Mussel magic

Around thanksgiving, I packed up my things and flew on over to visit my sister and nephew in Oregon. We drove around sightseeing and exploring this rainy, beautiful part of the country. It literally rained, pretty much, the entire time. 
Go figure!
That didn’t stop us. One of the spots we went to, was this stunning beach with banks of rocks extending into the water. We, of course, parked up to take some scenic photos! While doing so, my nephew ran up to me with a near perfect mussel shell. I was so surprised! It’s super rare to find full mussel shells with both sides in tact, and still connected.
This got me thinking that I should maybe scavenge for some more. What a success it was! The entire beach was covered in secret mussel gems. I left with about 10 different fully in tact mussel shells.
Pretty excitingggg stufff… for me… maybe not for someone else hah
So I started thinking what I could make with these beautiful things!! 
One of the things I thought of, was tree of life pendants, of course. One of my favorite things to do.
So I sanded down the mussel shells, cleaned them up. Painted them with a layer of nail polish, on the inside, to really bring out the rainbow colors within. Then proceeded to paint the outside metallic colors. The one I’ve finished so far, is gold on the back, but I made silver, copper and bronze as well.
I wanted to really make this tree look like it’s standing in front of the night sky. Seeing as the shell on its own looked like a beautiful cloudy sky. I decided to add a moon-like stone to the middle of the tree leaves to imitate a moon glowing in the sky. 
For this one, I chose a Gold stone. So shiny, so unique. It married both sunshine and night time in a beautiful glimmering ball. 
I ended up oxidizing the silver, but not fully because I really enjoyed this copper like color that I achieved, half way through the process. 
Something unique. Something different. Taking a normal part of nature and making it into something else. 
I’ve attached a before and after for oxidization, in case anyone is interested.

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