Right now I love beach glass jewelry.....

Do you? Sending beach glass factoids over the web.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Craft Shows and Such...

Fall is a great time for craft and antique shows, the air is cooler and Christmas is coming (oh yes it is!) so you have an excuse to shop!  My husband mentioned an ad in the newspaper calling for crafters for a local show.  He thought that it would be fun to sell some of my beach glass jewelry there.  It's always nicer talk with people face to face and answer any question about the origin of beach glass. 

Well the show was this past weekend and it was a glorious weather day.  The sky was so blue.  It was a wonderful contrast to the pumpkins and chrysanthemums.  

As you can imagine, I talked to a lot of people about beach glass!  Many remembered picking it up when they were young and told me stories about where they found it.  Some had traveled to different parts of the country or different parts of the world and had recollections about their finds.  Some said that they still had a jar full.  One couple bought bags of beach glass for their daughters.  They said they had lived in California years ago and remembered a TON of beach glass at the beach in Fort Bragg, CA.  It is even named "Glass Beach".   It used to be a huge dump, so there are all kinds of bits of glass from bottles to car windows.   Sadly, they didn't keep any and bought the glass for their girls who were fascinated with their story.  Here is a link to more information about it in case you are visiting California.  Glass Beach

If anyone has been to this fabulous beach, let me know if the pictures are true.....looks like lots of great smooth pieces!

This weekend made me remember selling my things at craft/antique shows in my "other life".  Before I moved to Maryland, I lived in New England.  In this former life I was an Antique dealer who sold at "group" shops and shows in the New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts areas.  I have great memories of the whole thing - conveniently forgetting all the hard work! There was a little show that my friends and I used to do in early October in a quaint New Hampshire town called Kingston.  This show was on the village common in the center of town where the dealers set up.   It was a grassy square with a lovely small, white bandstand.  The mature maple trees all around the edge of the green were turning beautiful colors of oranges, yellows and reds and the two story antique houses, church and town hall that ringed the square were mostly white with black shutters (very New England!).  
I'll be back in New England this weekend visiting family and I think that a side trip to Kingston will be on my list of things to do.  Also a little antiquing!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Change is Coming!

I like to reflect the changing of the seasons in my house.  Not just by putting out holiday things, but also changing the feel of the house.....making a warm nest for the coming chill.  Maybe  I'll change the slipcovers from white to a darker color and put out some textured, deeper hued pillows.  More throws, with a heavier weight and weave placed around and also more candles tells you it's fall.  Sometimes I move the furniture for a cozy-up-to-the-fireplace orientation. 

And sometimes I go shopping in my closets and find things that were not right before, but are now.   I don't know why that is, it just is.

I also put some of my beach things away, like the clear cylinder of shells and some special "finds" that are sitting out.  There are my favorites however, that don't get put away regardless of the season.  Some things I just love to look at and have around me.

One of my favorite things is this Mussel shell wreath.  I bought this a long time ago when I lived in New England and didn't live near the beach at all. 

On the Atlantic shore, the mussel shells would get so "pearly" from being scraped on the sand so many times.
As I can remember, it was pretty expensive for me, especially since I didn't have a beach theme going at all!  But, I couldn't resist and just had to have it (even though I thought that I could probably make one!).  

I kept it in an old hatbox with tissue for years.  When we bought our property on the water and moved in it was one of the first things I put up.  My husband was amazed at this and all the other "Beach" things that I had stashed away in the hopes of one day living by the water.   It's good to be a little mysterious!

  These have more blue in them and are larger than the same type of shells I find in Maryland.
 Another great find was this (sort of) old carved hull on a stand.  For a while, I used it for all our remote controls in the Living room.  We called it the "Remote Boat"!  Now I have several small old sweetgrass baskets from New England in it that are a lot more interesting!  I will change this out with mini pumpkins or fresh pine to follow the season.  In the summer, shells alone or with sand looks great.  I think one summer I put sand and old photos of family at the beach in it - that was fun! 

There are some things that I love from Christmas also that don't get put away.  One of my current favorites (from last Christmas), is this lamp base with growing partridge berry plants in it.  I got them in my friend's back yard and just plopped them into the container.  They have been growing since last November, without the addition of water.

They are in the bottom of the lamp and are sealed in there.  We used to make "berry jars" for Christmas like that, putting the partridge berries into small jars and sealing the top with cling wrap and a ribbon.  They would last a long time.

 The original moisture just keeps circulating!

Another find is this unfinished boat hull.  I was at a Christmas Fair in Maine two years ago and I saw it above a doorway   It was filled with greens and red berries and I wasn't even sure it was for sale!  But luckily the ladies of the church decided to sell it to me.  In the summer I put starfish in it, but in winter I'll have it decked out with something green or sparkly! 

One year, I went to a local auction and got this great thick, leather heart with bells on it!  Since the auction was at a farm, I think it was for horses or a sleigh?  Anyone know?  Anyway, I LOVED it!  Needless to say, this Christmas decoration is up all year at my house.   I just couldn't bear to put it away.  It is on my door and jingles when anyone comes or goes.  Delightful!

My most favorite though, is my reproduction Victorian fish bowl filled with Beach Glass!  These are my most wonderful finds put into a container that is always on my counter to delight and inspire!

To get you in the mood for autumn, click here for music and pictures.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Give me a Break!

