Archive for June, 2009

I was at the eye doctor with my daughter yesterday and picked up a copy of South Shore Living magazine. It was THRILLING to see an article about my passion for sea glass and the reasons I make sea glass jewelry. It’s a great local magazine and my daughter was screaming, “My mom is in here,” in the waiting room. I’m so excited and honored. For those who don’t get the magazine, I love sea glass and all it symbolizes.

Each piece is a treasure with a history which can be guessed but known. To me, each broken piece of glass transforms in the sea and with sunlight and loses sharp edges and gains a sturdy weathered appearance. Who hasn’t been tosses around in waves, land locked when wanting to swim, thrashed in waves and journeyed? Each frosted piece is a little ocean Olympian survivor landing on the sand as though a timeless finish line. I know I’m calmed by the ocean air, rhythmic tides and sea life. The jewelry is a way to create wearable touchstones to celebrate the resilience in the human spirit, the constancy of nature and the mystery history we’re each living.

I’ll be at the Hingham Farmers market tomorrow from 10 to 2pm. My pendants will all be 25% off and I have LOADS of books ($6.99 to $7.99) which are my best-selling item. They are adorable, affordable and perfect for summer reads and gifts. I’m also selling some prints for $1.00 so stop by my booth if you come.


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One of the things I like about working with people working with sea glass is the wide range of styles I get to see. People, from 13 to 75 are all in a classroom together and using the exact same materials. However, some people use many strands of different color craft wire, adding beads here and there, while someone else tightly wire wraps a chunky piece of sea glass and adorns it with one large and prominent bead. Both pieces are wonderful and artistic and eye catching. Some work slow and are precise. Others are relaxed with the materials while some want to know exactly what each tool will do.

One woman who took my class before said she took it before because I help teach not to be afraid. It made my day. Really, why are we so afraid to try new things? Not everyone is but many of us are. I am terrified of anything musical, can’t read music notes and can’t remember the words to a song unless the music is playing. I say, “I’m not musical” as though it is a law for life instead of something I’ve just not tried recently. I never think, “If I find the right teacher,” but what might I be missing? It would be nice to know how to read music even if I decide it’s not something I want to give too much time to. It’s time to get more brave and move out of my own comfort zone.

What areas are you comfortable with? Which ones might you explore more?

Catch of the day: One student put two pieces of glass together, a green on a purple or maybe a purple on a green and it made a stunning piece. I’ve never glued two pieces of sea glass together. She did and it was so pretty.

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I sell my work at the Hingham Farmers Market. SO MANY people on the South Shore have their own sea glass collections. Many people keep their gems in jars or bowls or have even tossed them out not knowing what to do with them. Well, today someone asked me how to drill sea glass. I don’t drill sea glass myself though my cousin did buy me the tools if I get brave enough to try it some time. So far, I like wire wrapping and using non toxic cement to make some pieces which are all about the glass. However, here are a few videos and links I found for those of you who ARE interested in sea glass drilling.



Hope this helps those of you interested in drilled sea glass.

Sea Glass Girl

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spring white and flowerAfter all this time loving sea glass I can’t tell you why it speaks to me so. I collect these pieces and some are raw and sharp and end up being tossed back in. Others are so treasured they go in bowls and are displayed on my mantle and within easy reach. I marvel at the way the white crystal forms on the glass, like cookies topped with confectionery sugar, love the contrast of old glass next to new glass vases holding flowers. It is amazing to me to see the texture of the back of a Hos-ta leaf near the fluffy rhododendron, the distinct iris and the softened edges of once sharp glass all in one shot. Even the mirror is a cleaner and functional glass which, if left in the ocean long enough, would change shape and size and texture.

Here are some photos of recent finds and treasures mixed with a few photos of old and beloved pieces.  I wish I was more gifted with the camera and the uploading. But, since I am not here are some mediocre images where I attempt to capture the beauty of natural gems.

spring textures

spring sea glass gems or glass








spring bottle necks 1























spring garden 1

spring luscious textures






















spring soft palette






















spring thicks




Catch of the Day: The actual glass as well as the moments to savor the treasures and sift and sort and send some back to the source… even ones which are stunning shades of purple but not yet sea glass.

