Project Description

April 14, 2020 | By Steph Hargrove

Get In Line

Current situation: there are over 2,000 seashells in my life that need to be glued to fishing line. The shells are hanging out in the corner of my workspace. Staring at me. Looming.


Yep. That’s them on the back table. Patiently waiting to become part of a large installation at Creative Pinellas.

Allow me to walk you through the process I’ve devised to tackle this monumental task. First, I take a shell from each bin, being sure to alternate between buttercup lucine and Pennsylvania lucine. I keep the shells in  the same color order as the bins on the table so I create an ombre effect on the finished line.

I place the shells, in ombre color order, on my work table. Next, I measure and cut a piece of fishing line.

I then place the first six shells into poster putty on my table with all the bottoms of the shells pointing to the right.

After that, I use a hot glue gun to carefully attach each shell to the fishing line.

I repeat the process until all 13 shells are glued to the line. I then wind up the excess line on the end and secure it with tape to prevent tangled line when unpacking. Finally, the completed line is carefully placed in a plastic bag.

And there you have it! One completed line! The finished piece will feature 193 of these lines suspended from the ceiling, so I have a bit of work left ahead of me. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “But Steph, I thought you were totally OCD and loved to do the math, don’t you know exactly how much time this will take?” And my answer is… yes. It’s 42 hours and 40 minutes of work. Math rules.

Which brings me to my current inner struggle. I do not procrastinate. I get my work done waaaayyy before deadlines approach. However, 42 hours and 40 minutes is totally doable between now and whenever coronavirus allows us to have a physical, in person show (June? September? When Halley’s Comet comes back around?). That means if I wanted to, I could pause this seashell gluing process for a week or so. And I reeeaaallly want to.

Here’s the deal. I want to drop everything and make ridiculously awesome face masks with my killer fabric collection. I am always and forever raising money and awareness for causes. The only reason I haven’t jumped in sooner to do something in the coronavirus outbreak is because all of my time and energy has been focused on physical therapy as I recovered from a hip injury. Now that I’m drastically improved, (but still doing 2.5 hours of therapy daily to maintain my progress and continue healing), I really want to jump in and do my small part to make a difference and help out.

So that settles it. Gluing seashells absolutely will get done. Totally on time. But for the next week, I’m gonna make masks. I’m determined to generate funds for StPeteMeals.com, where money is used to purchase meals from our local restaurants (who really need our help right now) which are then delivered to healthcare workers and first responders here in Pinellas county (huge thank you to all of you!). So freaking awesome!

Need a cool face mask? Check out fromSteph.com this week. I’ll get them sewn and added to my website as quickly as possible. Stay safe and stay healthy! 🙂