Archive for Decorate with shells
Its the first day of summer!
I’ve been having a ball this week shellebrating summer with my girlfriends Laura (Orlando) and Julia from Chicago who are visiting the islands for another reason to shellebrate… It’s Julia’s birthday!
Of course we went to the beach to collect shells…
We weren’t picky about only collecting whole shells because we were inspired to pick up colorful, broken or smaller shells so we could make a Shell Sphere. Isn’t this so sweet? After making one of these styrofoam balls encrusted with hot-glued Sanibel shells collected from this vacation, it will be a memory for a lifetime.
We’ve had a glorious time on the beach catching up on our lives and taking in special moments that make our islands enchanting.
I can find seashells everywhere on Sanibel… even at the Sanibel Farmers Market! Seriously, all of these veggies were made by Barbara Walling using different seashells. Dont you remember Barb? I filmed her making other shell art creations a few years back and she is still creating such fun shell crafts. Aren’t these the cutest veggies you’ve ever seen?
If you want to see this in person, you only have a few more weeks since this market is open seasonally from November through April where Betsy, Jean and Sherrill proudly display it at their booth.
You can even find seashell soaps at the market…
Honestly, I’m not much of a cook but when I have guests over, its fun to buy local fresh food and mingle with the island peeps like shellers Mary and Jim that I met on one of the iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo Costa.
But anyhoooo…back to the shelling on the beach. Here is a sampling of shell treasures I found at Gulfside City Park one morning this weekend.
Just after I met Nora, Mac, Dan and Molly (visiting from Illinois) I heard a loud “Whoa!”.
Mac found a SAND DOLLAR laying under some seaweed just like this and then fund a few more.
Then Molly asked me what this unusual bivalve was. It’s a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. They are so fragile, it’s hard to find one that is not broken- so good finds!
I always say that there are enough shells on the beach for everyone because different people like to collect different shells. Sydney and Lori tom Indiana were trying to find broken shells and shells with holes in them.
They like to find the shells that already have holes in them so they can make jewelry. I love that they were getting so creative! I had to chime in too and told them that I like to collect the OLIVE shells without tips to make bracelets (for my tutorial CLICK HERE) and also explained how to make a seashell mobile too with broken shells. There are so many fun ways to decorate with shells!
PS- I got all my fresh ingredients at the Sanibel Farmers Market to make dinner because it was my turn to host for my book club (we’ve been together for 12 years!). I used some ideas from Pinterest and it was a fun, successful night with my girlfriends. If you like to read, this is my favorite book I’ve ever chosen that every sheller or treasure hunter would enjoy…
Heavy winds and rain with tornado watches whipped through Sanibel during the first day of the 2014 Shell Festival yesterday. They had to close the show around 1:30pm because the storm caused power outages throughout the island so the Sanibel Community House was completely pitch dark. What a fluke!
But…. those same whipping winds caused hundreds of seashells to wash up at Lighthouse Beach this morning. Yay!
All sorts of STARFISH, PEN SHELLS, DISK DOSINIAS and SEAWEED piled up to form a nice thick wrack line to pick through…
I always love to sift through all the BEACH BLING to see what sorts of cool things from the deep belly of the Gulf Of Mexico make an appearance. I found a gorgeous treasure in this mess of sea debris so I thought you might enjoy picking through it for some CYBERSHELLING too. Get picking by CLICKING on the pic!
Did you find this stunning TRUE TULIP too?
Here’s another CYBERSHELLING photo to check out such an amazing pile of DOSINIAS. After I got home and looked at this photo a little closer, I realized I missed a very cool WORM SHELL, Dang it! Oh well, I hope someone else snagged that piece of yumminess up…
I love to look inside the PEN SHELLS for hidden gems too. This one had a tiny TRUE TULIP laying inside like a precious pearl waiting to be found. Once I picked it out of the PEN SHELL, I realized this baby TRUE was still alive and well protected so I put both together back in the water to hopefully get lodged in the sand.
It was so much fun to see so much bling and shells wash up at the Lighthouse Beach again… especially for the many shellers in town for the Shell Festival.
I promise I’ll get back to showing more exhibits from the fair on my next post but I had to shout out about the shelling news at the Lighthouse… and here are my favorite finds from this morning.
