To start a seashell art project, the first thing on the “to do list” is find shells. Check.
Then the shells have to be cleaned and dried. Check.
Then the shells should be sorted by species and color. Check.
Depending on the project, the shells may need to be sorted in sizes. Check.
Now that we’ve got most of the finding, cleaning, sorting and sizing done… there is even more fun to be had in the creating process.
Shelling is beach therapy but creating shell art is just another form of therapy all over again… seashell therapy. To look at the beauty of these treasures is an art in itself. I can’t get enough of it!
Now that we’ve got lots checked off on the list for our seashell art project, we’ve still got lots to do to put them all together to make the design and finished product. I can’t wait until it’s done and to unveil it for the 1st Annual National Seashell Day June 20, 2016 on Sanibel and of course I’ll be showing lots of photos right here. It’s gonna be spectacsheller… Stay tuned!
After high winds for a few days last week, Sanibel Island had some interesting live creatures wash up on all of our shores like the MILLIPEDE STARFISH (aka- SEA STAR ;)) at the Sanibel Causeway and….
There were empty shells washing up too. Tom from Indiana found an JUNONIA off West Gulf!
Shellzam! It’s so beautiful.
Lots of shell EGG CASINGS were washing in at Gulfside City Park along with PEN SHELLS and SPONGES.
When the waters calmed down a bit, The Fabshellous Shell Squad was there to pick out some of the spectasheller treasures from the surf. It was fun to hang out discussing shellnanigans with Michelle, Julianna, Veronica, Laura and Rebecca because they like to talk in shelludricous shellanguage like I do. ;)
Clark scooped up a few ALPHABET CONES and a FLORIDA CONE. He even snapped a photo of them and sent it to me since I wasn’t near him on the beach to take the picture of them. He wanted me to put “Staff photo by Clark Rambo” haha
Cathy was finding lots of great shells too and even witnessed Clark taking more photos. (Staff photo by Clark Rambo heehee)
These were my three favorite shells I found last night at dusk at Gulfside- an ALPHABET CONE, DOSINIA and a gorgeous color BANDED TULIP.
The Sanibel Lighthouse beach has been a long time favorite place of ours to search for the mini shells. The evening was cool and breezy so to take a nice walk from the gulf side to the fishing pier over the weekend was delightful. Our beloved little WENTLETRAPS were scattered along the mid tide line along with a a few adorable little DUSKY CONES. Of the 5 we found, the last one we picked up I believe (the one on the far left by the cutie little pink COQUINA half) is an ALBINO DUSKY. It doesn’t look beach worn and there’s not a speck of color in it. Hmmmmm. Score!
Clark and I are now on the mend from fighting that awful cold/flu/”crud” that zapped us both from every ounce of energy and zombified our brains for a number of days- yuk! Taking a short walk on the beach was just what the doctor ordered- ahhhh we both feel much better. For us, getting outside in the sunshine is always the best medicine and searching for shells on the beach is the perfect follow up therapy.
I am channeling my inner artist looking at these CHANNELED WHELKS as I look back on our shelling trip to the Carolinas earlier this month (Beach Combing Trip To Portsmouth Island). I could have taken hundreds of photos of these incredishelly beautiful works of art as I saw them laying in the sand half buried in the islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
Seeing KNOBBED WHELKS and OYSTER SHELLS rolling up in the surf was a masterful sight to behold.
Mother Nature artfully placed a SAND DOLLAR as though she staged this still-life for me to photograph.
I didn’t find all of her still-lifes in obvious places. These 2 KNOBBED WHELK shells, an ANGEL WING and oodles of OYSTER SHELLS were behind a large wrack line of driftwood, seaweeds and various sticks from sea oats and sea grasses.
The EASTERN OYSTER SHELLS are so beautiful as well, especially the juveniles as they form stunning sculptures.
After searching for miles, we found an area filled with the sweet adorable miniature shells. There were even WENTLETRAPS!
And then, Whelp… another WHELK.
How can they be this gorgeous?
We found dried KNOBBED WHELK EGG CASES too. They are so similar to our LIGHTNING WHELK egg cases we find in Sanibel but the KNOBBED WHELK EGG SACK disks are little more oval in shape.
But this just may have been the find of trip…. a GIANT EASTERN MUREX. Boom Shellalaka! It may not have been he prettiest shell on the beach but it really is giant and it just seemed impossible that we would find one. I can’t claim finding it- our friend (our hostess with mostest) Karen found it then gave it to me. Omigosh really? We don’t normally bring home shells that we don’t find ourselves (we are fortunate to already have enough) but it is an amazing memory from that day and an awesome shell. Very cool- thank you!
Clark and I (in red colors) are still smiling from our shelling trip with Nanette, Helen, Jackie, Karen and Captain Dan. We met all of them in McClellinville, South Carolina where Karen’s buddy Captain Dan Scarborough took us out on his boat to the out islands. I can’t even explain how much fun it was island hopping out on the boat all day with this crew.
