Friday, July 29, 2011

The Jersey Cape Shell Club



The August 2011 Newsletter of
The Jersey Cape Shell Club
PO Box 124 Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
Monday August 1 meeting- We are pleased to again welcome Dr. Robert Robertson, Curator Emeritus, Department of Malacology, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, as our speaker for the evening. Dr. Robertson has had a fascinating and well-traveled career and continues to write and lecture about his adventures. The program he will be giving is titled “"A wobbly old snail watcher will talk about some local bivalves and periwinkles, with close-up and personal photos." This will be a meeting that will be well worthy attending! Come to meet Dr. Robertson and his wife Happy Robertson and we’ll hope to see everyone at 7:30 sharp.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From Jersey cape Shell Club President and Shell Show Chairperson, Karen Lelli;

Hello Everyone,
The show is rapidly approaching and I’m getting very excited about this years event. We have many unique exhibits and some very new exhibitors entering in our show. I’ve only opened a few applications and I counted over sixty five feet of entries. I hope I get more each day before the deadline of the thirty first.
I am very grateful to Caroll Rappold and Lowell and B.J. Bingham for accepting the job of setting up the
Cape May Court
House Library exhibit. It is an important part of our show to get the exposure from all of the library’s visitors. Let’s all please support them by visiting the library during the month of August to see what they have created for us.

Last month I was very happy to accept the help from Pat Whitaker, Stephanie Schrader and Barbara and Ron Rulon for supplying the treats and paper products for our meeting. I don’t have anyone lined up for the August meeting, so please call me and let me know if you can help.
I just want to say again, what a pleasure it was to have Amanda Lawless speak to us at the July meeting. The club learns so much from her continued research of the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay area and how it is affected by their changing environment. I know that many of the club newsletter readers don’t have access to Facebook, so I’ll repeat for you what I had posted:
Did you know: that the Chesapeake used to be crystal clear, that the name Chesapeake is from the Indian tribe Algonquian meaning Great Water or Great Shellfish Bay; that now because of fisherman dredging for oysters, pollution and disease the oyster population (the greatest natural water filter) is down only one percent of what it used to be; that scientists are building man made reefs to try and increase the population? These are only a few things we learned from Amanda that night. Our marine environment affects all of us. We have to learn to use it wisely and protect it from widespread misuse. We thank Amanda for all of her research and helping to protect our marine world.
I’m looking forward to the August first meeting. Dr. Robert Robertson will be speaking to us and his title is “"A wobbly old snail watcher will talk about some local bivalves and periwinkles, with close-up and personal photos." Dr. Robertson is a lot of fun and I would like for everyone to join us for this meeting.
As most of you already know, the club has voted and the remainder of money left in the “Dr. Marlyn “Marty” Bortner Scholarship fund” was donated to the Wetlands Institute Education Dept. They were extremely pleased with the donation and will put the money to very good use. We will now have a half page ad in the Wetlands Institute “Trail Guide”. I also wanted to share with the club the following letter sent to me and the Wetlands Institute from Peter Bortner, Marty’s son. He wanted us and them to know a little about the man who loved the Jersey Cape Shell Club and the Wetlands Institute. I know that I am very proud to have known Marty, even if it was for a few short years.
I want to tell you about my dad, Marty Bortner, whose generosity helped to provide the money that the Wetlands Institute is receiving.
If he had the choice of being anywhere, it was Stone Harbor. He loved the beach, the ocean, the marshes and, of course, Springer’s. I suspect that if he had to live his life over, he’d live it over an ice cream parlor.
Nothing excited him more than finding some nice seashells while walking along the beach at the Point, unless it was finding at a hobby shop some stamps that pictured those seashells.
His dream house,
230 117th St.
, was just the place where he could relax and enjoy those seashells – and, of course, the birds that inhabit, or at least used to inhabit, the Bird Sanctuary next to the back yard.

