Sunday, August 2, 2009

sailor's valentine

I've been thinking about making something for the CPS sailor's valentine challenge this weekend. so with the wheels in my mind turning I've been doing some research about what exactly they are and how I can create some with my little twist.

Sailor's Valentines

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....


QueenBe said...

I'm sure whatever you come up with will be amazing. can't wait to see it! The originals are really works of art.

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

I've never heard of sailor's valentines before...what an interesting theme. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

ArtSnark said...

You are so great with bits & bobs - can't wait to see what you make

Peggy said...

I have one of these that was from my great grand father! It is almost identical to the one in the picture that shows the words spelled out and the heart on the other side. I'm so happy to have found information on this. His ship went down on a trip from Newfoundland through Bermuda. This is one of the few things we have left from him.