Sea Glass Blog

The Sea Glass Life Just Flies By....

Hard to believe half of 2017 is over...I know the old saying "seems like it was just Christmas" well really wasn't it?

Many new things happened for us this year, we moved from the Florida Keys to lower Delaware, slower lower they call it, and in some ways it does have the Keys feeling, people are nice and friendly for sure, we are still by the water and there are many SEA Glass Lovers here!

New house means a new studio, it took 15 home depot buckets just to move all the sea glass we have collected through the years, most of it brought home in suitcases from Greece and some from California. But the new studio is organized, bright and we even picked the color sea glass for the wall without realizing it, just meant to be....

Being in Delaware has allowed us to spread our wings a bit and do a few shows. In April we were in St. Michael's for the Eastern Shore Sea Glass and Coastal Art Festival, a great show with Kim at the helm, we saw a lot of old friends and made a lot of new ones as well.

In May we drove up to New Hampshire for The Northeast Sea Glass Expo. Debbie is a lovely person who made the festival run smoothly. Again we met and saw so many old and new friends a wonderful time a hoping to go back again next year.

Now we are getting ready for the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival, June 24th and 25th. For the last 8 years we have packed up the car and drove the 25 hours to be here for this fabulous show. This year it is a 15 minute drive and this is a really good thing. We always look forward to seeing so many of you at this show.

Well that is it for this time, need to get to the studio as time is just flying by........

All the best

Christeena

 

Day 4

So sorry we missed a few days and a few islands. We have been in the islands of Aegina and Poros. Two lovely island in the Saronic. We are now in Hydra one of my personal favorites as there are no cars or motorbikes. Donkeys are still the main transportation on this magical island and the streets are lined in marble.  

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We leave tomorrow for the island of Kea this is where the sea glass collecting begins.  

Our Greek Sea Glass Adventure

We are currently in Greece. Preparing to take a sailboat for a month through the Aegean Sea. With my husband at the helm, a Captain here in Greece for more than 40 years it will be an adventure.

Of course our main goal is to collect sea glass but there is something here in Greece that just touches your soul. You may not realize it a first as you are still in the USA state of mind, running, shopping, texting, but after a few days on the boat you begin to change, life becomes brighter, slower, your mind begins to wind down and your heart and soul are held captive by the beauty of this fabulous country.

My plan is to take you with us, now don't hold it against me if I do not keep up, as I said we are still outside of Athens in our home at the moment. And here in Voula it is not so different as you might think from the good ol' USA, it is when you arrive on the islands that the magic happens!

So here is an invite to follow us on our SEA GLASS journey through the Greek Islands.

Welcome aboard and see you soon!

Christeena

 

We made it through the long Winter!

Seems unbelievable that I have not written our blog since December and now Summer is a month away....

We are busy preparing for our largest show of the year (we only do two) in Lewes Delaware June 28th and 29th. If you have never visited Lewes it is a charming town with flowers in bloom and the scent of the ocean in the air.

The Mid-Atlantic Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival is an eclectic mix of sea glass lovers and designers, outside in the fresh air always a fun and successful day for us.

It is a time when we get to launch our new sea glass jewelry line as our pieces evolve and change constantly.  It is the same with our website, I bore easily and am always looking for new ideas and designs.

Hope to see you in Delaware and please come by and say hello!

Enjoy

Christeena

Below are just a few of our new designs

 

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Sea Glass Holiday Greetings

Don't the Holidays seem to come faster and faster each year?

They say as you grow older time flies faster and faster, well I am 55 now and cannot imagine the years going any faster than they are now!

Growing up in New Jersey Christmas meant a lot to me. We were lucky enough to be able to take the train to NYC to see the tree in Rockefeller Center every year and the Rockette's Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. Chilly days and snowy nights it was easy and fun to get into the spirit. Big thanks to world wide web where you can download a photo of anything including the tree in Rockefeller Plaza.

