As I have found so often, inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of sources… Every year for Christmas, the cher Mr Guylty receives a box of Mon Chéri chocolates from his mother-in-law. Every year he accepts it graciously, sparing my mother the truth that she is giving the gift under the misconception that he is particularly partial to the cherry and brandy-filled chocolates. He eats them, of course, but he is not particularly fond of them. And often, the box languishes for a while in the cupboard, forgotten by him.
Recently, last year’s box of Mon Chéri was rediscovered in our house, and in the absence of any other chocolates, Mr Guylty opened the box and left it on the kitchen table. I do not like alcohol-filled pralines at all, so they do not tempt me. But the signal-red wrapper, the romantic logo and the golden-lettered box suddenly got my creative juices flowing. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I immediately had an upcycling project in my mind’s eye: Mon chéri means “darling”, or Schätzchen (in German), and the latter is a pet name for a certain Brit gentleman occasionally used by me and some of my German fandom friends. The foil wrapper of the chocolate box cried out to me to be used for a RAPS, and thus a romantic Valentine’s RA pocket shrine was conceived.
~ ❤ ~
With no particular recipient in mind, I decided to make an all-rounder shrine. A “one fits all” solution that would
hopefully delight *any* fan. And which would be all red, all hearts and all glitter to fit a Valentine’s Day theme and make an adequate prize for a Valentine’s Day raffle.
~ ❤ ~
I cannibalised the foil wrapper and created the background for one of Hariclea’s XL tins, using both the logo as well as the stripy design of the Christmas-edition packaging to cover the inside of the tin. And I placed Mr A in some of his most-beloved roles in it.
Francis Dolarhyde is slightly obstructing the logo, but no matter – it still reads fine because mon cher is French for “my dear”.
And isn’t he such to all of us… The shrine would not be a proper RAPS if it did not contain some interactive fun. So the bottom of the tableau has been scored in order to insert the favourite chaRActer of choice and make the RAPS a personal shrine to whichever role of Mr A’s the future owner prefers, such as this:
Maybe particularly appreciated by German fans, the scored piece of card proclaims Mon Cheri’s brand slogan – which has become quite a catch phrase in Germany and translates “Who can say no to that”…
Indeed, who can?
The lid of the RAPS contains a selection of chaRActer images the right size for inserting into the diorama. They are held in place by little magnets on the back, or the red heart magnet (which you can also so spot in the picture above). All taken out, they reveal this (permanent) message:
A little neck-nuzzle for Valentine’s Day? The sparkly hand is ready to tickle that delicious neck, while the little birdie is twittering sweet nothings into Mr A’s ear… Hopefully, the recipient will find a picture to her liking to adorn the tableau with:
For full-on smooch glory, the RAPS of course also incorporates the usual two candles – romantic candle-light session, anyone?
~ ❤ ~
If you are in need of some lovely thoughts, this Valentine – or any time, really – this pocket shrine is for you.
Well, who isn’t? To be in the raffle, just leave a comment on this post. I’d like to make someone’s Valentine’s Day with this, so I have set the deadline for it on Sunday, 14th February 2016 (Valentine’s Day!), at 3pm GMT in order for me to announce the winner here on-blog on the day. I will send it anywhere in the world, free of charge, a few extras thrown in. And if *you* don’t want it, consider winning it for someone else. You can let me know once I have finalised the draw.
~ ❤ ~
If you would like to spread the word about the raffle on Twitter, please do, since I am still on my Social Media fast. To be in the raffle, participants need to comment here, though, because I am staying away from Twitter for the moment.
~ ❤ ~
Wishing you all good luck and a lovely Valentine’s weekend,
much love from