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Covid-19 Level 2 Plan

Covid-19 Level 2 Plan

Read Our Covid-19 Plan for Level 2

We are very pleased to have now moved to the level 2 stage of the fight against Covid-19. Although restrictions aren’t quite as strict as they have been, we still need to remain vigilant.

Here is an outline of how we plan to cater to the requirements for Level 2 while still providing a good customer experience.

In store visits

We still prefer to keep in store visits to a minimum. Our shop is not a wide open area which makes it difficult to maintain physical distancing requirements. It is best not to have customers in store for even a short period of time. All our products can be viewed online which makes it unnecessary to physically ‘browse’ in-store. We do not have a very big area of shop display space. Therefore many of our items are packaged and stored away in cupboards. You can still physically view a product that you have seen online. But please tell us before you come and we will have it out ready for your closer inspection.

Engraving services

There is generally no need for a face to face consultation. Simply attach details of the engraving required for each item. We always send previews of engraving before we proceed to make sure we get it right. But in the case of annual engraving of large quantities of trophies this would take too much time. We are depending on our customers to give the correct details. If something doesn’t look quite right we will check before we proceed. We can generally detect spelling mistakes. But it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure they give the correct information

Picture Framing

We know most of our customers prefer to come in store to view our frame samples. But this can take quite a bit of time and there just isn’t the space to maintain physical distancing requirements. However, it is possible for us continue to frame your pictures without the need for in store consultations. Send us a photo of the picture you want us to frame. We can do mock-ups of your picture in frames and mat boards that are most suited to the picture.

Design previews

This is a service we have been providing free of charge for a long time. With our experience in photo editing, we can do mock-ups of your items with your own pictures and text. We send these to you before we proceed, often with options of different fonts for you to choose from. In the current environment where most of our customer interaction has to be done remotely, we feel this service has us well prepared for a time like this.

Payment methods

Payment must be made before you collect your items or they are dispatched. Our regular clients that have a history of paying their accounts on time can continue to make payment preferably within 7 days or on 20th of the month following invoice. Payment can be made by direct bank deposit or online credit card payment.

Our prompt personal service which we are known for will continue

We do enjoy providing personal service to our clients and will continue to do so to the best of our ability under the current restrictions. We will have a table at the door which will help us to maintain the physical distancing while we chat. As many of us are aware, it is only natural to unconsciously step closer to one another as we talk.

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Covid-19 Level 3 Plan

Covid-19 Level 3 Plan

Read our Covid-19 plan for level 3

We are looking forward to being able to look after our customers again under the new Level 3 restrictions. However, there will be changes we have to put in place to ensure the safety of our customers.

Here is an outline of how we plan to cater to the ‘new normal’ while still providing a good customer experience.

In store visits
Because our shop is not a wide open area we have decided it is not safe to have customers in store for even a short period of time. Only pickups and drop offs at the door can be accepted.
To ensure your items are kept safe, please ring us and arrange a time to drop off items and collect them. Phone or text us on 021 228 5659 to notify us of your arrival. Do not leave items at the door unless we confirm we have received your message. We will not leave items outside the door for you to collect until you notify us of your arrival.

Engraving services
There is generally no need for a face to face consultation. Simply attach details of the engraving required for each item. We always send previews of engraving before we proceed to make sure we get it right. But in the case of annual engraving of names and dates on trophies we are depending on our customers to give the correct details. If something doesn’t look quite right we will check before we proceed. We can generally detect spelling mistakes but it is the responsibility of the customer to ensure they give the correct information.

Trophies and Giftware Purchases
As we have all our range available to purchase online, this is no problem. Many of our customers make online purchases without any personal contact. We have many years of experience in packaging and sending items around the country.
As many of you are aware, our trophy parts are interchangeable. So if you want your trophy a little bit different to what we have pictured online, we can assemble it and send you a photo.

Picture Framing
We can still continue to frame your pictures without the need for in store consultations. Send us a photo of the picture you want us to frame. We can do mock-ups of your picture in frames and mat boards that are most suited to the picture.

