It was Phoebe's 2nd birthday on Tuesday. I literally have no idea where the time has gone but am fairly certain that I must have spent a good 6 out of the past 24 months in some kind of time vortex. Phoebe is my third and final baby, my last pregnancy... It means so much to me to have captured that moment in time in the form of my very own pregnancy keepsake belly bowl cast and never more so than now, as it dawns on me that my baby isn't a baby any more.
I created my own belly bowl when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Phoebe and went on to use it in a newborn photography session with my friend and very talented photographer, Maxine Davies, when Phoebe was 8 days old.
Some months later, I revisited my belly bowl cast and was blown away by the connection I felt as I smoothed my hands over my precious bump, my 'Baby's First Home'. In between the seemingly endless demands of my three happy little hooligans I somehow found the time to artistically finish my pregnancy keepsake belly bowl cast in a simple gradient turquoise with drilled spiral detail. My belly bowl cast now takes pride of place in my home and is displayed on my living room wall alongside other precious keepsakes (and bumps... working as a belly cast artist inevitably means that my home is always full of bumps!). Phoebe loves talking about 'mummy's bump' and I enjoy sharing it with her and remembering the time we spent together before she was born, the connection we had even before we met and how I could sense the beginnings of her personality just from her movements and how she would respond to my voice and touch.
I only wish I had such precious keepsakes of my pregnancies with Alabama and Buddy. Pregnancy is such an amazing adventure and documenting your personal journey can be fun, exciting and sentimental. Baby scan pictures, pregnancy photoshoot, bump photo diary, pregnant belly bump cast - over the years I've even had customers combine the whole lot, having had their Rock the Bump pregnant belly casting session with me professionally photographed or filmed, using their Rock the Bump belly bowl as a prop in their newborn photoshoot and commissioning me to artistically decorate their bump cast with their precious baby scan pictures!
As the late Bob Dylan once said, "the purpose of art is to stop time", and creating an artistic pregnancy keepsake does just that. As I'm writing this by the light of my laptop, I'm also watching my baby sleep, listening to her gentle snoring and still secretly trying to work out how that 8 day old baby has just celebrated her 2nd birthday. My belly bowl cast will forever give me something tangible to hold on to as time passes, life happens and my children grow. It's something I will never regret having done.
A Rock the Bump pregnancy keepsake cast isn't just a plaster cast, it's a piece of art that captures a moment in time.
Just wanted to share some exciting news with you…I've only gone and been shortlisted as a finalist by a panel of judges in the MPower National Business Awards!
The Mpower National Business awards recognises and celebrates the achievements of women throughout the UK who are successfully juggling the challenge of starting and growing a business with family life.
Being a finalist means a lot to me firstly, because who doesn't like being up for an award?! secondly, because I'm a finalist in the 'Self Belief' category. This category recognises the dogged persistence that means you keep going even when the odds seem stacked against you. The commitment to keep going when there is no evidence YET that your efforts have paid off.
Rock the Bump pregnant belly casting is now in it's 4th year. I'm the busiest I've ever been, with women from across the UK choosing to work with Rock the Bump and the business expanding with the lovely Debbie having recently completed her training with me and now working as part of my team as a Rock the Bump Belly Cast Artist in West Sussex. I could have thrown in the towel more times than I care to remember but I've always held on to the belief that I could, and would, eventually build a successful business doing something I genuinely LOVE, creating beautiful belly bump and belly bowl keepsake casts for pregnant women.
The winners will be announced on June 23 at the Mpower Gala in London. Wish me luck!
If you’re a mum-to-be in search of some lovely keepsake mementos that can be treasured for many years to come and remind you of both baby’s first home and those precious early days join me at the Mothercare Poole Expectant Parent Event on Monday 30 April 2018 to find out more about pregnant belly casting and my fabulous new 'Baby's First Home' Keepsake Package. This bespoke package includes a Rock the Bump belly bowl casting session AND a Snug Creations mohair-silk, handmade to order, newborn swaddle set (choice of 25 colours with option of heavenly soft mohair swaddle wrap + bow tie/braided tie back headband or bow tie back), the perfect accompaniment to your precious baby’s newborn photography session.
Mothercare, Unit C1B, Commerce Centre, Poole , Dorset BH12 1DN
Monday 30 April 2018
FREE - BOOKING ESSENTIAL
Zoe Keeping - Artist/Owner of Rock the Bump pregnant belly casting, mum to three happy little hooligans, lucky to live with hubby and best friend Ryan in sunny, sunny Bournemouth. Love music, food, festivals, tattoos, real ale, camping, wildlife, flowers, birds, baking and art.