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Archive for July, 2009

SEA GLASS SPECTACLE

Here are some pieces of my newest work. I’m working towards using ALL recycled sterling silver with the sea glass because I want the most eco-friendly jewelry as possible and also because recycled can be more than practical or good for the environment it can be stunning. I have pendants, bookmarks and earrings right now. I’ve had some great luck with finding AMAZING colors and shapes and matching up some of the more common earrings for funky and fun earrings. On a sunny day such as today the jewelry literally shines.

Prices are $6.99 and up (book marks) to $14.99 to $19.99 (pendants) and then $19.99 to $24.99 for earrings. Many of the pieces displayed here did sell today but I’ll have more new pendants and earrings next week!

 IMG_1403SEA GLASS SPECTACLE EARRINGS 2SEA GLASS SPECTACLE EAARRINGS 3SEA GLASS SPECTACLE 3SEA GLASS BOOKMARKS

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Sea glass soothes. I love the hunt. I am at the Farmer’s Market and even my jewelry is a must-touch item. It wants to be held and it calls out to be picked out. My aunt was telling me how much she enjoys looking at a big pile of glass and sorting it by color. She admires the various shades of green and blue. There’s lime green and kelly green and citron. The blue is cobalt or corn flower. Even the whites aren’t always white but can hide hints of yellow or lavender or grey that isn’t immediately obvious unless you are looking at sea glass pieces all together. My neighbor says it’s calming to sort. And for me, to put my hand in a pile of sand or sea glass makes me feel the same as when I have my hands in dirt gardening.

Maybe it speaks to those of us who seek balance, who love nature but are also busy bees and can’t just sit in a hammock without a book or doze on a blanket. There are those of us who relax by being busy, who get lost in the seeking and sea of colors when playing with sea glass. It’s a timeless tradition this hunting of sea glass. I’ve met neighbors I didn’t know I had by talking about sea glass, sat across the table from boys about 10 and women about 80 who tell me what they have done or will do with their own collections. It’s a hobby many families share or something done alone.

Last week, while pondering a personal situation I wrote about how I always return to the sea which is a place where I can bring my “big” questions, the ones that can’t be answered by another person or are maybe so big they can’t yet be voiced. They are dreams or fears incubating or plans not ready for action and they need time to be mulled over.

At times of major transformation my fingers rake sand, stone and glass. I rub granules close to skin, thumb the inside of a frosted white piece of sea glass and marvel at the shape of a broken blue mussel. Leaning into the hot rocks I let the earth massage my shoulders and relax in the air. I stare up at the clouds and wonder what it would be like to be sea weed floating in open waters. Does it wriggle and swim and get set free once wet? Or, does it revel in the heat of the sun as it becomes dry on sand?

Nature is my manicurist as my soul is buffed by the sound of the water and my own rough shards are softened. Broken fragments of glass soak in embryonic waters to be soothed and made whole. Some pieces seem to hide, staying close to the shore line and I do not force them from hiding. One day they will be dry and ready, even if naked and bare as a newborn, to emerge on dry land and leave the familiar tub of Mother Nature’s belly. Ready for solo adventures, able to fly from the nest of their mother’s hip they will seek new lands and adventures, hop up and into hands and try their invisible feet on dry land.

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Sea Glass Coasters or Mini Scenes

So, you are looking for something to do with your sea glass??? Maybe, it’s a kid-friendly project? I have two ideas and each are low supply crafts.

What you need:

Sea Glass (if you don’t have your own special collection you can get the tumbled version at craft stores)

Adhesive (2-sided tape or a craft glue or for well ventilated areas or grown up use the super strong glues

Tile (or tiles if you want to make a set of coasters or a series of scenes)

Optional:Ribbon (if you choose to hang your coasters or tiles)

Sea Glass Coasters

Lay our your sea glass on the coaster. If you want to use it and it’s not for decoration only make sure the pieces are all the same height and fit snugly together to make a nice base.  

2. Adhere to the glass using double-sided permanent tape (a nice non toxic option for kids) or a craft glue for tile and glass

That’s it. This can be mosaic style without any grout but you’ll need to spend some time fitting your sea glass pieces together to make a sort of mismatch puzzle.

Use (but hand wash)

Sea Glass Scene

Use the same set of supplies as above but this time.

1. Set the sea glass into a shape. Maybe it’s in the shape of a sailboat, an initial (you could use a cookie cutter for a specific shape and fill it in with sea glass).

2. Adhere to the tile

3. Use strong glue to adhere a ribbon to the bac of the tile for hanging (or buy tiles that is pre-drilled) and you can hang up your work(s) of art.

I meet so many people at the Farmers Market who have sea glass collections and want to make something special with their own pieces. Sometimes the glass holds the memories of the people who hunted for it and other times the place a family hunted together. So I share these ideas for those who want to do something with their own pieces and don’t consider themselves crafty.

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Check out these stunning paintings by a local artist!
http://barbarachaisson.com/?goto=landscapesandstills&thumbs=ok
Ocean lovers will especially appreciate these.
Sea Glass Girl

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My daughter DELIGHTED in sea glass hunting tonight. She found a “magical” rock which she knew guaranteed we’d find sea glass. She, at six, even placed glass for me to find and I did and then she smiled so big. At six, she’s creating “magic” for me but unlike some adults, she still feels it’s magical. She found an enormous piece of teal, a large chunky white with letters and then a bottle neck. She found browns and frosted whites and greens and “baby pieces” and said, “I find like twenty and you found like ten.”

