Archive for Shell crafts
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!
“What do you do with all of the seashells you collect?” Haven’t you been asked that question every time you tell someone you love to collect shells? I’ve been asked countless times and I’ve asked other shellers so I’m guilty as well. I think we all are interested in getting ideas of what to do with them from other people who love what we love… seashells.
Our friends Dick and Mary love shelling and love their seashells and beach bling surrounding them in their beautiful home. Join me as I show you their seashell arrangements… with the help from kitty Fatima.
This is a perfect example of what I love about Dick and Mary in the photo above…. there are no rules. They find so many beautiful shells on the beach but they also love to buy shells if they see one that strikes their fancy and they don’t mind mixing them. Most of those shells in the bowl (that Fatima is admiring) were found on the beach by either Dick or Mary but some, as Mary says with a laugh “I found that one too…. in a store”.
When it comes to ALPHABET CONES, they don’t have to buy a single one. They found all of the ones in the glass vessel on Sanibel and Captiva. Wow! Piling the same shell in any type of vessel is my favorite way to display my shells as well. They found all of these baby HORSE CONCHS too. Wouldn’t you love a bowl full of candy by your bedside table?
They framed their oddity treasures in a shadowbox.
They framed some of their best shells to make a wall collage in the hallway.
This is the top of the very first shell mirror Mary made but the mirror is so big, I couldn’t get the whole thing in the photo. Again, she mixed bought shells with beach found shells.
Here’s the bottom of another shell mirror…
They displayed their “knobless wonder” HORSE CONCH (the spire doesn’t have those pronounced bumps normal horsies do) right at the front entrance with a striking vase of PAPER FIGS.
They call this little heart the WENTLETRAP trap…
This wire bowl has a beach found key chain, pottery pieces, sea glass, driftwood and other beach bling along with a bought object d’ art. See? Mix and match, just do it.
Mary was a doll maker a number of years ago so on the shelves of her glass door cabinets she displays the things she loves mixed together.
Of course there are OLIVE shells in the olive dish.
Remember I showed you the OYSTER shell mirror on my post Ordinary Oyster Turn Extraordinary? Mary made a plant stand out of them.
I still have so much to show you! Like how they use their shells in the garden and by the pool and how they organize all of their shells. But, oh my. I’ve run out of time so I have to break this post into several so… hang on! You won’t believe your eyes at how many more shells they have and what they do with them. So for Part Two… CLICK HERE
All eleven of these ALPHABET CONES were found within four days of shelling this week along Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive by Wendy from West Palm Beach, FL. Talk about an eye for shelling! And she even found another one that wasn’t in that bunch. I’d say she is the CONE QUEEN.
She found these FLORIDA CONES and COLORFUL MOON SHELLS too!
But even when she isn’t lucky enough to find all of these CONE shells, she is still having fun picking up other shells with her friends to use as embellishments. Love this- they strung these shells around her straw hat. So cute!
Yes, that hat is awfully cute, but these hats just stole my heart! LaDonna, Carla and Belinda were all sporting their iLoveShelling caps when I saw them on the same beach. Weehooo! Shelling Sistahs!
We had the best time chatting it up when I spotted something pretty nice in Shelling Sistah Carla’s shell bag (you might recognize her name from her comments- Carla Knotts!). She found an excellent LIGHTNING WHELK.
She said she was happy they were already finding lots of shells but even happier just be on Sanibel. It holds a special place in her heart and I could see she wanted to capture every second on that beach and never let it go. She’s not just a shell seeker but a Sanibel seeker.
Then I ran into our local friends Dick and Mary…..
They look like they have golf clubs, don’t they? Belinda said Dick looked like he was the “Golfer of the Sea”. It would be appropriate since Clark plays golf with him every Sunday and both admitted they were better shellers than golfers.
The Golfer of the Sea found a pretty nice SHARK’S EYE….
I was tickled when they introduced me to Ernest Hemingway! Errrr, well, he looks like Papa anyway….. and has even won a look-a-like contest in Key West.
It was an amazing day yesterday off beach access #7 to find so many shells but the best thing was to meet many new friends and to see a few old ones too (and I dont mean in age! LOL).
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!
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…..