The Story Of The Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket

The Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket in Sterling Silver, Gold and Rose Gold vermeil

WHEN LILY BLANCHE designer Gillian Crawford wanted to create a really special family locket of heirloom quality, she drew on the past – both her degree in archaeology from Edinburgh University and her family heritage.

“Family Is Everything”

“Family is everything to me and as my children grew up and flew the nest, keeping them close to my heart in a really tangible way became incredibly important,” Gillian says. “In a fast-paced, throwaway culture, where people often don’t take time to cherish memories, we can forget how incredibly important a photograph can be in taking us back to that moment in time. Photographs are so ubiquitous now that we need a new way of making them special and cherished.

The Lily Blanche Memory Keeper opens to reveal 6 secret photographs

“We understood this better in the past, when lockets were both a reminder and a comfort – a way of treasuring precious memories.

“We Want Our Lockets To Surprise And Delight”

“With the exception of an engagement ring, a locket is the most romantic piece of jewellery. Because of this, lockets are my favourite pieces to create. We want our lockets to surprise and delight the women who wear them.”

At the Lily Blanche studio, there is rarely a single inspiration for a piece of jewellery. Ideas come together, often in unexpected ways. But running through all of the Lily Blanche collections are the themes of sentiment and meaning, of celebrating life and expressing love. The team loves designing and creating pieces with hidden secrets.

“At the heart of the Memory Keeper Locket is the idea of family, of keeping them close, and of treasuring precious memories,” Gillian says. “But I also wanted the Memory Keeper Locket to be something that is passed on from mother to daughter, aunt to niece or godmother to goddaughter. The quality and craftsmanship was really important to me.

The Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket in sterling silver opens to reveal six secret photos

“Jewellery Connects Us With The Past In An Intiate Way”

“Jewellery connects us with the past in such an individual and intimate way. Inheriting jewellery is such a humbling thing. A piece can be worn every day by women of different generations. It can take on the patina of the life of the wearer. It will be smoothed and worn to fit them. When it comes down the generations to you, it is already pre-loaded with sentiment and meaning. That was the emotion, I wanted to invoke with the Memory Keeper Locket”.

The Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Lockets are made in small batches and take weeks to complete. The Lockets are made of sterling silver and the gold and rose gold versions are combined with 18 carat gold in a traditional technique which dates back to 18th century France known as vermeil. You can read more about this on our website where you can also learn how to insert the photographs.

Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket in Gold

Each Memory Keeper Locket uses seven times as much solid silver as it takes to make a Tiffany Atlas silver pendant. After the Memory Keeper Lockets are given a final polish, they are sent to the Edinburgh Assay Office for hallmarking. A hallmark is a guarantee of the quality and authenticity of the piece. The Memory Keeper Locket is often bought to mark a special occasion – a birthday, anniversary, wedding or the arrival of a new member of the family.

” Judy Tweeted That The Memory Keeper Locket Was Her Favourite Piece”

“We were delighted when we discovered Judy Murray, the tennis coach and Strictly star had bought the Memory Keeper Locket and worn it to Wimbledon to watch her sons Andy & Jamie become champions,” says Gillian. “We were even more thrilled when Judy tweeted that the Memory Keeper Locket was her favourite piece of jewellery.

Judy Murray wers the Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket at Wimbledon

“Every customer is special. Our Memory Keeper Lockets are our bestsellers and we get to hear such amazing stories. Some are heart-breaking; others are joyful but all are really personal and precious. We feel humbled when a customer shares the story of their Memory Keeper and what it means to them.

The Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket in Gold

“They Are Precious Symbols of Life, Love and Memories”

“Our jewellery is not for everyone. We are not interested in mass-producing these lockets. We want them to remain special and we want people to feel special when they wear a Lily Blanche piece. They are precious symbols of love, life, and memories. As a result, we have built some lovely relationships with our customers, many of whom have become collectors of Lily Blanche”.

Rose Gold Memory Keeper Locket

We love it when people share photos of their Memory Keeper Lockets with us. You can see what our customers are saying about the Memory Keeper below and you can read over 100 five star reviews on Trustpilot and on our Facebook page where we would love to connect with you.

Gillian Crawford, Founder and Creative Director at Lily Blanche

“Fabulous lady, fabulous jewels #gillian” Judy Murray tennis coach and Strictly Come Dancing star

“I absolutely love it as do my family and friends. I’ve been singing your praises to anyone who will listen” Diane C.

