Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Did I Think of That?

Most of my creations have started with a goal for solving a problem. My mosaic boxes began with a quest for some way to display the sea shells that our family would collect on vacation each year from Long Beach Island, NJ! Every year we would come home with pails filled with ocean treasures! After sitting around for a while I would wash and stack them neatly in bags on a garage shelf. Each years beach finds were stored and forgotten!

One year, I decided I wanted to capture our vacation in a special way, not just in a scrap book or cluttering up my house with loose shells everywhere! That's when my 'Shore to Please' Mosaic Jewelry/Keepsake Boxes were born!

Using the shells and pebbles collected that year from the beach, I created a mosaic on top of a box I had. I wanted to capture the feeling of the beach, so I created it to have a lot of texture and a certain roughness like the beach, not a perfect mosaic that was smooth and flawless! Some shells were poking out of the grout and others were seen in their entirety, similar to what you would find walking along the shore. I enjoy walking along the beach looking for all types of treasures, and that is how I wanted to design these boxes. I delight in finding those little surprises and I tried to include that in my boxes. Even if the background may look very white, if you look closely, you may also find a piece of coral or a special shell or rock mixed in. It came out beautiful!

My love for weathered beach items, inspired me to paint the box to reflect the color of the fences that dotted the sand dunes along the shore. The inside was painted to complement the outside and then I covered the bottom with a piece of felt to provide a soft place to put my jewelry or mementos! It was almost perfect! But it was still missing that link to my family and that year I was trying to capture.

I started experimenting with a favorite picture of the kids on the beach that year, and was very pleased with the end result. I carefully enlarged the picture and attached it to the top inside of the box!

I fell in love with this box, and after 12 years it's still one of my favorite items I own! Each day I just love seeing all the different shells and when I open it up to get my jewelry, I smile, because there are my beautiful children, with their young faces smiling back at me! (Now that they are teens, its even more special!lol!) How time flies! Sure, I have lots of scrapbooks that I drag out and look at occassionally. But I see this picture everyday, reminding me of the wonderful memories we shared at the beach every time I open it up to take out my jewelry!

Through the years friends and relatives expressed how they loved my box, so when I began my Etsy Shop, I decided to create them for others. Now, they are my top selling items and I have even personalized them for beach side or beach themed weddings as Bride gifts or bridesmaid gifts! It's been fun to share what has meant so much to me and be able to offer it to others!

Summer is now approaching quickly, and the kids will be out of school soon. We are all anxiously awaiting our family vacation and making new memories!
After 22 years, we still enjoy that wonderful week or two that we leave behind the soccer fields, ice rinks, and all the other sports that fill our lives, replacing them with swimming, relaxing, baseball, kite flying, and long walks on the beach. Ahhh, I can't wait for this years vacation!


Julie Magers Soulen said...

Your Etsy bears are adorable!! BTW, You have been awarded the "One Lovely Blog Award!"

WillOaks Studio said...

These little boxes are wonderful...what a great idea for all those "piles of collections" (which I'm also guilty of.....