27 Apr
Posted in: apr
By nikki    Comments Off

Shell artistry

I’ll admit, the project I’m about to reveal was done a LONG time ago. Just so we’re clear, I had a lot more time for tedious, meticulous projects before I had kids. But the fact that I still display it almost seven years after I made them tells me one of two things: 1) These little things were crafted so well that they still look good or 2) It’s been so long since I’ve changed certain decor that I’m blind to a fashion I should have abandoned years ago. (I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt and go with “1″.)

I was an avid seashell collector in the past – not in a weird, turn-away-potential-boyfriends way – just in that I have always loved the beach and during any given visit to any given shore, I would gather up some good remnants simply for the fond memory of having been there.

But even great remnants can be nothing but dull unless you can do something with them. For instance, we have a small apothecary-type jar in one of the bathrooms (the one that’s waiting to understand its true theme) that displays a wide range of shells I gathered on a trip with my husband to a Balinese beach before we got married. (See, he DID watch me lug a bulky but delicate sack of sandy mementos through security and yes, he DID still propose.)

In that same bathroom is a shadow box that carefully protects four, pristine and unbroken sand dollars in a variety of sizes and shapes. These were gathered from a beach here in Northern California when I was probably my daughter’s age. Somehow I managed to preserve them and finally got the idea to attach a small strip of Velcro to each back in order to mount them safely so everyone could enjoy their beauty.

(Aren’t they amazing?)

And that brings me to the project I’d like to share today. I had two seashell necklaces from Hawai’i that had both seen better days. The threads running through them had disintegrated and all that was left was a shiny pile of little pouches and swirls. Stored in a plastic bag for an innumerable amount of time, the shells served absolutely no purpose until one day, I found myself purchasing an assortment of these interesting spheres constructed of wood, moss and twig. Not long after, I uncovered that ratty old Ziploc and recognized that I probably had more than enough material to add a couple more tactile globes to the collection.

On my next trip to the craft store, I meandered the Styrofoam shape aisle and estimated the ball sizes that might accommodate the collections. The ol’ hot glue gun got a LOT of exercise that day. I managed only to throw out a few of the shells that were left over (surely, there was no need to keep them for another 5 years) and was pretty happy with how much coverage they gave to the white foam. In retrospect, I might have painted the spheres first, but that was WAY before I would have given even a second though to a spray paint can. Don’t worry, I don’t have enough time to re-do them now.

You can tell me this decor is past its prime but I’ll tell you how nice it is to glance at these and think of nothing but holding a fruity drink on the island… if it’s the only split-second escape I get, I’ll take it.

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