RA Pocket Shrine 17/? – Master Thornton

Have you ever wondered what the receiving the Shrine Experience is like from the other side? Well, Armitagebesotted, with whom I had sussed out a deal a while ago, has written up her side of the story and I am happy to let her present you her Mr Thornton shrine. In her own words, with her own pictures. Here goes…

In the mail today, I received a package from Ireland. (I live in New York.) It’s my RA shrine, RA shrine, RA shrine! Which I know will be a re-cycled candy tin. But there are several other objects in that bubble wrap. What are they? And what’s that black rectangle underneath them?
There is a framed picture peeking out below the bubble-wrapped packet. It’s….
It’s a framed picture of RA from the Berlin premiere of DOS!
Move over, family. Make room for Richard.
But it’s so much more than just a picture of RA. It’s a matted (100% rag), framed, actual photographic print (not computer laser “output”) of my very favorite of Guylty’s photos of RA from the Berlin premiere. I’ve made photos, and I’ve spent hours in darkrooms printing photos, so I really appreciate what this means. An artist has given me an original print of her own work. Thank you so much, Guylty. I am touched beyond description, almost enough to cry.
But I can’t cry yet, because I need clear eyes to look at the rest of my goodies. I proceed to the bubble-wrapped packet: Thorntons chocolates! A personalized card! “Look back at me…” (Any time. Anywhere, RA.) What’s in that black tube?
The candles for the shrine!
It’s time for the reveal. I open the metal box, and…John Thornton! Just who I asked for!
I’m in heaven! Look at all this wonderfulness!
The tea cup, the yellow rose — Guylty has hit the major North and South plot points! The gorgeous hand, the gorgeous man — Guylty has hit the major reason to watch North and South! Jewels, blingy leaf sticks, a disco ball — not exactly Victorian elements, but one does not question the iconography of potentially powerful communications with Gods.
What else could a girl want? I can worship every day at the shrine of “You’re coming home with me.” (Yes, yes, yes, just send your address, RA!)
And all I had to do to earn this reward was send Guylty — an expat with food cravings — some cheap, crappy American candy (M&Ms).
Guylty: thank you, thank you, thank you. How can I EVER adequately thank you?
What we do for each other — how do we explain it? Actually, to each other, we don’t need to; we get it. To the rest of the world, why bother?
I think of my RA obsession as a hobby. I trade quips online with women around the world in the middle of the night to entertain myself and have fun. It gives me an extraordinary amount of giggly pleasure. Why question that?
Now I’m off to fire up those candles and see what voodoo John Thornton delivers to my life!


Thank you, Armitagebesotted, for your lovely words. I can honestly say that the best thing about the Shrine project is all the wonderful exchanges I have with the recipients of the shrines, and with the readers and fellow fans who comment and spur me on. The other bonus is the inspiration that comes from these exchanges – in the shape of the requests that people make in terms of the shrine contents, in their suggestions, and with the bits and pieces they send me for the project. I have rarely felt so creatively inspired and it has almost become like a drug… If you are the dealers, well, then I will buy every day 🙂


I had a little shoot with Armitagebesotted’s Mr Thornton myself, so I’ll paste them in here, if you don’t mind, and keep my commentary at a minimum.


Set up on our grammophone. It is still in working order, and every once in a while I wind it up and listen to the collection of records that came with it. The small tins in the image contain spare needles, btw.


I try to create something new for every order and every shrine, but I just loved that design with the Victorian wallpaper, the gilt frame and the silver candle stick so much that I had created before for Agzy. So here’s a drawing room scene again – with Margaret making a rare appearance, by hand only 🙂 Can’t really have “another woman” in a shrine that is built for fan-drooling purposes…



42 thoughts on “RA Pocket Shrine 17/? – Master Thornton

  1. That one’s absolutely gorgeous, Guylty, and it’s clearly gone to a happy home where it’ll be treasured forever. John Thornton is the perfect subject matter for a shrine, I think, and you’ve really captured the essence of the story, as Armitagebesotted noted. If you’re ever looking for an Antipodean care package, let me know, because Thornton would absolutely be more than welcome in my part of the world!


    • Thanks Katharine – Thornton is indeed the model of a shrine inhabitor 😉
      Antipodean care package??? Oh, yes, please!!! Get in touch with me via mail and we can suss out a deal 🙂


        • Of course I am open to the idea!!! That’s what this whole thing is about! I do not really want to keep the shrines myself (I already have the one and only Portable Shrine), and I love the interaction that is instigated by the shrine project! Please be in touch, and we’ll organise something. It doesn’t have to be a creative swap – we’ll find something!


