Gathering

I could have written these words. As I look around Casa de Enchanted Seashells, I see feathers and rocks and driftwood and seashells, so many seashells.

They are my true and stalwart friends.

In every room, I can touch and feel and recreate the time and place they were collected and lovingly gathered: local beaches, Anza-Borrego, Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Painted Desert, Grand Tetons, Pinnacles, Pacific Northwest–a weaving of memories.

And yes, they bring a smile to my face.

Easy DIY Mod Podge Candle Decor

We had our first winter storm today with some hail, so I needed an indoor project.

I love to embellish pretty much everything, usually with seashells, but not always. This time I decided to Mod Podge a silk scarf onto plain glass candles that came from the dollar store.

The scarf was an old Laurel Burch cat scarf that I must have inherited from my mom because I never was really a Burch fan. I’m not sure why I had originally cut it up, but there was enough material left over to beautify three candles.

The art of decoupage is so simple yet so satisfying.

1. Cut the fabric to the size of the glass container.
2. Brush a good amount of Mod Podge on the glass.
3. Carefully place the scarf on the glass and press firmly.
4. Brush on more Mod Podge. The silk adheres really nicely to the sticky glue and there’s enough time to push out all of the air bubbles.
5. Let it dry for about an hour and then paint another layer of Mod Podge onto the surface.
6. Let dry.

That’s it!

I’m beyond pleased with the results!

All lit up and glowing. They look even better than I thought they would. The best thing is that when the original candle burns out, I can replace it with a votive.

Rock Solid

The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks.
-Gustav Mahler

I love rocks as much as I love seashells. I’m drawn to all shapes and sizes, colors and textures. Each one has a story to tell. They’re alive; warm from absorbing the sun, cool to the touch when it’s chilly, and shiny wet when it rains. They change but stay the same. I can trust them and that’s important to me.

Rocks are composed primarily of grains of minerals, crystalline solids formed from a chemical compound arranged in an orderly manner. The aggregate minerals forming the rock are held together by chemical bonds. Immutable bonds of love.

This is my very own dry river bed. I hauled each and every rock with my own two hands; thousands of them; a true labor of love.

Dragons and Pearls

I love jewelry boxes. I love them so much that I wanted to pass on the sweet tradition and sent baby Char a ballerina musical jewelry box fit for a princess that plays a tune from Swan Lake. Char wore a rainbow colored tutu for Halloween, so it’s definitely this Grandma’s job to nurture an early appreciation for dance.

It turned out that she loved it so much (and so did Theo) that I had to send him one too, only his featured characters that twirl around from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince and plays Mozart’s Eine Klene Nachtmusik. It’s about the right time for him to read that book, too.

I also found a new one for me (of course), and it’s better in real life than the photos portrayed on Amazon. The green is truly a beautiful background for the gold dragon. This one doesn’t play music but I have another one that does, so I’m content.

Now we’re all happily playing with our new boxes…a thousand miles away from each other.

Learn about shungite, a powerful healing rock

Everyone’s talking about the Corona virus, Covid-19, information/misinformation, face masks, hoarding bleach, disinfectants, and how to avoid contacting this pandemic virus.

The stock market is falling like the crumbling stones of an ancient wall.

That got me thinking about rocks. I love rocks as much as I love seashells.

Rocks from the beach, the desert, the mountains-I bring a rock or two home with me on every visit to Angel Boy 2.0. I’ve conditioned him to look for rocks for me, “Here’s a really special one, Grandma! This one’s for you!”

On our last day together, we walked on the beach at Golden Gardens right on the Salish Sea, and he found a small perfectly round, extremely white stone. In an awed tone, he exclaimed,  “This is the most amazing rock EVER. I’m going to keep it ’til I’m as old as YOU, Grandma!” (Thanks for that, little buddy lol.) Something about that white quartz touched his little soul and that touched my soul. As soon as we got home, he showed it to mom and dad and placed it on the window sill in his bedroom– a treasure. That’s a boy after my own heart, that’s for sure. The apple (stone) didn’t fall too far from the tree.

But I love other kinds of rocks too; amethyst and carnelian, selenite, kyanite, rose quartz,  all the varieties that are attributed with extraordinary and spiritual powers. I gave crystals to DIL before birthing the babies. She loves them too, I’m happy to report.

Since I also love shiny things, I was attracted to a new rock I never before heard of called shungite, and it has an old and fascinating history.

