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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Sunny Shelling on Cayo Costa

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa | 4 comments

Sanibel stoop on Cayo Costa

Ahhhh. A warm, sunny day on a beach with miles of turquoise water AND a few seashells.  Heaven on earth!

seashells Cayo Costa

Our afternoon iLoveShelling boat trip with Captiva Cruises took us to Cayo Costa Island to experience a wonderful adventure with a few “firsts”. Susan from Michigan found her first LETTERED OLIVE!

Susan found her first olive MI

Ardys (WI), Gene and Susan learned how to use their shell nets and “backhoes” for the first time- that first OLIVE got them going. They are pros now!

shellers on cayo costa Ardys WI GEne Susan MI

Tamela from Georgia found her FIGHTING CONCH conch.

Tamela GA first fighting conch

I got to meet some awesome families visiting Cayo Costa for the first time like Ashley, Reese, Sonny and Chandler from Oklahoma.

family seashell Ashley Reese Sonny Chandler OK

And like this awesome shelling family Reese, Tamra, Sue and Reilly from New Hampshire. Nope, that wasn’t a typo- we had 2 Reeses that were able to meet each other on the way back to the boat. First time hanging out with 2 cutie sheller girls named Reese.

family shelling vacation Reese Tamra Sue Reilly new hampshire

 

These were Reilly’s favorite shells she found. That’s an itty bitty teenie weenie little bright orange SCALLOP SHELL. Adorbs!

finding mini shells

Her first BABYS EAR! Sue is visiting SW Florida all the way from Plymouth, England to do some shelling and was ticked to collect a BABYS EAR shell.

Sue Pymouth England shell collecting

I’m so thankful to Ellen and Tom (CO) who came on our trip with stories and thoughtful gifts so I’m thrilled they found some beautiful treasures to take back with them from this gorgeous day.

Ellen Tom CO (gave me vintage books)-1

Well I shouldn’t say ALL of their treasures were “beautiful” haha. Yes that GAUDY NATICA, double SUNRAY VENUS, double ALTERNATE TELLIN and most of their shells are fabulous but Shellen Ellen found a SPIDER CRAB shell (at the top) that is a very cool piece of “Beach Bling” but …. beautiful? Naaaaa. haha

gaudy natica shell and sunray

 

So much fun to hang out and talk with shellers because we all have so much more in common than just shelling. Susan and Bill (NC) were no exception- so much fun to hang out and chat with y’all while we look for shells.

Shellers Susan Bill Charlotte NC

Same thing for talking to Julie and Patrick (Chicago) in between scooping for shells along the surf’s edge.

Shellers Julie Patrick Chicago

So I found out that Jay and Jo (Indiana) are just about as obsessed with shelling as much as Clark and I are. Fun!

Jay Jo Indiana shellers

As we were pulling away from the dock on Cayo Costa, a family of MANATEES popped up out of the water to say Hi! That’s a first for me on this back side of the island.

see manatees cayo costa

They hung around the boat for a few minutes putting on a show for us. Cool!

manatee sighting cayo costa

Also on the way back to Captiva, I had to take a photo of Kris, Linda, Diane and Dave because I’ve introduced Linda and Diane before on another cruise. They met on another iLoveShelling cruise and this time brought their husbands with them- the story is so cool! CLICK HERE
Kris Linda Diane Dave shelling trip MA

Don’t you just love, love, love Gwen’s smile? This is exactly how I always feel when I find shells or bling that make me happy.

Seashells found Cayo CostaGwen GA

She even found a huge chunk of JUNONIA.

Junonia shell piece

Of course everybody had big smiles as well after receiving $25 gift certificates to Sealife By Congress

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

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Give Yourselves A Hand… Of Seashells

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises | 9 comments

give yourself a hand full of seashells

A little NUTMEG always brings some nice spice to hand full of shells, don’t ya think? This NUTMEG added a lot of spice since it was not just a dash but a fairly large one Rosemarie scooped out of the Gulf of Mexico off the beach on Cayo Costa.

Rosemarie shell on wheels shelling

Captiva Cruises took us on a really fun cruise to the island with the shoreline laced with seashells as far as you could see.

collecting seashells in Florida

Josh and Amy from Texas came back to the boat with a fist full of SAND DOLLARS.