Design previews
This is a service we have been providing free of charge for a long time. With our experience in photo editing, we can do mock-ups of your items with your own pictures and text. We send these to you before we proceed, often with options of different fonts for you to choose from. In the current environment where most of our customer interaction has to be done remotely, we feel this service has us well prepared for a time like this.

Payment methods
Payment must be made before you collect your items or they are dispatched. Our regular clients that have a history of paying their accounts on time can continue to make payment preferably within 7 days or on 20th of the month following invoice. Payment can be made by direct bank deposit or online credit card payment.

Our prompt personal service which we are known for will continue
We do enjoy providing personal service to our clients and having the face to face contact. But to ensure the safety of our clients it is not possible at the current time. But we can still provide the personal service by phone or email whilst ensuring our customers keep safe and well looked after.

Your safety is our priority
This approach will mean we can keep personal contact to a minimum and maintain social distancing procedures. Doing things this way also means our clients will not need to touch any surfaces such as door handles, cash or eftpos machines.

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What is a Commemorative Plaque?

Commemorative Plaque

Commemorative plaques aren’t just tombstones…

Generally when people think of a commemorative plaque they think of the memorial plaques we see on tombstones or park seats. They are made for outdoor use to withstand the elements. However, the plaques we are about to discuss in this article are much more meaningful and unique. 

Our commemorative plaques are colourful memories

The commemorative plaques we make are quite different to the traditional memorial plaques. They tell a story. Your favourite photos and text are combined to create a unique and stunning picture. In addition, we can also add decorative elements such as clipart.
View an example of what we can achieve by combining all these details.

Remembering our loved ones

We are all accustomed to having a memorial plaque on the graves of our loved ones. But why not remember them in a positive way? The best and most positive way to remember our loved ones is photos of them at their best. Don’t just store those memories in an album.

Remembering favourite pets

For many of us, pets are like family. Therefore, their loss leaves a big gap in our lives. A commemorative plaque helps their memory to live on. Remember them with a photographic story of those special moments you had with them.

Commemorating special events and milestones

It’s not only about remembering our loved ones that have died. We all have many happy and memorable events that we’d like to keep fresh in our minds. For example, birthdays, weddings, sports events and graduation ceremonies. A plaque with photos and details of those special events will make those memories come to life.

How do we make our commemorative plaques?

Firstly, we create the design using graphics software like CorelDRAW or Photoshop. Then we send a lifelike preview to our client to make sure they are happy. Once the design is approved we proceed to print the artwork onto the plaque using the dye sublimation process. This is a complex procedure which involves transferring the design onto the plaque using a heat-press. Read all about how the dye sublimation process works.

Ideas for what to write

There are many quote ideas that are too numerous to list. Check out  Wise Old Sayings or Brainyquote for ideas. These sites have something for every type of occasion.

Conclusion

A commemorative plaque can be something much more meaningful than just words on a tombstone or a park bench. They might not be made to withstand the elements. But they make lovely keepsakes to display indoors. Above all, a printed commemorative plaque preserves those memories in full colour. 

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Lacing Needlework for Framing

Lacing Needlework for Framing

Why lacing needlework for framing is the best method.

We have always used the lacing method for needlework framing and always will. That is, unless some much improved and reliable method is invented. Although it is time consuming it brings the best results. The advantage of it is that the work can be easily straightened, and even moved slightly to get it even all the way around. Some needlework or tapestries can be quite distorted when they come to us for framing. This can be caused by the stitcher having an uneven tension. It doesn’t actually spoil the look of the needlework. It just takes extra time to straighten out but the finished result is very rewarding. By using the lacing method, we can stretch it this way and that until you wouldn’t know it for the distorted piece it was.

