My little adventures south of the border.

Recycling treasures from the sea…

When I go to Isla Mujeres, I always do some hunting for interesting shells and sea glass.  I didn’t find anything interesting in Puerto Morelos or Tulum this time, but I didn’t really do any serious searching anyway.  But when I got to Akumal, I found something that I had never found before on beaches…but then again, I had never really looked for it before.  I was walking around the beach on Half Moon Bay after Hurricane Ernesto hit, and found the remains of what is called Sea Fan Coral.  Here’s a photo from the internet of what it looks like in the sea:

I thought to myself, “Geez, there’s something you should be able to do with these…I should take some home.”  So I did.  They come in all shapes and sizes, but I will tell you right now that one of the worst things about collecting these is that THEY SMELL HORRIBLE!!  I got a big collection of them and laid them out on the little space outside the front doorway in the condo where I was staying so that they could dry out.  Every time I passed by them, I almost gagged from the odor that came from these once-living specimens. When it was time to go home, I wrapped them in three plastic shopping bags, so that the smell wouldn’t get all over my clothes in the suitcase.  I could still smell them a little when I opened the suitcase at home, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.  I was hoping that customs wouldn’t suspect there might be a dead body inside my suitcase if the smell happened to get out.  So when I got home, I just tossed them out on my back patio and didn’t think about them for several weeks hoping that the hot Texas sun would dry them out and reduce the smell.  After about three weeks, they were pretty much odor-less.  (Thank God.)

So last week, I started wondering what I could do with these, and I just started playing around with one and came up with this.  I painted the coral a metallic turquoise and left the base natural and just put a polyurethane coat on it.  It’s kind of unique on its own as a display of interesting sea life…

But then it occurred to me that it could do double-duty as an earring holder!  Sweet!!

Let’s see what else I can come up with.  Stay tuned.

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5 responses

  1. Helen

    Do great minds think alike or what?!! I found two pretty fan corals at the little coconut stands that used to be outside of Mundaca (before they started all the construction there). I have it hanging on the wall in my bathroom with my earrings on it. I sawed half of the base off so it would hang about an inch from the wall. Its such a functional and pretty reminder of Isla. I love your version and have another one that I will copy your idea.

    September 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm

  2. You are so right, Helen…great minds DO think alike! Haha! Now I just have to figure out what else to do with them!

    September 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

  3. I brought a couple of pieces home that I found on Isla ( down by Mar Y Sol) & I know I sprayed them with something so they wouldn’t fade & put them in a shadowbox frame . Will eventually put in some shells or other finds. It’s hanging on the wall beside my computer! I was amazed that it made it back here unbroken.

    September 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

  4. Wow! That’s gorgeous! I’ll have to keep an eye out in shops (and looking down). An earring holder is a great idea!

    September 11, 2012 at 3:08 am

  5. Ann – They’re actually pretty sturdy considering they’re whipped around by the sea and waves. Now that mine are all dried out, they’re almost hard as rocks.

    Beck – Thanks. Like I said, I’ve never seen them on Isla, but then again, I’ve never looked for them before now.

    September 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

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