(clicking in the pictures will enlarge it for better viewing)
I’m still waiting for my new valentine box. The dealer emailed me and said it still hadn’t been shipped yet. It seems to me that I would have received it by now, but then I’ve never been very patient at waiting. I’ve ordered from this person before so I know the quality is good. The box is a handcrafted, glass covered octagon and it does take time. In the meantime, I’m taking a look at the first two real valentines I completed.
The first box was an unfinished front-loading box. A front-loader is a box that you work from the top, inside the octagonal frame. The walnut stain color and the clear polyurethane I chose was to enhance the white roses. I know it looks pink but then photography is not my strong suit. I had just learned how to make seashell flowers so these roses are a little rough. To make this look more traditional or at least filled in, I need to add something. I think it’s pretty, it just isn’t right.
A true valentine has a geometric pattern that this one lacks. I need to add something to create that geometric appearance. The space is small and cramped but I’m sure I can do it. I’ll have to take a picture of my shell space. I have something like a hundred and fifty varieties. I was ordering wholesale so that translates to thousands of shells. So I should be able find the necessary shells to correct this. I hope. I just want to use care because I don’t want to ruin the valentine.
This is the second Sailor’s Valentine I made. My husband had wanted to make a valentine so he purchased shells that he liked. After examining the shells, he realized he would not be able to create a valentine. He has a vision problem and wears incredibly thick glasses and he’s color blind. So I inherited the box and shells. The problem came in with interpretation. He wanted me to create what he visualized but I couldn’t.
This box is a back-loader and I prefer it. A back-loading box means the back is removable. I traced the frame so I would know where my shell edge would be. I also marked the top one section so that I would remember the original position of the frame. After deciding my design on paper, I marked the center of the wood then lightly drew my pattern on the wood. I have no idea how others create their valentines, I can only do what works for me.
I played around with the shells for a couple of weeks before I settled on a design. In the center are dark blue mussel shell flowers. The dark pink flowers surrounding them are dyed fish scales. Both are fragile and delicate. I had to replace a couple of the mussel shell flowers because I broke them.
I like the overall design and color choices. To me it looks light and delicate. The outside pattern is fish scales with spirula and tiny, dyed purple shells. Forgive me, but I absolutely cannot remember the name of those purple shells. Guess that’s what happens when you get my age!
The problem with the outside pattern is the fish scales. They were white until I glued them, then they became clear and do not show up well at all. I think I need to add to this section, maybe something darker to enhance the center.
So while I wait, I’ll fill in my time improving my art. I’ll take more pictures when I’m finished. I have plenty to keep me busy until my box gets here.