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One of my most cherished items

boxMatthew and I became engaged on Valentine’s Day eleven years ago so Valentine’s Day always holds a special place in my heart. But we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense – I love the idea of romance but I’m not keen on the commercial aspect of it.

Y’all will know how we live a green lifestyle and that includes not over-consuming so one of my most cherished items is something that Matthew made for me a few years ago to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the anniversary of our engagement using something recycled.

He got it from the local tip, not somewhere you would usually think of going to get your wife a Valentine’s Day present. But he knows how I love reducing, reusing and recycling and I LOVE that he gave me such a beautiful present that incorporates all these things.

I wish I had a picture of the original box to show you but it was a mess, covered in black paint with big scratches in the wood.

Matthew spent hours taking the paint off and then sanding it.

recycled oak box

He put several layers of beeswax on the oak until the wood shone.

inside the box

He cleaned and sanded inside and lined it with blue paper.

Yes, I may have a bit of a notebook obsession.

I’m careful not to tell too many people about that.

And then he had a friend make a beautiful inscription to put on the front.

The whole box cost pennies and brought back to life a box that was destined for landfill. I treasure it because it was given to me by my gorgeous husband and made with such thought and love.


Welcome to the Friday Club Carnival, a weekly carnival held here. This week’s Carnival is all about a cherished item in the home and here are the other entries in this carnival, there are some lovely posts this week. Tissues at the ready!

Making It Up gives us her favourite cherished items. Scribbling Mum tells us about her unique photo wall. Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family shares her family’s most Special Things. Make Do Mum writes about a precious item in Tick tock tick tock. Helen at Cheeky Wipes gives us her cherished item in Tables Aren’t Just For Eating At…. Maggy at Red Ted Art tells us how she made her DIY Hobby Horse. Snipsnaphappy tells us about her cherished item in My Granny’s needle. Tiddlyompompom tells us about Adopted Ted. Jules at I Need Curtains for the Window inside my Head writes about the pieces of jewellery that mean the most to her. Cara at Freckles Family shares A treasured possession. Mymumdom posts about A Small Boy’s Treasure. Updated: Domestic Goddesque shares her favourite maternity item.

Me and My ShadowI’m also linking this up to Magpie Monday at Me and My Shadow.

35 comments… add one

  • maggy, red ted art February 18, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Aaaah what a beautiful box and what a special gift! Wonderful!

    Thanks for another fab carnival theme!


    • ella February 18, 2011, 5:59 pm

      Thank you, and thanks for joining in x

  • Cara February 18, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Well, he’s a keeper isn’t he! What a beautiful, thoughtful gift. Something to be passed down the family too!

    • ella February 18, 2011, 6:00 pm

      One of my sons already has designs on it!!

  • Make do mum February 18, 2011, 4:56 pm

    Wow what a great job he’s done. I love it! Infinitely better than some shop bought tat.

    • ella February 18, 2011, 6:00 pm

      He really has, hasn’t he?

  • CherishedByMe February 18, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Oh that is so beautiful Ella, I can see why you treasure it so much, I would too. X

    • ella February 18, 2011, 6:01 pm

      Thank you, I will always treasure it x

  • liveotherwise February 18, 2011, 5:02 pm

    That is so beautiful! *And* you’ve filled it with beautiful notebooks, and taken lovely pics of it too. Swoons.

    • ella February 18, 2011, 5:57 pm

      Do I sense a kindred spirit in the notebook department? ;)

  • Wendy McDonald February 18, 2011, 5:11 pm

    That’s beautiful…what a thoughtful gift that you’ll treasure forever :)

    • ella February 18, 2011, 5:58 pm

      I really will :)

  • JMJast February 18, 2011, 5:34 pm

    This box is trurly beautiful, Ella. I love hand-made gifts, particulalry if they are made with the receiving person in mind. It’s a thoughtful and original gift. Great job!

    • ella February 18, 2011, 5:58 pm

      It really was an incredibly thoughtful gift.

  • Jacq February 18, 2011, 6:10 pm

    Oh it’s beautiful. Lucky you. Nice note books too.

    • ella February 18, 2011, 10:30 pm

      They’re lovely, aren’t they? :)

  • Jules February 18, 2011, 8:11 pm

    This actually brought a tear to my eye….what a beautiful, thoughtful, amazing gift! I also have a notebook obsession……I can’t even think how many I have now…..lol :)

    • ella February 18, 2011, 10:31 pm

      Oh good, there’s a few of us about then ;)

  • Scribbling Mum February 18, 2011, 8:12 pm

    That’s gorgeous, more so when you see the work that he put into it. I wish we were a little more like this :)

    • ella February 18, 2011, 10:32 pm

      It’s easier than it looks, and so rewarding to give pre-loved items a new lease of life :)

      • ella February 18, 2011, 10:33 pm

        I’m saying that as if I had anything at all to do with this project, which I clearly didn’t :)

  • Cheeky Wipes Helen February 18, 2011, 8:13 pm

    What a lovely box (and husband). Nice notebooks too…

    • ella February 18, 2011, 10:33 pm

      Thank you :)

  • Iota February 18, 2011, 11:04 pm

    What a fantastic present. Beautiful.

    • ella February 18, 2011, 11:29 pm

      I’m a lucky girl :)

  • Chris at Thinly Spread February 19, 2011, 10:29 am

    I think that is perfect, a real treasure! Someof our very favourite things were found in skips and *stands up, serious face* I am a notebook addict too! Sorry I didn’t manage to join in this week :-( ‘Real Life’ rather took over *tuts* xxx

  • tiddlyompompom February 19, 2011, 10:58 am

    what an amazing amazing present! I love it :)

  • Adrenalynn February 19, 2011, 3:06 pm

    That is so touching. Such a wonderful, special gift! Beautiful :)

  • Cass February 19, 2011, 6:12 pm

    What a fantastic present, I would treasure it too if it was mine ;-)

    By the way, I’m with you on the notebook obsession x x

  • Donna February 19, 2011, 7:56 pm

    Lovely! What a beautiful, meaningful keepsake.

  • Liz Burton February 19, 2011, 9:39 pm

    Oh you lucky girl! What a gorgous gift, such care and thought. No wonder you treasure it. Thank you for linking to Magpie Monday xx

  • Domestic goddesque February 20, 2011, 10:19 am

    What a lovely gift and a wonderful reminder of a special day. I’m sorry I missed the deadline: sick child. It was such a great prompt though, i shall post anyway when it’s finished.

  • QWERTY Mum February 20, 2011, 5:34 pm

    That really is something to treasure. Especially love the inscription x

  • mummy February 21, 2011, 5:18 am

    Mmmm… notebooks. You and me both :D I don’t have a lovely box like that to pop them into though, lucky you! What a fantastic present x
    *Presses print to leave lying around for OH to find just in case he’s feeling handy*.

  • Jen February 21, 2011, 4:57 pm

    You are a very lucky girl :)

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