Sunday, July 21, 2013

She Sells Seashells

Last week, in Newport, we were heading to our car for the drive home when we were stopped in our tracks by a couple of seashell wreaths in a shop window. We're not usually spur-of-the-moment spenders and we are out of wall space in this little apartment. But we went in and soon came out with a wreath. As the shopkeeper (The Sea Star Collection) wrapped it for us, she told us the wreaths had arrived just the day before and were flying out of her store. She was in a happy mood and kept us laughing as we chose our wreath and paid for it. It was the perfect souvenir of a lovely day by the sea, and we will always remember how much fun we had buying it.

I'm fussy about wreaths. I spend part of week every December decorating the heck out of a dozen or more balsam wreaths to raise funds for the Back Bay Garden Club. The Club style is to incorporate a wide variety of natural (mostly) materials plus a big bow, so that's what I do. But after all that, I like my own wreaths to be simple. I put a woolly red-and-green bow on the fat little balsam wreath I hang over our bed, and call it a day. I cover the wreath for the living room with pinecones, and maybe add tiny glass balls or red berries. Never a bow. A wreath made entirely out of seashells felt right to me, especially for summer.

The wreath sat in its shopping bag for more than a week, until I finished the first draft of my John Singer Sargent script-writing project. Hanging it this weekend was my reward.

But first it had to pass inspection:

Harris tests the cord while Toffee inspects the construction techniques.

Harris takes quality control so seriously.

It was his closest encounter with seafood to date. Crunchy.

The wreath is small but heavy, maybe 10 pounds. If it ever falls in the night, we'll be shell-shocked. 

I love the mix of natural colors. 

Toffee loves the bag.

If you'd like a wreath of your own — there were a couple of styles along with some spectacular seashell garlands — just call or email the store, above. They'll ship anything anywhere. 

(Even to Pennsylvania; you know who you are....)

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