>A Treasure of Seashells

>On a recent outing to the seashore my daughter & I found ourselves acting as children and playing precariously in the sun-warmed sand.  Let me explain…our afternoon had been spent reminiscing and laughing with no seashell collecting to be had. The clouds began to slowly make their way into shore so we decided to head back to the Jeep.  Some warm soft sand is what our feet were in the mood for, so we slowly meandered homeward in the sugary sand near the dunes.  Not paying much attention to anything other than our conversation, we both looked down to the sand and saw numerous seashells peeking through.  Upon further inspection we discovered a wealth of treasure before our eyes!

Pacific Oyster shells and Manila Clams were gracing at least a 6 foot x 6 foot space on the ground. We quickly started grabbing handfuls until we realized that there was much more treasure than originally anticipated. By now the clouds were covering our sky, the wind was getting colder and colder with every second that passed. I ran (okay, I walked fast) to get the Jeep while Elizabeth stayed behind to harvest.  By the time I returned there was a mighty nice pile of shells ready to toss into the Jeep.  I jumped into the sand and started digging alongside daughter as the rain sprinkles began to come down.  We laughed and giggled without noting how cold we were because a childlike spirit enveloped us while collecting more and more and more shells!  We used the large Oysters as shovels and ended up digging nearly a foot or more down into the sand.

Digging for more treasure!

Clams as Castanets! (I don’t know where she gets her silliness from…hee, hee, hee)

Another pile of shells…
The back of the Jeep – Quite the haul of shells!

Earlier in the day, I had said that I would have to purchase some shells before I could re-do my master bathroom mirrors as I didn’t have enough similar shells to start.  I certainly have enough now! We’re assuming that someone might of had a cookout (although, no remnants of a bonfire or anything appeared on the beach) and dumped the shells afterward. No matter, they will make lots of fun projects for us over the next year.

Looking for inspiration, I knew that my first stop would be to one of my all-time favorite blogs, Completely Coastal, and of course, I found this fabulous mirror for inspiration!

Making the Oyster Shell Mirror
from Wisteria – “Sandi of Self Confessed Lamp Tramp saw Wisteria’s
Oyster shell mirror and she was inspired, and determined to make one

 This Shell Mosaic frame from Country Living is simply divine in my eyes ~ what do you think?

Crafting with Shells from Country Living – Incorporating the Manila Clam shells into something like this would be easy!

Other than using the oyster shells for my mirrors I wasn’t really sure what other crafts they would work for; however Waterside Styles showcased this unique Oyster Shell Centerpiece which I may try. Since Christmas will be here before we know it (sorry, but it’s true!) possibly I’ll make one or two for presents?!?!

Oyster shell centerpiece by Waterside Styles

Since I’ve been making candles for over a decade I knew that I had to find a project which incorporated candles with seashells . . . “Lovely on their own, or as splendid companions to sand candles, candles in seashells celebrate the beach. Collect only good-sized, empty shells, or save the shells from your next clambake or oyster fest.” boasts CountryLiving.com.

Make your own Seashell/Oyster Candles at Country Living

Maya of Completely Coastal never disappoints so I popped back to her blog again and she had a nice post about “Making Seashell Candles” too!

Completely Coastal provides resources for making your own Seashell Candles!
 I hadn’t thought of salt and pepper dishes; but I think they would really spice up a table setting! Don’t you?
Seashell Salt & Pepper by Martha Stewart!

…and how about a Seashell Dish for Jewelry or Keys?

Oyster Shell Dish

I have lots of inspiration now! I’m currently cleaning small batches of the shells getting them ready for all these fun projects and don’t worry…I’ll share the finished crafts with you! Have a wonderful week.

**REMINDER** Our $40 CSNstores.com Gift Card Giveaway ends Tuesday, August 31 at 11:59PM – Don’t forget to enter!!! ENTER NOW!
Posted in candles, clams, crafts, mirror, oysters, projects, Seashells, shells | 11 Comments

>Welcome Beach Party Guests with Luminaries

>The Editors of This Old House recently included these stylish, flame-free luminaries in their 75 Outdoor Upgrades for Under $75 article.  Using battery operated tap lights, you simply wrap them in decorative paper to light your steps for your next beach party or get together.

Photo: Thomas J. Story

Article & Shopping Sources: This Old House Luminaries

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in crafts, lamps, Lighting, luminaries, projects | 5 Comments

>Beach Party, Wedding or Reunion?!

