Search This Blog

Friday, November 13, 2015

Beachcombing Around the World ❤︎ The Story behind Wandering Mermaid Sea Glass and Seashells

Believe it or not, all the seashells and sea glass I use in my bottles and other items in my ETSY shoppe were collected by ME from all over the world! I never buy any shells or sea glass and I believe that keeps the magick in my bottles and makes every piece I create all the more special! 

Beautiful sea finds from my collection

I try to organize by sea treasures, but it is difficult!

My box of seashells I use for works of art

I always pack up my beach-combing treasures
inside a zip-lock bag and label it so I know where
it is from.

Lots of shells, glass an treasures from the sea ❤︎
Here is a world tour of my beach combing!

My favorite place in England to collect both sea glass and seashells is in Falmouth, where I spend time every summer.  Last summer I spent a lot of time at Porthtowan, which I loved and found some great shells! 

Porthtowan, England

Porthtowan Beach

Unfortunately, while strolling the beach looking for seashells and glass,  I also found a lot of jellyfish!

Lots of jellyfish washed up on the beach made
beach-combing a tricky stroll along
the sea's edge

But the quaint little beach town was adorable and very beachy. I loved it.

Some great finds after a day of beach-combing!

I always have good beach combing success at Swanpool Beach, where I find very tiny pieces of sea glass, which are my favorite.

Swanpool Beach

And Swanpool is also great because they have nice beach snacks and a fun mini-golf course we ALWAYS stop at!

We always have a big group and play some mini-golf before
we leave for the day.

In the mini-golf course, there is a large water trap! -which is
actually a little sea inlet across the street from the beach.

A deal!

I love the little beach huts and always take time to sketch them
in my journal.
Swanpool as the sun goes down.

Stopping to have tea and a snack with my son before
heading home from our long day at the beach ❤︎


Heading north we always spend a day or two at Whitby, a magickal and mysterious beach town infamously known as the place that Dracula lived when the ship he was traveling in from Romania docked at Whitby Harbour.

Because the beach at Whitby is well visited, it is a bit difficult to do much beach combing, but the sea treasures I find always seem to be magickal!

Last summer, we had a few weeks in Scotland where I found a bounty of seashells and sea glass on just about every beach I visited

A mermaid work-of-art at a gallery in a small
town in Scotland near Argyll

An all day visit to Ostel Bay proved full of great beach-combing!  

Ostel Bay
Taking all my beach-combing treasures back to the house
after a long day at the seaside.  I spread them all out to
 dry for a few days. A big job!
I always pull out a few of  my favorite pieces to keep for myself and
add to my special collections. I particularly love sea glass
in the shape of a heart, like the dark green piece on the
far left side.
Trips to Tighnabruaich and Lochgilphead were fabulous too! 

Drying out more shells from a day out
beach-combing ❤︎

Venus Bay, Australia
When I lived in Australia, our friends had a beach house in Venus Bay, and I LOVED going there. The beach-combing was amazing and that is where I collected hundreds of little spiral shaped shells that have unique stripes on them. I love these!

I collected hundreds of these tiny spiral shells when visiting Venus Bay.
I love the way they have unique striped markings on them.


Whenever I am in Northern California, I like to visit Mendocino and go to Sea Glass Beach, of course! It’s an amazing beach, very blustery and almost always windy and cold, but I bundle up, get on my hands and knees and start collecting some of the amazing sea glass that washes up there!

Stinson Beach

I have to say the most exciting beach-combing find for me is coming across a perfect sand dollar. They are so delicate, it is nearly impossible to find one whole and undamaged.  Last year on my birthday, I was staying at Stinson Beach for the weekend and found several small sand dollars while strolling along on the beach at twilight. Sand Dollars are so special, I almost never use them for my works of art. I love them too much to part with them!

Lucky Sand Dollars from Stinson Beach

Spending half my life on the beaches  of Malibu and Pacific Palisades, I know the beaches well and where to find the best beach shells and glass. 

Malibu Pier

I almost never visit the beaches during the busy summer, but when autumn arrives and the beaches empty of visitors from around the world, I am there strolling on the sands collecting treasures from my favorite beaches.

A good days work!

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

On my last trip to Hawaii we visited the island of Oahu, and I have to admit I did not have a very successful time beach-combing. When I used to go there years ago there were lots of amazing shells, glass and lava rocks, but the islands are so crowded now, most of the beaches are well picked over.

The best places to find sea treasures in Hawaii is in
secret hideaway coves.
On Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai, I have several secret, out of the way spots that are just little look-out spots or places to sit and watch the sunset, and those are the places I find the best shells and sea glass when I visit Hawaii. But there is a warning!!--It is thought that Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, gets angry if you take any beach treasures from the islands, and will bring bad luck to you if you take anything! 

My Studio

I do my best to organize my shells by color and design


About Me

My photo
I grew up on the beach in Malibu, California and began traveling to Europe at a young age. Although my heart belongs to the sea and life at the beach, I loved the history and old-world feeling of Paris and London compared to my sunshine filled beach life at home. I often found myself searching through antique stores and vintage shops during my travels in Europe. Dusty leather bound books, prints, vintage handbags, and old apothecary bottles were my favorite things to collect. After attending colleges in California, Hawaii and England I graduated with a degree in illustration and I planned to become a children's book illustrator, but then I took a course on bookmaking and letterpress at Otis College of Design in Los Angeles and I began making my own books. As my handmade book collection grew I decided I really wanted to recreate more of the beautiful antique books and other things I remember finding in the little shops in Europe and that's when WANDERING MERMAID was born. I like to think of my ETSY shop as the mysterious little vintage shop you find down a hidden alleyway . You never know what you will find ❤