Sailor’s Valentine, StarShine – Part 2

I completed the star shape and without as much cussing as I thought. The slippery texture of the shells actually seemed to work in my favor, especially once the brown rice shells were in place. My star lines were not as precise as I would have liked. Some of the points aren’t as close to the border line. Yes, I’m talking fractions of space. But I have to strive for precision. I almost said perfection, but nothing is ever ‘perfect’. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t notice it until later. I don’t think it will be all that obvious once I complete the valentine.

I had planned to use crushed shells around the edge before placing the border shells. It was a step I was saving for later. While trying to place the littorina in the space between the points, I realized I would need to fill the entire area with crushed shells. By providing an even bed of color the natural gaps between the shells would be less noticeable.

I had already measured and counted out the amount of cebu beauties I would need to go around the edge. I sorted through four pounds of the shells and still they were not the same size. Even though shells are in the same family, they can still vary in shape and hue. Keeping that in mind, I was able to create a pattern that satisfied me. These were relatively easy to glue in place. I like the delicate purple tint at the shell opening. This is also a shell I often use as a flower bud.

Normally when I glue a bed of ground shells I let it dry overnight. I felt it was safe enough, though, to glue the cebu shells in place. I chose the shell mostly for the lavender color. Once the shells were in place, I wondered about my choice. It’s a beautiful shade of lavender with touches of blue. The purple cay cay for the center piece is much deeper and I started worrying if my purples were going to clash. I think I spend more time second guessing myself than I do anything else. My family tells me that I am overly critical.

The bed of white littorina between the points was to give a neutral backdrop for the purple top cowrie. Framed in bright yellow littorna, the shiny purple gleams. Again, as with the last two valentines, I am not satisfied with the look of the littorina. You’d think I’d give up using it. Even using the crushed shells, the gaps stand out like the Grand Canyon. OK, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. I guess I need to practice more in how to place them. I still have more sections to ‘practice’ in, however.  The next picture is a close up of the completed section.

Definitely need more practice. The idea is a good one. It’s the delivery that needs work.

By the time I reach the eight section, I should have a better idea of what I’m doing wrong. There must really be a secret to this that I am missing. I have a wonderful book filled with beautiful valentines. Maybe I need to go back and study it closer.  In the mean time, I stumbled upon a possible compromise. Thankfully, if I use these shells it wouldn’t  alter my color scheme.

I needed some tiny flowers for a different project. Playing around with them on StarShine, I thought of this idea. I rather like the way the flowers look placed in this way. I haven’t glued these. I want to complete the littorina sections first before I make that commitment. Once the shells are glued, it’s a done deal.

Instead of using crushed shells in the center, I poured a very thin layer of fine white sand. I brought the circle out just enough to go beneath the edges of the tiny sand dollars that will form the outer circle. Tomorrow, when the glue is good and dry, I’ll be able to decide if I want the layer thicker or if I want to scatter the crushed, iridescent shells over it. That circular area will be the easiest section to complete.

I dry tested shells in the star points yesterday. Every shell I originally chose was for the shape and color. I wanted purple, white, and brown. But I’ve gradually added oranges and yellows. The star point section isn’t going to be as easy as I thought, either.


About leggygillin

I make Sailor's Valentines, Seashell flower arrangements and other shell art. Blogging about them helps me improve the quality of my work. By looking at my progress through images, I'm able to view the pieces differently. I think also it helps others who may be wanting to learn. Not that I am a teacher, by any means. I'm still learning, growing, and developing my art with each post.
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4 Responses to Sailor’s Valentine, StarShine – Part 2

  1. Hieronymo says:

    It’s looking really great. Keep at it: I’m interested in the intersection between mollusks and art and am looking forward to the finished product.

  2. Nancy Hunt says:

    Is there any place to get boxes without having to get them expensively custom made?

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