Spiny Oyster Shell

Our blogging group’s topic for this month is what superpower would you want to have?

Let me tell you, patient approved superheros & their powers are a big deal in this house.  The Avengers, Marvel Superheros and the rest of them are often all I hear about from my 2 boys.  When they start up with the swordplay, wrestling & imaginary battles;  I’d like the “superpower” of selective deafness!

But in reality,  I would love to have the superpower of slowing down time.  Its true what they say about raising kids,  the days are long & the years are short.  I wish I could slow their growing up, enjoy it more.  Not have to be worrying about homework sheets, reading logs, lunches, bed times; but to worry about hugging them more,  enjoying them reading me a book instead of multitasking, just enjoying them playing.


He wore this Link outfit from the Legend of Zelda every day of our Regional 4-H show at the Calgary Stampede Grounds! Sword tucked down the back of the shirt, shield in hand.

I have a 7 year old, a 9 year old, a nearly 12 year old & a 14 year old.  The days zoom by and I hope I haven’t wasted too much time.  I have dear friends who have lost children & I often cry, thinking what they’d give for one of my ‘crappy days’ with their child.  It makes me appreciate those ‘crappy days’ & want them to go slower.

But again,  “all I can do – is all I can do” and I WILL do my best to stretch out those days & enjoy them no matter.



p.s. I’d also like time to slow down when I’m working in my studio!  It always seems that I never have enough time to execute what I have in my head.  My leaving work till the last minute wouldn’t be so last minute.

In this fabulous blogging group, we are given a topic to write on; we can mold it how we see fit & then everyone publishes their post at the exact same time on the 20th of each month!  There are lots of different perspectives in this group, have a look at what everyone else said this month:

Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com

Kathleen Krucoff:  http://kathleenkrucoff.wordpress.com/

pencilfox.     www.pencilfox.com

Catherine Witherell   http://happydayart.typepad.com

WATTO: http://blog.wattoonline.com/

Diana Bell:  http://www.bellsprings.blogspot.com

Barbara Donovan:  http://barbaradonovan.blogspot.com/


I’ve been doing a bit of an Facebook experiment the last couple weeks.  I’m an extremely busy person with 4 kids, approved cows, cure horses, 8 different 4-H projects, a “real” job, my silversmithing business, a rental house & then throw in a husband – my ‘spare’ time is pretty much non-existent.

I find social media promotion difficult to fit in.  I know I need to do it for my business to be relevant in this world, but who the hell has the time to do interesting blog posts & engage with potential clients on all platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google +, Instagram & how many others I don’t even know about!

So I decided I’d try to do a blog post every day each day of the week with a theme.  Fashion posts, Studio posts, Quotes, Stone or Process Features & 4-H Friday.  I did a few weeks & scheduled them all to automatically post to multiple platforms & waited……..

I’ve been reading a lot about what Facebook has done to Business pages lately.  If you have a business page, you’ll notice that the people that are ‘seeing’ your posts has dwindled.  Facebook uses a mysterious algorithm to determine out who sees your posts. You can read no end of articles giving advice on how your business should post & what they should post, whether or not to post links, or to share posts directly from your blog,  linking to your Facebook page and on & on & on.  So what I have determined,  it doesn’t seem to matter.  Facebook wants you to pay to get the exposure you desire, that’s fine its Mark Zuckerberg’s sandbox, he can do what he wants.

Here’s how it goes:

non paid post

71 people saw this post;  it is a post that is somewhat ‘organic’.  I wrote a blog post & linked it to my FB page.  Not too many ‘fans’ of the page actually even saw the post.  When I link to a post like this it is even less than a straight FB post.

boosted post

6,612 people saw this post; this is a post that I paid $20 to promote.  I can pick & choose who sees it based on what they’re interested in.  WOW quite a difference!  But most business cannot afford to fund every post;  I know I certainly cannot.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m NOT going to continue posting EVERY DAY.  Its exhausting & frankly, I don’t think I have that much to say.  I’m going to keep up the posts about what I’m working on in the studio once a week & the odd 4-H Friday.

If you are a fan of Designs by Shelagh on Facebook (which I hope you are) and you would like to see pictures of new work, dates of upcoming shows & the odd blog post; there are just a couple things to do:


When you like the page, make sure that you check FOLLOWING as well, then you can set notifications, so I’ll show up on your news feed & you can add me to an INTERESTS LIST.



The absolute BEST thing you can do to keep connected is sign up for my email list on my website.  I’m going to use it sparingly,  NOT spamming you with daily emails – but I’d like to let out some discounts & giveaways through the email list.

newsletter sign up screen shot




I’m starting a (hopefully) weekly feature on a stone or process that I use in my jewelry making!

Sterling Feather Pendant/Pin combo & matching feather earrings.

Sterling Feather Pendant/Pin combo & matching feather earrings.

I’m choosing to focus on a ‘stone’ I use that garners a lot of questions when I’m at jewelry shows;  Spiny Oyster Shell.  I have a thing for orange & am drawn to it everywhere – clothing, unhealthy kitchen store, nature – I LOVE orange.

Chunky Spiny Oyster Shell Discs finished with sterling silver beads & Buffalo Nickel Clasp

Chunky Spiny Oyster Shell Discs finished with sterling silver beads & Buffalo Nickel Clasp

I use mostly Orange Spiny Oyster, but also have some Purple Spiny Oyster Shell.

Stamped Sterling Pendant with Purple Spiny Oyster Shell on matching beads

Stamped Sterling Pendant with Purple Spiny Oyster Shell on matching beads

A great website to check out about Spiny Oyster is spiny-oyster.com,  gives a bit of history & some cool facts:

  • Spiny Oysters are covered with menacing spines on the outside of the shell.
  • Spiny Oyster is difficult to harvest.
  • You’ll find Spiny Oyster around the world typically along the coasts of North Carolina all the way down to the waters near Brazil, also in the Sea of Cortez, ad off the coast of Baja, Mexico and Baja, California.
Orange Spiny Oyster Shell right out of the ocean.  naturalsciences.org

Orange Spiny Oyster Shell right out of the ocean. naturalsciences.org

They’re pieces that people want to touch & ask more about.  I love when folks feel comfortable enough to ask questions.  I’m always happy to answer & if I don’t know – google on my phone is a wonderful thing & we all learn something.


2 Responses to “Spiny Oyster Shell”

  1. Janice said...

    Thank you for a very interesting site. I have recently collected a bit of spiny orange oysters and wanted to know if you have any knowledge of how to take off the spines and sand down the oysters for a necklace?

  2. Shelagh said...

    I haven’t had any raw material. It is beautiful & they say you can learn anything on Youtube! Good luck with them.