Archive for February, 2014

  UPGRADES: Adding A Vase      

Even after walking through a cemetery or browsing images of completed monuments online, many of our clients don’t realize just how many customized options there really are when you purchase a monument. The specific type of “upgrades” available depends completed on the type of monument you are purchasing. However, one that applies to every monument we offer is  the vase. Whether you are purchasing a single flush marker or a large custom family monument, a vase can be added to the design and often helps to complete the look of the monument.

white angel with two vases

Should I Add a Vase?

When deciding whether or not you should add a vase to your monument, there are a few things you should ask yourself. The first and most important is: Am I allowed to add a vase? I have discussed the rules and restrictions that many cemeteries place on what can and cannot be used on plots within their cemetery. These restrictions may state that a vase is not permitted. Typically, you will find that cemeteries which only allow flush markers are the only ones which may have a problem with a vase being added to the marker. In most other cases, the cemetery will allow the vase, but may still have restrictions you will need to follow. Before going any further in the decision making process, you should first verify this information. Here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials, we typically advise our clients to not only request a complete list of rules and regulations PRIOR to purchasing a plot in any cemetery, but to continue to request a completed list on a regular basis. This will ensure that you are aware of all restrictions, even new ones which may have been put into place after you purchased your plot.

heart vases and die single heart with one vase single upright with custom vases

Once you have checked to ensure that you are permitted to add a vase, you should then ask yourself: Am I going to use the vase? Do you currently drop flowers off at your loved one’s resting place? If not, would you if you had a vase to place them in? It is also important to remember that you can purchase artificial flowers to place in the vase if you are concerned about the vases being empty in the winter or if you cannot commit to visiting the cemetery often enough to keep fresh flowers and do not want the real flowers to wilt in the vase. The artificial flowers that are available now a days look so real that this is an option that many of our clients choose. Also keep in mind that there are vase options which will allow you to only use the vase when you choose to, storing it away when there are no flowers in it. Continue reading for more information on these options.

 

 

What Type of Vase Should I Choose?

Granite Vases

In general, there are two types of vases to choose from. The first, and the most common, is the Granite Vase. These vases come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and can be added to existing monuments. Clients will typically place either one or two vases, depending on the type of monument and the space available on the base. A granite vase is stationary and will collect rain water. In order to prevent the water from freezing, expanding and then cracking the vase, each granite vase has a small hole in the bottom back to allow the water to drain. However, because the hole is not at the very bottom, the vase will still hold enough water to keep cut flowers fresh for an extended period of time. Because a vase is not typically required by a cemetery, it is completely up to the individual client’s preference.

Granite Vases

Something unique to the granite vases is the ability to add designs. From time to time, a client has a picture or lettering that they would really like to be included on the monument, but that just doesn’t fit with the layout. When this happens one option is to add the picture or lettering to the vase. As with any granite, the granite vases can be laser etched or sandblasted, depending upon the color. Below are two examples of clients who chose this option:

rectangle etched vases rectangle etched vases 2

 

 

Metal Vases

In addition to the Granite Vase, we also offer Metal Vases. All of our metal vases are designed to “drop down” in to the monument when they are not being used, as shown below:

bronze drop down

The plus side to this is that when the vase is not in use, you can flip it over and drop it down in the monument. The cemetery may have restrictions as to when the vase can be upright. As I mentioned earlier, it is always important to request a full list of their rules and regulations. As with the granite vases, metal vases are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, in addition to the typical colors, such as black, gray and pink, the metal vases are also available in colors such as green, red and gold. These colors allow for a bit of extra personalized touch. Unfortunately, it is not as simple to add the drop down vases to an existing monument as it is the granite vases, as a hole must be drilled in order for the vase to sit in the monument and drop down correctly. Therefore, we only recommend the metal vases for new monuments.

Metal Vases

Just as the granite vases have the unique option of being able to laser etch or sandblast an image or lettering onto the vase, there is a way to use the metal vase to add a little personality to the monument. Typically, the vase is either on one or both sides of the monument, or in the case of a drop down vase, it is placed in the center or in one of the corners. Instead of choosing one of  these options, you can also choose to have the drop down vase placed on the top of the monument. This option is especially useful if the base does not have ample room to add a vase on one or either side of the upright die. A picture of one such monument is below:

drop down on top of monument

For a full list and images of all of the vase options, please visit the Flower Vase Options page of our website at: http://mikeslaseretching.com/headstone_flower_vases.html

Contact us toll free at 877-836-0332 or by email at info@mlestones.com for additional inforamtion or to place your order!

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WHY BUY MIKE’S LASER ETCHING/SARTIN MEMORIALS?

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When it comes time to purchase a monument for your loved one(s), here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials, we understand that you have an overwhelming number of monument companies to choose from. Whether you are looking to purchase a monument from a local company or an online company, it can often be difficult to decide which company you are going to put your faith in to create the vision you have for your loved one’s memorial. Because this is an extremely important purchase, one that you want to ensure is done perfectly, it is important to know why you should choose one company over the others. In order to help you to understand why Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials is your best choice, we have come up with a list of the 10 biggest reasons you should purchase your monument from us.

 

#1- WE CARE Our priority is customer service! Please allow us to assist with creating a beautiful headstone to honor your lost loved one at their final resting place.

#2- SAVE $$$ We are a direct importer of headstones. By cutting out the middle man, we can offer a high quality product at a much lower cost to the customer.

#3- FULL SERVICE COMPANY The only thing we don’t do is cut the rock out of the quarry! We handle your memorial from start to finish!

