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Mendocino County

This morning we drove north from San Francisco on 101. The landscape looked like something out of a painting with lichen-encrusted trees and a smattering of wineries. After crossing over the range of hills separating the valley from the coast, we drove through a redwood forest which is surprisingly dark and chilly in the middle of the day. We stopped by to meet Tom Boylan‘s studio nestled in an idyllic setting near Mendocino. He graciously let us pester him with questions and I stocked up on his beads and an ornament. Then we headed up the coast to Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach to look for sea glass. It used to be a bottle dump and, among the piles of common clear, green & brown glass, we found rare colors like red, pink, cobalt, and champagne. It was awesome to find glass that had been pummeled against the rocky coast; some pieces were smooth almost to the point of being spherical. The glass from the Delaware River is hardly ever that smooth, but the colors are better in my opinion. After lunch at the North Coast Brewing Company and coffee at Starbucks, we headed back down the coast.

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Snow Day

We got about 9 inches of snow last night! Steve shoveled the walk and cleaned off the cars this morning while I was on the phone with my mom, so when he got in I fixed Ghirardelli hot chocolate with a shot of espresso. Steve and I independently determined it’s a grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup day, too.

I’m redoing the price tags on my bracelets and necklaces because my old ones with the elastic cord tended to get caught on one another. I got some cool lampwork seashells at Sparkles last week and I may try putting them together with some sea glass this afternoon. It feels weird to be working on the next season when there’s snow on the ground, so I try to tap into my inner longings (the beach in the winter and crisp fall mornings in the summer).

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Fresh sea glass

Yesterday morning I took Riley for a walk along the Delaware River. She pulls on the leash, which makes my hand hurt and prevents me from pumping my arms to get my heart rate up, so I tied it around my waist. This apparently appears to other walkers to be cheating (they chide me in passing); my response is that I’m not wearing roller blades so it’s not cheating.

The trail ends at a beach, so I let Riley take a sip (but not a dip) in the water. Meanwhile I found a few choice pieces of sea glass and, having no pockets, I made the decision to use her empty poop bag to collect it and hoped that nature wouldn’t call. I’ve been running low on cobalt blue, which is both the rarest and most popular, and found several pieces of it before I got cold and had to start back. Riley was back in the yard maybe a minute before nature called – whew! The photo is of yesterday’s bounty. That one piece is brown, not red, and you may notice several pieces of lavender. For more info about sea glass, click here.

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Steve and I spent the last 5 days in sunny Bermuda. What a gorgeous island! We found plenty of sea glass in between beach bumming and restaurant hopping, so look for some new jewelry featuring these frosted wonders.

We also got to check out some of the attractions like the Unfinished Church in St. George’s with its stone columns and gothic arches. It was almost finished when a hurricane destroyed much of it, so only the walls remain with a grass carpet and the sky as the roof – a photographer’s dream.

I would write more, but I am getting ready for my studio open house this Saturday and there’s a lot to do before then! I’ll post new designs on my site next week if they don’t sell before then.

More pictures here!