The weather here in Northern Ireland is notoriously unpredictable, and usually cloudy and damp. This past week we’ve been very fortunate to have had a lot of sun and hot weather (hot for here, not hot compared to the Canadian Prairies).
We’ve been trying to make the most of it and soak up the vitamin D as much as we can.
It’s been extra special because my husband, Phil has been on holidays from work as well. We’ve been doing some fixing-up around the house and yard, but we’ve also managed to drive up to the beach this week for a barbecue lunch. Truth be told-I was the one who drove up. I’ve just begun driving again after a 12 year hiatus, and even after being here for 10 years, it’s strange being on the wrong side of the road…but that perhaps will be a story for another day.
I’m not much of a beach bum for several reasons, but I enjoyed the day with my family around me. I even took the children down near the water for a little wander. While we were there we picked up a few shells to bring home with us. We have a rose bowl that we have been filling with shells from our beach barbecues over the past few years, but this time we decided we would do something a little more artistic with them. We became more inspired after also visiting The Gallery Whitehead over the weekend and seeing some shells Cynthia Waddell had painted.
Some shells are pretty and shiny and get all the limelight, but we have chosen to turn a broken, not-so-pretty shell into a beautiful sea shell necklace. It was surprisingly easy to do, even for my young children, and it will make a lovely keepsake of our trip to the beach with Daddy.
Kallista and I took out some acrylic paint and a brush and began painting the shells. I painted the broken one, and Kallista painted another one that we are attempting to turn into a barbie doll hat. We are having a little trouble with this at the moment, but we will let you know more about it once we make the appropriate adjustments.
We let our painted shells dry out in the sun before adding a layer of varnish over the paint for durability. Once that had dried Kallista chose some decorations for her hat and Tristan chose some gems for my sea shell necklace. Here you can see my design on the concave side of the shell and Tristan’s design on the convex side of the shell.
I looped some waxed cord through the shell and tied a knot in the ends to hold it all in place. That was it! Now I have a beautiful sea shell necklace full of family memories…if I can ever get it around my neck…it does look lovely on Kallista as well!
This little craft was also part of Red Ted Art’s Google+ hangout this week. You can see a YouTube recording of it here. There were many other fantastic contributors with terrific crafts all made from shells.
- Red Ted Art showed us how her children have used shells as little beds for Lego figures. She also shared how to make crab and turtle fridge magnets.
- Kids Chaos shared how the grandparents and grandchildren came together to make artistic scenes with watercolours and shells.
- The Imagination Tree made shell imprints into salt dough which give youngsters lots of opportunities for learning.
- Zing Zing Tree shared several ideas: fairy cups, lollipop people, a barnacle bracelet, a hair clip, and some hanging decorations.
- Domestic Goddesque showed the results of using shells for printing on paper that makes personal gift wrap, and then turned those shells into a picture frame. Great to see things re-purposed!
If upcycled jewellery interests you, try these: A Garden Stone Pendant, a Puzzle Piece Brooch, and a Paper Bead Bookmark. And check out our summer fun and diy jewellery pages, as well as our nature activities for kids page for more ways to get kids excited about all things nature..