Archive for July, 2008

YIPPEE!!! If I was in a band I’d say I got my first gig. I have a table at the Hingham Farmer’s Market where I’ll be selling my hand-picked and hand-wrapped local sea glass creations. Starting this Saturday, from 10am to 2pm, I’ll have a table and my sea glass necklaces will be on display and on sale!

I can’t wait to see if and how people respond to the sea glass in necklace form. It’s hard to convey what they look like online and the actual color and size and “feel” of the piece. I’m thrilled and nervous. And glad my business cards came in this week and I have a decent stock. What if nothing sells? What if everything sells? What if? What if? What if I don’t worry about what if and see what is?

For more information about the HIngham Farmer’s Market, check out this link:


Since I’m a composting girl with a rain barrel who recycles and has been a veggie for 27 years I find this to be a fun and nice fit. I’ll see what happens and have been hearing great things about local and co-op farms and farmer’s markets. I’m thrilled to be involved in this part of the community in this way. I think the new technical name for me is a NFV – Non Food Vendor.

If you read this and are local, stop by my table on Sat. even if just to say hi.


A Happy NFV


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Heart Story

One is about hearts. My daughter collects them. Glass hearts, rock hearts, bead hearts and those of the people who love her. So, we are talking. She is in bed. She wants me to fill her new stuffed elephant with love. I hug, squeeze and fill it up.

“It ran out,” she says. “Can you fill it up again?”

So I hold on to it but I explain that the love doesn’t run out, it’s endless. I tell her to just imagine an animal she loves and think of it and feel in her heart that love. It’s there, even when the animal is not, and it’s felt.

“But your heart is bigger than mine, so it has more love.”

Me again with the, “love is boundless, endless, doesn’t run out.”

“Except when your feelings are hurt,” she says.


“Yes. When your feelings are hurt, you don’t FEEL the love as much but it’s still there it’s just not so…” and I’m thinking of all the fights I’ve had where the love feels lost, forever and gone. I don’t say that. I say, “You don’t FEEL the love as much,” and you know you’re treading water as a parent when you are repeating yourself.

“So the heart is tipped over,” she says.

“Do you want to trade places?” is what I want to say. “Do you want to parent me?” I think of how the heart is “out of joint,” or maybe sprained and broken when we are in fights, feelings hurt or out of tune with others.  This perfect heart shapes she has: a red locket with a gold flower on top, beach stones heart-shaped, large beads in swirls of color, some multi-color and I imagine then in the body, each one, at a tilt or upside down when we lose our way with someone.

Who says we parents teach and aren’t taught? That’s my heart story which has NOTHING to do with sea glass except sea glass and collecting has helped open my heart.

The other thing.

Everyone loves sea glass. My friend. My neighbor. My brother, his wife, their two children. It’s magic, better than gold but with all the fever of the rush. It’s not a bug everyone gets but once bitten you’re just lost. A lunatic. Obsessed. Possessed. Overjoyed by gems. I know people feel this way about bingo, crocheting, crossword puzzles and fantasy football. I’m sure they blog and talk and share and make things. I’m sure it bonds many and possible tears at some relationships too but I’m changed.

A woman at forty on her beach, me last year, discovering the bounty at the end of my street for years but having missed it. How cliche. How true. It’s contagious. Amazing.

Catch of the Day – the shared enthusiasm, passion and validation we feel when with our tribe in writing, in art or in grief and pain is vital, central and significant.  

Story 2

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NPR Story – So Cool

My mother sent me this link and it’s great. I love the photo of the wire-wrapped pottery. The bigger story though is about the artist Alexander Calder using “found art” before it was even trendy 🙂



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Sea Glass Crafts

O.k., so I get blog stats and know how many people read my blog each day (40 to 80) depending on the day. And while I’d love to say everyone is here to read my writing or to see how to buy my sea glass art, they are not. A good deal are here to see if I’ve got any links or information about sea glass crafts. So, here are some links to some sea glass art projects you can try. They vary in level and tools and skills needed. But, some are great for kids. Some are clearly for adults who are sea glass experts. Enjoy the sites. Write back if you try a craft and enjoy it.

See Glass Girl’s List of Crafts


Despite loving sea glass I really don’t know what to do with it all. So far, mosaics haven’t called to me but some people love them. My daughter wants to make a mosaic mirror. So, in the spirit of branching out a bit I’m trying on some new ideas. Here are some links I’m coming across in case anyone else has a hot summer day, a child (inner or one they are caring for) and an urge to do something new.