Hopefully everyone has been reading some of my earlier posts while I was on a break...literally!  I possibly fractured or bruised (couldn't tell from the x-rays) my ribs in a minor (very minor) car accident and I have been out of commission for a bit.  It seems that your ribs are integral to most of your body's movement (who knew!).  Anyway, it's been uncomfortable to do much for any amount of time.  The medicine that I took at night, which I am grateful for, left me groggy a lot of the day.  So, here I am back again!  Able to move almost quite normally.  (I will be using the groggy thing for awhile to mask any age-related forgetfulness!)

So, speaking of breaks ....

While taking a short walk on the beach with my husband (he did the "bend-and-pick-up" for me), we found a lovely piece of frosted treasure with some lines in it.  My husband said it would make a great piece of jewelry, but I hesitated.  You see, the lines in some of the glass that I find look like cracks and I'm not sure they would be as fascinating to someone buying a jewelry item as they are to me.  Most of these cracks are surface but I can't tell how deep they are and I'm not sure how stable they would be.   Here is an enhanced photo of the piece to show the detail.

Aqua shard with many lines of "crizzling"

This crizzling in glass is the effect of weathering.  Wet glass that is exposed to freezing can sometimes form surface cracks.  These surface cracks are straight lines that over time (wetting and freezing) can actually fracture the glass into triangular shapes. 

Beach glass group with weathering cracks
A large piece can fracture  over and over again creating smaller and smaller pieces.  These are tumbled in the sand by waves and eventually end up smooth triangle shaped shards of beach glass.  It will take 30-50 years of tumbling to round off the edges of these newly broken pieces.  This fact always amazes me!

These are small, kind of sharp-shaped triangles that have had their edges smoothed.
Small, squat triangles of cobalt beach glass
 These are longer triangles.

Long thin triangles, with smoothed edges.

But these triangles have been worn smooth and rounded!  Probably some early medicine bottles that have been breaking and tumbling for 50 years.

Triangles that have been smoothed over time
 So, you can see why the triangle is the most common shape that I find.   Short and fat or long and thin, these triangles have a history we can only guess at!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I want to share a story that is not about beach time/decor/jewelry.  It's inspirational. 

My step daughter graduated from college with a degree in International Business.  She worked for awhile, but realized her passion was still in Medicine.  She made the hard decision to go back to school while working and living in Atlanta, GA.  But, prior to taking the MCAT for Medical School, she broke her wrist. This necessitated a trip to the orthopedic surgeon. When her wrist healed, she started thinking about where her brace would end up. Landfill?? Unacceptable.

After some investigating, she discovered that there wasn’t any organization recycling these orthopedic items. Surplus orthopedic equipment from people who recover their breaks and sprains was being mostly thrown away or stored until it was thrown away at some future date. She thought that this was a waste and bad for our planet. She also knew that there were many uninsured/under insured people in her Atlanta area who needed this gently used equipment. She saw an opportunity, so she founded Embraced Atlanta, a non-profit business that recycles orthopedic items - crutches, wheel chairs and gently used prosthetics to name a few. http://www.embracedatlanta.org/

Since it was founded over a year and a half ago, Embraced has supported local needs and national/global disasters. The momentum is growing. She was recently on a local Atlanta radio show and got a chance to talk about her passion.  If you have a few minutes, please listen:


Her current fundraiser in Atlanta is a “Battle of the Burgers” http://www.battleoftheburgers.com/ (October 2nd, 2010 at John Howell Park in the VA Highlands) featuring Gureline as an honorary judge. Guerline was the only survivor from her class following the Haitian Earthquake. Her left arm was crushed with no way of saving it. Guerline is currently in Atlanta being fitted for a prosthetic arm. Embraced is currently helping Guerline to obtain the funding for this prosthetic arm through various fundraising efforts.

I would like Lauren to be recognized for her contribution so that others might be inspired to help her with her goal to expand awareness and service of this remarkable effort.

Thank you  : )

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canoe and Beach Glass Adventure

OK, so it's Saturday afternoon and the "must do" chores are done....how do we spend the rest of the day???   The weather was nice, a little breeze off the water and not too warm perfect for a beach glass outing in the canoe!  So, my husband and I decided to take the new (old) canoe out - first time for me in this one.  It's a used Old Town Canoe made in Maine.  
(old) Old Town canoe
 Destination???  Well, I am always on the lookout for new beach glass locations and there was this nice beach not too far away that usually has quite a few pieces.  So, we paddled over.

Beach with lots of stuff!
When we pulled the canoe up on the beach, first thing I saw was this wonderful piece of lime green in a great earring size!  My day was made!  I just love finding different colors!

Lime green glass on the beach

This was a good omen I thought and I was right....I found more of the same color!  It's so, so, so unusual to find the same size AND shape, but a piece for a pendant also....Heaven!!  Here is the trio:

Future lime green earring and pendant

I can't wait to see how they turn out!  I haven't decided what color crystal or pearls to pair with them.  Sometimes it's nice to have a real contrast.  I just went to my favorite gem show and got a lot of new Swarovski crystals.  I got some chocolate brown opaque that might be interesting. 

I also find lots of white glass, as you would expect.  This time there were some great patterns and some with writing on them.  These are always fun and I love the way the pendants look.

Frosted white glass with patterns and words!

My husband had the find of the day though....this amazing piece of real purple.  This is not the glass that turns  lavender or purple from the sun.  This is a GENUINE purple glass shard.  It's big too....hard to tell from the photo, but it's about 2 1/ 2 inches.  This would make a great pendant.  The front has designs - it must have been a decorative piece like a vase. 
Purple glass with decoration

The back is plain but nicely frosted and would be a good "flip" side for a pendant. 

Back side of purple shard
Today my husband won the prize for the "best" beach glass.  We laughed at the competition between us and then went for a swim, clothes and all!