In the last few years, I've started a tradition of making a sea shell fairy to leave behind as a thank you to every beach that I visit.
Usually,in the days I that I spend along the water, I keep my eyes out for the exact pieces to make the sprite just right. Every stroll in the tides is a chance to gather up the ideal shells. I have a rule that I can't manipulate them. I'm happy to find broken ones in the right shapes, but I never snap off bits myself.
And I like them to be from the shore that I am leaving them on if possible. Sometimes I'll slip a perfectly shaped curl of shell up into my pocket while walking on a nearby beach and save it for the fairy, but that rarely happens.
On this trip, guncle Randy and I only had a short time at the beach (craft day was waiting!!). I wasn't sure if I'd be able to collect what I needed to make a little shell girl that fast, but Randy had a good eye for what we needed and brought me the best wing, ever.
While I was finishing up brushing the sand nice and smooth around our elfin creation, a tiny dog ran up and gave me a kiss. It was a Papillion, so we named the girl after her. You can still see some of the itty bitty dog foot prints she left in the heart shaped ring around the fairy.