JAMESTOWN, N.C. (WGHP) — Most of us throw oyster shells away but not Virginia Washburn.

“Even the crazy shaped [shells] have purpose,” said Washburn, who makes them shine. “Even though they are imperfect, they are perfect just like we are.”

About a year ago, she started Perfectly Imperfect, giving decorative life to oyster shells.

“I bleach them twice,” she said. “Typically, do three coats of paint.”

A nurse and teacher by day, at night she finds the shell’s beauty by making them into just about everything from natives to Christmas ornaments.

“Last Christmas, I couldn’t keep up,” she said.

Many of her ornament creations have a special story behind them. Some she sends to people going through a tough time like fighting cancer.

“Just want people to know they are being thought about, that someone is praying for them and they are not alone,” she said.

You can find her creations online.