#4- HUGE INVENTORY 700+ headstones in stock & more arriving every month! We offer the largest selection of in stock stones in the Tri-State Area!

#5- CUSTOM MEMORIALS If we don’t have the perfect memorial for your loved one in stock, we’ll get it! With our Custom Memorial Service, the perfect stone can be completed & installed in approximately 60-90 days!

#6- EXPRESS SERVICE Want it by a certain date? With our express service option your loved one’s memorial can be completed & installed in time for special life events (ex: birthdays, holidays, etc.), in as little as one week!

#7-GRAPHIC DESIGN Schedule an appointment with one of our Graphic Artists and they will turn your ideas into a beautiful custom memorial right before your eyes!

#8- ORDER ONLINE Save time & order from your home! Visit our website, sartinmemorials.com, select a memorial, then call or email us. We will work with you by phone, email, fax, mail….. whatever works best for you!

#9 SHIPPING Not Local? We can ship your memorial to any cemetery in the U.S.A., even Alaska or Hawaii!

#10 EXPERIENCE & KNOWLEDGE Owner, Mike Walter, has been in the cemetery memorial business for over 40 years. Mike & his knowledgeable & dedicated staff have the experience to get the job done right!

 

We have found, in speaking with our clients, that these 10 reasons were the biggest factors in their decision to work with us. 

To hear what our clients have to say about us in their own words, visit the Testimonials page of our website at: http://mikeslaseretching.com/testimonials.html

For more information, or to get started purchasing a monument, give us a call toll free at 877-836-0332, email us at info@mlestones.com or if you live in the Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, feel free to stop by one of our 5 display lots to meet with a representative today!

 

 

 

 

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Are you looking for a unique custom monument for you and your husband or wife, your parents or grandparents? Or even a family monument? Our India Black Triple Heart (Model # MK246) is the perfect stone for you! Visit our website at http://www.mikeslaseretching.com, email us at info@mlestones.com or call us at 877-836-0332 for more information on this monument or any other monuments that have caught your eye!

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Visit http://www.mlestones.com, Email info@mlestones.com or Call 877-836-0332 To Order Today!

What Do You Mean By “Custom Design”?

Anyone who has ever visited our website, (www.mikeslaseretching.com), will have seen that we frequently mention that we offer “Custom Designs” and “Custom Monuments”. So, what do we mean by this? The best way to explain this is by showing you some examples of custom designs and monuments we have created for our clients.

Custom Design

With the purchase of most of our monuments*, a custom design on the front of the monument is included. With a flush or bevel marker, there is only one side visible once the marker is installed in the cemetery, thus a custom design can be placed on this side of the marker. In the case of an upright or slant monument, a custom design can also be added to the back of the monument for an additional charge**.

Most often, a custom design will be laser etched, as the detail that is included can only be visible if the design is laser etched. While we have created custom sandblasted designs, it is important to keep in mind that a sandblasted design must be simple line art. Therefore, we are much more limited when it comes to a sandblasted design. Whether or not we are able to place a custom laser etched deign on a monument depends completely upon the color of the granite. In order to obtain the highest quality completed design, we recommend only our Jet Black granite, as it is the darkest black and allows even extremely small details to remain visible. Although it is possible to laser etch designs on our Midnight Black granite, we only recommend designs which are not extremely detailed and we rarely ever advise that a portrait be etched on the Midnight Black. For additional information on determining what types of design can be added to which colors of granite, visit our blog:

One of the custom designs which is most popular with our clients is one which covers the full monument. We frequently receive requests to create a scene using several images that the client has or has found on our website. An example of a design that I just created for a client is below:

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This scene was created using the below images:

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As you can see, we made several changes in order to create the final look the client was interested in. The background scene is a picture we found of a back road in Ohio, which is where our client is from and where Mr. Stanley often road his motorcycle on roads such as these. However, in order to use this image, I had to remove the person in the image riding a scooter. After doing so, we placed the image of Mr. Stanley in the background, adjusting the size and flipping it the opposite direction in order to ensure that it looked natural. We also added a slight shadow beneath the motorcycle, which also ensures the natural look of the image.

Keep in mind that the above design is the most extreme case of customization. We are also able to create custom designs using our own images and/or epitaphs and poems. Below is a perfect example of a customized monument:

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These are just two examples of custom designs that we have created for our clients. Each of the representatives at Mike’s Laser Etching/ Sartin Memorials are certified Graphic Artists. With the technology now available to us, we can create just about anything our clients are looking for. There is no better way to honor your loved one than to create a unique and personalized monument to be placed at their resting place.

Custom Monument

In addition to the custom designs we are able to create for monuments, we are also able to create a completely custom monument. We are able to do this, while still charging a reasonable price, because we work directly with the quarries and granite manufacturers. It is because of this direct relationship with them that we are able to work with our clients to create a sketch of the design they are looking for, and forward it to the granite manufacturer with the exact dimensions. The monument is then created and shipped out to us. Once it arrives at our shop, we then add the names, pictures and any designs that the client has requested.

Below is an example of a custom monument we ordered for a client:

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This is the concept created by our Graphic Artists, using the information the client had provided about what she was looking for. Once the client had approved the concept, it was forwarded to the manufacturer, along with the dimensions, to be created.

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The dragon in the process of being sculpted.

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The finished monument, after we had etched the image, name and dates.

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The front and back of a custom butterfly monument.

For more information on ordering a custom monument or a monument with a custom design, visit our website at http://www.mikeslaseretching.com, email us at info@mlestones.com or call us toll free at 877-836-0332. 

*Our clearance monuments do not include custom designs in the cost of the monument.

**Please contact us to discuss the addition of a design to the back of a monument.