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

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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!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I "Heart" the Beach!

When my kids were little we lived in New England.  Since the ocean was only 20 minutes away we always went to the beach - summer and winter!  It was a great place for them to run around and get rid of some of that energy!  I always know they slept better....and so did I!

Beach at Newcastle, NH

Even back then we looked for interesting things on the beach.  Most of the time it was something "alive" in a small pail of water (ugh!), but sometimes it was a shell or pretty rock. 

Newcastle, NH

When they got a little older, I'd make a game out of finding certain shapes.  One of my favorite was the heart!   The rock or bit of shell that was the most 'perfect' heart won the prize.

When I got re-married, my new husband hadn't been through this game!  So, while on a trip to the Outer Banks one year I told him about the tradition.  Larry is keen on finding things of interest too, so he got right into it.  It was a challenge between the two of us that week to find bits of shell and rocks that most looked like "hearts"! 

I kept them in a box and for Valentines Day that year I fastened some of the pretty shell ones onto some "I Love You" paper and put them in a frame. 

 We now have it hanging in a spare bedroom at our beach house.   It triggers so many great memories!

When you are out at the beach, lake or river with your loved ones, make a memory out of it by preserving some of the fun in a keepsake!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

Storm Over the Marsh
We love to watch the storms come over the island or up the river.  The clouds and shoots of lightning are so beautiful.  Lately, our storms don't produce anything but the show.  Well, we actually had rain with the storm last night and this morning the breeze off the water is dryer, fresh and cool-ish!  Yea!  It's been so muggy, which is intolerable for this New England girl.  So I will enjoy it as long as it lasts!

Today I have my watercolor class in the morning and friends coming for dinner.  I am making crab cakes for them with crabs caught off our pier, picked by my husband and I and made with my (not so) secret recipe.  My friend Nancy will be picking some home grown Arugula, tomatoes and raspberries to bring for our salad and I will go to the Amish market for a fat, sleek watermelon.  Sadly, I have no tomatoes as the deer have left us just stalks.  Hopefully they will keep growing (tomatoes not the deer!).

Sad Little Garden
For my watercolor class, I just have to go to my friend Susan's on the other side of the island.  She is an accomplished painter and we are so lucky to have her in the community.  I could actually bike to her house if I didn't have all my supplies to carry :)  We are working on a picture of the reconstructed Blackstone Lighthouse on St. Clement's Island.   It's a bit detailed and we just started so no photos of it yet.  I'll let you know how it comes out.

Original Blackstone Lighthouse

Susan wants me to make her a pair of earrings made with cobalt blue glass.  She likes these but....

Cobalt Beach Glass Earrings on Etsy
... she only wears gold so I'll have to custom make them for her.  I'm bringing her some pieces of glass so she can pick what she wants. She also collects beach glass on our island, but doesn't have the right ones for earrings.  Blue is pretty rare to find.  She did show me a wonderful piece of pottery that she found with a picture of a woman perfectly framed within the size of the shard.  That would make a great pendant!  The pottery shards are so interesting!  I've seen some that have parts of the original decoration on it with some wonderful results.  Sometimes you get a whole flower, bird or, in Susan's case, a person!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beach House Details

My friend Kat at Low Tide High Style recently had a contest to win a pair of my beach glass earrings.  Hope you all got a chance to enter! 
If you check out her Blog today you'll see some photos that she took of my beach house!  I know that we are so fortunate to live in a great spot like this.  Larry and I wonder at our luck every day!

I thought everyone would like to see some more details, so I have taken a few photos for you.  Remember, Kat is a far better photographer than I am!  Here is a photo of the outside that she took so you can see all the porches!

In the pictures of the living room that Kat took you may have noticed funny looking things on the wall.  These are old corbels - a carved wooden bracket that was used to support a wall or porch roof.  You will see these on many old homes.  When the homes get remodeled, these are thrown away or (hopefully) sold as architectural elements on their own.  I have many (too many!) and put them around the house to set things on.  One has a starfish and one has a small bird decoy.  The grungy old paint makes them even better I think!  I like them because they fit in narrow spaces and add so much texture.

Corbel and Mussel Shell Wreath

The wreath in the photo is made from New England mussel shells that have been bleached and worn by the waves.  Some are so pearly and some worn a soft blue.  Another example of nature's gifts, found things that can be transformed to elegant accessories.

And this painted shell I found at a flea market was also transformed from the ordinary to special.  Someone else knew the beauty of a found object.

Primitive Painted Shell

When I go out searching for beach glass, I often find feathers from our native birds.  Over the years, I've collected them all in a small crock.  I keep it on top of my wall clock - so the kitty-boys don't get it.  I've learned this the hard way!

Maryland Native Bird Feathers
I love collecting interesting things, don't we all?  I especially like natures perfect elements ..... and they're usually free!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Best Show Around....Nature!

We never get tired of just looking at the beautiful nature around us here on the island. The changing water and sky colors remind me of beach glass. Sometimes the water can be aqua, sometimes it's teal. When there is a storm, the water turns dark blue. I try to capture the soft, sunny colors and the dark stormy colors in some of my beach glass jewelry. These necklaces show the two personalities of the water I think.

My pallet of colors can change to suit my mood too. Sometimes I feel like making something bold, and sometimes gently delicate.  Don't you love the wonderful colors of beach glass!

Weather by the shore can be unpredictable.  When we first lived next to the water, there were several incidents of soaked carpet when windows were left open - we don't ever leave them open now!  Once my husband thought he could take a quick trip to the store without closing up the house.  The sky was clear and sunny.  In the 10 minutes it took him to get home the sky got dark, windy and rainy.  The wind blew the rain in the windows and french doors --- all the loose papers in his office flew around, got wet and stuck to the walls!  What a mess!   We do laugh at it now!  I'll bet everyone who lives near the water has some stories - want to share?

We were sitting on the deck this morning after going for a walk on the island.  It had been sunny and cool with some light clouds.  In the sky, off in the distance, there was a growing band of dark.  Then the breeze picked up and the dark clouds started to sweep across the sky.  The layers of dark right over the blue sky was so dramatic I grabbed my camera.

We have a porch on the water side of the house and it has a large overhang from the deck above it.  We sat, safe from the storm, enjoying the show and the wonderful breezes.  The dark clouds eventually took over the whole sky and then it rained.  We have a nest of Osprey out in the water in front of the house.  The "babies" are now big enough to be taking short flying trips.  When the rain started the whole family opened their wings and took a shower!

The Gulls didn't seem to think the rain was fun at all!

Too bad for them, it cooled and entertained us!