Night Walk

We can’t help ourselves…we took a nice walk on the beach and had to stop to check out the treasures on the beach.  We have been finding all sorts of interesting pieces this year and it has become so much fun for everyone.

Checking out the treasures on the beach!

Checking out the treasures on the beach!

Stones, Beach Glass and ICE!

From The VAEL Designs Blog:

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in NJ but it was COLD! I do not believe it went above freezing yesterday and if it did, it was brief and only a few degrees. We decided to take a drive down to the shore to check up on things and see the beaches and if there were any treasures waiting to be found. We were quite surprised to see a bunch of folks walking on the beaches as the wind just went right through you. First we started at the bay side:

Ice that looed like broken glass from a distance

The wind whipped right through you if you walked the wrong way and at the waters edge looked like there was a ton of sea glass. After closer inspection, I found that it was little pieces of ice that were forming as the waves hit the cold sand. I decided to continue to walk down the beach as it was pebbled covered, to see if there was anything worth while. The first thing I saw was a piece of green beach glass just waiting to be picked up:

Green Beach Glass on The Bay Beaches in Cape May County

My ears started to feel like they were about to fall off from the wind, so I have to remember next time to bring a hat or ear muffs when it is that cold out. Sometimes even in the spring the wind is so chilling that you need something to cover your ears, so imagine below freezing weather with a nice strong wind hitting you in the face! Before I turned around to go back, I saw something sparkling in the sun:

Cape May Diamond Shining in the Sun

Hard to see in this picture but there was a nice clear Cape May Diamond in the center of the picture next to another semi-translucent Cape May Diamond. When they are dry, they look slightly frosted but still let the sun light through as they are transparent and it catches your eye! Sometimes at sunset you can see them better because they look like glowing stones. After this nice find I headed back to a warmer place but not before noticing that further down the beach the foam I thought was the foam from the waves was actually all ice:

Ice Foam on the Bay in Cape May County

That was all I needed to see to head back home to warmth! Spring cannot come come soon enough!

Authentic Beach Glass

Over the weekend we visited a craft like fair that had commercial businesses and crafters alike showing off their finest products.  I always gaze around and take a peek at what everyone has to offer as you never know what you can find at shows like this.  One thing that caught my eye was someone selling authentic beach glass jewelry.  Of course I was there in a heart beat to see what beautiful creations they had made.  But that is when I noticed something very odd, there was an over abundance of rare and unusual colors like opaque light green (many pieces of the exact same color), red, yellow, pieces that were red going to yellow (like striped) and blues in all sorts of hues.  Each piece was satiny soft and perfectly matte with no chips yet selling relatively cheap for authentic beach glass.  Every piece we find normally is a bit coarse with the c or s shaped markings on it.   I started to think, what are we doing wrong that we cannot find beautiful pieces like this?  We spend summer after summer searching the beaches for perfect pieces of beach glass and we rarely come across unusual colors and many times if we do find a piece that has an unusual color, it is chipped or not tumbled all the way.  But that is just the way nature works, it cannot all be perfect.

So how did this crafter do it?  Have you seen this before??  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Sea Glass in Abundance!!


Bluish White Sea Glass!

Bluish White Sea Glass!

This weekend when we did our normal walk down the beach, we had to walk a different direction because the beaches were closed off by the Nature Conservancy for birds, specifically Red Knot birds, eat the horseshoe crab eggs who are mating at this time of the year.  So we headed north instead of south and the strong tides were pushing the horseshoe crabs in hundreds on to the beaches.  But also with this push was a ton of beach glass!  As we walked up the beaches initially we did not see much, however as the tide continued to come in, with every wave it seemed like there was a piece of beach glass getting “pushed” ashore for us to find!  We were even pleasantly surprised to find a piece of bluish white opaque sea glass.  I personally have never found a piece of white beach glass so we certainly were quite happy to find this piece!


Now I never expected this festival to get this close to NJ but now that it is, we are definitely going there this year!  The North American Sea Glass Association is hosting their Sea Glass Festival on October 8th & 9th 2001 in Long Branch, NJ.

2011 North American Sea Glass Festival
Ocean Place Resort and Spa, Long Branch, NJ
Saturday, October 8th from 10:00 – 6:00
Sunday, October 9th from 9:00 – 5:00

For more information, please see the North American Sea Glass Association website.