Of course, what he really liked was to enjoy those things while his grandson, Tim, was around. I’m just sorry I didn’t get around to having him a little earlier so they could have enjoyed each other more.
Dad was a scientist, with a Ph. D. to prove it, and he truly appreciated having the Wetlands Institute next to Stone Harbor. He served as president of the Jersey Cape Shell Club, which holds its meetings in the institute, and loved having the meetings in a building devoted to promoting the beauty and science of the region. He even attended the opening of the institute, and was as excited to see Herbert Mills as he was to see Prince Bernhard.
General Electric was where he worked as an air research chemist, and he liked what he did. He worked hard, but he was never too busy to help other people and his communities in Pennsylvania, where we lived, and Stone Harbor, where I think he would have wanted to live his whole life. He spent much of his youth in Cape May Court House, where his father served as superintendent of schools, so it’s appropriate that he is helping an organization based in the township.
He regarded the shell club as more than just a passing fancy, and worked constantly to promote it. While he served as its president, he helped to have the knobbed whelk named as the official state shell of New Jersey.
One thing he never promoted was himself. I am happy that I can do a little to help people remember him.
I know the Wetlands Institute will take good care of the money, and use it to help boost science and the seashore. My father would be happy to have the money go here.
There you have it folks. Marty would be very proud of his son, too.
On that note I’ll wrap this up. Please attend the August meeting and support your club.
Thanks, and Happy Shelling,
Karen
From our Treasurer, Stephanie Schrader;
Many thanks goes to our consecutive Shell Show Supporters Bob Lelli of Automotive Parts of S.J. in Vineland and to Tom Enstice of Enstice,Dugan Group, @ Morgan Stanley Smith Barney of Northfield. Not only are they members, but their monetary support is constant and is GREATLY appreciated. Thank You!!
I received this from the Broward shell club....I liked it.

The Oyster

There once was an oyster whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand had got into his shell,
It was only a grain, but gave him great pain,
For oysters have feelings although they're plain,
Now, did he berate the harsh working of fate
That had brought him to such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government, cry for election,
and claim that the sea should have given him protection?
No- he said to himself as he lay on a shelf,
Since I cannot move it, I shall try to improve it,
Now the years have rolled around, as the years always do,
and he came to his ultimate destiny--stew

And the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow,

Now the tale has a moral;for all isn't grand
what an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?

What couldn't we do if only begin
with some of the things that get under our skin.
2011 Jersey Cape Shell Club DUES are DUE!
Please bring to the meeting or mail to Stephanie Schrader ;
#1- $8.00 for a single, $12.00 for a family
#2- Your name, mailing address, phone number AND most importantly;
#3- Your email address
The Jersey Cape Shell Club
Stephanie Schrader, Treasurer
3 Botany Circle

Willingboro, NJ 08046
609-811-9320
Please carefully print your email address, as that is the easiest and least expensive way to get the newsletter to you!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meetings are held at The Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor Blvd, Stone Harbor, NJ at 7:30 pm on the first Monday of every month from May through October, unless that day is a holiday, when we move to the following Monday.
Our schedule this year is as follows;
Monday July 11 (delayed due to Independence Day on previous Monday)
Monday August 1
Thursday August 18 SHELL SHOW SET UP and judging
Friday through Sunday August 19-21 SHELL SHOW!
Monday September 12 (delayed due to Labor Day on previous Monday)
Monday October 1
Saturday December 3? Holiday party
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Club Officers and do-ers;
President, Show Chairperson; Karen Lelli 856-691-5831
KJLelli53@comcast.net
Vice President , Crafty Lady Chairperson; Mary Still 609-886-3905
samar@snip.net
Publicity; June Kelley 215-675-2547 home, 609-522-1023 summer and Maura Kelley
mjkelley1234@aol.com
Treasurer ; Stephanie Schrader 609-871-9320 seashelllady@comcast.net
Programs, Newsletter; Sue Hobbs 609-884-7601
suehobbs@verizon.net
Biology Lesson Guru; JB Sessoms 609-653-8017

Club Bons Vivants; Lowell and BJ Bingham 856-327-3818 bingham2007@comcast.net
………………………………............................................................................................................................
Check out what is new with the club on Facebook!

