Friday, February 28, 2014

It's FRIDAY!!!!

Well....are ya happy to see that the weekend is almost upon us? I sure am cause tomorrow is PARADE day..Woot Woot!!!

One of the floats from 2007 (thought it was sooo pretty)

There have already been a few parades already over in Mobile and there is one tonight in Orange Beach but we plan on making a day of it tomorrow because there are going to be THREE that I want to go to. (and there will be no fussing from any of my krewe about going cause tomorrow the old saying is gonna be true, "If Momma ain't happy then NO BODY's happy" hehe. The first parade is here in Foley and starts at 11:00am and then the next one is in Point Clear (near Fairhope) and is sponsored by the Krewe of Mullet Mates at 2:00pm. Then the third one is in Orange Beach at 5:30 and it's sponsored by The Mystics of Pleasure. It's gonna be a GREAT DAY!!! If you live close by then you should plan on attending too. Here's where you can find the parade schedule for Baldwin County. 

Now today (while I am very patiently NOT waiting for tomorrow) I'm working on some of my shell medallions. I had a commission piece that I finished yesterday and once I posted it for them to see on Facebook, I received some request for more. YEA!!  A few wanted just the medallions so that they could put them on chains instead of the roping I use. 

 The base of this one is an oyster shell and the two small pieces inside are called oyster wing. I thought the base looked like a piece of ancient lava rock so I added a dragons egg bead to the center. The bead is actually made from quartz.


 Pretty grey hued scallop shell with a grey hued baby's ear shell. The lil vial is filled with some of the sand from our Gulf Shores beach along with tiny shells.
 Pretty grey and burgundy scallop shell with barnacles attached. A kitten's paw and a vial filled with sand complete this one. 
Grey/buff and burgundy scallop shell with a moon shell and kitten's paw along with a twisted fish bone wire.
(well...that's what the Chazman calls it...hehe)


This is one that I completely finished. Before ya ask, I put the clothespin there so you could get an idea of the size. I haven't completely lost it...YET!!! I call this one "Mermaid Cup" because that's what this shell looks like.....a cup, complete with handle. I used some jasper stone beads and a pretty glass focal bead. The roping is 18 inches and it has a silver toggle clasp.


Another completed one. An auger shell says my mermaid soul and it is an auger but my faerie souls says it's a unicorn horn. hehe

I have more shells ready to be placed in groupings and that's what I'll be working on. (Is it Saturday yet?) I hope it will make today go by rather fast. 

If you are interested in buying any of the pieces I post just let me know. I ship Priority Flat rate (small $5.80) and each medallion will come in it's own handmade paper gift box. Just leave a comment and an email addy so that I can contact you. ^_^

Until next time...........Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll)                          

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Beads Beads...everywhere...dang it!!!!

Hope your Tuesday morn has been a good one so far. Mine has been and hopefully will continue to be if I can keep Callie and Boo away from the sea stars. Oh yes, I took them out this morning and have them sitting on the railing outside to dry out. The sea stars that is....not the cats...hehe

I was so happy to see that they kept their pretty tan and brown color. 

I know I said yesterday that I was going to work on a necklace and I did pull out everything needed to make it but I had this wild bug bite me (ya know it.....the sort and clean bug) when I opened up my bead drawer. WOW...had no clue it was so messy. Sat there scratching my head wondering what in the world happen to get it that way. I try to be neat and organized when I put things back. When did I just toss and throw things in? I soon found out that it wasn't me that did it but Callie. She came and sat beside the drawer and when she THOUGHT I wasn't looking she would raise up and start batting at everything. With her felt needle sharp claws that would definitely toss everything about. I guess she was looking for the hemp....she loves to play with it and all the other things were just in her way. Soooooo....I decided to clean out and straighten up. BOY...did that turn into a whole bloomin day project. 

 After sitting and sorting and filling up my little containers and boxes I finally decided enough was enough. These are the ones that I didn't sort. Perhaps another day project? No time soon, I can guarantee that. 

