Three ways to turn photos into confectionery and satisfy a sweet tooth

Normally, the focus of this blog concentrates on preserving memories stored in digital files and spaces.

This post is a little different however because I’ve been researching suppliers who print images and messages on chocolate and other delectable goodies. A fun way to capture and share memories!

Here are three companies that print photos on confectionery and also deliver internationally.

OriginalBoomf

I love this UK based service which allows you to print images – from Instagram, Facebook or your camera roll – onto marshmallows. Marshmallows arrive in boxes of nine and cost £15, €20 or US$25 per box and come in double vanilla or strawberry flavours. Worldwide delivery is free!

Cocoagraph

Another service which is very creative. This service offers custom photo bars and chocstagram Instagram bars which are both stunning and delicious, the chocolate being provided by Guittard Chocolate Company.

Cocoagraph is US based and will ship internationally but they recommend that you drop a line to them first to confirm that customs in your country will accept the delivery. According to Cocoagraph once processed, delivery of an order to Australia will take 3-7 days depending on Australian customs. Packages are shipped via DHL International.

M&M’s

M&M’s offers a personalised service that means you can add images and messages to this familiar and hugely popular candy. In one order, you can select up to three colours, one image and four text messages (9 characters max) and the design process is very straightforward.

For international orders, M&M’s only ships customised candy with images and text and do not accept orders of ‘My Teams’ (NRL sports branded M&M’s) or personalised Packaging for personal use.

International orders take approximately 2 – 3 weeks for processing and shipping and are delivered by Fedex.

Legacy Tip #3: Have a good system for managing photos, make sure you back up!

Previously, I wrote about my own challenge with photos and how sorting through and archiving them was difficult. One of the main lessons I learnt through painful experience was that it was important to give some thought upfront to a filing system and not make it up as you go along!

Mara Morrison, Co-Owner with The Filing Fairies, a company that works with clients to organise their photo memories says that people often are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start when it comes to managing and archiving photos. This could be because of the multiple boxes of old prints, slides or negatives lying around or the sheer number of devices and images they need to gather together and work through.

Here are 5 top tips from The Filing Fairies to think about when managing photos to make sure that you hold onto important memories.

  1. Check your camera settings: having the correct date on your images will save you time and energy in the future when organising.
  2. Delete the dodgy ones straight away: resist the urge to keep all your images and be conscious that a bad photo is just digital clutter.
  3. Have a place for everything so everything can be in its place: whatever filing system you use, be consistent and make sure everyone knows and uses it.
  4. BACK UP! Wherever, however – just do it!
  5. Make it a habit: just like your lawns, your photos deserve your efforts with maintenance. If you stay on top of it you can keep organised in just 30 minutes a month – promise!

Related reading: Sorting out photos requires a good system.” Tips to get it right from the get-go.

Legacy Tip #1: Plan what happens to your Facebook Data and Profile

facebook_legacy_memorialisation_friends_change_digital_afterlifeFor anyone located in the US, Facebook has introduced Legacy Contact, a set of features that allow a user to nominate a friend to manage their account, albeit in a more restricted way, after they die. A Legacy Contact is able to update profile photos or add new friends and family contacts in memory of and on behalf of their deceased friend. Importantly, a user can also indicate whether or not they’d like a copy of their Facebook data to be downloaded by their assigned contact or alternatively instruct Facebook to delete their account after their death.

For everyone else, Facebook memorialisation is an option but this process can pose issues as guest blogger Nicole Wright points out. Here are some thoughts on how to preserve your personal history and avoid it from being lost or locked into the social networking site, so you can reminisce over fond memories in years from now and also share these with your loved ones when your time comes.

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A fun idea for turning photos into wall art

Having organised photos and set up a system for keeping memories updated and easy to access, I’ve been looking at ways to display photos of events and loved ones. I’ve been struck by Author and Photographer Beth Jennings and her philosophy when she said “the planning bit is not the fun bit. The fun bit is commemorating lives. Once you’ve done the cataloguing, you can get on with the remembering.” The better half and I have moved house recently and considering the walls are still quite bare, we’ve been considering options to fill them.

I was recently introducPreserving_memories_with_digital_photo_arted to PosterCandy, an Australian service that allows users to take a selection of their photos to build and create posters. It’s relatively straightforward and easy to use, offering standardised poster templates ranging in size from 18x24cm to 84cmx119cm that you can populate with your images. The end result is a type of photo mosaic.

There are some customisable options such as colour of poster surround and flexibility around the number of photos that you can include within the poster. But it’s your images or photos that make the poster striking. You select photos either by uploading from a folder from your laptop or device or alternatively by directly uploading images from social media accounts Facebook and Instagram. Then you drag and drop them into your chosen template, moving them around until you have the result that you’re looking for.

