She sells seashells by the seashore

I've been writing about the ocean and the sea shore a lot lately. It could be because I now live so very close to her... It could be because she inspires me in so very many ways, and as with any sea lover, I simply cannot get enough of her majestic beauty. My boys and I love to stroll along the edge of her waters and look for rocks, shells and sea glass. I love the sights, smells and sounds... There is nothing that quite arouses all my senses as much as the sea does. 

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine and I were power-walking along the shore. We can walk from one end to the other which covers, in both directions, about 6 miles! Normally I prefer to walk alone, at my pace, but Lisa is so entertaining and her stories, ideas and thoughts are so inspiring. And I love the fact that she enjoys walking at a fast pace too. Until we stopped to slow down. She simply had to show me the most magnificent shells I have ever seen. I had to take in the beauty of each individual shell. 

As we stood and closely marveled at each shell we noticed the property owner on her porch. She waved to us, and I told her, excitedly, just how beautiful these creations were. She came down and talked with us. The home owner and painter's name is Paige Herman. She paints her shells as a hobby and it can take many hours to simply paint one shell, using nothing but acrylic paints and a brush. They remind me of a Pierre Deux print, or perhaps something that could be seen on JMcLaughlin or Vineyard Vines tie. Do they not!?

Paige will sell her currently painted shells for about $20. If you are interested, you can contact me and I will put you in contact with the artist.

Does this not inspire you to get out your paints and brushes? What a great family activity as well. You may not live by the sea shore, but there are always rocks and sticks to be collected... and how marvelous they would all seem painted!

Happy Friday Everyone!


A perfect Memory Jar

Every year we go to Maine we collect shells and rocks and beach glass along the shore. Some years we get super lucky and find a starfish or a sand dollar. This was one of those summers. Sand Dollars were in abundance and Rebecca found 4 and I found 1. The day we left Rebecca asked if I could get some sand as a souvenir before we left, so I got a Tupperware container and filled it with the wonderful Ocean Park sand.

I used to put all of Rebecca's findings in glass jars. She would display them proudly on her dresser. On the top of each jar I noted the year. I don't know where those jars disappeared to -- they must have gotten lost in the move a couple of years ago.

I decided that Rebecca would like something similar this year. I also decided to "dress it up" a bit. What resulted was our perfect Memory Jar!

I painted our shell white and using a glue gun attached the ribbon to the back... This will be our signage.

I recycled an old pickle jar (Clasusen's Sours if you must know!)
and glue-gunned (is that a verb?) a swatch of fabric to the lid...
This does cause the lid to not close firmly,
so I applied more of the hot glue to the rim of the glass jar to secure the lid well into place.

Next I filled the jar with out treasures... sand, shells, rocks, beach glass and 2 of Rebecca's Sand Dollars.

Once the treasures were safely inside the jar and the lid glued on tight, I tied the shell on as well, onto which I wrote "OPME" which stands for Ocean Park, Maine and the year.

Rebecca loves it!

Decorating for The Holidays with Mother Nature

If you've been reading my blog for a while now you know that I love to bring the outside inside. I love to use nature as a tool and an inspiration to my decorating. It's beautiful and it is free!

A couple of years ago I made this centerpiece. I gathered pine cones in assorted sizes, as well as acorns and painted them gold, silver and white using regular poster paint. I then took a few really cheap plastic apple ornaments that frankly were quite ugly. (My mother is famous for giving me everything she wants to, but cannot toss!) I painted them lightly with a coat of the gold poster paint as well. And finally added a few of the smallest ball ornaments I could find lying around the ornament boxes in the basement.

A few pine cones have broken over the past few years but there were still plenty enough to create a new centerpiece!

If you want to recreate this at home you will need:

* One or two foam paint brushes. These are disposable. I don't want to ruin a good brush on the pine cones.
* A bucket filled with pine cones and acorns of assorted shapes and sizes
* Newspaper to work on
* Gold, silver, white or whatever color paint you desire

Paint your objects and let dry several hours on newspaper.

Find a pretty bowl, platter or large plate and arrange your items to your liking.

And, for my fabulous southern and coastal friends, fear not! I have a delightfully wonderful ornament for you!

This brilliant idea came from my friend Maya at Completely Coastal. I adore her blog and have to see what great things she has on there daily! Maya, in turn, got the idea from The Stories of A to Z... a new discovery for me... I'll be back for more!

I just love this ornament! I have some small pieces of sea glass that my 8 year old collected in Maine last summer. This will be his project for certain!

In order to make this ornament you will need a plain glass ornament, some sand, some shells or beach glass and a funnel to use to pour the sand in to the ornament. It doesn't get easier or prettier than that! (I'm thinking a pretty pink or lavender bow to tie on to the tree!)

Now I am waiting for Maya to come back to me with a creative way to use my 30+ oversized clam shells the kids collected in Newport this past summer! No pressure Maya... I'll wait... and wait and wait and wait! ;)

Don't forget to enter my Holiday Giveaway in the post below!