>Getting married at the beach? Honeymoon on the beach? Did you meet at
the beach?

Castles in the Sand ~ Tealight Holders

Sally Lee by the Sea offers Kate Aspen© beach wedding favors; which bring back the memories of
childhood, and carry the romance of your special day forward as a
keepsake thank you for your guests. See how to incorporate them into
your wedding (or beach party)!

Whether you are planning a beach wedding, beach party, reunion or just a family weekend at the beach house…we have the perfect party favors to make your event an extra special “beachy” event! Visit our store for full selection and if you’d like a bulk price discount just email us for a quote! (We now offer FREE shipping within continental U.S. on orders over $50!!)

Adirondack Chair Place Card Holder/Photo Frames
Frosted Glass Sailboat Tealight Holders

Have you entered our $40 or $65 CNSstores.com Giveaway yet??? Check our sidebar for links.

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in Beach, beach wedding, candles, kate aspen, wedding | 6 Comments

>Sailboat Switchplate Covers

>A touch of whimsy is the perfect accent for any beach home. Since I recently added some Seaglass Blue walls to our home, I thought it would be fun to add some beachy switch plate covers to incorporate the color here and there. 

I decided to make my own so I dug through some old boxes for postcards or something that I could use and found a pack of 5″ x 7″art cards from IKEA which featured watercolor sailboats – PERFECT!  The IKEA art cards were easily turned into beautiful light switch covers…it only took me 45 minutes to complete these four ~ here’s how I did it. 

Switch Plates photographed while the varnish dried…


  • Measure and cut your artwork to size. 
  • Carefully use your fingernail to separate & pull the backing paper off of the art card/postcard.
  • Using a brush, cover the light switch cover with a thin and even layer of tacky glue.
  • Lay artwork gently onto tacky glue and carefully smooth with fingers.
  • Use an X-acto knife to cut an X in the switch openings, fold paper to back of plate (use a bit of glue to hold paper in its place)
  • A sharpened pencil works perfectly for gently poking through the screw holes.
  • Let dry & then brush with several coats of your favorite interior varnish.
  • Paint the screw heads with a coordinating paint color to blend into design.
  • Install & enjoy!

Get creative by using postcards, pictures from magazines, greeting cards, sheet music or anything your imagination can think of AND the most important thing of all…have FUN!!

Completed project . . .We love the new look!!

We’re sharing this project at Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays , Whatever Goes Wednesdays and Transformation Thursdays

Don’t forget to enter both of our CSN sponsored giveaways too . . .

Click here to enter!

Click here to enter!

Posted in coastal crafts, crafts, projects, switchplates | 9 Comments

>{Contest Closed} CSN Stores $40 Giveaway!!


The painting bug bit last week so I’ve been re-painting all of the interior walls of our “beachy”home. It appears that the “contractor’s white” paint hasn’t been touched since 1989 so a coat of ‘Vanilla Brandy’ paint (looks like warm sand on a sunny day) graces the majority of our walls now. A lovely “light aqua” color on the guest bath walls and “seaglass blue” as an accent in the living room have really updated things. The guest bedroom is next on my painting list and the room’s furniture really needs updating too so I checked out bedroom furniture sets at CSN Stores and was pleased with their large selection.
If you’re not familiar with CSN Stores, then let us introduce you! CSN’s product categories cover everything from
cookware, ultra modern furniture, bunk bed-office combinations and
fitness equipment to gaming chairs, grills, greenhouses and much
Beyond stellar customer service, their 200+ sites offer the largest selection of items for most home and office
CSN recently contacted us to either review a product or provide a $40 gift card to one of our lovely readers…of course, we chose the gift card for you! We browsed through their stores and found some lovely items which you may want to consider using your gift card for . . .
Sea and Land Print Set – A perfect set for any sea lover! Each print is 13″ x 13″
square…4-piece coordinating set available for purchase together or in sets of 2 .

What time is it? Time for a new clock! The Infinity Instruments IMAX Costal Weathered Seaside Wood Clock is absolutely adorable and reminds you to relax, relax, relax. The seaside clock is designed by Carolyn Kinder and looks good in any cottage or beach home!
Love cottage decor? The Howard Miller J. H. Gould and Co. II Wall Clock  is an authentic facsimile of Old World craftsmanship which captures the charm of the past. 

