1. Archive

She shares seashells here by the sea

A peninsula must be home to many people who love shells. One of them was Marianne's mother, who collected shells on the beaches of St. Petersburg and points north and south of there during the '60s and '70s. She crafted her shells into beautiful items, particularly jewelry, and Marianne would like to give the shells her mother left behind to someone who shares her interest.

The shells fill a woven box that is divided into compartments. There are also plastic bags that contain individual shells Marianne's mother may have been working on, such as gar shells painted green and naturally pink, tiny shells, which would have made exquisite roses. Some larger, polished shells, like those Marianne has seen used as light pulls, are in the box, as well as more than a pound of small and medium shells.

If you would like to have this shell collection, please call Marianne at (727) 581-6267.

Instruction alert: Norma Packham has an older but well-loved sewing machine that works fine. Unfortunately, when it was temporarily stored in her daughter's basement, a flood ruined its instruction manual. The sewing machine is Singer, model 301, and if you have a manual Norma may copy, please call her post-haste at (727) 896-3222.

It can be refreshing to come into contact with people who are very sure of what they like. Take Margaret Harris, who would like to find a dry iron to use for crafts and just plain old ironing. You can tell from her short message that she doesn't care to waste time with a steam iron, for all kinds of reasons. For instance, a dry iron does not drip. And it leaves no indentation marks on clothes. If you have succumbed to steam and have no use for your dry iron, Margaret surely does. Please call (727) 784-4297.

Lena Tighe of Clearwater is a lady in her mid 80s who has lots of needs and even more budget constraints. She has lots of items on her wish list that she can't afford, the chief of which are two comfortable twin mattresses. Lying on those currently on her beds is like stretching out on a mattress of rocks, Lena says.

Another household item that would make her life more comfortable is a good, comfortable couch. Four or five years ago, she was given one that was already a dirty-looking piece of furniture.

Lena has no transportation and is not able to pick up the items. So, if the twins are off to college and you're turning their bedroom into an office, or you've decided the couch is no longer right for your living room, please drop Lena a note in care of this column, and we'll make sure she receives it.

Barbara Kay of Seminole has quite a few greeting cards, note cards and Christmas cards that could be useful to residents of a retirement or assisted living facility. Interested? Barbara will be happy to send them. Just call her cell phone at (813) 928-5192.

Betty Garcia of Tampa needs some macrame expertise to redo seats in wooden rockers. The seats were caned, but those seats did not hold up well. If you can help, please call (813) 837-2191; leave a message if necessary.

Usually a half decade or so passes between requests that involve macrame, but voila! Here is another. Kathy Rains of Clearwater is hunting for unwanted and unused macrame cord that may be lurking in Exchange Land. Kathy may be able to pick up donations that are close to her home. Please call (727) 812-1876 or e-mail

Loraine Hennigan is looking for an old mitten pattern that she has used so frequently it's too worn to read. For 35 years it helped Loraine knit mittens, first for her children, then for her grandchildren. But no longer, unless she finds a clearer copy of the pattern.

The pattern, from Coats and Clarks, is called Clansman free leaflet, No. 999W. One side contains a pattern for two-needle mittens; the other, instructions for crocheted hats. If you have this treasure in your files, please e-mail and get Loraine's mitten production line rolling again.

Thank-you notes

Anh Dufoe thanks Kim of St. Petersburg for the 220-volt sewing machine Kim purchased in Italy. It will be a big boon to Anh's sister-in-law in Vietnam.

St. Petersburg ophthalmologist Mark Sibley says the 37 kits on preventing blindness or restoring vision in patients with macular degeneration he gave to REX readers disappeared almost instantly. We thank him for making them available.

Send requests to Reader Exchange, Floridian, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731 or e-mail Requests will be accepted only by mail or e-mail. This is an exchange column, so we will not run items that are for sale. Readers must agree to publication of phone numbers, including area code.