Some picture framers use the stapling method…

Staples are thicker than needles and will damage finer fabrics. They can pierce the thread and cause it to run like a ladder if it is fine cotton. Needles go through the fabric leaving little damage.  While thicker fabrics like those used for tapestries could withstand the stapling method, it is not a method we would use. Staples can also rust over time. We have reframed some pictures that have been stapled. If the staples have left rust marks, the only solution is to hide them with an extra matboard border or make the picture smaller. The extra matboard really enhances and transforms the picture. However, making the picture smaller would make it look rather inferior.

Adhesive mounting – a method that no professional picture framer should ever use.

We’ve seen a few DIY framed needlework that have been glued. Over time that glue can leach through the needlework leaving unsightly markings that will be there to stay. We call this kind of method ‘cowboy framing’. In other words, it is done with little pride and skill and a couldn’t care less approach.

Leaching due to adhesive mounting can be prevented if attended to soon enough…

If needlework that has been glued or mounted with adhesives is brought to us soon enough, it can be reframed using the lacing method used by professional framers. However, this is not possible if very strong glue has been used. The needlework is likely to become damaged when being removed. We can try to soften the glue by warming with a hairdryer. But it might damage the needlework. It would be done at the owners own risk. In fact it would be best left for the owner of the needlework to try this method.

In conclusion… taking shortcuts in mounting needlework for framing will never work.

While it may not be evident at first that adhesives or staples have been used, it will be discovered later. Unfortunately when discovered it might be too late. Leaching or damage from adhesives might have already left their mark.  Any picture framer that takes a pride in their work will not cheat or take shortcuts.  

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Nickel Versus Silver Plating

Nickel Versus Silver Plating

Nickel versus silver plating – the difference

You might have noticed most of our trophy cups are nickel plated rather than silver plated. Quite likely you’re wondering which is the best choice. We’ve done some research ourselves that we’ll share with you in this article.

Nickel plated trophy cups are more robust

A nickel plated trophy cup does not tarnish like silver trophy cups. They are less susceptible to the effects of exposure to the air which causes dullness and discolouration. This means they require less cleaning and maintenance.

Silver plated trophy cups are a traditional choice

For many years silver plated cups have been the popular choice. People like to stick with tradition. It’s part of human nature.  In the past, manufacturers made trophy cups with a thicker silver coating which could withstand many polishes. However, today trophy cups are much cheaper which has led to some manufacturers taking shortcuts.  Many only have a thin layer of silver plating which is not immediately obvious. However, it will become obvious when the plating wears through with overpolishing with harsh products. This has led to nickel plated cups being more popular.

Do silver plated and nickel plated trophy cups look different?

As you can see from the picture – no they don’t. The trophy cup on the left is nickel plated, while the other cup is silver plated. However, these are new trophy cups. Over time they will look different. The silver plated trophy cup will become tarnished when it is exposed to moisture. But once it is polished with trusted cleaning methods it will be restored to it’s original shine. The nickel plated trophy cup won’t tarnish and can be easily wiped with a cloth. No need to worry about using silver polish.

How can I tell if the trophy cup is nickel or silver plated?

It will not be immediately obvious if your trophy cup is silver or nickel plated. However, over time the silver plated trophy cup will tarnish if exposed to moisture while the nickel plated trophy cup will stay nice and shiny. Normally when you buy a new trophy cup, the seller should be able to tell you if it is nickel or silver plated. We have put our silver plated trophy cups and nickel plated trophy cups in separate categories so that you can make an informed choice.

Conclusion – it all depends on personal preference

The decision to buy a nickel plated or silver plated trophy cup is entirely up to you. If you like the traditional silver trophy cup which has been the tradition for centuries then that is what you should buy. 
Nickel plated trophy cups will save you a lot of work when it comes to cleaning and polishing. They are also the best choice for damp environments that cause silver to tarnish quickly.

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Keychain or Keyring – is there a difference?

Keychain or Keyring, keychains and keyrings

The difference between a keychain or keyring.

Is there any difference between keychains and keyrings? Well… yes and no. In the case of the keyrings or keychains that we sell, we think it is best to refer to them as keyrings. A keychain or keyring is defined as a small chain that connects a small item to a keyring. However, our keyrings do not have a chain. They are attached with a ring only.

