Vintage is all around me!

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In the spirit of Retro Tuesday and Vintage Thingies Thursday, I was mulling what oldies but goodies I might have around the house to share with you all this week. I was super busy last week preparing for my craft show so I didn't have any time to shop the thrift or consignment stores, so I knew I'd have to find something I already had. What do I have?... Then it hit me- the biggest hobby in my life- the basis for my jewelry business- Sea Glass!

For those who don't know what sea glass is- here's my description. Sea glass, beach glass, pottery shards and the like comes from glassware, dishes, china, earthenware, etc that has fallen into the sea.

Many times it was at the hands of man tossing (or mass dumping) garbage into the ocean, but there is also a great deal that comes from shipwrecks and storms that have literally washed houses out to sea.

After decades and even centuries of rolling around the ocean floor; banging into rocks, tumbling in the sand and waves, a tiny gem will surface on the shoreline glistening in the sunlight like the finest emerald or diamond you could ever wish to discover! (okay am I getting too poetic?)

To me there is nothing more relaxing than walking the beach for hours with my eyes glued to the ground, scouring the sand for the tiniest glimmer peeking out from beneath the muddy sand or wedged between two rocks. It is my escape.

Yesterday I happened to have 2 whole hours to myself after dropping Avery off at preschool and the weather was a balmy 50 degrees and sunny, so I drove down to the beach and walked the 2 mile stretch back and forth- twice. I didn't find any ultra rare prizes that will make me a fortune on eBay, but I did find some really gorgeous greens of jewelry quality that I'll be turning into pendants, bracelets and rings in the near future. Here's a little peek at some of yesterday's haul:

My favorite items to collect are marbles, bottle necks (I'd love to find a whole bottle, but as you can imagine, those are really hard to find intact!) and pieces of old coca cola bottles. I have an ever changing display of them on my kitchen windowsill.

The marbles are especially interesting to me- when I found my first one, I wondered what little child had brought his marbles to the beach to play and had a sneaky wave come upon him and wash away his favorite cat's eye when his back was turned? Then I thought- who brings marbles to the beach to play? And while I'm sure there are some who did and some who still might, I have since discovered that often times marbles were used as ballast in old cargo ships- which to me, is a much more plausible scenario for marbles being devoured by the sea. How intriguing to me it is that the frosty and pitted orbs that now decorate my kitchen in their rainbow of colors might have come from an ancient ship wreck- perhaps even a famous one!

My first marble

While I say "I collect" marbles, I must admit that I only own 4 so far. They are not easy to find! I use my favorite bottlenecks- in a range of aqua, green, white and lavender to display them. They are joined on the sill by large shards of coke bottle green glass

The tell tale ridges make these pieces easy to identify.

One even sports the iconic cursive "ola" on it.

This is from an old "sarsaparilla" bottle make by CI Hood in Lowell, MA.
Here's what it may have looked like when it was whole:

(image found at The Advertising Collections of Cliff and Linda Hoyt)

Have a look at what I turn pieces like these into:

Coke bottle green sea glass ring

Coke bottle green sea glass bangle bracelet

So to end a rambling sort of post, here I was thinking I had nothing "vintage" to show off this week and wound up discovering that "vintage" surrounds me and I am adding new pieces to my collection every time I go to the beach!


The Crazy Suburban Mom March 3, 2010 at 1:30 PM  

This is fabulous! I love beach glass and collect it when I go cape may once a year but its never a haul like that! I wish I could find that much! I love looking at it, its so beautiful...

randomcreative March 3, 2010 at 10:53 PM  

What a neat post! Thanks for sharing your interest and your collection. :)

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife March 4, 2010 at 1:13 AM  

Wow! You have found some beautiful pieces! I am never that lucky.

ClassyChassy March 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM  

Love the items you found - wonder how old some of them could be? So neat!

Laura L. March 4, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

This is such an interesting post, and I LOVE it that I learned things I didn't know about sea glass.
I have a very small collection of sea glass from the shore of Lake Superior.
Your post makes me want to go to the beach!

