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Preserving the Past: Dan's Shadow Box

February 10, 2018

All good things must come to an end, but it's hard to know when to close the door on one chapter of life and open a new one.  Creating memory art can help!  Particularly when beloved items wear out, fall apart or become obsolete, using a little creativity can satisfy our sentimentality while moving past hoarding tendencies (this is a common quality for us artist-types since we hate to throw anything away!).

 

It's hard to know when to close the door on one chapter of life and open a new one.  Creating memory art can help!

 

Such was the case recently in the Benn-Mirandi household.  My husband, Dan recently decided to upgrade his painting palette.  This was a MONUMENTAL decision for him...but let me back up. 

 

Dan plays a miniatures games called WarMachine.  For anyone not familiar with tabletop miniatures games, it's essentially a very complicated game of chess involving detailed figures that players assemble and paint themselves.  Using a number of rules more elaborate than chess, the figures battle across terrain elements such as forests, ponds, ruins, etc, moving according to distance measured by tape measures, and attacking based on dice rolls.  Dan has been part of the WarMachine community for nearly as long as we have been dating, even becoming a judge for tournaments and attending conventions for the game.  

When he first began playing the game, and learning to paint from my friend Joe Callaway (Leaping Centaur Studios), his paint palette was a re-purposed pizza box from our favorite pizza restaurant, and it served him well for over 10 years!  The old piece of cardboard had become a work of art in and of itself, and Dan had developed a feeling of sentimental pride regarding it.  But the day came when he decided it was time to upgrade to a wet palette.  He was at a loss as to what to do with his beloved, paint-encrusted pizza box.  Enter: Creative Wife.

 

He was at a loss as to what to do with his beloved, paint-encrusted pizza box.  Enter: Creative Wife.

 

 

Over the years, Dan has won many tournaments for WarMachine, receiving certificates and metal coin

 

"trophies".  But sadly, Privateer Press (the company behind WarMachine) no longer awards these coins.  Another "end" to honor.  So armed with old paint palette, trophy coins, award certificates and a little creativity, I went to work.

 

I tried a few different layouts, and eventually decided to make two boxes instead of just one.  Once I decided on a layout, I grabbed some random screws from the junk drawer and with a screwdriver, sank a screw behind each place I wanted to place a coin, leaving the screw sticking out a few millimeters.  Then I used crazy glue to affix the coin to the head of the screw.  Using the screws did double duty in securing the other elements (paint palette and certificates) in the place that I wanted them, while creating a raised pedestal to feature the coins.

Using screws secured the paper elements in place while elevating the coins.

 

I made sure to use my Bosch multitool to cut the ends of the protruding screws off the back of the board- make sure you use the metal-cutting attachment and not the wood-cutting attachment!  I secured the cut screws with a bit more glue, and then all that was left to do was to pop the new memory art back into the shadow boxes.  

 

I was really pleased with how the boxes turned out, and more importantly, so was my husband who immediately mounted them on the wall near his painting desk.

 

I was really pleased with how the boxes turned out, and more importantly, so was my husband.

 

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© 2019 Briana Benn-Mirandi                                                     (203) 350-3717                                               149 Durham Rd, Suite 26   Madison, CT 06443