I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 22, 2016

a Sailor's Valentine

Hello! "Hot enough for ya?" It's 97 in the city, only 80 here, but there's a crazy gale wind blowing from the south today. Hot wind, about 40 mph sustained! At 4 o'clock Mo and I tried to go out to sew on the deck. The wind captured my Watermelon-block pieces and hurled them off into the air. Mo gave chase, I hobbled after and together we rescued the prepped pieces. But didn't last long, just too windy.

The other day when I showed you all the tiny shells found on my early summer beach, Mel and I talked about making sailors' valentines with the shells. Briefly these were a supposed craft made by whaling ship sailors to bring home to their sweethearts as gifts. Truth is, they were an island craft and sold in places like Barbados. Tacky souvenirs were just as popular in 1840 as in 2016! This way the men could drink their rum and sleep off-shift and still have something to show for their time at sea. Now this shell art is very prized and costly, both antique examples and new versions.

For awhile I made some Sailors' Valentines. This is the only one I still have.

I loved making the Valentines but at that time the hexagonal/ octagonal boxes were not available to buy [and my dad totally refused to make me some!] and I had no outlet like etsy to sell them. Instead most were given as gifts or simply discarded and I stopped making them.

The box is decoupaged and distressed,

...the inside holds two Valentines. I used a faux scrimshaw carving and an old faded sepia photo, added tiny shells.

I especially love the little rosettes, a motif often seen in the old Valentines.

This is the companion box, a small Shaker-style oval box, also distressed and decoupaged. It contains only memories.

Just a peek, my Whalies! For P2. They too got frazzled by the wind earlier....

Have great weekend!



gone to the beach....

PS Look who is visiting! This is the Twins, so I am hopeful the other friendly but much tinier visitor is my Kitty, their mom. They are all part of our local neuter and return program. The neighbors finally realized that the small colony of feral cats cuts down on rats, raccoons, possums, etc. The cats are good neighbors.


  1. Love the valentines! Beautiful. The whales are spectacular as well!!

    1. Thanks! Aren't the Whales fun!

      ps you re a no-reply blogger so I ll respond here unless you want to send me your email. Thank you for commenting!

  2. Your Valentine is very pretty, so many tiny shells! I bet that took a while to make.

    Sorry to hear the wind tried to steal your sewing! I'm glad you and Mo were able to rescue the pieces - I hope that didn't bother your hip too much. Your whales are adorable!

    Also nice to see the kitties are still around. The twins are beautiful! I've always had a fondness for black kitties...okay, pretty much ANY kitties!

    It's 91 degrees here right now and supposed to get up to 95, not counting the heat index! I'm glad you get the cooler breeze from the water. Since it's too windy to sew, maybe you should break out that kindle for your deck time today!

    Take care!

    1. Too hot even to read, tho I ll sit out later when it s shadier. Dry heat so not so bad but Mo can t be outside in it.

      If I d known about your special 5000 Glue the valentines would have been a lot easier to make. I think I used Elmers,and each row would take days to dry and be secure.

      You know how I love the kitties! I do miss Stripey tho, I love[d] him. I hope he just moved on...

      stay inside, stay cool! as if you d do anything else,lol.

  3. Mr Precious Paws - those eyes say it all! The whale appliques are so sweet. Is the child in the pic of the valentine someone you know? very pretty.


    1. The photo is one from my'' anonymous children'' photos collection. It reminds me of pix of my dad as a little boy.

  4. Your Sailor's Valentine is charming, I agree, the rosettes are lovely. Great little story.

    It had become hot here too. I became very attached to frozen gel packs;) I was taking them everywhere...almost ;)

    The whales are adorable. It's going to look great.

    Makes me happy to know that your community is embracing the kitties. Good to see them looking healthy.

    Hoping you are improving, even if just a little. Take care.


    1. I still love this Valentine, guess that s why I saved it.
      The gel ice is a great idea, I ll remember for the flea. Right now I have to ice my hand every day and the gel wrap I use IS very cool and soothing. It does help hand / arm pain too, sometimes my wrist and hand are very swollen. [I suppose that s how my hip joint would look if it were more visible, hahaha. Best not tho.]

      You know I love the kitties and the reversal of my neighborhood's anti-cats policy is such a wonderful thing. Tho no new kitties have come in the past two years. Guess Kitty & the Twins have the area covered.

      thanks for good wishes, I think I m doing a bit better each day!

  5. I love the sailor's valentines! What a fun way to use your shells (and your imagination!)!

    Talk about using what you have at hand (no pun intended).

    Mo looks dashing as ever and would be a perfect focal point on a similar project!

  6. Love your sailor's valentines!! So many lovely details.
    Your P2 is looking great! Love the whales.

  7. Oh they are lovely! I remember reading an article about them in a magazine once and was very intrigued. If my sailor came home smelling of rum, I wouldn't mind one....LOL :) Kit


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