The origins of Tide's Edge Keepsakes..... My love of the ocean and Five Islands, Maine began on a summer day when I was not quite two weeks old. My parents brought me to a tiny beach, where the Sheepscot River greets the ocean, and dipped my toes in the chilly Atlantic. Since that briny initiation, the smell of salt air and the rhythmic churn of the tides have called to me.
My vacations were spent at the family cottage in Five Islands, where my roots reach back. I loved long days at the beach searching for shells and splashing in the surf with my brother till our lips turned blue. We made wigs from clumps of bladder wrack and pretended to be a sea monsters, dragging strands of kelp from the backs of our bathing suits.
In my twenties (when sticking kelp in my bathing suit was no longer appealing), I was introduced to the Victorian art of pressing seaweed on paper. The Victorians were avid collectors of natural specimens and pioneered ways of preserving them to be studied and displayed as curiosities in their homes. Pressing seaweed became popular in the mid to late 1800s with Queen Victoria trying her hand at the craft. A number of field guides were published to aide the intrepid seaside tourist with their craft.
I became equally smitten with pressing seaweed, and have been gathering and pressing Maine seaweed for near on thirty years. The family homestead in Five Islands is now my year round home. I can often be found at that same tiny beach on the Sheepscot, scouring the tide's edge for colorful bits of seaweed to be pressed and transformed into jewelry and collages.