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Nature’s perfect example of a logarithmic spiral, the beautiful nautilus shell houses one of the oceans’ most fascinating creatures. This cousin to the octopus, squid and cuttlefish has survived virtually unchanged for eons; in fact, it is known as a living fossil. He has as many as 90 tentacles, but no suckers. When threatened (or merely seeking some “me” time), he can pull himself entirely inside his shell and close the opening with a leathery door.

This hand-painted image of the nautilus shell was drawn from a specimen in the artist’s own seashell collection and represents my efforts to accurately depict its mysterious beauty. The finished pillow measures 20”x20” and is about 5” thick in the center. The commercial all-weather fabric is designed to withstand the effects of all sorts of climate conditions. The permanent textile paint is applied one at a time by hand (not a transfer, reprint, reproduction or decal). Spot cleanable, garden hosable, or gentle machine washable; air dry. Removable fiberfill insert is also easily laundered and air dried.

When the nautilus is born his shell has four chambers, but he can produce as many as thirty over his twenty-year lifespan. His body does not occupy the entire shell; rather as he outgrows his space, he seals off the outgrown chamber and expands outward. The inside of the nautilus shell is a beautiful iridescent white.

This intriguing animal is the subject of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous poem, The Chambered Nautilus: “ . . . Year after year beheld the silent toil that spread his lustrous coil; Still, as the spiral grew, He left the past year’s dwelling for the new . . . “. With his slow metabolism, he requires only one meal a month; generally shrimp, crabs or small fish. If you think the shell is pretty, you ought to take a look at the live creature!

Designed, painted, sewn, stuffed, signed and copyrighted beside the sea on an island in Washington State, where we have many beautiful seashells, but nothing like the chambered nautilus!

PLEASE NOTE: Due to high shipping costs, customers outside of North America will receive COVERS ONLY.

© Copyrighted 2011 by C. Chennault. All rights reserved.

Frequently asked questions about crabbychris

Crabby Chris™ is pleased to render almost any of her designs in almost any color on almost any shape of pillow. If you would like to discuss your ideas or request adding a name or text to your order, please convo the artist.
Pillows can usually be made smaller or larger to fit your needs. Please feel free to inquire of the artist to work out the details.
Every handcrafted Crabby Chris™ textile item has a sewn-in care label for easy reference.
All items are enclosed in a sealed cello bag and shipped in a sturdy recylable polypropylene mailing bag. A matching wide grosgrain ribbon and bow can be added to your purchase at your request. If you would like a short personal message hand-lettered in a greeting card, make your request in "Note from Buyer".
Please feel free to inquire through Etsy convos as to whether your order can be customized to your specifications. Once details are worked out, Chris can create a custom listing, the purchase of which starts the project. Customized and personalized items are non-returnable and non-refundable as they are not marketable to others.
All designs, photographs, descriptions, images and other contents of this shop are protected by copyrights of the designer/shop owner under U.S. and international law. For licensing information please contact the artist.
Your information will not be shared with anyone, or used for any purpose other than to complete your Etsy transaction. Crabby Chris is a confirmed anti-Spamite.
No; the nickname started as a joke. Like many things, it simply got out of hand.

All content © copyrighted 2008-2016 by C. Chennault. All rights reserved.

Outdoor pillow NAUTILUS seashell 20" coastal beach seashell shell shelling ship of pearl chambered Crabby Chris Original



  • Handmade item
  • Materials: commercial all weather fabric, nontoxic permanent textile paint, polyester fiberfill in polypropylene casing, attention to detail
  • Ships from United States to select countries.
  • Feedback: 1094 reviews
  • Favorited by: 93 people