and created by posting a kit to capture the details that I need to make your impressive memories.

Thanks for reading and taking a ‘paws’ out of you busy day.  If I can ‘lead’ you to any more information, just ‘howl’ and I will em’bark’ on helping you.

Is it time to go walkies now?

Have an Impressive Day, Jen x

Back to School…

Back to School…

Back to School…

Waaaaay back in July the daunting prospect of entertaining, feeding, motivating, reasoning, refereeing and CONSTANTLY tidying up began…yup, once again it was “THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS”.

daughter & horseWeek One began full of anticipation of spending quality time with my daughter – this was not to be. I am not a horse, therefore I have very little appeal to my daughter. Day one began idyllically as she headed off on her favourite activity…involving…horses. Day one also included an eventful air ambulance and a trip to Ninewells – another joy of horse riding. Thankfully my sproglet was not injured, only witnessed the fall of another not so lucky rider.  Here’s hoping week two is a little less eventful.

Week two went by fairly calmly if I remember.  I spent most of my time juggling work and chauffeuring the jodhpur legged one, to various locations…different day…different dirt track.  Returning several hours later to collect the muddier, hungrier version than I dropped off.

Week three – the midway point – hump week…wakening to the mantra “Hang in there…you can do this…after this week, there are less weeks to go then we’ve had…stay strong”.  In between driving on the dirt tracks and washing the jodhpurs, that little mind monkey reared its head…whispering loudly -” It’s time to be buying the new school uniform…don’t leave it to the last minute…you’ll regret it…DO IT NOW…good mums will have done it already…you are a failure to motherhood…” I asked the preteen what she would be requiring, but only got a shrug and a grunt…If I had suggested a visit to Jack Wills, I might have got a better reaction than my choice of Asda or Matalan! Silly me!

Week four – I don’t remember a great deal about week four – I had toothache.  painkillersNever have I swallowed so many painkillers and tried to keep functioning, hoping that if I didn’t acknowledge it, it wasn’t actually happening. Delighted to say the codeine addiction is now under control and the tooth (which has already had root canal treatment followed by a crown) has survived. Who knew that teeth that have gone through all that can STILL fester into pain that is comparable to child birth without the epidural OR maternity leave? Thank you codeine for being there for me in my time of need.

Week five – no time for complacency, DO NOT let down your guard!  This is the week you reach out to other mothers and join forces…you form teams and find safety in numbers – Let the sleep overs commence!  If you look after someone else’s child, a beautiful thing happens – THEY LOOK AFTER YOURS!!!  Just when your purse and fuel tank are almost as empty as each other – a guardian angel offers to temporarily home your child. **High Five** The word sleepover used to fill me with dread – sleepless nights, homesick children, peanut allergy fears, dying slightly inside when child X tells you they can’t sleep unless the bedroom is 17 degrees and her bed is facing the moon. But this year was different…they came, they stayed, they fed themselves, washed beds themselves and remained reclusive in the confines of the bedroom 90% of the time (when they weren’t out riding). Maybe preteens aren’t so bad after all? (Remember the week 5 warning – do not become complacent!)

school-bag-1275044_960_720Week six – The uniform is ordered and the chauffeur is more than willing to drive anywhere now, because she treated herself to a lovely new car. Much to the disapproval of the preteen who cannot see the need for a new car when she does not have a new horse, but full approval of the fact that the new car talks to her iPhone (which coincidently was dropped in one of the many horse fields and needed its own air ambulance to the iPhone repair shop to repair it – another unexpected financial hit for mum’s purse with the promise of “I’ll pay you back”).

Erin on Day 1

Normal service shall resume on Wednesday…

So, Impressive Mummies…what does Wednesday mean for you?

  • Relieved to wave them off back to wonderful school life?
  • Looking forward to a moment of peace and not hearing “MUUUUM” repeatedly?
  • Have you started threatening that bedtime will be becoming earlier yet?
  • Will the car drive itself to soft play automatically, as it’s become your second home?
  • Does the prospect of going food shopping alone actually sound quite appealing?