Nice organized drawer. (put hemp in a box so that it won't be tempting Callie)

Now......I should have put my two mischievous creatures outside while I was doing this but I didn't but I should have...really really should have!!! Callie jumped up on the desk and knocked over one of my big boxes that I keep all of my natural stones and beads in and they went everywhere. I got them all picked up with some help.

Boo looking for any left over beads. Callie looking at Boo to "pounce" on....hehe...and she did
and it continued aside.

Until next time.............Hugs,

Monday, February 24, 2014


I've never been so happy to see a Monday. Since it is it time yet? Time to take them out of their alcohol bath?  Noooo....I'm not getting anything drunk...hehe  It's the sea stars (banded star fish) soaking to take THAT stinky odor away and to keep their natural color. Can't take them out until tonight though and I'm (fingers crossed) hoping that tomorrow brings the sunshine. (so that I can let them dry)

We have been keeping a close EYE on them. No NOSES though, that top has not been open since it was closed. I'm hoping that the smell has been evaporated by the alcohol...really....really....hoping!!!  The Chazman said that it looks like we have a box of baby snakes and I could have SO done without that comment. Now I catch myself looking over that way to make sure nothing is crawling out of THAT box.

I was so excited when I posted yesterday about our awesome gift that I totally forgot to mention that while we were on our way to the beach that we passed a HUGE yard sale. Of course, we just had to stop..hehe

Found these glass containers. The tops are big enough that I think I can turn them into beach sand/shell keepsakes AND put a mermaid ooaks inside with them.  
 Artificial snow. read right. I think it looks like scales...mermaid scales.
 Did a little experiment...nail polish...faux snow...ooaks.

Dang old camera!! It's so hard to get really good shots some days but here is how the snow scales look. What do you think? I won't use it for all my mermaids but I think using it for some will be good. 

Now...I have a special order for a shell necklace so it's off I go. So happy that YOU stopped by to visit. I hope you'll be coming back and often. 

Until next time............Hugs,

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stars fell on Alabama!!!

No really....they did!! I kid ya not. Tons of stars have fallen on our Alabama coast and it caused me to have so many different emotions at once that I (looking around) sat down and cried.

As you have guessed by now and with the help of this image, I wasn't talking about those HUGE stars up in the heavens. No, I was talking about these precious li'l creatures.......sea stars.

I have been researching since last night trying to discover just what type of sea stars these are. I knew they were in the starfish family and did you know that starfish are NOT fish at all?  They are related to the sand dollar and sea urchin. I kid ya not!! (and my feeble mind is thinking that sometime in a past post I might have even told ya that already..hehe) They can move quite quick too by using the tiny little tube feet on their underside. These same little feet are what helps them hold onto their prey. Oh yes...they are hunters!! They even have eyes (that we can't really see though and they can't see well out of) on the ends of each arm. This particular star that is washing up here is in the banded family. Thier little legs don't curl up until they are dead. That is what caused one of the many emotions that ran through me when we found these. First I was sooo excited that Mother Nature had given us such an amazing treasure. Then right after that emotion, sadness hit me like a ton of bricks. These ancient creatures that have been around for what scientist believe is over half a billion years are dying and washing ashore in the hundreds. It's happening everywhere....not just here on our Alabama coast. They are, of course, doing research and several different theories are being bounced around
but the main cause is not known as of yet. I did sit and cry as I felt so sad for all these creatures but I was happy too that I was given a gift from the sea that I intend to preserve and they can continue to be remembered. Yea.....ya'll already know I'm a bit quirky...and now I really just proved it but's just ME!!!

Now, in case YOU might have been walking on the beach and picked up a few I'm sure you discovered that they might not be fish but PEEEUUUUU they sure smell like dead fish. I did some research on taking care of that little problem plus asking a friend how she took care of it with hers. So here's two ways you can do it:

Friends way (which is popular on any we know it works) Take sea star and place in 3 parts water to one part bleach for about 60 seconds. Take out of solution and place on top of equal parts salt and baking soda covering the bottom of a box. Place the legs in the position you want them to dry and then gently weigh them down with something. (Gently, because you don't want something so heavy it breaks the legs off) Sit in the sun to dry for at least 48 hours.

