Guest Post from the lovely Natasha at McLaren & Wall Ltd

Welcome to McLaren & Wall Ltd, formerly Cheekies Treasures Ltd!

Thank you to Lasting Touch for featuring my blog on their wonderful website.

In August 2015 I began my keepsake business journey launching Cheekies Treasures in Fleet, North Hampshire. As the business grew, I developed a passion for the art of 3D casting. My new venture began with the opportunity to work with lots of gorgeous babies and their lovely parents. To begin with, I focused on creating lasting memories by casting the beautiful and perfect hands and feet of newborn babies. From there, I progressed to work with older children and families and now create bespoke keepsakes to mark beginnings, celebrations and memorials.

High praise

In August 2016 I was flattered to be offered the chance to work with the world leaders in casting. However, my passion lies with providing a personal service and so I decided to apply my skills and attention to detail to my own business.

Around the same time, I was approached by Artu. I felt honoured that they wanted to work with me and our partnership now means I can offer 3D miniature jewellery.

All these exciting developments required a business restructure and so McLaren & Wall began life specialising in 3D castings.

Why memorial keepsakes

While I was in the concept stage of the new business approach, I was approached by a gentleman who had recently lost his wife. He commissioned me to take the precious plaster cast he had made of his wife’s hand and to make it into a number of bronze casts with stands for various family members. This made me realise that everyone should have the opportunity to capture the most precious of memories.

New casting product range

McLaren & Wall now specialise in 3D casting and 3D miniature jewellery.  Customers can choose to have their casting in various materials such as plaster, glass, bronze and silver, and the jewellery is also offered in gold.

You can have hands and feet or two hands or two feet.  You can also choose from a hands holding sculpture symbolising a bond between two people or have this made into a pendant.  The possibilities are as wide as your imagination.

News

In the next week or two I will be sending out a newsletter with more details about some exciting new offers and plans.  You can sign up by clicking on the little paper aeroplane on the left of my website www.mclarenandwall.co.uk

Moon fingerprint charm for Luna

I simply love it when I get asked to make special pieces that have a real back story behind them.  So when I was asked to make this moon fingerprint charm for a little girl called Luna, I simply had to find out the story.  Thank you so much Katrina for sharing with me and allowing me to share with the world.

Moon fingerprint charm

Bespoke moon fingerprint charm

When I was pregnant with my second child the only girls name that I liked was Luna.

As I approached my due date, I knew this would be the name for our baby if it was a girl.
 
I remember waking up in the middle of the night as the baby kicked, poked and prodded me. And as I looked out of my bedroom window, I saw the most amazing full moon high up in the sky. It was the brightest I had ever seen and took my breath away. It was so stunning that I took a photo of it and knew then that it would be the perfect name as Luna means moon in Spanish.
 
Coupled with the sentimental saying that my family always tell one another…love you to the moon and back…I just knew it was right name for our little girl. If I’d had another boy I would have been stuck as I had no idea what he would have been called. Ha!!
 
So to order a bespoke charm that has been hand crafted with my daughter’s name and fingerprint on it means the world to me and is priceless. I will wear it with pride next to my son’s heart shaped charm and will cherish it forever knowing that a little piece of my kids is with me always.
 
Thank you again, you are amazing!!
Do you have an idea of a custom piece you’d like to have made? Drop me a message to gemma@lastingtouch.co.uk or check out a few of my other custom made fingerprint jewellery pieces for inspiration.

Date days with the kids

Some people think this is a bit strange, but we do it every year and absolutely love it.

Every year my husband and I set aside 2 dates where we split up as a family.  On one of the days he will take my son out for the day and I will take my daughter out, and the other day we will swap.  We cal these our ‘Daddy and Daughter’, Mum and Son’, Days.

The kids get to decide (within reason!) exactly what they want to do on their special days, this year both kids wanted to do a Theme park, so we all ended up at Lightwater Valley for the day…abeit separately!

We had a great time, I spent the day with my son and my husband and daughter went off and did their own thing. We waved if we saw each other, but we made a conscious effort not to make contact for most of the day.
This meant that both the kids could do exactly the rides they wanted to do with no compromising and no ‘we’ll do what your sister wants and then we’ll do your thing’ type conversations. Normally the kids are really good at sharing and making sure everyone gets to have fun, but this one day they are allowed to be completely selfish and have complete control over the day.
Which is a good thing because when it comes to theme parks our children are like chalk and cheese!  I did manage to get my son to ride the roller coaster eventually, but it took some serious persuading, but he’s very cautious and takes quite a lot of time to work up to do these things.  My daughter on the other hand was 1st in the queue!  Of course once James plucked up the courage to go on, he loved it and went on twice more after that!

Yesterday was our 2nd date day. My turn to take my girl out whilst Hubby and Son had a day together.
The boys chose to go to Magna, a science museum in an old steel works.

My daredevil daughter on the other hand chose Go Ape at Sherwood pines!
Much to her disappointment (and my relief) she wasn’t old enough to do the main treetop adventure, so we opted for the Junior one. The disappointment was short lived!

Once up2016-08-25 11.10.53 in the trees she was off!  I had to call her several times to wait for me as I clung on tightly to my rope.  Watching her ahead of me shouting ‘ Look mum I can do it without holding on!

Luckily her choice of afternoon activity was much more sedate!  We went for all you can eat Chinese buffet for lunch, where she happy stuffed herself with sweet and sour chicken, crispy seaweed and prawn crackers!   Then off to the cinema to watch Finding Dory.

All in all 2 great days full of memories made, and we’re already talking about what we’re going to do for our date days next year!

Do you set aside 1:1 time with your children? I’d love to hear what sort of things you like to do?