DONNA’S DAY: Collecting sea glass, shells, stones becomes hobbies, decorations | Community life

“Spending time with my seven young grandchildren is about learning together and making discoveries that ignite the human spirit,” says Jan Bowman, a retired teacher and grandmother of seven. “Whether you’re 6 or 60, connecting around an activity we all love is catching. That’s what sea glass hunting does for us.

Recently, after a big storm, I said, “Let’s go to the coast this morning. I bet we’ll find some rare sea glass that’s been churned up in the ocean and landed on the sand, just for us let’s find it.” Sure enough, nature’s jewels dotted the beach.

What is sea glass and what is the appeal? Plain and simple, it’s about discarded glass that was tossed into the ocean and lost at sea – until some pieces come back in interesting shapes and sizes after being tumbled and chemically altered.

These are often scrap from glass factories or discarded bottles from shipwrecks that broke and fell into the sea decades and centuries ago. These days, it’s a hobby that knows no bounds, popular from the United States to world shores, from Australia to the United Kingdom.

Whether your family is addicted to collecting sea glass, shells, or pretty rocks and pebbles along streams and around lakes, there’s always fun to be had when you return home with pockets full of finds. Enjoy these easy crafts to make with sea glass, shells or stones:

• Frame a picture of your child at the beach where the sea glass or shells were found. Embellish the plain frame with a few of the treasures glued to one corner.

• Glue “finds” on top of a small box in interesting patterns. Fill it with more summer memories.

• Tie a thin cord around a find, knot it, and glue the knot in place for a necklace filled with memories.

For inspiration and information on sea glass, check out author Richard LaMotte’s comprehensive book with photographs by Celia Pearson, “Pure Sea Glass: Discovering Nature’s Vanishing Gems” and “Pure Sea Glass Identification Deck” (www.seaglasspublishing.com).

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