Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sunsets on the Bay!

You simply cannot reproduce the colors you may see on any given day as the sun sets over the bay. After a day on the water we often sit relaxing on the deck before dinner. Within minutes, we all scramble up to the top deck to watch the sun setting over the bay. We snap lots of pictures, but somehow being there in the moment is what it is all about. The colors change everday and the marvel never gets old.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Fall???

Ok, I really do not dislike the fall season as much as I complain about it, even though it signals the end of my favorite season, summer. I do like taking Sadie on long walks with a crisp breeze and watching her try to chase the falling leaves. I do enjoy visiting my son's college to watch him play his beloved sport, fall baseball. A trip to Penn State for tailgating and great football. I love my annual girls' day in NYC every October. Not to mention a couple of fun fall conferences I get to travel with my husband for.

Fall is beginning to sound pretty good! What I really don't like, is what comes after the fall . . . WINTER!

Monday, September 20, 2010

How Much Fun are These BAGS!!!!

Okay, I confess, I do like handbags. Once I find one I really like, I use it everyday for months . . . until a replacement is found! I actually do not usually "change" my handbag for my outfit . . . usually because by the time I find my outfit I am probably running late, and well, the big stash-all handbag has everything I might need. Except . . . during the summer. I purchased the She Shells Holly handbag and used it every moment I could. It was great to simply throw my wallet, cell phone and lipstick (literally that was all that I put in there) into this compact, adorable bag. We have just added the whole She Shells handbag line and invite you to window shop the new collection on our website. These bags are all made from hand woven ata grass, only found in Indonesia. The grasses are smoked over a mixture of honey and coconut to give them their rich, warm color. Each bag has a fun cotton fabric lining. My Holly bag has a drawstring lining which is perfect for an open bag. The bags are also embellished with a polished seashell (my Holly bag has a starfish) and most have contrasting grosgrain ribbons. I think my next purchase will be the brand new Leigh Petwer Scallop Shell or the new Taylor in Tan. Who am I kidding, I will probably end up with both!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Looking for Something Hand-Made, Visit

Looking for a unique, hand-made product, visit For those of you unfamiliar with the site, it is a shopping venue online to "buy, sell and live handmade". We came across this beautifully created beach decor frame from Lovely Things Studios with a very vintage feel. This site appears to be a wonderful place to find one-of-a-kind artistic creations!

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Chic Linen Pillows!

We have just taken on a brand new pillow line from Square Feathers. Beautiful chic linen pillows in 12 different colors. Choose from yellow, lime, clay, and grey to name a few. Three large buttons give these accent pillows a simple, classic elegance for any room decor. Sometimes, less is more . . . especially when decorating a beach house. Not every pillow needs to have a theme. Toss a few quality designed and down-filled pillows with your coastal decor accent pillows. Investing in classic decor is usually worth the price you pay for something that will fit into your decorating style for many years to come. With a classic background of throw pillows, one or two very beachy accent pillows fit perfectly.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

As I am listening to the names of the victims of 9-11 being read in NYC, it is a beautiful day here in NJ, as it was 9 years ago on this tragic day. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news. I was working on a fall cleaning project, and for once, did not have the morning news on. My Mom called to casually ask me if my husband was traveling or in the office. After I let her know that he was in fact in the office, she asked me to put the news on. I assured her that this must have been a horrible accident until we watched the second plane advancing. I personally did not know any of the victims, but there were people in our area who were victims that day. I think everyone heard about a friend of a friend on that day. As we continued to watch the news, we watched the horrific events unfolding at the Pentagon and in Shenksville, PA. Our church had a special prayer service that evening that we felt compelled to participate in. Everyone was searching for a way to help.

New York became a shell of its vibrant self after that tragic day. The once bustling theatre district restaurants were basically deserted. The sign posts and light posts were covered with photographs of missing persons. Walking the streets, you could not help but stop and read the pleas. Our anniversary was approaching and we had a weekend planned in NYC about 2 weeks after 9-11. After much thought, we decided to cancel our room, but just go in to see our play. This turned out to be a moving, uplifting experience aside from the play itself. After the actors took their bows, they tearfully spoke to us, the audience, with emotion and pain for the victims of 9-11. We all shared in their tears as we shared a moment of silence and prayer.

New York is bustling again and the fun, vibrant city it is meant to be. People are visiting the city and the streets are crowded. That does not mean that everyone has forgotten. A visit to Ground Zero puts everything back in perspective again.

Our thoughts and prayers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Creating a Better Online Shopping Experience!

