SeaweedArt Note Cards

Created from images of pressed seaweed collages by Santa Cruz nature artist, Beth Shady. Ten percent of profits donated to ocean conservation.

Tidepool Assortment

Set of six 5 x 7 printed sea inspired note cards with matching printed envelopes. Matte finish. Blank inside. Made in Santa Cruz, CA.

Pleasure Point Assortment

Set of six 5 x 7 printed sea inspired note cards with printed matching envelopes. Matte finish. Blank inside. Made in Santa Cruz, CA.

Spotlight

About SeaweedArt

Santa Cruz nature artist and ocean lover Beth Powanda Shady creates greeting ...

Coastal Style

Sea-inspired, nautical and coastal decor for the beach lover in all of ...

Coastal Food

Sea “Foodie” cooking and dining recommendations, recipes and ideas. While this page ...

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Makers Market Craft Fair at Santana Row

Fall is in the air! And it’s time for craft shopping for the holidays!

Shop the October 14th highly curated Makers Market in the Park in Santana Row Park (across from Left Bank Brasserie) and buy from local artists selling US Handcrafted goods such as jewelry, succulents, indigo and leather handbags, ceramics, organic body products, fall candles and my sea glass soap and lotion dispensers and pressed flower glassware. Come and enjoy the beautiful outdoor park and support local small business.

It is with great pride and excitement that I announce that I have been chosen to be included in this Collective of handmade artisans and craft sellers.

– 30+ Local Artists
– Facepainting
– Henna
– Live Blue Grass Music by the Town Howlers of Oakland
– Complementary Wine and Bites in the store – located right on the park.
– Contests for Store Gift Certificates!

WHEN: Saturday, October 14th from 10am-7pm
WHERE: SANTANA ROW PARK (Across from Left Bank Restaurant)

Join us in our mission of Rebuilding the Legacy of American Made, while supporting our local artists and the community.

What is Oil Pulling and Does it Work?

 

image of coconut and coconut oil

Today’s guest post is by Helen Sanders, Chief editor at Health Ambition and a proud mother of two who’s passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy! By the way, I’ve tried this and it does work!

What is oil pulling? When I first heard of this primal remedy that came from the wise ancients of India, I assumed that this was a very weird way of pulling oil out from the body. Why would I want to do that? Is this going to make me feel better or just sick?

Well, let’s take a closer look at what oil pulling really is. Oil pulling comes from the primitive text of Ayurvedic medicine, which is widely known as traditional Indian medicine. Being a lover of alternative medicine, I had to give it a try.

But, before I gained the will power to attempt oil pulling, I wanted to know the basic questions that anyone would have. Does oil pulling work? What are the oil pulling results? Read more …

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The Many Essential Uses of Essential Oils

Essential oils have been around since the days of Cleopatra and have recently resurged in popularity and for good reason. They have many healing, therapeutic and cost saving applications– medicinal, household cleaning products, aromatherapy and personal beauty care. I, for one, have always used them to scent candles and my own hand-crafted personal care products like bath salts and scrubs.

What you may not know is that essential oils are not really oils at all; they come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin, and peels. In Ancient times, Israelites and Egyptians made essential oils by soaking the plants in a carrier oil and them filtering it through a linen bag. Fortunately today you don’t have to do that because there are many essential oils available on the market to choose from, however, not all are pure. To make sure you are choosing quality essential oils look for ones that are bottled in small batches, labeled 100% pure and are transparent in their sourcing. I recently discovered Aroma Foundry essential oils. Their purity process follows all of the guidelines to insure the highest and consistent quality.

Below are some recipes for common household products that when made from scratch are safer for the environment and much more economical.

Bug Spray

Mix all ingredients together in an 8oz glass spray bottle and apply as needed.

Furniture Polish

 

1/2 cup sweet almond oil

1/8 cup beeswax pastilles

10-15 drops of lemon or fir essential oil

glass jar with lid

Heat almond oil and beeswax in a double boiler or wax melting pot until beeswax is completely melted. Remove from heat and add the essential oil. Pour into jar and let cool.  It should be firm enough to dip a cloth into and rub across the top, but soft enough to melt a bit on contact. I made  used the fir essential oil and it smells sooo good and it conditioned my wood furniture with a soft gleam and without any residue.

 

For more ideas on how you can use essential oils in your home check out these books:

Bamboo Candles with Soy Wax and Essential Oils

We have a very tropical backyard that is bordered with lots of bamboo. Lots. Since it is so plentiful and grows so quickly, I’m always looking for clever and creative things to create and do with it. A while ago my husband Bill made me bamboo planters by cutting the bamboo sticks, filling them with soil and planting succulents.

