Seaside Motifs

One of my favorite bloggers on here is Elenora from Coastal Crochet. She likes to crochet things by the seashore. I like to craft stuff with those same ocean inspired things too, so her ideas are great to explore.

She posted a cute ammonite pattern a while back (be sure to check out her other stuff too!) and I thought it would be cool to work up in my favorite coated nylon Brazilian thread, Linhasita. I also found a simple starfish pattern on Pinterest as well.

For these motifs, I really enjoyed using the Linhasita since it has a stiffness to it, allowing the piece to be shaped by hand. It’s nylon, so blocking it with your fingers is the best option. It also helped the starfish look more real since the arms could be shaped, and looked less “cookie cutter.” I love how the ammonites came out looking very lacy. I used a 2.0 mm hook with these, but I did make some size adjustments for variety. In other words, I had fun, yo.

Just had fun with these

Next, I simply whipstitched the motifs onto little 3” muslin drawstring bags from the craft store. 

Natural thread, natural muslin bags, easy

Used a simple backstitch

Lookin’ classy now. This would be nice to give to a salty, crunchy, surfer needing a little surfer’s tune-up kit (wax, fin screws, fin key) OR collect some seaglass or shells to give to your buds!

Hold yer stuff, man….

Happy Freakin’ Whatever. Let’s surf!

This sums up my ideal PAR-TAY

The Latest Surfing Gimmicks and Fads

Like I’ve said before, I’m a total sucker for new little surfy inventions and fads. But, like anything, some are good, some are….interesting. I’m not a sponsored surfer by any means (still waiting to get sponsored by KFC so I can get my free biscuits), so these are just my random, average surfer insights. N-Joy.

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Dry Start Wetsuit System

Dry Start

Of course, this invention on Kickstarter is from San Diego- the land of chilly water. It’s a solution to dry your Wetsuit fast by using an attachment to the roof of your car. Then, I guess you drive like a maniac until your blow-out of your suit is complete. I can work with that. Also doubles as an impromptu body bag. Yikes.

Pros: Fastest way yet to dry a wetsuit and get out some road rage.

Cons: Bad news if the wetsuit bag flies off the roof of your car and finds a lawyers’ windshield.

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The Orange Peel Wax Container (Peel Surf Co.)

Peel Surf Co.


I’ve used silicone molds a lot for making my own wax, recycling wax, etc., so this is not a new idea. However, it’s a mold with a wax “break” line that fits into a car’s cup holder. Smart. Wax melts everywhere here in Florida, where it’s 90 degrees consistently every Summer day. But it’s microwaveable too, so you can whip up a batch of wax without a double boiler. Gnar.

Pros: Will save the inside of a surfmobile, might make you feel all crafty if you make your own wax

Cons: A little pricey at $12, but then, it’s kinda a specialty item. Good for Crafty Surfers- full disclosure: I totally backed this on Kickstarter since I love making wax. Just hope I don’t accidentally take a sip from this on a hot day.



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Fashion Color Wetsuits

Roxy, Billabong and XCel have reintroduced color back into neoprene again. This time, there’s less neon green and hot pink, and more modern colors and prints. However, sometimes I feel like I’m doing cosplay at the local Trekker convention in the current designs offered.

Pros: Some style in the water, bright Neoprene always improves the look of your surfing photos.

Cons: You may have to report to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Number Two.



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Quiver Grip Surfboard Rack System

Quiver Grip

This was a new product I found out about recently, and the inventor is from Brevard County, Florida. This rack system uses plastic grips to corral your surfboards upright- like pulling a book from a shelf. It reminds me a bit of an IKEA solution to surfboard storage. It seems easy to install, and it’s cheap (less than $50 for a 3 board wall mount kit). Not crazy about the plastic beer-can holder look of the grips, though.

Pros: Like Huggable Hangers for your surfboards, inexpensive, easy to install and move around on the rail

Cons: Aesthetics of a frat house



Keep on trend, brah!