I know it is sometimes very difficult to see the quality of products online. Before you click the "add to my shopping cart" button you may wonder if the item you are thinking about is actually going to look better or worse than the website picture. Sometimes the color looks great on your computer, but when it arrives it may not be the exact shade you were hoping for. We always welcome inquiries from customers trying to gain better information about what they are purchasing. We would much rather answer a few questions, and perhaps even try to have better pictures available, then to have a customer need to return something because it just was not what they thought it was going to be. Accurate descriptions are so important on a website, but even with that information, you may still have a more specific question about how that product might fit into your space. I often wish we had an actual store front as there are just some items that are difficult to appreciate from an online picture.

We have been thinking of adding a page to our website for customers to share photos of how they used products from By the Sea in their space. Sometimes just seeing an item in a room setting can give you a feel for how it may look in your space. Of course, I can probably start this project by taking pictures of our beach house . . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Beach Decor Signs

I have to admit, I am a fan of those sentimental beach signs (in moderation) with the inspirational quotes about how wonderful beach life is. I know, I know a lot of people frown upon the idea that you need to be reminded of where you are. I do have a few signs in our beach house. I find that when I am running up and down the stairs and I reach the bottom where our "Live a Good Life" sign is, I often stop, reread it, smile and breathe. I like to share my feelings about life at the beach with my guests, who are usually beachlovers like me. I also have the "Together on the Sand with You" sign hanging in a subtle spot in our bedroom which I gave to my husband as a gift for Father's Day. I am still looking for a spot for my favorite sign, "Shell in Your Pocket", well because that one says it all. Outside of our front door we hung the "Welcome to the Beach" sign resting on a piece of driftwood I found on the beach this past snowy winter.

So, I guess these signs are exactly that . . . signs to me to slow down, remember where you are and breathe!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Isola Bella Jewelry Line!

One of my favorite artists and designers, Gina Fedderson, of Isola Bella, has recently designed a line of sterling silver jewelry for those of us who are drawn to the beach. Each piece is created after one of Gina's found treasures in her many journeys along the Caribbean shores. The necklaces are available as a sea urchin, branch coral and seafan coral. You can choose from 14 different color leather necklaces to hang your favorite piece. I am wearing the seafan coral pendant with a driftwood leather necklace as I write this blog! The sterling silver earrings are done as a sea urchin, sea whip tendrils or seafan coral. Each piece is simple, classic and elegant, just the way I like it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend at the Beach!

Well, we braved the elements and headed to our beach on Friday afternoon as Hurricane Earl was zipping up the coastline. As we neared our island, hazard signs posted along the highway warned of high winds. As soon as we arrived, we headed up to the beach to check out exactly how big the waves might be. My husband, daughter and I, and of course our Golden Retriever, Sadie stepped onto the isolated beach and watched the waves roll in (from a safe distance, of course). The sky was bleak and the surf was pounding sometimes even reaching our sand dune line. There was one lone gentleman in his beach chair and sweatshirt observing the bashing waves. Luckily, this storm passed with lots of wind and high surf, but minimal damage. Saturday brought beautiful blue skies but more incredible waves, this time with a bright blue sky background! The bay was so choppy on Saturday it resembled a small ocean. By Sunday the winds were slowly dying and the seas began to calm somewhat. By Monday, our beach was picture perfect and now it's time to go home!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our New Coastal Lighting is Arriving!

Well, after a rather long anticipated wait, our new coastal lighting collection from Regina Andrew is arriving . . . slowly . . . but worth the wait! We have recently received the Coral & Chrome and Barnacle Lamps and they are beautiful. The Barnacle Lamp has a resin barnacle base in a rectangular shape with a large oval shade. The Coral & Chrome Lamp has a coral branch base resting on a small cube of lucite and chrome. The shade is a very updated square shape. Regina Andrew lighting offers wonderful quality and some great lighting choices in their new coastal collection. We are still awaiting the delicate Ribbon Coral Lamp and the updated version of their Capiz Mother of Pearl column lamp, this one with a square base.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Waves Pillow by Isola Bella

The new "Wave" pillow by artist Gina Feddersen, owner of Isola Bella in St. Thomas, will be arriving to our store shortly. All of her incredible designs are inspired by the amazing treasures she finds on her many island escapades. The "Wave" pillow is made of 100% pure linen highlighted by a sea of aqua waves. The pillows in her collection are all 18" x 18" and come filled with a fiber insert measuring 19" x 19" for extra comfort. All of her artful designs are hand-painted with environmentally friendly inks. I AM A HUGE FAN!
We will be adding her new silver jewelery line to our website shortly.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Amazing Broadway!

Everytime I am able to get into NY to see a play, I come away more and more amazed at just how many talented actors there are in this world. Last night we saw "Memphis" at the Shubert Theatre for my daughter's birthday. I had not read much about this play, so I really did not have any expectations, except a great evening. This play was marvelous! The voices of the talented cast were, well, amazing. The choreography was so much fun to watch. A few of the reviews I have now read commented on the portrayal of the character of Huey Calhoun as a bit, well, over the top. In any event, Memphis has become one of my favorites!