This past weekend I came up with yet another fun idea– bamboo candles. I love everything about this project. It brings the beauty and simplicity of nature indoors using sustainable materials and when the candles melt down, you can refill them.

Image of candles made from bamboo

Here’s what you need to create your own bamboo candles.

  • Bamboo sticks. If you don’t have them growing in your yard, you can purchase online or at a garden store. Or you can message me and I will send you some!
  • Wax. I like soy. It burns clean and is safer for the environment.
  • Candle dyes. I like white candles, but if you want some color you can purchase at craft stores or online.
  • Candle wicks. I prefer the kind that have metal bottoms and I always get the sticky tabs that help hold them in place.
  • Candles scents. I like essential oils for their natural, less “perfumy” scent.
  • Plastic wrap and rubber bands.

You will also need a large Pyrex measuring cup to melt the wax in a double boiler or in the microwave.

Here’s what you do:

You will need to cut the bamboo into various lengths. Use a hand saw or table saw. My husband did this for me. You can cut the sticks at the knots so there will be a “floor” at the bottom of your candle. However, if this is not possible, you can create a false, removable bottom with plastic wrap. Yes, it works and will not melt, even with hot wax. Just be sure to completely cover the bottom of the candle and secure tightly with a rubber band as close the edge of the bottom as possible. Then proceed to melt the wax in the Pyrex glass measuring cup. I prefer the microwave. Start in 1 minute intervals until the wax is completely melted.

While wax is melting, place wick with sticky bottom in the center of the bottom of the candle. Once the wax is melted, you can add color, if desired, and a few drops of essential oil scent. Lemongrass, citronella and plumeria are good choices that go well with the bamboo tropical theme and as an added bonus they also help keep bugs away. Stir your mixture with a metal or wooden spoon or a chopstick you might have lying around from your last order of Chinese food. Pour wax mixture into the bamboo container and wait for it to dry. Allow at least four hours before you remove the plastic wrap. Don’t worry if there is a little over spill that pools at the bottom of your candle. That happens if you don’t secure the wrap close enough to the edge. It will harden and you can scrape off later. Soy wax is very soft and spills clean up easily. Once the candle is completely hardened you can trim the wick to the length you prefer.

For more creative ideas on what to do with bamboo, follow me on Pinterest. Or send me some of yours with some photos and I will feature them here.

 

 

Sea Glass Sea Shell Soap and Lotion Dispensers

image of sea glass colored soap and lotion dispensers decorated with seashells and beads

I’ve been decorating glassware with pressed flowers and marine botanicals for years and I was looking for new ideas and was inspired when I discovered this really cool “sea glass” craft spray paint from Krylon. It comes in many colors, but I like the sea foam, cornflower and aqua the best because they are the most “beachy” to me. I like the soft, sea glass like pastel hues of the colors. They remind me of mermaid tails. I decided to experiment first by spray painting some clear class jars to see how it looked and I loved the effect. It took a little bit of practice. I learned through trial and error to shake the can well and spray at a distance of about 12-18 inches, that way the paint mists onto the glass without leaving dripping marks. I also did a few coats until I got the desired effect. (Note: Be sure to use in well ventilated area and wear silicone gloves to protect your hands.)

image of plain glass jars sprayed with sea glass spray paint in blue and aqua colors

Once I was satisfied with my test pieces, I moved on to some clear glass soap and lotion dispensers I had on hand. I purchased them wholesale from GlassNow, but you can buy individual ones here.

image of clear glass soap and lotion dispensers

The really fun part was next– decorating them! Keeping with the sea-inspired beach theme, I choose from my collection of seashells, sea stars, sand dollars, driftwood, seaweed. For a colorful accents, I embellished with assorted beads in complementary colors.

image of assorted seashells and beads

I used a hot glue gun to adhere the larger items and craft glue for the seed beads. I love the way they turned out! The beads really add a subtle sparkly effect that reminds me of walking alongside the ocean and seeing a splay of colored pebbles and tiny bubbles of water from sand crabs.

This is only the beginning for me.  These first few items are available on Etsy with plans for many more to come!

8 Reasons Why Traveling Is Good For Your Health

Today’s post is courtesy of guest author Karen Reed of Positive HealthWellness.

Traveling is one of the best things that you can do for your health. It helps your physical and mental health, with many travelers saying that it’s also excellent for the soul.

Sure, there are some stressful and worrying moments. But overall, when you get out on the road and visit new countries you gain in far more ways. This isn’t about just international travel, either. Traveling your own country and being a tourist in your own town can be so beneficially at the same time.

