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 http://www.canva.com because it is free and easy to use. We will assume you are using canva.com 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 canva.com. 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.
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  • 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 www.lilyblanche.com
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Life, love, legacy and lockets – the story of the Memory Keeper Locket

“What will survive of us is love,” Philip Larkin, An Arundel Tomb

Life, love, legacy
Life, love, legacy

Every day my daughter wears a ring. It’s not a particularly beautiful ring or especially well made. It’s not from a desirable or famous brand. It’s not particularly on trend. But it is her most precious piece of jewellery. The ring belonged to my other grandmother, Agnes – my mother’s mother – who died before my daughter was even thought about.

Not many photographs of my grandmother exist. She wasn’t wealthy and the ring would not have cost much. The story of how she came by the ring has been forgotten but for my daughter the ring is a link with the past – her past, a very personal and precious symbol of life and love and continuity.

Across the generations
Across the generations

Jewellery connects us with the past in such an individual and intimate way. Inheriting jewellery, even if it is not particularly to your taste or if it has gone out of fashion, 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 alredy pre-loaded with sentiment and meaning.

Lily Blanche and children in India
Lily Blanche and children in India

There is a reason that we mark important life events with jewellery and this is because of its endurance and durability. We want the occasions and people who matter to us to be represented, not by something ephemeral, but by something precious and permanent.

My original degree was in prehistoric archaeology from Edinburgh University. I cannot begin to describe the thrill of finding a piece of jewellery on an archaeological excavation, of being the first to look at something for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years. There is something incredibly tactile and sensory about learning about the past from the artefacts and structures left behind by our ancestors. Everything has evolved but what has always struck me is how incredibly contemporary and beautiful much ancient jewellery seems.

When you find a piece of vintage jewellery or even come across it in a museum or an antique shop, it is impossible  not to imagine the original wearer, the person for whom the piece was made. Who was she? What did she do? Who did she love?

Here, at the Lily Blanche studio, there is rarely a single inspiration for a piece of jewellery. Ideas come together but running through all of the Lily Blanche collections are the themes of sentiment and meaning, of celebrating life and expressing love. We love designing and creating pieces with hidden secrets.

Nowhere does this come together better than in the Memory Keeper Locket. Based on a vintage design, updated for the 21st century, the Memory Keeper Locket opens to take six photographs. It is an intricate piece, beautifully crafted and I wanted it to be an heirloom piece, something full of precious memories that could be passed on through the generations.

Silver Memory Keeper Locket
Silver Memory Keeper Locket

 

 

The Memory Keeper was originally designed in sterling silver but recently we’ve added an 18 carat gold and rose gold version. What I love about this piece is that people often tell us why they are buying it. It cuts across all age groups. It has been given for 18th birthdays, 21st birthdays, 30ths, 40ths, 50ths – right up to a 100th birthday. A teenage girl wrote to us and told us she’d fill it with pictures of her pets. It has been given by brides to their mothers, as a thank you for the big day. It can have a very special meaning for those who have lost someone close to them.

Rose Gold Memory Keeper composite2

So that is the story of the Lily Blanche Memory Keeper – it’s about love and life and legacy and I like to think that some day – in a thousand years’ time – a young archaeologist will discover my Memory Keeper Locket, filled with pictures of my loved ones and feel an intimate and personal connection with the past.

 

Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket
Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket