Seashells, Flowers, and Wabi-Sabi

Hello Dear Readers!

Today you will see how I created a box of memories

of a summer past

for  the sweetest little girl who finds beauty

in the most imperfect things

and treasures them as many who would not.

Welcome to Monday Morning Blooms, when I join

my dear flower friends, Lidy, Mary and Pam

to present to you wonderful  floral inspiration.

Their beautiful images and links are at the end of this post.

Our common theme today is “Shells”

Please sit back and enjoy Seashells, Flowers and Wabi-Sabi




Now seashells and flowers are pretty self explanatory,

but “wabi-sabi”? Why wabi-sabi?

According to Wikipedia:

“In traditional Japanese aesthetics,

wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance

of transience and imperfection.

The aesthetic is sometimes described as

one of beauty that is “imperfect” impermanent and incomplete.”

The Japanese philosophy of a perfectly imperfect life.



Again, why wabi-sabi?

It’s about shells and a little girl (My Sweetie).

But first, let’s re-wind and see how the project started.



I searched in the storage abyss and found some shells

from a beach trip with our Sweetie when she was 6 years old.

I had forgotten about them and was saving them for her.



With glue gun in hand, I proceeded to cover the box

purchased from Michael’s,  mainly with shells

gathered by my Sweetie from that beach trip.



The majority of those shells were broken . . . imperfect.

I asked her why she picked up those shells.

She said it was because no one wants broken shells and

they are still beautiful and I will give them a home . .

and these two look like hearts!

(See them in the upper and middle part of the photo above.

And there is one that looks like wings.



Let’s pause the  story to show you how

I prepared the box for the flowers.

I placed wet floral foam in a plastic container

and a skewer to hold the lid open.



The flowers in the arrangement are:

Mini Calla Lilies

White Bell flowers (Campanula)

White Spray Roses

White Alstroemeria

Seeded Eucalyptus for filler



I totally forgot to take a photo

of the completed box covered with shells.

Above is an image of the back of the box.



Among the not so perfect shells left behind on the beach

was this “conch like” shell that was also imperfect;

however,  a great find for this excited little girl.



I had to include it in this vignette of shells, 

so I placed some floral foam in the cavity

and filled it with flowers.

Imperfectly beautiful I say.



I must admit, I have been obsessing a bit over

making the right decisions on the house.

Wanting things to be perfect.



However, after doing this arrangement/post,

I have decided that perfect is boring . . . embrace wabi-sabi!!



When the flowers have faded away,

the shell covered box will be given to my Sweetie

as it is covered with the shells she rescued and gave

them a home as she said so many years ago.



I cannot believe that it is already August!

For some,  it’s the last month of summer vacation

and for others, either the new school year has already begun

or close to beginning.



My Sweetie will be going to a new school

after being at the same school since Kindergarten.



It will truly be a new and great experience for her,

making new friends, acclimating to a new school.

 She was accepted to the School of Arts

where she will pursue  her passion for art, music and theater.



I love creating things especially when it involves

treasured memories of the caring and love of a little girl

who sees the beauty of imperfection and has a beautiful

heart and soul filled with compassion and caring.




Hope you enjoyed my floral creation with perfectly imperfect

shells. Wabi-sabi at its best!

Now it is time to see the beautiful shell inspired floral creations

of my wonderfully talented flower friends.

The links to their posts

are below their beautiful images.


Mary ~ Home Is Where The Boat Is


Pam ~ Everyday Living


Lidy ~ FrenchGardenHouse


And ME ~ Housepitality Designs


I wish you all a most beautiful day.

Stay tuned for another Hickory Cottage Update.

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  1. Shirley, I love that you created a box of memories for your Sweetie! What a treasure and beautiful vessel for flowers or other keepsakes when the flowers have faded. When I saw your image, I assumed you had picked up this box in your travels, but how wonderful that you created it with a collection of shells your granddaughter saved from a beach trip.
    So wise for someone so young to see the beauty in the less than perfect. We should all embrace the wabi-sabi philosophy (how I feel about my shabby collection of transferware. 😉 Congrats to her for being accepted to the School of Arts. I know you must be bursting with pride. Thank you for sharing this philosophy and your beautiful blooms. ♥

  2. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says

    I love your arrangement. Your sweety is going to love her shell box.

