Sea Glass and Memories

There is something magically mystical about finding sea glass on beach comb hunts. First, it’s really rare. Up here in the Pacific Northwest you have to go to the ocean if you want to find good sea glass. The Puget Sound doesn’t really contain the proper conditions for making the glass smooth and frosty. However, I’m pretty sure there’s enough glass in the Puget Sound to find only because of pollution.

Second, each piece of sea glass is so unique with different shapes, sizes and colors. No two are alike, just like snow flakes, but melt proof. My favorite shapes are the oval ones because I can easily imagine them in jewelry pieces. If I had to pick a favorite color it would be the lighter teal because it reminds me of tropical seas. I’ve heard that red sea glass is the most rare and therefore most coveted of the colors. I’ve never found any.

Third, the mystery of how the glass got there and what it was originally blows my mind away. Each tiny bit of smooth frosty sea glass has its own story just like people. We all start out a certain shape then storms and rocks of life beat against us giving us the potential to turn life into something beautiful to admire.

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About ten years ago my family and I took a trip to the Olympic National Forest on the Washington State Peninsula. I fell in love with the huge moss covered forests and ocean wind shaped trees. Even though I’m a native Washingtonian I had never visited before and I sure missed out on such a local gem.

ShishibeachWe hikedout to Shi Shi Beach and lost ourselves in one of the Most Secluded Beach in Washington and built wonderful memories. I was lucky enough to find a small handful of sea glass and had kept it safe in a small jar for many years. Every now and then I would take it out and admire it and wrack my brain on what I could make with it. I am not a jewelry maker so that was kind of out of the question.  I had thought of a sun catcher, but I didn’t really have enough to make a nice one.

This year when I put up my summer decorations I realized I had nothing to adorn my door for the season. That’s when I realized I could finally put my sea glass to good use.

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I bought a small wire wreath frame, burlap ribbon and sheer ribbon in my favorite sea glass color. The sea stars are store bought (I don’t endorse killing your own, since they are declining in numbers around here). The idea of assembling seemed simple enough – simple that is until I tried to work the mechanics of it. If you’ve read anything else on my blog you know that I am a visual learner. So, I had to hunt around YouTube again and find some tutorials. There are soooooo many out there and after I had watched a few I figured out how to do it.

I did run into one little hitch, though. I ran out of burlap before I could get to the end. But, any crafter knows that sometimes the most creative things you make are by accident. To keep the full frilly look on the burlap I shoved it close together and then used the sheer teal ribbon to wrap and conceal the rest of the wire frame. It actually worked really well because I had a nice surface to hot glue the glass and shells.

I would have liked to have wider burlap ribbon next time and go all the way around the wire frame. But, that might have hidden the glass and shells too much. The way it is now spot lights the delicate glass just right. Over all I love the way it turned out and am very happy with the results.

I think this will be one of my favorite seasonal decorations for years to come. I will always be able to think back to our trip and admire the beautiful sea glass each time I open my front door. It just makes me smile to think about it.

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