From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A sailors' valentine is a type of antique souvenir, or sentimental gift, originally brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea for his loved one between 1830 and 1890. Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8" to 15" in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.
Although the name seems to suggest that the sailors themselves made these objects, a large number of of them originated in the island of Barbados, which was an important seaport during this period. Historians believe that the women there made the valentines using local shells, or in some cases with shells imported from Indonesia, and then the finished products were sold to the sailors.
Today, antique sailors' valentines are collectibles, valued for their beauty and unusual qualities. Collector interest has sparked a resurgence in sailors' valentines as an art form, and shell kits and patterns are now sold at craft shops.
Spent a few hours this weekend, surfing the web for shells and nautical bits to use with my collection on old things to construct my entry. The web searching sent me into my own workroom to clean and re-organize. Not quite finished with the overhaul yet, but I did fins me pretty pink shells that I want to work with and lots of collage paper to make into ephemera packs.
I've also heard through the grape vine that Somerset Studio is doing an Alice in Wonderland theme challenge as well. I suppose I should check into that as well, especially since last weekend was our Mad Hatter, Merry Un-birthday party. Waiting for my brother in law to send over some more pix.
I suppose, I should get back to work....