Now living in the Florida Keys has a lot of wonderful benefits, beautiful weather, sunny skies, fresh air and gorgeous turquoise waters. The only drawback is that none of these things have anything to do with Christmas. We have to work a little harder here to get into the spirit of the season.

But we do...We always have a fresh Christmas tree in our home even if we have to keep the air conditioning on to keep it fresh, we participate in boat parades and insist on wearing Santa hats and scarfs with our bathing suits.

The Christmas tree below filled with sea glass and starfish depicts our Christmas's these days.

From our Sea Glass Studio here at Sea Glass Jewels and Company we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Much thanks for your support and patronage during this year we could not continue to do what we love without you!

All the best,

Christeena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Design Using Sea Glass

So for our final chapter in the How to of Sea Glass we will discuss

How to Design Using Sea Glass. 

I consider myself very fortunate that my design talent is a gift.

I was born into a family of creative people and was allowed to express myself creatively as a child. I was a floral designer for many years with my own business, so the transition to sea glass designing came very to easy to me as I am totally self taught.

We all have a creative side within us, and of course art is interpretation so leave yourself open for creativity.

Maybe you love your sea glass and just want to display it in a cool bowl or container, this is a design in itself.

Perhaps you would like to become more serious and begin to drill your sea glass or wire wrap your sea glass for jewelry.

Drilling can be very tricky and I have found a link for you here to get you started

http://jewelrymakingjournal.com/drilling-beach-glass/

 

Jewelry Making Journal has some great articles and courses a great reference for beginner designers.

Maybe you are against drilling and would like to wrap your sea glass here is a simple video to get you started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Hnk3dJqs4

Of course the possibilities are endless with designing.

Make yourself aware and study colors, textures and balance.

It can take time and patience.  Do not be afraid to browse the web for ideas, and then make them your own.

All and all if you love your work it will show in the end product, so relax take a breath and get started!

This ends our How to Series please feel free to contact me at seaglassjewels@yahoo.com if you have any questions, I am very open to helping people that are looking to begin a career in sea glass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our drilled and hand wired sterling silver charm bracelets

 

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Determining the Value of Sea Glass

Continuing with

 "How to Series of Sea Glass" 

We will discuss how to determine the value of sea glass. 

By now you have collected, cleaned and sorted your sea glass, and you maybe wondering how to determine the value.  Color, shape, size and markings on the sea glass are big factors.

Sea glass is also priced by grade,

Jewelry grade = perfect pieces without chips and heavy frost

Craft grade = chipped pieces or not cooked without heavy frost

 

 

It is obvious rare colors such as red, orange and yellow are the most valuable. These pieces can demand hundreds of dollars.

 When producing these colors an element called gold chloride is used. It contains gold so naturally it makes these colors both rare and expensive.

These colors were never massed produced in the United States, hence making them a difficult find for the sea glass collector.

Marbles, bottle stoppers, insulators any glass object that is still in tact can also be in high demand and are valuable.

Blacks, depression glass (usually pastels), carnival glass, milk glass, multi color English sea glass are rare finds and can demand high prices.

Blue, turquoise, citron, peach, lavender, purple and aqua are also sought after pieces that can demand high prices. The list can go on, just keep in mind if the piece is perfect and without flaws it is considered valuable in today's market.

Because common colors as green, white and brown are still in mass production today it makes these pieces less valuable, but again some of these pieces maybe unusual shapes and sizes adding to the value.

To put an actual price on a piece of sea glass is really quite difficult.

There is not a set market in the world as with gems.

For some serious collectors as myself I have pieces in my private collection that are priceless to me...and I could never sell them.

If you are serious about selling your collection, my suggestion would be to surf the web and compare the prices of loose sea glass.

Now with jewelry designs with sea glass it is a whole different ball game.