Monday, July 25, 2011

RICE SHELL EAR RINGS ( Part One of Two )

This blog is all about a formula I have come up with over time to create Rice Shell Ear Rings.  I suggest you STOP RIGHT HERE before you go any further in this blog for two reasons. The first reason it`s not an easy process and the second reason will appear at the conclusion of this blog. So don't say I didn't warn you!

To start off with you will need Rice Shells and Mustard Seeds as pictured here.
Next is to sort out 16 rice shells to a consistent length. Now the shell length depends on the size of the earring post to be used. In this demonstration the post size is 8 mm requiring the shell length to be approximately 7 mm long, and you will see how this ratio works out in the following pictures.
Shown here are four plastic bottle caps I`m using as easels. On the front two I have cut a small piece of single strength glass and used hot melt glue to hold the glass in place on the cap. On the back two bottle caps I installed a section of double stick carpet tape to the glass. Next I positioned eight of the measured rice shells on to adhesive tape which aids holding them in place. The following picture is the type of carpet tape I used.
                                                                          CT 1030
 
So far so good but I have to tell you it took hours of trial and error to get the process to this point along with many trips to my SHRINK to keep my sanity.  So I will go back to my original statement “don't say I didn't warn you!”
If you are still willing to continue to take the risk it is time to move on to the next step.
In this picture, using a tooth pick I`m applying epoxy glue to fill the center area of the shells in order to bond them together. But if this is your first attempt at a project such as this it might be best to use something like 527 or Tacky Glue. The reason being epoxy sets up fast and using it takes lots of practice.  So to continue on, after you have given the chosen glue the required amount of bonding time take a single edge razor blade and lift the eight bonded shells from the tape. Then in the same motion flip them over placing them back down onto the tape as shown in the following picture.
  
Now it on to the earring posts. This is starting to sound like a horse race, “They're at the post”! 
      see: http://seashelladdiction.blogspot.com/2011/07/rice-shell-ear-rings-part-two.html

RICE SHELL EAR RINGS (Part Two )

Here, using a pair of pliers I`m etching the surface of the ear ring posts on sand paper to enhance the bonding capabilities of the glue when attaching them to the eight shells.

 I am now applying glue to the post and in the next picture setting it on to the rice shells and allowing it to dry over night.
The next day, using a pair of tweezers I can easily lift the earring from the carpet tape easel as shown in the following picture.
Next I created another set of bottle cap easels and drilled small holes in the center to receive the earring posts and I`m painting each one of the eight shells with clear nail polish.

Now moving on to the finish line I am installing mustard seeds using a very fine pointed set of tweezers dipping them one by one into the glue and setting them in place as shown.
So here we are with a completed pair, so what do I do with them now, should I give them to someone?

In the beginning paragraph of this two part blog I gave two warnings as to why NOT to learn how I create these earrings. The first one was “it is not an easy process” and the last picture in this blog explains the second reason.
Your family, your friends, friends of your family, do I need to go on ? lol

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SHELL ART&"GROG"?

I`m sure you may find this  picture a little strange but it has caught your attention,
a pair of Sailors Valentines, three empty Valentine Cases and a bottle of Scotch. The only thing missing is the glass with ice. I have been told on many occasions that my art work is unique so why not display a unique picture to make you wonder what I am up to. So to start off this blog there is a tale from folklore that in the early 1800s a sailor aboard ship created a shell mosaic in an eight sided compass case which became known as a Sailors Valentine. It is well known that aboard these trade ships fresh water was at a premium so they would mix the water with rum and what was then called “small beer” (low or no alcohol content) creating a drink known as “grog”. Now I wonder how much “grog” that sailor used to create his valentine aboard ship, because there are times creating one when you run into situations that would almost drive anyone to drink. Now the reason I have told this story is to tell you mine.
At the Sanibel Show, Philly Show or at the Sanibel Community Center on Mondays I display some of my creations as well as demonstrating shell art. The idea behind this is to answer any and all questions the public may have about shell art. Now there is one question they always ask while viewing my artwork, “How long did it take you to make that”. Way back when my answer was “To be honest if I kept track of the time I’d probably never start another one”. Somehow when I would give that answer it seemed like it had no color or flair so I added a line to spice it up.
“If I remember right on this particular item I went through two and a half cases of Scotch on the Rocks.” Well the looks I get when I give that answer are priceless to say the least. It really catches people of guard. They look at me and say “yeah, right”.

