There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface the whole time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.
You guys know that I live with a mermaid, right? It was a somewhat recent discovery for us but looking back we should have known. The frequent beach visits, the trails of sand, the sandcastle drawings, the strange dolphin noises, the extra long baths. I should have put two and two together long ago but she finally confessed as we were planning her 5th birthday party... "Mom, you know I am a real mermaid, right?" There was a long pause followed by a shoulder shrug and an, "ummm... yeah. I mean, it makes sense because I am 20% mermaid and your dad has Nordic Viking blood and the Vikings spent a lot of time on ships out at at sea, so I am sure they met and fell in love with mermaids... so you probably got a BUNCH of recessive mermaid genes." I thought that would be that but then she matched my story with a story of her own. "Mom, these legs aren't real. I am going to have to go back to the sea, I just HAVE to find the magic potion. Don't be sad but my feet will be fins and I will have a bedroom underwater." It was in this exchange that the mermaid switch flipped all the way on. Unauthorized mermaid potion making is basically a daily occurrence at our house and if you look up the search history on my computer "magical mermaid amulet" is a favorite. Followed by "mermaid shampoo" (weird, I know) and "what do mermaids eat?"
So when we spent Spring Break on the Sonoma coast, I was on vigilant mermaid watch. I am only half kidding when I say that I was a little nervous every time we were taking in the view on a seaside cliff that her feet might sprout into fins and I would have to muster a brave land lubber mama goodbye to my little Mer. Luckily for us, we found a lot of treasure but no magic potion.
One of the most amazing days of our trip was a trek to the tide pools at Salt Point State Beach and the Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve. We were completely blown away by all the colors and textures and the intricate habitats we found nestled into each nook and cranny of cove. We spent a couple of hours climbing the sandstone rocks. Each time we thought we had spotted the most beautiful anemone or mollusk shell, or what had to be the biggest star fish, we would go a little bit further north and our minds would be blown yet again. This experience sparked a lot of curiosity in my little mermaid and the colors, textures and shapes 100% inspired the idea for this under the sea invitation. If you have found your way here on an under the sea art project hunt, check out our mermaid dolls, recycled jellyfish, paper tube koi, and school of fish sculpture.
Other ideas for materials:
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You want to set out a nice spread of recycled and sparkly materials, "art buffet" style. My little Mer was over the moon when she saw that the "glue" had flecks of gold in it. She painted on a coat of Mod Podge and then started to create her sea floor with tissue paper dots, shells, and rocks.
While the Mod Podge sets you will move on to phase 2, which is constructing the anemones, coral, and sea plants. Coffee filters get smushed and folded into sea plants, half of a paper tube becomes some sort of sea anemone, egg cartons become nubby barnacles, and pipe cleaners become exotic sea plants.
I spy: colored moss, curled paper plates, pom poms, and some painted fusilli pasta!
Love the addition of the tiny pastel beads... or are those pearls?
Love the height that the stacked egg carton sections give this piece!
We can't wait to see your Under The Sea Sculptures! Tag us in your pics on Instagram : )