trim the (beach) tree...
A few weeks after the summer tourism calmed down, but it was still warm, I learned a new beach combing skill... I always thought you just walk up and down the beach. That's how I have always done it... However, after talking to some people who have been doing it a long time, they taught me that the best shells are found in the water before they hit the rocks of the beach.
There had been some stormy weather, and the water was high with some strong currents, so a lot of shells had been stirred up. They told me to wade out in the water and snag the shells as the waves bring them in. You can tell the empty ones because they just roll around in the water.
So... I waded out thigh deep (I didn't dare get any deeper with the waves and currents), and watched as the waves rolled in and stirred up the sand. I would then shoot my hand (up to my shoulder at times) into the water and snag the beautiful shells as they swirled in the water. (don't worry, I ALWAYS throw back ones with live animals living in them!!!)
Well, that day, I got a HUGE haul of shells that were in really good condition since they hadn't been bashed against the rocks. I had to do something with them, so I decided that Christmas ornaments would be perfect!
I've been making these like crazy this year. I water down some Mod Podge, brush on a VERY thin layer, then dip it in a bowl of glitter. They then have to dry. I'll be honest, that is the only part that takes a long time. While drying, I twist wire into a circle with a tail (it looks kinda like a magnifying glass), and tie a bunch of little bows. For this one I used ribbon and twine. I then use hot glue to attach the wire in the top of the shell, and glue the bows over the wire to hide the glue. I also added a little pearl to the center of the bow... These are super simple, yet SO elegant! I can't wait to decorate a tree with a whole ton of these beauties!