I couldn't begin to add up how many walks on the shore of Lake Michigan I've taken over the course of my life, but an average of two per week since I was about 5 equals about ... well, a lot. And until about four years ago I probably never picked up a piece of driftwood.
And then I started to see interesting shapes in pieces of wood. I dragged home one that I called "The Diver" and it became a holder for our house numbers at the end of our driveway.
Two pieces have ended up as garden art.
And I continue to be inspired by all the creative things people do with driftwood.
Check out this post and this post from Completely Coastal to see what I'm talking about. Even West Elm is selling driftwood artwork. Or you can go to Pottery Barn and pick up a driftwood mirror.
I'll be honest: It kind of kills me that the stuff I've been walking by all these years is now for sale at Pottery Barn.
So earlier this year I started picking up little bits of driftwood instead of just looking at the big pieces (best found in spring after the winter storms wash up the big stuff on the beach). Every time I go to the beach I pick up a few interesting, small pieces of driftwood. I guess I'm collecting them in case I decide I want to make something out of them someday (and I love the idea of mobiles and frames made of the stuff). But what does one do with these things while they are collecting it? I just grabbed a cheap hurricane vase and threw in there.
But guess what? I'm starting to kind of like this driftwood-turned art/collection thing going on. And judging from people's reaction to it, so do some other people. Sometimes when people come over they like to pull out pieces and look at them closer and pick their favorites or have a discussion about what they think it looks like (driftwood tends to be cool that way; like clouds people "see" different things in a piece of driftwood).
This is may be the world's most interesting "tablescape," but it's a conversation piece.