Friday, January 27, 2012

THE HENNEMANN'S FIRST VALENTINE

To say the least what a wonderful work of shell art. It is hard to believe that it was created from a Sailors Valentine Kit which put me on to writing this blog.
A few weeks ago the Hennemann`s e-mailed this proud picture of their first attempt at creating a sailors valentine and they have every right to be proud,  as does the supplier who created the kit.
The two top companies who retail these kits are, http://www.seashells.com/sailorsvalentines/svfromsmallkit.htm
                                   and the other is http://www.nantucketsailorsvalentinekits.com/

Which leads me to a statement I have heard on many occasions: “I would love to create my own Sailors Valentine but I have no idea how to begin”, so my answer is a simple one: purchase a kit. The reason I say that is they are all laid out for the beginner. They come with an instruction book, the layout and all the shells needed, sorted by size, shape and color along with the case. It`s all there in one neat little package.
Now at this moment I can hear some of you saying “But I want my valentine to be something I created, not someone else’s design!”, and I can understand that feeling but here`s something to think about in the following pictures before starting your own.
                                  These shells are called Spirula, also known as Ram`s Horns.
As you can see they really look great in my Traditional Valentine and the last time I purchased them about three years ago they were 50 cents a piece.
Rice shells were 35 dollars a kilo 20 years ago, today a quarter cup is about 50 dollars just to paint a quick picture of what you can get into creating your own. Then there's all the cursing that goes on constructing it, well at least in my case.  Lol. So again if you are one of those people who have said “I would love to create a Sailors Valentine but I have no idea how to begin”, then as I see it this is the best and most inexpensive way to get you on your way in the world of shell art in the form of a Sailors Valentine Kit. So here are those two links again, http://www.seashells.com/sailorsvalentines/svfromsmallkit.htm , http://www.nantucketsailorsvalentinekits.com/ see, you don't even have to search the internet that`s how close you are to creating one. It`s all up to you now, no more excuses.     P.S. I will be expecting to see an e-mail picture of your first completed valentine in a couple of weeks, the Hennemann`s did it, now it`s your turn.

Friday, January 6, 2012

CHOOSE ME , NO CHOOSE ME !

 I just finished this 3 ¼ inch Valentine and while creating it, the shells starting talking to me!  Now I know this sounds a little crazy but I have had this feeling in the past and mentioned it to some of my friends and asked if it had ever happened to them or was I just losing my mind. They told me there was nothing to be concerned about and assured me, “You lost it a long time ago”!

So here’s what happens every so often while sorting out shells by color, shape and size. This is a process that goes on for hours and hours and boredom sets in and my mind starts to drift off in all kinds of directions. It is at his point I start to think the shells are looking up at me as I reach out with my tweezers and I get this feeling they're screaming, "CHOOSE ME!, NO CHOOSE ME!" so I pick one up and set it in place. Then I pick up another shell and find it’s a little too large and toss it back in the pile.  The next thing I hear is, “What did I do wrong, why did you throw me back in the pile! Do you have any idea what I have been through to get to this point, to be a part of your art work? Think about it, I gave up my life for you! This is not fair”!  WOW! Is this really happening? I think I best stop right here and get on the internet and see if I can find a sea shell shrink! But then  I  recall a book given to me years ago written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh where sea shells talk to her.  I`m starting to feel better already. While Anne was on vacation on Captiva Island in the early 1950s she wrote an essay-style work called “Gift from the Sea” about the shells she had collected. 
 At the close of the day she spread these gifts before her and in quiet mediation picking them up one by one they spoke to her of life, reflecting on youth, age, marriage, peace, solitude, and contentment during her visit. So in my defense I am not the only one hearing shells speak. Thank you Anne! 
The truth is in some ways shells do have a way of speaking to me in their variety of colors,  shapes and sizes, otherwise I would not feel the need to collect or display them on a shelf or arrange them in numerous forms of shell art.  But why do the shells scream “CHOOSE ME”. To be honest the only answer I can come up with as strange as it may sound is that if I were a shell that had been washed ashore after a violent storm thinking I would end up as nothing more than simple grain of sand and someone collected me I would love nothing more than be set in a place of honor in that persons home.
Well maybe reading this blog so far you are sure I have lost it, but the only answer I can come up with is if I was one of those shells sitting next to this work of art pictured here and realized there was a possibility of becoming a part of it I guess I would scream too. It would truly be a place of honor in remembrance of a life I once lived for many years to come.
So the next time you pick up a shell and put it to your ear you more than likely will hear the roar of the ocean or just by chance you just might hear, “CHOOSE ME”!