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View Poll Results: cool or not cool?
cool 44 52.38%
not cool 40 47.62%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-19-2013, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default cool or not cool?

I recently saw a nautical card using little bitty shells. Thought "that's cool." So I went out to buy some. I didn't find any shells small enough for my purposes, but i did find starfish. Real, dead starfish. So i bought a package of them.

Now I'm having serious second thoughts. I mean, a shell is one thing; I can reconcile that - maybe the little critter using it had moved onward and upward before the shell was human-claimed. But a starfish? Now it just seems kinda creepy to me. After all, this thing was alive at one time. Is it right to embellish with it?

Your thoughts?
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:19 AM   #2
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I like using nature's own things on cards. You can add some tiny shells or sand dollars and some craft sand (NOT SAND FROM THE BEACH!) and make a cool shaker card.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:27 AM   #3
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I've bought the odd basket of shells on holiday, and like you say, there is usually a starfish or two in there. I am guessing that these get caught in fishermens nets by accident, and die once they get emptied out. So the fact they haven't been deliberately caught & killed eases my conscience enough to be able to use them.
I don't know if I am searching for ways to feel ok about them, but I feel that at least they are being appreciated by being used in art, rather than just discarded? Hth
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:23 PM   #4
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I saw starfish in a tide pool, and wondered what happened to the critters when the tide went out. If they didn't make it out to tide they would dry out on the rocks. So it could have been one of those left on the rocks.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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I just saw one craft site that says some starfish are actively harvested to prevent destruction of reefs and grass beds, so if you're able to buy them in bulk, I wouldn't assume it's from people collecting them along the beach and mailing them in to somewhere to bag them up. As a vegetarian, I wouldn't buy it anyway.

Also, while I'm a fan of embellishments, a dead sea star would be too bulky to mail or use in a scrapbook. And I'd be afraid of it potentially smelling or breaking depending on how dried out or fragile it was.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
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I understand what everyone has said, but I personally agree with the OP. It does seem a little "creepy" to me, and I probably would not use a real, dead starfish on a card.

If I wanted a starfish embellishment, I would probably buy plastic ones, or stamp them and cut them out of cardstock.

(You did ask what we thought. )
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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I've seen the tiny starfish and I think they would be adorable on a beachy card. The ones I saw were very small and flat so I like the idea of a natural touch.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:50 AM   #8
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Thx for the input.

The starfish are definitely fragile and definitely small enough (flat enough) to put on a card and still fit in an envelope. I've tested the smell thing with the bestest authorities - my dogs say that, as a whole, they definitely have an odor, but just one is hardly worth noticing (which I interpret as being virtually odorless to a human nose). That's after they've been out of the packaging awhile.

As of this moment, the poll is in a dead heat. 19 votes each way. No consensus for either opinion.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lutheran View Post
I like using nature's own things on cards. You can add some tiny shells or sand dollars and some craft sand (NOT SAND FROM THE BEACH!) and make a cool shaker card.
Mary Beth
Why no sand from the beach?
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:09 AM   #10
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My daughter had bought a starfish in a gift shop when we were on vacation. We weren't anywhere near the ocean so it wasn't fresh. But after sitting in the car on our trip, it reeked to high heaven. So what may be not smelly now, might pick up a stench as it is mailed a long distance. I don't know.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:57 AM   #11
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june-01-shaz-wm.jpg gr8cards- thats exactly how i used one!
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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I love animals, so to me it would be like putting a dead "animal" on a card. I just couldn't do it. I guess you have to start somewhere in your own personal decision as to what is acceptable for your own use. Is a fur coat OK? A rabbit's foot? A starfish or seahorse? As for me, if I received a card with a seahorse or starfish on it, I would probably cry - or at least think a lot less of the person who sent it to me. But then I have been a vegetarian for over 40 years.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:28 PM   #13
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But then I have been a vegetarian for over 40 years.
what a milestone! That will be me, in 17 more years!


also, good point about knowing your audience. some may find it beautiful, others may not.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #14
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Why no sand from the beach?
Wondered about that myself......
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:43 AM   #15
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I find acceptable how things were done long ago- animals etc were hunted for food, not so called 'sport', and no part of the animal was ever wasted- every bit had some use. So thats why I see using ones from trawlermens nets as ok. Its the same for me with my food- I'm not a vegetarian, what is important to me is how my food is husbanded. Not factory farmed, but free range.Whatever I eat, I demand it has been cared for properly, free range, and organically and ethically produced.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:19 PM   #16
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Now it just seems kinda creepy to me. After all, this thing was alive at one time.
To me it is creepy!!!! I wouldn't put one on my card and wouldn't want to receive one that has it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:21 PM   #17
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I love animals, so to me it would be like putting a dead "animal" on a card. I just couldn't do it. I guess you have to start somewhere in your own personal decision as to what is acceptable for your own use. Is a fur coat OK? A rabbit's foot? A starfish or seahorse? As for me, if I received a card with a seahorse or starfish on it, I would probably cry - or at least think a lot less of the person who sent it to me. But then I have been a vegetarian for over 40 years.
Exactly my sentiments. I've been a vegetarian all my life.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:22 PM   #18
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Is sand from beaches protected? at least from removing large quantities? I would not use a real starfish especially when there are alternatives available, sorry but registers on the yuck side for me.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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It would creep me out. I don't like touching dead things and receiving a card with a real star fish would be as appealing as getting one with toe nail clippings.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #20
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It would creep me out. I don't like touching dead things and receiving a card with a real star fish would be as appealing as getting one with toe nail clippings.
Aw darn, I guess you can't swap with me at convention!


