Glen's grandpa passed away back in December and because of how things work over here, his parents are just now able to get into the house to properly go through things (I know that sounds weird - basically Glen's family had a certain amount of time after Grandpa passed way to get out anything the family wanted to keep and after that, everything in the house got valued. If there was anything else you wanted you have to pay for it unless it had been deemed to have no value. It's been a really complicated, drawn-out process compounded by the fact that all my stuff was still taking up room at Glen's parent's when they were trying to get stuff out before the valuation started).
So, Glen's parents have been going through things lately and found two old ice cream pails full of shells and they asked if I wanted them and I -of course- said yes. I had no idea what sort of shells would be in these pails or even what sizes there would be but since I love shells, I couldn't resist.
I already have a few small jars of shells on the bookcase and was trying to think what I should do with these. I thought about picking out some of the interesting ones and just putting them on the shelf but then thought they might get broken easily. I also thought of some sort of craft but then I thought the shells might just sit around forever before that happened. I really wanted to do something with them right away so they wouldn't just gather dust. I decided to look for a vase/jar or two and figure out how to display them that way. When we were out yesterday we found two really great vases (I think they're meant for candles actually) at a bargain type store - so they were cheap. I bought some glass pebbles and some marbles then set to work trying to divide the shells evenly and have them displayed nicely (sure you want it to look random but you don't want it to look like the shells were just dumped in).
It took me a few tries to get the arrangement right and after filling both of them once, I dumped them out and tried it again since there was quite a bit of a gap at the top (there's cardboard in the middle!). There is still a bit of a gap but I'm happy with it for now. We also bought a circular metal candle holder thing (the kind that has the spike on it for you to put a larger candle on) and put that at the top and five tealights fit on it. I might adjust the cardboard tubes in the middle and have it so the shells go right to the top without the candles, we'll see.
I really love these and it will be something nice to keep around and to be able to say that all the shells in the two jars are Glen's grandpa's. I really wanted to make sure we only used his shells especially since there are some unusual ones in there (basically ones I've only ever seen in mixes you buy at craft stores). I really love these vases (they have such a great shape!) and I'm thinking we should go back and buy more of them for all sorts of things!