What to Do with All Those Shells?

So you’re back from the beach and have a huge shell collection. Now, what do you do with all those shells?

I love shells but I no longer have room to just store them. Plus, I’d like to look at them and enjoy them. Here’s a crafty way to make decorative use of them and bring the beach back with you.

This is my shell collection from last year. I assembled them in piles by type and they took up the entire dining room table.

Shell collection-1_on Art Is Everywhere

Shell Collection-2_on Art Is Everywhere

I saved all the small and various size scallop shells in the far left corner to make this decorative shell-ball accessory that can act as a paper weight but more importantly, I just like to look at it.

Shell decor_on Art Is Everywhere Shell decor weight on Art Is Everywhere

I then bought a small styrofoam flat wreath and started hot-glue-gun gluing the remaining shells onto it in a way that was visually appealing and allowed the more prominent and different kinds of shells to be seen and highlighted. I have this on my door now and it reminds me of fond memories of the beach even when I’m not there.

Shell wreath on Art Is Everywhere

You can even create air plants that look like jelly fish with dome-shape, top-shells. They house the air plants that you just mist to keep alive.

Shell Air Plants on Art Is Everywhere

Follow this Pinterest Beach Memories board for more shell ideas.

Other ways to bottle that serene beach feeling and keep it going throughout the year are keeping your photos up front and center by putting them onto a digital photo frame so they can rotate and you can continue to see them daily.

Early-Morning-Solitude on Art Is Everywhere

Early morning kayaking with still, still water with one seagull also enjoying the solitude.

Ocracoke Ducks_on Art Is Everywhere

Fishing — for ducks?

Ocracoke Pier_on Art Is Everywhere Beach-Path_on Art Is Everywhere https://www.ashley-spencer.com/ArtIsEverywhere/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Ocracoke-Dunes_on Art Is Everywhere Ocracoke beach dunes_on Art Is Everywhere Outerbanks Sunset Canal_on Art Is Everywhere Sunset Paddling_on Art Is Everwhere Ocracoke Sunset_on Art Is Everywhere

You can also turn some of your favorite photos into artwork via apps on your phone or your computer. This Prisma phone app turned a great kayak photo into something truly artworthy and frameable.

Beach Kayaks photo on Art Is Everywhere

Beach Kayaks photo turned into illustration on Art Is Everywhere

As an illustration

Beach Kayaks photo turned into art on Art Is Everywhere

Or a painting

When things get busy this fall, recall the peace and the calm of the beach and you’ll find some meditative power to refresh your energy.

RI Beach on AIE Beach Cairn on Art Is Everywhere

Kayak Movie_0775_AIE 

Click the link above to go to the video resource.

Kayak Movie_on Art Is Everywhere

Click here to see some other ways you can bring the beach back home.

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What the Doctor Ordered

A RHode Island Getaway

Now that I’m better and coming off my sick-leave, I had an opportunity to travel for an impromptu getaway to Rhode Island to visit family. It seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. It also seems like I’m not ready to give up the beach combing yet — just because it’s no longer summer.

It was right after the big marketing push for announcing new designs so I knew there would still be some work to do but I relished the opportunity to relax. We had Hurricane Matthew that is brewing in the tropics on our tail. We survived a harrowing drive all night in the rain where people were using their hazards because it was so difficult to see and trucks were spaying us with tire-mist and constantly coming in our lane.

Fortunately, my husband did all the driving and made reservations at a boutique hotel in Connecticut, just outside of New York City, right off the Merritt Parkway. This meant we only had 3 more hours to drive to RI and hopefully the morning would be better.

Don’t let the name or stark location fool you but the Hi-Ho is a pretty cool place, boutique indeed with its 70’s retro styling and Andy Warhol prints and Palomino pillows in the bedrooms. Old-fashioned phones and red high-top tables set the contemporary breakfast room decor. We had one of the best continental breakfasts with one of the staff making sure everything was fresh and filled and greeting all the guests warmly.

Hi-Ho Hotel on Art Is Everywhere Hi-Ho Hotel bedroom on Art Is Everywhere

hi-ho-bathroom-feature-wall_on Art Is Everywhere

Like this one wallpapered feature wall.

