Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sea Gem Studios - Pacific Northwest Sea Glass Creations

Meet my new friend Diana of Sea Gem Studios.  Like me, Diana has a passion for beach combing, but she actually has the talent to make fabulous jewelry out of her beach finds.   I am very excited to introduce her creations to all of you, and am also very excited to feature her sea glass jewelry on the Caron's Beach House website!

From Diana-

I am an interior designer inspired by the sea to create one of a kind Sea Gem jewelry. The summer sea breeze is captured in each piece of glass then transformed into beach art to wear everyday. What could be better than taking the beach with you wherever you go? Come on in the water is fine!!!

I love the beach!! The waves, the sand, the rocks, and the sun - when it's out. My perfect day is strolling along the beach with the sand between my toes while the sun slowly falls into the sea.  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. The beach was my favorite spot as a kid, whether it be in the San Juan Islands or Zuma 6.

10 years ago we started camping in the summer along the coast of Washington. This renewed my childhood love of the beach. I can still sit for hours watching the waves waiting for the sunset. It’s my happy place.

My friend Sue introduced me to sea glass. Her family could spend hours searching for tiny shards amongst the rocks. After the first piece I was hooked. We would have a contest each time to see who could find the biggest blue piece. Sometimes the winner won an ice cream. This could keep the kids busy for hours.

Soon I had jars of glass in my house. I love all the colors of the beach!  A beach theme started in my half bath and moved into the family room.  Sea glass inspired my decor at home and my collection of sea glass or should I say the abundance of sea glass inspired me to create my unique jewelry designs. My friend Anne of Chickie Poo made beautiful jewelry soldering glass. One day I thought, Why couldn’t I do the same thing with sea glass? Anne was kind enough to give me a lesson. 

After much trial and error my craft was born. I can make beautiful jewelry out of the wonderful sea gems found on the shore.

My designs are inspired by the sea and by fashion. Sea glass truly is a Gem from the sea, tumbled 30-50 years, or more, by the power of the ocean crashing on the rocks and sand. Each piece is unique and stunningly beautiful.  To me sea glass is a treasure discarded as trash then transformed into a lovely Gem of the Sea.

Keep your toes in the sand!
Sea Gem Studio

P.S. All of the sea glass jewelry in this post can be found in the "Beach Artisan" category on the Caron's site:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time for Clam Chowder - Manhattan Style

Can you believe it?? It was raining yesterday here in the Bay Area!

Perfect day to watch Giant's baseball, (they lost)  make some chocolate chip cookies (only so that I could have cookie dough to eat) and make some clam chowder. Thought we'd try something new, and make clam chowder with a red sauce, not the traditional New England cream sauce.  

Tom can vouch for it - he even had second helpings!

Clam Chowder in Red Sauce
Very simple recipe - here's what you need + a big pot!
1 pound of clams (or 2 cans of canned whole clams)
3-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 yellow onion - chopped
2 stalks of celery - chopped
2 generous cloves of garlic chopped
3 potatoes chopped- I like mixing red and Yukon Gold, leaving on the skins for the best flavor
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of diced tomatoes (I like the ones with olive oil and garlic)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. dried basil or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
4 cups of chicken broth
kosher salt and fresh ground to taste

Saute' onion, celery and garlic in olive oil. Give the veggies about 5-7 minutes to become translucent, then stir in the chopped potatoes.  Dump in the spices, the tomato paste and the canned tomatoes, give it all a  good stir, then add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, simmer gently until potatoes are becoming soft, about 10-15 minutes.  Add clams, if using clams in the shell, simmer gently until shells pop open and then serve.  If using canned clams, simply cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Serve with a nice sourdough. Voila' - a very nice rainy Sunday afternoon clam chowder!

....One of my favorite pictures, great memories of a cold, windy, misty day at Point No Point, in Hansville, Washington.  The water was wild, and the rip tides were fierce.  The best kind of day to walk on the beach and simply be amazed at nature's power and beauty.  A school of Puget Sound dolphins swam by on the Point in front of the Lighthouse, and 2 VERY large sea lions glided by after them....

We came home that October day, our pockets full of sea glass and made a big pot of soup too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vintage Bottles and Seashells

You may have seen these sea shell creations before - many manufacturers have tried to copy them, but they just don't look quite right as a mass produced coastal decorating accent.  

Fake shells?  Painted glass bottles? 

I am so thankful that there's just no way to really duplicate nature's art. 

These little sculptures combine two of my favorite things; the absolutely stunning beauty
of nature's sea shells, and vintage  beach-washed glass. When looking for the best of these shell art pieces, I look for vintage glass that has the most interesting colors of the sea; aqua, violets, and ambers... 

I also look for curves and different shapes - the more unique the better! 

I simply adore them.  

I love scouring art fairs, flea markets, and have even spotted them on Etsy and Ebay. Can you believe that there are so many talented coastal artists???

Here's a great example from my friend Cheryl's Etsy site - Cross Bottles!      Love her designs - many of which are carried by Wisteria. 

Each vintage bottle is different, and each shell has its' own personality. Every single one of these shell bottles is a one-of-a-kind small art piece.

Group them together for maximum impact...fabulous mixed with other sea treasures! (Picture taken at the Warmth Company in Aptos, CA - see previous blog post for more info! - Warmth Co.)

Or maybe just one spectacular example by itself....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sea Glass Bookends

As you all know.... I have a real problem with collecting sea glass.   I just like it, no other excuse than that - have jars, boxes, bowls, full of sea glass from the West Coast.  (Let's not even get started with my shell collection addiction!)

Thought you all might like this idea for displaying your treasures!  These glass jars used to be for sale in my old store, "Caron's... the finest in coastal living" - kept them because they are so large, perfectly suited for showing off beach combing treasures.

 Now they are partially full, (yay - I can pick up more sea glass!) and make wonderful bookends on my entry way bookshelf.

Any jar would work though.  Hmmm.... I do have a box packed with vintage aqua blue mason jars.  Now where did I put that box??

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mermaid Beauties.....

During the month of October, we will be turning the Everything Coastal blog PINK,  (coral pink, of course!) in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Because this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart,  I have teamed up with my friend Crabby Chris with a plan to donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation... with the purchase of our Mermaid Beauty pillows.

Here they are! 

In celebration of our girlfriends... and to bring awareness to the important work being done for cancer research, during the month of October we will be donating 15%  for each Mermaid Beauty pillow sold, to the Susan G. Komen foundation. 

Hand painted to order with your choice of hair color, or no hair color!   Chris will hand paint these to order and ship them where ever you need them to go - 

Our mermaid has been hand painted onto weatherproof acrylic indoor-outdoor fabric with durable, nontoxic textile paints. The finish is smooth and soft, refined enough for indoors but tough enough for outdoors. The 19" x 19" cushion fits perfectly in your Adirondack or wicker chair; it would look great gracing your dining banquette or sofa, thrown on your favorite reading chair or even on your yacht!

Polyester fiberfill insert removes easily for laundering, although spot cleaning or a quick hose-down is usually all that is needed to keep the cover fresh. Designed, copyrighted, painted, sewn, stuffed and signed on a real island by a real human who swears she once saw a mermaid!

Thanks for your support! 

Click to add to your shopping cart -  Mermaid Beauty Beach Cottage Pillow

P.S. For every comment and purchase Caron's Beach House will send a special "Thank-You" coupon code

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