If you collect Florida seashells, this is the best shell guide that I've found. It's called Florida's Seashells, A Beachcomber's Guide by Blair and Dawn Witherington. There's 84 pages;, the photos of the shells are in color; there's a map of the beaches on where to find shells; regional maps of where a particular shell... can be found; and description of the shells and habitat.
Adding a bow is a sometimes a tough decision. Will it complete the wreath? What type of bow should you add? A raffia bow glued on? Or how about a white bow tied on? The possibilities are endless when it comes to selecting the bow. In these photos, you'll see that these are not two different wreaths, but the same wreath. The first photo is shot outside laying the wreath on a black blanket out of direct sunlight (the wreath is without a bow). The second photo shoot took place indoors in a sunny room with the staging in a non-sunny area. A raffia bow was glued on and the wreath angled atop a silver platter. Two artificial roses were added for color and laid in such a way as not to dominate the photo. When you take your pictures, try different angles and add ordinary objects from your house. I laid a string of pearls and a small jewelry box on the platter and noticed they cluttered up the picture. Taking multiple pictures and adjusting the staging will help to capture an artist quality photo. Happy staging!
If you're short on space, you can do what I did and get a card table and set it up in a room that works well for you. Preferably, a room with good lighting. This is a black card table that I covered with white poster paper that I purchased from Office Depot. The card table was purchased from Target. On top of that, I've laid a clear tablecloth that I purchased from a grocery store, in particular, Publix. Then I set a lazy susan on top which I bought from Ace Hardware. Sitting on top of the lazy susan is a white, plastic organizer box that is 8" x 14" in size. You can find them at Walmart. Next is a square piece of cardboard (just cut down an old box) about 14" x 14". Then I lay the wreath on top and rotate the wreath easily when I want to glue a shell.
If you're a serious sheller, you'll want a 2-ply mesh bag with a drawstring. It's about 12" in length. Like most people, I started out with the typical plastic ziploc bag. Then I realized that all the gritty sand sunk to the bottom. I thought, "There has to be a better way."
I had a spare, white laundry bag -- the kind you use for your lingerie in the washing machine. It worked great for awhile. I liked the fact that I could dunk the bag in the ocean to rinse the shells clean. The downside is it doesn't have a handle on them so I ended up holding the bag from the bottom while shelling. I can't tell you how many times I stooped over to pick up a shell and then the contents of the bag would spill over (if it was pretty full). The bag would get heavy after about an 40 minutes into our walk. And I was always the one holding the bag. I think that's my official job title, Bag Holder. How far we've come in life!
I then modified the bag and looped heavy duty twine around one end and attached it to the bag with an aligator clip to make a handle. It worked but soon the weight of the shells forced the bag to start tearing.
Anyhow, soon the delicate shells would get chipped by the bigger shells so I inserted a sandwich size ziploc inside the bag. I then placed the delicate shells inside the ziploc bag for protection.
I got to thinking, "There's gotta be something better."
When I'd be walking down the beach, I'd stop people to ask them where they got their seashell bags. I admired the sturdy mesh and drawstring. I have to admit, people at on the beach are the friendliest of people. Everyone comes to the beach to have fun and visitors provide good information.
I didn't have to wait long to get my deluxe seashell bag as my husband (my hero) purchased two bags online and gave them to me as a Christmas gift. Now we have "his" and "hers" shell bags.
What do you use for a seashell bag?
I've tried many ways to dry seashells after having soaked them in a bleach solution to clean them up. I've set the shells on cookie sheets outside to placing them on an upside down cooler lid inside the garage. The problem with this is that they are still dampish even after letting them sit overnight.
Then I thought, "What if I had a screen?"
I mentioned this idea to my dear husband when we were at Lowe's one day. We strolled over to the aisle where they sell window screens.
"Ah, this is perfect!" he said.
He picked up an expandable screen. "This will fit nicely over the slop sink in the garage. Plus, if you have a lot of shells, you can expand the screen to accommodate them."
"Wow!" He's definetely my hero.
I was so happy to test the screen out at home. It fits perfectly over the sink. And another thing is the screen is out of the way. I don't have shells out on the back patio or taking up valuable counter space in the garage.
Tell me what you think of this idea. Have you tried it?