Josh and Amy shellers TX
sand dollars

Audrey and her mom Tonya (MN) were on a missions to find SAND DOLLARS and I’m happy to report that Audrey found two on her own. Tonya found a huge BABYS EAR but the cool thing is that since Josh and Amy knew Audrey was searching for SAND DOLLARS, they shared some of their SAND DOLLAR loot with her. So sweet!

Shellers Audrey and Tonya MN

Local sheller Sharon and her long time friend Mary visiting from Virginia had some really good luck.

Sharon Fort myers Mary VA shellers

A few of their faves… SAND DOLLARS, ANGEL WINGS, double SPINY JEWELBOX and a double CALICO CLAM.

collecting seashells and sand dollars

It was so lovely to spend time with Nancy and Marilyn from PA and seeing some of their favorite shells.

Shellers Nancy and Marilyn PA

shells from the beach in Florida

The day was gorgeous! We were all thrilled to spend time walking along the calm turquoise water with that little jingle sound of shells washing on the beach.

seashell collector

Grace (MI) was resourceful enough to figure out how to carry even more shells. She strapped her shell bucket on the handle of her net… then filled up her net with shells too. You’ve got a smart girl there Nicole!

Shellers Grace and Nicole MI

It’s always so much fun to see when other shellers get excited about finding such a variety of shells like Megan and Mary Beth (GA)

sheller megan and mary beth GAThere was an OLIVE garden happening out there in the water but there was also fun shells in those lines along the shore like FLASE ANGEL WINGS, WHELKS, outrageous colors of COQUINAS, a few baby orange HORSE CONCHS and a funny little happy shell that Megan especially loved… on the far left side of the photo on her finger you’ll see a perfect happy face on that CROSS-BARRED VENUS. :)

hands of seashells from Cayo Costa

Now talk about finding an OLIVE garden! Niki from GA was blossoming with her OLIVE bouquet.

Niki GA with Florida olive shells

So honored to have Cayo Costa State Park volunteer Linda on our cruise as well. We have a mutual awesome sheller friend and fellow Cayo Costa volunteer Jan who taught her to always carry a small vial with a lid to keep her small fragile finds in. Good advice Jan!

Linda Potter volunteer at Cayo Costa

So much fun to talk shells with seasoned shellers and cuties Valerie and Donna from Kentucky. You girls rock!

Shellers Valerie and Donna KY

Actually, we had quite a few seasoned shellers on our iLoveShelling trip. Val and Matt from Ohio not only know a lot about finding shells, they also are into the SEA BEANS and the SHARKS TEETH. I always love to talk about all the BEACH BLING with other shellers so it was awesome.

Val and Matt Ohio shells alot Lovers Key

And of course it’s always a big pleasure to meet shelling families like McKenna, Joy, Cadence and Tom from PA.

Sheller McKenna, Joy, Cadence, Tom PA

You really can’t see the brilliant lemon yellow color of the ALTERNATE TELLIN in McKenna’s hand on the far left but it was really amazing. And… Candy!!

favorite shells frm the morning

I even got to hang out a little bit more with Dottie and Jennifer to learn about some of the shelling they do in their home state of Louisiana- they said the SHARKS EYES are huge and fantastic. Maybe we’ll have to go there one day too.

dottie jennifer Louisiana

Shellers Janice, Sue and Eric were visiting all the way from the UK! They are so cool and I got the warm and fuzzies just hanging out. Thank you so much for coming with us on our adventure!!!

Shellers Janice, Sue Eric from UK

As usual, everybody received their $25 gift certificate to Congress Jewelers!