Collecting Beach Glass in New Jersey

Cape May Beach GlassFrom April 2011 from the VAEL Designs Blog:
Maybe because the flowers are starting to poke up out of the ground up here, but I get the sense spring is definitely around the corner, even if the weather is not. Last weekend, we took a trip down to the Cape May area and could not resist a walk down the beaches in search of beach glass. Call me crazy, but even with my ears feeling like they were going to fall off and my nose completely numb from the harsh wind and cold, I still felt the need to beach comb looking for those little treasures lurking in the cold shore line. We had to be extra careful not to get wet or I think our feet may have froze to the sand but it was well worth the trip as it has been a long winter. I am counting the hours to when we will be able to freely walk down the beach without the need to wear 3-4 layers of clothes and fear that our face might stay bright red from the cold forever.

It is always a game we play who can find the first piece of glass on our walks and this time I was the lucky one finding a nicely tumbled piece of brown beach glass. Although there was a lot of “sea trash” on the beaches, we were able to collect a few nice

Coca Cola Beach Glass

Coca Cola Beach Glass

pieces of glass and then some to be desired. Not all sea glass that we find is actually usable to make jewelry as we are very selective to make sure that the glass has a nice tumbled appearance. Then we make sure that the pieces we select do not have any large chips that detract from the beauty of the glass. Recently though, we have been finding some interesting pieces that are on the bigger side and not as well tumbled as we would like, but they certainly do tell a story. Some have had flower patterns on them, some from the old style Coca Cola bottles and others from what we are guessing are various beers!

Flower Patterned Beach Glass

Regardless of the patterns, there are some beautiful pieces we have found over last summer and our most recent trip. These pieces are sitting on my work bench waiting to be made into jewelry all winter long and now they will get the attention they deserve! Keep an eye out on our Cape May Jewelry line for new and exciting pieces as I will post them as soon as we have them ready to sell. I sense some new beach glass earrings on the way too!

It is always a challenge to find a unique color of beach glass.  Traditionally what we find along the NJ shoreline are browns, greens and clears and the occasional light blue glass.  Any other color is definitely a rarity to find and we often get very excited to find that piece of cobalt blue, even if it is just a little sliver!  As we walked the beaches this weekend, we happened to stumble upon a piece of beach glass that we have personally never found, a piece of dark yellow beach glass.  I have never seen this color before and could not even imagine what kind of bottle or item this may have come from, but it is definitely a treasure to find!  Its much lighter than the traditional amber color beach glass and I cannot seem to get a good picture without it looking dark so we will keep trying.  But it was so exciting to find a color we never have before!

Another Great Blog All About Sea Glass

I was surfing around the internet looking for interesting tidbits or creative items people have created with sea glass.  I came across a very informative site by Odyssey Sea Glass.  The website is chuck full of information about sea glass.  You can find a color chart, sea glass rarity information and best collecting areas giving you specific beaches from coast to coast.  They are also hosting a really cool sea glass photo contest of the month seen here!

Surfing around the internet, I found that there is a group called the North America Sea Glass Association and they share the same appreciation of sea glass as I do!  They have a festival this year in Erie PA on October 17th and 18th called the North American Sea Glass Festival.  If you are in the Erie, PA area and want to go to the festival, details are below:

2009 Sea Glass Festival – Erie, Pennsylvania
Saturday, October 17, 10 AM until 6 PM
Sunday, October 18, 10 AM until 5 PM
in Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center

Admission is $5.00 per person.  –  Children 12 years and younger admitted free.

Wristband is good for admission to the festival on both Saturday & Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

As a kid, I walked along the shoreline with my family looking for treasures at the beach. We actually coined it “hunting” for tumbled glass because we were so intrigued by the various different colors that turned up on the beaches. I remember one time a big hunk of light blue glass with a hole in it turned up on the beach. We were told it was some kind of insulator used back in the day for electricity but boy was it beautiful!

Over the years we kept the collection of beach glass going, ranging in all sorts of different colors. The prized color was always that dark blue which was so rare to find on the beaches. I do have to say that every time I walk on the beach, my eyes are STILL glued to the ground just searching and searching for those specks of green, frosty white and brown.

As our collections grew, we decided to get creative in our use of the found sea glass. My father started to make wind chimes and tumbled glass votive holders. I decided to start creating jewelry with our collection.

I would love to hear what you make with sea glass and I would be more than happy to feature a blog entry about your creation!