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Shungite is approximately two billion years old. It was formed before there was known life on earth, deep within the earth’s crust. The main deposit of shungite comes from the Zazhoginskoye deposit near Lake Onega in the Shunga region of Karelia, North West of Russia. Shungite is composed of mostly carbon and as we know, carbon forms the building blocks of life.

There are claims that it’s an extraordinarily positive stone and using it may bring a variety of good fortune as well as health benefits.  Shungite contains fullerenes, which are powerful antioxidents and specifically thought to protect us against the dangers of EMFs.

Fullerenes are a newly discovered (1985) form of carbon which was previously only known to exist as diamond, graphite, or coal. They’re named after Buckminster Fuller, the American architect who designed geodesic domes which resemble spherical fullerenes in appearance.

Shungite is a stone of transformation with a huge list of amazing benefits, and because of its nature and composition, it’s unlike any other stone on the planet.

“Shungite cures, rescues, purifies, heals, protects, normalizes, restores and even stimulates the growth. It kills and devours anything that harms people and other living beings, and concentrates and restores all that is good. The scholars who have studied Shungite in one voice declare, it is a miracle! “ – A. Doronina “Shungite – the Stone-Savior”

Following are some of the benefits of shungite:

  • Assists in evolving spiritually
  • Restores emotional balance
  • Powerful protective stone – shields the wearer from negative energies of all kinds, including psychic protection
  • Removes negative energies and thoughts
  • Shields from harmful electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, cell towers, TVs, etc.
  • Provides healing on all levels: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
  • Cell rejuvenation
  • Cleanses and purifies water and adds beneficial minerals
  • Catalyst for growth and transformation
  • Increases personal power
  • Raises vibration
  • Grounds energies to the earth
  • Promotes positivity
  • Clears and balances aura and chakras
  • Enhances metaphysical abilities
  • Boosts energy
  • Normalizes sleep
  • Clears, activates, and aligns ALL chakras

EMF Protection — We’re bombarded by WiFi and electromagnetic frequencies 24/7; these disrupt our energetic field and negatively affect the cells in our body, leaving us feeling drained, mentally foggy, and out of balance. Shungite has been proven to neutralize EMFs.

Antiseptic — Shungite also has antiseptic properties. Russian Tsar, Peter the Great instructed his troops to each carry a piece of shungite to purify their drinking water. Allegedly, enemy forces succumbed to dysentery while the Russian troops remained strong because of the shungite advantage.

In addition to keeping a piece of shungite in our bedroom and near us when we’re on the computer or our cell phones, I found a simple recipe for Shungite Water that I’m going to try tonight.

Shungite Water — My cursory Google research reveals a recommendation to drink at least 2-3 glasses of shungite-infused water daily to heal or prevent digestive, muscular, or nervous system illness and to increase circulation. Daily use of shungite water to wash face or body improves elasticity of skin and gives it a healthy look. Hey, I’ll try ANYTHING to slow down the hands of time and reduce wrinkles!

Here’s what I did: so simple…I took my piece of shungite, placed it in a glass and used filtered water. I’ll leave it overnight and start drinking it tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe a miracle will occur and I’ll shed twenty or thirty years. Fingers crossed, right?

fullsizeoutput_d0bHave you heard of shungite?
Do you believe in the power of crystals and rocks?
What are your faves?

Fabulous Fashion Trend: GOing Mad For IndiGO!

indigothrowpillowspolyvoer

indigothrowpillowspolyvoer

Did you hear?

Indigo is the hue we need.

I love saying it: I-N-D-I-G-O-GO-GO.

Sounds all boho and hippo-ish and kind of exotic, like a trip to the south of France or something.

I’m obsessed with indigo.

It’s not simply BLUE; it’s blue-specific.

A dark, inky purple-y midnight-y blue that’s a chameleon in different kinds of lighting. It’s intense and soothing all at the same time.

When I was in Crete and on Hydra ( I went to Greece a LONG time ago), there was a lot of indigo – against the Aegean, against bright white walls and chairs and grape leaves overhanging patio latticework.

These shelves of indigo remind me of my travels…indigoindoordecor

In my never-ending quest for fashionable finds, I discovered the most delicious scarf with elephants walking all over it.indigoscarf

I already had a gauzy loose fitting shirt with a hint of indigo…Woodstock, anyone?indigoblouse

Now I’m looking to add some indigo to our outdoor decor. There’s that creepy little split stone plant and a citronella candle.outdoorindigo3 Miniature pomegranate tree in a Mexican pot with hints of indigo. (Never mind the ugly electric cord.)outdooringigo2Decorator tip 1: Group an accent color for drama and flair!

