It all started on my last trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina so blame them. It was a rainy day, not a good beach day, and we decided we were going to check out shops we never went in before. We knew Outer Banks like it was home; we'd been there that many times. One shop in particular that we always passed was a hammock store. I don't need a hammock but well it was raining so what the heck and we went in.
These hammocks were beautiful and very well made. The prices weren't too extraordinaily high for such craftmanship. But there was one section of the store that caught my eye and there it was sitting in the middle of this display - the most beautiful bowl made out of driftwood. Inside the bowl were three glass balls of various colors with a rope strategically hugging each one - very nautical looking.
And the price? $80. For one bowl.
I left the shop but the memory of this bowl did not leave me. We looked around in other shops, then headed back to our room. I could not go home without this bowl.
I thought about it overnight and into the morning and decided I was going to purchase it on our way back home to Chincoteague. I plunked down the $80 and went home with my treasure.
I placed it on my glass coffee table, marveling at the beauty and how the light would catch each and every glass ball. I took pictures of it and showed my Facebook friends. I was in love.
A few months later, Hurricane Sandy ravaged our small island. The road became a lake, the power went out and all I could do was keep from screaming. I don't mind my house becoming a houseboat but do not turn the power off. When the power came on and the water receded, the road was cluttered with everything from boards to buckets and then some. It was a mess.
But in all that mess, there it was...pieces of all shapes and sizes of my precious driftwood.
Every morning when I took my daily walk, I would come back home and add more to my driftwood pile underneath the steps. I was in driftwood heaven. Every day, I added more and more driftwood until it piled high. Some were almost white and others were weathered almost black, but they were all beautiful pieces handcrafted by Mother Nature. And I think that's what I loved the most about them - no one could duplicate their beauty and no two pieces were alike.
The holidays came and I wanted to find a way to use these pieces for gifts and that's when I decided to make a few driftwood candle holders. They were beautiful. If you'd like to see a few, click here.
And there are so many other ways you can utilize driftwood - driftwood tables, driftwood sculptures, driftwood clocks, driftwood mirrors - the ideas you could come up with are endless.
But there's a catch to all this madness. Much like a painter or a craftsperson, your house becomes a living shrine to your wonderful pieces of art. It's not unusual to go through the living room and pick up a stray piece of driftwood that fell from my hands or stepping on them in the kitchen when you thought for sure all of them made it into the garbage. You don't go to stores without heading to the glass section or candle section and you for sure do not pass a craft store without going in and seeing what new things you can add to your creations.
And you can never ever ever walk down a seaside road again without having your eyes peeled for that piece of driftwood that miraculously ends up on the side of the road and no tourists have picked it up yet.
Yes, I am a driftwood junkie and will never be the same. Are you a driftwood junkie, too?