The ring on a keychain or keyring is the most important part…

Without the ring or split ring there is no way you can attach it to an item. The chain is just the part between the item and the ring. A split ring is designed so it can be pried apart to slide the key or tag onto the ring. This operation is a tricky one. We find it helps to slide a thin knife in between the overlap to hold it open while you slide the item onto the ring.

How keychains or keyrings are used

Obviously they are normally used to attach to keys. But they have many other uses. They make great promotional tools and personalised gifts.

Keychains or keyrings for promotional tools

Many businesses use them as a way to promote their business. They get their logo printed on them to give to their customers. Our keyrings that can have a full colour image on the front and engraving on the back are perfect for this. If the customer attaches the keyring or keychain to their keys, they are constantly reminded of the company. It’s a great way to promote your brand.

Keyrings or keychains make great personalised gifts

They are an inexpensive type of gift that most people can afford. Because of their small size they are easy to ship to friends and family. Our keyrings can be engraved with a name or personalised message that will make the recipient feel extra special.

Correct use of the two terms is important

When checking out our competition we discovered many marketed their keychains as keyrings or vice versa. In some cases they had chains and sometimes they didn’t. They need to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. If you were looking for a keychain you would expect it to have a chain attached wouldn’t you? They probably call them that because it is a more commonly used search term.

A keychain is a term used in technology

In the case of its application in technology, a keychain is the system used to manage passwords on Apple computers. Little wonder it is such a common search term! But people who are searching for something to attach to their keys aren’t interested in such things. In fact they probably have no idea that a keychain  is used for that purpose. Well, definitely not the type of keychain they are looking for! However, there is nothing that can be done about this confusion. A keyring with a chain is best identified as a keychain. Like many words in the English language, they can mean different things!

Conclusion

If you are wanting to buy the type of keychain that you can attach to your keys or use as a promotional tool or personalised gift, it is best to search for keyrings. But if you want to know about keychains in technology it would be best to search for keychains. Although keychains are a more commonly used search term we’ll stick with calling our personalised keyrings exactly that. We want to provide our clients with exactly what they’re looking for.

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Why Name Badges Are Important

Why name badges are important,

Why name badges are important for every occasion

The use of name badges plays an important part in every club or corporate organisation. There are many reasons why they are a necessity in our everyday lives. Not only are they important for the persons that wear them. They are also important to the people they meet that will want to remember their names.

Easily identify and remember people at events.

Being able to easily identify people is a necessity at events where you meet a lot of people. With so much happening around you, it is hard to remember the name of everyone you meet. There is nothing worse than having to ask someone’s name when you only met them a few minutes ago.

Name badges for clubs

Sports and recreation clubs are always getting new members. It can be hard to keep track of everyone. New members will feel included and welcomed when themselves and all other club members wear name badges.

Use name badges as a marketing tool

The use of name badges for formal introduction puts customers at ease. Many customers are hesitant about asking shop staff their names. They feel they might be regarded as being too personal. Many of us know the experience of wanting to speak with a certain staff member. We will need to know their name so that we can tell staff who we are looking for. That certain staff member might have given exceptional service. They are your marketing tool!

Name badges for accountability

When your staff members wear name badges it makes them feel they are part of the team. They feel responsible to promote a good impression of the company. It makes them more aware of the way their conduct is seen by the general public. No staff member wants to let the rest of the team down with poor performance.

Conclusion

Whether you are a club member, team member, shop assistant or attending an event, wearing a name badge is a necessity. We have a wide range of styles of name badges. Whether it be an engraved name badge, or a name badge with your logo printed in colour we are here to help. We even have a custom designer tool for you to create your own badge online. You can buy name badges online from our webstore. If you have a large number of name badges required, talk to us about our bulk order discounts.

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Can Silver Plating Wear Off?