Now there is another question that comes up a lot, and that is “how much is this item”? Well as in the last story I would quote the price and nothing more was said, and slowly they would walk away. Again it seemed like a dried up, no fun answer so now when I`m asked I still give the price and then say “Yes it is rather expensive, matter of fact it is so expensive I could not afford to buy one myself so I had to make my own.” Now when they walk away they have a smile on their face. So if you happen to be at the Philly Show in Oct., Sanibel Show in March or on Sanibel Island at the Community Center some Monday stop in and say hello and ask me any question I may just have a fun answer for you. See you then.


The Sanibel Shell Crafters of Sanibel Community Association
Come Join the Shell Crafting Fun that provides the perfect opportunity for Florida Snowbirds to turn to Showbirds!

WHO: You and all interested men and women who would enjoy working on Shell
Creations. No experience is necessary. Instruction and assistance are available.
WHERE: The Sanibel Community House,

2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel FL 33957

(239) 472-2155
WHEN: Every Monday from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (11 months of the year) – we rest in March.
WHAT HAPPENS?
• Dessert and coffee are provided, but bring a brown- bag lunch.
• You make flowers, jewelry, animals and other creations all out of shell and other sea life.
• All materials are provided.
• You have an opportunity to learn new skills, and expand your creative instincts in a relaxed atmosphere.
• You will meet interesting people, some amateurs and some skilled professional artisans, all of whom are willing to instruct and eager to help.
• You will enjoy fun and fellowship.
COST: None! All shell creations made by our volunteers remain at the Community House.
HISTORY: The Sanibel Shell Crafters have been meeting weekly since the late 1920’s. The group, which was created in order to prepare for the March Shell Fair, is currently under the capable leadership of Goz Gosselin and Betty Gardner. The items created by this fun loving group of volunteers are sold at the Sanibel Shell Fair each March. The proceeds from this sale go toward maintaining the Historical Sanibel Community House.
SHELLS: Since we are largely dependent on donations for our supply of shells, we welcome your collection.

Monday, July 11, 2011

THE VALENTINE CASE

For those of you who think my Shell Art Addiction began from combing the beach for sea shells you would be wrong. It started when an up and coming artist asked if I could make an eight-sided case for her art work.  And my very next question was, "what kind of art work?" Her answer was, “They're called 'Sailors Valentines' and I create shell mosaics inside them”. So the next thing I knew I was delivering cases. Upon delivery, I would see flowers made out sea shells that almost looked real with beautiful mosaic shell patterns that were uniquely formed inside the cases. They were stunning to look at and each time I delivered them I was pulled in deeper and deeper until I was hooked. So here I am nineteen years later with stacks of lumber, a wood working shop, a website, a weekly blog and sea shells wall-to-wall, and so I guess you could say I am completely addicted!
From the very beginning it was important to me to create a case that would be of the highest quality and strength. The finished case in itself should be at the least equal to the art work inside and have the ability to hold together in a home environment for many years to come. There have been times when I have been asked to make what is called a bottom loading case where the artist will create his/her art work on the plywood base then glue it to the eight sided frame. In the following picture to the left of the black line is how this finished installation looks from the back side of the case. Now that is all well an good for those who are used to this type of system as many cases in the 1800`s where made in this way. But my problem has always been if the plywood decides to twist for some reason it will end up creating a pulling pressure on the joints of the frame and over time some of the glue joints will fail.

In the next picture you can see how a “bottom loading” case from the 1800`s looks when I receive them for restoration.

