My friends and I took a trip to Calvert Cliffs this past September, and boy did we go at the worst time! The weather couldn’t have been nicer, but even though the skies were clear, Hurricanes José and Maria tag-teamed the east coast causing coastal flooding. THE WHOLE WEEK. And the tides never went down for us.. Somehow we managed to find a few teeth – and a few cow shark teeth! I was pretty stoked about those, and the gorgeous scallop shells!
This summer, while cruising a craft show, a beautiful faux stained glass angel wing caught my eye. The artist used 3-D paint on a sheet of clear glass and it was super pretty, but I didn’t get it because the snob in me wanted the real deal. It was then that I decided that I wanted to learn stained glass. I watched a ton of YouTube videos, bought some equipment, and FAILED on the first step of cutting the glass.
When I was a child, I cut my hand pretty bad when I fell while I was running with a crystal goblet filled with chocolate chips (another story). Ever since then I’ve been afraid of breaking glass. That first score I made in the glass was not a good score. It broke all wonky and although I put it down that day, I enrolled in a class and have been slowly learning this summer.
This was my first piece: A cross. I figured, how could I go wrong with a cross? Well, I broke the glass all funky the first time I cut it, then I found out the hard way that my brand new iron hadn’t been tinned, so it charred the lead and burned right through the copper foil. I had to bridge it and all kinds of stuff. But, I think it turned out perfectly imperfect for a first try and it has a special place on my mantle!
After my first class, I sketched out a heart with wings template that I really wanted to make for my MoM. I didn’t want to use anyone else’s design, and heck, what’s a BFA for if you can’t draw something simple? This was my second attempt at cutting and first attempt at cutting curves. Let’s just say I broke a couple of hearts before I figured out how to cut those! 😀
Since I finally figured out how to cut wings, I took a stab at an angel wing. It’s OK, but I need to go back to the drawing board and refine the shapes.
Next, some fun for my niece – a cupcake and a mermaid admiring a REAL fossil shark tooth (of course!), plus a few projects for friends!
We recently enjoyed a second trip to South Carolina, and found so many lovely fossils right on the beach! Whenever you visit a beach, go sit in the shell hash and you’ll find all kinds of cool things! These were found over a couple of nights of fossil hunting, but doesn’t include everything we found. That first night, I texted back and forth with my MoM as I found them and it was SO MUCH FUN!
This one is going to go down as one of my favorite finds in my fossil-collecting lifetime! I found this incredible, gigantic, articulated Archimedes in a road cut in Southwestern Kentucky in 1997. We found many delicate “corkscrew” stalks, brachiopods, and blastoids in the same area, but upon walking a little farther down the road I came across some oolitic limestone where this buddy had cleaved off and was lying on the ground in the brush beside it. That section of oolitic limestone was massive and not easy to chunk off, but there were a few other, smaller Archimedes in that also. You can see part of another one in the chunk with the larger one below.
This tooth was found by Nathan Rickman at one of the Cretaceous sites that I like to visit. The tooth is over 1.75″ long, which is larger than any other mosasaur tooth that I have seen from that site. Amazing find, and one that I couldn’t help sharing! Thank you, Nathan, for allowing me to share your pics!
Earlier this month, my misfit group of rockhead friends (The Goonies) and I got to visit the Eureka mine in Marion, KY. I’ve seen people post beautiful crystals they have found there, but I think other groups had been there since they last turned the ground, so I think we got their seconds. We filled our buckets, but when we got home, we found that the best crystals we collected were small. Many have been dinged and damaged by being turned over by heavy equipment, but we were very happy with the few that came home with! They were covered in the most impossible to remove iron clay, as were our tools, boots, buckets, EVERYTHING!!! Our feet were double in size thanks to the clay sticking to us.. and shoveling was like pushing clay on clay. STILL… fluorite! 🙂
The Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum was very cool.. and we ended up finding a few treasures there that we couldn’t go home without! Check them out sometime!
I was so happy to find these two lower Hemipristis serra teeth on my South Carolina vacation. They are in pristine condition and are two of my very favorite teeth!
It is hard to see unless you look very closely, but they have these tiny, super-sharp cusplets that are just like needles, even now!
I love the roots of the lower hemis. They can stand easily on their own. Look how razor-sharp those blades are and how they flare at the tip!
I’ve been taking photos of my Cretaceous Mississippi fossils and am having a droolfest over my favorite of them all.. my Globidens alabamaensis Mosasaur tooth! It deserves its own page. Look at the rippled enamel. It is a work of art to me!
I will never forget the day I found it. April 22nd, 2016. My MoM and I took two days to spend at the site. When we got there, the water was muddy and high and a local was standing there shaking his head saying this was not the day to collect. We saw two snakes there two weeks before and as fearful as I am, I couldn’t sleep for the thought of them everywhere 🙂 We asked him about snakes and he said a woman got bitten by a water moccasin there the year before. He said he has seen mostly water snakes, but has also seen water moccasins and copperheads there, so he did absolutely nothing to squash my fears. We decided to go in anyway… it was my shark tooth “crack” addiction pushing me in. I brought snake gaiters to wear and the water ripped one right off my leg. Just a few minutes later I also lost my good sieve (which I thankfully found the next day). I was so upset that I took my MoM all the way down there and it was sure to be a bust (and that I “littered” on Earth Day, no less). She asked me if I wanted to go back to the hotel, and I suggested one more place to try first. We found a few shark teeth, and then, out of the muddy water, this beautiful Globidens rolls to the side of my sieve. I nearly lost it! As pretty as it is in these photos, it was glistening.. almost iridescent in the sun. It’s all I could think about the rest of the day. I was just thanking God that He gave me something so special and that he kept us safe from the snakes and high water.
Here’s a rendering of what Globidens alabamaensis, a shell-crushing mosasaur might have looked like in life.