Can Silver Plating Wear Off

Yes silver plating can wear off. Some people will have had the experience of seeing silverware that has worn through. Others might not even realise it’s possible. Or else they don’t realise that the brassy colour showing through is the metal that was once covered by the silver plating.

Why does silver plating wear off?

Because trophy engraving is our main line of work, we see a wide range of silver trophy cups in various conditions. Some are only a few years old and the silver has worn through. We also see trophy cups that are very old and the silver hasn’t worn through at all. So we’ve done a bit of research to find out just why this happens. The silver plating can wear through on trophy cups for a number of reasons.

Firstly, don’t use toothpaste or any novel cleaning ideas

When doing research to find you the best cleaning methods we came across some shocking recommendations. For example, this blog about cleaning silver with household solutions such as ketchup or toothpaste shows just how misinformed some people can be. Tests like this don’t take into account the long term effects. They only go by the present results.

You’ve tried some novel idea and think you’ve got stunning results

You might have used toothpaste to clean your silver and not had any problem. So you’re wondering what the fuss is all about. But toothpaste can contain grit and abrasive substances that will wear the silver down over time. Each time you clean your silver using these novel methods you will be removing a small amount of the silver plating. Spare a thought for future winners. They will still want the silver plating on the trophy cup when their turn comes around.

Only use cleaning formulas that are made for the purpose

Keep the toothpaste for teeth. That’s what it was made for. The toothpaste manufacturers never intended their product to be used for cleaning silver. Therefore it has not been formulated with silver in mind. Silver cleaning products such as Goddard’s or Hagerty’s cleaners and polishes have been tested and developed over many years especially with silver in mind.

Cheap trophy cups have a fairly thin layer of silver plating

We often see trophy cups coming in to be engraved that have the silver worn through when they are only a few years old. It makes you wonder how they have deteriorated in such a short time. Even if they do have a thin layer they should last longer. We now believe those cups are the victim of cheap or novel cleaning methods such as toothpaste.

Trophy cups were made with a thicker layer of plating in early days

We’ve engraved a few cups that date back to the 1930’s that are in better condition than the ones that are only about 10 years old. In the early days trophies couldn’t be acquired so cheaply like they can today. They were made to high standards and built to last. Many of these older trophies would have come from England where only the best is acceptable.

Silver plating can be redone

If you’ve been unlucky enough to wear the silver through with harsh cleaning methods they can be replated. Professional electroplaters like Progressive Polishers and Electroplaters will replate your trophy cups with a heavy and durable thickness of 20 microns of pure silver. However, it is quite an expensive process that you’d probably only use for trophy cups of great value.

Conclusion

Finally, the best advice we can give you is to only use tested and proven cleaning methods. With proper care you should be able to make the silver plating last longer. Fortunately there are expert electroplaters available to restore your valued trophy cups if they’ve been the victim of misinformed cleaning methods.

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How To Clean Trophy Cups

How To Clean Trophy Cups, Trophy Cup Cleaning

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How to clean trophy cups.

Many of our customers have asked us how to clean trophy cups. It may seem a silly question but using the proper cleaning methods is extremely important. Sadly some have been over polished with harsh formulas and the silver coating has worn off. Therefore we’ve done some research so that we can help you care for your trophy cups using the right methods and products.

Why does silver become tarnished?

Humid conditions and exposure to the air for long periods it will cause silver to tarnish quickly. We keep our trophy cups packaged in tissue paper and plastic until we sell them. However, most people will want to show their trophy cups off. It is best to display your trophies in a glass cabinet. Putting a little bit of silica gel in the cabinet will help to reduce moisture levels.

How to keep silver trophy cups clean and shiny

Unfortunately there is no magic solution to keeping your trophy cups untarnished. But fortunately there are some wonderful products specially designed to restore them to a beautiful shine.  We recommend Goddard’s or Hagerty’s Silver polishing formulas. They contain a tarnish resistant barrier so you won’t need to polish so often.

