Monday, August 11, 2014

A Sailor's Valentine - The Sewvivor Nautical Challenge Post

Here it is!! So so excited for the big reveal!!! My handmade Sailor's Valentine!!! What is a Sailor's Valentine? Let's break down.

Per wikipedia, sailor's valentine is a form of shell-craft, a type of mostly antique souvenir, or sentimental gift made using large numbers of small seashells. These were originally made between 1830 and 1890 and they were designed to be brought home from a sailor's voyage at sea and given to the sailor's loved one or loved ones.

I thought long and hard to select a great pattern and this Wheel of Fortune block by Wombat Quilts definitely called out "ship steering wheel meets compass star"- super nautical in my opinion.

As for the fabric selection- whew, what a process!! I tried to have each print represent something I felt was nautically themed:
  • Yellow prints represent the hot sun
  • Black prints are the night sky
  • Linen reminds me of bon-fire smoke
  • That Lizzy House print is for seaweed
  • Pink wood grain is for drift wood
  • Heather Ross seahorses are for, duh, seahorses!
  • The background blue is for the ocean
  • And to tie it all together- those steering wheel

I really wanted to create a real wooden frame for this piece and though I got mad love from my Home Depot visit- I apparently suck at math- angles are NOT my thing! So, a fabric wood fame was created and I just LOVE IT! I painted a few shells and added a sand dollar as my center piece.

I had a lovely photo shoot with my sweet friend Ale!! Even though our sunny Portland day was a wee be bright I think we got some pretty good shots.

This little gem is up for sale in my etsy shop. A wonderful woman Anne,was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 28. She just had a modified radical hysterectomy on August 7. All funds will go directly to Anne. If interested, please help Anne raise money for her medical treatment by visiting here.

And now... VOTING!!! Go, go go go vote right HERE for your favorite nautically themed piece. I hope you enjoyed seeing my Sailor's Valentine, there are so many amazing projects! Only 8 will make to the next round!!! EEEEEEKKKK!!!


  1. Wow! A lot of thought went into this one! Great job! I am speechless.

  2. This project was so creative Jessica! You did a great job and I love the wooden frame, too too perfect! Your little sailboats give the whole thing that little extra pop!

  3. The homemade frame is great, I'd love to know a bit more about how it was made. 10 make it through if that makes you feel better!

  4. I adore this. I love that you thought outside the box. I love that it's mixed media. And I love that you're selling it to raise funds to help someone else. You're just too too lovely!

  5. I love this so much, the colours are so bright and beautiful! The design is perfect and the fact that you're selling it to raise funds for someone, well that doesn't surprise me one bit! Fantastic!!

  6. I love the colors you used, and the meanings behind them!

  7. This is just amazing, Jessica! I literally love everything about about it!

  8. Such an amazing piece of work! And the addition of the seashells, fantastic!!
    I love love love your colour palette and how it all pops off the "wooden" frame!
    Awesome, just freaking awesome.

  9. Wow - this is really clever. I hope you make it through because you clearly have a unique way of reinterpreting ideas and I'm keen to see more. I voted for you.

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE your project! You put such a unique spin on everything you make.

  11. I love the colours and gosh it's so darn romantic! Good luck x

  12. I didn't know about this kind of valentine before--how sweet! I love that you recreated one. Your fabric choices and shell additions are spot-on. Good luck!

  13. First off, your blog is a really cool place to be. I love the look of it! And your valentine is such a great idea. The colors, the shells, it's all perfect!

  14. great project! i love the colors and i loved learning about a sailors valentine-- what a cool thing. good luck!!