Clockwise- a GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLE filled with BUBBLE SHELLS, a BUTTON and a little itty bitty juvie FIGHTING CONCH; 2 juvie FIGHTING CONCHS; TRUE TULIP; CALICO CRAB SHELL; the smallest CARRIER SHELL I’ve ever found on Sanibel; SHARKS EYE; LACE MUREX, oodles of SUNRAY VENUS, SEA URCHIN and then another LACIE.
I have some other great news too… there are spots available for you to join us for Shellabaloo! It’s the most fabulous Shelling Adventure on the planet! Come join us April 24-27, 2014 to experience this awesome event. CLICK HERE for more info.
Okay, I can’t resist…. I have to show you a few more shell pieces from the show. They are exquisite!
I always love to see how other shellers display their collections of the beautiful seashells and beach bling they find on vacation. Since it’s been raining for two days, I thought I’d stay inside and show you one of the ways I have displayed some of the shells Clark and I have collected while on vacation. We looooove to sit and look at our shells in our glass top coffee table that doubles as a shadowbox display case… right in front of our comfy couch.
Since the table has four sections, I made each section a shell collection from four different trips we’ve taken over the last few years. I bought four square display trays from Michaels then painted them my favorite color… aqua. No surprise there, right? LOL
In one of the corners, I have displayed some of our shells and bling we collected on our trip to Cat Island in the out island of the Bahamas. We don’t just collect the biggest and most talked about shells. We love those little minis and the “clam shells” too.
In another corner, these are some of the shells and very cool bling we collected while on our vacation in Turks and Caicos. We love to be reminded of how different the shells are in the Caribbean from our local Southwest Florida shells.
How could we ever forget our trip to Guantanamo Bay Cuba! It is priceless to us to be able to see … every single day… some our beautiful seashells we collected on such an amazing, memorable trip.
Speaking of memorable trips… I had to make one of the four sections of the gorgeous shells we found less than 2 years ago on our vacation to Thailand. The whole trip was fascinating and we also found so many “first shells”. Now we can be reminded of them each and every day.
As you can see, I displayed each section differently because our shells we collected from each trip have different meanings for us. We love to surround ourselves with memories of our vacations… and shell collecting is a very big part of most of our trips. It’s what makes us happy. I didn’t want to hide any of the shells inside the table so I put only one book (Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh) and one shell from Cat Island on top of the glass. Each shell from any place in the world is truly a gift from the sea.
I know you want to know where we got this great table, right? Believe it or not…. Rooms To Go in Fort Myers. It was really reasonable and it had all the features we wanted so we didn’t hesitate to get it. I hope this helps you with some ideas on how to display some of the shells you have found from Sanibel, Captiva or wherever you found your treasures. The rest of our house is decorated with lots of local shells and shells from other trips as well so I’ll start sharing a few more ideas with you (especially when I’m stuck inside like today!).
Oh and PS- Did you notice that sweet little kitty relaxing on the sofa? Yep! That’s our little cutie pie (but not-so-little) “Rustie”. We got him as a kitten for Christmas and he has eaten us out of house and home (heehee) and kept us very entertained. He has stolen our hearts and even made Dustie fall in love with him now too. Hmmmm… Do you think he loves his new home?
It’s clearing up outside as I’m writing this so come out tomorrow (Saturday February 1, 2014 at 9am) and go shelling with Clark and me as we take a Captiva Cruise boat ride to Cayo Costa for some awesome beach combing. CLICK HERE for details.
I’ve never been disappointed after beach combing any of the beaches of SouthWest Florida. There’s always something new to discover whether it’s a shoreline filled with shells, beautiful shore birds doing their own beach combing, sea life playing a game of hide and seek in the Gulf Of Mexico or finding lots of different BEACH BLING in the high tide wrack line. If I feel like I have to collect something from my day of beach combing, but I didn’t find the perfect shell… I love to sift through the bling and maybe look for a SEA BEAN or find a beautiful piece of DRIFTWOOD…
Even if most of the shells strewn along the shoreline are broken, they are still beautiful to me… especially if they have holes naturally drilled in them from other mollusks or cracked open from CRABS looking for a meal. I will pick up a broken FIGHTING CONCH in a heart beat if I feel like I need to get my shell collecting fix. I always have ideas what I can do with them!
