Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Week 2 #31DaysOfMarch17 Prompt List!

So already I have begun to see some growth on my social media pages with this challenge, and thats with hardly anyone else joining in! Maybe people don't realise it only takes as little as one Instagram post a day on the prompt topic? That's all I have been doing in this first week!

Anyway, the prompt list for Week 2 is now here, and I hope that more people take advantage of it! I would love to hear stories of success using these prompts. They are simple, I know, but sometimes simplicity is what is needed to commit to that daily post.

Please take part, even for a week, and see if it helps your numbers to grow! If I can help even a few fellow bloggers with this, I will continue doing similar posts but it all depends on the results!

Quick overview of whats involved-

  • Use the prompt word to inspire a blog post or photo to be taken that day.
  • Post your pic, tagged with the prompt word and #31DaysOfMarch17. Use these tags, among others,  when sharing your post over social media. 
  • Watch your audience grow
You can read more about how this works and other tips to make the most out of the prompts here. 

You can do this challenge in less than 5 minutes a day, and with as little as one Instagram post. The more people who are involved, the more organic traffic we can see coming to our pages without the dreaded "like for like" type scenarios in all the groups. 

Stationary from The Works- Bargain! 


Day 8- #Light (Post on Wed 8th of March)

This prompt will kick the week off with a host of bright, airy images. It could be a well exposed shot, a pale colour or a bright sunny morning shot. You could take inspiration for a spring manicure using pastel shades or even play with lighting effects to create a more dramatic look.

Other # tags include: Bright, Dazzle, Radiate, Illuminate, Pale, Pastels.


Day 9- #Dark (Post on Thurs 9th of March)

This could be adapted to reflect a change to a more shadowy image, or even change to show a more sinister idea. Dark could illustrate evil  or ominous, or it could prompt some images illustrating depression or anger. There is a lot of things that could be done with this prompt. You could, of course, go for the obvious and choose an image with lots of dark colours, or even do an outfit post for your favourite LBD or you could focus on the night sky. So many options.

Other # tags include: Unlit, Gloomy, Grumpy, Nightsky, Brooding, Evil.


Day 10- #New (Post on Fri 10th of March)

You could show something new about yourself that your viewers don't already know- maybe a question and answer session, or share a pre filled questionnaire. You could show off some new purchases or an outfit that is yet to be premiered. Perhaps you are a DIY enthusiast- you could do an upcycling project and turn something from old to new, or even try a new activity and share your thoughts. There are many ways that this could be easily incorporated into a blog post as well as plenty of images.

Other # tags include: Shiny, Mint, Pristine, Upcycled, Shopping, Shopaholic.


Day 11- #Old (Post on Sat 11th of March)

This could be a post about an old favourite of yours- your most reliable jeans or shoes. It could be a photo of a classic car that you pass each morning, or an ancient tree in the park. You could create a portrait of your grandparents, or even a glimpse of your old life: your old school, old house, old room. You could show something that is worn out and tattered, or something that is familiar and reliable. Perfect opportunity to dig out the vintage pics!

Other # tags include: Vintage, Weathered, Antique, Historic, Mature, Throwback.


Day 12- #Natural (Post on Sun 12th of March)

You could show off your macro skills with some super closeups of butterflies or plant life, or go in another direction and display panoramic views of your favourite wildlife reserve. You could go in so many directions here: Animals, Plants, Weather, Habitat. This is where the creative juices can really start to go wild, and I would hope to see a vast assortment of different images across the feed. Try to get a balance between striking and interesting and I'm sure you will easily see the followers increase.

Other # tags include: Wild, Growing, World, Macro, Panorama, Scenery Beautiful, Pure.


Day 13- #Built (Post on Mon 13th of March)

Cue the architecture photos! Get snapping those buildings, cranes, boats, garden sheds, furniture even sculptures. Really you could include anything that has been made by man's (or woman's)  fair hands! 
Maybe you have a favourite building that you pass on your way to work or you are particularly fond of your treehouse in your garden. Whatever you want to showcase should be built.

Other # tags include: DIY, Handmade, Architecture, Buildings, man-made.


