Wednesday, July 6, 2011

D.I.Y. Summer souvenir's

"A souvenir (French), for a remembrance or memory), memento, keepsake or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. The term souvenir brings to mind the mass-produced kitch that is the main commodity of souvenir and gift shops in many tourist traps around the world. But a souvenir can be any object that can be collected or purchased and transported home by the traveler. The object itself has no real significance other than the psychological connection the possessor has with the object as a symbol of past experience. Without the owner's input, the object's meaning is invisible and cannot be articulated"

Unless that souvenir is thoughtful, and unique, and (hopefully) free! Like the project I am working on with shells I just collected on vacation in Cape Hatteras.

So many beautiful shells washed up during low tide, it became addicting to scavenge the beach for gems everyday. Or sometimes twice... The Atlantic, with it's coarse sand, sea oat covered dunes, and dreamy skies made for a completely
different "beach" experience for me and I want to preserve it!

Here is a little Do it Yourself project that makes a nice little memento for summer trips, and it nearly free. It just
requires Ziploc bags, glass jars and a big flat space to work on.

The first step is the most fun... just collect! Either stick to a few themes, for instance a certain color ( in this case I was attracted to the black shells), or go for anything interesting. Use Ziploc bags to collect sand or gravel in an air-tight (airplane-safe) way.

Next, probably when you get home, wash everything to get the sea critters off. I enjoy the scent of the sea so I just lighted dusted off what I needed to.

Then, organize the piles of finds into categories so it is easier to put together. This is especially important if you are making several jars, or have collected for different people. You can group items together by a random mix, or by
species, color, etc. This time, I am including a bit of the sea gravel, sand, and selections of special shells in each. I bought a 4 pack of small mason jars at Ace Hardware for around 5 bucks, plus found a few others at a thrift store.

Lastly, label the jar with the location of where it was collected. And boom! Nice little package for your special someone.

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