We brought back a few brilliant shells with different color patterns that look like Mother Nature had a field day with her architectural designs and paint brush.
Clark and I are so grateful to these Three Crazy Carolina Girls- Jackie, Helen and Karen for inviting us on this unforgettable shelling trip. Love these girls!
To join me on a shelling trip adventure in SW Florida…
The shell world is a fascinating adventure to learn about the lives of MOLLUSKS and the people who collect their shells on the beaches across the planet. Because I am one of those people obsessed with living my life in the world of shells, I love to hang out with people who love to share their knowledge about them too. The Sanibel Shell Festival is a great place to do that.
I’m thrilled Sunnye (TX) shared her colorful shell collection she found beachcombing in Eleuthera, Bahamas (top photo).
Her sister Lisa (TX) had some awesome displays too for which they both won awards.
Lisa EXHIBITED this gorgeous SMOOTH TELLIN…
But I looooved this cool display Lisa did showing the difference between the SHARKS EYE and the FALSE SHARKS EYE. It explains and shows the difference in detail (for more info check out my post Sanibel Shark Week… Featuring The Shark Eye Shell).
And then there’s Stef! I’m so happy for her- she won a blue ribbon for her double FLAT SCALLOP she found by Sanibel’s Island Inn.
Wait… did you miss what I said? Okay, lemme slow down… she found both sides of her FLAT ZIGZAG SCALLOP still hinged together. Exactly like she displayed it… on Sanibel… and with amazing color. Wow! Years ago, I was thrilled when Clark found just the other half of a FLAT (the right valve) since it’s rare to find them here (CLICK HERE to see what the other side looks like) … and she found both perfect valves still together. Shellzam! Congrats Stefanie!
There were lots of displays showing ALBINO shells this year but this one by Ken and Joyce Matthys was really very cool. Here they shows tons of ALBINO FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES they’ve found through the years…
In the next case they show FLORIDA PRICKLY COCKLES which are ALBINISTIC. They explain… “Some shells lack their normal color, but they are not pure white. Instead they may be pale yellow, cream-colored, or have other hints of color. These are referred to as being albinistic”. Hmmm Haven’t you seen some like this? I have and now we’ve learned a name for this color form… ALBINISTIC.
Anne Joffe’s seashell emergency room display was hilarious and voted best for People’s Choice award. Freak and damaged shells that repaired themselves to form in odd shapes were propped in mini doctor’s offices, emergency rooms and surgery rooms with bandages, crutches and doctors notes.
Check out this PALLID CARRIER SHELL with an attached GLASS SPONGE (from the Philippines) by exhibitor Robert Linn. Wildly beautiful.
Last week I posted about the artistic side of the show with SAILORS VALENTINES, shell frames and all sorts of shell art and craft but when you look at some of these shells like these ATLANTIC TRITONS exhibited by Holly Nordyke, you realize you are looking at the most perfect work of art ever made. Stunning.
Hope to see you next year at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival!
How quickly the beach changes with each wave.
Right before my eyes, a WHELK appears…
I was very lucky this week to have a TRUE TULIP wash up on one of my beach walks last week at Gulfside City Park beach as well.
And an ANGEL WING… always magical.Magical
A colorful FLAME BOX CRAB shell…
This little cutie too… a CALICO CRAB shell.
Over the weekend as I walked across from Sanibel to Captiva on the Blind Pass bridge, I saw Mike (VA) walking with a huge shell in his hand… A huge empty HORSE CONCH! He found it on the new sand bar in the pass on the Captiva side (you can see a little of it in the photo to the right). So awesome.
Yep, the sand has been gathering here for about a month to make the sand bar again. It catches some really good stuff whenever it appears.
When I got to the other side of those jetty rocks, there’s still a huge shell pile. It’s been coming and going here for about a month too. The shells get washed into a big pile then taken back out… then washed in again.
If you just dig through, it seems there’s always something to uncover…
I found a nice JUNONIA but it had already been cracked open and had made a nice meal for some BOX CRAB… but I think it’s a fun piece anyway.
My fave find though was this sweet little perfect ZIG ZAG FLAT SCALLOP- such a beautiful color.
Although I love my little FLAT, I am so happy for Jeanne who found this absolutely drop dead gorgeous teeny tiny little LIONS PAW. It’s so dang cute I can’t stand it!
I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting as much these days – where does the time go? As soon as I get home from the beach, there’s never enough time any more to get my photos arranged. But rest assured, I still have so many stories to tell you as well as I will soon be showing you some fun exhibits from the 79th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival coming up this Thursday through Saturday March 3, 4 and 5, 2016. I hope to see you there!
Join me on one of our next iLoveShelling Adventures…