Sherrie March 4, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

That's a great collection you have! Who knows how old some of them could be. Have a great day!

Sherrie's Stuff

Manang Kim March 4, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

Oh wow I never thought collecting those. When I am on the beach I like to take shells but not those. Now I am going to collect, thank you for inspiring me ^_^

VTT~Old cash register

Stephanie March 4, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

I LOVE sea glass. How truly lucky you are to be close enough to walk at the beach. Your jewlry is so beautiful and I hope I will be able to purchase something from you in the near future, I will add your site to my reader. Peace, Stephanie

Postcardy March 4, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

I love your sea glass and jewelry. Makes me wish I had a nearby seashore to search.

fitty's pinky rose cottage March 4, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

what a great collection! never see some of the stones.. thanks for sharing.. happy VTT

P. March 4, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

What a wonderful collection! Your jewelry is beautiful.

Maureen March 4, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

How very pretty. I love the bottle necks!

Vintage Whimsy March 4, 2010 at 3:37 PM  

Wow! I love your collection. When we first moved to Maryland back in 2006, we were renting an a cottage on the Chesapeake Bay & I loved walking the beach & finding old sea glass - it was a relaxing way to spend a few hours & the rewards were so beautiful!

Coloradolady March 4, 2010 at 6:08 PM  

This really is a most interesting post...and really sparked my interest, I love the fact that this washed up to the beaches to be found...I have to admit...I'd be picking it up too!! Have a great VTT!

Tara Beaulieu March 4, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

Thank you all so much for your kind words! My name is Tara and I am a sea glass addict, lol! I suppose there are worse things I could do with my time, right?! :)

LV March 4, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

I would go stay a week at the beach if I thought I could find some of those stones. When I have been at a beach, I never saw ANYTHING LIKE THIS. JUST MUST BE IN YOUR AREA. SOME VERY LOVELY PIECES.

Our Back Porch March 4, 2010 at 10:17 PM  

I love the ring and the bracelet. It's been a few years since we've been to the beach...not one around our area. This makes me want to go back! You have an awesome collection!

Back Porch Blessings,

Jessica Hills March 4, 2010 at 11:54 PM  

Oh I just love sea glass! I will have to check out your shop!

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove March 5, 2010 at 3:24 AM  

Wow, so many beautiful pieces! I have never seen sea/beach glass on a beach before. it would be awesome to find a piece. Kind of like a little treasure!

have a wonderful day!

Anna March 5, 2010 at 4:10 AM  

Wonderful explanation of what sea glass is! Now I know what to look for if I ever get to a shore again. These pieces are artifacts as well as gems! Thank you for taking the time to write this post. Very informative in a pleasant way.
Love your blog!

Ann Creek March 5, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

All of the beach glass is spectacular, I never thought where all of it might come from. Very interesting. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

Troy March 7, 2010 at 2:00 AM  

Wow, I had no idea! I am absolutely fascinated.

This is some really cool stuff and you have done some remarkable work with it.

I'd love to see you join me on Tuesdays, for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in and link up a post showing some of your treasures and sharing some information about it.

I have read several of your posts that would have been ideal link-ups for my party.

Maya March 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM  

The bottle necks are pretty amazing, gorgeous. And it's always neat to find a piece that has something engraved on it, so you know its origin.

Carolee ~ ArtPodStudios March 12, 2010 at 5:55 PM  

Loving your sea glass jewelry!! VerIy unique and artistic! What a great collection and you make wonderful art pieces with it when displaying. Love your blogsite, colorful and inviting....will be making more visits to see what you show and tell next....

Jennifer May 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM  

so glad I found your blog. Like you, I love to imagine where things on the beach came from, even old pieces of water worn wood I imagine as pieces of shipwrecks on the ocean floor. Living on the NJ coast, with it's long history of shipwrecks, helps to feed my imagination.
Your pieces are beautiful, can't wait to see more of your stuff!

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