I bring those beach beauties home and save them in a jar until I’m ready to make something with them. I’m so ready for a craft project! How about you!
I spilled that jar of broken shells out on a work table along with one of those long pieces of DRIFT WOOD, a spool of twine and a pair of scissors. I’m going to make a SEASHELL MOBILE … Sanibel Island style!
This is so easy, y’all! I picked out the shells I want to use and lined them up just how I wanted them to hang from the DRIFT WOOD…
I cut 4 pieces of twine almost double what I needed for each line just to make it easy to tie each piece as needed. I’d rather have it too long than to have to redo the whole thing for being too short. Then I started from the bottom by tying the heaviest ones first…
Most long time shellers would never pick this broken FIGHTING CONCH up but for some reason when I saw it… it spoke to me. It said… “I would be sooooo easy to tie on a string for a mobile, Pam!”
And I’ve always loved shells with perfectly drilled holes in them. They are perfect for this project!
Once I had them all strung, I then tied each shell string to the DRIFTWOOD. I didn’t do any fancy knots… I just tied a double knot because twine has a way of holding together especially when the weight keeps them in place. I tied one long string to the ends of the DRIFT “STICK” to use as the hanger. Voila! I had a shell mobile.
But…. hmmmmm… something was missing. It was still cute and islandy but it still needed a little bit of color for my own taste. So I got out some of my SEA GLASS and started tying the twine around the SEAGLASS with a knot to secure it, then tying the ends of the glass twine around the mobile twine with a nice secure knot… then cutting the excess off with the scissors. It worked!
I wanted to keep it a simple beachy look so I didn’t overwhelm it with shells or SEAGLASS.
I think that broken piece of JUNONIA steals the show anyway- LOL!
I think it’s sweet, simple, raw island. I love it! It makes me happy. I love to collect broken shells to make something beautiful … just like the OLIVE BRACELET. So if you ever feel disappointed in your shells finds, take a second look at all of the beautiful things that are surrounding you on the beach. Maybe some of the shells or bling that you normally pass by will start speaking to you as well.
It’s the small things in my beach life that I seem to get most excited about. When I found this tiny juvie GAUDY NATICA (Colorful Moon), I literally laughed out loud because it was just a perfect beautiful baby. And then I said to myself… “Self? Why don’t we find more juvie GAUDY NATICAS on our beaches?”. We find baby SHARKS EYE all the time so why wouldn’t we see more baby GAUDIES. Things that make you go Hmmmmm.
But my attention quickly changed when I saw Noah (Fort Myers) filling up his bucket on a nice shell pile right at the entrance to Bowman’s Beach yesterday. He walked right over to me to hand me one of his shells after seeing me collect a few too. I told him the shell he gave me was called a JINGLE shell so he repeated it once… then quickly found another and another to share them all with me. Each time he said “JINGLE!” How sweet! Thank you Noah, you are an excellent sheller.
We only found a few of those nice shell piles on the beach but the water’s edge was holding a few more goodies. Clark emptied out his pockets and put them in his shelling backhoe to show me what he found from his walk from Blind Pass to Bowman’s Beach.
We started out at Blind Pass Sanibel and in just a few minutes I pulled these lovelies out of the the surf line…
Susan (Sanibel) showed me her favorite find of the day… A ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! How lucky! I rarely see them on the beach so I would call that ultimate BEACH BLING…
Speaking of ultimate BEACH BLING, some creative soul made this cool BLING art sculpture. Yes, it’s cool, but I don’t want to encourage anybody to make tall sculptures or sand pits in the summer (May through September) because they can be disastrous for SEA TURTLES. They can get trapped or disoriented by moving around them or they can get stuck. So please be aware of nesting SEA TURTLES.
But if you can’t keep that inner artist trapped inside you while you’re on the beach, just make a flat design like this beautiful SEASHELL MERMAID made by artist Christy and her creative daughters Baylee and September.
It was a beautiful weekend finding beautiful treasures…
Come on! Come shelling with us on Wednesday June 19th!!!!
We are taking a shelling cruise to Cayo Costa June 19, 2013 at low tide at 1pm so I’d love for you to join us! Call 239-472-5300 and tell them you want to be on the iLoveShelling cruise or CLICK HERE for more information. It’s so much fun!