Day 14- #Ruined (Post on Tues 14th of March)

I love exploring old ruins- castles, historical sites, even hills with the odd stone that tells a story of something that once stood in it's place. There are pieces of history everywhere, and plenty of old, ruined buildings and structures that are still standing throughout the world. Showcase some of these locations and highlight the beauty in something that is rotting away before it is gone for good. You may prefer to showcase some of your artwork that has had an accident, or even a pice of clothing that has accidentally met with the scissors! However you explore this prompt, it should remond you that there is beauty everywhere, even when all seems to be lost!

Other # tags include: Broken, Dilapidated, Urban, Rubble, Wreck, Destroyed.

Remember!

Don't stress out about this! It's all meant to be a bit of fun, and if you can't create something on any particular day, have a dig around your library of images. If you are anything like me, you'll have a collection of snaps that you have nearly used before, but didn't quite! One of them will do rather than nothing! If you miss a day, just start again from the next available day. Easy!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Week 1 #31DaysOfMarch17 Prompt List!

Image created with AB Seas and Billy Bosun's Stamp Sets & Photoshop
So following on from my last post, here is the list of topics as well as some inspiration and ideas on how to get started. I'm loving this challenge already as I am really thinking about how to adapt the prompts to fit my blog, but also trying to have some ideas on how others may make a start on them too.

Remember, you can put as much or as little time into this project as you wish. You could have a little journal or scrapbook that you use to do a quick drawing based on the prompts, or you could take a different selfie every day! It is totally up to you how to spin this!

You can use this as a basis for your only posts this month, or you can use it in addition to your normal posting schedule. It is completely up to you how and when you take part! If you miss a day, you can jump back on the next topic. You can get inspiration by doing some searches on google or Pinterest, or just dive in and see what feels right.

When tagging your posts, remember to use a mixture of tags with a high number of posts, as well as a lower number of posts to ensure you can get seen! Suggestions of other tags to use, in addition to the regular #31DaysOfMarch17 and topic tag are included below. I have given this as inspiration for those of us who may not be as confident in using Instagram as others, or maybe don't think about tagging their posts to get more exposure. I'm sure many of you will already know what you are doing with the prompts, and that's fab, but I like to be as helpful as I can to everyone, just incase!

Day 1- #Multicolour (Post on Wed 1st of March)

This prompt will create a sea of visually stunning images across our tag! Set up a tabletop of colourful bits and pieces or sweeties and take a bright pic, or you could even use photoshop and curves to manipulate an unrelated snap you have already taken. You could create an abstract painting, a rainbow manicure, or unicorn themed makeup. You could show a super bright tattoo, or your favourite vivid piece of art.

Other # tags you can use include: Colourful, Bright, Cheery, Rainbow, Coloursplash, Colours.


Day 2- #Monocolour (Post on Thurs 2nd of March)

This prompt will swamp the feed with images of a single colour. Whether it is a line drawing, illustration or journal spread using just one colour, you can create depth by using various shades. You could desaturate your image and cover with a colour on photoshop, or using a nice filter on your phone. You could write in pink ink on pink paper, or show an outfit inspiration made up of a single colour. Place accessories on a similar coloured background. As long as the end result is just one colour, you can do as you wish!

Other # tags you can use include: Singlecolour, Onecolour, Or even just the colour you have used. You can add to these by including Ilove or I heart or use emoticons. EG #ILovePink


Day 3- #Monochrome (Post on Fri 3rd of March)

Simple, black and white. Photography, paintings, charcoal drawings, sketches- so many options with simple monochrome. Stylish outfit inspirations, funky manicures, chess boards or 1950s themed kitchens and diners all pop into my mind when I think of monochrome.

Other # tags you can use include: BlackandWhite, Desaturated, Vintage, Classic, ShadesofGrey.


Day 4- #Filter (Post on Sat 4th of March)

This should be a nice easy one to do! Pick a photo and slap a filter on it! There! Done!
No? Prefer to make it more complicated? Well you could use an actual camera filter, or even a clear coloured sweet wrapper over your camera flash (but not the lense) to create some stunning effects. You don't necessarily even have to use a photo filter. Make some art with a coffee filter, or do some stamping with a cigarette filter. Take this and do with it as you wish!

Other # tags you can use include: Photography, Warm, Cool, or even the name of the filter used.