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

It’s always a pleasure to meet so many cool shellers- Join me on one of our iLoveShelling shelling adventures…

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They Should Call This Place Treasure Island

Posted by on Mar 12, 2016 in Beach Art, Beachy Shell Stuff, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fish of Florida, Puffer Fish, Shell Art | 23 comments

seashell guide Sanibel Florida

When I get to spend a gorgeous morning on the water with a bunch of happy, silly and extremely fun shellers… I am over the moon shell! This little shell scrabble tile art started the day off with so many warm and fuzzies… Thank you Janet for making this for me!!!

iLoveShelling tile logo

We even had a birthday party for Lynnda. Briggs, Lynnda, Craig, Laney, Ken and Katie came all the way from  Nebraska to spend their time together doing what they love. Such a fun family shellebration!

shelling family on the beach-1

We had another birthday shellebration too! Super Sheller Sawyer and his mom Melissa from Minnesota found all sorts of cool shells and beach bling.

beach bling treasures found SW Florida-1

Sawyer found this awesome dried STRIPED PUFFER FISH (aka PORCUPINE FISH or BURRFISH). After I identified it for him he said “They should call this place Treasure Island… it’s full of cool treasure”. Be still my heart.

puffer fish porcupine

Arriving on our Captiva Cruise to the secluded island of Cayo Costa on our iLoveShelling Adventure is always such a treat to begin with.

collecting shells on cayo costa-1

It was a great day to hang out with Diane and Valerie from Ohio

beach combers with shells-1

Seeing all the different variety of shells and bling they found.

seashells collected in sw florida cayo-1

This gorgeous day was a fun getaway for Connie (Ohio) and Al (Iowa)

shellers on cayo costa flordia-1

To find a few of their favorites like dried STARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ANGEL WINGS, LETTERED OLIVES, a SPECKLED TELLIN and lots of colorful JINGLES.

starfish and seashells-1

Alyssa from Pittsburg was happy to find her favorite too…. candy! haha A teeny little orange juvie HORSE CONCH.

beach sheller -1

Such pretty day for Rabon to find a several large SUNRAY VENUS doubles- love that smile.

Florida shelling boat cruise-1
Gail from Kentucky is definitely living right…. Chillaxing. Or shall we say Shellaxing? ;) es

chillaxing shellaxing-1

types of shells at Cayo Costa-1

It was a special day. We didn’t find the hundreds of SAND DOLLARS that we did last time but I feel very fortunate to have been able to hang out with such a fun group of shellers- Thanks y’all!

plaid coquina-1

Sealife By Congress Jewelers

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I still have more Shell Festival photos to show you and catching up on showing Sanibel beaches- stay tuned for more Shell ‘n Tell! fun shells found on beach-1

 

Shelling is for the birds… Said no one ever. 🐚🐦

A photo posted by iLoveShelling (@iloveshelling) on

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Beach Bucks To Big Whelks – Our Shelling Adventure

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Fish Swim Bladder, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sea Life, Whelk | 12 comments

Sand dollars in the sand and shells

A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…

cayo costa florida boardwalk

We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.

Cayo Costa beach

Lots of shells lined the shore.

beach filled with shells

It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.

find sand dollars in Florida

Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!

beach combing finds
Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.

happy shelling family on Cayo Costa

I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”…  Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.

finding sand dollars

Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!

finding big shells on the beach

Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.

finding whelks on the beach

Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha

Find big shells on Florida beach

The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…

Mother daughter shell vacation

Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.

beach finds on Cayo Costa beach

Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.

finding angel wings
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?

finding beach treasures on Cayo costa

Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.

find sand dollars on shell trip

Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …

find arrowhead sand dollar

and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.

arrowhead sand dollar and angel wings

Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…

find cool shells on beach combing trip

Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.

beach finds from shell trip

Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!

whelk and moon shell art

Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.

find beach bling

Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER . After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)

fish swim bladder beach bling find identification

And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…

happy couple finding shells

The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.

finding shells and sand dollars

On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!

SLBC iLSPromo

And one more for you…  here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.

Cyber shelling sand dollars

Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HEREPam-rambo-sanibel-shell-trips

PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!

MMGY Global with Pam Rambo

 

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Chillin’ With A Chilly Shelling trip to Cayo Costa

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Beach Bling Sea Debris, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Crucifix Shell, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Echinoderm, Sea Bean, Sea Cucumber, Sea Pearl | 10 comments

seashell collection variety

We’ve had a nice cold snap that brought in some great lines of shells this week just in time for our iLoveShelling beach combing adventure to Cayo Costa island with Captiva Cruises.

island boat to shell beach

Okay, I know…. I should actually say “chilly snap” instead of “cold snap” since it was in the 60s but with the wind and being in the boat, it feels great to break out the jackets in Florida. So we bundled up and hit the beach just like twin sisters Debbi, Darlene from MA who found SUNRAY VENUSES, ANGEL WINGS, an ALPHABET CONE and lots of other treasures.

