I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

So, okay, I am celebrating Earth Day, after washing all my windows with environmentally safe cleanser....

by hiding indoors from a huge thunderstorm! The Earth is talking back, right? Making its feelings known with a little tantrum just for us here at the beach.

I was out walking, after my stint of spring cleaning, admiring the wind, waves, and beach treasures from recent storms. And suddenly I took a good look at the sky and thought, Oh wow, it is almost May. That might be a thunderstorm. And I scampered home just ahead of the lightning, so dangerous to anyone walking on an open beach.

I love the odd green color of the waves that is often seen before a thunderstorm.

I consider myself a recycle, upcycle artist...incorporating vintage fabrics, found objects, antiques, and beach-combed treasures into my designs.

What would I use for my collages if there was no flotsam and jetsam on my beach? Is there a line between good trash and bad.....?

I have a dear friend who is a far better recycler than I am. And when she comes to visit me at the beach and we go for a shoreline hike, I know I must bring a trash bag, as she will energetically pick up every bit of trash she finds.

And I respect that. But there I am with my Swiss Army knife and canvas tote, pockets full of my found treasures, recycling stuff in a positive, re USE-ing way.

Both points of view work for me. I want to find shells and seaglass and driftwood,

...not yogurt cups and tampon applicators (the worst! why has no one targeted that industry!?!).

Recently I've found unusual items----a small signal flag or pennant; a round nail keg lid. And today I salvaged a bunch of colorful beads from a mess of fishing line. Perhaps they and the rest of my beach beads will decorate a quilt someday?

Then we have the large---huge, really---wads of nets and rope that appear each winter. An artist featured in Coastal Living, Pam Lombardi, has made it her art form to document these weird travellers!http://www.coastalliving.com/lifestyle/people/coastal-hero-pam-longobardi-00400000064091/

This week a grey whale was autopsied on the West Coast: scientists aren't sure yet why the whale died but its stomach was full of plastic trash bags, balloons, a surgical glove!---even a golf ball. Is that not so sad?

I recycle, of course. This trash here, that kind there...and then it floats back to shore from where it is dumped?
Often seems that way.
And when I ship my treasures from my etsy or eBay shops, I try to use recycled boxes and re-used bubble wrap. I am "famous" in my family for my reused, carefully ironed tissue paper and plastic bags---saved from the drycleaing and other wrapping sources.

This Saturday is our local Clean Up the Marshes Day--- Isn't it beautiful! No wonder the first colonists to our Eastern shores saw the wetlands as pasture and grazing sites.

The storm has passed now---the rain remains. Mother Earth is weeping.....

Save our Earth and Oceans! Please help!




  1. This is a perfect Earth Day post, Lizzy. I am in awe of the way you reuse and recycle. And I am so sad about what they found in the autopsy of the whale, just terrible. Because I don't live near any coast, I am not always aware of these things and I so appreciate you enlightening everyone with your posts.


  2. Hi Jane! I've lived at the beach all of my adult life,but I'm a midwestern girl by birth. I still miss the endless rolling corn fields and the pebble filled streams and the birds and wild creatures. And I think my love of re-using was born on those trips to the junk yards as my dad rebuilt cars and afternoons watching him dig antique bottles from 1800s farmers' dumps. I believe that life and nature are special everywhere, if we take the time to see and enjoy and cherish.

    Thank you for writing to me!




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