Welcome to MerMade Designs Beach Blog. This is a place with MerMade posts ideas, tips and relivent items relating to the beach and her product. There are great tips on on decorating, new product and more. We hope you enjoy the content and feel free to recommend any other topics related to beach style living! Aloha!

Keeping decorative coral clean and bright!
By: MerMade Designs, 1/22/2013
Nothing is more special or beautiful than having lovely pieces of coral all around the home. But just like any decorative items they can get dusty and dirty sitting out over time. For those of you that have coral around the house, you know that it can be very difficult to dust, as nearly all dust rags or feather dusters get caught on the sharper edges. So as a result, I wanted to tell my customers how to properly clean their decorative coral keeping it bright, shiny, and beautiful.

Before we begin, please remember that this discussion is for decorative coral only, and is not recommended at all for fish tanks or coral that live marine life comes in contact with. To clean fish tank items please refer to your local pet store or other source of information.

How often you clean your coral is up to you. You can go many months without having to clean it, or you can clean it as often as necessary. Obviously it depends on your own situation, but I would strongly suggest cleaning it only when necessary. For a light cleaning, you can always take the coral outside and lightly blow it off with your vacuum on reverse (switch the intake and outtake), or with a hair dryer on light blow. This will take off any large dusty items and is a simple fix. If you would like to clean it more thoroughly, this involves soaking it.

The best way to truly clean your coral, is to soak it or to wash it off. Yes you can get it wet. Often times the simplest way to do it is to take the coral outside and to lightly you hose it off with your garden hose. Remember this is coral and should be fairly durable, but be smart with the water pressure. Let the coral set outside in the sun or in a dry place for the day to fully dry off. Another way to do it, is soak your coral and a bucket, sink or in your bathtub (for the larger items) if you want to get them truly clean. Soak for a few hours up to a day. To help coral become whiter again, simply add a little bleach to the water that you are soaking it in. Again make sure you put it in a dry warm sunny place to fully dry when done.

Once your coral is fully dry and you want to bring out its colors again (for the color coral such as the green, blue, or red) lightly spray it down with a mixture of mineral oil and rubbing alcohol. One third mineral oil and two thirds rubbing alcohol sprayed on the color coral every 2 to 3 months really brings the shine through. It is recommended to lightly spray it at first and see how the colors come through. If you want more color spray moron. I strongly suggest that you spray your coral outside, and place your coral on top of newspaper. The mineral oil can be very slippery, and if you place your coral on the ground near an entryway, or something like that, he will be very frustrated with a slippery spot from the mineral oil. Now rest assured the mineral oil soaks into the coral so it will be dry to the touch on the coral, and the rubbing alcohol is there to help dry it out as well.

And presto, you have clean shiny bright, brand new looking, decorative coral there to adorn your house once again!

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Bling Bling Bling
By: MerMade Designs, 1/8/2013
It is obvious that I love sea shells and everything that comes from the ocean! I truly believe that they are all very beautiful naturally, but I am excited to share some fun ways to brighten up and dazzle some gorgeous sea shells and other items. Local artists and myself enjoy "blinging up" sea shells, sea fans, and even some coral. It adds a beautiful and glamorous affect to an already beautiful item.

Needless to say it can be quite easy to go overboard with the bling. I have personally come to appreciate that applying bling is an art unto itself. Using the right colors, the right size jewels, applying them to the proper areas and just knowing where and how to make them look proper can be an adventure unto itself.

Now with that said I would encourage you to try it sometime. Taking medium sized sea shells is the best place to start. The smaller shells are more intricate and difficult to work with and the larger shells take a lot of time, patience, and product to truly bling them up. Many of your local craft stores will have product that can help you do this. Gluing them will ensure the strongest and most resilient means of making sure the bling stays on, however there are sticker products that can be used as well.

Bling seashells look great mixed in with regular shells, like a true "gem in rough", and they look great by themselves or in clusters together. Bling starfish look great on shelves and with other items. Needless to say, the amount of bling and what you want bling is your blinging desire. MerMade is pleased to offer both regular shells and truly artistically designed bling shells and many other items.

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Shell Trees
By: MerMade Designs, 12/20/2012
Sea Shell Trees for Christmas and much much more. Every Christmas these are always a hot seller in my shop and in high demand. Made by a local artist, and a good friend of mine, these beautiful trees are one-of-a-kind, each and every time. I usually start selling out of them by Thanksgiving and am back ordered through Christmas. Obviously they go well with the holiday season, but they are also wonderful to have up year round.

I personally have three or four sets of them around my house. They look great as a single item, but I personally think they look best in clusters of three (one of each size), and they are up all year round. What is nice about these trees - the starfish on the top can be removed and then they become another gorgeous decorative item that does not necessarily have to be associated with Christmas. These trees come in a variety of sizes from 6 inches to 18 inches high, a variety of seashell types, and are very, very well made. They look great on mantel pieces, bookshelves, and any other focal point that needs a nice "book end" appearance to it.

I have seen many people try to make these (and in fact I have made them as well) but the quality of these trees from my friend are second to none. The key ingredients are 1: make sure the shells are uniform and tightly packed together and 2: the quality of the compound that holds the shell to the base needs to be solid. You can tell just by holding and handling these trees they are great works of art that will last.

If you would like more information on these great trees, please feel free to call me.

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Drifting Boats
By: MerMade Designs, 12/6/2012
Every year around the middle of December, Newport Beach has its annual Christmas boat parade. It is such a pretty event! You get to see some pretty elaborate displays on some rather extraordinary yachts. But often think the real gems are the smaller boats where you can see that the pride of ownership is shining through. It reminds me of the drift wood boats my friend creates.

These classic driftwood works are art are all individually hand crafted and you can tell there is thought in everyone. They are made from driftwood retrieved from Northern California, with the mast and hull properly matched up. The cute sales are made from burlap bags, sails and flags and offer a delightful beach inspired them. These charming little boats are great for all times of the year. Patriot flags for 4th of July, some have lights for Christmas, and many have that classic nautical style great for decorating a sailor's house or even a boat.

I have to confess that they don't float upright as my little nephew decided to try one of mine out in the bathtub one afternoon, but they sure look great mixed in with the rest of the beach decor.

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2010 - 2017
351 Old Newport Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Tel: 949.648.0748
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