Archive for Decorate with shells
I have plenty of WORM SHELLS now that we’ve collected through the years and they still make me laugh. But today, I got JENNY CURL WORM SHELLS that have touched my heart very deeply….. in a piece of art by Melinda Henderson. This is what I saw on my front porch….
Ooohhhh! I package for me!!!! Did I order something I forgot about? Hey, it was from Melinda! Clark and I met Melinda a year ago on the beach while she was collecting her beloved “Jenny Curls”. I introduced her to you on my post Jenny Curl Worm Shells and told you her story. If you didn’t read the original post, you should. Just click on the post title I just wrote.
The moment I opened it, I was astonished. She told me the picture inside is of the Jenny Curls she found on Sanibel last July and that one of the Jenny Curls with the curly tops in the picture was one that Clark gave her.
She did this amazing picture with digital photography. “I really enjoy this kind of art work…it’s call digital photography. I use the computer to manipulate and enhance a photo by applying different media art forms (water color, dry brush, palette knife, etc.), and then add color, shadowing, texture for added character and personality.”
It is so beautiful, I found the perfect home for it one top of a piece of furniture I painted years ago that has the same colors she used. Along with my new Jenny Curl picture, I have other treasures…. the QUEEN CONCH given to us by the shellacious MurexKen, this beautiful piece of PIPE ORGAN CORAL given to us by our dear Sanibel friend Phil (He used to have the shop “Ile Crocodile” on the island, remember that?) and seashells sent to me all the way from Australia by my blog friend Prux of Flotsam Friends.
I have to show you the close up of the Australian shells and “flotsam”. These are the kinds of pieces that Prux collects from her beaches to make her sweet Flotsam Friend dolls she blogs about. I should get the names of these shells and do a post on Australian shells this summer, right?
With all of the special treasures so close together, it warms my heart beyond words. Thank you all for the best gifts of all…… gifts of the sea.
I started thinking about summer projects this week so I revisited some of my blog photos for inspiration. Bingo! The 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show was last month … and it gave me a great idea for both me and you. I thought I’d find out some of the secrets of shell crafting so I asked how 2011 Blue Ribbon and Judges’s Special Award winner Barb Walling made her ”Dandelions” piece. We will get to learn every detail of how this piece was made by the artist herself!
Barb was gracious enough to invite me over to her Sanibel home to see where the magic begins. She first showed me how she organizes her shells that she picks up off the beach after she washes and dries them.
She categorizes each box or drawer by the shell name. This one is the SEMELE which she uses as the base to the dandelion and most of her shell flowers.
From here, I’m gonna let her tell you how everything else is done. Sit back, relax and let your imagination roll…
How ’bout that, huh? Here’s a close up of the SEMELE she talked about ……
….and the CROSS BARRED VENUS
This is a dead PURPLE SEA URCHIN that washed up on the beach with some of it’s spines still attached.
This is a close up of Barb’s SEA URCHIN spines. That’s a lot of SEA URCHINS!
Thank you so much for the shell craft lesson, Barb! Can’t wait to see what you create for next year’s 75th Anniversary of Sanibel Shell Fair and Show.
I needed a little shelling pick-me-up yesterday since I’ve had “technical difficulties” in the blog world the last few days. Since the gulf has been a little rough caused by south winds, I thought I might find some goodies at Blind Pass.
The Sanibel side of Blind Pass was …well, empty of shells. Where’d they go?
I ran over to the Captiva side to find the beach with even a bigger drop-off than last week. Looked like nothing to me. There were a few people working the ledge but I decided to go back to the east end of Sanibel.
On the way back to the parking lot, I met Bob, Lucy and Linda sorting their shells in the back of their car. I can’t believe they found all of these on that ledge I showed you. It looked bare to me.
Shame on me for not looking a little harder at that ledge. Look at these beautiful shells… and especially that large, perfect LIGHTNING WHELK on the left.
The surf was kicking up around the east end of Sanibel but the beach didn’t look like it was piled with shells. Then I started focusing on the wash line a little bit better since I learned my lesson and missed so many at Blind Pass. There were actually some nice shells…… and nice folks.
I met another Sani-Belle on the beach! I met some of the Sani-Belle sisters and mom Mermaid Ella in January at Blind Pass (Click HERE for the post) so I was tickled to meet sister Sani-Belle Muriel too.
