Libby Kettlestring recently made the ultimate decision to move her family to this region. She is a devoted mother who used to lay in bed at night dreaming about a career that would fit in with motherhood. Find out how her dream has become a reality.
When and why did you tree change to Invergowrie?
Four years ago we escaped the Sydney rat-race of both parents working long hours and putting a toddler in full time day care. We knew we wanted a bigger family, but couldn’t afford a stay-at-home-mum or the cost of day care for two kids. It was time to fulfil a lifelong dream of owning a cow!
Tell us about your family …
Alan has been in the printing trade for 20 years and manages the Armidale branch of Shout Graphics.
Five-year-old Hamish is looking forward to Kindy in January and Georgia (better known to her big brother as The Little Ratbag) is just two.
We love our five acres, and our family also consists of four cats, four sheep, three chooks and that dream of mine, a pet cow named Bella.
I have a secretarial background; however, I’m currently working part time as a Finance and Admin Officer, which gives me a great balance between having to work and being at home with the kids.
What made you start up belly casting?
I had a cast done by an artist friend in Sydney when I was pregnant with Hamish.
Not many people from Armidale have heard of pregnancy belly casting, so the idea of Baby Bumps was nurtured – with the view of giving other people such a wonderful memento of this time in life. After lying in bed at night dreaming about it for four years, it’s a thrill to have made it a reality.
Where did the original idea of belly casting come from?
The art of body casting has been around for decades all over the world and with that came the spin off of just doing the pregnant belly and breasts.
When is the casting done?
The optimum time for a belly cast is 35-38 weeks, when the shape is fully defined but it’s still possible to sit still for up to an hour.
What else do you cast?
Kids’ bottoms, belly bowls and breasts. Newborn hand and feet moulds will be available soon.
‘Botty casts’ are a great idea for kids who can lay still for 20 mins, ideally age 3+. Hamish is very proud of his hanging in his bedroom – especially because he designed the artwork.
A belly bowl is a more modest alternative to a full breast and belly cast, and when it’s sitting on the coffee table it can become a wonderful talking point!
A breast cast done prior to a mastectomy can be a very fulfilling experience for a woman, as well as her partner. Some women have a breast cast done after giving birth, when their breasts are bigger than they’ll ever be post-breastfeeding (I wish I’d thought of that!)
Describe the materials you use and the casting process?
I use plain sorbolene and a medical grade lubricant (which any mum-to-be is at ease with) so the plaster doesn’t stick to the skin, and the cast is done using pre-impregnated Plaster of Paris rolls, which are cut to size.
The whole process of a belly cast from shoulders to hips takes approximately one hour. The process is simple; I arrive at the client’s home (where she is relaxed in her own environment) we discuss the casting position, whether it’s going to be seated upright, leaning back or standing up, and then we begin.
The shoulders, breasts and belly are covered in a layer of lubricant before I dip the plaster sheaths in warm water and lay them on. Four layers of plaster later, the first has almost dried and will have usually come away from the skin itself (that feels REALLY weird!).
When the whole thing is dry enough to touch, it lifts off. The client is then free to wipe off any residue, but this is best achieved by having a shower.
Breast casts and belly bowls generally take 30 mins and botty casts around 20 mins, with both using the same method outlined above.
Plain white casts are delivered within 7-10 days; this allows up to four days for the plaster to set (depending on the weather) plus time to seal and prime. Delivery for decorated casts varies from 10 days to 3 weeks.
How does one book in to see you?
My website is the best way for contacting me and gives an abundance of information on what’s available, as well as answering some frequently asked questions. Visit www.babybumps.net.au or email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, I’m more than happy to have a chat about it and can be contacted on 0418 673 506.
Thank you Libby.