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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sea Shell Display


Last month I spent about a week organizing my shell
collection.  I've collected shells since I was in grade
school!  I've never lived near the ocean, but we
took a few family vacations to the Atlantic Ocean
and I remember starting my collection during those
trips.  I bought a little postcard in a souvenir shop that
had pictures of shells with their names and a
little bag of shells stapled to the card.


I framed a mirror with hundreds of shells several years
ago and filled a shadow box with more, but the rest
have filled a jar or two and a big bowl on the coffee table.
The thing is, I seem to always find a bag of shells in the
auction trash!  haha...so my collection has grown to
be quite large over the last couple of years!



I thought it was time to be a more serious collector and
display them properly!  It took me about a week to
divided them according to type, researched their
names and display them in a better way with labels
and pretty containers on my shelves.


It was not only fun, but fascinating, too!
I loved learning the names from Sailor's Ear
to Kitten Paw...Cockle to Turkey Wing.


It also gave me something to do with the pretty vintage
 containers I've brought home from the auction trash.


See the sea horse?  I've had him since I was about 10 years old!


"Singing, Cockles and mussels, alive alive, oh...."
Did you sing that in grade school, too? :)


Now when I find a bag of old shells, I can easily
call them by name and put them in their proper jar.


So you see...girls in Ohio can have sea shells collections, too!



They can even know their semeles from their ceriths. ha.



And here's the kitten paws...just for Martha. :)

50 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. yeah, well I collect a lot of things...shells....cats....lol....

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    2. Well, when it comes to collecting, I know what it's like!

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    3. collecting...or hoarding? lol....ducks.....

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    4. True... Not everyone knows the difference.

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  2. Very nice! With winter coming, you can look at the shells and be reminded of the tropics

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    Replies
    1. Which "assistant" is that laying on the table in the second picture?

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    2. That is Jack. He wanted to help with the string but couldn't keep his eyes open. ha.

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  3. Can you please show me the "Kitten's Paw"?
    My mom collected shells at the beach in Massachusetts when I was a little girl. They were snail shells and still had the snails inside. She put them in the sun to dry. I can still remember how those things stunk! She was stubborn though and we had them in a bowl for a long time afterward, after they stopped stinking so bad that is.

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  4. Marine gastropods I know but semeles?
    Don't know what they look like.

    Beautiful collection.
    Really impressive how you displayed them in those glass container and with their names!

    :)

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    Replies
    1. I had to look that up on google! haha.
      This was worth the effort...now it is a collection with some meaning. And I learned a few things, too! ha.
      Semeles are very common...little round, smooth shells...white and light yellow. Many have a little hole, ready to string on a necklace. The jar is in the next to the last picture.

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  5. wow. you do have quite the collection...even a little sea horse...that is so cool!
    i love hte ocean...i used to dive when we lived in FL and bring up som crazy things to show logan
    he was only 6 months so he doesnt remember it much...

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    Replies
    1. Well, that sounds fun! You can find some cool things when you go out deep instead of relying on what washes on shore!
      I love that little sea horse. Came really close to buying one for my aquarium once, but was afraid he'd die. My luck with the live fish is pretty bad. ha.

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  6. Hi Betsy - sea shells are fun aren't they ... I've now given mine away - but they are loved by others ..

    What a gorgeous way to display them .. love your creative artistic talents ... and that sea horse is fabulous to have lasted so long ..

    Great fun to see .. cheers Hilary

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it? He survived a few moves, too....how, I'm not sure! I wish I had that first little postcard, though...not sure what happened to it.

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  7. What a collection Betsy - and kept like a true archivist. Next time I am at the seaside I will look for a shell and ship it over to you.

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    1. Well, you know I'd love that! A British shell from my good friend. You know, Spencer still has the train postcard you sent him. It's tacked up on his little cork board above his computer. :)

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  8. Wow that is a ton
    Great how you can now give them all a run
    And know them by name
    You now have more than a collection of cats to bring you fame haha

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    Replies
    1. look...you said something nice!
      I had to look twice!
      lol....

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    2. Once in a while
      I avoid the vile lol
      Maybe it was jack
      Making me go all nice at your shack

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    3. jack is always the helper here
      whether I want him to or not, I fear. ha.

