Saturday, April 28, 2012

Made with Shells

     Shells are magical.  Do you think our Creator designed the shell with a sense of humor?  Their funny yet beautiful objects.  A shell can be hard as a rock or as delicate as an egg shell. Decorative or plain, nubby or smooth.  Sometimes a mobile home, sometimes secured firmly to an ocean foundation.  All this to protect it's delicate inhabitants.  But once discarded (whether willing or unwilling) the empty shell can become an artist's tool of unimaginable beauty.
What Little Mermaid could resist a crown of shells and coral.

Or for us land lovers, a vintage style crown fashioned from shells, fabric, beads and paper.

If we are going to wear a crown, why not a mermaid pendant.

Come from the sea,
Maiden, to me,
Rise from the wild and stormy main:
Wake from thy sleep,
Calm in the deep,
Over thy green waves sport again!  
James Hogg

     I have always had a passion for shells.  When I was four, my parents moved the family from the dry, hot and dusty badlands of Bakersfield, California to the lovely and quaint coastal town of Shell Beach.  It was then and there my love affair with shells began.  With a beach just a short walk from our home, searching for shells was just another form of childhood entertainment and something I still love to do.
We lived on Palomar Street in Shell Beach, California, a few doors down from the inn.

This was our home for 3 years, minus the white picket fence.
      Another favorite childhood pass-time was to go to the shell shop.  These shops had exotic shells, sand dollars and coral from far flung places and also off of shores very close to where we lived.  A trip to the shell shop, especially in Morro Bay, was and still is a treat.  Not only can you find exotic shells, there are also things made with shells ... jewelry boxes, frames, lamps, earrings, necklaces .... you name it!

My sister, Cindy at the shell shop in Morro Bay
The Shell Shop in Morro Bay - isn't the sign wonderful?

I bought this vintage shell frame with a print of the Madonna and Child at an antique store in Cayucos.....
and this one at the same store.  Dated from the early 1900's.
This shell charmer is adorned with a hand painted ship on a single shell.  Thought to be dated from the 19th century.

Vintage brooches made from tiny, colorful shells...
and a lovely vintage mirror with abalone shells.

This chandelier is encrusted with shells.

Who can resist a heart shape

or a circle, the symbol of infinity. 

Vintage bottles with shell stoppers.
A sideboard covered with shells (now that took a lot of work).
Here is one of my creations.  Last year on a trip to Oahu, my husband bought me a Sunrise Shell.  I added some Swarovski crystal beads and a single pearl.

In a Sunrise Shell obsession, I pulled out my watercolors and tried to paint's my avatar for this blog.  

Did you know my nickname is "Shelly".  My real name is "Rochelle" which means "little rock" in French.  You might say I have lived up to my names with my love of shells and France.

Song of a Shell

I held a sea shell to my ear,
  And listened to its tale
Of vessels bounding o'er the main
  And all the ships that sail.
It sang of brilliant water flowers—
  The bright anemones
That bloom beneath the ocean waves—
  Tossed in from seven seas.

Each time I harken to this song,
  I hear the breakers moan,
And fancy that a warning bell
  Rings from a lighthouse lone.
No longer need I wish to go
  Where foam-capped billows swell,
For I've an ocean of my own
  Withing this pearly shell.

Violet L. Cuslidge

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Monday, April 23, 2012

My Favorite Rose Bush

This time of year my rose bush produces bursts of blossoms usually in large clumps.  This is my most recent bouquet.  Now wouldn't this have been perfect for Mother's Day!

and my first gardenia of the season.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Are You Reading Today?

Just wondering ..... after yesterday's post, are you reading today?

Lounging on the couch?

In a quiet corner?

Lying on the floor?

At the Beach?

In a formal setting?

At a park in Paris?
The great outdoors?

In your jammys?
Or on your bed?
Just remember......

All photos in this posting are not my own but collected from Tumblr and Pinterest.  If you would like the original source, please contact me.  You may also find information on my Pinterest and Tumblr sites.  Links above.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Good Read

The first real romance novel I ever read was Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte....

I would imagine Catherine searching the Northern English Moors looking for Heathcliff!
Poor Heathcliff .... I think he needs a hug

And then there was The Hobbit.  I had borrowed the book from the library when I was in the third month of pregnancy with my first child. I was immediately hooked the first page in.  Bilbo Baggins was going on an adventure.  I was too, in a way.  So, we went together through the whole trilogoy just in time for me to give birth to my son.  I named him Gabriel, not Bilbo

When I was a child, like most young girls, I was fascinated with Fairy Tales.
I thought, with my long golden braids, that I too, could be a Rupunzel.
Falling asleep until your true love arrives is certainly a Fairy Tale.

Then Jane Austen came into my life and the world of romance, a scheming mind, heartache and finally true love was revealed.   

"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment"  Jane Austen

I love the look of vintage books.  Although they are really too delicate to read, vintage books are pleasurable to thumb through glancing at a few words, catching a peek at the accompanying illustrations.

Books from 1760

1928 publication of works by Leo Tolstoi (Tolstoy) 

At Ooh La La, Maui! on Etsy 

Not just poems, Famous Poems

Ornate bindings were a mark of wealth.

I say, the more tattered the bindings, the better.

Of course, you need a cozy nook to read amongst your collection.

This may be a little too grand but isn't it lovely?

More in my comfort zone....

Let's not forget book stores... they may be extinct soon.

With welcoming store fronts and the wonderful smell of pages and bindings inside.
My favorite book shop is Shakespeare and Company in Paris
Here's my sister and I looking at the books.  My sister is in the pink scarf and I am standing next to her looking down. 

You really need the time and, in my case, a patient husband to get a good look .... or perhaps move to Paris?

Charlotte Bronte

Plain and simple, books are the fabric of one's life.

So, find yourself a comfy corner, grab a cup of coffee, tea or wine and let your imagination take you away.  Be a armchair traveler, a young woman in love, a hobbit on an adventure, ease drop in someone's life  ... just be anyone or anything other than yourself for a moment in your day.
Read to me 
by Jane Yolen

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished- please read them again.

All photos (with the exception of one) and videos are either from Tumblr (main source) or Google searches.  If you would like the link to the original source, please contact me or refer to Pinterest and Tumblr links in the Page box below the header.  Mahalo!