There was an interesting Barcelona wine bar/ restaurant to try that was attached to the hotel but we weren’t staying for dinner. We’ll have to go back! As it turns out, I believe this  is a chain restaurant and each location may make their own unique adaptations. At least when we want our Spanish-fare fix, we can go a little closer to us in Reston, VA, but may not be as good. The one at the Hi-Ho has cabanas and their own vegetable garden and their award-winning food looks exceptional. Another reason to go back. In fact, this may be our regular pit-stop on our way to RI. I’m glad we discovered it!

hi-ho-barcelona restaurant on Art Is Everywhere

Beach + Food + Family

We weren’t expecting the weather in RI to be in the 50’s! We mostly brought short-sleeved tops but layering with sweaters and jackets kept us warm while we attempted to catch fish in the surf. Although our luck wasn’t good, the striped bass were biting as others were more lucky catching them on the beach (and throwing them back).

We tried some new places for food, like 210 Oyster Bar & Grill as well as some old favorites, like Haversham Restaurant & Tavern right off Post Road (road to the beaches).

two-ten-oyster-bar_AIE

210-oyster-bar-inside on AIE

Where we ate inside overlooking Salt Pond

210-oyster-bar-aerial on Art Is Everywhere

210-oyster-bar-outside-front on Art Is Everywhere

Front “tiki” bar to try in the summer

clam-cakes_on Art Is Everywhere

Clam Cakes!

haversham-restaurant-exterior_aie

“The Sham” as locals affectionately call it

haversham-restaurant-interior_aie haversham-about_aie

We were happy to have clam cakes in the off-season and see Green Hill in a peaceful state as all the transplanted vacationers had mostly packed up for the summer and had gone back to their other New England homes. The residents, however, and those who have long-time connections to the area were enjoying the calm. Everyone was friendly and was waving hello as almost a code that suggested we all have something in common for being here.

Here are some of the photos from our trip. Our (left) side of the beach had all the sand this time but this will change as the currents shifts from year to year.

Our sandy left side of Green Hill beach_AIE

Our sandy left side of the beach

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The other — rocky and seaweed right side. Our beach usually looks like this.

Notice this change as you turn the corner on AIE

You notice this change as you turn the corner. (Photo Credit – The Rev. Peter Spencer)

Algae covered rocks on AIE

Algae covered rocks (at low tide) harbor lots of wildlife

mussels-and-snails on Art Is Everywhere

Mussels and Snails

One of our favorite days was the very last, when we spent time walking in the Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge. It’s right next door to these beach properties, which is wonderful that is protected from being developed and serves as a safe haven for many wildlife. In the summer, a big part of the beach is closed off in an attempt to protect the nesting grounds of the piping plover.

Trustom Pond on Art Is Everywhere

Right as we started walking on the first path by the field that leads you to the pond, we saw a bobcat — first time! Initially we thought it was a dog. It was sitting on the path looking at something (probably for dinner) in the clearing. Another couple coming our way walked around the corner and scared it but didn’t even realize it was a bobcat. They thought the strap on our binoculars was a leash and therein the bobcat was a dog. It simply turned around and walked into the woods. It was not very afraid but we picked up a large stick as we continued on our way.

One of our favorite spots walking back is the lily pad pod. This is where Peter caught a bullfrog and pretended to kiss it when our boys were younger. They were grossed out!

lily-pad-pond on Art Is Everywhere

Frogs are everywhere on AIE

Frogs are everywhere you look

Frogs are everywhere 2 on Art Is Everwhere

This time, we saw a beaver!

See the beaver in trustom pond on AIE

See the beaver?!

The pictures reflect for me the magic a much-needed break can bring. Getting back to Nature, sharing meals and the importance of spending quality time with family all leave lasting, life-sustaining memories.

Beautiful Skylit Boulders on Art Is Everwhere

Beautiful Skylit Boulders

Pear cherry tomatoes from our roof top garden to share on AIE

We shared our pear-shaped cherry tomatoes from our roof top garden.

Bird imprints left lasting impressions on window on AIE

Bird imprints left lasting impressions on the beach house window