Decorator tip 2: Easy! Get a small can of indigo paint for outdoor planters.ingigooutdoors1

Get some indigo. GO.

 

“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.” ~Catherine Douzel

We love tea.

We can’t do without our afternoon cuppa.

Fragrant spiraling steam from the spout signals to the senses that proper steeping has occurred and it’s time to pour a golden amber or grassy green stream of molten happiness. 

Ahhh. That first sip never fails to satisfy — to stop time for a moment and live IN that moment of pure pleasure.

A pot of tea is a wondrous thing.

(It’s so funny; as I re-read what I wrote, I could easily substitute champagne or tequila  — also my favorite beverages — for “tea.” LOL)

teapot9Ginger, Korean ginseng, Yogi green tea, genmaicha, even fennel seeds (steeped in boiling water and delicious)…and once in a while Twinings or PG Tips .

I never consciously decided to collect teapots, but they seem to be growing and multiplying and spawning others to join our family.

Navigate through these seven teapots; some given as gifts, some found abandoned and dusty in thrift stores and secondhand shops;  some purchased fresh and new.

Are you a tea lover? What’s your fave?

A few of my favorite quotes about tea: 

Make tea, not war. ~Monty Python

Tea is a divine herb. ~Xu Guangqi

Having picked some tea, he drank it,
Then he sprouted wings,
And flew to a fairy mansion,
To escape the emptiness of the world….
~Chiao Jen

Where there’s tea there’s hope. ~Arthur Wing Pinero

Great love affairs start with champagne and end with tisane. ~Honoré de Balzac

Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher. ~Chinese Proverb

 Some of my faves…

Cast iron teapot, great for genmaicha.Cast iron teapot

Polka dot pot!Polka dot pot

Tea for one.

Tea for one Flowers and lilac; think frilly frocks and high tea. “Pass the scones, my dear.”Lilacs and flowers

A woodland fantasy of pink and green.

Frogs and flowers

From one of my tugboat man’s voyages to Trinindad; only ornamental but spectacularly hand painted and primitive.

Ornamental teapot from Trinidad

A beautiful sculptured teaset for our twentieth wedding anniversary from Angel Boy and DIL. China is the traditional 20th gift. Thank you, guys!   We had guests yesterday afternoon and  I served tea in these elegant cups. So classy!

Beautiful white sculptured pot and cupsI’ll plan a Part Two with pics of my other teapots, the antique ones.

 

Obsession Confession: Paper Parasol Passion

umbrellapoem

I’ve always loved paper cocktail umbrellas.

Exotic and topical in vibrant pink and lime green and turquoise and orange, serving no real purpose other than adorning a beverage, but they make everything seem a little more glamorous, a little more special.

Edit: A huge thank you to Sunshine and Celadines sunshineandcelandines.wordpress.com for the use of the word tropical to describe these little twirly parasols; my brain failed me!

Umbrella Collage

When I was a little girl, my mom would always bring home the colorful little parasols whenever she and my dad went out in the evening.

They shaded Barbie from the summer sun or became part of a beach scene in my dollhouse.

I saved them all until the paper tore or the toothpicks broke.

I have fond memories of my first pretend cocktail, the delicious Shirley Temple, adorned with an alluring paper parasol and a maraschino cherry.

Twenty years ago, I was my own wedding coordinator.

I bought a package of five hundred paper cocktail umbrellas that’ll probably last forever.

You can be sure that if you visit Casa de Enchanted Seashells, your cocktail will be embellished with one!

Mermaids and a clown…

Some of my crazy scenes captured by a camera.

I confess that I spent way too much of the day arranging these umbrellas in all kinds of poses for a photo shoot.

WAY too much time but SO much fun.

Mermaid holding parasol

mermaidumbrella

Shy mermaid

Umbrellashy

Umbrelladisplay

Crazy hallucinogenic clown shaded by an umbrella
‘cos the sun hurts his eyes ‘cos his pupils are all dilated and stuff…
umbrellaclown

Lady with a parasolumbellalady

History of the cocktail umbrella:
The cocktail umbrella is believed to have arrived on the bar scene as early as 1932 courtesy of Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic‘s in San Francisco although it is, by Vic’s own admission, a presentation picked up from Don the Beachcomber (now closed). Upon introduction, umbrellas were considered very exotic as were most things from the Pacific Rim. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Excogitate Inside The Box.

