Friday, May 29, 2009

My Obsession with Sea Glass

Just had to share these little jewels with the rest of the world!  This sea glass is different from most of the glass that I scour the beach for, it comes from a beach in Port Townsend, WA.  It's sort of a secret, so I am not going to reveal too much - maybe e-mail me and I will give you the location!

Suffice to say, it is a LONG walk out from the parking lot to find this glass, and you do have to hunt a little.  The last time I went, I think we walked over 2 miles to start finding the bigger pieces - and then we were so engrossed in picking up as much as we could find, didn't notice that the tide was quickly swallowing the beach up.  Yikes! Rumor is that this beach used to be the town dump.  Not very glorious, but that's where you find the best stuff.

Very small and very sea worn - perfect for jewelry making?  I don't know, I just love to sift through all of the colors.

Hoping to go up to Whidbey Island this weekend for more beach treasure hunting!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay

Here we are in one of our favorite spots on the California Coast, Tom's birthday, so I made him drive where I wanted to go.. how does that work? He is such a good sport! (kind of cute too)

Love this place! The Ritz at Half Moon Bay sits on a small bluff overlooking crashing waves on craggy rocks and surrounded by a gorgeous golf course.

Maybe someday I will finally learn how to play golf, have offered to drive the cart, but Tom doesn't think that sounds like very much fun.. Oh, one more note about the golf course; there is a terrific cliff walk all along side of the hotel, but it also is alongside the course. The last time we were at The Ritz/Half Moon Bay, we almost got hit by a flying golf ball. Beware of this - might take a little of the romance out of your day if one happens to land on your head!

Check out the incredible views from the dining room! Love to sit in the bar or in the casual dining room and just simply drink in the views of the water and sea birds playing in the wind. Lots of brown pelicans swooping overhead - so fun to watch! We have always enjoyed everything that we have ordered here, including the flank steak accompanied by glasses of zinfandel that we had on Saturday. Can abosolutely recommend the coffee drinks for a cold stormy day!

My favorite thing to do at the Ritz, is to sit outside by the roaring fire pits, talk to other beach lovers and drink some hot SPIKED chocolate. Yum!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Learning to use E-Bay to sell Beach Cottage Merchandise

Brain is on overload! Have a garage full of cool coastal items, but not enough to save for the future CaronsBeachHouse web store, besides I want to bring all new and exciting stuff to the marketplace. So, brilliant idea yesterday (why in the world did I not think of this before??) why don't I simply list it on E-Bay? A little overwhelming, might need several classes and tips on how to make this work...... Thank goodness my friend, Shannon has volunteered to teach me a few tricks!

But in the meantime, here's my first items! Favorite beachgirls - have several and really do not want to pack them in a U-Haul down to San Francisco.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some New Favorite Coastal People

Meeting all kinds of new people and artists on the web as I am searching for vendors for the new webstore, thought that I would share a few of my new favorites!
ThreeBySea - Cool Etsy shop with sea inspired fabric art!
MermaidCharms - Unique starfish and silver jewelry (I am craving these!)
CoralReefDesigns - Another original Etsy shop with sea-inspired jewelry
(Where was Etsy 3 years ago??)
Russell & McKenna - Fun bright cottage furniture, saw this 4 years ago in Atlanta. Wanted it then!
The Green Room - New Gallery in Astoria Oregon, specializing in surfboard art - like their creativity!
The Boardwalk - One more site full of hand-made coastal designed items that I am dreaming of buying
Love these destination sites! On the opposite sides of the country from me, but can always dream...
Alabama's Gulf Coast - Stories about all of the must-see places to visit on the Alabama Coast
Beach-n-River - Love their blog and story (fun music on blog - don't miss!) Cannot wait to visit!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Point No Point Lighthouse

Not my best photo op for Point No Point Lighthouse, but I think it depicts what it looked like yesterday while waiting stoically for a monster storm to come in. Point No Point is almost a hidden treasure here on my part of the Kitsap Peninsula. Great county beach with long stretches of sand and pounding waves, tons of driftwood carelessly tossed and jumbled all over the beach.
Had the need for a beach walk yesterday afternoon, stormy, cold, windy. You know.. the usual here in Washington.Few people on the beach,group of kids having a very smoky beachfire out of driftwood. Not a great beach for seaglass, but cool shells. Thought I saw some big chunks of clear seaglass, but only clear gooey jellyfish washed up on the sand. Thank goodness I nudged them with my beach shoes before trying to pick them up!

One of the coolest things about this lighthouse, is that it is available for vacation rentals. Didn't even know that until yesterday! Maybe I will even give them a call? Tom might like that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carons Beach Cottage -

So excited to see my old friends again! Sheldon Hooker, my fabulous web co-conspirator showed me how to find them on Cannot begin to say how excited I am to see all of the work that we spent so much time on, is not really gone after all. Stay tuned - we are going to have a great beach party this summer!