Who's Starting Primary One?

Waaaaahhh…The moment feared by many! The BIG day arrives – 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!!

  • Will your little person be skipping off down the school path, beginning their journey into education?
  • Have you been reminiscing and wondering where the heck 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? I’d rather break the 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?

DO NOT WORRY!

Be impressively proud that you have created independent little sponges who are 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 DO NOT WORRY 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 flourishWhy? 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 Impressive little person has reached ANOTHER milestone – time to capture the moment.

Keep them close to you forever.

Wearing it wherever you go, showing the world how precious this little person is to you.  It makes a bespoke keepsake while capturing a unique memory of those Impressive Memories in your life.  Capture yours today.

**Impressive Offer for all NEW PRIMARY ONE PUPILS - In Aug 2016**

**ORDER a featured CHARM and MAKE A FREE Handprint MUG too!**

Keep a little piece of them with you forever x

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.

**SPECIAL OFFER**

All new primary one pupils can come and make a handprint mug for just £9. Monday – Friday between 1-3pm until August 23rd, 2016.

Message me, comment or call to find out more…why not make one for an Impressive Granny too?

Have your cameras poised with stiff new uniforms (with growing room) and a whiff of new gym shoes in the air. Safe in the knowledge that there's...

Only 38 school days until the October Holidays! YAY!!

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

So you’ve decided that you’d like baby casts taken. What should you expect before, during and after you capture an Impressive Memory?

 

BEFORE

Maybe I was recommended to you by a friend. Or maybe you saw a post on social media, or searched online. Did you attempt your own casts with a kit, or read my blogs? Now the decision is made – you’re ready to create YOUR Impressive Memories – so what happens next?

 

MAKE A BOOKING

booking shotMy online booking system lets you choose a date and time that suits you best. Whether you would like to cast on the same date as your first child was cast, or to mark a milestone event, or maybe just because it fits into your busy routine – you get to choose. You will be asked for a £15 deposit. Do you have an Impressive Memories gift voucher? There’s a unique code on the reverse, which you are welcome to use when you make your booking – just pop the code into the booking form. If you need to reschedule, it’s no problem – your confirmation email has a link for you to do this, up to 48 hours before your appointment. Your email will also give you travel directions and how to find me on Google Maps. You can also select an option to receive a text message confirmation and reminder too!

 

 

DURING

What should baby wear?

outside studioDress your little one in comfortable clothes that are loose fitting and easily removed. Preferably choose something old so it won’t matter if the casting gloop gets on it – I know it’s tricky to wear old clothes when you are only a few days old, but you know what I mean! It’s probably best that you don’t wear your favourite designer gear either…just in case!

What if they are sleeping?

Casting can be done when baby is awake or asleep. You are very welcome to feed your baby while I do the casts, as it helps to distract, relax and settle them. It’s not necessary and is purely optional – you know your baby best, and I’m happy to let you decide what’s best for them. Some babies cry, but most don’t notice anything is happening! There is never any rush – we will let them settle while we discuss what you’d like created, and throughout the process your little one’s comfort is our top priority. You’re also welcome to enjoy a lovely Tassimo coffee or a cup of tea as we create your memories.

casting baby foot appointmentHow are baby lifecasts made?

Taking the cast involves dipping your baby’s hand or foot into pink gloop. I’ll help you and baby get into a comfy position, and once their hand or foot is submerged it only takes a couple of minutes to set. Don’t worry – wriggling is not a problem! Once the mould turns to a soft, rubbery consistency it 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, or if I want to take extra casts (so long as baby is happy). Occasionally I have an issue after you’ve left, and I might need to call you back another day, but this is extremely rare.

For every cast you would like made I need to take an impression. The mould cannot be reused and 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 often need extra moulds to ensure you get the best results.

