Class Dates Announced – February 11-13, 2019

Join with me in laughter, smiles and friendship while creating a treasured keepsake.

The next sailor’s valentine class I will teach is scheduled for February 11-13 in Sarasota Florida. This class is sponsored by the Sarasota Shell Club Artisans.  We will be working on a similar pattern to the one pictured. All materials, shells and an octagon case are included.  The 3 day class will begin following the Annual Sarasota Shell Show February 8-10.  For more Shell Show Details go to


Class times… 10-2pm Monday – Wednesday. Class Dates… Feb 11,12,and 13. Class Location – Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church on the corner of Proctor & McIntosh in Sarasota, Florida


We will use traditional techniques as well as learn to add 3D elements.  Class size is limited to 8. The class is open to beginners as well as accomplished shell art enthusiasts. The button to sign up for class is located on my website home page. Click on the word  Treasures. Then scroll down to find the pay button. Or contact me by email –                                          


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Wedding Cake by Ann Stegner


Ann Stegner has been busy creating a new shell masterpiece.

” No, you can’t eat the cake unless you enjoy Styrofoam and that is the base for the cake. I covered each Styrofoam cake piece in sand and painted the cake with a Martha Stewart high gloss acrylic paint called, ‘Wedding Cake’. Seemed appropriate. I attached a purple ribbon around each layer and then glued small ark shells around the edge of each layer. I took the various colored (shell) pansies I had previously made and attached them to the cake. To finish the cake off, I accented two layers with ‘fern-like stems’ made from white coquina shells.”

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2018 Valentine Class – NHA Dates Announced


Nantucket Wildflowers Sailors Valentine with Suzanne Marie Dietsch
August 21, August 22, August 23, August 24 9:00 AM–1:00 PM Member Fee $500 Nonmember Fee $550
Materials Fee $325

Create a historic maritime seashell mosaic in a handcrafted red maple case. This valentine references many of the natural wildflower patterns found on the island of Nantucket. All tools and materials, including mother of pearl inlay will be available to complete this treasured Nantucket keepsake. This is an intermediate level 4 day class.

Maximum class size: 10

Nantucket Historical Association 15 Broad Street Nantucket, MA 02554
508-228-1894, ext. 350
Copyright © 2018 Nantucket Historical Association

All classes held at the
NHA 1800 House
4 Mill Street, Nantucket

Class discounts for NHA Members join now!


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Sailor’s Valentine Classes Scheduled for February 2018

Finding the Artist Within Us All…

It’s not uncommon to be intimidated about starting new creative project. How do you make a Sailor’s Valentine? What about supplies? It seems too complicated, so intricate, and expensive.

Now, I will remind everyone of that quiet walk along the beach and the excitement of finding that treasured sea shell. Do you have a box of shells in the closet? I believe it’s begging to see the light of day once again. Creating a sailor’s valentine is a time honored tradition of displaying sea shells and sea life.

In conjunction with the Sarasota Shell Club Artisans I will be teaching a one day, four hour introductory class where students will solve the mystery surrounding this art form. Each student will complete a simple project taking into account the Barbados crafter’s techniques from the 1800’s.

Here is the example of what we will complete during class Friday, February 16, 2018. Our class fee is $100. It includes all materials needed. (Although one may wish to bring a snack.) The class will run 10-2pm at the Sarasota Club Artisans workshop located at the Bea Ridge Presbyterian Church in Sarasota Florida.


My goal is to find that artist within us all through friendship, imagination, laughter and smiles.  If interested call Suzanne – 309-883-1590. Or, click back to the ‘Treasures’ section on this website and submit payment for your reservation. Class size is limited so advance registration is required. Once the Friday class is filled I will schedule a class for Saturday, February 17.

We encourage everyone to attend their local shell show and enjoy the many shell art exhibits from hobbyists to professionals. Plus take a moment to learn details about those little treasures that wash up on our beaches from the specimen exhibits. More information about the upcoming Sarasota Shell Show February 9-11, 2018 can be found on their website

I am also available to teach a more intense 3 day class. All materials will be included to complete a framed traditional sailor’s valentine similar to the valentine shown below. This class is scheduled for February 19-21 and will run $600 per student. It will also be located at the Sarasota Shell Club Artisan’s workshop at the Bea Ridge Presbyterian Church in Sarasota Florida.  Registration for the 3 day class deadline is January 15, 2018.




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Framed Shell Mosaic – Shell Wave 2017

This shell mosaic is mounted on a 24″x 12″ canvas… then framed. I finished this piece with the help of several shell hunter enthusiasts that came to my aid collecting enough white coquinas to finish this project. Thank you.ShellWaveCenterIMG_4051 ShellWaveCornerIMG_4050 ShellWave 2017IMG_E4053

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Be My Valentine – 13″ Sailor’s Valentine

This Valentine can be seen at the  upcoming Sarasota Shell Show…February 9-11, 2018 Check out the website  for details. The show is at a new location in Sarasota and there will be terrific artistic and scientific exhibits as well as shell vendor’s treasures.BeMyValentine0517W

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What’s New Summer 2017

It’ been a busy summer and here are a few photos of what I have been working on.

12″ x 12″ shell mosaics on canvas –

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August 2017 Sailor’s Valentine Classes

Spread the Word – Summer is here and the class schedules for Nantucket’s 1800 House have been posted. Check  for details. Sailor’s Valentine Classes are scheduled for the second and third week of this August. My goal, as always, is to find the artist within us all though friendship, imagination, laughter and smiles.

August 14, 15 and 16.  We will concentrate on design choices as well as create unique decorative specimens such as octopus, sea horse, sea stars or scallop shells to feature in the “Ocean Treasures” valentine. We will also be cutting illustration board as requested last year. 


August 8, 9 and 10.  The beginner level sailor’s valentine class will concentrate on techniques used by the nineteenth-century shell crafters of Barbados. This valentine design is similar to the original artifact on display at the NHA Whaling Museum. Choose from the flower basket or flower rings design. 0808-Floral-Rings-Sailors-Valentine-pt-2-350x263August 11.  The “Pretty as a Picture Class” is designed for young and old alike… to learn about Sailor’s Valentines and complete a very basic, inexpensive shell mosaic. The center window of this design will accommodate any favorite photo or picture.



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Fish Scale Pansies – Secrets Revealed

Pile of fish scalesAnn Stegner shares her technique for creating pansies from fish scales. Ann uses purchased fish scales soaked in plain water overnight to make them pliable. She learned this by trial and error. This gives her the advantage of shaping each petal. Next she prefers to paint the scales, although dying them is another option. She uses 5 scales for each pansy and creates 4 different varieties. Fish scales can be shaped to create many different flower petals. For example – rolling a tight tube of scales and clamping them till dry will form the delicate center of a rose.  A special thanks to Ann for sharing this fish scale flower petals technique.

58 Pansies 052017


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