Sea Glass Styrafoam:



This is a holiday tree but I’m sure it could be a winter tree as well…http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/stainedglass/msg1211515921749.html?24

Advanced Jeweler Technique: I think these necklaces are stunning. They aren’t my style as I do love wrapping and twisting the wire but should I ever brave the next frontier and find safe and eco-friendly metal smithing I might try this: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/cr_jewelry/article/0,,DIY_13762_3569885,00.html

Great Mosaic craft for kids: http://www.crayola.com/crafts/detail/sea-glass-planter-craft/

Just Collecting: http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/printcraft.cfm?CraftID=1016

Scrapbook Happy People and Sea Glass: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/sc_materials/article/0,2025,DIY_14228_2277555,00.html

Basic Wire Wrap tutorial: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/ah_antique_jewelry/article/0,,HGTV_3088_1397882,00.html

Intricate Wire Wrap/Mosaic: http://www.thebeadsite.com/jbw-db01.htm

If you like You Tube, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ1u3YWrAhI&feature=related


Catch of the Day: There’s plenty to learn and if you don’t like any of these styles or techniques, make up one of your own. That’s what I do.

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Many people have asked me lately what the difference between real and person-tumbled sea glass is, how you can tell which is which and if I purchase any sea glass.


There are some great websites which detail what is real and valued by the sea glass purist. It’s a lot about color but it’s also about size and being sea worn, nature-tumbled, soft and frosty. Here are some links.




As for me, to date, I’m a purist when it comes to finding my own sea glass but I will take home a less than perfectly smoothed piece of glass. Sometimes, I favor the rough edge here and there, the unnevenes of a piece of glass, like a person worn more in some spots than others. With colors, I’m not as particular as some. I’m smitten with the rarity of red and know it’s a “gem” when I find it but in terms of what pleases my eye, I love it all. Today I’m wearing one of the earliest pieces I ever found and one of the first pieces of jewelry I ever made. it’s a white medium sized piece of sea glass with pink wrapped around the center three times. No beads or designs to the wire. Only a bead at the top to keep the glass from slipping through the wire.


I love it because there are no beads to distract from the simple sea glass. Other times I love the beads. Why do some people drill and others don’t? It’s all choices. Is it really less “intrusive” to the glass to cage it and dress it up than it is to let it hang after a small hole has been drilled through? Who can say? But for me, I don’t like to alter the glass for good. Wire and beads can be removed. Drill holes can’t be refilled. I may fall in love with drilling holes someday. Right now, I’m too attached to the glass to make marks on it.


Anyhow, while I love collecting the sea glass myself, I’m not going to give away a gift. When my daughter finds a white and wants to share it, I’m pleased. When a friend makes me a gift with a piece of red at the center and it is from her very own collection I know how precious and divne that gift is and treasure it as such. 


However, the stuff that’s made by people, tumbled to look real but has never actually “lived in” or traveled the ocean, well, that’s not the stuff that appeals to me. It’s not all sea glass snobbery either. It’s because, this veggie has a huntress side and I like to “catch” my own “kill” when I’m on seeking.


I love the hunt for sea glass and there is thrill and adventure in a discovery or find. Sometimes I even feel a bit like a cat hunting a mouse when I’m on the beach. I’m tracking. I’m crawling rocks. I’ve got my eyes glued to the sand and my back to beautiful sunsets. It’s not always a beautiful spiritual practice where I’m calm, meditative and grateful. Sometimes I’m “after” a purple, anxious for a frosty white and unwilling to leave the beach until I get some unnamed “but I’ll know it when I see it” item. 


So far I haven’t tiled my entire bathroom in sea glass, haven’t made fifty-nine mosaic chairs, mirrors and walls. There’ are non sea glass objects in my own, like living breathing people and a cat. However, I’ll have to watch myself and see that it’s me who keeps doing the sea glass hunting and isn’t stalked by desire and gluttony.


Catch of the Day: Learning to let go of at least a little bit

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The new topic is out on the Writingfromtheheart@wordpress.com blog and it is, “The Thing About This Body Is….” Lots of writers, including me, have submitted for this topic and are posted. So, I’ve been quiet here of late as I write for that blog and publish and post the writing of others as well.
Check it out if you’re so inclined.  The writing is honest. The focus is on the heart to heart sharing of life and story through writing. The woman who started the writing from the heart workshops believes WE ALL have stories to tell and we can ALL write. We don’t need criticism to get the words on paper but encouragement and the safety to speak the truth. I’m grateful to her for her style of teaching and for giving me more courage to tell all of my stories.