There are no limits when it comes to traveling, except for what you can afford. You can sight-see around some of your most dreamed about countries or choose exotic adventures. Go by rails, car, or even by boat. There are just so many options, and they will all help you in ways that you have never imagined. Read more…

Sea-Inspired Tin Container Candles

Before I toss anything into the recycle bin,  I first try to find another use for it.  I call it creative repurposing of materials. Anything old can be new again with a little imagination. I got inspired last week when I was about to toss out some tin cans when I it occurred to me that they would make great containers candles. What a cool, beachy idea, don’t you think? Reuse, recycle, repurpose with a nautical theme. Here’s what you need to do it yourself.

Materials

Metal pot –With handle for melting the wax. An old pot works just as well or you can use a glass measuring cup and melt the wax in your microwave.

Tin containers. I chose ones used for sardines, tuna and tea. They have interesting, artistic labels too.

Soy wax-– This my favorite. It melts the easiest and burns the clean and clear so you can see items like seashells and rocks that I like to place at the bottom of my candles. They are nice surprises!

Candle wicks with stickers — A must to hold the wick in place while pouring the wax.

Scented essential oils– I like lavender and lemon verbena. If you are going to use the candles outdoors, you might want to consider citronella, grapefruit and lemongrass.

Candle dyes– (Optional) I chose to not use color because I like the opaque whiteness of the soy wax and I didn’t want the color to compete with the design on the labels of the tins.

How to Make

Thoroughly wash the containers. To remove residual fish odors, drizzle the insides with lemon juice and let sit in the sun for a few days. That should do the trick.

Place wick, with sticky bottom, at the center of the tin. If you are using more than one wick per candle, make sure they are evenly placed.

Melt wax according to package directions and then add a few drops of essential oil. You don’t need a lot of scent. When the candle burns, it will be stronger than you think.

Pour melted wax into the tin and let sit until harden. If you like,  you can toss a few seashells or beach pebbles into the mix for the added surprise.

These make excellent gifts year round, but I love to put them in Christmas stockings. Be sure to keep some for yourself!

If you try this project send me some photos and I will post them here.

 

 

Where to Eat and Drink in Santa Cruz

If you are like me, you are always looking for the next great place to eat and drink in Santa Cruz. I’ve heard if you want to know what’s going on, hang out where the chef’s eat. One place that comes to my mind is Cafe Cruz on 41st Avenue. I know firsthand. I’ve been there after hours and got some great tips. Another great source of information is the Thrill List. Check out their “ultimate” guide to exploring the Santa Cruz food and drink scene.

Your Brain on Water

As a child I was fortunate to grow up near the ocean. My family took frequent trips to “the Jersey shore,” spending our summers in Wildwood, Stone Harbor and Cape May, New Jersey, which was about a two hour drive from our home in suburban Philadelphia. For the past 25 years my home has been Santa Cruz, California and my trip to the beach is a 5 minute bike ride away. I came here because I wanted to live by the sea in a climate that was temperate enough to enjoy the many ocean splendors year round. Salt water clears my head, brings me peace and solitude and energizes and reinvigorates me all at the same time. Apparently I’m not alone. Many people feel the same way, which is the subject of the New York Times best selling book, Blue Mind by marine scientist, Dr. Wallace “J” Nichols, in which he explores the mind’s connection to water, merging the fields of cognitive science and ocean exploration. It is is a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water.

I highly recommend his book and encourage you to engage with other ocean, river, stream, lake, pond and “everything water” lovers by participating in the Blue Mind Online Book Club.

Join Dr. Nichols nightly for Facebook Live readings and on Sundays at 6 pm PST for discussions on Facebook and follow the conversation on all social media (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) using the #bluemind hashtag.

Sponsored by Radio Hatteras, Buxton Village Books and Blue Mind Life. Daily excerpts from Blue Mind will be broadcast on Radio Hatteras along with weekly interviews with the author featuring questions from readers and guest protagonists from the book.

Proceeds and donations benefit Radio Hatteras and the Blue Mind Fund. Read along with water-loving friends around the world: January 16th (I know I’m getting a late start here, but you can catch up!)  to March 25th, 2017.

Calming Cucumber Breakfast Smoothie

Cucumber smoothieI  start every day with my morning ritual of stretching (sometimes I even make it to yoga) followed by a refreshing and nutritious protein smoothie. I like to get creative and have fun concocting different blends of nut milks, fruits and veggies. Today’s version is adapted from  a recipe found in The Everything Green Smoothies Book. It is one of my favorites. It’s refreshing, delicious and provides me with a hefty serving of greens, protein and fiber. A great way to start the day.

Ingredients:

Blend all ingredients in a blender or juicer. (I’m a big fan of the Ninja.)

 

 

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