• Kim Van Sandt

FAQ – Do you find all that beach stuff???

Answer: Yes. And no. Sort of… I’ll explain, since, you are reading this, you will probably want more than a yes/no answer. The vast majority of the beach stuff I sell, I do find it (probably 95%?). Over the years it has been in various forms, near where we live, where we camp, when visiting other areas… I comb the beaches of Lake Michigan and Huron. And we have made a couple Florida trips where I found some items. But, of course, there are exceptions, of which, here are a few:

My sister and her first grandbaby

- Lots of friends and family walk with me at times, like Bud (husband), Amy (friend), Shannon (sister), Shelley (sister-in-law), Daniel (nephew), Dan (brother). Each shares at different levels, depending… I collect everything, sometimes they share stuff they don’t like, or out of abundance. There's some competition. Occasionally someone gets pushed in the lake as we judiciously determine who wins the prize at hand.

Just a couple of my weirdities - doll crocs? Yep.

- I have a couple uncles who also beach comb in their own way, who have shared driftwood and beach glass with me.

- Sometimes, I have done a little art/crafting trade for pieces shared with me.

- On the beach, at least three times, if not more, I have had people hand me beach glass, my favorite of which was the thumb sized

Ocho's dad gave this to me (a random share)

cobalt blue piece given to me by Ocho’s dad (I stopped to pet Ocho and had no idea what his dad would share with me).

- Sometimes, it works in reverse. Once a little boy asked what I was picking up, and I told him, 'beach glass'. He then asked me what it was so I showed him a piece. I admit I did make the mistake of placing it in his hand to look at, so then, short of shaking him upside down on the beach (which is generally frowned upon, even for eccentric artists), once he put it in his pocket, I soon realized that piece was lost to me forever. Lesson. Learned.

- I do use recycled materials, usually

One of the shell fragments from a co-worker

only parts of things, glass, metal, etc., that come from garage sales, second-hand stores and such. But some of those uses are underneath and you might not notice them, they are not really the ‘star’ of the artwork.

- Probably the most special of the outsourced materials came most recently, when a sweet previous co-worker of mine had a shell collection she didn’t know what to do with, and thought I might be able to put them to good use. The collection belonged to her son, a retired coast guard reservist, and she was having to take care of his things after his passing. (see shell fragment and windchime)

I appreciate each and every time items have been shared with me. And I try to do the same on occasion, finding special little items to share with others. But I have to say, by far,

Wind chime made from the shell fragments from a coast guard reservists shell collection that was shared with me

the sharing I have appreciate the most, the large collection of beach glass that my friend Amy has shared with me (a LOT of precious beach glass & china) and the sharing I was most honored to receive came from my ex-co-worker. I was honored to be thought of and trusted with her son’s collection (thank you, Joan).

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