“Love, love, love mine. It’s probably the best necklace I have,” Carole S.

“Excellent customer service, absolutely amazing delivery of a very special piece of jewellery and fantastic after care. Would definitely purchase again from Lily Blanche,”Emma L.

“I have the silver one for my birthday and absolutely love, love, love it,” Stephanie L.

“Amazing service and beautifully wrapped and packed. A joyful gift,” Lesley McP.

“I have bought for my 2 daughters and myself. Love them,” Pauline S.

Actress Hermione Norris in the television series Cold Feet

Nadin and Mo – an everyday love story

Nadin Dunnigan is one of Edinburgh’s top wedding photographers. She only takes on around 20 weddings a year but the couples she photographs can be assured of not just a memorable album but a wonderful experience. So we were absolutely thrilled when Nadin chose the Lily Blanche Gold Memory Keeper Locket as a memento of her own wedding which is happening on the Hebridean island of Harris next month.

Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket photographed by Nadin Dunnigan

Nadin and her husband-to-be Mo Thomson, a videographer, are always looking for something special for the couples they work with and a Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket full of images from the big day fits the bill. And if you have ever wondered if wedding photographers are romantics – the answer in this case is a resounding yes.

Mo proposed to a surprised and delighted Nadin on their beloved Harris using a unique ring.

Check it out in this fabulous engagement video he made of their proposal. It’s one of the nicest we have seen. The couple are planning to get married on the beach in March with close friends and family and a few wild ponies in attendance.

Having photographed hundreds of weddings, Nadin knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. Before she photographs a couple on the big day, Nadin organises a pre-wedding shoot in a picturesque location. It’s a relaxed informal occasion which often produces some of the most stunning images.

Photographs by Nadin Dunnigan

It not only gives Nadin a chance to get to know the couple free from wedding-day nerves and find out what their preferences are, it allows her to teach each couple a series of poses and compositions which will bring out their best looks on the day. As a result, she achieves wedding shots that it might take another photographer hours to perfect on the day and the couple are back with their guests in record time to enjoy the festivities.

Nadin’s website and blog are a fantastic resource for brides getting married in Scotland and cover everything from what time the sun sets in Edinburgh in winter to what to expect from a wedding photography package. There is a wonderful post when she reveals what she feels about her own wedding preshoot and how different it is for her being on the other side of the camera. You can see her work here.


Gillian x


How To Fill A Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket With Photographs

You will need: A Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket Laptop; Printer; 15mm (0.6 inch) craft punch; 130gsm self adhesive photographic paper.

  • First choose your images. Pick strong portrait shots which are clear and unfussy and where there is a bit of space around the head (ie the top of the head is not cut off or up against the edge of the photograph) Single headshots work best at this size.
  • If they are not already uploaded to your computer, scan or upload the photos. (If you have physical photos you want to use you can skip this part but you should have copies made of them in case you make a mistake)
  • Sign up or open up your favourite graphic design site or photo –editing app. We like because it is free and easy to use. We will assume you are using for this exercise.
  • In the “create a design” page choose the custom dimensions option. Enter 65 x 65 in the blank fields and make sure it is set to pixels (px). This will open a new page with a blank square “canvas”.
  • Select “uploads” from the menu on the left hand side. Click on “upload your own images”. This will take you to the menu on your computer. Select the image you wish to use from the folder in which you stored it. This will return you to Wait until the image is fully uploaded.
  • Next select “elements” on the left hand menu. Click on “frames” and keep scrolling down until you find the simple circular frame with no extra border and no thick green band in the middle. Click on this. The circle frame will upload to the square white box.
  • Select “uploads” from the left hand menu and click on the locket image you recently uploaded. This should automatically pop into the circle frame. Use the crop button and the resize dots to manipulate the image until you have the desired effect. Click the tick sign in the white band at the top of the canvas when you are happy. Click the dustbin symbol to delete the image and start again.
  • When you are happy with your image, click “download” in the blue band at the top of the canvas. Click the green download button to save the image to your computer. Remember to name and store the image in a folder.
  • Repeat this process until you have all the images you require.
  • Open a word document and copy the small circular images onto it. It is good to make a number of copies of each image in case you accidentally damage one or in case you require spares at a later date. Leave a bit of space around each image.
  • Once you are happy with the images on the page, print a test page on ordinary paper to ensure you are happy with the results.
  • Practice punching out the images with the punch – we use the Hobbycraft 0.6 inch paper punch – and placing them on the locket to ensure you are happy with the order of the images etc.
  • Once you are happy with the test images, choose your final paper, select “photographic paper” if you are using it and best quality print on you printer properties and print the images out. (Remember to reset the printer to normal print for the next time you use it).
  • If you are using photographic paper please make sure it is lightweight. We use ICE 130 gsm self-adhesive photographic paper which you can buy in small quantities. Thick or heavy paper will jam the locket and is likely to damage it.
  • Punch out the images with the punch. If you are using self-adhesive photographic paper, simply peel off the backs and stick them in place. If you are using ordinary paper, use the little sticker seals which come with the locket. Let it rest for ten minutes before closing the locket. Your highly personalised unique Memory Keeper Locket is now ready to wear.
  • If you need any help, please get in touch via the website

