A Very Special Birthday Keepsake

As a business tool, Facebook is an excellent place to increase awareness of your brand, build a contact base and create friendships whilst showcasing your work. Facebook has been invaluable to us in many ways since our business began. It is also a wonderful place to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as developing new friendships.

When our business first began we joined the UK Crafts Forum where we built many lovely friendships, some of which have lasted where others have drifted apart but many of those friendships were carried over to Facebook and we have become closer to those people than we ever imagined when we joined the forum.

One particular friendship which began on the crafts forum, is a lovely lady called Sarah – the wonderful clay artist behind Ama Aqua Cake Toppers. Sarah is an incredibly talented lady who creates superb, bespoke keepsakes from clay for many occasions including weddings and birthdays, her work is fantastic… so detailed, individual to the recipient and very high quality. Sarah has also become a very close friend.

A couple of years ago, Sarah created a group on Facebook – the UK Wedding page, somewhere for crafters and businesses who are involved in the wedding industry to network and socialise, whilst building business relationships to help each other. Nobody could have anticipated the incredible friendships which were formed through this Facebook group which is all down to Sarah and something we are incredibly thankful for. The group is a small closed group with around twenty members, it began as a business networking tool but has developed into a group of very close friends who can share everything whether it be business or personal related… friendships have blossomed, the reasons for the group have grown and there have been many occasions where the members of this group have been there for me when I have needed advice, support or just somewhere to vent frustrations.

Before Christmas 2012, we began talking about getting together to meet each other in person and spend time together – something we are all very eager to happen, so Sarah’s birthday was the perfect excuse for a get together so the planning began… the lovely Kerry of Something Blue Wedding Designs decided to host a surprise dinner party for Sarah where members of our group would visit to celebrate Sarah’s birthday… as far as Sarah thought there was only one or two people joining her for a quiet meal in a restaurant so she was incredibly overwhelmed by the evening.

As this was to be a surprise by all of the group for Sarah, we all made handcrafted items for Sarah to treasure, something personalised and unique to her which would be a lasting reminder of the love and respect we have for her both as a friend and for bringing our very special group together.

Sam from Samantha’s Designs handmade Sarah a beautiful, personalised jute bag along with personalised wine glass charms:

Personalised Jute Bag by Sam Milburn

Wineglass Charms by Sam Milburn

While the lovely Debbs of Daisy Chain Flowers Made With Love made this gorgeous bespoke swing dress, something which is exactly Sarah’s style:

Swing Dress by Debb Wain

As you know, I love the Ferrero Rocher sweety trees by the very talented Michelle from New Beginnings Celebration Stationery, I have previously written a product review of this fab idea which you can read so it goes without saying that I love the sweety tree which Michelle made for Sarah:

Ferrero Rocher Tree by Michelle Legate-Lines

I wanted to create a birthday card which would include messages from each member of our group, those who were attending and also those who were unable to attend, somehow a standard birthday card just didn’t seem enough so I began to plan something more unique and decided on a keepsake box which incorporates an easel birthday card and has a drawer underneath to store a very special memory/message book.

Knowing the colour schemes of Sarah’s website and Ama Aqua branding, I guessed that teal/aqua and chocolate brown were her favourite colours which made choosing the base colours for this keepsake quite easy so when I logged onto our regular cardstock supplier and both colours were available on their site, I just knew that this colour scheme was meant to be.

I know Sarah has a love of the rockabilly style of dresses and also vintage styles so I thought the stamped image was perfect to suit her style, also with a bit of a party look as this was of course for Sarah’s surprise birthday party. The embossed panels on the keepsake box were coloured using Tim Holtz Antique Linen ink pad overlaid with gold ink to give a more aged look to suit Sarah’s love of vintage. The panel which the stamped image is laid on was cut using my Sizzix Big Shot die-cutting machine, and the embossed panels were also embossed using the Big Shot.

When it came to the message book to accompany the keepsake box, it was important that the size of it would fit inside the drawer of the keepsake box so that it was one complete gift and it was also important to me that everyone on our group was able to include a personal message as without Sarah, our group would not exist.

It really was an honour to create this keepsake for Sarah Phillips and when I had a message from her yesterday telling me how much she loves this and how much it means to her (as well as her high praise of the craftmanship) it really did make me feel proud and quite emotional. It is always very special to create a personal piece for a friend, there is more of a connection than when creating a piece for general sale as I know the recipient personally, can take into account their likes and dislikes and create something unique to them. This also applies to bespoke commissioned, customer orders as I can find out lots about the recipient before crafting the keepsake so that it compliments the recipients favourite colours, tastes and styles.

I’m just so happy that Sarah loves her keepsake box and that everyone else is happy with the finished piece which includes their messages… I have received many compliments on this special keepsake and it has been a huge confidence booster for me, there are many days where I have low self esteem which means that I go through phases of not believing in myself or my crafting skills but the comments and feedback received on this bespoke piece have shown me that I should be proud of my work, I can create something unique which is loved by the recipient and I should have more faith in myself.

Here are the photographs of the keepsake box and memory book which I handcrafted for Sarah’s special day:

Keepsake box (2)

Keepsake box (1)

Memory book

Keepsake box (3)

Dolphin card

Birthday Message

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback, what you think of this style of keepsake and if you would be interested in ordering a piece like this, you can do so by emailing me at info@cardsandcandlesforalloccasions.co.uk

Thank you for reading and following our blog, we truly value your support.

Lots of love and hugs from
xxx Laura and Gordon Quick xxx
xxx Cards And Candles For All Occasions xxx
xxx Badger’s Woodcrafts xxx


One comment

  1. Hi my beautiful I am sorry your feeling unwell and send my love and well wishes and hope you feel better soon hun. I was gutted to find out you were unable to come down for the party, as i would dearly loved to have met you sweetie. We must meet up one day as i think your wonderful and would love to give you a big hug and have good old natter together. I must also say just how deeply touched I was by the stunning breathtaking, keepsake box and gorgeous handcrafted card booklet. You have no idea how much it moved me to see just how much work an effort you had put into both gifts. You are truly a kind hearted, caring and very talented lady. I can not thank you enough for what you did for me and want you to know just how much it means to me. You went to town choosing colours and patterns i adore and the effort you went to getting everyone to add a little note. I am still stunned at the level and quality and love you for it. I remember seeing you posting it on your page and liking it thinking, wow that is just what id love as the colours and design pattern was just my thing. To my pleasure surprise and delight to find I was the friend you have made it for Thank you again xxxxx

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