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Sea Glass Synchronicty?

 I’ve described my falling in love with sea glass and hunting as a spiritual explosion, a practice and something which has been teaching me. Well, now I’m reaching the less than blissful lessons. I’m not even going to get into the most difficult aspects. I’ve been called to teach. Over and over and over. When I stand in front of groups I worry that I will drool, that my lips quiver so much no one will understand what I say or that my face will get so red and blotchy people will call a paramedic.


I’ve led a department of ten. I’ve given talks at churches. I’ve rallied and protested and written and shared my opinions. But talking to a small group, eye to eye, and trying to explain how to do a task. Trusting that I will be clear when I will speak, that nerves won’t cause me to chatter rather than allow silence or that I will even be able to get out of my way to hear a question asked. These are my issues. Still, seven year-olds I adore say, “Can you show me how to make a necklace,” strangers ask if I can lead a brownie group through a session and despite how badly I think I’ve done as an artist-in-residence I may have a chance to teach pendant wrapping again. And there’s public classes too.


I keep telling myself I need work and money and love sea glass. I also LOVE sharing making jewelry with others because people feel such pride in finding their own sea glass and in wrapping them and making a craft. So, is this all part of the lesson too? Maybe I am supposed to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and am supposed to teach as much as I am to sell and to create? Listen to this.


At the end of a family fun day at the Y we belong to a woman comes up to me and said, “That’s sea glass.” She had on tumbled sea glass piece which was beautiful but made by humans. I have always been known as someone who wears big earrings, necklaces and bracelets but I’ve never had a brand-name anything. I don’t usually break a twenty on earrings or a necklace because I’m clumsy and I break things  –  A LOT. So, I love attractive and funky jewelry that is affordable.
Anyhow, this woman says her daughter just found a piece of sea glass. And people are very proud of their finds and curious about what to do with them. I tell her wrapping is not difficult, she can make a necklace and she can goodle, “how to make a sea glass wrap” and find some kid’s crafts or check out my blog where I once found some sea glass crafts and listed them.


Anyhow, she says, she thinks the Y will have a sea glass wrap class. I say, “And I think I’ll be the teacher.” She says, “Maybe the brownies would want a class” and I say, “Sure, I could show them.”

I give her my business card and not only does she know where I live, the town, but the street, my neighbors and was going to buy the exact house we live in from her friends, the people we bought the house from. “No way,” she kept saying about our chance meeting. “No way,” about the street I live on and the house and the people we both know. “No way,” since we were both meeting and standing 30 miles away from my house.


Here’s the added wild part – it’s at and in this very home where I have learned to seek sea glass, solitude and to walk the beach. It is here where I live near a rocky beach where sea glass can be collected.


Sea glass synchronicity. Learning and lessons and stretching and growing far beyond what I ever imagined.


One of my friends told me how much I’ve changed since I started collecting sea glass, how much lighter I am, how something shifted in me. “It’s true,” I said but can’t attribute it all to sea glass. i said, “it’s the quiet, the ocean sound, the ions near the water, the being still and notcing the torrent of thoughts rushing around my brain” and that poor ocean absorbs my obsessions and takes them in like a toilet and flushes them away, tumbles them back into something less cutting and sharp, more mature and weathered so that eventually I have thoughts in my head and feelings in my heart that aren’t so mortifying and immature that I can strain to confess them.


I love the ocean and the hunt. I love how the water recedes daily, but always returns. I have learned to trust that receeeding is not leaving. I am starting to trust that returns can be depended upon. 


 My brother hokes how he was ready to “blow off everything I really needed to do todayto hunt sea glass.” 


“You’ll be hard-pressed to make it til next week,” I warn.


Some get a taste for sea glass and others are bitten and want to swim as mermaids except in the sand and rocks on the shore. I have wanted to claim this joy as mine alone, a “so who I am lately” thing and I can’t help myself. It’s not mine, like a cake, to cut up and divide and give out. Over and over and over, I tell anyone who listens, “Taste this, it’s great,” and so how can I get mad if they want another serving?


I must learn to let the ego recede, let go and see what develops. Who knows why I ended up near this sea? We hadn’t even intended cottage-style or ocean living. We too, were brought in on a current, a wave and I can’t say who else gets to have boats on the same sea and what their destination. I’m still figuring out my own.