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

PAYING FOR YOUR ORDER

You are very welcome to split the cost of your order. Your booking deposit will be deducted from your order total and you can pay half your balance at your appointment and the remaining balance on collection, in approximately five weeks’ time. I accept cash, PayPal, bank transfer and most major credit cards.

AFTER

Casting

unmould cast appointmentAfter you leave, I will begin to cast your moulds. This stage involves filling your impressions with a high quality, high density stone. Once this is done, your casts will be left to cure and set for several hours. When they are ready to unmould I remove the casting material to reveal the cast of your baby. The raw cast at this stage might have lumps and bumps, air bubbles or inclusions. At this stage your casts each get an initial ‘clean up’, which can take anywhere from ten minutes per cast to a couple of hours! (I am a perfectionist and a night owl!) They now begin to dry.

Drying

The drying stage is so important. Remember how long nine months felt waiting for your baby to arrive? But it was worth the wait, wasn’t it? Life casting is the same! Giving your casts the time to dry naturally and correctly gives them the strength, density and longevity that you want from them. Depending on the size of your casts, I advise a minimum completion time of four to five weeks. During this time, they will undergo more cleaning and perfecting, and I also cut and sand them to the appropriate shapes and angles for the frame and finish you have chosen.

Cleaning

cleaning a cast appointmentThe final cleaning stage for a raw cast is my favourite part! This is when your casts are as impressively perfect as I want them to be. They are then ready to be finished.

 Painting

I use several layers and techniques to bring out all the detail in your casts, with whatever finish you have chosen.

Framing

Your frame choice, photographs and name plaques are now all ready and waiting, and it’s time to assemble your finished piece. A final 24-hour wait until everything sets and cures, then it’s time to collect.

Collection

Once your order is ready I will let you know. We will arrange a suitable collection time and you can come and take your Impressive Memories order home with you.Luxury Silver single

Impressive Thank you to…

Impressive mummy Victoria Duff and her beautiful daughter Amber, who helped create all the images in this article.

Impressive photographer Lisa Christie, from Lisa Christie Photography who provided the excellent photography for this article.

I’m ready to book an appointment – take me there now!

Tell me more about lifecasting

How much will it cost?

Want to chat? – get in touch here

 

Read more

DIY Life Casting Kits -The problems with life casting kits & why they are a waste of money.

DIY Life Casting Kits -The problems with life casting kits & why they are a waste of money.

Should you use a DIY life casting kit?

So many parents have told me they attempted to cast their baby using a casting kit, not one of them continues to tell me it was a success, or that they were happy with the results.  The promise is to create a beautiful 3D cast of their precious child’s hand and feet, creating a keepsake to treasure, making a memory.  New parents think it is their fault that the results are not what they hoped for. They are left disappointed and often with a large dent in their wallet and nothing to show for it.  I believe that casting kits are selling a box of expectation, but deliver an expensive disappointment.

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CREATE SUCCESFULL BABY CASTS?

  • Practice
  • Skill
  • Knowledge
  • Materials & tools
  • (A baby)

 

WHAT DO YOU GET IN A KIT?

  • A bag of casting material (This will run out long before you have had any chance to learn enough)
  • A bag of plaster (Most probably be of a very low quality and totally unfit for purpose)
  • A frame (This is just a cruel way of raising your expectations…)

 

The kit will often have attractive packaging with pretty pictures, but sadly not much else.  The box won’t tell parents what is involved (because then they’d never buy it) so that information is kept for inside the shiny box of hopes and dreams.

 

The reality is this. Expecting a person with no skill or experience, to work with low-quality materials, no tools, no machinery and very limited instructions, with unrealistic images and expectations – leaves parents feeling like they have failed. They’re out of pocket and with either no end result, or at least a disappointing one (they still have that pretty frame – just to remind them of what they’d hoped would display a cast).