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    4. Haha looks more like a supervisor actually
      Sleeping and being lazy

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    5. that is so true...
      and overpaid slob at my zoo.
      lol...

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  9. Bets, these are beautiful. You must have a great deal of shelf/display space. I have so little now. Since we moved out of our family home December 2009, we have downsized by at least 50% and the wall space is almost nil making it difficult for my husband to hang his work whenever he removes it from a gallery.

    Love the "Mermaid Toenails" name. Those mermaids need a pedi.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cali. I do have LOTS of shelves. I prefer that to lots of 'stuff' on my furniture. ha. I love the names, too...would have been a fun job to name them all!

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  10. Too bad that wasn't on your list!
    I have similar jars full of shells scattered about...
    Florida 2012 saw me looking up tons of local shells etc...fascinating stuff!!
    I have a very large Conch shell, that belonged to my parents...
    Yours look fabulous...My powder room houses most of my shells...
    Perhaps...I can copy you...and do a post when I am running on empty!!! Ha!

    Enjoy your day!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a collection of conch shells, myself! Love them! They just sit on the shelf...too big for a jar! lol....

      looking for shells on the beach...that is so fun! And I love jars of shells in the bathroom, too...always lovely!

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  11. aah and this cat-shell??? Is curious LOL
    Love your jars with seashells, yesterday I make a comment but I can't put!
    Anyway I love shells too! and have some jars! you know I love collections: shells,teapots,little old boxes, some persons (lol) and love all!! (Blue and White china too:)))

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    Replies
    1. I know...isn't that funny? Kitten Paws. There are Cat Eyes, too!

      You know...we really do have a lot of the same collections! Same people? Hmmm....who? lol....

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    2. ah you know! The people are always in my heart lol

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  12. Jack is something special isnt' is ???

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    Replies
    1. Isn't he? He is such an affectionate cat...well, only to me. ha. He does love me...and I love that. :)

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    2. guess what...Nuggets started eating carrots! ha.

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    3. ha! He is a realy good bunny! Here the bunnies fight all the time, and fight by food too!

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  13. Shell-icious! Such a lot of effort - but fun effort, it sounds like! They look beautiful. And something about them being displayed in glass is so apt - I guess because it's so similar to water and has a shimmery reflection. Your assistant looks like he has been putting in a very hard day indeed. P.S. I think it's "cockles and mussels" - I know, I know, it's the anal editor in me - can't help myself!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHA! Oh, I am laughing...yes, mussels. Going to correct that right now! Thank you. :)

      Yes, it was a lot of effort. I thought it would take me a day, but I put a week into it. But I love the results and it seems so much better now. I'm really enjoying it and glad the hard part is done. lol....

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  14. What a magnificent collection of sea shells. The jars and labels just make them so very special. I don't think I've ever seen such an array of the different kinds and their names. I'm so impressed Betsy. They are so lovely.

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    1. Kinda funny that most of them I searched the auction trash for instead of searching the beach. haha...but there are some I got on the beach..and that is much more fun. :)

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  15. Great collection! It does look like a lot of work, but fun to do. We have so many large shells that we recently boxed up for now. Trying to rotate the "clutter" in shifts, so it all gets some time in the sun. But I have my small one in glass containers in one of the bathrroms that has an ocean theme. They are so fun and do seem to take me away to a calm and peaceful place.

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    1. Rotate the clutter...haha...that's a great idea. When you bring them out months later, they will feel new and fresh. :)

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  16. I knew I liked you...I have a few jars of shells, but I collect rocks from vacations. Have you seen the movie The Long, Long, Trailer, with Desi Arnez? A classic! Love those kitten paws

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    1. My Taylor collected rocks when he was younger. It's still here at our house...he has quite a few nice ones!
      I love rocks, too, but don't have a collection. I've seen a few people that collect heart shaped rocks and they look really cool in a basket or displayed together. Now...I need to watch that old movie! You have my curiosity going!

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  17. Such a cool collection Betsy, love these.

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  18. Great idea Betsy. I especially like the addition of the labels.

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  19. What a lovely collection Betsy and such a lovely way to display them, especially like the ones in the vases.

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