Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to my Beach!

I am finally recovered enough from my hip surgery to venture out again! After Physical Therapy today, I knew it was low tide...so I spent 20 minutes or so slowly (still) walking the tide line. Can't wait to walk more.

The lavender piece made my day. Looks like a pink on the top of the page but I didn't see it as such. Maybe my camera knows something I don't!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Driftwood Tree

Drill in hand, driftwood in backyard, Sally the puppy trying to eat my driftwood. A more difficult task than I imagined! I did sort of accomplish my goal=a tree of sorts, unfinished, not sure of the base....but voila! The Driftwood Christmas Tree!

The starfish was placed but not permanent. As you can see, the wooden dowel wasn't cut yet. A base is TBD. To Be Determined!

If you can see the base used for this shot, and possibly a contender for a permanent base, it is a very old humidifier jar I saved from my childhood.  Reminds me of  Vicks Vapo Rub!!! Probably a collectible.

Here is a close up. The jar may bring back memories to many! Do you remember those old hot steam vaporizers? Wow, how things have changed! Bicycle helmets, car seats, all sorts of GOOD rules!

The Driftwood Tree will continue to evolve.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Driftwood Project

Driftwood is so interesting! Walking the beach last fall I decided to add another collection. Most of it was stashed in the outdoor "potting shed" or "gather stuff extension" off my garage. A few pieces were brought inside to display.

Photographing these intricately carved... by years of water, waves & sun, pieces of wood was just part of my project. The collection did have a purpose.  Tomorrow, I hope to build a Driftwood Christmas Tree. Not an original idea I must admit but there is still room for putting my own spin on it. Check back to see if I complete my mission!

  The walking stick driftwood, and the garden statue driftwood will not be participating in my tree project. They are just too beautiful on their own!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Faux Floorcloths

A rainy week has kept me indoors for the most part so I look around...what do I see and walk upon every day here? One of my remaining "faux floorcloths", located at the top of my stairs on a small landing. Painted quite a few years ago, it remains in good condition because we are usually all barefoot upstairs!

Surprise! This floorcloth and many more were painted using pieces of vinyl flooring bought in a roll at none other than, Home Depot! We had a lot of fun around here designing and painting these "canvases".

 Anyone can master this craft. The vinyl can be cut with scissors, then primed with latex primer, painted with simple acrylics and then coated several times with latex polyurethane. You can see here the backs of these floorcloths. You paint on the opposite side! Heavy trafficked areas may not be the best spot for these floorcloths but they do fare quite well in bedrooms, bathrooms and out of way hallways or landings as in my home. Have some fun!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wishing for Sun on Sunday

 The weather has certainly not cooperated lately! Longing for a sunny day but in the meantime, a sunny window shot of my trifle bowl full of sea foam greens, aquas, soft blues, lime greens, forest greens, citrons, cornflower blues and my favorite, amethyst, will brighten the day!

These are some of my special pieces including a deep ruby red piece I was very luck to find. A lesson learned: pick up every piece you see even if you think it is an undesirable brown! This red shard looked like a deep brown but upon holding it up to the sun I was delighted to see I was wrong. A precious pink piece, a yellow marble and a yellow shard and a recent find, the blue marble-like nugget are always on display!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Azaleas, Poppies and Dandelions!

What is blossoming now in your yard? I have the most striking pink and fushia azaleas in their glory today. The rest of the garden is coming along...foxgloves, pinks, yarrow, iris and more.

Pretty in pink? Sally has grown and loves the playing under shrubs!

These poppies have been in my garden since we bought the house, almost 32 years ago! They are so delicate and last such a short time but they give the early spring garden a burst of magnificent color!

 I have high hopes for the coleus this year too. The deepest purples, red & pinks, and the beautiful lime green edging...I just hope they flourish!

 And then the dandelions...hmmm. Love them, hate them, can't control them. But when you catch one in this stage it reminds you that they are just as beautiful as any flower! (Now you can see why I can't control them. One passing breeze and oh well)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Candles & Clamshells

I love tiny quahog shells! Ask my family...what do I do when visiting the Fairfield Beach cottages? Walk, searching the shore for the smallest of clam shells, back & forth, back & forth, through the tidal pools and along the tide lines. Just can't sit still! 

Why? Because in addition to collecting, I make things with my findings. These woven twig wreaths are base to layers of the naturally colored shells, glue stick applied. The completed wreaths just barely fit over the candlestick top, thankfully!  Seafoam green (not the real Ben Moore color name) walls and almost matching candles together feel peaceful here on the mantle. 