 

The instructions provided will likely be very brief also.  Each situation is different, as is each baby you cast.  There are so many variables that it is just impossible to write a brief set of instructions. Life casting can become fairly scientific. Asking a sleep deprived new parent to read a manual is not a good idea!

MY STORY

My passion, nae obsession, for life casting started after I bought a kit!  I saw an advert in a magazine that showed a beautiful, high definition cast of a baby’s hands and feet.  I have always been artistic and loved being creative and crafty, I reckoned I could do this.  The kit was expensive, but it promised great results. So I bought it.  I ended up with a screaming child, half a foot cast, a hand with no fingers and a LOT of mess!  But I was determined not to give in…I kept buying more and more products, I borrowed other peoples babies (when mine had learned to high pitch scream as soon as she saw mummy and the pink goo approaching!) I experimented, I read, I learned, I practised. Over and over and over again…I did manage to make a set of my daughter’s feet as a gift for my mum & dad, but I never made anything worthy of a frame for a long time, and regret to this day that I don’t have my own child’s casts proudly on my wall.

CASTING KITS “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” Or do you?

Several companies offer casting kits. I have chosen to look at Mothercare as an example. They are a highly successful company, they are a name that parents trust and their kit is easily accessible to purchase.

 

Mothercare 3D Casting Kit – Review

All images relating to this review are taken from the Mothercare website & links to the original provided.

“Create a lasting memento of your little one’s first few months with this lovely impression moulding kit.”

mothercare DIY life casting kit

Kit contains – moulding material, plaster and a frame (no mention of whether paint is included or framing adhesives, so assume it isn’t)

The box measures only 26cm so the frame can’t be any bigger.

Price is £45.

Problem 1

Expectation – You would expect to create something similar to the images shown.

Reality – You are paying predominantly for marketing and producing a kit – ah and a frame.  The materials provided could be minimal in quantity, with no guarantee of quality. That makes it an expensive frame in a pretty box!

DIY life casting kit 2Problem 2

Expectation – “I will have a framed cast of my baby’s hand”

Reality – Firstly, casting a baby hand is not an easy task. Many experienced life casters struggle to do this, so to expect a new parent to manage this is unfair. PLUS – Babies do not hold their hands as shown in this image…that hand cast is taken from a much older child. This in itself is not an issue, the kit doesn’t claim to be only for babies, but if this frame is less than 26cm in size, and you look at the dimensions of the frame, the mount and the hand, the dimensions appear impossible…Could that hand cast and that frame have never met?  Could this be a combination of two separate images, merged using technology?

 

 

Problem 3DIY life casting kit 1

This picture is better.  If you zoom in on this image on the website, you do get a truer indication of the end result you’d hope to create.  This cast has virtually no definition, the big toe is damaged and there are several very noticeable lumps and bumps, also flattening to the sole of the foot.

At least this image is a more accurate representation of what you MIGHT achieve.  But £45 for a single foot cast is not much cheaper than many life casters charge – is doing it yourself worth the extra time, effort, stress & mess?

 

 

 

 

Is £45 a fair price to spend to end up with a low quality, low definition foot cast of your baby?  If you think so, then go ahead and buy the kit…but perhaps read some reviews first –

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.45.03

Good to see that Mothercare responded…but still choose to keep selling a product that is failing more customers, than it is serving…

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.44.42

Not everyone is unsuccessful – but be realistic. If only one customer in ten has managed, will you? Do you mind if it doesn’t work out? Is losing £45 an issue or not?

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.45.21

Unfortunately, the reality is that kits can be a false economy.  Yes, they are cheaper than paying a professional life caster, but the chances of ending up with a final product worthy of hanging on the wall is far less likely. So you could be paying a lot of money to end up with the possibility of having nothing to show for it.

life casting feet

Life casters have experience, they have the skills, the correct materials, and the knowledge to keep your precious baby safe, content, relaxed and at ease – giving you the very best result.  Of course, differences between life casters also varies hugely too…so again…research is important.  I wrote a blog about this too…it’s HERE. Also check out my Q&A web page full of hints and tips on how to get the best life casting results for you.