  3. Shirley, I am most impressed that you made your fabulous shell box…that took much time and patience! Your Sweetie now has a precious memory box that she will treasure forever. You wove such a lovely story throughout all of your beautiful photos…the arrangement is stunning! Congrats to your Sweetie for being accepted to the School of Arts. I wish her a most wonderful new year pursuing her passions. It is always a joy to join you for MMB with our friends. Happy Monday and enjoy the time with your Sweetie!

  4. Terri SantaColoma says

    You are so creative, Shirley

  5. Shirley, this is the prettiest arrangement I have seen in a long time! So beautiful with a variety of white flowers not to mention the stunning box you created! Fantastic. I bet your daughter will treasure such a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing with us. ?

  6. Shirley this brought a sentimental tear to my eye. Hearing a 6 year old realize imperfect is a gift and treasures hit my heart. Your sweetie is wise and it’s true things don’t have to be perfect. These shells are beautiful imperfection and all. I noticed the heart shaped right away


  7. Oh how sweet, such a precious box and the flowers are gorgeous.

  8. That is so beautiful and so is the story. Congrats on her acceptance into that new school. I’m sure she will do well! She will love and cherish that box that her grandmother created for her with her collected shells from years ago.

  9. a precious story, Shirley. The shell box is beautiful, such a wonderful keepsake for your little sweetie!
    Debra@CommonGround’s recent post…August Mantel and Hearth RoomMy Profile

  10. What a wonderful story as are the flowers in the lovely box.
    Great idea. Just like you I embraced the art of Wabi Sabi

  11. Nancy Brantley says

    Oh, what beautiful memories you have made for your Sweetie! For a little girl to love imperfection is a true Sweetie!! I just bet she got that from Nana….congrats on her new school!

  12. Linda Hovgaard says

    What a beautiful post and Wabi Sabi inspiration! I love the story, arrangement and imperfection! Thank you Shirley!

  13. This is such a beautiful story, Shirley. What a sweet and beautiful girl, and how proud you must be. I know she will treasure that pretty box and the special memories that go along with it. Your vignette and floral arrangement are stunning!

  14. Shirley, what a sweet story! I love that all these shells have the special memories associated with them for you and your sweetie. She is growing up so fast! She can put the box in her new bedroom at your forever home….your sweetie has the same heart as you, grandmama, kind, caring and loving. Two peas in a pod. As usual, it is a blessing to be part of our Monday Morning Blooms together. xo Lidy

  15. Shirley, I love the concept of wabi sabi, and your shell box / floral arrangement turned out beautifully. I’m so happy for your Sweetie to have been accepted into the School of Arts, and I really look forward to seeing her grow her passion. I feel certain she will treasure this little box for many years.
    I hope you soon find peace in your decision-making process and that it all comes together, leaving you with a continued peaceful living feeling.

  16. Such loveliness in a gorgeous box that you can call your own! Because you made it!

    I also loved the arrangement in the conch shell… and then you styled it so beautifully!

    But this post is also special because of your sweet story.

    Your sweetie sounds quite special… to love the broken shells as well…that’s very special!


  17. Bobbi Duncan says

    Beautiful arrangement and shell box that I know your sweetie will always cherish. Big congrats on her acceptance to the art school.

  18. Oh Shirley, you shell covered box is simply beautiful!! Imperfections are what make things special and keeps life interesting, yay for wabi-sabi! Stunning arrangement, your Little Sweetie is going to cherish it!

  19. Oh wow…you took a memory and made it tangible. It’s not only beautiful, it’s filled with memories and love. I’m sure she will treasure it always. What a Grandma! 😉

  20. Hi Shirley,
    All of you did a beautiful job with your flowers and sea shells. So pretty. Happy New Week.

  21. Shirley,
    Your floral bouquet is stunning! The story behind the shell box makes the arrangement even more beautiful. Congratulations to your daughter for her acceptance into the School of Arts. She must have inherited some of your artistic talents.

  22. How inspiring and elegant!I wish your sweet girl happiness at the new school.Best wishes!

  23. Shirley,
    What a beautiful creation with shells collected over the years and then filled with the most perfect flowers. You really have a gift in telling a story. Your granddaughter was wise beyond her years. Have you read the book “My Beautiful Broken Shell? If our world were only filled with perfect shells, we would miss some of life’s most important lessons along the way. Wabi-sabi! Thank your beautiful “Sweetie” and congratulations to her.

  24. The story behind your creation makes this even better! Thanks so much for sharing, and continue to create!
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