Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Confessions of a Professional Beachcomber

I am so excited about our new holiday collection from Chris, I think you will be too! I asked her if she'd like to write a guest blog post explaining her inspiration for her designs, and she was more than gracious to stay up late one night, typing, when I know she'd rather be painting!  This is her story, in her words sent over to me.  As a fellow Pacific Northwest girl, I can totally understand why she's inspired by the scenery, and lifestyle in the Puget Sound.  

These stockings are only a small selection of her fabulous holiday collection!

Guest blogger: Crabby Chris

It’s true, what they say about self-employment:   When you work for yourself, you only have to labor half a day; then you can do whatever you want in the remaining twelve hours.   Aside from the requisite six hours of sleep, I must have my recommended daily allowance of beachwalking – for research, of course, for my handpainted beach-inspired pillows.

The R&D process takes me to water’s edge; here I draw inspiration from the fascinating life forms, colors, sights, scents and sounds of the place where the ocean meets the land.   Living on an island in Puget Sound, I am sensitized to the rhythms of nature, the water’s ebb and flow, the angle of the sun, the calls of the seabirds.  I love to paint images of the creatures with which I share this beautiful locale, and also those that populate the exotic places I have yet to experience.

When our amazing shrinking family moved to our beach house a few years ago, I began doing lots of “beachy” activities – assembling Adirondack chairs, sewing crustacean quilts, and painting pillows for our sundrenched deck.   Soon our neighbors noticed our bright-colored crab pillows and wanted some of their own.  One day I asked a local shop owner if my painted pillows might help market her colorful outdoor furniture.  They did, and suddenly I was painting and sewing pillows six days a week.   You can usually tell what I’ve been working on from the color of paint under my fingernails.

I have a few things to confess... with the sincere hope that the reader will not judge me too harshly
  1. I paint in my jammies
  2. When on the beach I sometimes lose track of time.
  3. I prefer Dungeness crab over lobster
  4. I've never seen a piece of driftwood I didn't like.
  5. On really busy days, I forget to apply makeup - sorry.
  6. I am compelled to photograph as many sunsets as possible
  7. The squawk of a great blue heron sounds like music to me
  8. I sometimes awaken at 3:30 am with a fabulous design idea
  9. I have collected more seashells than I can count

They say confession is good for the soul.  I must admit I feel a little better coming clean, but I sincerely hope that  others not  become unduly burdened by these disturbing revelations.  The next time you see a sunburned blonde with paint under her nails, please be kind.  She doesn’t get much sleep.

(I think she looks pretty great for no sleep, and no makeup!)

I put together these collages of coastal holiday decorating ideas - all featuring Chris' awesome tree skirts. I have never seen any beach house decor done like her designs, all finely finished - they will last a lifetime, and will become treasured family favorites.

Traditional red and green colors, but with a decidedly "beachy" flair!  The tumbled sea glass ornaments are also products from another Pacific Northwest artist.....
 I call this collection Nantucket - with the nautical touches of miniature striped buoys and bright green lobsters, and candy cane striped lighthouse stockings. 

Blues, Aquas, seashells and a more than a few mermaids!  (P.S.  The Mermaid stockings can be customized with different hair color shades)
Highlighted with corals, red and white decorations - this would be an easy look to complete for your shore holidays!

All of these coastal holiday decorating ideas can be found online in our Beach Coastal Holiday Category!


Kaybe said...

As a fellow beachcomber I feel you pain. The R&D process can be just grueling :D I spent the entire morning slogging through all the surf & shells at the beach. I think I found my new tree skirt.

ps - I prefer Dungeness too.

Completely Coastal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Completely Coastal said...

So fabulous! And what a great idea to create a Christmas decor line. Must sell like cupcakes!

SeaShellsbySeaShore said...

Love the coral, and mermaid line. How to decide. I must admit I giggled through the confessions, I too harbor many of the same. It's so nice to see such beautiful work.

Unknown said...

those starfish stockings are beyond cute!

Arabella said...

We love Chris's designs and you have a fabulous selection of Coastal Christmas items available in your store this year :O)

Liz said...

So fun!!

Kate said...

The nautical tree skirts are too cute!!! Definitely adding to my Xmas wishlist

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