RA Pocket Shrine 264/? – Thornton’s Desk

Before the teasing for the HoHoHoliday FundRAiser begins, I want to get the last of the shrines out there. And that may actually be quite useful for the recipient commissioner of the shrine. Communication is everything, and Guylty Inc.’s such was lacking somewhat… Let me tell you the whole story: First of all, this shrine has been in the making for *years*. Literally. I can’t remember exactly when Maria first mentioned she wanted to commission a shrine (2 years ago?), but we started planning for the RAPS in earnest in March of this year. Maria had some particular items on her wish list, and we communicated intermittently to hone and refine the plan until I finally got to work some time in October. We had actually settled on an exchange scheme, and before I had made the shrine, Maria had already sent me a lovely package full of crafting goodies as her side of the bargain. Anyhow, I eventually finished the shrine and sent it off to her.

It appears that I omitted to take a picture of the outside of the RAPS. *doh*

Dubbed “Thornton’s Desk”, I considered the RAPS one of my best pieces yet – in terms of interactive fun, custom-made miniatures and overall design. Imagine my surprise when I heard back that she had been flummoxed by what she received. The shrine may have appeared somewhat unfinished to her. 😱 It only occurred to me then that I had forgotten to enclose instructions or explanations on what I had intended with the design. And so you see, communication is everything. The following pictures – and I took a lot of them – may explain what my vision for the shrine was.

Maria wanted a shrine with Thornton at his desk. My idea was to turn the tin itself into the desk that Thornton is sitting at. And so he is seated there in the background, with some items in front of him. (Margaret is watching him from the little picture 😉). However, I enclosed two cut-out versions of Thornton for some interactive fun. To be inserted in a slot and interchangeable by Maria herself. And I failed to make that clear. So instead there were a couple of cut-outs loosely floating in the tin 😬. Yep, not a good look.

Iirc the little black box, a genuinely vintage item, was sent to me by Armitagebesotted – a long time ago, but finally I found the right project for it

But with that explained, let’s take a closer at what the desktop shrine entails. Thornton keeps a strong box on his desk, containing important treasures.

He’s got a note book in there, keys, some letters, a yellow rose, a love letter?, sunglasses 😉… A picture of himself with a reminder 😂. And then some items that I only placed in there so they wouldn’t damage the shrine in transit. Because a desk needs light (see the candle holder to the right of Thornton) and an ink well (front right).They are teeny tiny miniatures that I made myself, including the quill that is in the inkwell. On the desk there is also a copy of NS – but a special one. Maria had requested a mini book with pictures.


This was a first for me because my mini books’ pages are usually unprinted. (The writing is too small to print out on those 2x3cm pages, and they would be a huge hassle to print and assemble in the right sequence.) But because this was a commission, I decided to give it a go. It worked ok with the pictures.

*For the purpose of taking the pictures, I did not want to open the mini book too wide and break the spine, hence the sliver of an insight*

Lastly, here is a look at the two different versions of Mr Thornton

The one on the left is taken from a scene where Thornton is actually sitting at his desk, whereas the one on the right is from the “Look back at me” scene.

So that is the story of this shrine. Hopefully the photos will have given Maria a bit of an idea, too, what my intentions were.

What do you think? Did I capture the mood and spirit of Thornton? I’m on a Thornton roll at the moment… and that is already a teaser for future revelations. 

33 thoughts on “RA Pocket Shrine 264/? – Thornton’s Desk

  1. This shrine is gorgeous! Maria is very lucky. All the personal tiny details you took such cARe in making are so special. The strong box is beautiful! It’s like a little treasure chest of Thorntonisms. And the N&S book with pictures!!! Come on!! How great is that?! You should do more of those. I think we’d all buy one of those!
    JusT beautiful Sonja 🙂


    • You are right, the “box in the box” is a collection of Thornton’s items.
      The little book turned out better than I had hoped. It was a bit more difficult than my usual mini books, but yes, maybe I should make more of them 😉


  2. ah it’s really good! i understand about how easy it is to under communicate, especially with something you’ve created-it’s very easy to assume others know where you were going (i am so guilty of this , especially as i can often be very subtle with my ideas) . I love the little box-it’s exactly like Victorian tin boxes for securing important items! My Thornton RAPS is still very beloved-it sits open inside a glass fronted bookcase in our living room!