Kidding!
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #21
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I think the thing with real beach sand is that you can't ever remove the salt and other particulate matter that's in it (decomposing bits of dead critters), not to mention any impurities it picked up from whatever is in seawater these days (think about it, yuck). You need to buy sanitized sand for projects. You aren't even supposed to use beach sand in a sandbox, although undoubtedly people do. You are supposed to buy "play sand".

Speaking of decomposition... I keep checking the poll and it's still a dead heat (pun intended). I'm personally on the yuck side of the fence. I'm sure people have made lovely looking cards with these little guys, but it would feel like glueing a corpse to a card to me. I'd rather search out some resin or plastic or metal ones.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:25 PM   #22
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I think they are cute...I'd never think of it as a 'dead animal' ...Maybe put a coat of varnish on each side if you're worried about future smells...
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:29 AM   #23
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I think the thing with real beach sand is that you can't ever remove the salt and other particulate matter that's in it (decomposing bits of dead critters), not to mention any impurities it picked up from whatever is in seawater these days (think about it, yuck). You need to buy sanitized sand for projects. You aren't even supposed to use beach sand in a sandbox, although undoubtedly people do. You are supposed to buy "play sand.
Never thought of that since I live by Lake Michigan and we are unsalted
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #24
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I'm another vegetarian (vegan, actually), who has to agree with "creepy"...

but like with anything you do with your card, I also agree that you should think about the recipient. I'm also uncomfortable with leather, silk, wool, feathers, pearls etc. - things most people wouldn't think twice about using on their cards. (Well, real pearls might be a little pricey for a card, LOL.)

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Old 05-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #25
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I would not give it a thought. I would not look at the card and think to myself "Oh my, a dead animal!" I would think "Cool starfish". Call me insensitive, but I really would not care one bit. Even sand...I would use real sand from the beach if I lived near one...I have scooped up sand and shells from beaches and put them into mason jars for friends and decorated as keepsakes.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:24 PM   #26
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Aw darn, I guess you can't swap with me at convention!


Kidding!
I'll keep an eye out for you. There can't be too many swap cards with toe nail clippings.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:39 PM   #27
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I never go outside, and don't live anywhere near the beach, so I wouldn't have known it was a REAL dead starfish probably, if I had gotten it on a card. If I had never seen this thread, I'd have thought "cool!". But now that I've read it... I guess I'm thinking "maybe only cool for some people". I didn't vote though.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:49 PM   #28
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I'm with Mel, I wouldn't think OMG DEAD ANIMAL. I too love animals but I'd probably think Oh, a starfish...cool. Similar to what shazsilverwolf said, I'd not a vegetarian or vegan; I think humans were biologically created with the ability to eat meat/fish and as long as the animals aren't being treated cruelly or fed chemical sludge, I don't have a moral opposition. That being said, and rather off topic, the starfish are already in your possession and I'd use them UNLESS you personally feel it is somehow creepy. I grew up visiting the beach regularly and I always collected shells and sand and bought a sand dollar and a starfish or two so I don't see what the issue is. I could see them being very cool in a beachy shadowbox or scrapbook page.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:43 AM   #29
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Since the star fish is actually organic matter - it will crumple after a while. Not pretty. Also regarding the sand. I live in Jersey. If every beach-goer took just 1/4 cup of sand - there would be no beach 1/2 way through the beach season. The beach sand is not sterile (the sand you buy for sand boxes has been sanitized). That said, there is yet an other reason for not taking beach sand (salted or otherwise). After hurricane Sandy - they have had to truck in tons and tons and TONS of sand to rebuild the dunes that protect not only property but wildlife, sea life (reefs, pools, the bay, etc) and vegetation. We start screwing around with the sand and we end up with a very unbalanced eco system. SAVE THE SAND FOR THE BEACH please. Thank you for letting me rant.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:18 AM   #30
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After hurricane Sandy - they have had to truck in tons and tons and TONS of sand to rebuild the dunes that protect not only property but wildlife, sea life (reefs, pools, the bay, etc) and vegetation. :
Where are they getting the sand from? Just curious...
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:35 AM   #31
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Where are they getting the sand from? Just curious...
Much is trucked in, reclaimed sand that was washed miles into the towns. Other sand is taken from the beach itself - just pushed into large dunes rather than spread flat. Other sand is brought in from other beaches where the sand has built up too far due to other environmental issues. Sand is nothing more than broken shells, bits of stone, sea glass, fish bones, etc. They have also used pulverize rocks from quarries (like the man-made sanitized sand you buy for sandboxes) and they've been trucking that in - but that is expensive. To rebuild the dunes they got very creative. After the holidays, thousands of Christmas trees were sent to the beach and laid along the sand where the dunes were being rebuilt. Then they used bulldozers to only partially cover the trees. This creates a "capture point" so when the wind blows the sand around the trees is captured by the trees and that helps to rebuild the dunes as well. Lastly, they are planting tons of sea grass which also works like the Christmas trees to capture sand and build the dunes. BTW - regular every day glass is made from heated, compressed, man-made sand.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:45 AM   #32
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Since the star fish is actually organic matter - it will crumple after a while....
A pretty long while, though. I have some on cards that I made 7 or 8 years ago and they're still intact. But, LOL, the reason I still have them is I know they'd need to posted in a box or they would definitely break in transit.
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