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Sorting out photos requires a good system

photos_digital_afterlife_memories_organise

Organising photos is a challenge. It’s easy to capture spontaneous moments that hang around in a phone or somewhere in a laptop folder to deal with another time.

Years later, you have pockets of squirrelled away memories on multiple devices and in boxes under the stairs. These are accompanied by a growing unease gently etching away in the back of your mind that sorting out these digital and print moments in time is a task that a) is going to be overwhelming or b) is likely to be insurmountable and won’t get done at all.

Maybe that was just me.

I smugly say ‘was’ because after years and months of procrastination, I finally got around to organising my hoarded past. It was about a year ago that I started the process, organising through 40 years of family memories after DBS died. Here are some thoughts on how to go about it if a similar project has been quietly nagging you.

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Three important reasons to plan and organize your digital afterlife

Emily Baxter from www.awayforabit.com offers her views on why it’s important to plan a digital estate as part of a featured post on PassingBye. Read the full feature on PassingBye…

We spend a lot of time online. If recent reports are to be believed, Australians spend close to one day a week online while the Brits are estimated to spend one day every fortnight on the same activity. In the US, it is thought that the average user spends closer to two days per week either on mobile or digital media.

Which ever way you look at it, that’s a lot of time spent online which is spent communicating with others on social, commenting online, banking, shopping…. Then there’s the plethora of accounts and communities that a user signs up for. For instance, people on average have at least two email accounts and depending on the research you read, about twenty five apps that they have downloaded onto their phones. That is a significant number of companies and communities that individuals are engaging with.

Given the general trends of more time spent in the digital universe, it’s worth thinking about the footprint you will leave behind when the time comes. Here are three important reasons to consider planning and organising your digital afterlife.

Ownership of digital assets are not automatically transferable to next of kin

Who actually owns digital assets is a key yet unclear issue in today’s estate and legacy planning as a recent news story with Apple highlighted. There was a hoax story a while ago in which Bruce Willis was suing Apple because he wouldn’t be able to pass his extensive iTunes collection on to his children when he died. The story was bogus but as Paul Gordon, Associate for Finlaysons, a national law firm in Australia points out, the issue is real.

“Often when you ‘buy’ music online what you are actually acquiring is a licence to listen to it, rather than buying the song itself,” Gordon points out. “That licence may come with restrictions and may not be passed onto your next of kin when you die (i.e. a ‘personal’ contract). These issues aren’t going to go away and I’m sure will come before the courts in the coming years.”

Digital providers will not just hand over access to personal data or information of the deceased unless there’s a legal requirement to do so as their position is to defend the privacy of the account holder, in death as in life.

Damin Murdock, Principal Lawyer of the MurdockCheng Legal Practice based in Sydney suggests that when writing up a will, individuals remove any ambiguity about how they want their digital information dealt with upon their death.

It’s also recommended that you identify a system for storing sensitive information confidentially that can be passed on to next of kin. There are many options for doing this, involving legal representation, an online service or both.

Digital memories don’t last forever

It’s important to plan to capture memories and conversations as part of digital legacy and estate planning. Our new digital identities mostly exist in the hands of third parties and for many these days, memories reside in email and social media. Our mementos of events are digital photographs, or a casual comment posted online. These seem fleeting in the moment but can quickly gain significance as life changes occur. While we assume their digital nature makes them always accessible, they may not end up being everlasting.

Recently I wrote about how I’ve changed email accounts from Caramail to Hotmail to Yahoo to Gmail for social use – in the last fifteen years. Unfortunately, when trying to look back at past conversations, some of these accounts are now lost or no longer accessible which means that a large swath of my history is lost, not only to myself but to anyone who I might have passed a curated version to.

Today Facebook and Gmail might seem immortal, but there’s every reason to question whether they’ll still be around in a decade. Or whether they’ll make it easy to uncover these past memories. Their purpose may be entirely different.

The speed in which technology platforms change means that it’s important to have a way of archiving conversations as they happen. While I’m not suggesting that every single personal email conversation must be stored, this recent experience has highlighted the value of a system to continually capture personal messages and notes.

Digital gives you the opportunity to shape your legacy

The explosion of digital services means that there’s a wealth of opportunity for every person to shape their legacy and the way that they would like to be remembered. For instance, services offering the ability to leave personal messages for next of kin to communicate last wishes or words of comfort, can provide tremendous support. It’s a reminder that they were loved.

At the same time, people often have an insatiable desire to find out more about loved ones who have died, even if they believe they know them well in the first place. It’s common to hear stories of mourners piecing together strands of a life story in the same way they would a jigsaw puzzle by looking through old photos or having conversations with friends or family of the person who has died.

A digital afterlife plan which includes memories and mementos, photos or correspondence can help next of kin, family and close friends to remember the good times and provide support in what will likely be a tough, emotional time.

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This feature was originally posted on PassingBye.

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