Ask Mr. Spicoli



Surf Wax Aromatherapy 

It’s been pretty flat and stormy lately, so I’ve been hanging out enjoying the Great Indoors when the storms blow through.

Since I’ve been feeling homey, I had thought about all of these candles and scents I see on TV that are advertised ad nauseum. A popular item I’ve seen for sale at surf shops and online is the “Surf Wax Candle”. Heck, I’ve even made some myself. Yes, they’re more natural- and not chock full of chemical soup- BUT, I’m not a huge fan of having open flames in my house. A pleasant smelling house is nice. Potential raging flames…not so much.

These smell great, but can be a problem if you forget about it

So, I got out my candle warming plate from Walgreens (less than $5), a stainless steel spoon rest I picked up at Goodwill ($1), and some oils I already had in the pantry ($1-$7 each bottle, which has a lot of scent), and I made an full-blown experiment out of it.
Needed: Surf wax, candle holder, warming plate, various aroma oils.

Just a little wax is needed

I used three different types of popular surf wax for melting and scenting my surfy abode: Sex Wax, Sticky Bumps, and Mrs. Palmer’s. Here’s my findings…..

Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax (Warm Water)– This wax on its’ own has a warm, kind of tropical scent, so it paired best with a few drops of kitchen Vanilla. Together, the combo produced a pleasant, but not overwhelming, scent while melting on the candle heater. The scent is still nice and inviting, but quite light.

Testing out the Sex Wax



Sticky Bumps (Warm Water)– Since this wax already has a pretty strong sweet smell, I melted this on its own for a while. The aroma was improved, in my opinion, with a few drops of citrus oil. The “Calming” Oil had hints of citrus that really matched well with the base smell of the wax.

My little surf wax laboratory



Mrs. Palmer’s (Warm Water)– This is not my favorite wax for surfing in Florida, but it certainly won points with me in this project since the base wax has very little odor, allowing for almost any type of oil combo. The best recipe was a combination of Vanilla with some Lavender oil. Very relaxing, and definitely the strongest smell of the three. The finished wax still has a very strong smell, even after heating it for more than an hour.

The best part of this project is dumping the melted remains into a waxed paper cup mold to be remade into a wax bar again for my surfboards. Only this time, I’ll get to enjoy the scents in the water too! As long as I didn’t use too much, the oils didn’t add any color nor change the consistency of the wax, so it works just as well as before.

Precaution! Don’t use Peppermint or Cinnamon to scent up your wax if you’re planning on using it as surf wax unless you like sexy, spicy rashes all over your bod. Ow.

These are the new wax bars after I simmered the oils in them

A lot of people pay extra money for happy smelling surf wax, and now you can make your own too. It’s not expensive, and as long as you use natural oils, it’s not adding any harmful chemicals. 

I’m going to be using the “Calming” Oil formulation a lot since it’s been pancake flat for several days here. I really need some patience.

WHOOOO needs waves?!? I do!

My Car’s Summer Surf Kit Stuff: Upcycled Surf Wax Holder

Starting off the Summer Kit right- with plenty o’ WAX!
I’ve done a few projects using the original paper surf wax boxes and brand labels, including this, this, and this (clicky, they’re awesome).
Since I like to save these in decent to good Still going strongcondition for crafting, I’ll use my wax pouch I made for a bar that’s readily accessible in the front seat pocket. Then, I’ll keep a few boxes tucked away, where the boxes themselves won’t get as damaged.

This year, I wanted to be more efficient and streamlined in my surf kit, so I grabbed

Empty Box

the empty Kleenex cylinder my In-Laws just finished up. It’s thick cardboard, with a partial lid (there was an opening for the tissue, of course). 

I discovered that it fit seven Sex Wax bars perfectly! If you broke the Sticky Bumps into halves, it would also fit several bars as well. The Sex Wax bars, if they are whole, will not fall out with the outer rim on, but I made a little cover from one of the wax boxes by sealing it and laminating it with packing tape.

