In my first blog I wrote about the beaches close to where I live
& where I collect the sea urchins, shells, sea glass & driftwood.

One of my main creations is the painted sea stones.
Although there is a reef with stones close by, I go to a beach in Gonubie
which is far better, when I need stones.

This beach carries on for quite a way but I don’t need to venture very far when I am collecting.
Once again the views make a spectacular working environment.

Darryll, my brother, recently ran a race called “The Surfers Challenge”.
This race is run from Kwelera Mouth to Nahoon Beach.

It is a 17.5km run a lot of which is along the beach.
Some of the beaches are sand beaches & some pebble beaches.
This is a video that Darryll sent to me while running the race.
It is taken somewhere between Kwelera & Rainbow Valley.

Now you can see what a  treasure trove of stones I have to choose from.
I have tried some of these more remote beaches to collect stones.
The stones at these remote beaches are beautiful but I do need to go to a beach
which has parking close by because buckets of pebbles are very heavy.
I also need to know the areas are safe enough.

I normally collect about 5 buckets of stones each time I go collecting.
I did email the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries about 2 years ago.
I wanted to know if I was allowed to take stones off the beaches to paint on and then to sell.
I am still waiting for a reply.  Taking stones off the beach is obviously not a priority
even though people who visit my stall are always tell me that it is illegal.
No-one has any proof of this.

All of the stones I collect get laid out in my back yard waiting for their turn to be cleaned.

I get really picky & choose my favourites first.
The buckets are filled with a cheap bulk version of Handy Andy & water.

The stones are scrubbed of dirt and algae using wire brushes & knives to scrape off calcified growths.
I then rinse them of all traces of ammonia & leave them to dry on a clean table.

Every stone now needs to be varnished on both sides.  I use an acrylic varnish.
Sometimes Matt, sometimes Gloss.

It took a while to find the right varnish.
I was not wanting to use chemicals to clean the brushes each time I varnish.
I would rather throw the brushes away which means I would have to throw a lot of brushes away!

Once the stones are varnished & dry I start deciding on the design inspiration for this project.

I have a whole folder of Pebble Design inspiration on Pinterest to choose from.

The projects do not always turn out the way I want them to,
but if they are beautiful in the end then they are a success.

In the next blog I will go into the techniques I use for painting the stones.

Maybe you will be inspired enough to start painting stones too.