EXCOGITATE:
To think out; devise; invent.
To study intently and carefully in order to grasp or comprehend fully.

TO THIINK IN OR THINK OUT…WHAT IS YOUR METHOD?

According to wiseGEEK, to think outside the box means means to “handle a situation or challenge in an unconventional manner. The origin of the phrase is believed to date back to the 1960s, and is often associated with a famous mental puzzle called The Nine Dots.”

I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years and I’ve found that no one really wanted me to think outside the box — independently, creatively, with imagination or compassion. I felt the overwhelming corporate mantra was to agree with everything and keep quiet.

So much for my employment history…and on to another one of my obsessions–

I love boxes; cardboard boxes (hubs throws out the cardboard boxes I stash in the garage), wooden boxes, large and small boxes. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a massive collection. (I’m not a hoarder, I’m not a hoarder, I’m NOT a hoarder. Stop thinking that!)

But a box full of Bandit was my favorite.
Our poor baby died of chronic renal failure in 2010. Wasn’t she soo beautiful? Sniff.

banditjuly10 003BOX

She’s speaking to me with her eyes, ” I don’t feel very good, Mommy.”

We haven’t been able to have another petchild because we still miss her way too much but I do have a collection of boxes to add to my love for seashells, rocks, beach glass, blue glass, and elephant-y things.

This is a text box.

text box

Do you have a favorite box? What do you collect?

Fox Box.

Fox box

My tugboat man always brings back a trinket or two from his travels.

2013-05-16 23.03.01 Seattle box

Vintage Russian lacquer box. 
My mom got this for me when I was in high school.
I’ve always loved to collect boxes!

Russian lacquer box

Blue lacquer metal box with white flowers

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Unicorn box from India.
Since I can’t collect unicorns…
Unicorn box

Shell box from Crystal Cove Gift Shop.

Shell box

Sparkly boxes from Pier One.Sparkle boxes

Korean lacquer and mother-of-pearl box…from one of hub’s trips.
It’s so beautiful. My pic doesn’t do it justice.

Korean box

This is the inside. It’s an exquisite work of art.

inside Korean box

Box for loved ones.
It contains two heart necklaces to be worn whenever apart so we always carry our hearts with us.
My tugboat man carries his necklace in his ukelele case.

love box

Mirror box.

mirror box

Multi-colored enamel box.

redlacquer box

Little pill box my mom got on a trip to Italy or Venice.

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Painted wooden box from Ensenada, Mexico

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Limoges violet round box.

violet box

Pretty little flower box.

flower box

Rosebud box. Just because…

Rose box

I think this box is carved from rose quartz.
It was a gift from son/DIL.

Pink stone box

My fave colors and a cool shape.

Aqua/blue boxOpen aqua/blue boxShelf of boxes.

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Even a naked lady box!
From an art gallery in La Jolla in the 1970s.
And no, it’s not me — but EVERYONE asks that question.

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I hope you enjoyed my boxes. This is only about half of my collection but I didn’t want to BORE you any further, so I’ll save the rest of them to share another day.

Next time: my collection of perfume bottles. Yup, I have a bunch of those, too.

Instead of Flowers, How About an Enchanting Seashell Bouquet?

Today is super hot and humid but I went to Pilates anyway, and saw a friend of mine who’s a nurse and she always has a handful of non-latex gloves or figs from her tree for me and I trade her tomatoes and cucumbers and clary sage seedlings, so it’s a win-win for both of us.

I’m really excited about all my clary sage seedlings; I have about 100 of ’em that look very healthy but will have to wait for the weather to cool down to put them in the ground. Here in So Cal, October is our spring, and that’s the best time I have found to plant natives.

So I have all these seashells, right?  Prolly thousands of them, collected by me or presented as gifts, and I’m not super creative like everyone on Etsy and Pinterest, but I do like to embellish almost everything with shells and rocks.

I was looking for a new project and somewhere saw a bouquet of seashells and starfish and thought that it looked easy enough to re-create, so I did!

How to make the seashell bouquet:
1. Get craft sticks of all sizes; I even used chopsticks
2. If you don’t have a glue gun, get one! I can’t live without mine, that’s for sure. For this project, you don’t have to be perfect, obvs you need to use more glue for the heavier starfish
3. If you want to use florist’s foam,that would be a good idea; I didn’t do that here, but I did fill the vase with paper

Voila! Here’s the finished product. This vase is at the bottom of our stairs up to the second level and is the first thing you see when you come in the front door.