twin shellers with loads of shells

Those were the same favorites that Pam and Mark from Baltimore found too.

pam and mark baltimore

Joe, Liliana (NY) and Tim (Michigan) filled their shells buckets to stock up on some fun with art projects for the winter.

happy family on beach shelling

I love days when there are lots of BEACH BLING that washes up on the shore as well… so lucky! A CRUCIFIX SHELL.

crucifix shell

We even found a live SEA CUCUMBER washed up on the beach so we snapped a photo then returned it to the water.

sea cucumber

I got soooo tickled with this next group of shellers from Pennsylvania… Stephen, Kathy, Phyllis and Dennis. Every step of the way, these guys were smiling and laughing with every stoop- y’all are so much fun! And congrats on your “concrete” find, Dennis. heehee

happy shells

I wish I could have shown you all the cool stuff Stephen found but the SHARKS EYE, BANDED TULIP, OLIVES and SUNRAY VENUS were so striking. Of course that fact that he picked up a BUTTERCUP, you gotta like this guy (Clark loves BUTTERCUPS so Im a little partial to them). He had found the little olive (on his wrist) on a previous trip to Sanibel so Kathy made that bracelet for him. I love that!

sunray venus shells

It was a wonderful day to be chillin’ with so many cool shellers and find out we have mutual friends. Jim Tony, Bert and Lois say “Hi” to Diana for me! ;)

sunray venus shells

Well, some of my photos didn’t turn out so well but I still wanted to show you that there are so many different and unusual things to find … from COFFEE MELAMPUS to MORTONS EGG COCKLES to SEA PEARLS to JINGLES to TULIPS to OLIVES.

shells from island
This is exactly what makes shelling so much fun.

shells on blue

You can tell by seeing everybody all wrapped up on the way back to Captiva having a little Shell N Tell like Marie from Michigan.

cruise boat of shellers

Its always so much fun to see the treasures.

shell collection from trip

Its always such a treat to see Sue Bunkin whom I met on the beach years and years ago along with her beautiful family. Sue has spread the shelling love down through the generations of her family and now out to her girlfriends Mary, (Sue), Helen and Karen. shelling girls

It was so much fun to meet Mary and Karen (Lakeland, FL) when they showed me their favorite shells they found – OLIVES and TULIPS… while Karen told me that my blog and videos have helped her teach Marine Science to her students. Wow! I’m so honored I could help share the love and wonder of the beach and sea creatures with her class. Thank you Mary and Karen, that makes me verrrrry happy.

Mary Karen FL Marine science

You can also see happiness in the face of Michelle from Denver after she showed me her 2 incredible double VENUS SUNRAYS. These beautiful gifts from the sea will be perfect reminders just how special a day out on the water and exploring a new beach really is.

sunray venus

As always, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers  (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!

Sanibel Sealife Congress Jewelers gift certificate

Join me on another iLoveShelling adventure CLICK HERE 

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PS- In the first photo, are WORM SHELLS, FALSE ANGEL WING, BABYS EARS, LETTERED OLIVE, LIGHTNING WHELK and ROSE PETAL TELLIN found by Diane from Tucson on our trip (she didn’t want her photograph again- heehee)

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Star Light, Star Bright. Pretty Starfish in Sight

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Brown Spiny Sea star, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, Lettered Olive, Olive, Operculum, Purplish Tagelus, Shark's Eye Operculum, Starfish | 13 comments

Wish upon a starfish on the beach

Star light, star bright. First STARFISH yesterday in sight.

SEASTARS are always so much fun to see. This beautiful creature went right back in the calm, clear Gulf water where Linda and David (TN) found it while on our iLoveShelling adventure with Captiva Cruises yesterday.

Lynn and David from Tennessee visit Cayo Costa Island shells-1

I was also thrilled to see this gorgeous SHARKS EYE OPERCULUM that Jill (Peculiar, Missouri) found. She brought it over for me to identify and I think I went a little crazy… “Omigosh it’s perfect!”.  