Like I said, there wasn’t a huge wrack of shells on the beach but she was still happy with what she was finding. I guess so! Look at that nice size BABY’S EAR! In her hand from left to right is a SCALLOP, a CARDITA, another SCALLOP, that big beautiful BABY’S EAR, a CROSS BARRED VENUS and a COCKLE.
This picture above was taken of Muriel’s 92 year old mom in January when I nicknamed her Mermaid Ella. I wanted to show you this photo again because most of the shells that Muriel and the other Sani-Belles collect are “materials” (that’s what they call the shells) for frames that Mermaid Ella makes. She showed me this one……
Isn’t that beautiful? Shells don’t have to perfect to be beautiful. Imperfect is just as beautiful if you look at them in a different view like in this frame. This just makes me smile. And I also smile thinking of some other artists that make beautiful decor and jewelry from beach treasures…. perfect or not.
Endless Sunner is so clever to design wine charms from seashells with holes in them…..
Tresor le Mer creates gorgeous pieces of art from beach treasures that someone else might consider to be beach “litter”…..
Aptly named, An Imperfect Shell gives us that feeling of just coming off the beach in every design she makes….
I love photography so I love to see how other artists capture the art of seashells. The Coastal Collection presents imperfect seashells in a whole new light….. sepia toned.
I also have another artist friend Rhonda from Shellebelle’s Tikihut that collects “drift shells” to make beautiful art frames too.
So before I frown again and an “empty” beach, I’m going to remember Mermaid Ella and these other artists who get excited to see bits and pieces of shells on the beach. This is exactly what gets their creative juices flowing for their shellicious decor and jewelry. Thanks yall for the pick-me-up I really needed!
We finally got some much needed rain this morning to water the plants and to refresh the island. Whenever it rains, I get excited about doing an art project since I know I’ll be inside all day. I revisited my photos from the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show to get inspiration and a few ideas… then I realized… I never showed you most of the winners from the craft division of the show.
Take you time and browse through the rest of these magnificent works of shell art.
ROSE PETAL TELLIN butterfies!
This one by Deborah Yamin is simple yet so elegant. Look at the OPERCULUM leaves.
I love boxes of any kind and this one is especially sweet, isn’t it? I bet Leslie self collected those little WENTLETRAPS and ARK shells. I met her at the beach last year looking for those shells and BABY’S EARS on post Mixed Shell Bag.
I also met Brandy Llewelyn last year looking for mini shells at the lighthouse.
This is an adorable mermaid with her SEAHORSE and seashell treasure chest.
Have you gotten inspired yet? Well, I kind of went in a different direction. Instead of getting inspired to make shell crafts, I got inspired to do more posts about shell art and crafting so we will know what to do with those beautiful shells we bring home. But for now, the sun has come out …. so off to the beach to try to find another interesting shell or two.
The 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show was over the top this year! But, come on…. did they really have to put me over the edge by displaying this many JUNONIAS all together in one place like this? I just want one!! I got over my shell jealousy pretty quickly since there were too many other seashells to drool over too.
There were rooms of seashells….
Tents of seashells….
Shacks of seashells…..
Sheds of Seashells….
Boxes of seashells….
Categories of seashells….
Flowers of seashells….
Frames of seashells….
Tables of seashells…..
Rows of seashells…
Cases of seashells….
Posters of seashells…
Magnifiers of seashells….
Shoes of seashells…
Crafters of seashells…
Collectors (and cutie collectors, at that!) of seashells….
….and this is only a smidge of what I want to show you. I’ve got video too! As you can already see, it’s a little overwhelming for a shell lover to just run through it in a short time. I didn’t even get a chance to show you details of some of the scientific shell displays. So many shell displays, so little time.
A shell show would not be complete if I didn’t add….
Lovers of seashells…..
The Sanibel shell crafters have been hard at work setting up, sorting, categorizing and pricing seashells to sell for the 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show starting tomorrow. They have also been having lots of fun every Monday all year long making whimsical shell crafts like flower bouquets, shell critters and shell pictures to sell to raise money for the Sanibel Community House.
It was a pleasure to meet some of the shellcrafters that donate their time and skills to make these beautiful pieces of shell art made for the Shell Fair every year. Here’s a little sampling of who these talented folks are and how these creations are made throughout the year. Thanks, Shellcrafters for inviting me into your wonderful world of shell crafting. Hope to see yall tomorrow at the show!