Made a cover to insert into the lid rim

Without their labels and boxes, this can hold a lot of wax!

 

No worries about stocking my car with wax this Summer AT ALL. Yes, even if it’s hot, the wax will be in an opaque cardboard container AND the Warm/Tropical Wax (like we use here in Florida right now) is a harder formula of wax so it will be less likely to melt. And points for recycling and avoiding more plastic.
You could stop there, or you could bedazzle it, like I did:

Painting the cardboard tube with acrylic craft paint

Once you pop….I like Sour Cream and Onion. Can you tell?

Now, some of you are WAY ahead of me. I guess you’re right, it could be made into a coin bank to save for the gnar-gnar surf trip of yo dreamz……

“But the BRO-chure said this was the ‘Land of Surfers'”

Recycle Your Nasty Surf Wax: Summer Recipe

So I’ve done a few posts on making your own surf wax. It’s really fun to try, and something a frequent surfer should take a crack at some point. Even if it doesn’t come out picture perfect. It could even come out green.
I’m stoked that some local Florida surfers came up with this. I can’t wait to use it in future projects (they have a Kickstarter thing going right now). But, for now, this project did make a bit of waste. Sorry. Hurry up, Peel Surf dudes. 

Be sure to check out their “How-to” video- I learned a lot from it, some of which I’ll be sharing in this project.

So, here’s the wax I wanted to recycle. It’s off my longboard, so grody. It’s a mix of: basecoat, cool water wax, warm water wax, and God knows what else in that amount of wax. It was my winter wax job basically. Yup, it needed some freshness. 

It’s a meteorite of surf wax

Summer in Florida can melt your face off, so if I wanted to make this wax useful at all, it needed some hardening up. I had some beeswax leftover from another project. It’s super hard stuff, but expensive to use on its own as surf wax all the time. I thought a little beeswax, though, might upgrade my recycled wax into something capable of standing up to the Summer heat.

I weighed out my used surf wax first using a digital scale. I bought it for making wax recipes only, you sinner….

Ewwww

Then, I weighed out the rest of my beeswax.

Not much, but a little should help harden the scraped wax

Next, I prepped a cup to use to filter my OLD surf wax. It’s just a wax paper cup, and I cut a square of cheesecloth to bind over the top to help filter the wax a little when I pour it in after heating it on the double burner.

Cut the extra away

This needs some filterin’

Pouring the melted wax into the cup from the metal burner- use a disposable/dedicated chopstick

Leftover grit and grossness in the burner to clean out and toss

Gnarly

Left to harden

 
After I let it harden, I knew there was going to be even MORE grime coming out of the wax, falling to the bottom. So, after I tore away the paper cup, I scooped out the extra nastiness on the bottom with a plastic spoon I keep just for wax.

The bottom of the wax from the cup

The wax had not hardened all the way, making it easier to scoop out the crusty bits with a plastic spoon

I had already cleaned out my double boiler pan well, removed the grime, and started to melt the beeswax down in it first. After that, I added the recycled stuff.

Melting all the wax together

If you had watched Peel Surf’s video on making surf wax, he mentions using diatomaceous earth to create “bumps” in your wax. Essentially, the calcium bits act as a hard grain for wax to collect against, similar to how a pearl is formed. In this case, we’re shooting for HUMPS Brah!

So instead of diatomaceous earth (which is NASTY to handle- imagine handing and breathing in tiny microscopic needles), I went with the lowly eggshell. My in-laws are visiting, so I had a bumper crop of seven shells.

Make sure these get cleaned WELL, dried, and try to remove as much membrane as possible.

So before I even melted the wax, I had taken the eggshells, put them in a heavy duty ziplock bag, and crumpled the heck out of them. I had to split off the remaining membranes from the actual shell bits, then I could use the back of my spoon to smash the clean shell bits.

In work. The membranes are in the back of the pic.