Here's my way after friends suggestion and doing some research. I love keeping the colors in anything that Mother Nature has designed so I didn't want to lose the brown bands in mine. So.....I found that instead of placing them in the bleach/water solution that I could soak them in a 70% alcohol bath for 48 hours which will kill the smell, remove any bateria (same as the bleach solution) and keep their natural color intact. After the bath solution it stated that I could take them out and place on newspaper, place legs in position, gently place something on top and let sit in the sun until dried out. After they are dried then I will seal them. Fingers crossed this works. My muse is singing up a storm in wanting to use these with some mermaid and sea horse sculpts.

Yesterday brought some shell treasures too. I love my shells but ya'll know that already too. ^_^

These are just a few of them. 

Some moon shells in all sizes. Some whelks and some slipper shells. 

Different colors of kitten paws. 

These broken ones are going to become mermaid tails of some ooaks I'm planning. 

Some barnacles and two types of coral. 

Pretty scallop shells...even a tiny one.

Now I need to plan some designs for some more jewelry pieces with these new treasures and patiently wait to be able to finish working with my sea stars.

Until next time...........Hugs,

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's FRIDAY!!! ^_^

Happy Happy Friday to you all and I'm happy happy happy that you stopped by too!!!  I'm enjoying this cool weather we're having this morning after a tremendous lighting and thunder storm we had last night. Man oh man were those li'l men ever hitting some strikes one after the other. You do know about the li'l men...... ri iight?? It's something my grandmother use to tell me when we were visiting and the weather would turn a bit nasty. To calm me she told me that every time I heard thunder and then saw lighting that li'l men were bowling and one of them just made a strike. It worked and even to this day that story pops into my mind (and heart) when it does either. Of course, I passed the tale on down to the Chazman too and he still loves it when there's a thunderstorm.

I have been digging through my broken shell stash and found a beautiful broken murex (lace shell) and immediately I knew what I wanted to do with it. It was perfect for a sleeping nook......a sleeping nook for a wee little mermaid.

 WIP shot
 WIP shot of the back. See the blue hues...Mother Nature painted those.

I love how she turned out. The shell attached to the murex is a broken crown conch shell. Her hemp bracelet has a tiny little venus shell. Her crown has what I think is a broken piece of venus shell, two tiny scallop shells and a teeny tiny lucine shell.

She is completely hand sculpted (without the use of molds) and was detailed using fine MICA powders and acrylic paints. Her hair is pulled dyed wool. Her necklace I made using tiny pearl beads from a vintage wedding veil.

Now....let me dig back through that goodie shell basket and see what else I can discover.

Have a wonderful Friday and until next time.............Hugs,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Have you had your Vitamins today?

A good friend of mine didn't realize it but yesterday while posting images to facebook, she became my muse for a short time. She is one that is always posting  things that make me smile, giggle (and spit coffee all over my computer screen. Thank you very much Diana Rohe), think and ponder. The one that got my creative juices flowing was this one:

I love our peace of the beach and no, I didn't spell peace wrong because it isn't just a "piece" of beach. If you stop and listen then it does bring peace....peace of mind. Now I know looking at this that you probably thought you knew me well enough to think all the things that might have popped into my whimsical imagination. Mermaids, sea horses and any creature of the deep but that's not what got to me. It was the words "Vitamin Sea". Here's what I saw:

An old apothecary jar filled with sand and shells. Broken shells and whole shells.....all the way down to teeny, tiny shells. On the back of the tag the directions which read:

Vitamin Sea
Take Daily

Breathe in the salt air
Listen to the waves washing ashore
Let them both heal, soothe and restore.

