You know how I grabbed some sand from the beach in the Philippines and made a little trip souvenir with it?
I’ve created another small memento from our trip. I made jewelry pins out of other things I picked up on the beach in Boracay Island, PHP. Here’s the collection I brought home all laid out on my desk.
There’s some coral and a few pretty shells that I picked up right off the beach just because they had great shapes and seemed so perfect and smooth, two of the shells weren’t even damaged at all. While, I think this sort of beachy collection would look really neat as-is framed in a shadow box against a pretty background, I knew I wanted to create some sort of ‘dipped’ look with at least a few pieces of the coral.
I purchased jewelry pins at Michael’s (using my 50% off coupon!) and used gold leaf sheets (left over from this project) to create my new beach souvenirs. I chose my two favorite shapes and then taped off the bottom halves of the coral. I sprayed the top half with spray adhesive and layered on a small piece of gold leaf atop the sticky half. After smoothing the gold leaf over the coral, I brushed on some Polycrylic (I used that because I already had it but any clear coat spray or polyurethane should work) to protect the gold leafing. I used Gorilla Glue to glue the coral to the brass jewelry pin and allowed it to harden and dry.
I actually love adding pins like these to my jean jacket and sometimes have several different pins (flair!) on the pocket lapel at a time. The sheen of gold leaf (unmatched by paint) is absolutely gorgeous and the fact that it reminds me of a great trip just makes it even sweeter.
Do you have an item you collect from your travels? Do you display souvenirs in your home? Now I need to move on to an idea I have for the shells. I am eager to see how it turns out!
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Last year when I posted about our excursion to Georgia’s wine country, I mentioned that while I’ve visited wineries in other countries, I’d never been to Napa. Well, I fixed that. Last month, we finally made the trip to Napa Valley!
I now realize that the area is Napa Valley, but there are individually named towns in the valley. We stayed at the Embassy Suites in the town of Napa but we ventured out to the other towns such as St. Helena, Yountville, and Calistoga.
While the rooms were straightforward, the grounds were more resort-like than most Embassy Suites I’ve visited. The Manager’s Reception every evening also included representatives with tastings from the nearby wineries.
We were there for four days and we visited 8 wineries, 7 restaurants, 1 movie theater, 1 outlet mall, and 1 mineral spa. The highlight for me was actually our very first stop: Domaine Carneros.
Domaine Carneros specializes in sparkling wine made in the champagne style. (they are owned by Tattinger). We took a tour of the grounds and enjoyed tasting 3 sparkling wines and 2 reds. Le Reve was my very favorite.
I just did tastings instead of full guided tours at the rest of the wineries. Two of my favorite vineyard grounds were Raymond Wineries and Sterling Vineyards. Raymond has a really neat setup with a full garden to walk through ……
and Sterling Vineyards actually has a skylift tram that takes you from the bottom up to the top of the mountain where the facilities are.
The weather was fabulous. We spotted lemon trees everywhere. This one was just growing in a pot at a restaurant where we had lunch.
Saturday morning we spent some time at the spa. I experienced a mud bath for the first time at Dr. Wilkinson’s. It was definitely an experience. I didn’t expect the mud to be squishy, but apparently it’s peat moss so it feels more spongy than ‘muddy’.
Can you see the grapes there at the bottom of the vine?
It was a lovely trip and I’m so glad to have finally experienced Napa, even though it was brief. Have you been? What were your favorites?
Paint Colors We’ve Used