Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, March 26, 2012

She Sells Sea Shells

My mother wasn't big on giving my sister, Erva and I allowances, at least not for doing regular everyday chores. The way she explained it is that these were chores we'd always have to do to make our lives more comfortable.  We all know those everyday chores: washing the dishes, sweeping, making the bed, doing laundry and putting the clean clothes away. If we wanted to earn money we had to do something that wasn't so tied to daily living. Like deep cleaning the kitchen cupboards, weeding in the yard, polishing the silver, or sweeping the driveway.

There were other ways I earned money as well. Besides having the monopoly on baby-sitting, I made things from seeds, beads and shells and sold my handy-work in several local shops. I made necklaces and earrings and glued shells to the ends of plastic hor d'oeuvres picks bundling them into lots of a dozen.

I used shells to make pictures, like this one which I made with a ten-year-old girl whom I was teaching to make the flowers.

I think for a first attempt she did a wonderful job. Can you tell my flowers from hers?

I also made shell dolls, like these. 

The skirt is made from sea urchin skeletons. The body is a dove shell, the head a small cowry called a coffee bean. Her hat is a limpet. Her arms are made with the skeletal remains of a sea plant called a sea whip. She has bits of coral to represent a ruffled cape with a rose at her waist.

This one is made entirely of cockles. She has the same kind of arms as the one above and she carries a bouquet. The coral growing on the shells of her skirt add a nice lacy touch.

She's kind of plain from the back.

Now, to give you an idea of their size.

Do you make things, have any hobbies?


  1. These are simply stunning! I love them Bish, really! I am not a bit creative and I am in awe of folks who can make such beauty out of every day nature. Wonderful!

  2. Those flowers are beautiful, Bish! And you're right. They do remind me of the fairy houses the girls are building.

    I like your mom's approach to allowances. Although, I do give the girls a dollar for every A on their report cards... :D

    Have a wonderful week~ <3

  3. Those little dolls are so sweet! I did lots of crafty stuff when I was young, and also with my kids when they were little...and then digital activities took over. But there's nothing like the satisfaction of creating things by hand.

  4. They are really lovely, and much smaller than I realised at first.

    And I'm like your Mother. The girls don't have a huge amount of chores but they do them for free :-)

  5. Bish, you're very creative and it must have taken attention to details to make these pretty little dolls. Really cool stuff!

  6. How many talents do you have, Bish? I love these shell creations.

    It's been ages since I did any crafts or tried to create something other than stories.

  7. You continue to astound me with the beautiful things you make. I love the creativity of using natural objects. I have a boxful of shells I picked up but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet.

  8. Wow those are tiny! You have amazing patience.

  9. Oh, Bish, I love your shell dolls and pictures. Very, very cool! If I had to guess about which flowers are yours and which are the little girl's, I'd say your flowers have two layers of petals and hers have the single layer. You certainly were quite an entrepreneur at a young age. Yay for you!

  10. What a clever little girl you were/are
    to establish your own business at such a young age. I respect your Mother for providing the need and opportunity for her girls to develope beyond the weekly allowance.

    It's almost April..... One year since we met and we met many other bloggers at that time too. So, Happy anniversary to you and all the A-Z'ers and we'll soon be at it again.

  11. Hi Bish
    I love your art. I used to do a lot of things, not so right now though.

  12. Too gorgeous. I love the flowers and the sea urchins, reminds me of home too. As a child, I used to love making things from random materials, twigs, leaves... buttons, you name it, I'd find some reason not to throw it out. I remember spending hours making roses from clay. Those were the days!

  13. Amazing, Bish! I am so impressed. I remember visiting stores in Florida where shell dolls and things were for sale. I loved them, but your flowers and figures are much more beautiful.

  14. Gorgeous, Bish! Sadly, I'm not very crafty. I did try knitting but I ended up making a very long thin strip that my brother used to try to strangle me with. Fun times! :)

  15. If I say it real fast will I get all these ? :-)

  16. Bish is there no end to your talents? These are beautiful!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!