Jill from Peculiar Missouri finds Sharks eye operculum on Sanibel Island-1

I always love when other beachcombers have an eye for the unusual pieces of beach bling and want to know what it is. She said she saw that cool swirl on it so she picked it up. Most people would have walked right over it… but not Jill! (check out our first one CLICK HERE -errr…. but its nowhere near as pretty as her’s).

Sharks eye mollusk shell operculum

I think Jill found that OPERCULUM because she has an eye for the small BIVALVES and likes to find shells she’s never found before. I think there are about 9 different species on her towel she brought to wrap them in for safe travels.

miniature bivalve shells

Jill’s not the only one that loves the bling and unusual,  Shelly found all sorts of fab finds like FEATHERS, SEA URCHINS and huge shell pieces. Look at that happy smile on such a beautiful day at Cayo Costa Island!

Shelly R with seashells on cayo costa

The water was an amazing 75 degrees for Mac and Delta ( Los Angeles) to wade and scoop up a few treasures like LETTERED OLIVES and FIGHTING CONCHS. So much fun hanging out in the water with y’all!

Mac and Delta from L.A. find shells on iLoveShelling shell tour

We all found oodles of live OLIVES in the water and on the beach that we had to put back where we found them… but we were also lucky enough to find a few really glossy empty ones too.

Glossy lettered olives

Sue and Jens from NC were happy to find a few OLIVES and a stunning LIGHTNING WHELK too.

Sue Jens from NC visit FL shelling

And PURPLISH TAGELUS shells too. These were scattered all along the mid tied wrack line on the beach so once we found one, we followed the same tide line to find so many more.

Purplish Tagelus bivalve shells found on Cayo Costa island

That was actually the same shell line that Krys and Mandy (Richmond, Virginia) found lots of dried out SEA URCHINS. They also found some sweet little COMB BITTERSWEETS with amazing patterns but my photo just didn’t turn out well. (I’m going to look for those COMB BITTERSWEETS the next time on Cayo Costa) 

Krys and Mandy visit Sanibel from Virginia for seashells

We were barely off the boat stepping foot on the beach when Louisette and Michael (from Massachusettes) found a pile of shells they started scooping up. Louisette is a Sailor’s Valentine artist so she was in heaven with all of the common ARKS, VENUS shells, JINGLES and KITTENS PAWS all the same size for her work.

Louisette Michael from Massachusettes visit Florida for sailors valentine shells

Local shellers Cazzie and Beth (Fort Myers Beach) found showed me their fave shells they found- Cazzie with a CONCH and Beth with a juvie lemon yellow HORSE CONCH.

Cazzie and Beth from Fort Myers Beach find shells with iLoveShelling

So Cazzie realized that he had never seen this shell ever before on our beaches …  hmmmm… Yep- he was right. We don’t normally find these type CONCHS on our beaches. It’s what I call a “WEDDING SHELL” which is a shell from the other side of the planet that someone bought in a shell shop and threw out on the beach to decorate or something (for whole story- CLICK HERE). I haven’t seen that many WEDDING SHELLS at Cayo Costa so it was pretty fun to see this one and know it is a very common shell in Okinawa, Japan– we saw them on every single beach when we visited there. When I asked Cazzie what his favorite shell of the day was… he showed me the WEDDING SHELL. :)

favorite shell finds

Rena brought her friend Nancy (Boston) who had never even heard the term “sheller” before this trip- A newbie! She might even consider herself a sheller now? haha Hopefully!

Rena Nancy Boston take shelling cruise Captiva

I had a twin on our cruise! Susan and I showed up with the same outfits on- same hat and iLoveShelling tee shirt. She and her husband Stuart were on a cruise last year with us when Stuart found an OLIVE without a tip. She took that OLIVE shell to Congress Jewelers with her certificate she received on our iLoveShelling trip and had this necklace made she has on this the next photo. A wonderful memory from last year- i LOVE that!!!! So much fun to see y’all.

Pam with Kansas shellers Susan and Stuart

Just like Susan and Stuart, each passenger on this and all iLoveShelling cruises received a $25 gift certificate from Congress Jewelers  (formerly Sealife By Congress) to use in their store. Thank you Congress Jewelers for being so generous with the iLoveShelling community!
Sealife By Congress Jewelers

Join us! For future dates CLICK HERE

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