Hello again! I officially survived the holidays! Since it is New Year’s Eve, I figured a little glitz and glam project would fit perfectly. This gold leaf oyster shell project is near to my heart for a couple of reasons but is also a a neat twist on a Louisiana favorite. In the deep south, oysters are a wonderful treat purchased by the sack and served fried, grilled, charbroiled, sauteed, raw or added to any gumbo or Cajun dish.
This recent batch of oysters was purchased in Grand Isle, LA where my family has a camp. If you aren’t familiar, Grand Isle is a 7.8 mile barrier island that is at the mouth of Barataria Bay where it meets the Gulf of Mexico. It has also been my family’s piece of paradise for the last 2 years.
This special island is a place where your troubles are cast away as soon as you cross the bridge to the island. Some may think there’s not much there and isn’t anything spectacular but for those who frequent this patch of sand at the end of the bayou, it is magical. Sunsets are in every color of the rainbow, the fishing is great, the shrimp are bountiful, there’s always a breeze in the air and you live your life on “island time”. Everything is better in life when you’re on the island.
When I think about these oysters, I think of the time spent at the camp with my family and most importantly, my Mom. Since 2007, my Mom has been battling breast cancer. She was cancer free for a few years and then experienced a re-occurrence where the breast cancer metastasized in several areas, including her bones and ultimately was diagnosed as terminal. Even though she’s going through this long battle with metastatic breast cancer, her faith and her spirit has remained strong. And the light in her life is the camp in Grand Isle. It is some of the best therapy. Our time as a family with her is precious and when I think of my Mom, I think of the camp in Grand Isle and the beautiful memories we are making there with her. So, you can understand now why these simple oysters are special to me. These are a part of an island that holds so much meaning for me and my family.
For Christmas this year, I decided to create ring/jewelry holders for each of the women out of some spent Grand Isle oyster shells. A little piece of the island brought home. To prep these oysters for my glitz and glam touch, I soaked them in Clorox for about 20-30 minutes each and scrubbed them with a toothbrush and dish soap.
Once they were completely dry, I coated the inside of each shell with gold leaf from Hobby Lobby. There are several different brands – Liquid Leaf is the most common. Once the paint was dry, I added a coat of gold leaf sealer to finalize the project.
Beautiful. They were a big hit on Christmas!