So.....have YOU had your Vitamin today? 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tips for a Tuesday ^_^

Photo courtesy of Diane Guthrie Davis, local photographer
You can find her prints for sale at Beach Reflections, LLC

Good Morning and so HAPPY you came by for a visit. I love when you visit and really, really love when ya leave me some comment love. (please leave me an email addy so that I can reply to you....I always, always reply when I know how to reach you. I really don't care for the noreply-comment blogger because well....I can't reply back)

See all the pretty seashells and the awesome seastar? My friend Diane Guthrie Davis's treasure she found on one of her beach walks here lately. I look at her photos and just drool sometimes....hehe!! Ya'll know that I do my fair share of shell hunting too so I can't complain but I can DROOL!!!

I wanted to share some tips today about finding and cleaning the treasures Mother Nature tosses up on shore or at least close to shore. Yes, yes....sometimes ya have to wade out in that water to get the big ones. The water won't feel cold for long....I promise. I can make that promise too because I have learned from experience that either (a) you get use to the temp fairly fast or (b) your feet get so numb ya just can't feel the cold. I ummmmm think with this time of year it is probably (b) but HEY....some sacrifice has to be made for the shells. Our beaches aren't the most shell inhabited but we do have them and they are true treasures.

Tip on finding shells: Of course you can walk down the shore and find shells here and there. Make sure you keep an eye out in the water too because sometimes you may get lucky and see one of the bigger ones that just won't roll all the way up onto the sand. Just please PLEASE make sure you check the big shells to make sure you aren't taking something's home. We have land crabs and we also have water crabs that make the big shells homes and we don't want to harm any living do we?  If one is inhabited then just place it back in the water and walk on by with a silent good bye.  If you are one of the lucky ones and find a sand dollar, please make sure it's not still alive. It's very easy to tell...they will look fuzzy...not grey or white. If they are fuzzy then place them back in the water with the slight hump facing up. Sand dollars are part of the sea urchin family and are actual living creatures.

Living sand dollar (see the fuzzy edges?)

 If you find a starfish or seastar...same rule applies. When you turn them over their tiny little hair like legs will just be a going. If in doubt do like me....don't take it unless it's all dried out. Respect LIFE in all creatures!!  Now once you have roamed the shore for awhile it's time to look for some hidden treasures. Oh yes me matey, there be hidden treasure just a waitin for ye to find her. pirate talk!!  You don't need much in the way of tools either....we use a big spoon and one of the little sifters that comes with a kiddo beach bucket set and of course a bucket to carry our booty in. Argg argg arggg!!!! The best place to dig is where the shore has been built up by the dredging being deposited there. What's dredging? It's where the State of Alabama after hurricanes and tropical storms washed away the shore....pulls sand from the bottom of the ocean and puts it up on shore. What lies on the bottom of the ocean out from shore and can get caught up in the dredging pipes? Shells!!!
All it takes to find shells here is simply to start digging and sifting. I have found some whole and beautiful shells doing this. They may not be big shells, remember they have to have been able to fit in those pipes but they make for beautiful memory keepsakes.

You can also sometimes just sit down close to where the tide comes in and out (in the dry sand back aways) and start digging and sifting to find some too. Sifting is the key word here and go slow so that you don't miss one. Ohhhh, and be careful because we have one grumpy inhabitant that makes the sand his home and that really does NOT like to be disturbed and WILL stand his ground. Again, I'm speaking from experience. I didn't think we would be able to get away from this lil guy we definitely disturbed one Sunday afternoon while shell hunting at Ft Morgan. ^_^

See the little indents on either side? He was trying to watch me and the Chazman..hehe NOT dig in the dunes. It's bad for the beach environment and will get you into some BIG trouble. Also, once you have finished digging and sifting, please cover what hole you made so that someone that comes walking by later won't step into it and hurt themselves. Ohhh and don't take bags of sand either, that's against the law. I promise once you get home, you will have some sand to use that was inside your shells. Speaking of bags....we always take a few with us so that we can pick up any trash we find on our hunts. The beach is a beautiful place, full of nature and we want to keep it that way.

