Restocking my Cheez-It and Diet Coke Supply

So I was up at the Publix this AM with the rest of the Barrier Island getting Hurricane supplies like Diet Coke, Cheez-its, and some fruit and veggies (hubby’s got to eat too). After all the coverage from Harvey, you’d think this is the freakin’ end. I mean, this is FLORIDA. We deal with rogue pythons and flesh eating lake bacteria. We have Florida Man. We’ll be alright.

Personally, I like Diet Coke, yo

With all this news coverage, I’m really getting in the mood to watch The Day After Tommorrow. Corny movie, but still a guilty

Holy Schnikes

pleasure for someone into Oceanography like me. With the storm Jose forming behind this one, it reminds me of that radar scene where all the hurricanes converge together. Horrible, horrible, horrible.
As a surfer, I think it’s funny to hear people ask if the waves are going to be good ahead of this hurricane. Ummm….not this one. Surfers like their ‘canes out in the ocean a bit, away from land, pumping in those nice swells to create beautiful, rideable, glassy waves with light, gentle offshore wind. I’m afraid this storm will only provide training footage for the Coast Guard. Boo.

Sandy was a good swell here in Cocoa Beach

We shall see if Irma will move off into the North Atlantic, leaving a nice swell behind, or if it just leaves us with a bunch of cleanup.

I foresee some beach trash crafts a-comin’, since hurricanes always bring in the wackiest and most interesting items to our shores, good and bad.

Oh, I snapped this pic by City Hall on the way back from the grocery. I wonder how many people will show up this weekend? I’ll bring the hibachi and rum out to da beach.


DIY Cork Display Ladder for Matau Carved Necklaces

I’ve become a collector of Maori-style carved pendants, mostly Hei Matau. I’ve even expanded my collection beyond the traditional fish hooks, and a local Cocoa Beach artist (Capt. Steve Bowman) has made me several sea life pieces that I adore.

My first Hei Matau (Left), my favorite carved pendant, Seadragon (right)

Problem is, I really have no good way to display them nor store them currently (I’m constantly wearing them and switching them out) and it’s been bugging me.
I was out at my local discount store and found this cork trivet that I thought would work perfectly as a necklace ladder. It would keep the pendants from banging against the wall, they could be easily accessible, and I can SEE them. Perfect. All for 4 bucks in the clearance bin. Score.

Craft cork can be expensive, so the Kitchen wares department is a great place to look

I cut the connecting jute cord and separated the cork tubes, which were already pre-drilled. Of course, I’ve seen these type of tubes at the craft store, so you could make your own with a small rotary drill.

Any leftovers can be used for leash loops on your surfboards!

Simple overhand stopper knots to make rings, spaced out about two inches

I re-threaded the tubes with doubled #90 paracord, with a simple overhand knot on each side of each “rung” as a stopper. I used about 2 lengths of 2 yards to make the ladder.

Adjust the knots to even up spacing

Make sure to burn and melt any ends or they’ll fray

Done! And it fits perfectly between the closet doors. I just used simple wooden tacks to hang up each necklace.


Much easier to get to….

Gotta take care of the surf cred like this since I don’t have surf tattoos, only the surfy jewelry. Yeah, I know I need to step up the surf cred game, but wetsuit season is coming. I can just PRETEND I’m covered in gnar surf tattoos, and no one can really know.

Psych out, brah.

This wins for most gnar surf tattoo

Shell Sanding and Polishing (More Gilding the Lily)

Since I’ve been having fun with the Dremel tool,

The hole was natural!

I decided to grind a shell I’ve had in my collection that’s not all that stunning. But, it’s a good candidate to paint into a neato necklace pendant since it’s already bleached a simple white.
In this case, I focused on sanding the INSIDE of the shell. I didn’t want to lose the nice outside ridges, but I wanted to paint the inside concave area. To do this, I needed to get rid of some of the imperfections.

I needed to make the inside smooth if I wanted to paint it

Now, we need to talk safety equipment. Anytime you are drilling, sanding, etc. with shells or sea glass, PLEASE wear:

  • Safety Glasses/Goggles
  • Mask (You do NOT want to breathe in any particles)
  • Gloves (again, particulate is not fun)

Also, I use water on my piece only while sanding and buffing it. Do not place the Dremel into the water. 

My equipment

Dipping the shell in water before sanding

I used a 150 grit sanding drum first, then the buffer

After I finished sanding and buffing (which took around 10 minutes), I rinsed and dried the shell off throughly.
Next, I put 3 coats of varnish over the entire shell before painting it. This will improve the shell’s surface for taking paint.

I love this varnish- a little goes a long way

After everything’s dried, I was ready to move on to the next stage. BeDazzling the shell….

I think this is an excellent use of time.

DIY Gifts for Surfers: Here’s Your Sign

Since today’s going to be a long day for most Americans, I thought it’s an excellent time to work on some gifts for the Holidays- after I voted, of course!

img_0641One of my best friends wanted me to make her a little “surf sign” to hang up on a piece of bamboo gate she’s got over her couch. She’s been wanting to make a few of her own, and hopefully this will give her some inspiration to make some in her own style too.

