Ashley and I have collected and given each other some strange things over the years. I once topped a present for him with a dried up frog I found stuck to the side of a pool while on a shoot upstate. In return, he carried a couple of lizards back from Florida after a visit to his mom's. We both appreciate creatures in all their forms and I thought for this Valentine's Day, I would clean up our small collection and showcase it a little better. I used a set of discontinued Martha Stewart shadow boxes so they could be properly displayed. Along with the dried frogs and lizards, I glued the best of all the insects we've acquired into a different box.
We also like the more traditional collecting of shells and stones, driftwood and coral fragments, sea glass and bits of worn rubbish that can be found along the beach. Two trips to the Bahamas have accumulated into a big box of ocean odds and ends. After organizing it all, I laid out a specimen box full of all the little things we collected from the sea. I love looking at it all in rows on the pale blue linen. There is so much white, bleached from the sun, yet hints of every color, some natural and some completely synthetic. The ombre of sea glass, the line of snail shells, the plastic army figurine, the ceramic A (for Ashley) that I happened to score washed up in the sand and the fuchsia color of coral that adheres to almost anything—all together under glass, closed in a box forever. The warm memories of a summer trip are safe.
Happy Valentine's Ash and 8th anniversary too.