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Shopping for a Display Case

When I married my husband, the two of us went on several shopping trips. During these shopping excursions, we looked for beautiful pieces of furniture to fill our new home with. At one store, I was drawn to a lovely oak, curio cabinet. After spotting this item of furniture, I instantly knew I wanted to display my extensive doll collection in it. Do you have a large collection of dolls, model cars, model trains, or snow globes you want to proudly display? Consider shopping for the perfect, stylish piece of furniture to put your beloved things in. On this blog, I hope you will discover smart tips to help you shop for the display case of your dreams. Enjoy!


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Shopping for a Display Case

The Sailor's Valentine: The Perfect Crafting Project This Spring Starts With A Custom-Cut Mat

by Eli Schmidt

In the early 1800s, sailors would return home from the sea with intricate Sailor Valentines for their sweetheart. The American and English mariners were particularly intrigued by these unique pieces of art, and would often bring them back from the Caribbean, where they were made with native shells, seeds, sand, and beads. These vintage Valentines are coveted by collectors and can be worth a lot of money, though the art of making these pieces of history is making a comeback.

To make your own Sailor's Valentine, use the following crafting tips:

It all begins with the mat. Historically, the mat replicates the shape and appearance of an old boat compass. This octagonal-shaped matting serves as the border for your Valentine, which is then filled with the adornments to create the finished artwork. Talk with custom framers about octagonal shaped mats that suit the desired size of your own Valentine.

Check out framing options. The traditional Sailor's Valentine was often enclosed in a framed-box with a hinged glass door, which serves to protect the display although open-faced frames are also used in making these intricate pieces of art. These are more commonly found today in frames minus the glass front, which allows room for the affixed shells and such.

Arm yourself with the right adhesive. Get the right glue to ensure your baubles and embellishments will withstand the test of time. A spray adhesive seems to work best, although a simple crafting glue will suffice.

The message has meaning. Often a Sailor's Valentine conveys a simple message, spelled out in seeds or shells. These affectionate, endearing sentiments are reported to be how the Sailor's Valentine got its name, as they are given to someone dear as an expression of love.

Add a photo. Sailors would often use black-and-white photos of themselves or their sweetheart in the center of the Valentine. This is then bordered with seeds and shells to create the impression of an intricate and finely-detailed frame.

Use notions that reflect the ocean. Sailors would use seeds, shells, and sand from the many ports and destinations that they traveled to. Today, crafters can buy these implements from arts and craft stores or sites to garner the specific style or design that they are looking for.

Create a contemporary variation. You can create your own contemporary spin on this traditional art using glass beads, buttons, and even tiny tiles. This is a great craft to complete with kids, using items found in your kitchen pantry! Consider different shapes of pasta, rice, and even spices to garner the desired effect.

Crafting your own Sailor's Valentine is an easy and fun process, and giving one to someone dear is truly an expression of love. Visit crafting and framing stores, such as Hoosier Highlander, for custom-cut octagonal mats to begin your own collage of seeds, shells, beads, buttons, stones, and more!