Wednesday, June 23, 2010


No matter where I travel -- this time it was around England and Scotland -- it always feels good to be home again. (village of Avebury)

My itinerary included London, Bath, York, Peebles and Edinburgh.
(Cricket in Bath)

I spent time with my British cousins, attended several classical and world music concerts, saw Shakespeare's Henry VIII at the Globe Theatre and stayed in a Scottish castle.
(The Globe )

I also enjoyed all sorts of fabulous food-- everything from traditional British cookery to trendy Scottish cuisine, Indian curries to Moroccan tagines.(Potted shrimp at Castle Venlaw)

I have lots more wonderful photos and royal decorating tips to share but you'll have to be patient, because today is Waterside Wednesday...
(ruins along the English coast)

And today's post is about sea glass.(©2010 Celia Pearson)

Sea glass is one of nature's semi-natural wonders. It begins its existence as a man-made bottle, plate, jar, marble or stopper before being tumbled by the tides and transformed into a treasure coveted by beachcombers the world over.
(©2010 Celia Pearson)

In 2004, photographer Celia Pearson collaborated with Richard LaMotte to produce the book, Pure Sea Glass. LaMotte, an avid sea glass collector and board member of the North American Sea Glass Association studied over 30,000 pieces of glass to create his definitive history and rarity scale. And Pearson's photos conjure the excitement surrounding water-washed glass.

The book (along with notecards, posters of a dozen illustrations from the book, including the cover photo, and an identification deck of cards) may be purchased from Pearson's fine art sea glass prints can be ordered from

(©2010 Celia Pearson)

For those who love the thrill of the chase, collecting sea glass by walking at water's edge is the only way to go. But, those who want a shortcut can gather beach glass online. Tiny shards, chunks and bobbles are often available on eBay. is the place to shop for seaglass jewelry and home goods embellished with glass. Do-it-yourselfers can frequently score pre-drilled pieces ready for crafting, too.

Jewelry artist Jean Forman of Lucky Sea Glass ( says its harder than ever to find gem quality sea glass.

Although sea glass can be found along almost every shoreline, I recently learned about two locations that are particular paradises for glass lovers.

The first is Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California. The story of how three protected coves came to be blanketed with sea glass is the stuff of legends involving brothels, earthquakes and town dumps. Lisa D Walker tells the intriguing tale in her book Glass Beach (available at

The second heavenly destination for glass afficionados is England's North Sea coast. Lisl of Out of the Blue Jewelry ( sources gorgeous glass that can be traced back more than a century. It comes from a Victorian era glass factory that discarded its surplus and scraps into the North Sea. To learn more, try the link below.

I'll be featuring more about sea glass next WATERSIDE WEDNESDAY. Stay tuned.


On Thursday July 8th I will be the featured guest on the Washington Post's Home Front live chat with Jura Koncius. Please join us with your waterside decorating questions and comments. One lucky chatter will win an autographed copy of my book Waterside Cottages.


Blondie's Journal said...

The picture of Glass Beach is amazing!! I'm sure the book is interesting. I don't have any sea glass, I guess I haven't been in the right spot! lol! Would love to have a pretty jar of it for the lakehouse. I am starting to decorate with more seaside things.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your visit to England and Scotland.


Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

It sounds like you had an amazing time on your vacation!

I love sea glass. I have never actually found any while walking on the beach. Maybe someday I will get to those two beaches you mentioned.

NeereAnDear said...

So beautiful... cant wait to see your treasure trove of gorgeous photos from your trip....

As for sea glass.. it is so heavenly.... I love the vast array of colors.... from the darkest dark to the palest pale....

Will look forward to next weeks sea glass Wednesday...

Thank you for the history of how it all came about....


BonnieRose said...

Collecting sea glass can become an obsession.. I hv but a few pieces, and those pics of glass beach are amazing! Thks for sharing with us! Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Diane Hutchinson said...

We've been collecting sea glass for 25 years along the New Jersey coast...It's so exciting when you spot that glistening gem! I love your photos.

SToNZ said...

Wonderful images here!
Those beaches look like candy stores to me...
I manage to find some nice pieces on Lake Erie, but it certainly has gotten more difficult in recent years, now that plastic bottles are more common.

I make jewelry with seaglass and also beach stones which you can see here:


Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

The trip and the book look amazing!
Thanks for stopping by today - in answer to your question, I order the 3 by 3s at They do not crop your image in any way as most digital providers do. I just started using them, and so far am pleased with the results.

Elyse said...

beautiful post, barbara, from start to finish!

happy weekend ~


Lisa @celebrate CREATIVITY said...

The sea glass is glorious. So pretty.

Congrats on your upcoming live chat too.

Enjoy your weekend.

Roberta said...

Wow Barbara! Informative post. Pic of the ruins on the coast is absolutely STUNNING! Glass Beach here I come......xo

simpledaisy said...

What a beautiful place to visit!!!
I too love seaglass!! There is so much you can do with it....but I have to admit I usually just purchase faux seaglass:)
Still pretty I think!!

Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

Wow, love the pictures. So calming.

Beach Vintage said...

The food looks fabulous.