Wednesday, July 20, 2011


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.
• 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.

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