Summer Art

My sister is a crafter and a beach lover. Each year she combines these loves by taking part in a huge craft fair on the Wildwood boardwalk. This New Jersey shore town is a big tourist destination and the crowds insure she has lots of sales. Months ago when we started quarantine she suggested I use my abundant spare time to paint more pictures of the beach, the Jersey shore in particular, that she could add to her already beach themed inventory. So I did. Well, needless to say, this year, the crowds at the Craft Fair will be much small if it takes place at all. As a result, I’ve got all this Summer Art with no place to go!

I’ve always been a beach baby and every vacation I ever had as a child took place in Wildwood or one of the other towns along the coast. It’s my happy place so spending my time thinking about it and creating art representing it really wasn’t much of a hardship. When I think about it, it was more likely a form of therapy. Painting in general, has become my form of stress reduction during this crazy time.

Circumstances have decided that I won’t be sharing my beach paintings with the good people of Wildwood this summer so I thought I’d share a few here. I hope you all have a place that makes you feel as peaceful and centered as sea makes me feel. This quote which has been on my kitchen memo board since the summer began, says it all…

Smell the Sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly!

Sunrise in North Wildwood
This was inspired by a photograph of my brother-in-law and his granddaughter.
West Coast beach art-Sunset over the Santa Monica Pier. This was from a photo I took during my trip to Hollywood.
Morning walk along the beach in Ocean City, NJ

All images available at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CuriousKatStudio?ref=search_shop_redirect

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The Weekly Smile – Girls’ Getaway!

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Beach selfie! Notice Miss Dee’s sunburn! Ouch.

Last summer, Miss Dee and I started a new tradition that I hope will last for many years- a girls only beach get away! She and I both appreciate lazy days by the water. You know, no schedule, no plans, just sunshine, people watching and a good book. The boys in our family-not so much. They need to be moving, going places and doing thing. They want a plan!😳 So we left them at home and escaped to Hubby’s stepmom’s condo at the Jersey shore for a few days of  kick-off-the-summer downtime. [Summer Bucket List item #1]

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and managed some pool time before the rain came. We then endured a night of thunder storms, straight line winds and no power for six hours before Wednesday arrived with its abundant sunshine. This is more or less my MO at the shore so I was not surprised. I was happy that the bad weather was limited to Tuesday!

On Wednesday we slept in, meandering down to the beach (a block from the condo) around 10:00 and enjoyed the sand and the water before the beach began to fill up. Then it was back to the condo for lunch and a few hours by the pool. The weather was perfect, just enough of a breeze to keep the heat bearable and the pool water was so refreshing. An added bonus was the fact that We had the pool all to ourselves. I guess everyone else was on the beach.

Around 3:00 we were starting to feel crispy so decided to shower and drive across the bridge [Summer Bucket List item #2] to the neighboring town of  Cape MayThis quaint shore town is famous for its beautiful Victorian homes (some now used as B & Bs) and downtown shops. We did some window shopping, stopped for a bite to eat, and then strolled around “Congress Hall,” a wonderful old hotel built in 1816 that sits just off the beach. It is said to be America’s oldest seaside hotel. Miss Dee and I are both history buffs so we “oooo-ed” and “ahh-ed” our way around the elegant lobby and verandas. Maybe someday I will be willing to pay to actually stay there but until then I will just imagine what it would be like!

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By 8pm we were running out of steam so, after stopping by the sweet shop for a box of salt water taffy because, hey, it’s the Jersey shore and you just don’t go home without taffy, we hoofed it back to the car. Our plan had been to spend another night at the condo in Wildwood and then head home Thursday morning since Miss Dee had to work that afternoon, but the weather report was predicting more storms in the morning and we had had quite enough of that! Instead we stopped back at the condo, packed up the car (it is ridiculous how much junk we packed for three days!) and headed on home that night.

Goodbye Jersey Shore! We had a wonderful adventure. The very best part, of course, was spending time with my favorite girl. I figure I better squeeze in these trips while I still can. I am hoping we can make another beach run this summer. Maybe we will even let the boys come next time. 😉

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of “Trent’s World.” Don’t forget to stop by and check out the rest of the smiles or maybe even leave one of your own!

Beach Babies.

Summer Bucket List item #1

Last week we were finally able to squeeze in another day at the beach! Hurray! My sister and her husband had rented a condo at the shore for the week and invited us to come hang out so Hubby, Miss D and I packed up the car and headed south. Sadly our young Mr D had to work so he missed the sun and the sand this time.

My niece and her 8 month old little boy were staying at the condo with my sister so they came to the beach with us. As we sat there watching the baby enjoy the sand and the water for the first time, I started thinking about what a different experience the beach is for children than it is for adults. For grown-up me it’s all about soaking up the sun and relaxing with a good book and a cold drink. I find the smells and the sounds calming and rejuvenating but as a kid it was a totally different story!

When I was young, we vacationed at the shore for three days every summer. That was the amount of time my dad could stand staying in a motel! I guess he was a homebody like me. Anyway, on the ride down I couldn’t wait for that first breath of sea air. I would stick my head out the window breathing in the ocean scent, my body humming with excitement! I couldn’t wait to get to the beach.

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I love to swim and did go in the water but the ocean is a little unpredictable and I often found myself getting knocked over by a wave and ending up with stinging eyes and a mouthful of sand, so most of my day was spent creating in the sand. I realized, quite young, that you could build almost anything out of sand if you had the patience. The more sand toys the better. Anything became a mold for sand and I remember my mom saving empty containers for weeks before the trip so I would have lots of shapes and sizes to choose from. No store bought castle shaped buckets for me!

I usually built a castle as expected but I didn’t stop there! My most favorite thing to build were giant faces in the sand. I used to think that it would be fun for the pilots in the little planes that flew past the beach towing the advertisement banners to have these funny faces looking up at them. You know, give them a laugh!

I also built huge fortresses with underwater tunnels and pools made of clam shells as well as giant fish and turtles. My sand art was nothing like those amazing sand sculptures you see on the beach sometimes but they sure kept me busy for hours and hours. My parents would have to drag me off the beach at the end of the day.

When my kids were little and we went to the beach we built things in the sand too but I think as a mom I was more preoccupied with keeping them safe and happy. I didn’t get overly creative. Besides, Hubby and Mr D were usually more interested in beach sports than beach art so it was just me and Miss D left digging in the sand. I do remember a summer when Miss D was about five a group of young girls ask if they could make her a mermaid tail out of sand. She was thrilled when they finished burying her from the waist down!! Those were my kind of girls!IMG_1527

Maybe now that I am older and more relaxed on the beach I can revisit my passion for sand art. My niece’s son will be ready in a few years to help me scoop, pack and build.

How about you? Were you a beach baby?