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Now back to the good part

 

I also added a couple of other ingredients to my recycled wax/beeswax mixture:

Molasses– adds great stickiness, but messes with the color of the wax a bit on the downside. Honey could also work, but it’s not as sticky as this or sap resin.

Stickiest crap I know of, this should help



Flavoring Oil– I used a whole dram of LorAnn flavoring oil in Tropical Punch. You can get this stuff in the baking section of Michael’s, Walmart, or online of course. It makes the wax smell GREAT. I wish I knew about this earlier! N-Joy da tip, dude.

Smells awesome

Dumping in some eggshells- they probably need to be finer, but for this run, I thought this would work.


I allowed the cups of wax to harden at room temperature. Putting them in the freezer creates voids in your wax.

I used a silicone pot lid to pour these on. Make sure to keep stirring while pouring, since not all of the ingredients will be well distributed

Allowing the wax to harden

This stuff came out sage green. Yikes. So Day Glo Yellow, Molasses, Beeswax, other Random Wax, baking oil, and eggshell bits come out this color…ewwww.

Better than Eggs Erronious

Weird color, but they work well

On my fun shape. Looks like dirty wax

 

Now, if you’ve been following this whole post, you’ll notice I forgot to weigh the recycled surf wax AFTER I filtered it and scooped out the grimy bits. Duh. It was probably around 3 ounces.

My estimate is 3 parts recycled wax to 1 part beeswax to harden it, plus the extra eggshells, molasses, and flavoring oil.

I used it today on my 6’10” funshape, and it went on perfectly, and “bumped” up easily as I applied it. The wax feels considerably harder, so I’m looking forward to testing this small batch this Summer too. 

The wax worked great, it was bumpy and sticky, and I was glad I ground the eggshells fine enough.

The haters will say I’m using stupid sage surf wax, but I’m just upping the eco-cred game, yo. You HAVE to have that in addition to surf gnarness.

THIS will sooooo be in my next beach wear line….

He’s Eco-Chic, man

Recycled Surf Wax Box Bracelet

There’s this guy who has the World’s Largest collection of surfboard wax. He’s put a lot of it online at surfwaxmuseum.com and it’s a fascinating website about this piece of surfing ephemera. And I thought I had a lot of surf wax in my garage, cluttering up my shelves.

Given that most surfers go through a fair bit of surf wax in their life, I’m really happy to see a lot of the big surf companies move away from plastic wrap on wax. It was a common piece of trash around here to pick up on the beach. Boo.

Now, a couple of the big companies (Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax, Sticky Bumps, Mrs. Palmer’s) are selling their wax in recyclable cardboard boxes rather than using plastic wrap. Good idea- not only is the cardboard recyclable, it gives me a place to store my wax without it getting sand or grime in it. Score.

After I’m done with the wax, though, I’ve been hanging onto the boxes for projects I just know are waiting. And waiting. Finally, here’s one that actually came out neat-o.

For this bracelet project, I used one of the Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax boxes. The paper is thick, like a light cardboard, but thin enough to cut with a household paper punch. I also thought the natural brown and red colors on the box would look pretty cool by the end.

Me likey

I opened up the box by tearing the glued seam on the side.

I tore it open like a Christmas gift from Grandma

 
From there, it’s just punching dots with a standard hole punch. Then using a thicker, sharp  point needle, I poked holes in the center of each cardboard dot, and strung them onto a length of thread.

Punching and poking

Aim for the center- don’t worry about being TOO precise

They look like heishi shells

 

I took this strand out to the garage for a quick blast of spray sealant. It’s not necessary, but I wanted to make the cardboard beads last a bit longer. 

To make my bracelet, I used some pearly grey 8/0 seed beads with some 11/0 silver tone seed beads. I settled on a pattern of 5 cardboard disc beads, 1 silver tone 11/0 bead, 1 8/0 seed bead, and another 1 silver tone 11/0 bead. I repeated this pattern until I ran out of the cardboard discs.