So here is another case design I prefer, so to the right of the black line in the next picture is the back of top loading case where the plywood is notched into the sides of the case.
Now in this method of construction, it is a stronger application due to the fact that the plywood base is slotted and glued into each an every one of the eight sides of the case. The next two pictures are showing a cross section of this method with the plywood in place and the last picture the back of the finished case.
So to close out this blog, I going to talk as if I’m a piece of wood in a Valentine Case. If I feel cold, I will shrink in size and the colder it gets the more I will shrink. If I’m placed in direct sun light my color will fade inside and out and in the right conditions sometimes condensation will form on the glass inside the case. If I end up in a hot humid area, I will expand. So as piece of wood all I can say is, all I want is my freedom to be the way I want to be. These experiences I have expressed means I am always in a constant battle with the glue that holds me in place. So I will leave the answer up to you as to, which style case will loose the battle quicker.
“The finished case in itself should be at the least equal to the art work inside and have the ability to hold together in your home environment for many years to come.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


See my Shell Art Store on Etsy
https://www.etsy.com/shop/shellartbyjordan

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The July 2011 Newsletter of


The Jersey Cape Shell Club

PO Box 124 Stone Harbor, NJ 08247

 

Our July 11 meeting is a week delayed due to the holiday, but it will be worth waiting for! We are again fortunate to have Amanda Lawless, of the department of malacology at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, as our speaker this month. You will remember the first installment of her story last year, she spoke to us about her work in the Chesapeake Bay doing surveys of oyster reefs. So, come and hear Amanda, in her usual cheery, energetic and definitive way, tell us about “The effect of oyster reefs on benthic communities in Chesapeake Bay” part 2! See you there at 7:30- and bring a friend.

(from the editor- Amanda gives a great talk. I have seen her presentations at Jersey Cape and Philadelphia clubs and she is well worth coming to the meeting for!)



A note from your Pres. and Shell Show Chair, Karen Lelli:

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and I’m looking forward to having more of our members attend the July meeting. We only have six meetings planned for this year and the first two had a very poor showing. I know everyone gets busy with their own families and lives and our shell club family needs attention, too.

The club was very happy to have Katie Sellers, our Dr. Marlin “Marty” Bortner, scholarship award winner, give a presentation on her internships during her four years at University of Miami. She has really made us all very proud and continues to do so as she prepares for her graduate degree in the fall. Katie will be assisting with the shell show and everyone will be able to speak with her and enjoy her company. Katie is beautiful, energetic and a pure pleasure to get to know. Many thanks to Katie for all she is doing and plans to do for the marine environment. Katie can also be found this summer at the Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center. (Maybe you and your family would enjoy a day trip with Katie to spot some whales. Yes, she says they’re out there.)

The club still needs volunteers to help make desserts for the July meeting. Ron and Barbara Rulon will bring the paper products, Stephanie Schrader will bring the beverages and it would be very much appreciated (especially by me, who will end up making them again) if some of you would call me and offer your help with this task. If a couple of people would just bring one dessert, it would be a big help.

Volunteer help is the most important part of the shell show. Please attend the July meeting to sign up and give Mary a chance to make the necessary schedules. We are very lucky to have Louise Pepe, Jaime and Lindsey Rafter, Michele and Rory Gilmartin and Carol Rappold help with the Kids Crafts. Kids Crafts draws great attention and we are very happy to have these fun and talented members in charge.

I have all the ribbons and trophies ordered and some flyers made. (Again, please come to the meeting to get some flyers to display in your hometown grocery stores, public libraries, local YMCA, ANYWHERE shop owners will allow the space.) Now, I need everyone to finish their exhibits, measure them exactly and get me the applications asap. If you haven’t received the forms or applications, call me or Sue Hobbs right away. We will be happy to send them or email them to you. Don’t forget, if there is room, we have added Sea Glass and other beach find categories. Call for more information.

