I love to learn about creatures that live in the sea and see some of their astonishing growth patterns that make up their shells like this frilly ORCHID MUREX. On the other hand, I love to see how human creative minds take those beautiful shells and build a feast for the eyes with yet another beautiful structure.
Beautiful beach treasures turned into beautiful works of art.
This is why I love to go to shell shows…. the scientific exhibits give us a looking glass to learn more about the life of mollusks and the history of our world through different aspects.
Then the artist in me can’t wait to see the creative inspirations made of shells and beach bling in the artistic exhibits. They are mind blowing beautiful so its the best of both worlds.
I’m proud to say that not only was I a judge this year in the Sarasota Shell Show for the artistic displays last weekend… but Clark was the second judge in the artistic categories! Yay Super Sheller Clark! It was an honor to judge next to him.
Both judges got to choose an exhibit for “Judge’s Special Merit Award” so my ribbon went to this spectacsheller “Paisley” by Caryl Renz
Clark gave his Judge’s Special Merit Award to “Ruby Slippers Redefined” by Heather O’Keefe.
There were so many fabshellous works of art for all to enjoy.
It was a treat to meet for the first time some of the artists who created these exceptional art exhibits… like Mary Ella Marra.
Donna Timmerman with her beautiful crochet necklace.
Suzanne Dietsch with her Sailors Valentine.
It was also so much fun to meet and hang out with other shellers like Lee Ann and Dale from Bradenten who were enjoying the exhibits just as much as we were.
And Eva and Chris from Palmetto. We all have so much in common.
It all starts with having the same love of the sea….
Thank you Donna, Nancy, Sally and the whole Sarasota Shell Club for inviting Clark and me to be a special part of your show- we both feel honored.
Holy Cowrie, I made it on the cover of Sanibel/Captiva local newspaper thanks to Islander news reporter Anita Force Marshall (CLICK HEREfor the full story). I’m so honored! We’ve been on a wild ride since the official National Seashell Day so I’m very sorry I haven’t been posting as frequently lately but I promise to make it up to you very soon after the big day… June 20. It’s soon!
PS- We had a blast on our iLoveShelling cruise to Big Hickory last week and I still need to show you some of the cool things we found…. that’s coming up next.
Shelling is beach therapy. I love a long walk along the water’s edge searching for wildlife and picking up a few beautiful shells.
Yesterday at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach, the crowds disappeared as we walked passed the families set up for their beach day with umbrellas, coolers and beach chairs. The further we walked, the quieter my mind became. Everything else on the planet slipped away other than seeing a big wide open beach with shells, sand, water and sky.
Then the trance began. It’s like I’m being hypnotized each time I’m at the beach when I hear the waves wash up on the sand with jingle of shells rolling back and forth.
When I walk along the shell line from a recent higher tide I’m searching for shapes, textures and colors of the shells I know so well. Aha! A SHARK’S EYE hidden among the ARKS, KITTENS PAWS and VENUS CLAMS.
There are days when the shells are piled high or washing up at your feet in droves but long walks like Clark and I took yesterday are my absolute favorite. It’s what keeps me going back time and time again. It’s my beach therapy.
Amazingly enough when we got back, I got a little surprise in my email inbox. I’m in a short little film about shelling! I was asked in an interview back in February about what I love about shelling. Well…. everything actually! But then it all boiled down to how it makes me feel- I’m just so dang happy when I’m on the beach and shelling takes my mind to another galaxy. It makes me appreciate how beautiful this life is. It’s just that simple. The Beaches Of Fort Myers and Sanibel did an A-MAZING job on this film and I am over the moon shell, humbled and honored that I was asked to participate in it.
I hope you enjoy!
PS- Oh and yes- That’s Elliot Sudal (Shelliot- heehee ) in the film too. See? I told you he isn’t just a fisherman, he’s a sheller! CLICK HERE to read my post about him.
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 blingthat 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.
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!