Traditional Sailor Valentine made in antique vintage shadow box!

Everything happened by luck and chance…This is an exiting story that began with the opportunity to find an old antique octagonal shadow box during a garage sale. The box was empty, dark colored with antique gold embellishments decorating it. The owner tells that he remembers having this box for many years in his home and that he received it from his parents. They never used it and just kept it in a hidden and locked dry location. The box’s condition was good for its age and my initial instincts were to use it in its original, unrestored form. Even the glass which covered the box was in good condition.
I never dreamt of making my own Traditional Single Sailor Valentine especially inside the original vintage box…It was an amazing experience.
I had enough time to make my own unique artwork and send an application for it to be featured in the artistic professional category at the 2013 International Sanibel Seashell show. This was my first time having an artwork in this category of the show.
I began my work with a huge amount of drawings on regular paper, looking for the best design for a Sailor Valentine. I also studied the book Sailors’ Valentines, by John Fondas and checked the list of seashells and sea life which is used in traditional shell octagonal shadow boxes as reference.
My work was featured in the number 73, artistic professional category and won Third place Yellow ribbon award during a prestigious Sanibel, Florida Shell Show 2013!
“To My Sweet Heart With Love Always”.
Size : 12 ¾” x 3 ½ “ 12 ¾”
This Valentine was made in an original antique octagonal box using a limited amount of seashells and crab eye seeds, which were also used and described in the traditional Valentines. The shell mosaic includes
geometric patterns, shell flowers and a sentimental message.


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