Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Now that the summer is winding down in North America, it’s time to think about preserving that summertime feeling.
Even during the coldest months, I instantly feel a warm when I catch site of a coastal centerpiece sitting on a dining room table.
Decorating with gifts from the sea is not a new idea. For hundreds of years beachcombers have used them to embellish their homes, their furniture and even themselves.
Shells, starfish, sea biscuits and other beachcombing treasure never go out of style. Their sun-bleached colors and intricate shapes seem to fascinate every generation anew.

Whether you gather your bounty on the beach or purchase it in a craft store, it’s wise to shake out loose sand and rinse them in a solution of water and bleach before putting them on display. Fishy odors are to be avoided!

Even a simple shell or two given star treatment can evoke long ago vacations spent at the beach.

Or you can mix seashells and starfish with driftwood and beachy signs for a terrific wall display.
In addition to bowls heaped with these mysteries from the sea, shells can be used in other imaginative ways. Here are a few of my favorites. What are yours? Please share. Pretty please!

• Put your seashells in a shadow box.

• Glue shells into circles and use as candle rings.
• Tuck shells into a vine wreath.

• Top toothpicks with small shells and use as party picks.

All photos by Dan Mayers.

*** BLOG DU JOUR ***
Here's a swap for those who love swaps, hate swaps, have no idea what a swap is. Natasha's IT'S ALL ABOUT ME day (Oct 22) is brilliant. Why didn't I think of it first?


Jane said...

Hi Barbara,
These are beautiful photos and wonderful ideas! You are correct.A simple shell or a vine wreath with shells and starfish tucked in the crevices certainly conveys the warmth of the coast all year long. Thank you for the ideas and instructions...especially the shell picks. I'm going to have to have a party to use these!

With seasonal transitions, I like to change my color palette...moving away from the soft blues and greens of spring and summer, and focusing on the warmth of the sunset. These are simple changes using pillow covers and artwork. We still have the coastal feel, but it's warm and the fall Florida coast.

I look forward to more ideas from you and all the other WW bloggers. I am learning so much...and having a marvelous time!
Jane (Artfully Graced)

Maya said...

Love that little blue table! Would you share the source?

Alison Gibbs said...

So many wonderful ways to use the shells
Waterside Wednesday is such fun to participate in

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

We have a few shells here around The Hut {{{laughing}}} and I'm always looking for new ideas. I love covering a clay pot in premixed grout and then adding seashells. I love how these look in my garden and on my porch, they really bring that beachy feeling home.

I love Jane's idea of switching to sunset colors in the Fall and the toothpicks in the photo on your post. My mind is racing with ideas now!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Barbara
Love all your ideas and great images here. Shells are such a great way to feel beachy wherever you are. We are coming into spring here in Australia so I'm looking forward to summer and the sea.

I've linked my post again this week. Thanks for the opportunity. Julie [from Sydney]

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Barbara
Thanks for popping over. The first 2 large images are actually as they the camera produced. weird and lucky. The last few I have altered somewhat. I'd love to get a Holga.
Have a great week. Julie

Barbara Jacksier said...

Hi Maya

The table came from Home Goods about 5 years ago. The little panes pull out so you can put treasures into the see-through windows.

Drawn to The Sea said...

Hi there Barbara,
Lovely photos. I'm particularly fond of the little shell border on the shelf... what a sweet idea.

Pleasant day!

Beach Vintage said...

What wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing them with us Barbara. I especially love the wreath. Thanks also for dropping by Beach Vintage and leaving a comment.

erin said...

hi barbara! i have just found you today(via the lovely julie@being ruby) i hope it's not too late to join in? haven't figured out the linky thing but will keep trying. Can not wait to further explore your beautiful blog! love that colinder filled with star fish! i'm going to the beach on saturday and your photos certainly give me that CAN'T WAIT feeling!!! all the best! erin

Lori said...

first of all, i LOVE the room in your blog header...i could move right in and be very happy...i LOVE all of your ideas to incorporate beachy decor into your home...what you have done with the shells is genius...those toothpick toppers...could NOT be any cuter!!!

just a little bit shabby said...

Hi Barbara,
Thanks for coming by my blog and giving me some fine thoughts. I appreciate your input. Love your pictures. I love shells and at one time had my antique armoire displayed with big coral and shells. I have a shell mirror in my dressing area that I made that is about 20x 30. I collected the shells from all over the country. Places that I visited. From Baltimore, Fenwick Island DE or San Francisco and San Diego. I bought the base shells at Ruth's shell shop Fenwick Is. (good place to find shells)
Thanks again for stopping by.

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Hi Barbara!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I love your waterside wednesday posts and I'm so happy to find out about Natasha's party. Love her idea. I have to participate! I see you were in Amagansett recently. I love it there. I'm on the island so it's not a far ride for me and my husband grew up spending his summers in Montauk. But my favorite is the North Fork of LI. You have to check it out if you've never been. I think you'll love it too. Actually my first favorite is Maine! Isn't it beautiful?!

Pat said...

What great ideas you have shared! I had to laugh when I saw your first picture - I took one that looked exactly like that! I love anything to do with the beach; I just wish I had a place to put things. We've been traveling full time in our RV for 4 1/2 years now. I have learned to do without! LOL!

Mélanie said...

Love to put shells everywhere . it reminds me Summer is not very far

Claudia said...

Hi Barbara! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment! I'm honored...your book is on my "to buy" list. I've seen so many wonderful comments about it on various blogs. I can't wait to read it!

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Oh Barbara, I just love this!! I am all about preserving summer. Being from Michigan, I dont like the long cold winters. All of the shells and starfish instantly make me feel happy! I love the aqua table with shells in it. It reminds me of the blue ocean with shells at the bottom!! Just a beautiful, warm, happy post! Thank you!

NeereAnDear said...

So beautiful Barabara!!! Again some fabulous ideas..... I love the table with the shells... and the toothpicks... the candle holders....

Cant wait for some good recipes..... especially with fall just around the corner


Marysol said...

Barbara, I ogled over the whole thing, twice!

Lots of beautiful and unique ideas; I particularly loved the cute party picks. I'll have to try that. Thank you.

Rebecca @ Belle Blog said...

Hello, i love your seaside pretties. waterside wednesday is so much fun...hopefully i can participate soon.
♥ Rebecca

Nicolette said...

The rooms look amazing, and how can you not the decors! Bringing the beach in home is a great idea.