Look for our next blog last of the series

"How To Design With Sea Glass"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

SOME OF THE FABULOUS PIECES OF SEA GLASS WE FOUND THIS SUMMER IN THE GREEK ISLANDS

How To Sort, Clean and Care for Sea Glass

Okay, so by now you have found your favorite hidden collecting spot for sea glass.

The next steps can be tedious for some, but the process is an important one.

Just stop and think about the sea glass that you have picked up. It really is trash no matter how we think of it.

If you are lucky enough you have found a dumping ground, or even a deserted beach where people run their dogs, or any beach for that matter the sea glass has had an unknown journey. So, with that in mind it is in need of a good disinfecting before you go any further.

We choose to use a bucket filled with white vinegar and a touch of water. Let the sea glass soak a minimum of 2 hours and then rinse with plain water.

The white vinegar is an inexpensive way to clean the sea glass naturally without any harsh detergents, and it works. You can find it in hardware stores in a gallon size or at your local grocery store.

For any tar or stains that I find on the sea glass I use Goo gone, a staple in our home it is a wonder product that you can also find in your local hardware store.

From there I sort right from the bucket so the glass is still wet when I begin the process. I sort onto a white towel to allow the sea glass to dry. I use white because now the color sorting will begin and the colors will show through on a white background.

We are fortunate to live in a place that has an abundance of sunshine all year long. You really need natural light to sort your colors properly, so find a place next to a window if you cannot sort outside.

This is where we all find our own comfort zone, as their is really no specific way to sort.

I personally start by colors, sorting them into piles, but pulling any unusual pieces out that have writing on them or that are really unusual.

Keep in mind I am a designer so I know that I will be using these pieces for my jewelry. So sizing will come next, pendant sizes, earring sizes and so on. Have you ever noticed how many triangles shapes there are? These have to be matched for earrings a very tedious process similar to doing a jig saw puzzle. From there I keep a large board with the matched pieces that goes on to the next process of drilling.

We will discuss this process further down the road in another how to blog.

At this point you may want to fill your favorite bowl or jar with your sea glass and just enjoy it!

For some, the frosted dehydration look of the sea glass is perfect. For others they may want to see a shinier finish. Try applying baby oil or baby lotion to your sea glass and it will leave the glass with a shiny finish.

Any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at seaglassjewels@yahoo.com

Our next how to blog will be determining the value of sea glass.

Sorting through sea glass colors

Sorting through sea glass colors

Sorting sea glass is a never ending task

Sorting sea glass is a never ending task

The How To's Of Sea Glass Series

Greetings,

My next few blog post will be a series of the how to's of sea glass.

Let's start at the begining

"How To Collect Sea Glass"

Any shore line will do, whether it be an Ocean, Sea, Lake or Bay.

So gather your beach towel, or your hat and gloves and let's take a stroll.

I know most of us enjoy walking and spending time on sandy white beaches.

Unfortunately, sandy beaches are not the best places to find sea glass.

An ideal location is an old garbage dump. Back in the day before restrictions, cities used the ocean to dump household refuge.

Check out the history of your local town and find out if there was ever was such a place.

Rough edged glass needs rocks or pebbles to act as a natural tumbler. This tumbling action smoothes the glass edges, resulting in the sea glass that we so acquire.

Wind and tides play a big part in successful collecting.

One of our best collecting places faces north, and when the wind is strong it will force the sea glass to the shore. These days are like hitting the jackpot.

Of course, after large storms when the sea is rough is an ideal time to collect.

Low and negative tides are ideal times to collect.

Here is a website with the tides for the entire world.

http://www.tide-forcast.com

If you live in an area that is brimming with people in the summer, it is worth your while to bundle up and hit the winter months when you have the beaches to yourself.

It is worth doing some research before you head out on the hunt.

All in all, sea glass collecting should be a fun and exciting day.

What else can you do that is free, rewarding, healthy with an almost medicinal quality?

Best of luck on your sea glass adventures!

Christeena



One of our collecting places in Greece, notice the pebbles on the beach.

