Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Sanity Space- Project Beach Combing- Making Your Own Mini Beach memory jar!

For a while now I have been thinking of having guests contribute to the blog, to add a new dimension to Henibean... and seeing as I haven't done a "Sanity Space" project for a while I have asked a friend of mine to do one instead. Rebecca writes her own blog called Roses and Rolltops (http://www.rosesandrolltops.co.uk) and it's "full of of interior inspiration, floral love, weddings, travel and food ❤". She has some amazing project on there and so today she is going to share with you a really cool idea which links in very nicely with  the "Making memories and traditions" posts I've previously put up.http://henibean.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/making-memories-and-traditions-no-1.html
So without further waffle I will hand you over to the very capable Rebecca to tell you all about it.

A couple of Easter's ago, my family, Ben and I went to Florida for nearly three weeks and had the best time ever. The beaches are so beautiful out there and you can find some real gems. Today I wanted to talk about making memory jars from some of the shells and amazing sand dollars we found there. Beach-combing is like a national sport in Florida where people come from all over the world for it's shells. We visited for the sunshine but the shells were a bonus and we've used some of the ones we bought home in this project ...  it makes me think back on the memories from that amazing holiday. 

Florida beaches are known for the best shells, both in abundance and variety, in America because of it's geography with the Gulf of Mexico and shape of the seabed. We stayed on Marco Island and were a five minute bike ride to Tigertail Beach, one of the best for shelling and finding sand dollars in the country. Ben and my Mum share my love of shells so we would leave my dad and brother fishing and walk for miles along the seashore looking for treasure. 

The sand dollars were my favourite and unlike any shells I've ever seen before.   They're so pretty with an almost flower/star shape etched into them. They can be quite hard to spot as they're often lodged or hidden under the sand but between the three of us we managed to find quite a few to bring home.  Some people have huge bags full of dollars after a morning on the beach... It can get really addictive. 

There were lots of your 'traditional' seashell too, round ones, fluted shells, conch shells, big, small, coloured, sparkly, smooth, you name it. 

The best time to go out looking is at low tide, but we spotted them all day long when we were walking along the shore/sunbathing/going in and out of the sea. There really were an abundance. We were careful though not to take any live shells, which are animals, and only take our favourites home. Removing live shells from Florida's beaches is a criminal offence and can damage the eco-system.

Back at our villa we washed our shells and let them dry in the sunshine for a couple of days. Some people bleach their sand dollars in a clorox mixture before letting them dry to toughen them. We wrapped them super carefully in shoe boxes and kitchen roll to bring them home to England. As well as our beach combing finds, there was a gorgeous interior's shop on Marco Island that sold shells and  they had some cute jars made up with sand, starfish and shells.... so I decided to make my own when I got home. I bought a mixture of shells for it, some more sand dollars, starfish, twirly pearlescent shells and again carefully wrapped them to travel back safely. 

We bottled some of the white Floridian sand up to bring back too and set about making our own mini beach jars as soon as we got home. 

I had a big glass jar from H&M and a smaller Mason jar bought back from Florida. We put a layer of sand at the bottom, you could do as much or as little as you like and then placed a few shells in the sand. Think about which angle your jar will face so as to arrange them in the best way to see them all.

I tied some brown string around one of the jars but really they look just as good plain. They now sit in our bathroom to add a bit of decoration and  to remind me of the beach trip.

Have you got any seaside trips coming up? Do you like beach-combing? If so why not have a go at making your own beach jar to remind you of your holiday or day trip this summer? If you don't go to the beach you could always use a different theme. Be creative and have fun.

R <3 xx 

Thank you Rebecca, they look amazing! You have inspired me to make another jar this year to add to the one I have in my bathroom (below). I like looking for heart shaped stones wherever I go ...they remind me of all the fun outings and places I have visited....so now I have a mission to find some more! (I think the white Florida sand looks so much nicer than fish tank gravel in mine!!)

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