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This writer, sea glass girl and seeker is happy to say my writing is on one of my favorite websites. Scroll down to the third piece, “Discarded” to read my work of memoir. It’s not sea glass related but it is another variety of my work.


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The market goes to 3pm tomorrow. So, while getting your bread, granola, sweets, jam, salsa, etc. come to my table and buy some sea glass jewelry for:

a graduate going out of state – local sea glass for a leaving state student

birthday gift– eco-friendly jewelry is trendy and pretty

celebrate summer – wear a piece of the beach

Or, just come by and get a free and lovely bookmark of STUNNING sea glass. The North American Sea Glass Association sent me some bookmarks to promote their annual Sea Glass Conference (in Eerie, PA in Oct.) so I’ll have pretty bookmarks if you drop by the table. I’m always in the same corner spot near the water!

Sea Glass Girl

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Low on the sand, fervent buzzing from a shell where a fly was trapped. At first I thought it was hiding but then I cracked it open with another shell. It flew loose. Was I playing God and patronizing Mother Nature? Or was I led to hear this fly screaming on this day? Why can’t I release others trapped in their own shells that closed before anyone heard their scream when they were willing or able to fly toward freedom?

Rocks, soft and round and weathered are happy at the bottom of this ocean before the ocean floor sweeps them up again. How come some can find and leave their bottom and others make it home.

I see a single working glove in the middle of the sand which is no longer working or protective. It is solo and in tact but I can’t help but wonder about the hand once filling that form or the partner.

So much under my nose, inches by my feet, even before I leave my yard.  I hunch and feel the wind, the rain and touch the iris. There is the shy and round bloom of bright yellow and striking pokes or purple side by side. Grass, sharp and pointy or soft and toe tickling is here. How much is the condition of spring as opposed to open hearted seeing?

Hunting for 100 steps on the beach for sea glass, I decide to abandon the search. I can’t find anything and want ease and rich rewards.  Maybe it’s not a hunting day I decide and so what if the beach has been picked over already? I decide I will collect quiet, wind and sunbeams on my skin. Later, as I survey the sand, there is more in one small patch of sand than I can lift and I am overflowing with abundance. I grab the teeth, purple baby teeth, sharp green dinosaur canines and substantially worn whites.

Is it age that makes us wiser and more able to bear thirst? Is it the memory of it being quenched that makes any parchment easier than the first?  We know we won’t die of thirst after we have seen loved ones sipping crushed flavorless slush’s at the end of life. Our thirst is no less real but not life-threatening.  We know in way other versions of ourselves didn’t that the are levels of thirst and this longing for water is simply a wish, a desire.  We can sip the iris, wind and sky until we are satiated.  

Catch of the Day: Gratitude for the fervent fly and the baby purples on the shore

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Today, I came to the beach with a full spirit. I had been asked to light the chalice at church and as a new member didn’t really know what this entailed (don’t worry this isn’t going to turn into a religious discussion). I decided to speak what was on my mind and since it was between Memorial Day and Father’s Day I talked about my father. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to say something superficial but how much did I want to share in a congregation full of people who I know to varying degrees. For me, what moves me most are words from the heart, direct and honest and personal. I said that my father was in three battles: childhood, addiction and Vietnam and I don’t know which damaged him most. I said how he never returned to family or civilian life and as far as I know is still homeless. I said I have battled with my idea of how he should have lived his life and how I wish for quality care for children, addicts and veterans. I read a poem from a nurse who served in Vietnam. I wasn’t the least bit nervous while I was speaking as I was reading from a sheet of paper. But my heart was pounding. The minister, a kind man wearing comfortable shoes and a warm smile was a steadying presence. I lit the chalice for courage for battles not won or lost but experienced, for grief while bearing losses and for the peace that comes with accepting the way things are as opposed to wishing or willing them to be different.

