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 Tips #5-9: 5 ways to make sure your digital life is not locked up online (podcast)

facebook_digital_afterlife_what_happens_when_someone_diesAway For A Bit spoke with Damien Carrick on ABC Radio National on legal and practical considerations for managing a digital afterlife and legacy.

Gaining access to an individual’s online accounts (social networking, email) after they die is often impossible, although in some cases, next of kin have fought for access via the courts. As the podcast demonstrates, they do not always win.

Here are five recommendations from the podcast to avoid your digital life from being locked up online.

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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 #2: Register online accounts with personal email address & keep contact details updated

protect_legacy_email_social_online_accountsFor personal online services such as for banking and financial, registrations to social media accounts such as Facebook and LinkedIn or other entertainment/lifestyle memberships where digital assets may be stored (i.e. your Apple account with iPhoto or iCloud), always use a personal email address for the sign-up process as opposed to a company email address or someone else’s contact details.

It’s a practical and basic rule but it means that you keep control over the sign in process as well as management of the account and the data it contains.

Why?

If a person leaves a place of employment and their work email is associated with their online services, they may have access issues later.

When someone leaves a company suddenly (i.e. in the case of redundancy), it’s likely that the business will cancel the email address if not immediately, then very quickly for security reasons.

In the event that an employee is working through a notice period before leaving the company, there’s still a chance that updating social media and online registration details with a personal email address may be forgotten with the distraction of other handover tasks.

This generally means that when that person leaves the company, they won’t have access to the email account for any correspondence from online subscription services but more importantly, they are unable to reset usernames and passwords for online services that rely on email, as well as a response to the emails they send, to identify an account holder.

Next of kin will have issues accessing a deceased person’s accounts if they are associated with a work email address. 

Even the most sympathetic companies will not (or in any event are extremely unlikely) to allow next of kin to access the deceased’s email account for privacy and security reasons.

Whether or not next of kin or close family and/or friends have access to the deceased’s usernames and passwords, if the accounts they are trying to enter are associated with a work email, they still won’t be able to access those services that rely on email and responses from the account holder’s email to confirm access rights.

Using an online service set up with another person’s details can lead to access issues and complications down the line.

Say a couple shares a household service which has only been set up in one person’s name. Should the person that registered for the subscription die, their partner may no longer be able to access the account. This is for the reason cited before — that digital services often verify access rights through email — but similarly, functions that we often take for granted these days such as ‘remember this password’ on devices means that the person who survived the deceased may not know relevant passwords either.

For shared household services, it’s wise to set these up using an email account that everyone within the household can access and document relevant passwords so that if the person who registered the account(s) leaves, it does not automatically result in discontinuation of the service.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that when someone registers for an online account, they are the one to accept terms and conditions as well as responsibility for it — including associated fees — even if the service is predominantly used by someone else.

As an example, if a son or daughter bought a mobile phone account or online media subscription for a parent but signed up for it under their own name, they would be liable for ongoing payments in the event their parent died during the fixed term contract period.

Legacy Tips: how to preserve your digital life and memories

Legacy tips - preserving digital life & memoriesThink forward 100 years in time. How would you like to be remembered by your family of the future? What is the lasting legacy that you want to leave behind within your communities? Are there memories you’d like to pass on as a record of how you lived and what you experienced? Traditions you’d like to share?

For some people, the value of legacy is sharing words of wisdom from experiences they’ve gained through the course of their life. One reader recently wrote to me about how he is digitising photos and correspondence that he’d received from his parents following the death of his father.

“Death erases people,” he told me. “I don’t want my Dad to be erased. There are lessons that he taught me that I want to pass on to my children for them to pass on in turn to theirs if they choose. A good start is having those recorded somewhere.”

The reality is much of our correspondence and memories — including photos –are tied up in email, social channels and across myriad online accounts. According to a recent survey, three quarters of Brits believe that physical letters and notes are the most heartfelt way to communicate but the reality is that we mostly communicate online these days, our histories now often guarded behind walls that we have to sign up to and into. And these digital assets are subject to different legal ownership rules that often digress from the laws we apply to dealing with our physical property.

Over the next few weeks, Away For A Bit will post a series of 50 Legacy Tips, short features that will provide practical guidance on how to archive and preserve your important online memories and history for future generations and for yourself so that these are not lost to the fast paced changes of the digital service industry. If you have any questions or suggestions for the series, drop a line to emily@awayforabit.com.

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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