We love pillows and know you do too! The Thomas Paul pillow collection,
launched in 2001, was originally conceived of as an idea of
utilizing the silk printing mill’s capabilities for home accessories
instead of personal accessories. Since then the line has steadily
expanded into other categories apart from silk pillows to include
tabletop, stationary, and lamp shades. The ultimate goal being to have
products covering every aspect of the home, all with Thomas Paul
patterns gracing them. 
We love this Thomas Paul Crab Pillow in Aqua ~ 100% linen fabric showcases a crab pattern and aqua color design…filled with feather/down insert for a luxurious feel.

It was difficult to select just one of Thomas’ pillows so we chose two! LOL! We also love this Thomas Paul Aviaire Blancs Stork Pillow in Cream ~ The heavy weight burlap pillow features leather piping and will instantly make any room more elegant.
I think that I literally gasped with excitement when I found this set of 4 salad
plates! They will bring a touch of class for entertaining all of your guests and they are affordable and stylish entertaining pieces ~ The Casa Moda Driftwood Salad Plate Set is superb!

Every beach house MUST have a slip covered sofa (well, you don’t actually “have” to have one but they sure are charming!) The Sure Fit Cotton Duck Loveseat Slipcover really is an economical way to change the look of your couch. We have three dogs and one cat so this is absolutely on my ‘must-have’ list.

Last, but certainly not least is this AWESOME room divider ~ I’m not sure where I’d put it, but I know I’d find somewhere. The Wayborn Cape Cod Lighthouse Theme Room Divider is the pinnacle of
perfection. With the trio of lighthouses, you can bring Cape Cod to your
own porch, beach home, or living room. 

So now that you’re drooling over all the fabulous beach cottage products that CSN Stores offer, let’s get to the giveaway.

Giveaway Entry Rules for CSN Stores $40 Gift Certificate*
*Can be used at any of CSN’s 200+ online stores
Earn one (1) entry for every comment you leave on this blog post from now until August 31.  Leave a comment for each entry completed. 
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect, which is located on the right side bar.
  • Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to me.  Leave me your link to show the post.
  • Grab my Blog Button, located on the right side bar, and post it in your sidebar.
  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect, which is located on the right side bar.
  • Follow me on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway.
  • Follow me on Facebook
  • Subscribe to my feed via email, link on right sidebar.

CSN Giveaway Rules
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.  Giveaway ends 08/31/10 at 11:59 pm PST ~ winner will be selected by Random.org.   The
winner will be announced and must respond with within 48 hours to claim ~ otherwise, another eligible entry will be
Please make sure that you leave a way for me to contact you in case you win.  Good Luck!

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in contest, csn stores, giveaway | 89 Comments

>To Stand at the Edge of the Sea…

>Happy Friday, friends! We’ve been re-painting the interior of the house the past two weeks and taking lots of long walks on the beach so there hasn’t been as much time for blogging. My daughter & I had a great time digging for ‘buried treasure’ on the beach this week and I promise to post those photos in the next few days.

Long Beach Peninsula, Washington State ~ Mg Photography© 2007

My lovely beach friend, Liz, the owner of Shorely Chic, posted this wondrous quote recently and I just had to share with you!

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.” 

~Rachel Carson, environmentalist

Long Beach Peninsula, Washington ~ Mg Photography© 2010
 I hope you all have a divine weekend filled with many new & adventurous beach memories!

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in Beach, photography, Poem, Poetry | 3 Comments

>Beach House Bliss

>If you love bright and bold, never fear, you can absolutely incorporate brightly colored accessories, artwork and more into your seaside retreat.  This gorgeous home was featured in House Beautiful and is bursting with modern art and bold colors. Designer Krista Ewart added plenty of pop to this fabulous California bungalow and we think it’s fabulous!

A Happy Mix . . .

Vibrant colors, a mix of patterns, and flowers everywhere — real, painted, and printed on the sofa’s Clover Poppy, from Hable Construction — make the living room “cheerful, bright, and playful,” says Ewart.


“Smiley” and “happy” can easily cross the line to “saccharine” in a cozy cottage. How did you avoid that?  All
the upholstered furniture has clean lines. It’s tailored, not swoopy
and sweet, but still squishy and cozy, so you want to curl up and get
in! Simple styles like the sofa and stools help offset the old-fashioned
architecture and the bright, busy fabrics. Those simple white armchairs
calm down that screaming sofa on the other side of the room. And the
large-scale patterns — the whale wallpaper, the sofa flowers, the leaf
pillows, the tablecloth — keep things less old cottage-y and more
contemporary. All the white everywhere — walls, ceiling, woodwork —
allowed us to have fun with the fabrics.


