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.