My thought for the sign was a double sided one, instead of the common “Margaritas Served Here” (they NEVER are. Liars.) Maybe something useful for when the surfer girls come over, or maybe a fake out if you need some surf me-time.

I picked up these little balsa wood cut outs at a craft store, but you can always use scrap wood, or even wood shingles from the hardware store.

To make these look a little more legit, I used a water-based stain in Mahogany. The water based stains paint on with a foam brush easily, and are not nearly as gnarly as actual wood stains. I’ve had this tube forever, a little goes a long way. Put too much on, and you might as well have painted it brown.


This type of stain I only found at the hardware store. If you do small crafts, a tube goes a long way.

Put a light coat of stain on one side of each sign, let it dry completely, then stain the other side. Don’t forget to cover the edges. If you get a little sloppy, no biggie, our friend sandpaper will make a reappearance.

This part is fun- you kind of mess up your work by sanding it with a coarse piece of sandpaper, especially on the edges:


Before I began painting the sign, I put one thin coat of spray sealant on the sides to be painted. It smooths the surface a bit, and also prevents your paint pen work from soaking into the balsa.


Sealing the base stain before decoration

Time to paint!

For this project, I tried to use my “craft” level paint pens. Painting balsa will TEAR UP your good pen nibs, so beware. You can use stencils, copy fonts, or just freehand it like I did (groovy, dude). I thought it would be good to give a simple surf report:

“Surf’s Up”img_6002


“It’s flat”.



I used pens from wide size down to micro size, and you can go nuts for donuts too. If you are a surfer or skater who doesn’t own a set of paint pens,

WHAT’S YOUR DEAL?!?! You need to try this bowl of happy, kids.


“Painters” paint pens are ok for this project- don’t use your GOOD pens that you use on your Surfboard!

Of course, once I finished up the design, I sealed it one more time with the spray, in a ventilated area, with a mask and goggles preferably, unless you’re into that sort of thing. Then the next steps will be rough for you to follow. Yikes.


What the hell does that say???

This sign needed a hanger, so I used some nice off white cotton macrame cord that looks like nautical rope. You can also use hemp or twine, just don’t make it too thin if you want the double overhand frayed knot decoration peeking out at the bottom between each half. I did this on each end, then lined up the hanger and glued in between the two halves. You can clamp these together, or put heavy objects on it, like I did.



Yep, they’re big paperweights now.

After allowing the glue-up to dry like this, it’s ready to go.




Lemon face :..(

I hope this gives her some painting stoke. It’s a stokeless desert around here since Matthew. Come back fun waves!







Maori Hook Loop Wrap and Cord

I’m an avid collector of Maori style hooks (matau), wood or bone, and general hook, tiki, or ocean life motifs. I actually wear mine often, and in the surf, so I need to know how to re-wrap my mataus with waxed cotton or nylon after a few years of regular use or hanging for display. Metal jump rings just won’t do.

imageCase in point, I have a hook I got recently from a friend who does AMAZING work, Captain Steve Bowman (Da Bonz Carver). He made this hook out of old surfboard resin from a local glasser. He wrapped it with black waxed cord, but I wanted something a bit brighter, like a pink, since the resin is so happy and colorful. The cord was also black, and the toggle was a button of resin to match the hook. The resin design idea of his was totally awesome, though!


I trimmed off the black wrap to expose the carved hook neck. Next, I’ll measure out 3/4 to 1 yard of Linahasita cord thread on a needle. With the matau hook front facing me, I’ll kept a tail of Linahasita down and behind, came through the round top hole, and left a little loop space for a cord to pass through. I used the needle to pass the thread back through the hole to the front.

While holding the tail behind the matau hook neck, I started wrapping the cord going right to left, starting the wrap IN THE FRONT.

When I made as many wraps as I wanted, I turned the matau hook to the back and used the needle to go back up through the wraps. On the back, I had one cord end coming up out the top, and one out the bottom. I used my “Thread Zap” point heat element tool to seal the waxed cord.

Once the ends were sealed, the hook was ready for a cord. I wanted to make one that imagewas a bit different than most of my hemp colored roundish rope I have on a lot of my necklaces. I thought a color combo of cords that reflected some of the colors in the hook’s resin would be fun.

imageI decided to use a muted blue and rose together. I knotted the two 1 yard lengths of cords together and threaded on the button toggle. Once the knot’s in place, I used my Thread Zap again to melt the knot and to cut the excess Linhasita cord. You can see that the pattern I used was a lark’s head knot on one cord, then one on the other.

Once I got about halfway through the knotting (which was about 8 inches since I was making a choker) I slid on the matau hook. Once I got to the end, I knotted a bit more to make a loop that would let the toggle button pass through. Then, I made about two tight square knots joining the two ends together. Again, I sealed these ends off with my Thread Zapper and took the excess off.

There! It’s finished! One of my flashier ones- very hippie, I think. Now I need to make a proper place to hang all these treasured carvings… Hmmmmm….