Catch of the day: Learn to treasure the present.

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My brother called me last night and we joked about how before long we’d by snorkeling in Hawaii to see if we could catch sea glass AS IT IS TUMBLING in the water. How can we get closer to the glass, the hunt, the thrill and make it even more of a peak experience? Is this hobby, practice or addiction?


I can’t help but be led. I’m being led away from my comfort zones and into sharing my passion with others. I am many things but a girl who “shares well with others” isn’t something I recall on any report cards. Even recently, I’ve had some issues of ownership and identity about sea glass collecting, blogging, crafting and selling as though I own any one of those domains. I do not. And yet, it felt so central to my recent identity I felt I did.


So there I am Saturday afternoon coming home from a cherished child’s birthday party to make sure my house is open and available for restroom use as my brother, sister-in-law and two nephews are sea glass hunting on “my beach” and, it was a hunt I was not invited on. They wanted some family time and were driving an hour and a half away from home to have it at the bottom of my street. I napped. They hunted. My husband and daughter remained at the birthday party.


My eleven-year old nephew smiled as he searched his sandwich bag for a red-orange piece of sea glass with indentations on it. “You think Auntie C will need a diaper when she sees this and craps herself?” he had asked his parents relishing the thought.


They tumbled into back door and crowding the dining room table to open their bags. They were more buoyant than the birthday girl being sung to and given gifts.  The image of their chatter and need and desire to share will stay with me for life.  I felt like a specialist on Antique Roadshow letting them know which pieces from the heaps of antiques in the basement or attic are secret treasures and which pieces could be sold, for $1., at a yard sale.


When I I pulled out the book, Pure Sea Glassby Richard LaMotte, to read out loud what exactly makes red sea glass so rare (pg. 65, “”because chloride in a specific powder form , was employed in the simplest method to produce  deep ruby-red color,”) and how some sea glass lovers will never find a red on a sea glass hunt. Ever. My oldest nephew was smiling.  he had a red-orange blend with texture. He was eager to hear “while copper could be used to produce red glass, a highly purified oxide of iron could also create an orange-red color.” 


My brother had the creamy faded marble so weathered it looked like a mini-marble. He didn’t appreciate how frosty it was, questioning me as though I were doing extra gushing and was insincere. I am not a gusher and have worked hard to learn to offer praise as well as constructive criticism. I proved my point to him by going to the mantle and pulling out a brand new and clear marble I keep handy for such an occasion. “Nerd” be coughed out as I compared the two and then he took them out of my hands to see the difference for himself.


My younger nephew enjoyed the hunt but was the first to leave the table to ask my sweetie to play basketball, kickball, Frisbee and and anything sports-related and outside. My brother showed me his funky shaped purple. My sister-in-law showed me the ruby red she found on the walk back to the house. She wanted to know where each of the bottles came from and wanted to know the origins of the glass. She gave each son her two most precious pieces. My brother said, “Find your own, this is mine,” when they asked for his marble. From each parent they will learn something valuable and different.


My mother sent me an email entitled, “creating sea glass fanatics” and told me how much she had been hearing about sea glass ALL day. My brother said he could quit his job, get a hut and live on the beach forever. He’d exchange sea glass for food and water and accept visits from family and friends. My sister-in-law is contacting my sister who knows how to do copyright to protect an idea her on came out with (I can’t share it) but will announce it when the millions start flooding in 🙂

Catch of the day: The call from my brother to say how much fun his family had with mine.

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My cousin came over the other day for a wonderful and relaxing day of hanging out. She’s in her early twenties and we sat together and made jewelry together. She, nervous to make a piece was so careful in the pieces of glass she chose, conservative with her bead selection, clear about the wire color and original in the way she put the glass together. She put two pieces of glass together in a way I have never done and with stunning results. She says I made it because i wrapped it.

I did wrap this piece but the design was hers and now the necklace is hers. A beautiful and original piece for a stunning spirit. I’m so lucky to have watched my cousin grow from a little girl to an amazing young woman…  and so this piece is call The Jen!

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Two kind people have told me the photos on the etsy site are horrible. I am SO GRATEFUL. If your photos make your work look worse it is good to know. So I am learning to take better photos. Learning, learning and learning. So, I’m experimenting and here are a few new photos. I’ve got to add them to the etsy site too.

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