Day 5- #Nofilter (Post on Sun 5th of March)

This will be a simple, unedited, unfiltered image. You could be super brave and take a nomakeup selfie and have no filter. Pure You! Or you could find a scene so beautiful it has no need for meddling. However you approach this one, try not to get too caught up in everything looking perfect.

Other # tags you can use include: Raw, Pure, Unedited, Photography, Photos.


Day 6- #People (Post on Mon 6th of March)

This can be covered so many ways! A self portrait, a photo of your family or favourite people, a photo of a crowd. Or you could use this to inspire a painting, collage or other creation. You could collaborate with other people to create a joint piece, or use the tag to make a political statement. A quote, a statement about human behaviour. Make it look pretty, and get sharing!

Other # tags you can use include: Myfavouritepeople, Family, Friends, Gathering.


Day 7- #Animals (Post on Tues 7th of March

Whether you are an animal lover or not, this one will get a few views to your page. You could create something  using your favourite animal print, or take a stunning photo of your pets. Head outside into nature and wait for the perfect closeup shot of a squirrel or some insects if you're brave, or even take a trip to the zoo. You could do a bunny or chick manicure in time for Easter, or cut some paper to make a nice silhouette of your favourite creature. So many cute options to finish the week.

Other # tags you can use include: MansBestFriend, Nature, Catperson, Dogperson, Closeup, Bunny.

Remember!

Don't stress out about this! It's all meant to be a bit of fun, and if you can't create something on any particular day, have a dig around your library of images. If you are anything like me, you'll have a collection of snaps that you have nearly used before, but didn't quite! One of them will do rather than nothing! If you miss a day, just start again from the next available day. Easy!

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Monthly Challenge! #31DaysOfMarch17

Hey guys, as I'm sure you can see from my last post I have been more than a little inactive recently. I would like to say I haven't had the time, but in all honesty, I have just bee really lazy! Well, working, doing up the house etc etc, but lazy in terms of being creative and blogging.

Anyway, I thought I would try to bounce back and decided to start off with a monthly challenge for March. I would love for you all to join me, as I think that if this was done on a mass scale, it would really help our stats and also allow us to discover some new blogging or Instagram friends.

This challenge is one that can be taken whether you are a blogger or just on Instagram. I'm sure you can even take part with your facebook or twitter pages too, if you like. Whatever your platform, I would love you to take part using the hashtag #31DaysOfMarch17

I have compiled a list of the overall weekly layout so far- it is a rough list, literally scribbled down for the sake of getting the idea onto paper, and not in any order yet. Be kind.


I will be posting the night before the beginning of each week (beginning on Wed 1st March) with a more detailed view of the weekly topics, with some suggestions on how to incorporate them into a creative photo or post. Of course, it is completely up-to you how to do this to tie in with your blog or Instagram theme or personality. I will order them to get the best possible results out of this- we want to swamp the feeds daily with our posts. Create a trend, maybe? If enough people take part, the sky is the limit! Please feel free to comment with an adaption to the list that you feel is missing!

How Does It Work?

  • The generic hashtags used each day means that our posts will be seen among the sea of others. Even among such a large group of people, at least a handful of our posts will be seen. As they click through to load more posts, they can also see our #31DaysOfMarch17 and click through there too. Curiosity will be our main factor in getting more traffic.
  • We will inadvertently be linked to each other, and will also be checking the 31 Days tag each day for inspiration and to see how other people are interpreting the daily prompt. We will probably end up making more blogging friends and followers as we discover others whose style we love. Sharing the love! 

How Do I Take Part?

  • Check this blog each Tuesday to find out the topics for the week ahead. (or take the full list, which will be added to a future post in a much nicer format than my scribbles) You can follow by email on the right hand side there, or all the other logos are linked too. take your pick!
  • Use the prompts as a starting point to create an image or a blog post for the day. Make sure it is fitting with the theme and style of your page so to attract the right audience moving forward. You can take part on your blog, or your Instagram page, or a combination of both. It is up to you what to post for each prompt, and be as creative as you wish! 
  • Post your pic with #31DaysOfMarch17 and also use the hashtag of the day, among others, to get your post seen. So, for example, on day 1, the theme is multi colour, so you would use #Multicolour as one of your tags when posting. 
  • Watch the traffic grow- this may not happen straight away, but by the end of the month, you should see more impressions, more views, more clicks, more likes. However you measure your page reach, you should see improvements. 
  • While mentioning any other blog or page isn't mandatory, it would be nice to share a little love- you could link back to this blog..... aherm, you know, if you want to let others know how to take part :) You can also Tag other bloggers who may not be taking part as a challenge for them to do so, or even mention other's who's attempts you have particularly liked.  You can put as much, or as little effort into this as you like. 
  • It would be also really nice to choose a few of the daily posts and leave a little comment once in a while. Again, not mandatory, but it would be nice :) 

What's In It For Me? 