Tips on cleaning shells: Now I think all of us have our own way to clean our treasures so of course this is just how I do it. After I get home, I take a piece of newspaper and lay it out. Then I take each shell and give it a good shake or two. This is a great way to gather sand. Ya'll know I love to use sand in the little glass vials with my jewelry pieces and this is how I get it. Once I'm sure I have most of the sand out, I place the shells in warm soapy water. Let them sit for about an hour...take them out and rinse. Then I place them in a small rubbermaid container that is filled with part water and water bleach. Let them soak for at least a couple of hours. Take them out and put them back in a soapy bath, rinse and lay out to dry. I do the second soapy bath because I do NOT like how bleach smells. Ewwwww!! If you want to give your shells a natural shine you can polish them with mineral oil. I know some use baby oil but I wouldn't. Yes, yes baby oil smells so good but believe me....after a few's PEEUUU time again. (the baby oil eventually breaks down and loses that sweet smell) If you want them to keep a shiny "wet" look then you can paint them with shellac or even clear nail polish. I like to just keep the ones I find natural.

Now that you have some tips...go on a shell hunt. It's relaxing, fun and gives you some wonderful memories to keep in your heart and a pretty glass bowl to sit on the table.

Until next time..............Hugs,

Monday, February 17, 2014


It's Monday and for someone like me that stays at home, it's pretty much like every other day, which means I have no problems with Mondays. ^_^

I'm working with my broken shells today and just enjoying the quiet time while the Chazman is at school and the mister is at work.

The mermaid and the seahorse I started a few weeks ago. Had to finish them because I was so tired of them sitting on my desk staring at me....hehe.

I'm working on some oyster shell ring holders and listening to some music. What an awesome Monday for sure.

Until next time.......Hugs,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's a Beautiful Sunday!!!

Finally, Mother Nature remember what our weather was suppose to be like this time of year. I have on a short sleeve tshirt and my flip flops..........without........any......socks......Yea me!!!!

I have the windows opened and so enjoying letting a small breeze flow through this old house. Listening to the splish splash of water is so calming (sigh) even if it is from the washing machine...hehe  Yeppers, a beautiful day and I'm stuck inside dueling with that dreaded laundry monster. Oh least I can shut my eyes and pretend the splish, splash is the ocean.

Since I am stuck inside I have been going through my shell stash AGAIN and pulled out some that I think will work with some of my jewelry pieces and small ooaks.

I have even grouped some together to make medallions out of. Hmmmmm, the shot is a tad bit blurry. Perhaps my muse didn't want to really show you just yet. Silly muse!!!

Remember the seahorse I was working on? Well, I found some other shells to go with it....not actually shells but a beautiful piece of coral and a small cluster of barnacles that I found some time back while walking near the pier. I hope to get him detailed and completed by tomorrow.

After sorting out the shells that just seemed to pull themselves together, I realized that I need to go shell hunting. I'm almost out of shells. OK well.....not really, I have TONS of shells but not ones that I can use to make my designs with. They are lovely sitting around here and there and in glass containers though. LOVE my shells..ALL OF THEM! Matter of fact, ya'll are lucky I even share them. I understand the call of the seagull soaring over the beach when it sees us humans walking along. They are screaming "MINE MINE". ^_^

Now I'm not one of those artist that can draw with perfection. I so wish I was because I have so many whimsical  images inside that are yelling to get out. I do to doodle. Since I can't leave my ocean washing machine when it's on spin because it apparently loves to dance across the floor when unsupervised...I have been doodling. Three so far and two might just become ooaks.

 Little mermaid saying "Come play with me"

 Mermaids love their seahorses
Mermaid watching her human sail away

So that's all my time for today's visit. It seems the washing machine is doing my dance...hehe!! Have a wonderful afternoon and I hope it's a beautiful day for you too.

Until next time.................HUGS,