  2. That’s a beautiful shrine! Thornton is perfect shrining material, isn’t he? And you got the main points just right. The lucky devotee’s 😀 report is great – thanks, Armitagebesotted! It’s always fun to read you.
    /btw, just saying… we have peanut flips/


    • 😀 – yes, that piece of equipment is fascinating. I actually put it on at the weekend. The sound quality is atrocious, of course, but it is just so much fun to turn the handle and to play a record which I know has been handled by my husband’s great grandmother… Something about the presence of history…
      Oh, and those needle tins are just so cute… “His Master’s Voice” – so fitting for a Mr Thornton played by RA!


  3. This was so delicious, to be able to share AB’s joy in receiving the package! Looking at the photos as she unwrapped it, I felt as though I was opening it myself. Plus, I adore your gramophone picture and the precious little vintage tins. Thanks for a great post to both of you!


    • I squeeed this morning when I read Besotted’s e-mail. It was just like you said – I could see her fetching the package from the mailbox, opening it and going through the contents. (Well, sounds as if I am deprived of that experience – of course I am not, I receive lots of treasure trove packages in return). It is great to have the other POV represented on the blog, too. Credit to Besotted – it was her idea!!!
      And yes, I love those little tins. I am thinking of making a mantlepiece display with them and some other vintage tins that Helen sent me. Despite being scratched and rusty, those old tins are cute and precious, and collector’s items in their own right.


      • They certainly are! Have you posted about the tins that you use for the shrines, where they come from and what they are? I keep wondering how you turn them into blank canvases for your creations.


        • Good idea, Linnet – I should mention that at some point. They are *the* main ingredient and without them I couldn’t make the shrines. Credit to my many helpers, actually.


  4. Thanks to Armitagebesotted for sharing the exciting experience of shrine receiving. So much fun for all of us, For you,Guylty, the artist and us, the grateful patrons of your art brought together by our shared well-wishing. It’s a beautiful thing. And we found out something unexpected about Besotted: she has a fabulous yellow accent wall, thereby proclaiming her adventurous spirit and creativity. Of course, we knew it all along.


  5. I think the Thornton RAPS is one of my favorite RAPSes ever! It’s beautiful, seriously. And thanks for sharing Armitagebesotted’s story. Reading about fandom love in the RArmy makes me happy 😀


  6. Warm and fuzzy feelings all over the place. It’s enough to give me the vapors. Please, hand me my fan, I feel faint.


  7. Guylty is not only wonderfully creative, she is very generous with her RAPS packages. I was overwhelmed when I received mine. The Lucas shrine and gorgeous Berlin image are now beloved treasures of mine.

    #17? G, you’re amazing! Thank you for the RA love you are sharing! (hugs)


    • Aw, thanks – but they were just little goodies. Trying to bump up the packages a bit 🙂
      Hehe, yes, 17 publicly seen ones. I think I have three more that are ready to show – two Guys and a Porter. And at least 6 on order… hooray.


    • Mezz, I feel the same way. I was already having a good day (had gone out for lunch) and when I checked my mail I was delighted! It got even better once I opened the package. I absolutely love the framed photo by Guylty and have the RAPS and picture on a shelf above my desk. Guylty, you are truly amazing.


  8. Kathy Jones: “Accent” wall? My whole bedroom is that wowsa-yowsa yellow color! (And thank you for noticing.)


    • Dearly Besotted 😉 – using the reply to your comment as a way of letting you know that I have been trying to send you an e-mail but it keeps bouncing back to me. Not sure why. Anyhow, that’s why I haven’t responded…


  9. Oh, how I wish I could travel to London to meet with you lovely people! Welcome to the RA Pocket Shrine Club, Master Thornton. You were the reason this Army was created, the first one who put sparkles in our eyes; that Disco Ball is more than appropriate, Victorian or not! 😉


    • 🙂 The RAPS Club. Hehe, we should found that. Mr Thornton will be “Father of the House”, so to speak. Or the RAPS Owners Club? RAPSOC? (Proposed logo: A red sock with sunglasses, bling jewellery and a cap, in a rapper’s pose LOL)
      Talking of logos – I should really think of a logo for RAPS Inc. Any ideas?


  10. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 32/? – Mr Thornton Travels | GUYLTY PLEASURE

  11. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 48/? – Dear John | Guylty Pleasure

  12. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 136/? – Awesome Lips | Guylty Pleasure

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