  • Inspiration: A reason to create/ take photos/ post/ write regularly.
  • Increased Traffic: Probably. Hopefully. If all goes to plan!
  • Support: If everyone is as nice as I think they are, you will see the online community come together to support each others creations. 
So that's my proposal so far! I would love for this to inspire a lot of you, and look forward to browsing the results as they start to come up. Next, I will be working on the weekly lists and posting some ideas on how to move forward with them. Please feel free to share this with your friends, family, followers and anyone else you think may want to take part, or who may just like snooping other peoples creative stuff ;)

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    Monday, 13 June 2016

    Melts Monthly Subscription Box- June

    I realise it has been almost a month since I last posted! I promise I haven't been abandoning the blog, but I have had a few bulky home improvements going on, and I'm  now decorating, so have been rushed off my feet between that and working. I'd love to say its nearly done, but there are a few rooms yet to go! Anyway, I thought I would pop on and let you know what I thought of my latest subscription box!

    As we all know, I absolutely love receiving things in the mail. Whether it be postcards, letters or packages, I am always keen to see what the Postman has brought me.  I also LOVE candles and having my home smell amazing.

    Well, Last week I received my June Melts Monthly Subscription Box! Yay!!! I had subscribed near the end of May and this was done on the website as a pre-approved payment on Paypal. A kind of Direct Debit. Almost. And I can cancel any time.

    Costing just £10 per month, you receive 8 full size wax tarts which usually cost £2 each, and from what I have seen a little bonus too! Great bargain as postage is included in your payment, so I had to give them a go!

    The box was made up of 8 full size wax tarts as well as a little tester package of mini melts. For those who have missed a trick, wax melts can be used in an oil burner or electric wax warmer and release a strong scent around the home. You can find out more about melts and how to use them here. 

    Packaging was cute and quirky, and it all arrived intact. It also contained a little description of each scent which was rather useful when trying to figure out exactly what made these melts different from other brands. There are some wonderful combinations happening in this box! The scents were all really summery and gorgeous- Im sure this will change along with the seasons. Of all of the scents, there was only one that I wasn't as keen on, but thats just personal preference.

    As the melts are made of soy wax, they melt very quickly compared with, for example, yankee melts, but I am glad to say the scent lingers for hours. From just 1/4 of a melt, I got 3 hours of a well scented burn! And, even after the scent had died down, there was no awful burning wax smell that is typical when you have burned normal wax melts. They are really easy to break into quarters, which I like to do so I can use the same scent in different rooms and also because I want as much out of them as possible!

    I will be keeping this subscription going and hopefully manage to resist burning them all straight away so I can have a nice wee collection!  I have already taken advantage of the discount code included in the package and ordered another 10 melts- oops! I would love to be able to buy the Lime, Basil and Mandarin scent as a candle, but I haven''t been able to find this on the website so far. Fingers crossed it will become available soon.


    The scents included in the box were:

    1- Lime, Basil and Mandarin
    "Top notes of Sicilian lime and zesty bergamot blend into a juicy heart of nursting ripe mandarins, basil and sharp green velvet"

    This was my partners favourite as it was a very citrusy smell, which was quite strong and it is a lovely fresh and vibrant smell- perfect for the season. 

    2- Chocolate Macaroons
    "Chocolate Macaroons with hints of spice makes this scent almost good enough to eat"

    This is the scent i'm not actually too keen on as I don't like "foody" smells, but I will definitely use it as I'm sure it will be pleasant when it burns. It is a very sweet smell, and definitely chocolatey. 

    3- Sweet Pea
    "Sweet floral fragrance with notes of sweet pea, rose and hyacinth"

    Such a lovely floral scent that it feels as though you are still sitting in the garden. It actually smells of flowers. Not in a fake way at all. 

