Archive for Shell Art
I have browsed the beautiful artistic exhibits of the annual Sanibel Shell Festival for years and shared many photos of the show as well. I was even honored to be selected to be a judge for the artistic exhibits a few years ago so it may be a surprise that this was my first year entering an exhibit in the artistic division of the shell show… yep, I did it!
And I won a Red Ribbon for my photograph of this LIGHTNING WHELK! Yay! I am thrilled! I took this photo of a live Lightning Whelk in December 2013 on a nice low tide at Gulfside City Park. I loved the colors on the spire of this natural beauty and the way the morning light of the sun was just behind it. I snapped a few pictures, thanked him for coming up to shore so I could see him, then I took him out to a little deeper water to give him a bit more privacy. I’m so grateful to be able to capture these images of such incredible treasures of Mother Nature in their natural setting.
Unfortunately, I didn’t win a ribbon for my sweet little WORM SHELL mirror I entered. Boooooooo! Oh alright, I’ll try not to be a poor loser but I just love my wormies so much I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed (should I get out the cheese with that whine?). But honestly, it’s ok because I didn’t make this frame for the show any way (errrrr….. thats sounds like an excuse, doesn’t it? heehee). I made this for our shelling friends Jane and John with a photo of them in it because they used Clark as their real estate agent. This fun, quirky wormie frame was their Thank You gift! Jane suggested I borrow it back to enter in the show since she loved it so much. I’m glad I did it but I am sooo not the caliber of shell crafter as most of these artists. They are amazing!
This was the first day of the show so you still have tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday to see it if you are in the area. I will get more photos of some of the other exhibits to share another post if you can’t see it yourself… but until then, here are just a few more gorgeous pieces of art exhibited in the show…
So stay tuned for more shell crafts, shell artists and scientific shell exhibits coming soon!
Oh… by the way, after 77 years they decided to change the name from the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show to the Sanibel Shell Festival. It’s all the same show so don’t be confused if you thought there was a second shell show.
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 love making shell crafts! It’s been a few months since I’ve had a shell project to get my hands on … so the last two days I’ve spent being very excited to be actually making a shell frame as a gift to a special couple. If you don’t already know what my long time fave shell is… it’s the WORM SHELL! And I loooove making things with WORM SHELLS because no two are alike and they are just so stinkin’ whimsical they make me laugh. The thing is… I don’t find them often any more so when we find even one on the beach, it’s such a happy day.
The ones that have a funny sideways twist? Even better!
Then there are the days when I feel like the stars and planets have lined up in perfect harmony when I find this many WORM SHELLS in an afternoon…
After soaking them in a bucket of 1/4 bleach to water over night, I rinse them off with fresh water then lay them out to dry. Okay, I’m gonna tell the truth… some times I’ve left them in longer than overnight… errrr….. some times I forget I have them soaking in the bucket but remember after a week…okay, okay!… maybe 2 weeks later or longer. But by being so, ummm, “scatter brained”, I now realize it doesn’t hurt the WORM SHELLS. If they are greenish or grungy white, it just makes them sparkly white. If they are the tan/brown color ones, they stay that pretty color but just brighten up. They aren’t needy… just another reason they are my favorite shells!
So I took some of my cleaned, sorted WORMIES and started hot glueing them to a painted white frame I scuffed up with sandpaper. My project was under way!
To me it’s like doing a shell puzzle or shell mosaic. You have to keep trying different shells that will fit in the right place to fill the blank space. And I get to go shelling all over again…searching, searching for the perfect treasure. I hot glue one at a time, hold it until it sets up, then move to the other side to make sure it dries completely before I disturb the glue.
When the frame is completely filled with shells, I feel happy to have accomplished such a fun project but even more, I am heartfelt to be able to share this with the people I made it for.
It was a “Welcome to Florida” gift for Cheri and “Hubby” (her nickname for him on her blog) from Virginia who just bought a home in Fort Myers! Cheri is the blogger behind the Shelllady so after meeting them years ago on the beach, I knew they have always dreamed of having a home near Sanibel. Their dream has come true!
We all know Super Sheller Clark is good at finding shells, he’s also good at finding homes too. Since he helped them buy their new place (which within 4 hours already has a seashell theme), last night we shellebrated with them for now being new Florida residents. We went to our favorite Sanibel restaurant… Traders! Most birthdays and get-togethers we celebrate at Traders, but this was a biggie. Of course it was a delicious meal but it was very special to be able to share in the day of such a big part of their lives.
Thank you so much Cheri and Jimmy for letting Clark and me be part of this amazing decision! Congratshellations!
I was a judge at the 50th Annual Sarasota Shell Show this past weekend for their 50th anniversary! I was very honored to be asked to judge the artistic exhibits especially after seeing so many creative pieces like this gorgeous SAILOR’S VALENTINE by Suzanne Dietch. Her special piece won the People’s Choice Award!
Thank goodness I didnt have to make the other ribbons and awards decisions all by myself. I had long time shell show judge Phyllis Gray to help me with the artistic division and the scientific exhibits were judged by David Green and Bill Lyons (on the right).
There was one award I got to judge all by myself… the Judges Special Merit Award. This was my one pick that I could give to any piece in any category for any reason. I gave my award to Jane Santini’s magnificent Sailor’s Valentine…
To keep things fair, when we look at each piece for judging, the names of the artists are hidden from us so everything is judged by the piece of art and not the artist. One of the big awards for the show is the Fran Schlusemann Best Of Shell Art Award which was won by…. ready?… Fran Schlusemann with her gorgeous shell mirror.
Heehee… Funny, huh? One of the other honored awards is the June Bailey Best Of Member’s Art (Sarasota Shell Club members) which was won by Nora Bevard.