• This year, beside the usual exhibitors, I am happy to say that because of Face Book and the Jersey Cape Shell Club page, we have gotten the attention of two new exhibitors. Cathy Young , proprietor of Mid Atlantic Fossil and Nature Adventures, will enter a collection of wonderful and exciting self-collected fossils and, Jaroslaw Turek, a member of the Czech Conch Collector Club from Poland, will exhibit for the first time outside of Europe. Because we captured Jaroslaw’s attention, he is determined to go to the trouble and expense of customs and shipping to share some of his treasures with us. So PLEASE, let’s show Cathy and Jaroslaw that we are worth their time and efforts!

Our fellow club member, exhibitor and Marco Island club member, Sheila McFarland, is donating a whimsical shell creation for our show’s raffle. We are very fortunate to have members who generously give their time and gifts to enhance our show.

I have a huge request for someone with a shell collection, however large or small, who would kindly take on the job of setting up the Cape May Court House Library showcase exhibit for the entire month of August this year. Maybe you could buddy up with a friend to share the job of putting something together. It could be fun and a great way to show off your collection and help the club advertise the shell show. The library exhibit brings in lots of interested new people looking for educational summer activities for their families. I’d like to keep the exhibits new and fresh and I’m running out of new items of my own to show. Call me if you could please help and I’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you on July 11th and in the meantime, HAPPY SHELLING!

SHELL SHOW ENTRY FORMS- email or call Karen or Sue (who will be away @ the Conchologists of America convention July 10-20). Deadline for entries is July 31!

2011 Jersey Cape Shell Club DUES are DUE!

Please bring to the meeting or mail to Stephanie Schrader ;

#1- $8.00 for a single, $12.00 for a family

#2- Your name, mailing address, phone number AND most importantly;

#3- Your email address

The Jersey Cape Shell Club

Stephanie Schrader, Treasurer

3 Botany Circle

Willingboro, NJ 08046

609-811-9320

Please carefully print your email address, as that is the easiest and least expensive way to get the newsletter to you!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meetings are held at The Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor Blvd, Stone Harbor, NJ at 7:30 pm on the first Monday of every month from May through October, unless that day is a holiday, when we move to the following Monday.

Our schedule this year is as follows;

Monday July 11 (delayed due to Independence Day on previous Monday)

Monday August 1

Thursday August 18 SHELL SHOW SET UP and judging

Friday through Sunday August 19-21 SHELL SHOW!

Monday September 12 (delayed due to Labor Day on previous Monday)

Monday October 1

Saturday December 3? Holiday party

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Club Officers and do-ers;

President, Show Chairperson; Karen Lelli 856-691-5831 KJLelli53@comcast.net

Vice President , Crafty Lady Chairperson; Mary Still 609-886-3905 samar@snip.net

Publicity; June Kelley 215-675-2547 home, 609-522-1023 summer and Maura Kelley mjkelley1234@aol.com

Treasurer ; Stephanie Schrader 609-871-9320 seashelllady@comcast.net

Programs, Newsletter; Sue Hobbs 609-884-7601 suehobbs@verizon.net

Club Bons Vivants; Lowell and BJ Bingham 856-327-3818 bingham2007@comcast.net

………………………………............................................................................................................................

Check out what is new with the club on Facebook!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Jersey-Cape-Shell-Club/148673631814685

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red, White & Blue = GOD BLESS AMERICA

In celebration of this upcoming weekend’s Patriot festivities, I wanted to write a quick blog about how I like to honor the Fourth of July through my craft. Just like so many Americans’, this weekend is all about fun, family BBQ’s and the beach. I am fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the warm sunny Florida weather and have access to many beautiful beaches all year long; however, I also come to the beach to find my inspiration for my work.


What better way to show my gratitude towards those that have helped to keep us safe and free, than by taking a timeless piece like a pocket watch and turn it into the center of a true patriotic statement…GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Above you can see that I have blended my passion for my craft and that for the United States through shell art.  I deliberately chose to use red, white and blue to capture the colors that will light up the night this weekend. So, in the spirit of our Independence Day, I hope that you all stay safe and enjoy the countless treasures that we have been able to indulge ourselves with over the years. Enjoy this wonderful weekend and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!