Shell All The Things – Decorating with Seashells

So I have collected many things in my life…keychains, fossils, bottlecaps, propellers, old books, snapple wrappers, Lisa Frank, and even a staple collection in 4th grade, I know…don’t ask.  Luckily most of those subsided before high school but one that has always been around is also my favorite home decor, shells!  Well, shells, sea creatures, miscellaneous beach treasures, and so on.

Much of what’s out in the house is from my general collection (i.e., totes and totes and totes in the attic that husband hates to move) or things gathered on the beach en masse for craft projects such as oyster shells, barnacles, and driftwood.  Much of the driftwood was used in our wedding and will be in a future post.  Every few months I have to glue shells to something otherwise I don’t feel right.
And some of it has a story, like the sea fans in the shadowboxes on the mantel.  They are a species of coral we found in my thesis surveys that hadn’t been recorded in this area in decades (for you science nerds, here is the article).  The frames over our bed are pressed algae collected during grad school work as well.
I have a lobster shed from Sweeney, the spiny lobster at the aquarium from when I worked there.  And my cherished blue Murex from Matagorda, my best shelling find to date (on the left, the yellow stuff is another species from my thesis, nerd alert!).
Some of these are tricky to display because of odd shapes or they are small, so I usually gather like things together in a container or show them vertically so they don’t get lost in a bowl, or again, just glue them to things.  The first picture is a PB vase that I put miscellaneous plant parts collected, pods to sea beans (another collection), a cactus skeleton, lotus pod, and um, a skeleton from my coral again.  Hey, those three years were hard!  Second is an old printing tray that can hold the little guys.  Third is the shadowbox art I made for the guest bathroom with our treasures from our honeymoon in Antigua. And finally the collection of old marine biology-ish books, I just love the washed out colors on them.
This collection will always be a part of our home even if we move away from the coast and even if my style moves more contemporary like I’ve been feeling lately.  They will be incorporated somehow, even if it is weird.  I love the reminders of special memories and times that these bring me, and collecting them is something that Matt enjoys to do too when we go to the beach (sometimes too competitively…).
At least it’s not still Lisa Frank, Snapple wrappers or staples…

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