Thursday, June 20, 2013


This is a story related to me by Suzanne Dietsch a fellow artist whom I have known for a number of years. I told her I would like to publish her Sailor Valentine experience with her grandchild but was worried no one would believe it.
Teaching children as I do on Mondays at the Sanibel Community Center ( I have been blown away many times over with their talent, so there is no question in my mind the story is completely true.

So here it is expressed to me by Suzanne:
“My granddaughter Emily saw my shell ribbons one day and wanted me to give her one of mine.

I keep the ribbons I have won on the wall behind the door to my studio which is usually propped open, but leave it to Emily to look behind it.  I said “Emily you have to win your own blue ribbon”, but kept after me until I sat her down and talked her through the steps for her first valentine.

 Emily has been playing in my shell room since she could walk (and not swallowed everything and thankfully not the small shells). 
 I wasn’t sure if she would stick it out but she did and spent a whole day picking out shells and supplies and making decisions,
                       and as you can see she apparently likes very bright colors.
 I watched her change her mind at least a hundred times and offered to show her something but didn’t care for any of my suggestions,
she just kept putting me in my place and assumed she had a plan of her own, certainly not mine.
 Her level of concentration amazed me and had to tell her to stop fussing with the shells and go watch a cartoon while the glue was trying to dry. After a while she went outside to my garden to pick / eat… my strawberries.  She also loves to “hack and whack” the weeds in my garden (as she puts it).” Emily is very pleased with her creation and yes, I will enter her masterpiece at the next show. I am very proud of what she did and surprised as Emily is only 4 years old.  Suzanne”.

On a personal note I ran across Suzanne`s shell art work on e-bay a number of years ago and felt she should enter the Sanibel Shell Art Show and did. To date Suzanne has evolved into one of the top artists in the country and just don`t take my word for it see: 
And to you Emily, I would be more than happy to award you a Blue Ribbon you have earned it. Bill

see update at



1 comment:

  1. I love this story! What a beautiful and talented little lady! I can't wait to see more of her work!