A Sunny Summer House . . .

In front of the 1938 California cottage is a Liberty of London bicycle
from Target; it belongs to designer Krista Ewart’s sister Laurie Thiel,
the home­owner.
Colorful Cushions and Tablecloth . . .
chairs from the 1960s are painted semigloss white. “White makes them
disappear into the walls — it’s less busy and helps open the space — but
still lets you see their super-cool design,” Ewart says. White coral
almost fills a bookshelf: “One big accessory has more impact than a
bunch of miniatures.”
Do you always have this much fun?  I don’t think I’d be
able to do one of those beautiful, calm interiors. I can admire the
look, but I can’t do it. I don’t over think pattern and color. I didn’t
try to make all the greens go with the sofa. If the greens aren’t
totally matching, it doesn’t bother me. They all move and work together.
And a tightly edited palette is important to make all the patterns work
together. You have to have harmony. I mean, you see almost every room
in one moment. You get a peekaboo of color from room to room that wraps
it all up.

A Model Beach Home . . .

A boat model, shells, and coral reflect California seaside life.

Surfer Girl’s Patio . . .

“I was driving by a store in L.A., saw this 1960s patio furniture, and
screeched to a stop,” Ewart says. “It’s modern without being stark, and
petite — there’s not a lot of room out here.” The pattern on the
surfboard is a fabric print from a friend’s handbag line.

View this entire beach house at House Beautiful.

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in beach house living, coastal decorating, decorating, House Beautiful, Interior Design | 3 Comments

>A bit of Whimsy – Cast Iron Mermaids

>Mermaids…a whimsical indulgence according to riricreations of Etsy…I tend to agree. I instantly fell in love with these Cast Iron Mermaids and am feeling the need to add some throughout the house as I just love a bit of whimsy thrown in here and there!

Their mermaids are perfect for summer decor, or year round practical use…

 The neutral finish goes with any decor ~ hang towels in your guest bath or powder room, or necklaces or scarves in your master suite, or even keys by the front door. She WILL hold heavy beach towels, or just let this beauty hang all by her lonesome lovely self. 

Robin’s Egg Blue aka Blue Ocean Breeze painted & distressed Mermaid
This Mediterranean Blue Mermaid is divine!

Perfect wedding gift for the beach lovers ~ give him/her someplace fun to
hang his hat/her towel~ now I can’t promise that just because there’s a
sexy hanger that he will actually hang up his things, of course, but
these will definitely spice up the master bedroom, master bath, pool
house or guest room.

White distressed Mermaid Hangers

This little desk topper~a solid cast iron, hand painted little
beauty. She measures 3″ x 2″ x 3″, the perfect size for a whimsical
co-worker gift, a graduate who loves the ocean, or just for yourself, to
make you smile while you’re working.

Cast Iron Mermaid Paperweights

I just have to show you some other “non-mermaid” things too ~ their shop is full of so many wonderful items that you simply must visit to see all the treasures!

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.”

— T. S. Eliot

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in etsy, Favorite Finds, Mermaids, sea horse, sealife | 6 Comments

>Let the Sea Cleanse You


“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.” 

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in Inspiration, Poem, Poetry | 2 Comments

>Hot Summer Sunset

HOT! Our usually moderate beach climate went crazy last week. Our thermostat was sitting in the direct sun and it ticked up to 102 degrees…we couldn’t believe it. It appears the actual documented temp was a cool (LOL!) 92.9F. For those that are use to these types of summer temps…I’m sorry! We normally sit around 65 to 69 degrees this time of year, which is one of the many benefits of living on the SW Washington coast.

In need of some relief we decided to take the dogs down to the beach for a cool walk on the sand. Digging my toes in the sand was just what the doctor ordered…

The tide was low so we slowly wandered about looking for shells and, of course, the dogs had to give the birds a shout now and then. As the sun began to set, it cast a gorgeous glow over the Pacific Ocean…

I could tell the hubby cooled down and felt much better as he stopped to gaze at the beauty of the sea for a long while…

“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.” 
– Anonymous

Celebrating the Coastal Lifestyle

Posted in Beach, summer, Washington | 6 Comments