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.
Oh CONE all ye faithful. With the hustle and bustle of holidays upon us, I managed to take a few breaks to breathe in the calmness of Sanibel and get the beach. My best find this week was this ALPHABET CONE. Joyful and Triumphant!
I found one spot this week that shells were piled a mile high… under the Blind Pass bridge on the Sanibel side. I didn’t find many WHELKS, OLIVES or the other Sanibel Six shells but there were ARKS, KITTENS PAWS, SCALLOPS and SLIPPERS galore.
Clark and I even got up at the crack of dawn over the weekend to see the glorious sunrise.
We only found a few tiny WHELKS…
But the SAND DOLLARS … on my! They were every where at Gulfside City Park. There were so many this past summer on the beach and they are still there. Wow!
Soooooo many beautiful SAND DOLLARS.
Walking in the water ankle deep, we could see glimpses of these beautiful treasures. Holiday gifts from the sea!
Join me on a Beachcombing Adventure! CLICK HERE for dates and info…
We’ve been enjoying walking along the shore at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach this summer since we’ve had our best luck finding shells no matter which direction we comb the beach. Clark had an eye for the cutie mini shells this time. As soon as he found that little DUSKY CONE (on the tips of the horsies/candy/candy corn/mac n cheese…. errrr… those juvie HORSE CONCHS) I remembered that on one of my latest shelling adventure cruises I tried to show how one can tell the difference between those and the ALPHABETS and FLORIDA CONES.
So let me try to show the difference of the shells to you too. Here is a handful of the DUSKY CONES to show you how big they are and the different colors and patterns. Also, check out that each one of them has spiral ribs along the body of the shell. If you run your thumb over the shell, it won’t be smooth, you will feel all of the the little ridges.
Here’s the difference between a random ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and the DUSKY that I pulled from our collection of Sanibel shells to see the different patterns and the normal adult size of each.
In this view, you can really see those ribs on the DUSKY compared to the other two that are mostly smooth. Cool, huh?
So next time you find a small little cone shell, look a little closer to see which one you’ve found. Maybe it will be a DUSKY CONE like Deseray found years ago that I showed in my post Rainbow Of Miniature Shells that we compared to her sweet little ALPHIE.
UPDATE: Ive had a few people ask about the difference between the Duskys, Stearns and Jasper Cones. I used to call some of them Jasper Cones but I was corrected a few years ago (can’t remember who told me- MurexKen maybe?) that the Shell Museum says that Jaspers and Stearns aren’t found in our area- only Dusky Cones. So I guess Ive gotta go with with that too unless they add them to the list. Im def no scientist ;0
It was an especially good day on the Sanibel today. On the beach at Island Inn, the weather was perfect (high 70s), the water was calm, there were piles of good shells… and I had Clark with me. That’s why I love this next photo… it’s everything I love all in one shot. Clark, the beach, the water and a ton of shells to pick through to collect in an aqua shell bucket.
My day was made.
I wasn’t the only one loving the day either, if there’s a good shell pile it seems I always find Connie K. right smack in the middle of it. Ha! She can sniff ’em out!
I also met another happy gal… Faith from Ohio. She is a ball of fun!
These are just a few of the beautiful shells she found. She found a LIONS PAW too but I didn’t get a chance to see it since she had already packed it up in her room. Happy.
Sitting on the big pile of shells (after walking to the right from Island Inn), I saw OLIVES, CONCHS, WHELKS, SCALLOPS and TULIPS but I had to snap a picture of this adorably tiny horsie candy (juvie HORSE CONCH). Omigosh- so stinkin cute.
Clark’s fave find of the day was of course that awesome ALPHABET CONE (first pic) but mine was this teeny tiny ROCK SNAIL SHELL.
I haven’t found a ROCK SHELL in a while and I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen one this small before. I love it!
Wishing on this shell tree that everybody gets to experience a day like this on the beach to feel this calm and happy about simple pleasures.
PS- Thank you Heather for the heads up about the shell pile!