I solved my shell dilemma the way I solve most dilemmas: with a trip to my favorite thrift store. There, I spotted a “set” of “floating candle dishes.” I think the store’s employees just bundled two random glass bowls of a similar shape together and slapped a 95-cent sticker on them, but it worked for me.
In the larger of the two I put my clam and oyster shells, plus a few feathers and one big seed pod. The pod is from a Philly weed tree. I tell you this to illustrate just how serious I am when I say that I can’t not pick things up — I really can’t. I don’t care if it’s a weed in the gutter. I will get my hands dirty and I will bring it home.
I think the large bowl is too similar in size to the plant pot to sit together like this, so I’ll probably end up moving the shell bowl somewhere else. Perhaps to my office, when it’s finished. I recognize that Armageddon may happen first.
The second bowl found a home on my pipe shelves, where I rearranged some things to create a little sea collection.
The dried starfish is something I’ve had since I was a kid and my grandparents took my siblings and me to a huge store packed with all sorts of ocean-related goodies. What I wouldn’t give for another shot at that store as an adult — with real pocket money! I don’t recall what town we were visiting, unfortunately.
The other item on the shelf is a cast porcelain shell with a Delftware-style painting of a pheasant. It’s hanging out in the little red display case and was a gift from a student sculptor I met through my last job.
So there’s my little attempt at bringing a piece of the ocean to Philly. Hurricane Irene probably did a more impressive job of that (har har), but she didn’t damage this here house so I won’t hold it against her.