Friday, February 15, 2008

Seaside Dreams and Mermaid Things.....

"Alone I walked the ocean strand,
A pearly shell was in my hand;
I stooped, and wrote upon the sand
My name, the year, the day.
As onward from the spot I passed,
One lingering look behind I cast,
A wave came rollng high and fast,
And washed my lines away."

Hannah Flagg Gould ~ A Name in the Sand
I think I may have a little problem and I think I am going to have to go to Swapaholics Anonymous! These little swaps can get addicting! I am here to post on yet another swap I recently participated in, the Mermaid and Seaside Inspired Swap hosted by Michelle of Hold Dear. I came across this swap on a very gray day when I was longing for the sunny sea shore and decided to participate. I am an avid collector of all kinds of beach finds from our vacations and had plenty to share and create with and the mermaid angle made for a bit of fantasy fun crafting.

Having never crafted a mermaid I thought I would browse a bit to find some inspiration and I came across this wonderful art piece on a flickr group and tracked it back to the artist, Dale McClain, and visited her blog, Sea Dream Studio. With her permission I’d like to share a couple of pictures of her art work and invite you to visit her lovely blog.
My Swap partner was Denise, of Shabby Cottage Boutique. I had a lot of fun going through my vacation memories and scouring my favorite haunts to find items for this swap. I started out with, of all things, two pieces of clothing for my inspiration pieces, a sweater with beading around the neck and a skirt with an organza overlay.
The beading was secured with tons of clear drying glue and turned into a mermaid body. The pattern of the overlay on the skirt reminded me of water and became the covering for the box which would house all the swap goodies: I included art pieces which I hand made or painted, beach finds, and mermaid or sea inspired crafting supplies. Here is a tiny sampling of what I sent:
I had a bit of trouble when it came to my actual mermaid, first I began to paint one and she came out looking very Ariel like, but I included her anyway: I then resorted to fabric and my daughter laughed herself silly saying she had shoulders like a football player! I told her to hush and reserve judgment until she had long flowing hair and it would cover it up, which it did! Well, she had to have face and I goofed on her lips and they ended up looking a little plumped up with 60’s pink lipstick. My little swishy friend ended up with groovy emerald green 60ish eye shadow. I realized with a start that I had channeled up a replica of Mama Cass or Janice Joplin, I expected her to belt out, Take a Little Piece of My Heart, at any given moment. (Crafty Cindy, get up off the floor and quit laughing, yeah, I hear ya!)
I put her in the box and took her back out, put her in, took her out, put her back in, took her back out, gave up and placed her right on the very tip top in all her groovy glory and I think she took a little piece of my heart with her as I hated parting with her.

I also sent off a little something beachy to Dawn at The Feathered Nest. She is working on a nature shore inspired assemblage and I offered her some of my bounty if she would like. Here is a sneak peek:
These sunny summer projects made me a little weepy. I had sealed some beach finds and sand in plastic zip bags and when I opened one I caught a salt and sea tinged whiff of summer. I opened the bag further, closed my eyes, and inhaled deeply and became instantly weepy. In one breath I was on the beach again, many beaches all at once.

I was twelve years old in California near a pier playing in the surf with my beloved Aunt Susie. She was young, vibrant, healthy, and alive. This would be the last time I saw her so, two short years into the future, at age 28, she would pass away from colon cancer. I was fourteen on Virginia beach getting stung by a jelly fish, learning to body surf and nearly being knocked on conscious when a wave tumble me slamming my forehead into ocean floor, and being in serious like with a boy named Rick, whom I met there.