This was a lucky moment! I got June Bailey (on the left) and Nora Bevard together with her winning piece…
Phyllis picked this stunning miniature piece by Anni Ferretti for her Judges Special Merit Award…
There was a jewelry category as well. Sharlene Totten won for her lovely jewelry piece..
Here’s a close up of her necklace…
For the show’s 50th Anniversary, they added a new category this year to memorialize their 50 fabulous years of presenting this show. The winner of this special gold ribbon award is this gray vase embellished with 50 shells called “50 Shades Of Gray”. LOL I loved it!
Donna Cassin is the clever artist who won this award and she happens to be the organizer of the whole show as well. She’s been a busy lady!
Phyllis and I got to judge one of the scientific exhibits as well! I was so excited about this one because I loooove to see so many unusual shells from around the world being displayed all in one place. But hold on, as you know, I am NO scientist so we didn’t judge them on their scientific quality. We got to present a winner for Most Beautiful Exhibit. Ha! I can do that! Phyllis and I chose Harry Berryman’s CONE shell display…
Here is Harry with his Most Beautiful Exhibit winning ribbon with me. I know, it looks like I was in the tundra with that jacket on but for some reason I was freezing in that room. Ugh! We couldn’t find Phyllis when Harry showed up so I’m sorry she’s not in the photo with us.
Harry also won the Conchologists of America Trophy for this same exhibit which was presented by the C.O.A.’s 2013 President Dr Jose Leal at the awards banquet. Here is Dr Leal with Donna Cassin since Harry Berryman wasn’t there to accept. Congratshellations Harry for such a prestigious award!
I was really thrilled for Linda Greiner as well. She won a blue ribbon for her display of “The Ins and Outs of Shells”. She showed X-rays of seashells so we could see the fascinating inside forms of shells. Brilliant!
Oh but hold on! I met a friend of yours too! If you read the comments here some times, you might recognize the name Sally Peppitoni. Well, she’s a member of the Sarasota Shell Club and I got to meet her in person. Here’s Sally!
Thank you Donna and everybody at the Sarasota Shell Show for giving Clark and me such a warm welcome into your seashell world. We both throughly enjoyed it!
PS- The 2013 76th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show will be coming up soon too March 7,8 and 9!
Merry Christmas, SS Marcia! In my last post, Marcia asked me if I had seen beach art yet. I had to laugh when the first thing I saw when I walked on the beach was this Christmas tree made with PEN SHELLS. Then right beside it was this beautiful menorah! This is the first that I’ve seen this season so thank you to the beach art artist who made these!
There was so much Beach Bling in between Donax Rd and Fulgur Rd on Sanibel.
This was one of several TULIP EGG CASES I saw…
I didn’t even see the second KEYHOLE LIMPET on the left when I took this photo. I was so amazed at the dark stripes on the big LIMPET and the colors on the tiny APPLE MUREX and BANDED TULIP.
In one little area, the high tide was bringing in shells to build up this nice pile. See that gorgeous LIGHTNING WHELK?
Maybe the golden rays of this Sanibel sunset shining on the amber edges of the ROUGH PENS will inspire the richly talented artists who create their beach art masterpieces for we mere beachcombers to fill our hearts with joy for the holidays. Ahem…. did I ask that nicely enough for more fun holiday beach art stuff?
“What do you do with all of the seashells you collect?” Haven’t you been asked that question every time you tell someone you love to collect shells? I’ve been asked countless times and I’ve asked other shellers so I’m guilty as well. I think we all are interested in getting ideas of what to do with them from other people who love what we love… seashells.
Our friends Dick and Mary love shelling and love their seashells and beach bling surrounding them in their beautiful home. Join me as I show you their seashell arrangements… with the help from kitty Fatima.
This is a perfect example of what I love about Dick and Mary in the photo above…. there are no rules. They find so many beautiful shells on the beach but they also love to buy shells if they see one that strikes their fancy and they don’t mind mixing them. Most of those shells in the bowl (that Fatima is admiring) were found on the beach by either Dick or Mary but some, as Mary says with a laugh “I found that one too…. in a store”.
When it comes to ALPHABET CONES, they don’t have to buy a single one. They found all of the ones in the glass vessel on Sanibel and Captiva. Wow! Piling the same shell in any type of vessel is my favorite way to display my shells as well. They found all of these baby HORSE CONCHS too. Wouldn’t you love a bowl full of candy by your bedside table?
They framed their oddity treasures in a shadowbox.
They framed some of their best shells to make a wall collage in the hallway.
This is the top of the very first shell mirror Mary made but the mirror is so big, I couldn’t get the whole thing in the photo. Again, she mixed bought shells with beach found shells.
Here’s the bottom of another shell mirror…
They displayed their “knobless wonder” HORSE CONCH (the spire doesn’t have those pronounced bumps normal horsies do) right at the front entrance with a striking vase of PAPER FIGS.
They call this little heart the WENTLETRAP trap…
This wire bowl has a beach found key chain, pottery pieces, sea glass, driftwood and other beach bling along with a bought object d’ art. See? Mix and match, just do it.
Mary was a doll maker a number of years ago so on the shelves of her glass door cabinets she displays the things she loves mixed together.
Of course there are OLIVE shells in the olive dish.
Remember I showed you the OYSTER shell mirror on my post Ordinary Oyster Turn Extraordinary? Mary made a plant stand out of them.
I still have so much to show you! Like how they use their shells in the garden and by the pool and how they organize all of their shells. But, oh my. I’ve run out of time so I have to break this post into several so… hang on! You won’t believe your eyes at how many more shells they have and what they do with them. So for Part Two… CLICK HERE