Every day I receive phone calls from friends and family of the bereaved looking for a meaningful and enduring sympathy gift alternative to sympathy flowers. Many choose personalized wind chimes, a gift that is universally appreciated. Recently I spoke with a very kind woman who lost her adult son and wanted to create something very special in his memory, for herself and also to give to his brother and sister. I could tell they were a very close knit and religious family. Without revealing her intentions she asked her two children to provide her with scripture that would be especially meaningful to them, in memory of their brother. She placed their special scripture on these wind sails, and also added symbols that had personal meanings within the family. On the second side, she added her son’s name, and other meaningful symbols. For her chimes she chose Woodstock Amazing Grace chimes, which are often used for memorial purposes. She presented her children with their wind chimes a few weeks ago, on Easter day. I felt honored to have met Dorene and her daughter in person, and to have played a small role in the creation of her chimes — which we all agreed were a beautiful and lasting tribute to her son.
Today, with the advent of digital technology, many remembrance gifts (eg., sympathy gifts, memorial gifts, and all-occasion gifts) can easily involve photographs – either digital photos or old photos that have been scanned – of people and beloved pets who share(d) a life’s journey. If you’re taking a new photograph to create a photo gift, choose a simple and appealing backdrop…with a focus on your subject…watch out for shadows…strive for high contrast with crisp, clear details…and leave yourself enough room to crop to have an interesting outcome.
A revolutionary new technology now makes infusing images, graphics and texts into leather possible. Unlike traditional transfers, this is a permanent process, and images will not fade, scratch off or wear off over time. The technology powering it is the result of over ten years of research and nearly three dozen patents worldwide. And, it speaks to the design industry’s trend toward personalized home decor.
SmArt Leather Designs, a Michigan company, is creating leather portrait pillows using this technology. Leather portrait pillows featuring images of young children, and pet photo pillows are among our most popular!