I was in Gulf Port, MS on Ship Island watching sand pipers play in the surf and my newly married son and daughter-in-love walk hand in hand on the beach, our first family vacation after they married.
I was in Florida, on so many beaches visited all along the coast. Bird Island being a favorite, sitting beneath a sand dune for a wind break at sunset, watching the fishing boats return to harbor, listening to the seagulls cry and karaoke music from a club floating across the sound. I was on the Big Island of Hawaii, celebrating my 25th Wedding Anniversary, standing shoulder to shoulder with the one who loves me, watching the Pacific swallow up the sun and set the sky on fire with the colors of twilight.
I was in Georgia on Saint Simons Island, standing, quivering; firmly grasping the balcony railing of a light house, triumphant that the call of the sea, at least for a moment, helped me conquered my fear of heights.
I was in the land of make-believe where my mother allowed my Barbie to swim in the fish tank with our tropical fish and she was a mermaid princess. I was a little girl once again laying on the floor in front of our console stereo listening to a favorite story record, Clytie of the Deep, about a little water nymph. I was in my wading pool on a sunny summer day on my back with my knees bent over the edge, feet resting in the sun warmed grass, pretending to have ridden in my pink cockle shell boat drawn by two sea turtles to the shore. My long hair was splayed out in the water as I swished my head back and forth. I was Clytie of the deep, turning my face up to the Sun King waiting for him to notice me, while my toes became roots, just as Clytie’s did when she was transformed into a sunflower.

I was Sandy, at all these sea shores!

I smiled while closing the bag, sealing inside it not only my beach finds but my treasured memories. My longings for the scents, sights, and sounds of the sea were stilled. I never even left my cross legged position on my studio room floor as I had taken these trips through memories door. The gray outside no longer mattered. I had enough sunny seaside memories stored away to warm and brighten even the most dismal of days.

Sea Side Dreaming,
Miss Sandy


m i c h e l l e said...

What an amazing post. Your stories and the pictures...thank you Sandy.

The Feathered Nest said...

Sandy. I have goosebumps!! What a beautiful post ~ As I begin reading your post, slowly I feel as though I'm on a little journey with you. You're pointing out wonderful things, telling all about them and then as the post comes to a close...I have to leave and go home! You have such a talent, sweetie...the treasures look just beautiful, I can't believe you are doing that!!! Wishing you a very happy weekend, xxoo, Dawn

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Awwww, Miss Sandy, you know how to take your readers away...

If I wasn't chuckling, you had me misty-eyed. I am sorry that your beautiful aunt was gone from this world at 28!

I know the call of the sea...such a powerful thing. My grandmother still says every so often, "Take me to the sea. I must smell the ocean."

Your mermaid is beautiful and how certain I am that Denise will love her.

You guys really do go all out, don'tcha? I am totally flabbergasted by the creativity.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oops, forgot to say that tomorrow is my day for grandsons...can't wait!

Lori said...

hi Miss Sandy:)
i love all of the goodies you sent to Denise, i am sure she will be thrilled and your mermaid is just darling!!!
and what wonderful goodies you sent off to the sweet Miss Dawn!!!
and your memories of the beach were very sweet to read, thanks for sharing!!!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

(Crafty Cindy, get up off the floor and quit laughing, yeah, I hear ya!)

Not laughing at you, but giggling with you remembering the feeling of sand squishing between my toes.

Laughing at you imagining you with green eye shadow.

I love the mermaid. And how lovely you wrapped all of it. I like the beads on the clamshells with the tulle. Nice touch!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Beautiful post..what fabulous crafts, and lovely memory escapes!! Loved every moment of this read!!

kari & kijsa

Cindy Roberts said...

After reading your post I am longing for a day at the beach in February! Thank you for your kind words on my blog. A wonderful time was had by all! Cindy

Sea Dream Studio said...

Oh, what a beautiful post! Your sea memories are so sweet!!! Thank you so much for including my work. You are a mermaid princess!!!
salt water hugs~Dale

smilnsigh said...

I just stopped by, because I read a comment by you, in 'A Haven For Vee.' I agree sooooo much! You said; "P.S. I don't like blinking things on the sidebar, to distracting or too much clutter!"

Oh yes! Such Side Bars drive me up a wall! Plus, each and every picture {and those awards and blinking things are pictures, to the computer} in the Side Bar, adds to the loading time of a page.

As I said in my comment, in Vee's blog entry, I have to very much LOVE the blogger, to go to such.

So happy to see someone else speak of our dislike of all those ding-dang blinking things. ,-)


Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Love your swap item and really enjoyed this whole post. The beach photos remind me that there is a summer out there...:-)

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