One of our collecting places in Greece, notice the pebbles on the beach.

A small rocky shoreline in the Greek Islands, ideal for collecting.

A small rocky shoreline in the Greek Islands, ideal for collecting.

Next time:

How to clean, sort and care for sea glass

The Old and The New Year

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I guess for most of us the New Year is a time to reflect on the past year and start a new with resolutions, aspirations and goals.

As I reflect on 2012, the first thing that comes to my mind is how fast it flew by. And how things happen for a reason. I spent almost the entire summer on the New Jersey shore this year, the first time in over 10 years. Of course, not knowing what was to come by the end of October and that I would never see my beloved home state in the same way again.

But, I have also witnessed a lot of positive that has come out of it as well. So many people helping other people. It inspired us to design our Restore The Shore Pendant available on our website with part of the proceeds going to a wonderful organization.

www.shoresunited.com

Please check them out they are doing wonderful things.



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A close friend of mine started a Facebook page

Jersey Shore Gives Back

please check her page out, she is doing amazing things to help people through this tragedy.

So with the negative comes a swarm of positive and this is life.

Happy and Healthy New Year Everyone! Christeena

Our next few blogs will be a series of

"Sea Glass How To"

Christmas Memories

Born in the late fifties in New Jersey, my Christmas memories start in the 60's.


Traditions held strong in our family, I am the sixth of seven children. Our family home was on a dead end street on what had been an apple farm, in what was considered  a country bumpkin town at the time.

Life was magical, especially Christmas.

My oldest  brother was extremely talented and was studying Interior Design at the time. (He went on to have a fabulous career) We would wait with baited breath for our Mother's birthday to arrive on the 14th of December so the decorating could begin. And so it did, from a fake cardboard fireplace to Santa Clauses in every shape and size, to the manger with a crib that sat empty until Christmas Day.

The tree itself was never decorated until Christmas Eve. Coming from an Italian heritage my Mother would make the traditional seven fishes dinner.

The four younger children including myself  were sent to bed early with a promise that Santa would arrive in the morning. The other three would attend midnight mass returning home at 1:00am. We would then be awoken with cheers that Santa had arrived, and down we would come in the middle of the night to find bicycles, dolls, and every latest toy on the market.

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Imagine just how exciting this was for us. I feel fortunate and grateful that I have these memories.

Photo: Me and my siblings, Christmas 1961

These days my husband and I live in the Florida Keys at Christmas time. We have had to make our own traditions.

Far from the cold days of December, we attend boat parades, decorate palm trees and use shells and starfish for our tree ornaments.

Different yes, but no matter what age or where you are Christmas is still a magical time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Couldn't resist adding this sea glass wreath.

Couldn't resist adding this sea glass wreath.

Sea Glass; The Top 10 Reasons We Are Obsessed?

1.  Sea Glass is becoming rarer and rarer as plastic takes over the world,

and as humans we always want what we cannot have.

2. As a recycled product, sea glass is considered green and this is something that we all need to become more obsessed with.

3. Coastline people have always been beachcombers so they have been obsessed with collecting before green was in.

4. Sea glass has become quite the commodity, and money drives people to obsession.

5. For artisans, the obsession with sea glass lies in the love of working with a recycled medium in unusual colors and shapes.

6. Let's face it, sea glass collecting is not only good exercise but it is relaxing and rewarding.

7. The mystery and the history.

8. Everyone of us has a hoarder of some sort inside of us.

9. The idea of finding the ultimate piece, and then after we find it, just finding the next ultimate piece, and the next.....

10. It just makes us happy!

Photo: CH Minopetros 10/12

Photo: CH Minopetros 10/12


Reflection

I write this with a heavy and guilty heart knowing my family, friends, home state and our East Coast neighbors are suffering from the affects of Sandy.

