Sunday, July 1, 2012

Seaside Treasures

Of all my posts this year, I was looking forward to this one most of all.....  until, that is,  I realized I couldn't find the projects I wanted to share.  So, being the creative person that I am - I decided to punt...  no doubt I'll find my shell encrusted frame and heart shaped Sailors' Valentine when I'm not looking for them - probably in December while I'm looking for the Christmas presents I've hidden.  Age is a great teacher and probably one of the most important things I've learned is - to make notes, otherwise those secret hiding places will remain just that - a secret!

Vacations and crafts go hand in hand at our house.  Partly because, for me, it isn't a vacation unless I'm walking along a beach somewhere looking for shells.  I've collected shells ever since I can remember.  We always went to the beach two or three times a year when I was growing up and I always came back with buckets full of shells.  I still have them.  They've been lovingly and carefully wrapped and stored in old biscuit (cookie) tins and shoe boxes and have always moved with me.

I remember building sand castles, sand cottages and motor boats on the beach with my parents, then decorating them with shells.  The shells I brought home were used to decorate boxes or turned into flowers, animals and anything and everything I could imagine.  I've written a lot of craft books in my time and one of my favourties is still "Seaside Treasures".  It was first published in 1995 and still available a couple of years ago.  It was updated in 2010 (I think), but the projects are still the same.  I have to admit though, that some of them definitely need updating.....

Crafting with shells is one of those timeless crafts many of us enjoy and since the "beach" theme always seems to be trendy in some form or another, shell crafts never go out of style.  Take a look at the photos I took in one of the showrooms at Dallas Gift Market just last week.

And, talking of photos, shells have been the focus (no pun intended) of a lot of mine.  In 2005 I created a line of transparencies,  "Quips, Quotes and Anecdotes" featuring photos, sayings and one liners to use on cards, scrapbook pages, etc.  Because they're on transparencies, they could also be used on glass for cool 3-D photo effects....... but, that's another post.  Here's an example. 

I found these shells in 1985 while on holiday in the Cayman Islands.  My son (7 yrs old at the time) dived down to get them for me from the ocean floor just off the beach - yes, I still have them......  and here's a banner I compiled from a bunch of different shells I photographed, then printed out to make a border for a beach, scrapbook page............

Hopefully I'll find the Sailor's Valentine I made and I'll post about it later this year.  I just love them, and the history is absolutely fascinating. 

Wish I could say I was off to the beach this summer, but.....  maybe next year....  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now........

Yours truly,
Julie :)


  1. I can see why this book was one of your favs, Julie! I love looking at it and can't imagine it ever going off of the store shelves. It is timeless. You made me want to go dig in some of my old books and see what I can find! If I find anything relevant, I just might share it too. Now I am going to go and think about a little get-a-way at the beach!

  2. Sea shell art is so much fun! Living in a land locked state, it's hard to come by seashells, so I really enjoy the ocean inspired creations when I see them.

  3. Everything is so lovely! I can't wait to see your Sailor's Valentine!

  4. Anonymous7/06/2012

    Your projects are so creative. And I love transparencies, but have a difficult time finding very many to incorporate into my scrapbooks. Does your line of transparencies "Quips, Quotes and Anecdotes" still exist? They would be great for my vacation scrapbook pages. Thank you for all your inspiration.
    Sylvia in "hot" AZ.