Here is the final result of the cigar box piece I have been working on. This one uses a stitched, folded and tied cover for the box (see flat version of the fabric piece here). The box is quite beautiful in it's own right so I didn't want to disturb it too much. The only thing I added to it was a sheet of painted paper with cutouts for the thumb and the two characters: XO on the top.
The concept behind this one started with those two characters, representative of love and the way we use cigar boxes to store precious memories. Inside the box I added a series of copied love letters from my mom and dad's correspondence in the 1950s. She was studying to be a nurse, he had enlisted in the army. They were terribly in love, young, hopeful and had no idea what life and love would bring them. The wrap that I created is an old stained dinner napkin, the stitching is chaotic and wild, representative of their ride through life.
I've lost both of my parents in recent years. Their strength, determination and love sustained our family. Reading these hopeful ecstatic letters reminded me of that.