We flew in from Greece that Wednesday to New Jersey and left quickly to return to our home in the Florida Keys to beat the hurricane. Which is ironic as the islands that we live on here in the Keys are usually the most vulnerable to hurricanes. Should we have stayed??

This has turned out to be the kind of tragedy that is just inconceivable. I have asked myself this week over and over has this really happened? The devastation is hard to comprehend.

I was born in New Jersey, and lived in the town on Sea Bright for 15 years. The thing that I loved about going back there was that Sea Bright was one of the few towns that had not changed since I was a child, as small fishing village with building restrictions.

That has all changed now. The town is unrecognizable.

I have memories from most towns and villages up and down the Jersey Shore. Our summers were spent on Long Beach Island, my Godmother lived in Seaside Heights and on and on.

Seeing the devastation on television here is just hard to comprehend.

They say things happen for a reason and this was the first summer in 13 years that I spent on the New Jersey Shore, I feel fortunate I got to see it for the last time.

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This is my old beach in Sea Bright. I took these pictures last August.

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I have spent a lot of time defending my state in the last 13 years, people just don't understand how really beautiful it is. And they will never understand just how strong people from New Jersey are. I have no doubt that they will rebuild their homes and lives.

But the sad thing is that if you have never experienced the Jersey Shore, you can just never understand how quaint and gorgeous it was.

With love and hope for all the people of the East Coast that have lost so much.

Christeena

The Elusive Red Sea Glass

Without sounding pretentious, this is the first year in thirteen that I have not spend the entire summer in Greece. We own a home here so we try and spend as much time as possible.

I will have in total, six coveted weeks in this beautiful country. Arriving in the fall is the  most lovely time of year here as far as I am concerned. The days are warm, nights are cool, the sky is a deep blue, the sea is warm and best of all the islands are empty.

A perfect time to collect sea glass.

So because I am biting at the bit to start collecting, we head out right away to one of our favorite islands, Paros. This is one of the only islands in Greece that you can drive around in a full circle without having a massive mountain in your way. With over twenty five beaches and plenty of coves this makes for a perfect collecting island.

One of the many beaches of Paros Island , Greece

One of the many beaches of Paros Island , Greece

Another gorgeous beach on the island of Paros, Greece

Another gorgeous beach on the island of Paros, Greece

After about an hour of collecting it must have been my lucky day. much to my delight I pulled this gorgeous piece of rare and perfect red sea glass out from under a stone lying on the beach.

A perfect piece of ruby red sea glass that I found last week in Paros Island, Greece

A perfect piece of ruby red sea glass that I found last week in Paros Island, Greece

Some days you just get lucky. If I had to guess, I would say that for every 10,000 pieces of sea glass we find one is red. That is just how rare red sea glass is.

We had my sister-in-law with us this week and I had to laugh cause it was her first time here collecting with us, and although she loves the beach she is not an avid sea glass collector. But she got the bug, and we had to drag her off the beaches a few times as she told me

"But I am just looking for that perfect piece".

My response

"Join the club I know the feeling".

See you next week,

Christeena

Genuine vs. Artificial Sea Glass

I have been wanting to write about genuine vs. artificial sea glass for a long time.

Last week someone forwarded an article to me from the web about using a cement mixer to make your own sea glass. This was not only appalling to me but I knew then more that ever it was time to write and publish this article.

With more and more people tumbling their own glass using more high tech methods, I feel it is important to educate the public about the difference between genuine and artificial sea glass.

 

As beautiful as this piece is this is ARTIFICIAL glass Notice there are no markings and you can see right through it

As beautiful as this piece is this is ARTIFICIAL glass

Notice there are no markings and you can see right through it

An old friend of my husbands gave him this large glass egg a few years ago, he said it was sea glass from Mexico. We knew right away it was not genuine sea glass.

GENUINE sea glass that we found in the Greek Islands, September 2011 Notice the crystallization, pitting and letter C's

GENUINE sea glass that we found in the Greek Islands, September 2011

Notice the crystallization, pitting and letter C's

This is genuine sea glass.