    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Yes, it always seems so clear to me what the intention was, but that does not necessarily translate for others. It’s a reminder to communicate cleary 🙂
      The black box was perfect for the shrine. It fits into it, too.
      Good to hear that your RAPS is still spreading a bit of cheer ☺️.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s brilliant. 😍 The box (with a reminder 😂), a mini book with pictures 💗, a candle holder and…oh… an ink well with the quill 💗 💗 💗 … and blue and yellow colors. You definitely capture the mood and spirit of Thornton. I think you’re starting to like him a little 😉


    • Thanks Helen ☺️. This was definitely a new departure, what with the custom-made miniature extras. It was fun coming up with ideas how to do it. The box was the starting point…


  4. The explanation really was most clarifying, dear Sonja!

    After reading your post it all makes perfect sense. When I unwrapped the shrine, I didn’t know what to make of it. As this RASP was a commission piece, and knowing how creative you can be, I thought that this was an interactive project and you intentionally wanted me to put the final touch to complete the shrine. I see now what you intended to achieve.

    It’s pretty obvious that this is quite a unique creation. The book itself is a tiny work of art; but the strongbox idea was utterly brilliant! And I truly appreciate all the thought you put into each and every single one of the tiny miniatures that you made.

    Communication is everything as you so eloquently put it. And I must say that I failed miserably at stating that the main theme for the shrine was the ‘Look back’ scene, particularly focusing in his longing and his feeling of loneliness, a more Victorian-inspired melancholic vibe, if you will, all in lavender colour. I had only enclosed the picture of Thornton at his desk as a reference for the lamp, inkwell and quill details. That’s why I was so surprised about the unexpected (to me) theme of the shrine. Now I’m glad that this misunderstanding led to this outstanding creation of yours.

    And yes you did manage to capture the mood and spirit of Thornton as master of the mill.

    I consider myself very lucky for being the proud owner of three of your unique RASPS and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the thought, time, effort, and care you put into each one of them.

    Are you still up for the other commissions that we’ve discussed? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you actually voiced your confusion/disappointment, Maria. That’s also part of communication, right? And apologies for getting it wrong re. Look back scene vs. desk scene. I must have muddled that in my head. And then add to that the fact that somehow the muse has his own way with things. Once I start on a shrine, I usually have an idea – but there is no telling whether the muse will let me do what *I* want 😉. But now that you have elaborated on *your* vision, maybe I can give it another try and see whether the lavender vibe of loneliness can be enshrined, too.
      As for the other commissions – ha, I actually started the groundwork for that and created imagery. I just got stuck on the book covers and also haven’t put pages together yet, but yes, I will be working on that, too.


  5. You’ve done it again, Sonja! If I had money to burn, I’d pay “mucho moolah” for that gorgeous shrine. You bring light to all who associate with you and I’m grateful to be your friend. Sending you a big hug. xoxo


  6. Confusion yes…plenty of it. Disappointment, hell no!

    I am quite aware that crafting differs a lot from making bricks. And true, the muse has her particular own way of guiding the hand of the crafter. Sometimes you have an idea in your head and when you try to bring it to life, the fickle muse has her own thoughts about it. I believe I have already commented about it profusely on my messages to you.

    Please there is nothing to apologize for. As you stated above, this shrine had been a loooong time in the making and that could have also been the reason why the ideas got jumbled.

    IMO, context is as important as comunication. After reading how you came up with the idea for a shrine representing Thornton’s desk, I have been relishing in all the details you included to complete your vision. One thing I forgot to mention was the lovely design of the tin itself, in those beautiful colours. I would like to draw attention to this quite important detail because it’s like a herald of the content that is encapsulated within. And you’ve got an exquisite taste when choosing the tins for your vintage shrines.

    I’d be delighted to see your take on *my* vision of the ‘Look back’ scene. But PLEASE don’t feel obliged to do it just because I had a different idea on my mind. I personally think that that ‘lavender vibe of loneliness’ (just love it!), as you put it, is begging to be enshrined.

    As for you being already hard at work with the other commissions – AWESOME! Because guess what? I have not one, not two, but THREE other projects that I have been muddling in my mind (and I’ve got the feeling that you’re gonna love them too). I think they are quite up your alley! 😉


    • ☺️ Great, we are on the same page.
      And that also applies to the other projects. I definitely love hearing ideas because they are a fantastic jumping off point. Like the „lavender vibe of loneliness“ up there, both in the sense that you mentioned those keywords before and then I put them together in a different way, and voila 😉. And also in the sense that now that „lavender vibe of loneliness“ image will lead to another shrine.
      So don‘t hold back – send me a message re. those other ideas. I am intrigued already 😘


  7. I love the details and all that creativity of your work!!! Have you ever thought of making little and bigger books full of photos of RA’ characters? I don’t know how hard it is or how much time you spend creating them, but the result is just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Glad you like it, Poppy!
      I have to admit that I hadn’t thought of making such books. But now that you are mentioning it, maybe that would be fun. The teeny tiny version turned out very nice. And I did find a way of making such mini books that was not too much of a hassle for me. Watch this space…


  8. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 265/? – My Favourite Ride; Or: Fandom Fun During Twitter Break | Guylty Pleasure

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