Archive for Decorate with shells
I love making shell crafts! It’s been a few months since I’ve had a shell project to get my hands on … so the last two days I’ve spent being very excited to be actually making a shell frame as a gift to a special couple. If you don’t already know what my long time fave shell is… it’s the WORM SHELL! And I loooove making things with WORM SHELLS because no two are alike and they are just so stinkin’ whimsical they make me laugh. The thing is… I don’t find them often any more so when we find even one on the beach, it’s such a happy day.
The ones that have a funny sideways twist? Even better!
Then there are the days when I feel like the stars and planets have lined up in perfect harmony when I find this many WORM SHELLS in an afternoon…
After soaking them in a bucket of 1/4 bleach to water over night, I rinse them off with fresh water then lay them out to dry. Okay, I’m gonna tell the truth… some times I’ve left them in longer than overnight… errrr….. some times I forget I have them soaking in the bucket but remember after a week…okay, okay!… maybe 2 weeks later or longer. But by being so, ummm, “scatter brained”, I now realize it doesn’t hurt the WORM SHELLS. If they are greenish or grungy white, it just makes them sparkly white. If they are the tan/brown color ones, they stay that pretty color but just brighten up. They aren’t needy… just another reason they are my favorite shells!
So I took some of my cleaned, sorted WORMIES and started hot glueing them to a painted white frame I scuffed up with sandpaper. My project was under way!
To me it’s like doing a shell puzzle or shell mosaic. You have to keep trying different shells that will fit in the right place to fill the blank space. And I get to go shelling all over again…searching, searching for the perfect treasure. I hot glue one at a time, hold it until it sets up, then move to the other side to make sure it dries completely before I disturb the glue.
When the frame is completely filled with shells, I feel happy to have accomplished such a fun project but even more, I am heartfelt to be able to share this with the people I made it for.
It was a “Welcome to Florida” gift for Cheri and “Hubby” (her nickname for him on her blog) from Virginia who just bought a home in Fort Myers! Cheri is the blogger behind the Shelllady so after meeting them years ago on the beach, I knew they have always dreamed of having a home near Sanibel. Their dream has come true!
We all know Super Sheller Clark is good at finding shells, he’s also good at finding homes too. Since he helped them buy their new place (which within 4 hours already has a seashell theme), last night we shellebrated with them for now being new Florida residents. We went to our favorite Sanibel restaurant… Traders! Most birthdays and get-togethers we celebrate at Traders, but this was a biggie. Of course it was a delicious meal but it was very special to be able to share in the day of such a big part of their lives.
Thank you so much Cheri and Jimmy for letting Clark and me be part of this amazing decision! Congratshellations!
Every beach I went to this week (before it starting raining) seemed to shout “JINGLE SHELLS!” to me. I’m not the only one who has seen gobs of JINGLES. Remember, Barb was picking them up too last week…
So now that it’s been raining for 2 days, I figure this is the perfect time to think about sorting, organizing and displaying some of these treasures I’ve been picking up lately…. JINGLES! Who doesn’t love a JINGLE!
I’ve now started a “Jingle Jar” that I bought from Home Goods. Yeah, yeah. I know it’s really, really, reeeaaaally tall and I need a oodles of JINGLES to fill it up. But JINGLES are very common to find on Sanibel so I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble filling it all the way to the top by the end of the summer…. Maybe.
When I find different ones, I love to sort shells by color so I’m always tickled when I find them sand color, bright orange, charcoal black, snow white and mellow yellow.
The bright orange ones make great accents to any display in smaller jars everywhere in my house… especially by my fave ANGULAR TRITON find from our January trip to Turks And Caicos…
The black ones look so handsome together just laying in a dish…
I am going to make time for shell craft projects the summer (hopefully on rainy days like today) because when I thought about organizing my JINGLE SHELLS, I always get inspired by thinking about Jane’s JINGLE SHELL frame I featured at the top of this post. Here’s a close up of her precious piece with her darling family…
Jane loves to embellish anything and everything with shells! Somebody was going to throw out this old lantern but Jane rescued it and encrusted it with JINGLES and other shells. It’s a gorgeous accent lantern now for her seaside home.
She even adds shells to the edges of her plain cork coasters to make them adorable cork coasters! She lined one with BUTTON SHELLS, one with KITTENS PAWS, another with different CLAMS and of course one with JINGLE SHELLS. She is the glue gun Craft Queen!
And other people do fun things with JINGLES too. Remember this “Jingle Cat” I showed you from the 2012 Sanibel Shell Show last year? LOL It still makes me smile!
So okay, what I’m trying to say is this…
If you aren’t finding the larger shells on the beach, don’t get disappointed. It’s the perfect opportunity to look at the other beautiful shells that are right there in front of you on Sanibel that you might not otherwise see. So many people overlook JINGLES. They are precious! And when it’s cold or rainy or you are stuck inside, get that box of shells out of the closet where nobody can see them and get these beautiful treasures displayed! Even if you arent as crafty as Jane, you can easily put them in a jar, dish or vessel to always admire them. Every day you will be brought back to that memorable trip to the beach.