 

Still fancy getting creative? by all means, have a bash! Try making some foot impressions in salt dough. Paint those little fingers & toes and make some gift cards. Sprinkle your child in glitter and have some fun. But when it comes to life casting – use a pro.

 

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When is the best age to take casts?

When is the best age to take casts?

WHEN IS THE BEST AGE TO CAST?

The quick answer to that is – RIGHT NOW – make a booking at impressive Memories today – click here! Quickest blog I’ve ever written. The End.

Oh, if only it was that simple, but the thing is…It’s too late to capture today, if it’s already tomorrow.


“I wish I’d done this when they were smaller”  

“I’d give anything to hold those new born feet again”

“You forget how small they were, so quickly, don’t you?”.

But when is the best age? – well it depends – I’m not being noncommittal. It depends on what you are casting, and WHY.

 

  • Why do you want life casts?
  • Why now?
  • Why might waiting be better?
  • Why should you NOT wait?

 

 

There are no age limitations on my life castings. 

What I can’t do is pause time, or go back in time…that would be pretty clever…

Being prepared and being organised is the key to successfully holding onto YOUR Impressive Memories. 

I noticed on a website that the caster wouldn’t cast babies older than 6 months, “due to them being unsuitable” – Who is not suitable? The child or the caster? 

Another company claim that babies who “don’t cooperate” will have to pay extra if more casting material is needed, AND return another day!  – I would never expect my customer to pay extra because thier baby had wriggled! On occassion I have asked customers to return if I feel their casts are not impressive enough. Usually I know before you leave if the cast will be succesful, but not always. If I wouldn’t be happy to hand over the cast to someone, or to receive it myself, then it gets redone. 

If Grandparents are also keen to have casts and keepsakes, it’s a good idea to do them at different ages to yours.  If you have newborn casts taken, they could wait until baby is 6 months old…then you can compare and see how they’ve grown.

Will this be a one off experience? Or are you planning to return for more casts at a later date?

Where will you display your casts? Are they just for you to see or do you want the world to know how impressive your memories are?

When you look at them, how will they make you feel? Are you sad to see those tiny hands and feet grow or are you desperate to reach the next stage?


Life casting is as much about the story and the people, as it is about the finished article.

Meeting new people, and welcoming families back – one of the best parts of my business.

In the last few weeks I have cast new born babies who arrived in the world weighing less than 3lbs. I’ve travelled to home visits to cast a dad and doting daughter, because time is precious. Met a solicitor, working on horrific child cruelty court case.  She brought me her nephew to cast. She hugged him just a little bit tighter, trying to understand the reality that not all babies are cherished.

Yesterday I was creating the most stunning piece of jewellery for a friend that is a story of her fostering memories within a bracelet – more about that soon!! And I’ve helped a daughter wear a fingerprint in silver – a memory of her mum who passed suddenly just days before. Families have come back with the latest addition on the exact same day they cast their first child. I’ve had messages at 3am from mums who just gave birth – still not announced to their family – but making a booking to have their casts taken!

I also cast my first international wedding couple who were preparing for their Scottish wedding celebration before returning back to Serbia. (If anyone is planning a trip to Serbia, let me know…we still need a method to safely transport it back to them!)

My work is an emotional rollercoaster!! No wonder I feel so exhausted!! (But I love it)

BOOK NOW

YES, BUT WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CAST?

I don’t think there is such a thing!  Whatever you cast, and whenever I cast it, we are taking a tangible snapshot of that moment.  Here are some of the benefits and possible disadvantages of casting different ages.


best age to cast babies4

 

 

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If you’d like more information, get in touch HERE.

Would you like to make a booking? CLICK HERE.

Hope this has helps you to decide when to capture YOUR Impressive Memories.  Have you had a look through my Q&A page? It’s full of information that will hopefully interest you.
Have an Impressive Day,
Jen x

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