Monday, June 11, 2012

Itty Bitty Shells

It's not easy to find itty bitty seashells.

By itty bitty, I mean 1 cm (0.5") or less.


And now that Jim and I are getting older, our eyes have trouble seeing those tiny shells from a standing position and our bodies don't bend down as easily to get a closer look.

But the only way we know to try to find those itty bitty, teeny tiny shells is to get down low in those piles of shells and sift through them until we are rewarded.


Luckily, my husband Jim will spend hour after hour...sifting and bending and squinting so that he can find the tiny shells that I can use in my embroidery.

This piece is a celebration of that labor of love and of the beautiful beach that my Dad has so generously shared with us over the years.

When I took a pic of the itty bitties, I realized that my picture didn't really show how small they truly are. So here they are with some 1" shells in the background...


It's been fun sifting through all the shells again to select the ones which I'd like to have on the block.

I love this little cockle shell with the barnacles attached...
      

And, in the picture below, I really love that purple fragment of giant scallop...and the shade of pink inside the jewel box shell (isn't that a great name for a shell?)...and the twists and turns of the white worm shells remind me of ribbons...
 

I especially like it when we find shells where the exterior of the shell has worn away to reveal the spiral within...



How to attach these itty bitty shells?

I modified Allie Aller's pre-beaded plastic button approach that I used to attach the stones on my January Reflections piece.

Instead of using plastic buttons, I pre-threaded beads and glued them inside the shell openings. I used different sized beads for different sized shells.


This tiny guy has a 15/0 bead inside...



Finally!  This pic shows the tiny scale of the shell the best!

Now I'm ready to get stitching and pull everything together. I'm hoping to have this block finished by Friday...life willing.

Happy Monday everyone!

P.S.  We saw Snow White and the Huntsman over the weekend and we absolutely loved it!  The visuals are wonderful...and the costumes for the evil queen...TDF!  Charlize Theron is great at being evil...

P.P.S.  To Any Blogging Needle Friends Living in France: I am trying to locate a Mai/Juin issue of Magic Patch Patchwork (French version) magazine.  If someone would be willing to send me a copy, I would send you a package of goodies in return?  If you can help, please email me.
Thank you! I found someone to help.

P.P.P.S.  To anyone reading through the 69 Best Travel books...Cousin Bette by Balzac is quite good PLUS Cousin Bette owned her own professional embroidery business (though this doesn't figure too prominently in the story).  And, thanks to "anonymous"...Jean Rhys' The Wide Sargasso Sea is next for me.  What's next for you?

22 comments:

Cari said...

I always learn something when I read your blog. What a dear you are to show me the way! I love these itty bitty shells. They are fascinating. Have fun...I am! Hugs

CREATIVE MIND said...

Wao..these are so cute..and the springy shapes are unique..I haven't noticed anywhere..may be because I am living near hills..and no beach here...may be,,haha
keep sharing my dear..

Gerry Krueger said...

Love the bead idea... and the itty bittys are soooooooooooooo cute... Your hubby is so wonderful to help you search... When I get down now I can't get up and my DH is always there to give me a hand.. Give Jim an extra hug today.. Ger

Coeur de freesia said...

Hello Susan,
If I can help, this would be a pleasure ! Give me your adress, I wil try to get the magazine you are looking for.
I'll let you know,
Hugs
Elena
http://elena33.canalblog.com

Rachel said...

There are so many wonderful, delicate colours in your itty bitty shells!

Barbara C said...

I like your adaptation of Allie's rock technique. The beads will add much less bulk to your shells when you sew them down. And their collection is indeed a labor of love. I would need binoculars to see them from a standing posture.

Thanks for the endorsement of Snow White and Cousin Bette. I am almost finished reading Cristina Garcia's Monkey Hunting, which I've had on my pile for a very long time. It's a wonderful read that I've swallowed in a few days, and talk about travels! The characters move between, China, Cuba, and the U.S. I may download Cousin Bette next and test-drive my Kindle.

Createology said...

Your tiny little seashells are precious. Your husband is a dear sweetie for collecting them for you. A tiny little bead and some thread and you will have seashells stitched onto your beautiful block...amazing. Thank you for sharing so much with us. Here's to Friday Finish...

Wendy said...

What beautiful little shells! I think the spiral skeletons are my favorites! This block is going to be so stunning!

Marjolein said...

Thank you for reminding me of Allie's book. I have her book, but forgot all about her attaching trick. This comes exactly in time as I was thinking of a way to attach very little stones on my pebble.

Nana said...

I really enjy each step you let us follow your work. It´s lovely.

Nana

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

You are so fortunate to be somewhere that you can find these. I don't live anywhere near the seashore or sea shells, but I was lucky enough to find some of these tiny wonders at a garage sale years ago. They are precious! I will look forward to your creations using them.

Jen said...

in regards to Charlize, I totally agree, and I saw this recently on the internet, and it cracked me up: http://fyrdrakken.tumblr.com/post/24149154715/gothiccharmschool-important-posture-advice-for

shirley said...

I have a lot of these weenie shells that I have used on my reef embroideries, and thank you for showing me a great way to attached them. Your work is brilliant.

verobirdie said...

If Elena can't find magic patch, tell me, I'll try.
Thanks for the review of Snow White. It is on my list.

verobirdie said...

If Elena can't find magic patch, tell me, I'll try.
Thanks for the review of Snow White. It is on my list.

Judy S. said...

Those are teeny shells, and they sure will look great along with you starfish! I'm almost finished with The Infidel, which is very interesting, and then will start The Distant Hours. Happy Stitching!

Star of the East said...

This is wonderful!
If you need really tiny shells -check this
http://star-of-the-east.blogspot.com/search?q=tiny+shells,
-do contact me and I send them to you.

JoWynn Johns said...

I'm reading Evelyn Underhill's spiritual memoir, Radiance and Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death. What a pair!

And I'm working with Ellie Sienkiewicz's series on applique techniques.

Like other readers, I learn so much from you--not only your how-tos, but your creative process. As always, thanks!

bdien said...

Because of you , my friend, I have now read EVERYthing by Jean Rhys and watched the Wild Sargasso Sea movie!

Catherine said...

Such pretty shells and oh so tiny! I love seeing how you come up with ides to attach your treasures to your pieces.

coral-seas said...

You are pure genius! I know that it is an adaptation of Allie's rock trick but how clever to find a way to make it work even for the teeny weeny shells.

Even against the one inch shells you don't get an impression of how tiny they are but in the last shot with the cocktail stick and your fingers I can see how very small they are. I'm loving this block - as always :-)

wonderlandwoodsblog.blogspot.com said...

Thank you so much for sharing this nifty technique, Susan. Now I will be able to attach all sorts of tiny treasures to my little textile pictures. I always learn so much from you! Bless you.
-Starr White @ Wonderland Woods

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