Using 49 strand wire makes the bracelet flexible, but the discs can be strung on without a needle

No needle necessary, but don’t forget a bead stopper!

Finishing the ends of the bracelet using crimp beads

Ended up looking like a shell bracelet, kinda

Nifty gnar



From 3/4 of a Sex Wax box (I kept the front of the box for something else), I was able to make two 7″ bracelets with this pattern. This is not a bracelet to wear in the water on a regular basis, but I think it will hold up enough as a fun Summer bracelet for an evening out.

I’m definitely keeping one, and I’ll put the other in my Random Shop o’ Crafts if somebody just wants to skip the DIY part and likes this version. Hey, I don’t judge- I’ve got other crap to do too, believe it or not.

You’ll put your eye out

There’s a time and place for wax in your zipper

So I have this front zip surf vest I bought a while back by Billabong that I just love because it can zip on and off like a jacket- no over the head removal. This helps my sore neck greatly.

However, it has a horrible design flaw. At least for a frequent surfer like me. Its’ zipper teeth and zipper pull are completely exposed. Cute fashion look, but bad for function when I’m accumulating surf wax on my chest, lying on my board belly down, paddling into waves. Now I’ve got crazy wax buildup on the zipper, and it actually doesn’t make the zip-up any easier. Plus, the clean-up is going to become a nightmare.

This vest gets a lot of use- even in the Summer. But so much wax!!!

Not going to be fun to clean

 

So, to help start this process, I put the vest in a Ziplock bag and put it in the freezer overnight.

Didn’t want to get the nasty wax all over my somewhat clean freezer

Clean eating. By the way, Mini Eggs are EXCELLENT frozen.


After taking the vest out of the freezer the next day, I immediately began to remove the hardened wax while it was frozen. I used an old toothbrush that I had cleaned off well beforehand.

I tried not to scrape the material

The bristles helped clean the teeth

 

Since there was still some wax deep in some crevices, I had to use an alcohol wipe to wipe down the plastic teeth to try and dissolve the wax. That seemed to help quite a bit too.

Wiping down just the teeth of the zipper and zipper pull

An improvement


Now, I was ready to make a little zipper placket so I could save myself this cleaning pain in the future, hopefully.

For this zipper placket, I used some fun Lycra I bought ages ago on clearance, but you could also recycle an old rashguard for this project too, since it’s the same material.

Wacky

I measured the zipper on the jacket vest, wanting the placket to end up being 1 inch wide by 19 inches long.

Measuring across

About 19″


To make this strip, I needed to cut a piece 2 inches wide by 20 inches long, since I’m going to fold it over. I inferfaced this with light iron on interfacing. I just find it makes sewing with knits a lot easier, and it will give the placket a bit of structure.

I use this all the time with knits

Hemming each end


After that, I hemmed each end a 1/2″ inch and turned the ends right side out, then stitched down the placket on the outside raw edge to stabilize it some more.

Turned right side out

Light iron

Making sure the edges don’t move around

Then, I sandwiched the raw edge of the placket between the zipper teeth and the scant edge of the neoprene on the side of the fabric of the zipper. I clipped this all the way down, putting this placket on the zipper side where the zipper pull is.

I had to move the pull out of the way

It ain’t movin’

I used a needle a poly thread and hand tacked the layers together, since they were just too bulky for the home machine. Even with small tack stitches, it didn’t take long. This is also a good use for old fishing line, but the lighter, the better.

Hand sewing the placket in

Done!

The placket won’t get in the way of the zipper




This will help to prevent some wax from getting on the zipper in the future. It was easy enough to do, and I’m glad I didn’t have to scrap the nice vest.

Bonus tip: 

Don’t forget to store the toothbrush with your cleaning supplies. If you wax your teeth up, you’re going to freak people out in the lineup with a permagrin.

Although that’s not a bad idea.

Not much longer until I’m sporting this look