Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Gift From the Sea ~ beachy whites.

When I think of beachy whites I think of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book "A Gift From the Sea"
This book has influenced me over the years...the first time I read it I was in the throes of peri-menopause and felt like I was at sea with my emotions, trying desperately to keep myself ship shape and stable in a violent storm.
Her words helped me to take stock and to look for the small things in my daily round that would keep me on an even keel. Those wise words continue to inspire and resonate with me today.

I make a point to read Anne's book every year. You might enjoy reading it.
A small book which can be a quick read, if unlike me, you do not stop after each chapter to reflect and digest the message within...

Anne wrote a lovely account about "finding herself" in a beautiful place where she lived for a short time as she needed to escape from her duties as a wife and mother. Anne lived a very simple and solitary existence listening to the waves and watching the tides roll in and out with the rhythm of the sea.
The beach taught her many of life's lessons.
Taking time to be in a quiet place, seeking solace from her hectic life, she was able to stop, listen to her heart, and it was only then that she found inner strength, her truth and was able to find her voice.
Writing this book has been her gift to many of us who have struggled at some point with the demands of life.

I am so grateful to have stumbled upon her work...and I often ponder what it might be like to own a rustic simple white washed home by the seashore.

I love looking at shabby chic rooms in the magazines and online sites.
This look is very popular, however, it is not in keeping with our dark heritage designated arts and crafts bungalow.

Dreamy, creamy whites are so soothing.
Beachy seaside whites play a big role in our guest room decor.


The all white collection of beach glass sits beside a clam fossil and some coral.


Barnacle and shell in the background.


Shades of white.


Sunshine and shadows.
Can you see Chester's silhouette in the shadow?


Large shells are often sold at flea markets and antique malls.
I bought this one at a local flea market many years ago.


The distressed oar standing up behind the wicker chair was a boulevard freebie.
I stop for boulevard freebies, often quickly!
 If you are following behind me in the car proceed with caution and I do put on my turn indicator.
I abide by the rules of the road.

I am guilty of following rules to the letter and I cannot tell a lie...
perhaps a little teeny tiny white lie
but only if it concerns a wedding or baby shower or a surprise 
never ask me to lie for you, it cannot be done!


I've added a touch of pink...
reminds me of Rachel Ashwell who created the Shabby Chic shop and books.

I loved watching her TV show and would dream of having my own Shabby Chic cottage.
So this guest room satisfies my urge to live in such a cottage...
 if it was on a sandy beach I'd find myself walking barefoot in the sand while the waves wash in and wash out beach combing 
for some pure white sea glass and creamy shells.

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choice less as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea."

27 comments:

  1. A wonderful present, that was.

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  2. I, too, love Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift from the Sea" that I first read many years ago. Recently I found it has been re-printed to mark the 50th anniversary of its first publication. A lovely pale blue/green cover. As my first reading was from a library book it is nice to own my own copy now.

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    1. I've given this book as gifts many times as I think it has a broad appeal and speaks to women "of a certain age."

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  3. One of my favorite books. I am in the peri mentopause season and so I have to ask... It does get better??? Because that is my hope. It really is no fun but I have learned to embrace it.

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    1. Kerrie, Im sure I must be too, I'm 50 in a few months but I haven't had any problems yet, I am wondering if it will hit me hard or I'll just dwindle into it.

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    2. Kerrie it does get better! I found Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach a really wonderful read and a guide to exploring things that helped me reconnect with myself along the journey. Gratitude is Key to transforming how you manage this bumpy patch!

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    3. I second that it does get better. Takes a while, but you do come out on the other side in a better place. Hang in there :-)

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  4. The shells are beautiful, I used to have a lovely collection when I was young but as I was always travelling till I was about 30, I only really hung on to what I could pack in two suitcases - it made me feel free.

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    1. Living out of two suitcases must have been a challenge! What did you travel for...work or pleasure?

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  5. I, too, read A Gift from the Sea annually. Usually at the beginning of the year. (Maybe that's why the winter has been so difficult for me this year...I didn't start it out right! Up the my bookshelf I go!)

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    1. Well sounds like you'll be putting the kettle on and sipping your tea as you leaf through the pages of A Gift From the Sea...Enjoy!

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  6. I too love shabby chic, and mostly-all-white, and beach themed cottages. I too read Gift From the Sea just a couple of years ago (for the first time.) You have a way of allowing us to see the loveliness in little (and humble) things. Violet.

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    1. My life is richer for the everyday joyous "little things"...taking the time to notice them is something that I have learned to cultivate along the way.

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  7. I love this book. I first read it in my 20's and then I bought my own copy about eight years ago. Chester looks like a panther stalking through the sun dappled jungle.

    Sharon-Toronto

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  8. That book is my stepmother's favorite. She gave a copy to me years ago and I am a bit embarrassed to say I have not read it. I guess this is a message to me that I need to!

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  9. I too love this book, purchased in 1975, and make it an annual read. I gave a copy of the 50th anniversary edition to both of my daughters who are now in their early 40's and to a cousin in her early 50's. Actually it was a big help when I retired and was not too sure how to handle "stuff".

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  10. I used to read "Gift from the Sea" every summer and loved it, but haven't read it in years now. Must find my copy and read it again. Thanks for the reminder.

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  11. Thank you. I read that book years ago. I will pick it up again.
    Marilyn

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  12. Ah...I did just that. I moved to Nova Scotia and bought a cottage in a small fishing community. Although I kept it simple I updated the plumbing etc. but I wanted to retain the simplicity of a basic fisherman's cottage .. The interior... walls ,floors, ceilings , even the furniture I painted white. I was surprised at how peaceful this is.Coming downstairs in the morning with the sun shining through the windows was bliss. I accented with cushions and quilts and home made rugs.
    I walked the sandy beach every day. I listened to the waves both when gardening and lying in my bed at night. It is such a peaceful and wonderful experience.
    It is a friendly and lively community ...the people are the best. As I am now older. I have moved west ,closer to my family ,and my home is for sale. But I have the memories and the photographs and just to think of it all takes me back to that wonderful place. It is good to follow a dream. Lisa

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    1. Lisa, your home sounds like the sort of place that I dream about - although I would want to move it to a warmer climate!

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    2. I am impressed by your move across the country to live in a seaside cottage!
      How wonderful that you followed your dream...and you'll have those pictures to help you keep the memories alive!
      Are you now on the westcoast near the Pacific Ocean?

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    3. Yes, I am in Vancouver. From one lifestyle to it's complete opposite. I really enjoy the range of food stores and bookshops but miss the winds, the waves and the silence.
      Strangely Nova Scotia is on average the warmest province in Canada. The winters can be cold but the summers are blisteringly hot. Lisa

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  13. All the females in the family are shell collectors, nothing special, just those found when wandering along the water's edge with our heads down. My mother liked to pick up pieces of green glass worn smooth by the sea. I keep my collection on a plate in the bathroom.
    Is your touch of pink an old piece of lustreware? It looks lovely.

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    1. You've got a good eye! The bowl has been crudely stapled together to mend a crack that must have happened ages ago before I found it in a jumble sale.

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  14. Gift from the Sea is on my bookshelf and is regularly paged through. This is a reminder to re-read it once again. I've given copies of the book to my daughters - AML words are so full of lovely wisdom.
    Your guest room decor would be delightful and soothing. A very restful place for any guest.

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