The distant climes may us divide
to think on you shall be my pride
The Winds and Waves may prove unkind
In me no change you'll ever find.
A magic spell will bind us fast
And make me love you to the last
Let Cupid then your heart incline
to take me for your Valentine!

As a child, I grew up with the coastline of Southern California as my playground. I particularly loved to go and view the lovely creatures in the tidepools of Laguna Beach. There was a certain magic to the sights and sounds and smells of the sea. I grew into a teacher with an affinity for the mollusk family and all of their fantastic hues, shapes and whorls. Always drawn to the works of Ernst Haeckel, I appreciated his attention to fine detail and symmetry; how glorious all of those marine creatures appeared to me.

In the summer of 2006, my husband and I were planning a destination wedding to St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands. Of course, we had a shell theme… flowers were arranged in a nautilus shell, coral and seashell comb for my hair. I had this wild idea about carrying our wedding rings in a ceremonial display box and after some investigating came upon sailors' valentines. I contacted a few shell artists about their Sailors' Valentine boxes but they were not quite what I had in mind. I had outstanding guidance and the utmost patience from my good friends Rose Prestigiacomo, Sandy Moran and Judy Dinnick. Twelve years later, I'm still in love with the intricate and sometimes elaborate designs while creating Sailors' Valentines and lady's fancy work.