I have been in Mallorca for 2 weeks but I have been beach combing all my life. It is only really with my JustClaire art in mind that I have learnt how to beach comb really successfully. Here are my biggest learns…
1. Recruit your children (or anyone) to help beach comb
My hoard immediately doubled by having 4 extra (albeit not so experienced) eyes on the search. The competitiveness of children, but especially boys adds to the stash. They are shorter and so closer to the ground, trust me it works – no brainer! (I also have a lovely friend currently in the South of France with her family collecting white pebbles – it is addictive!!)
2. Work out what you need
I have been receiving many orders whilst here, which is fabulous, and when thinking about what I have left in Kent, and what is available to me, it became very apparent I had gaps. I have talked a lot about sea glass, but trust me in Ashford, there is nowhere to get it. I could probably order it from Amazon, but that takes away the authenticity of the art – plus I started JustClaire because I loved beach-combing, not because I was an artist.
3. Focus on one or two items a day.
CRITICAL!!! This really worked for me and the boys. Our main focus started as white stones (birds), then we realised there was an abundance of sea glass. The Olive Tree idea meant I needed wood. Then one day, out of the blue we were surrounded by an abundance of feathers from Marineland (Puerto Portals, Mallorca) birds – finally pebbles for people……but importantly each on a different day – maximum stash!
4. Immediately clean & sort beach finds
Given the time on holiday, I was able to come home every evening, soak our finds in soapy water, display on a lovely white tray (note to self to buy one at home), then leave to air. The next day I was able to bag the naturally dried items – never a stash of beach combing needing sorting. This also prevents anything from starting to smell!
5. Review finds and reassess new needs
The best thing about the sorting, was I could see what we were still missing. Yesterday I realised it was people – pebbles for long bodies, round heads to match. Sounds simple but almost every picture I do contains people and so I have run out of suitable bodies. We did well….
6. Mother Nature Provides….
Yesterday I was just thinking how I needed a perfect ‘rock’ for a friend, and I found one. When I thought we had taken our fill of sea glass, the 8 yr old found a secret rocky section with tonnes of the stuff. Out of the blue the feathers were provided to spice up ‘Be That Bird’….every day something new, and always just what I needed.
So thank you Mother Nature, and thank you Mallorca I have loved every minute strolling your beaches, talking to my boys and sifting through all your treasures, I am very grateful.
Thank god I am flying home with British Airways as I am sure the stash is heavy – well basically it is mainly just rocks! (Sorry hubby!)