When I lit the chalice my hand shook and it took me a long time to get the flame to light. I don’t know, in all that is in my life, what it is that precisely or exactly I chose to share. Maybe because I am realizing how much I’ve raged against the facts and realities in my life. Maybe because I am open to the peace that comes from saying, “this is what is” even if it is not the path I would have designed if life worked according to my plan.

What astounded me was the response which is one of the most affirming and compassionate reactions I have had to sharing something personal in my entire life. It is not the deepest, most recent or tender wound I have lived, but it is a story I’ve learned to sit with differently, to tell my own way and if and when I wish and to leave alone for long stretches of time in my heart and mind. Someone during the service thanked me for my words and the poem I shared. That made me tearful. In the aisles of the church people rubbed my shoulder, gave me thumbs up and one woman said, “there are no words” and gave me a hug. Many people told me they were moved my what I said. When I walked into the coffee house three women greeted me, all walking towards me with smiles and open arms and eyes that saw me. One said, “It took a lot of years for you to get to those words,” and I hadn’t thought of it that way but it was true.

It is the power of writing, of witnessing, of truth telling and of being seen and heard. It is not always the difficulties we bear that pain us, but the feeling of being judged or condemned, silenced or not seen in the particular way we experience some aspect of our lives that hurts. We are all so different, and when the same person, like a family member hurts many people, everyone clings to their own reactions and it is hard to see and accept and validate each other. In this space, I felt held, held by maternal and ancestral wisdom, not because people were older or even all women, but because people were accepting and listening and attentive. I felt attended to at the deepest level and I had not expected this at all. People shared some of their own individual struggles and issues, the parts of life that are confusing, painful and unreconciled, the parts of life where battles can’t be won or lost, where things aren’t defined.

One woman said, “There are ten people I’d like to share your words with,” and that almost made me cry. She hugged me though she’s not a hugger and I got teary though I’m not a person who cries easily. We live in a culture wher epeople carry deep sorrows or old sorrows or difficulties with shame or stignma so privately we can still believe we are alone even as we know, from books and movies, from reading the newspaper and hearing about our friends and loved ones, everyone faces life challenges.

I mentioned how I thought aging meant “aging out” of desires, confusion, life’s complexity and everyone smiled that, “yeah, that doesn’t happen does it?” but also celebrated that we have a space and a place to share deeply. And that is the ultimate gift. But it can’t be done unless one feels safe and there is an environment that is safe. And, unless we each risk some truth telling. I was tempted to quote Thomas Merton, maybe sound smart but not personal, maybe go with the less personal ligthing. But I don’t know that I’ll ever light another chalice in a sacred space and I wanted my words to matter to me. My spouse was teary and proud and held my hand. I was glad to have his hand holding my own after I spoke.

And then, in the play ground to watch my daughter twist in circles on the swing, tumble around and hang upside down from a jungle gym, drink apple juice and get me the pretzel remains as I was so hungry. She sang on the car ride home and I felt full. Grateful. Seen. Heard. Accepted. I didn’t tell anything close to my life story but I shared from the heart and was seen and heard and affirmed. I was reminded, as any group gathering where deep sharing happens, how funny and tragic and wonderful and painful every single person’s life is.

So, with a full heart I stepped onto the sand ready to walk and look for those lost soul sea glass fragments, the pieces that are the baby teeth of life’s mystery, the shards that make me wonder what was broken, the chunks that make me wonder about the larger whole, the colors that glisten on sand. I kept thinking, “Who owns the ocean? no one. no one. no one” and I was glad for that and public beach and access. I let my mind wander to points in the church service, to words that resonated about peace, questions raised about Quakerism and my own thoughts on what parts of will-fullness are a way of fighting with what is… A perfect day.

Next, I’ll write about the actual hunt.

Catch of the Day: Being present and grateful for the gift of others being present to me.

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