Thursday, 27 March 2008

I must go down to the seas again...

I have lived by the sea for most of my life and I absoulutely love it. One of my favourite things to do on a dry Winter's day is to walk along the beach. I particularly enjoy it when it is cold and blustery, long after the tourists have disappeared and only the hardiest of locals venture out. Recently I was sorting through some boxes and came across a photo of me taken by my Dad on Plymouth Hoe. I was probably 5 or 6 at the time and was wearing a 'pixie' hat lovingly made by my Mum. It was obviously a cold and windy day but it brought back so many happy memories. Years later, whilst living in Brighton, one of my favourite things to do on a Winter Sunday was a bracing walk along the seafront ending up in a small cafe by the pier drinking scalding hot cups of strong tea. I now am lucky enough to live only a few minutes walk from the beach. I love the Summer and sunshine but there is just something about walking along the beach on a cold day listening to the waves breaking on the shore. One of my favourite poems as a child was 'Sea Fever' by John Masefield and it is still special to me today.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

(Extract from Sea Fever by John Masefield)

My City & Guilds tutor Jane is immensley talented so when she ran a one day beading workshop last year I jumped at the chance to attend. We made netted ruffle bracelets, designed by Jane. Looking through her samples, at the beginning of the class, I was vividly reminded of waves breaking on the shore. I decided to base my bracelet on this idea. It is now one of my favourite pieces of jewellery. So comfortable to wear and very tactile.

This is one of Jane's most popular designs and you can see why.

A close-up of the netting ruffles on the bracelet. They give it a lovely 'crunchy' texture.

A close-up of the netted back of the bracelet. The ruffles can also be worked on a band of peyote stitch.

I didn't have a suitable button to use as a closure. I covered a plastic shirt button with circular peyote stiitch.


nĂ  said...

wow, reading that has brought back memories of being little for me too - i remember my mum sometimes bursting out with those few lines of that poem and i used to think it was fab! haven't heard it for a long time - thanks! i must read it to her when i phone her!

your beading is gorgeous! and i definitely agree that the beach in winter is the nicest kind of beach. i was in whitby in december a couple of years ago, and it was magical!

a girl in winter said...

Love that poem *scuttles off to look it up*. The sea is special to me, too. I grew up in a seaside town and I spent so much time - summer and winter - in and by the sea whilst I was growing up.This verse by Auden always comes to mind when I'm walking by the sea nowadays:

Look, stranger, at this island now
The leaping light for your delight discovers,
Stand stable here
And silent be,
That through the channels of the ear
May wander like a river
The swaying sound of the sea.