The ReCreation of Caron's Beach House and Everything

Last day of class! So wish that I had known a lot of this entrepeneurship information when I opened "Caron's...the finest in coastal living" in May of 2002 - we might still be open in Poulsbo, who knows? Have lots of theories why we are not open, grew too fast, didn't understand that the web customer was different than our store customer... had to carry too much inventory for both kinds of customers. The economy, price of gas... again, who knows? Spent 2 years analyzing and picking apart every single thing that we did wrong. Forgot about all of the things we did right, and we really did a lot of things right.

At the same time, my gut instincts were right about our target market of beach/seaside homeowners, boaters, customers who vacation on the coast, or customers who simply like living in coastal areas. Having always lived close to, or on the beach and having such a difficult time decorating my own home in coastal style, I was constantly searching for something that was real home decor and not just seaside reminders. One day I realized that creating a lifestyle, niche home decor store with a beach theme might really work in our area, and also as a retail outlet on the web. Of course this was after 9-11 and our Seattle earthquake - time for a new life

This time around, first attempt will only be a web-retail store. Maybe when I get brave, reopen a retail location somewhere on the coast in Northern California. Open for location suggestions!

Stay tuned as I am fine-tuning my written business plan! E-mail me with product ideas, and coastal stories, Hoping to build an online store for a community of beach lovers - not just somewhere that you can buy a wooden pirate. (Not that I am opposed to wooden pirates!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mom's Day at Harper Beach...

Like so many May day's in the Puget Sound...a little cold, a little damp, and a little gray. Perfect day for a beach walk with family and friends. (what day isn't?)

Headed with the kids and Melissa to the beach at mom and dad's, a little mishap on the way down the hill though. Grizzly, Allison's little white dog of indiscriminate heritage, found something stinky to roll in. Well, we were at the beach... the funniest part was that Allison had dressed him up in some kind of sailor suit! Last time we took him, he found a wonderfully dead starfish. Both times, Grizzly promptly had a bath. Keeping a supply of dog shampoo at my house just in case!

Melissa's dog, Bella had the best time trying to chase down one of our Canadian Geese. Pretty funny as Bella is only about 4 inches tall, and she chased that goose right into the sound! One swipe from that goose and she would have been a goner.

Sometimes the simplest things can make us so happy; the constant soothing sound of shifting tides and waves, lifting up rocks to catch scurrying rock crabs, the never-ending search for chunks of seaglass and pacific northwest shells. Hope your mother's day was spent doing the things you love too!

Dang! Forgot the seaglass and shells at mom's!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Beachcombing...: Why Seaglass?

Beachcombing...: Why Seaglass?

Check out my friends at "Pure Seaglass"!

Decorating with Seaglass and Beach Treasures

Decided that my friends Kathy Jackson, and Cathy Edgren needed their story told today. Kathy and Cathy are famous for their adventurous beach walks, long treks along Whidbey Island, Hood Canal, North Beach in Port Townsend are just a few of the many Northwest shores visited. They have even kayaked into some remote beaches and have gotten caught many times by the tide. After every beach walk and lots of girl talk, (the best part) pockets and bags were full of beach junk; fishing lures and old hooks, chunks of seaglass, clam shells, oyster shells, rusting bottle caps, beat-up pieces of pottery, limpet shells and lots of little pieces of tide-worn driftwood.

Now what to do with all of this seaside "rubbish"? Too cool to discard - they had to find a way to show off all of this neat stuff, Beach Biscuits was created! Check out my wreath on the front door of my house, I even have a cool kitchen clock surrounded by driftwood and beach treasures. These wreaths sold in my store, "Caron's" incredibly fast and I was always fascinated to see what the "Beach Biscuits" would come up with next. A few of my most favorite things were a very large mirror surrounded by layer upon layer of dark blue Puget Sound mussel shells and a cool granite rock lamp that Kathy had made with her seashell hand-painted shade. Wish I still had pictures!
Beach Biscuits eventually expanded into hand-painted signs on driftwood - one of the signs was even featured in the Oregon Pacific Beach house that "Caron's" supplied for Coastal Living Magazine's Dream House in September of 2006. That was an incredible experience for all of us that were invited to the "Grand Opening" party!
Kathy and Cathy are still making their gorgeous beach treasures and they can be found at some local stores, (I think maybe still on Whidbey Island) or can be reached by e-mail: I am hoping that they will let me feature their beach artistry on my upcoming website:! Stay tuned coastal fans!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rain in May...Pacific Northwest Mornings

Wish I could say that this is what the sunrise looked like today out of my bedroom window, unfortunately it is so socked in with rain and fog, I can't even see Blake Island or Bainbridge Island! Forget about Seattle... totally lost in the rain clouds. So cold that Alex had to build a fire last night!

Headed down to Dana's Beach Cottage Furniture to rescue the little bit of inventory that I still have from my old store, "Caron's...the finest in coastal living". Not sure what to do with it? Maybe e-bay? There's not enough of it to worry about keeping for the new website.

Hoping to head to Seattle next week and start perusing home decorating inventory ideas for! How many of our vendors are still in business? How many of them will concede to drop-shipping packages for me so that we won't be overloaded in inventory? Exciting adventure to be sure!

Class tonight! Determined to make all of the numbers work to make the dream happen.

Relax and Live at the Beach Every Day of the Year!

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