Glass is made with soda and lime. A hydration starts when the glass is tumbled in water for long periods of time. This will form a crystallization on the glass making it appear frosty. You will also notice like on the piece in the photo above the letter C in patterns.

A cement mixer or a tumbler cannot achieve this look, only mother nature herself can.

Holding the glass up to the light is a tell tale sign. If it is clear it is not genuine sea glass. If it is artificial sea glass you will be able to see right through it like the turquoise egg in the first photo.

As people get more and more devious about making their own tumbled glass and calling it sea glass you will have to be more and more careful who you are purchasing your sea glass from.

Price is one way to tell, if someone is selling it by the pound or kilo at a small price then you can assume it is fake. Beware of perfect square pieces especially if they are matching.

A rare piece of red sea glass can sell  upwards from $100-$300.

Sometimes, people question the authenticity of my sea glass because the pieces look so close in size and shape. What they do not know is that many many hours are spent matching the pieces and that most of the time it is an illusion because of the matching colors and sizes.


Make sure the person or company you are buying from are reliable sellers, do not be afraid to ask questions about the origin of the sea glass or when it was found. A true sea glass collector knows the answer to these questions.

Genuine sea glass has a certain feel to it. It is not actually smooth to the touch, and you can feel the frost.

I hope this has given you a little more insight on this subject. Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any more questions that you may have.


North American Sea Glass Festival

This past week The North American Sea Glass Association had their annual festival. The NASGA is an association dedicated to educating and providing a forum for sea glass enthusiasts from around the world. I have had a seat on The NASGA board for the last three years, and for me it just adds to the excitement of the weekend.

This year we chose Virginia Beach for our location. The VA convention center was a grand choice, a large venue with a friendly professional staff helping to make the festival happen, along with the vast amount of volunteers.

There is a certain thrill to be in the room with sixty other sea glass artisans. The thing that always amazes me is the eclectic creativity used with these gems that we find along shorelines around the world. The ideas are endless.

Thousands of people filled the convention center to come and admire and purchase our work. Most of them, what I affectionately call "sea glass freaks" and plenty of new people that are filled with curiosity and wonder about the history and mystery of sea glass.

As I recover from this years festival my sites are already set on next year.

For now, I have taken a six week journey to my favorite collecting country, Greece.

I have high hopes of replenishing my collection as you can never, ever have to much sea glass in your possession.



What I am hoping to find in the next six weeks here in Greece

What I am hoping to find in the next six weeks here in Greece

Greek Life

When I turned forty, fourteen years ago it hit me hard.

I had a good life, and a great career as a floral shoppe entrepreneur. But something was missing, I went to Greece by myself on vacation and there it was, the turquoise waters, and the clear blue skies, the people, and the relaxed way of life, it was just what I was dreaming of.

So, I sold my business packed up and moved to the island of Paros, Greece. Now most people think it was a brave or adventurous thing to do, I have never really looked at it that way. I was driven, and six months later I was lucky enough to meet my husband, a Greek sailing Captain.

I was also fortunate enough to have a lot of time on my hands, something I never had in my former life. This led to endless sunny days of beach combing. I have always been a beach comber, and when I started finding sea glass  on the island it was like hitting the lottery.

My husband had no idea what sea glass was. But he did have the sailors experience to know wind, and just about every little cove throughout the islands. He sure does know what sea glass is today, and has become an expert collector. He has sailed us to some of the most outstanding coves for collecting sea glass imaginable. Most of our prized pieces have come from the Greek Islands.

Today we split our time between Greece and The Florida Keys and the journey continues.



 

  

Turquoise waters in the Ionian Sea, Greece

Turquoise waters in the Ionian Sea, Greece

Cobalt sea glass with an apropos saying on the sea glass tile.

Cobalt sea glass with an apropos saying on the sea glass tile.