Purple Patch – Pantone Colour Of The Year 2018

The Pantone Colour of the year 2018 has been announced and it is – drum-roll please – 18-3838, ultraviolet. We’re going to be seeing a lot of purple in the new year. Lily Blanche Purple Amethyst lockets, earrings and rings are bang on trend.


Here is what Pantone has to say about its choice. “Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.



Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection”. Prepare for a purple patch!

Black Friday Offer – Use Code Friday15

A number of cutomers have asked us if we are participating in Black Friday. This year we have decided we will. Our code is Friday15 and you can use it throughout the Lily Blanche website now. It is valid till midnight Monday November 27. We are doing so mainly because some of our stockists are participating in Black Friday and our over-riding philosophy is that our most loyal customers should always get our best offers.


The code works for everything except Memory Keeper Lockets. I hope it helps a bit with the Christmas shopping. Remember there is free UK delivery on all orders. 

Happy shopping and if you need any help, I’m only a phonecall (01786 464251) or an email away.

Gillian x


Lily Blanche Last Shipping Dates For Christmas 2017

Christmas falls on a Monday this year which means that there are fewer posting days than usual before Christmas. Below are the last possible posting dates for Christmas delivery but to guarantee your jewellery arrives in plenty time, do please order as early as you can, firstly because we will sell out of some popular items and we’d hate to disappoint you and secondly because although the postal service is heroic, it is human and fallible and very occasionally things will go wrong. Happy shopping!




Paying It Forward – Lily Blanche Reviews

They say that one good deed deserves another and while I’ve always been a bit suspect of the concept of karma – bad things happen to good people too – I do like the idea of spreading a little bit of love or joy. I believe small acts can, cumulatively, make a big difference.

Recently we’ve started working with the review company Trustpilot. Trustpilot sends out an email on our behalf to every Lily Blanche online customer asking them to review their experience with us. I was quite nervous about this  but I’ve been really touched and bouyed up by the lovely messages our customers have left. You can read them here

Reviews are really important to our business and help other customers make decisions but I always feel slightly awkward asking for them. We all lead busy lives and we are all bombarded by companies asking us to reveiw things. So I’ve been thinking about how we can say thank you to those who take the trouble without influencing what they write or think about us. And I think I might have come up with an idea…

If you followed us last year, you will know that our charity of the year last year was Social Bite. This is an amazing organisation established by Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson which helps to feed – and more importantly – employ some of the most marginalised people in society – those who are homeless.

I have been privileged to spend time with Josh and have got to know a little bit of the work he and Alice are doing and it is incredibly impressive. Not only does Social Bite allow customers in their cafes to “pay forward” a coffee or a sandwich for a homeless person, it employs 20% of its staff from the homeless community. This often means giving people who have been written off not just a second chance but a third or fourth chance.

Josh Littlejohn with Leonardo Dicaprio

Social Bite’s latest venture is to build a village in Granton, Edinburgh to house people who have lost their homes. We want to keep supporting this cause so we’ve decided to give a minimum of 10p to Social Bite for every Trustpilot Review we receive, irrespective of the rating. It’s our way of paying forward the kindness of our reviewers.

We will, of course, keep supporting Social Bite in other ways too. This is a bit of an experiment and I hope our customers approve. It fits with the ethos of what we are trying to do here at Lily Blanche, which is to do business in a caring and responsible way. Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page and let us know what you think.

Gillian x