I saw the hunt through her eyes and realize she had been feeling a “less than” sea glass hunter. She said, “I tell myself you can still be proud of yourself even if you don’t find as many pieces as your mother. You might try that.” She said how much MORE fun it was to find MORE pieces than I had found. I didn’t realize she felt defeated when I found more. This time, after finding and bagging several pieces she said, “Can I find a particular color for you?” She said, “you can have the next green if you want.” She loved being magnanimous and feeling she had so much she had extra to share. I finally “got it” and just let her hunt and backed off the accumulating I usually do so she could enjoy being the expert.

I didn’t pick up as much sea glass but I stood on a magical rock, I did hip hop moves on another rock while she laughed and then we went rock hopping on slimy wet rocks and I tried to follow and keep up with her. We held hands and walked and said, “I Love You” and enjoyed the sun after a rainy day. She couldn’t wait to show her father her “finds” and what finds she had. Near the end of our walk she found an orange brown yellow piece with ridges which was almost square in shape and so smooth. She placed the rock on the sand to SHOW me how she found it, how she was just walking along and it appeared.

This last year she has become so bored with sea glass hunting and in my passion for sea glass I had not noticed how she felt overshadowed or as though she couldn’t keep up or as though she wasn’t good enough at it because she wasn’t finding as much. Tonight, I didn’t look quite so hard because her joy at discovery, her love of sand seeking, her delight at stones and shells and crabs and sea glass, was my catch of the day. Also, for her to taste her own love of the hunt, to say, “feel these edges, look at this” and to know for herself how fun it is to find your own pieces, so many you can give some away, is a gift. It may not be a passion she keeps or it may be one that comes and goes, but it was wonderful to watch her delight in hunting and to put down my need for a new piece or another piece and follow her lead.

Side Note: My daughter is pretty private but I will say that she had her first thoughts about what a “real” mother is and who for her that is when she has a   gave birth to her and a mother who raises her. We talked about what is and isn’t real, who is and isn’t real, and I am grateful we can talk freely about deep stuff so that it doesn’t have an air or weight of heaviness but is a conversation. We needed our time tonight to walk and read at bed and have extra hugs. I’m grateful to be her mother and to be real.

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sea glass catch 3 sea glass catch 2

sea glass catch 4sea glass catch 5sea glass catch 1 I had a dream I found a marble at my beach and when I went hunting I did! Now, I so rarely find marbles that this cool and unexpected. I also dreamnt I beat my highest score on the facebook game Pathwords and that hasn’t happened yet. But, this gift of a marble is special. It has a funky green design on a light green marble. What a day at the beach.

I also found a tiny maroon heart-shaped rock. There were loads of tiny brown, white and green pieces. Two of the greens were so dark and well worn they are perfect for holding in the hand. Two of the whites were pieces of bottle necks, also well worn. And I find a few tiny hints of purple colored glass as well. The texture and patterns were interesting. There were two tinypottery pieces. One with blue and the other with green.

Catch of the day: The gift of time to sift through sand and thoughts and realize dreams.

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O.k., the following link not only has a list of great ideas (with awesome photos) for what to do with sea glass it also has a link for serious sea glass lovers to join a sea glass lovers community. Go here for details:

http://www.bytheseajewelry.com/theglass/seaglassideas.php

Today, I taught a class at a local Y and am again blown away by how one group of five or six people can come up with so many unique ideas. Many people brought their own sea glass or beads and others ideas of what they wanted to do.  We worked on “free style” pendants and earrings. Some people added shell bead embellisments, some made tiny hanging sets and others used the wire itself instead of a spacer bead between rounder beads. A few students brought ambitious projects home so they could keep working.

People respond to sea glass even when it is out on the table. Some like the brightly colored artificial pieces which I clearly differentiate from the “real” stuff.  While I prefer the sea glass I’ve beach combed when I’m making jewelry (and use it for all I sell and wear) I have come to respect the way others respond to the flat textures and bright colors available in the artificial sea glass. I’ve lost my judgement about fake sea glass.  For learning to wire wrap people should work with something that pleases them and that matches their clothes or skin tone. I know I’m passionate about hunting sea glass, finding gems and treasures and for me, though I love the transclucent tones of aqua and dark purple in the sea glass it’s nothing compared to a piece I find at the beach even if it is an awkward shape and only has the slightest hint of color. But, that’s my taste and preference.

What does irk me and we did talk about this in class today is when people sell sea glass jewelry and call it that when it is clearly manufactured glass. For those looking for a local gift or something coastal who are not familiar with the difference between real and fake sea glass they are being ripped off. They are buying something believing it is from the sea. Often, they are paying big money and not getting what they think they are paying for. I don’t care if people make and sell jewelry with anything they choose but it bothers me when it isn’t advertised with accuracy.  I used to think stores were pulling one over on customers but store owners are often assuming a product that says sea glass is made of sea glass. It isn’t always the case.

If two pieces match perfectly (in size, color and texture), and there are dozens in one store, it is unlikely that it is real. There are sea glass jewelers who do make earrings that look almost identical. But, the beauty of sea glass is that pieces aren’t identical. It’s not supposed to be exactly the same as any other piece – like people – each is a one- of- a-kind gem. 

Also, don’t be too discouraged when beach hunting in the rain. You may notice different colors on overcast days or be surprised what you find when fewer people are out on the beach. Or, you can wait for the sun to return. Happy Hunting

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