Use silver polishing cloths instead of polishing formulas

It is important not to use silver polishing agents too often as they can wear through the silver coating. The tarnishing can usually be removed with a special silver polishing cloth. These cloths are specially designed to gently polish your silver without the need of harsh polishing agents.

Only use polishing formulas as a last resort

Some trophy cups can be so badly tarnished that they need a silver polishing formula. It is best to use the silver polishing cloth first. Then use a specially formulated silver polishing liquid for the stubborn areas.

Use a separate cloth for polishing formulas

Obviously, you won’t want to use your special silver polishing cloth to apply silver polish. You should have 2 polishing cloths for cleaning your trophy cups. Keep your silver polishing cloth especially for silver that doesn’t need any extra treatment with polishing formulas. Any soft cloth will do for applying polishing formulas.

What to do if the silver has worn off

Trophy cups can be restored by professional electroplaters like Progressive Polishers and Electroplaters They will replate your trophy cups with a heavy and durable thickness of 20 microns of pure silver. However, it is quite an expensive process that you’d probably only use for high value trophy cups. Therefore it is best to prevent the need for replating by using reliable trophy cup cleaning methods.

Nickel plated trophy cups

Today most cups are made with nickel plating rather than silver plating. They look just like silver cups but they don’t tarnish. All they need is a wipe clean with a cloth. Nickel plated cups are a good choice if you don’t want to spend ages cleaning them.

Conclusion

The life of your trophy cups all depends on using trusted cleaning methods and the right formulas. If you’ve been unlucky enough to wear through the silver plating it’s not the end of the world. There is a solution… at a price![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”mulled_wine” style=”shadow” border_width=”8″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Garden Plant Markers

Engraved Garden Plant Markers

Garden plant markers are a must have for keeping track of your plants.

Our engraved garden plant markers are made of durable UV resistant plastic and will stand the test of all weathers. They won’t crack like those cheap plastic markers and the names will stay there forever. It is very frustrating to discover that the vivid marker you used has worn faded or worn away. All you have left is a blank stick.

Garden Plant markers for vegetable gardens.

Many gardeners know the frustration of trying to remember which seeds they planted where. Once those seeds are planted it is impossible to even find them because they are so small. The only way to find out is to wait until they grow and can be identified. Plant identification markers are not only useful for the gardener themselves. Some of us rely on others to harvest our produce. Therefore, these people they will need to know where they are planted.

Help family members and friends identify your herbs.

There are many different kinds of herbs in people’s gardens and not everyone is familiar with them by name. You might be busy cooking and tell a family member to go and pick some rosemary. They have no idea what rosemary looks like and will probably bring you some basil. As a result you decide to not trouble them any further and go and pick it yourself! You don’t want these frustrations when you are in the middle of cooking a delicious meal.

Identify Spring Bulbs with labeled markers.

Those lovely spring flowers only show themselves once a year. The rest of the time they lie dormant underground. You don’t want to be digging them up by mistake when you’re weeding the rest of your garden. If you sell your property or rent it out the new residents might want to replant their garden. If the new owners love spring bulbs they will want to know where they are planted. Make it easy for them with engraved garden plant markers.

Enhance your rose gardens with named markers.

There are many rose varieties out there with exciting names. Therefore, it is important to make sure you do those lovely roses justice by having their names displayed. Using plant markers with the names engraved are a stylish way to identify rose varieties. Add interest to your garden with some engraved plant markers with the names in fancy and decorative fonts.

Plant identification is important to commercial growers

Farmers, market gardeners and plant nurseries all know the importance of plant identification. Furthermore, many have quite a number of employees working for them and are often getting new staff members. These workers will all need to know the names of the plants and where to find them.

Your hard work pays off when you utilise plant identification.

You’ve put a lot of hard work into planning, planting and nurturing your garden. Don’t let all your hard work be ruined by getting things mixed up. Most importantly, you need to have your plants easily identified so the weed trimmer guy or contract gardener doesn’t ruin them.[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”mulled_wine” style=”shadow” border_width=”8″][/vc_column][/vc_row]