The 76th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show has taken my breath away yet again. Each and every year I’m overwhelmed with the scientific exhibits, talented shell artists and creative minds that contribute to this show. Honestly, how did Judy Mackey have the vision to make this award winning seashell crown… perfect for the highest of the mermaid queens?
Can you imagine the patience that it took to design this dazzling trinket box?
How did Jan Harper think of making a seashell cupcake?
Did Amy Tripp do the happy dance for a week after finding this ultra FREAK FIGHTING CONCH she added to her blue ribbon for the “Color Your World” theme exhibit?
Here’s Amy with her husband Bill in front of their display…
And I had even more questions… How long did Mary Burton shellebrate after she found this ARROW DWARF TRITON off West Gulf Drive on Sanibel that she entered in the “Single Self Collected Sanibel Captiva Shell” category?
And how happy do you think Charlotte Thorpe is to win the Conchologists of America award presented by judges John Slapcinsky (collections manager for the Malacology Department at the Florida Museum of Natural History) and Jerry Harasewych (Curator in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution)?
Okay, so now you see that these exhibits were oozing with talent. But wait, more talent! David Rhyne’s double Sailors Valentine won Best In Show this year…
Artist Judy Dinnick won best single Sailors Valentine…
See? So many exhibits took my breath away. And just take a look at some more amazing creations…
And last but not least, I saw this piece by Mary Giambruno that was called “My Beach Bling”. Oh how that warms my heart! Who doesn’t love some good BEACH BLING? What a fun show!
PS- One more week until we can shell together at Cayo Costa on March 16th! Click on the next image for more info…
As I combed the beach early this morning at low tide, I found a beautiful brown inside shell of an old coconut washed ashore.
As I picked it up, I could feel sea water spilling out of the hole so I held it upside down to drain the coconut of everything inside. Ohhhh. Cool BEACH BLING.
Aha! This could be an awesome flower vase! When I got home, I rinsed it inside and out with fresh water then cut some leaves and flowers from my yard. I filled it with fresh water, arranged my cuttings in the opening, then placed some miniature shells on an art-glass plate to keep it from rolling. Voila! A naturally beautiful coconut flower vase.
While I was going bananas over coconuts, Becky from Sarasota was getting wooed by WHELKS…
Look at all the LIGHTNING WHELKS she found right by the Sanibel fishing pier… not to mention that orange BANDED TULIP and NUTMEG.
It was so nice to meet you this bright beautiful morning Becky!
I’ve been a little distracted lately….I bought a new Nikon J1 camera and there’s a huge learning curve to get easy, clear photos. For me, it’s hugely expensive but I’ve been wanting to do some posts with crisp detailed photos of some of our amazing shells. I’ve also gotten requests to show photos of how we display our shells in our home. I’ve just never liked how my photos in my house turn out so I “shelled” out a few bucks for the J1 that has a regular lens and also a zoom lens. I’m so nervous to buy a new expensive camera since I’m so …ummmm…. “un-dainty”….especially on the beach. The jury isn’t out whether I’m going to keep it or not so I can’t take it to the beach yet so these are the best ones for practice. Our kitty Dustie wanted to be a model!
Awwww. Of course Smittie wanted to pose too…
A little over an hour ago, I saw one of the SCREECH OWLS peeking out from a hole in our palm tree next to our porch. They just made this their home a few months ago. So cute! I grabbed my new camera and changed the lens to the zoom lens. My first practice shot outside! I could never capture him with my Panasonic DMC-ZS6 because he would fly away or duck back inside the tree so I can’t compare the photos yet. Wow, I’m happy with this shot! Can you believe we get to see this guy and his girlfriend most evenings on our porch?
I’m also getting close to cracking the case of the aqua concrete blocks that have been uncovered at the Lighthouse Beach that I showed you on my last post. Those are pieces of a cottage that was torn down over 40 years ago. I’ll have details on my next post! (this next photo taken with my old camera)
PS- I’ll let you know what happens with the J1 but right now, if I can’t get more than five photos to turn out in two days, it’s going back to Costco.
The most heartwarming gift is a handmade gift. If you’ve ever made a gift for someone, you know that with every stitch… or drop of glue… or every rhyme to a poem….or stroke of the brush…… that special person is in your thoughts.
So when I received this beautiful seashell quilt from Tammy T from Utah, I burst into tears.
I’m not a quilter but I know how much thought and the hours and hours Tammy put into making this gorgeous quilt for me. For me??? It makes my heart swell.
I’m not sure I could read this out loud to y’all without crying again, so it’s a good thing I can just let you see the letter for yourself that came along with it. Just click the photo to make it larger.
I can’t thank you enough, Tammy, for such a thoughtful gift! I really can’t believe my little blog to spread the sunshine of Sanibel and our beautiful seashells would inspire you that much to make this as a gift. I’m forever touched and grateful that I have now met you and your lovely husband Steve.
As you can see, the quilt is a perfect match for our guest room (with the quilted pillow made by Clark’s sister Janice) so it has a new happy home until I need it for snuggling up with Clark to watch our fave TV show (Survivor!). Thank you again Tammy! You will always be dear to my heart.
PS- Oh! And congrats on your JUNONIA!!!!