Broken Shells and Redemption 

Why do I use broken shells? To be honest, it took me 46 years to appreciate broken shells. I am a perfectionist when it comes to myself. I hold my self and the things I do artistically to an impossible standard. So, if I were to use shells they could only be perfect! Broken ones were useless.

The perfect shell.


Enter Redemption… 
It can mean so much to so many people. I was reminded of redemption in the strangest place. 

I was walking along the beach, the conditions weren’t that picturesque, matter of fact they were darn right nasty. Tons of June grass (technically it’s algae) and slugs littered the surf line, biting flies and the smell was horrible. It was just gross all the way around. But, I love the beach. It is my sanctuary, my free therapy. And, as most beach lovers know, a bad day at the beach beats any day at home. Anyways, I was walking the beach and picking up shells. It was while I was picking shells out of dried up, stinky, dead slug infested ‘seaweed’ when I was struck with a huge personal revelation. It happened as I for the umpteenth time picked up what I thought was a perfect shell, only to clean it off, turn it over, and find it broken. Thats when it hit me square in the face…. redemption.

I am that shell. Covered in disgusting filth, but I have been picked up, cleaned off, and turned over. Have you ever really looked at a broken shell? There is beauty in that brokenness. You can see the heart of whats inside that is usually hidden beneath that shell. Some of the broken edges are sharp and jagged, but then there are parts that are so polished they shine! Those qualities juxtapose each other and offer artistry that only nature can create. So, while the world can look at a broken shell and only see a broken shell, I am reminded of the beauty and worth that redemption gave me. Looking deep beneath that shell to realize that I am loved, cherished enough to be made flawless in my own brokenness.

Beauty in Brokenness


So all that lead me to this 


It is the first of many projects that will feature or include broken shells.  I am excited and look forward to what is to come. 

Have a wonderful day guys… 

You can find me on Etsy and Facebook.  

Until next time! 

Heidi 

Sometimes Things Just Happen

This little guy is one of them.  


There are days I really have no idea what will come off my finger tips.  I was toying around in my studio with some materials that were laying around. Next thing I know, this happened.  I thought it was cute and decided “Why not?” So I made a barrette. 

My family has a fondness for sea turtles so that might be why I enjoy this piece so much.  We almost always see sea turtles when we SCUBA dive. But most importantly, sea turtles connect us to my nephew Braxton. He got his angel wings about 13 years ago.  We think of him with every sea turtle sighting. 

My Etsy store has this listing.

Have a blessed weekend guys! 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! 

NO! Not Christmas! MARDI GRAS! I have come to love this southern tradition. I’m not sure when or why my love for it started, but I do know that I look forward to it every year.
Many years back we were invited to our first Mardi Gras party. I had always heard of such things as a child growing up but never attended such a gathering. Our host spent the entire morning working on his homemade gumbo. I’m talking the “honest to God, he spent 30 minutes making the roux” kinda gumbo. I knew in that moment this was serious business. I made and brought a king cake (of course it had a baby in it… no baby = glorified cinnamon cake with tri-colored icing). As the other guest filtered in and the party started I “got” it. I was hearing the song of my people and I instantly fell in love with the celebration of Mardi Gras.

Since then I have learned its history and traditions. Living along the gulf coast of Florida and Alabama (and having a fondness for New Orleans) it became second nature. Best part is I can keep my house colorful and bright after Christmas. (In THIS house we use POUNDS of beads to decorate with… all or course from several parades throughout the gulf coast region) This plethora of beads inspired some handmade decorations around my own home.

This piece came to me as I was hanging said beads around the house. I asked my husband if he would mind me cutting some up. He was cool with it and I created this:

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Mardi Gras Bead Art


I fell in love with it as it came long. With each bead I glued down I got more and more excited. no photos will ever do it justice! It sparkles, it shines, it screams “MEMORIES!” We have celebrated with many a friend over the years and since we acquired a second home in a city that celebrates Mardi Gras even more good times roll! I cherish those friends and the time we spent together clawing and fighting over beads. The laughter and the stories we can now share.

All of that lead me to make this:

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I found the blank wood cutout in a craft store after Mardi Gras and HAD to have it. I was originally going to glue beads to it. I could see the finished product in my head. I stopped short of gluing the beads on because I knew that adding the beads would be a mistake. It looked fantastic at this junction. I bought two because I knew that I would want one for my own home. I was NOT wrong. I can’t wait to hang it’s twin up once the Christmas tree comes down! Let’s be honest! I am half tempted to keep it hanging all year round. It really does look that good!

You can find it here:

Taste of my Crazy Life Etsy

At some point in the further I’ll be making another beaded canvas and will be putting it in the store for your pleasure!
Until then Laissez les bons temps rouler!
For what it’s worth…. Mardi Gras is only 299 days away!

The Find of a Lifetime!

Those who have known me for any length of time know I love the beach. I also love to walk the beach and have beachcombed my whole life; always looking for the treasure. When I was a pre-teen I found this:

I have NO IDEA what it is. I have been told it’s fossilized, most likely whale. (If you know or know someone who could tell me, that would be GREAT!) At any rate, I thought that would be the find of a lifetime. It may be, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. Actually I was looking for REAL TREASURE. I was born and raised on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Named for the countless Spanish Galleons that lay sunk off her shores. I grew up hearing the tales and hoping to find my little piece. It never happened. 
As my love the of the beach and all things marine grew I longed to find certain items. Shells, of course, became a love. Heck! They are freakin’ everywhere! Shark’s theeth were also my my radar.  I mean, how cool are those? But, I never could find one. Then I wanted to find the illustrious whole sand dollar. Never could find one in my youth. Not too long ago I found one on the bayside of my Florida island. I was somewhat happy with the find… it was tiny, but I took it! 

Earlier this month I was once again combing the beach with a good friend of mine. I looked down and found another sand dollar! A little bigger than the last one, but still small in comparison to the broken monsters I see regularly on the beach. My friend found SIX. At that point I have to admit, I had a little butt hurt. I have walked that beach for HOURS and never found that many at once (or even ever for that matter… not including the ones I have seen SCUBA diving or snorkeling). While we were headed back, and I was inwardly pouting, that is when I saw it….. the granddaddy of them all. The treasure I have have been searching and searching for (not the gold), but the ever evasive (from me) SHARK’S TOOTH! 


It was just sitting there all by itself on the sand. I had to do a double take and then made some pretty excited exclamations that my friend swears people 3 blocks off the beach could hear. Sadly they weren’t family friendly. (Hey! To say I was EXCITED is an understatement). My husband asked if I did the dance. Yes, I did my excited dance. 

I have done some research. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that it is of the Great White family. With it being black, it is fossilized and pretty damn old. (Upwards of at least 10,000 years, so my research tells me). All I do know for 100% certainty is that is it MINE! I FOUND IT and I am so stinkin’ thrilled! 
Sadly, I had to leave my beach home and head back to the mainland. I can not wait to go back. Yeah, I know I most likely will never find another one on my beach, but that won’t stop me from trying! I can. Not. Wait.