    4- Verveine
    "A lovely uplifting scent, Verveine blends the fresh citrus notes of sparkling verbena, orange and lemon."

    Another Zesty little number, this is one of my favourites and was absolutely perfect after having had a spring clean. 

    5- Rhubarb & Blackberry
    "Based on a classic English crumble of custard, vanilla, rhubarb and blackberries, this scent is a sweet and fruity delight"

    Another sweet smelling foody-inspired scent, but this one is much more to my taste. I think the berries help to even out the vanilla tones, and it definitely make for a lovely scent when it burns.

    6- Lavender
    "A luxurious and relaxing fragrance capturing the distinctive and soothing smell of fresh lavender"

    Quite a cool, almost masculine scent. Even though you can definitely smell the lavender, it isn't an overly floral fragrance. 

    7- Japanese Zen
    "A fresh blend of cucumber, wasabi, grapefruit, guava and lime"

    A more subtle zesty scent, but it was definitely there along with another fruity scent which is identified on the card as grapefruit. This scent could easily be put into shower gel! Its so fresh!

    8- Night Jasmine
    "A seductively lush perfume of water jasmine, sweet honeysuckle, neroli, gardenia and orange blossom."

    A complex floral scent as there are definitely a few flowers to identify in there, but the combination is perfect. Not too strong and very natural smelling.

    9- (Bonus Melts) Strawberry Rhubarb
    "A perfect fruity fragrance combines freshly picked strawberries and pink rhubarb"

    These gorgeous little shaped individual melts are set with glitter and they are my favourite scent of the batch. So sweet and smell like candy, I'm saving these for best!

    If, like me, you love candles and you also love a little monthly treat, check out the Simple Candle Co website here.  I've heard that all new subscribers in July will receive a free wax warmer! And just incase you happen to want a flame free warmer, heres a link.

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    This has been an unpaid, unaffiliated review and I purchased the items myself. The review is based purely on my own experiences.

    Tuesday, 17 May 2016

    Yoohoo! Mail Subscription Box- May

    Apologies that I haven't shared this post sooner- I have been a  little under the weather, but on the mend now, thankfully!

    Today I am going to reveal the contents of the wonderful Yoohoo! Mail subscription box that I received for May. It had an incredible 29 pieces in it! OK, it may not be officially 29, but one of the items was a gorgeous 10 piece writing set, so I have included that in my count.

    As you all know, I received the Yoohoo! Mail box in April and was so pleased with it, I have decided to keep ordering. I must point out that I have bought these items myself, and I am blogging about them purely because I love them, as is always the case (so far) on my blog!

    So the theme for May was "Wanderlust" and it is easy to see the correlation across all of the items. I was surprised to see that the designs were not necessarily a typical mismatch of "holiday" items such as buckets and spades, beaches and air-planes, but I was really pleased that the designer has taken a different approach.

    This box contained 3 gorgeous little Typographical postcards. Really simple black and white background patterns with bold circles of pastel colours and "hello" written in 3 different languages- Can you tell what they are?

    As we all know, I love sending letters and postcards, so these will definitely come in handy!


    There are also 2 fabulous prints in the box, one which is a kitsch illustration of a hot air balloon and will tie in beautifully with my craft room- yay! And another which is really simple handwriting with some highly detailed floral illustrations on a white background. I was surprised to receive 2 prints, and I really like them both.



    There were some lovely little list cards- I would use them while travelling to write the day's itinerary on- I'm hoping that was their purpose, but you can use them however you like. There is another little list- a packing list- and I will definitely use this for my next trip!


    As usual, there are 5 greeting cards with corresponding envelopes and on great quality cardstock and papers. My favourite design this month has to be the unicorn, but it is closely followed by the "bon voyage" card that shows the vintage suitcases.


    To finish it off, we have a lovely little writing set that I will be using soon when writing to my penpals- yes, I have penpals, and no it's not sad! #SnailMailRevival If you are thinking "what would I do with a writing set, then please see this hub. 

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    Wednesday, 4 May 2016

    Sugar Skull Lino Prints

    So as we saw in my latest Work in Progress... Post, I have been working on a lino print of a sugar skull. Well, it isnt lino exactly, but a much more futuristic and fabulous material called adigraff- it cuts so simply and is a dream to work with- I would recommend you give it a try if your into printmaking.