 Not a great photo here...boy, do I need a better camera, but the shell wreaths also hang in the downstairs bathroom! Jingle shells added for a little color here and the doubled wreaths remind me of a mother & child. I am going to look for another "hand-me-up" camera in this house. Speaking of children, I have inherited 2 digital cameras from my kids, on to the third now. Once I hit 4 or if this next one isn't any better, I may actually buy myself one!

Following Day...after finding the next camera:

A little better? At least slightly more natural and true to the actual colors. Thinking of that new camera seriously now though.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sea Pottery

I am not sure what other collectors call it, but I have dubbed the wonderful shards of broken pottery, dishes, ceramics & tiles I find, Sea Pottery. Worn smooth by the action of waves, tides, sand and stones, these always unique pieces offer us a time to imagine. Imagine what they were part of, where they came from. Were they on a shelf, in a cottage swept out to sea? Or were they discarded as trash? Was that piece someone's favorite bowl? Do I daresay that finding a piece of Sea Pottery is almost more exciting than finding a piece of blue seaglass?

In addition to Sea Pottery, I have found larger pieces of Sea Marble! These fragments of a long ago counter top or foyer floor are usually found after a rough storm. Heavier than their smaller cousins, seaglass and sea pottery, it takes a mighty wave to launch them from the depths onto their sandy resting places. Here, the white sea marble is nested with an old, round marble trivet that came to our home cracked and thought of as "washed up". Never fear, crazy glue saved it from the dumpster it was bound for! Of course, the whole collection resides on a marble topped Victorian coffee table from Aunt Katherine. I will somehow scan her paintings and tell you a little about this Great Aunt of mine in the future!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Almost Tomato Time

The soil is ready, the plants are purchased, (no starting them from seeds-been there, done that) but it is still too early! So combine my tomato obsession with being housebound for a few weeks, some fun things have happened. First, my favorite ceramic tomato (made by my daughter back in high school) has found itself in the spotlight. Here, on the sill above my kitchen sink, alongside my grandmother's tea pot that holds my tea bags. Nana Ri would love to know how I cherish this teapot!

 And in its own nest....on the sunporch.

Watching the plants grow while waiting for the weather to cooperate.

While upstairs, the gardener feeling restless, has some Illustrator ideas. It was fun to goof around for a few minutes...maybe I will do more of these simple graphics and make some cards?

Here is the line up for this year. Orange Slice Hybrid, Sunny Boy Hybrid, Pink Pounder Hybrid, Fourth of July Hybrid, Lemon Boy, Early Girl, Red Brandywine Heirloom & Green Zebra Heirloom. I have 12 plants in all and have had to expand the garden. Thanks to my husband for helping with that. Now he has some ownership!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beach Rock Coaster

There are so many things to find and collect on a beach. One day I noticed the
multitudes of smooth and very flat stones along the high tide line and below.
Wonderful shades of gray and brown. 
What can I possibly do with these beauties? Enter, the cheese wheel.
Those large Brie wheels that arrive every year around the holiday...hmmm.
Made of thin wood, nice round shape and free when Trader Joe's uses them for demo!

Paint, arrange the stones & glue, then spray a little poly...
a "Rock Coaster" ready for whatever use you may find for it. I mostly use them for plants but possibly wall art?

Notice the seaglass votive holders? And those candles are beeswax, directly from a local beekeeper!
Thanks Bruce! 

And thank you to Nina for my lime green watering can & Gerbera!

Monday, May 16, 2011

More Glass!

Since we had such wonderful news to share yesterday I am sharing my weekly glimpse 
of my seaglass today! When you enter my home you are greeted by this 
glass bucket of...
you guessed it, seaglass! My painted walls with their fun design are a great backdrop
for this bucket-o-glass, mostly larger pieces and the special bottle neck pieces. 
First impressions?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Something to Celebrate!

John & Kate are engaged! Congratulations! Hoping to make more trips to DC to see them in the upcoming year and looking forward to a beautiful Baltimore area wedding next Spring!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shell Collections

In my living room I have beautiful built in shelves made for me by my brother Neil quite a few years ago.  On these, is a family history of collectibles, photos, books and my shells! Most are shells from either Fairfield Beach or Long Beach, Stratford.  I think they add interest, color and provide me a place for the shells I pick up on my walks. 

One jar filled with Florida Shells... 

But mostly local Jingle Shells, Clam Shells, Moonsnail Shells, & Scallop Shells!

A very small jar of Hawaiian Pink Shells ...

And most precious, the shells of mini Horseshoe Crabs.