Tag Archives: lucky stones

Airlie Beach

As you may have figured from reading my posts, I am a shorewalker. I love the sound of the waves. (That’s why I named my Etsy shop WaveSong). But most of all I love beachcombing.

IMG_0114Most of the beaches I have been on while on my trip to Australia have been pure sand.  And not much else. Not that pure sand isn’t lovely and all. But the treasure-hunter self in me is always more fulfilled by flotsam and jetsam.

IMG_1523So I was tickled to find something more on the little tiny natural bit of sand at Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland.

Low and behold I look down and find these. What I might call the Australian version of my beloved Lucky StonesIMG_0110 These are a shell-like disc with a natural hole. Perfect as supplies for the textile-artist in me.IMG_0117I was told that most Aussies don’t sit on the beach in Queensland. That might be because of the crocodiles and the hazardous marine stingers!  Good call.IMG_0113Thus the bottle of vinegar supplied by the local authorities.

So they built a beautiful swimming lagoon right next to the beach instead!IMG_0086 IMG_0087 I have been so impressed with the beauty of the public spaces in Australia. Obviously it’s because they live outside all year, and don’t spend their public budgets on snow removal.

Public spaces are smartly designed and fitted out with lots of sculpture and art. And Airlie Beach did not disappoint in this regard. Like these sidewalk mosaics by Robyn Muller, called Lowtide Clams.IMG_0093




Children’s wading area nicely covered with shade.


The whole area has a lovely boardwalk too. Including stovetops for “putting on the Barbie”, fresh water showers, toilets, change rooms, benches, picnic tables, alcohol free zones, playground equipment with a wheelchair-accessible swing and sand approaches to the swimming area. And lifeguards.IMG_0121


Even a permanent ping pong table.

Airlie Beach really caters to guests and has some typical tourist trappings, but not kitschy. It is a haven for the wealthy and the poor backpacker alike.

Have you ever been to a beach like this?

Lucky Stones

Lucky Stones detail

I have this addiction, some might say obsession, with collecting stones. These specimens are stones with naturally occurring holes found on the beaches of Lake Winnipeg around Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.

Some call them crinoids but they are more likely to be gastropods. These ‘lucky stones’, which we locals lovingly call them, are imprints and “negatives” of gastropods or snails.

I wanted to know more about these fascinating stones so I sent some samples to “Ask-a-Geologist”. I got an identification from Jean Dougherty, Geological Survey of Canada.

“The most prominent feature of the gastropod is the spiral-shaped shell. These can vary considerably in shape from a low whorl to a high whorl. Now imagine that these gastropods (snails) have died. Over time, the soft body of the snail would have rotted away leaving only the shell. Then imagine the shells having been buried in sediments at the bottom of some sea. Over millions of years, more sediment builds up overtop of them, and presses them into sedimentary rocks (this process is called ‘diagenesis’). The shell also undergoes a chemical transformation in which it is mineralized, becoming a rock. Depending on the rock type containing the fossil, either the fossil could be weathered away, leaving a hollow space where the fossil once was, or the rock could get worn away leaving the fossil, or some combination of these two. In the case of your samples, the third process happened. The fossil eventually dissolved and disappeared, leaving rock, but some of the rock was weathered away also. Depending on the degree to which the rock was worn away, you are still left with some amount of the fossil’s structure still visible. The spiral shell of the gastropod turns around a central hollow tube which gets narrower as you get to the point of the spiral. That is why, in some of your samples, the hole is wider on one side of the rock than on the other side of the rock – they are what remains of that narrowing tube.”

Lucky Stone Jewelry by Evelyn Ward de Roo
Lucky Stone Jewelry by Evelyn Ward de Roo

Stones that have natural holes have always been considered mystical and sacred, with special healing properties, windows into the soul and doorways into other dimensions. These stones are reported to have extremely powerful magical properties, the most important of which is protection.

In 2011 I received a wonderful email from a woman in the United States:

“I am a camp counselor/ trip guide at a wilderness canoe camp based in Ely, Minnesota, and will be leading a month long trip in Woodland Caribou Park and down the Bloodvein River into Lake Winnipeg beginning in late July. I have been searching far and wide for something special to give to my three 16-17 year old campers to commemorate our adventure together this summer, and your necklaces seem perfect: they are relevant to the place we will be traveling, they are simple and naturally elegant, and I love the idea that they offer protection, as this will be my camper’s first experience with whitewater paddling.”

Girls necklaces
Paddlers wearing custom designed lucky stone necklaces.

I designed 5 matching necklaces for them.

Apparently they are especially lucky when given to someone.

One has to be lucky to find these stones. The trick is to look for the hole, not the rock.IMG_5288

See this post for more lucky stone confligrations.

For lucky stone jewelry check out https://www.facebook.com/FossibilitiesArtandJewelry/photos/



This was my entry into the 2009 Ponemah Beach Central Art Centre’s contest, Artful Bra Challenge, a fundraiser for Northeast Palliative Care Program at the Gimli Community Health Centre. I won Best in Show for Over-the-Shoulder-Boulder-Holder make from an upcycled bra sewn with hundreds of lucky stones. Lucky stones are 44 million year old fossils with naturally occurring holes. The name of the piece comes from a famous song by Bette Midler which she sung in the heart-wrenching movie, Beaches, in which her friend dies.


Inside the bra is written…

This well-worn bra is a testament to many years of use. I covered it with lucky stones gleaned from the beaches of my beloved Prairie Ocean, Lake Winnipeg.
I have been lucky. Many of my friends and family haven’t been so lucky. Some have lived thru cancer, some have not. It is a weight which we all carry on our collective shoulders.

Evelyn Ward de Roo July 2009