    I underestimated just how long the print would take to carve out, but I am really glad I took my time with it. I have printed at the moment just in black and white and have experimented with a few nice colours for the background. I will be experimenting digitally later on, as well as trying some prints onto patterned paper and collage prints, but for now I want to share my favourite simple colour print. It is perfect for my craft room, and ties in the skull theme from the lounge in a gentle way.



    I'm not quite sure where to hang it, but the blue wall is winning ever so slightly...

    I also done a simple black on white print onto a canvas that I had nearby, and I really love the little imperfections that are shown from the printing process. My mind has been running with what to do with it now. I'm torn between colouring it with bright acrylic paints or really sparkly, brightly coloured glitters! What do you think? Sparkly or bright? Spaaaarkly??? or Briiiiight? Time will tell!


    I really like the way the print has transferred onto the fabric that I may just have to try printing it onto a top or even a little shopping bag... Watch this space....

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    Sunday, 1 May 2016

    Craftseller Focus: Ash Beads


    I have had to sit on this post for some time as I was buying as a present for my Mum. Since my Gran died, we have been unable to let go of her ashes, so I thought it would be nice to put them to some use and get a little keepsake made for Mum's birthday. This also means that if we do decide to spread the remaining ashes anywhere, my mum will still have a little part of her close-by. It may seem a little sombre, but I think it is a really lovely way to hold someone close to you after they have passed.

    I had never thought anything like this existed and it wasn't until Ash Beads were recommended by a friend that I even looked into the idea.

    What I found was absolutely stunning bespoke jewellery made from ashes- be that human or pet remains, you can actually have a gorgeous pendant or bead made. I also found that the prices were very reasonable when compared to other ash jewellery makers out there, and the quality and workmanship truly spoke for itself. Even if Ash Beads were more expensive, I would still buy from them rather than competitors, who charge 6 times as much for what looks like costume jewellery.

    Anyway, I digress.

    There are lots of options on the website. You can get beads made for Pandora style bracelets, or cabochon setting pendants, or the simple globe style bead pendants. The round pendant I chose for Mum was a medium size. Surprisingly, the price is the same for a small, medium or large pendant and you can opt to include a matching chain. I didn't buy the chain simply because my mum has a fairly strong neck, so we went for a thicker, more robust chain from elsewhere to prevent her losing it.

    The pendant itself looks like a little mini earth, which is quite fitting really- your world around your neck. The colours are gorgeous- aqua blues, greens and the texture is added with the ashes themselves, all sealed in glass to keep them safe.

    The owner of Ash Beads, Merry, treats the whole process with the utmost respect, consideration and love. The overall impression of this lovely lady is that she really wants to help people with her talent. She asks that you send a little story about the person or furry friend in question, along with a photo, and even some music so that she can channel all of her energy into making the best beads possible after getting to know the person behind the bead a little better. She is also very careful throughout the whole process to ensure that the remains are treated with care and consideration, and any leftovers are returned.

    Overall, the process was quite simple. Merry kept me informed the whole way through, and even despite a delay with me posting the ashes, I received the bead in plenty of time for Mum's birthday. She also included a little extra gift in there, which was so thoughtful! I really didn't expect it, and can only think it was maybe a trial run or a slight misfire?- Merry really is a perfectionist with her art. Either way, I was more than pleased with my little extra! It also gave an interesting view of how differently these beads can turn out- the different thickness of swirls and the different colourings. Both are beautiful, though.


    There were some additional charges from customs, so I would bear this in mind if using the service- allow an extra £35-40 for VAT charges on receipt of the item.

    All of the organisation and forward planning was definitely worth it as my Mum absolutely loved her present! She actually has not taken it off since she received it.

    I would highly recommend Merry's service to anyone looking for a unique memento of their loved one. There are also options of having bulk batches made, so if you wanted a fitting gift for family at a memorial, these would be ideal.  Or if there were a lot of siblings who couldn't agree on a location for the spreading of the ashes etc, they could each have their own little trinket. I think this would especially be great for families spread across the world.

    You can order your very own Ash Beads on the website here.

    You can also find the business FBpage by searching "Ash Beads" on Facebook.

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