Introducing…. My Shellaboratory!
This was my summer project … Secret Mission: Shellnado Transformation into Shellaboratory .
Our shell collection used to look like a shellnado hit it head on! So I finally organized the thousands of shells Clark and I have picked up over the years to learn about the different species of shells and beach bling that wash up on our shores of Southwest Florida.
We collect not only the pretty or most colorful shells, we collect different color forms, freaks and not-so-attractive shells and “bling” to learn about their lives in the Gulf of Mexico. Its an educational experience for us as well as a hobby to appreciate the beautiful qualities each shell has to offer.
The best part is that I have the privilege to be able to share this knowledge with you! We are learning together and it will help tremendously when I want to write those posts like “the differences in types of shells” or like “different colors variations in the same species“. It won’t take me all day just to find those different color forms. Yay!
I always wanted to have an organized craft room for the many art projects I’ve created over the years. But… I’ve always had a few obstacles. I get scatterbrained. I get so excited when an idea for a project pops into my brain. I turn into a mad scientist thinking up all the fun stuff I can create but my crazy mind never pays attention to the clean up details during or after my “work of art” is complete. Organizing has always taken too much time away from the actual “fun” project… until now!
Yes, this was fun! It all started as I needed a space for those big shells I painted to decorate the Junonia Jalopy for the Golf Cart Parade. They were crammed behind some Christmas boxes in the garage from last year. See? I never even put the Christmas stuff up because I was on to the next project. Those poor painted shells were getting bumped, bent and covered with dust. Geez! I worked hours on those things and I didn’t even have time to put them away properly. That got me started thinking about “decorating” my Shellaboratory with them.
Of course, I should use them to decorate!
Then I measured my space for shelving which was the perfect excuse to make several road trips to Ikea for adjustable book shelves and storage containers. I love Ikea. I finally had a space to display all the jars I’ve been saving for years to one day to use for a job like this… but I still needed more. I shopped discount stores, dollar stores, thrift stores and yard sales to find different sized jars or tubs so I could see each type of shell. I even found a place to put my Shelly Temple dress (just in case I ever want to sing “On the Good Beach, Sanibel” again?).
After building the shelves and finding homes for my containers, my next project was to sort… and sort… and sort. This was the part that was oh-so fun! I found shells that brought me back to the exact day I found it. I spent hours upon hours organizing and I felt like only 5 minutes went by- just like shelling on the beach.
Each time I found a WORM SHELL, I said the same thing I say when I find one on the beach… “Wormie!”. Yep, I now have enough that I can make a few more WORM SHELL frames now too.
I’m still not done sorting but I separated the room so one area is dedicated to displaying BEACH BLING for the different types of SEA BEANS, ECHINODERMS, EGG CASINGS and all that cool sort of bling…
I’ve started one area dedicated to BIVALVES…
and another area for GASTROPODS (uhk- I’m not fond of that word – ewww- lets call them UNIVALVES, shall we?)
If you noticed I wasn’t on the beach every single day the last few months… No- I wasn’t taking a shellbatical.
I was being a shellab rat in my own Shellaboratory!