So, I saw this challenge, and was intrigued to try it out... As I am no papercrafter, this may not have been a brilliant idea. I ended up making 2 ho-hum shrines, out of boxes that previously contained staples, and were 1/2" x 1" x 2". Neither one made me very happy. What I really lacked was the proper inspiration. I finally found it when contemplating "my Valentine", my husband Jim. My amazingly supportive husband and I have been married nearly 3 years, and have been together for almost 6. I'm fairly certain we each tell the other "I love you" 30-40 times a day. I've never met anyone who I felt truly loved by; who loved me every single bit as much as I loved them, and is never afraid to tell me so. I'm told I'm beautiful every day, and while we've had our disagreements, I can't say we've ever really fought with one another, despite having lived together from nearly the day we met. He is my Valentine every day, and every night.
As I dug out all the paper and supplies in my stash, I came upon the perfect items to pair with the inspiration from my beloved, an entire envelope of papers from our wedding! James and I were married in the Historic Lincoln Hotel, in Urbana, IL. It is a crazy cross between a Tudor castle and a Bavarian hunting lodge, complete with suits of armor, crystal, and Tudor arched fireplaces. The lobby walls were even covered in crewel-worked fabric. My 5 year old nephew/ring bearer flipped out, thinking he'd been transported to Hogwarts! Despite the "lush" look of the hotel, it was a very DIY kind of affair, that cost next to nothing for the wedding. Since we are not religious, Jim's best friend from high school even served as our "minister", and married us. If you're interested, you can see pictures of it here
. Anyways, onto the shrine!
The whole shrine measures measures 2" x 3", x 1". Much of it is inspired by the style of our wedding, and the rest on our relationship in general. The outside is made of cardstock that closely resembled the embroidered fabric on the walls in the lobby, and features a postcard of the hotel from the 1930's that my parents found in an antique store. I scanned and trimmed it down. (It's 1" wide!) The gold ribbon around it was wrapped around the stems of our bouquets, which I made myself.
The back of the outside features one of the seals we used on our invitations.
The drawer pull is a vintage button, with a heraldic image of hunting dogs on it, since the hotel featured many items made from antlers & horns, including an awesome antler chandelier!
When you pull open the drawer, you find... A pile of surprises for my sweet James, including a silver heart cage, a teeny photo album, the pin from his boutonniere that I made, a paper crane, a fortune from a cookie we got at the restaurant we held our rehearsal dinner in, and the extra link to a bracelet his mother gave me that I wore that day.
The tiny silver heart cage contains a button from Jim's coat that day, the head of a pin that was in my bouquet, and a piece of rose quartz (the "love stone") which is said to bring gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance.
A teeny paper crane. James and I were very broke, for a very long time. For the first several years we were together, we would often make one another pieces of origami because we couldn't afford gifts. This one is in his favorite color, and was made with a square of paper 2" x 2".
The world's tiniest photo album, full of images of the day before, the wedding itself, and the day after, all of which were spent with our friends and family. (It measures 1 1/5" square, and each photo is 3/4" x 1"!)
(Me dancing with the ring bearer, and Jim dancing with my mom)
The inside of the drawer features a postage stamp we used on the invitations & response cards, the handmade white paper was what was behind the vellum in our invitations, our names cut out of the vellum, a piece of sheet music since Jim did the music for our reception (with assistance from my uncle), a crown for the king of my heart, and a 2, for the two of us.
A detail shot of the left wall, with a cuckoo clock charm, reminiscent of the hotel's antique German furnishings, and the idea of savoring all the time we have together.
The sides of the drawers are covered in a Celtic knot work pattern, as a reference to Jim's Scottish heritage, and my Irish heritage.
The back of the drawer features an "Alphabet for Life"
Jim and I didn't want a big expensive wedding. (In fact, the whole shebang cost under $5,000!) We knew we were already married to one another in our hearts, and that our wedding day was simply a time to throw a lovely party, and be surrounded by our friends and family. That's exactly what we did. I don't think either of us stopped smiling all day, and we frequently say to one another, "Hey, you know what? Our wedding was awesome! Let's do that again!" Now my sweet Valentine can relive it whenever he wants with his very own shrine.
Happy Valentines ladies!