The 2017 Sanibel Shell Festival was spectacsheller!
Not only were we shellebrating 80 years of this shelltastic show….
It was the perfect place for me to share the shelling love with Shell Love Bug! Shelldazzled with over 20,000 local shells, Shell Love Bug is like a Sailors Valentine version patchwork quilt of the shelling community coming together … so what better place than the shell show?
So many beautiful pieces of shell art.
Jeff Oth’s vintage sea shell jewelry exhibit was shellsational.
So many gorgeous shell specimens like this exhibit of MORTONS EGG COCKLES by Rachel Fields…
If you look closely at some of the exhibits like this ATLANTIC THORNY OYSTER by Elliot Sudal, the stories are shellmazingly cool. He “caught” this shell in a narly ball of fishing line, weeds and debris while fishing in 70 feet of water.
What other fisherman would have realized this gorgeous shell was in the middle of all that crud.
Cutie Shellootie Debi McBroom knew she had something different when she found a DEPRESSED TOP SNAIL at Turner beach.
She won a Blue Ribbon for her exhibit of this unusual shell find.
What a smile! Now that’s some shellove for The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum’s marine biologist Rebecca Mensch for her blue ribbon LEAFY JEWELBOX.
Congratshellations to Andrea and her husband Jay for their prized MULBERRY SHELLS from Muscat, Oman. Sending lots of Shellove and wishes to you both. Hope to see you both pulling up those HORSE CONCHS at the Lighthouse again real soon, okay?
The shellovely Andrea Schopf and her shellcrusted SEAHORSE won People Choice Award for the entire artistic category. Boom Shellalaka!
Michael Gilmore got to introduce his newest Sanibel sheller and future prize winner… sweet little Shellove Baby.
And then this happened…. the ultimate Shellove!
The Shell Museum’s marine biologist Stef Wolf was at the live MOLLUSK tank with her students educating the public about the lives of our favorite shells when…. her boyfriend Steve Plein got on bended knee and asked her to marry him (with a stunning ring from Congress Jewelers- my fave!). She said YES!
Best wishes to you both for a life full of good health and happiness.
ShellLove is in the air…
Happy Mothers Day to my mother, all of you other amazing mothers…. And let’s not forget the magnificent Mother Nature too!
Every year, the first week of March is always exciting because the Sanibel Shell Festival comes to town. This 2016 year was a trifect-shell-a for me.
1. – The show was fantastic.
Fun to see Carol Strange sharpie these beautiful shells.
Kelle Covington’s shell encrusted ukulele.
Marti Gorun’s gorgeous seashell mirror.
2. – Fun to hang out with shell friends and everybody at the show was exceptionally happy and chatty.
I had such a great time hanging out with Rachel (we learned so much from her last year about Natural Pearls) and Master Naturalist Shelling Guide Captain Brian Holaway.
We are such a colorful group! The girls just gotta have fun in psycheshellic colors with Kelle (she made the awesome Ukulele) and Shelley from Naples. Thanks for sending this photo Kelle :)
Bill Jordan is a hoot! He’s also an amazing artist with his SAILORS VALENTINE and pocket watch valentine.
Speaking of SAILORS VALENTINES… David Rhyne won Peoples Choice Award in the artistic division of the show.
You have to see the close up of this one because of the detail of the basket weave. The basket and the circle weave are made of SEA URCHIN SPINES.
Another amazing VALENTINE by Judy Dinnick.
This one by Gerda Reid.
Oooh shell la… so many stunning pieces!
And then we come to #3 of the trifectshella – The shelling was awesome!
Rachel found a JUNONIA on the east end of Sanibel about a mile from the Sanibel Lighthouse and her Aunt Margie found an amazing SCOTCH BONNET in about the same area.
Not bad I’d say for a couple of days of beach combing.
I’ve run out of room on this post and lots of cool shells to show you.. and more cool shell people. So stay tuned for more photos of the scientific division of the Sanibel Shell Festival.
If you found a perfect JUNONIA on the beach the second morning of vacation on Sanibel, would you let it out of your site for the rest of your trip? Not Tim from Ohio! He told me about his treasure find after I met him while at the Sanibel Shell Festival and was able to show it to me since he had it stashed in his pocket. He said he couldn’t bear to part with it yet. LOL
That started off my day at the Shell Festival off with a smile but after seeing beautiful works of art like these, it was hard not to keep that smile going.
I loved this miniature seashell doll house shell shop.
Of course its always breathtaking to see the Sailors Valentines.
My favorite shell exhibit of the entire show was in the “Freak” category. It’s a shell with 2 apertures. Yes, I said TWO openings … its like this shell is a Siamese Twin. I was stunned and amazed and I still am. It was so hard to get a good photo to really show both openings but you can see on the far left there is an opening with an operculum and then you can see the more obvious lip and opening. Wow! Can you imagine? So cool.
I had the best time browsing the exhibits and meeting other shellers like Cheryl and Pam (Brett Bailey’s sister) who showed me a very cool juvie MILK CONCH they found at the Sanibel Lighthouse area. But…. Pam didn’t have her shell in her pocket like Tim did (heehee), the shell was on her phone. “Ring. Ring. Ring… Hold on, I need to get my Shellaphone….. Shello?” hahaha
The festival is like dialing a shellafriend…. Shellekelle, me and Christine Florida shell girl had a great time hanging out and catching up. They are such cutie shellooties!
It was a great weekend…
But now its back to the beach tomorrow for some real shelling time and our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises. So excited because we had some good winds yesterday to hopefully have thrown some treasures up on the island for us. Hope to see you there!
This was not just the Sanibel Shell Festival this year, it was a fabulous FestiShell!
There were so many treasures from the sea made into beautiful works of art.
But not only were there beautiful shells and gorgeous art pieces, I had a blast seeing so many of my shelling buddies… like the Shellucky Luckett Ladies Lois, Ginger, (me), Martha and Janet. They are so much fun!
I also got to talk to the editorial director and craft guru of Martha Stewart Living Hannah Milman along with Dr Jose Leal of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.
Of course I love to see shell art that makes me smile like this seashell box with beach combing Birth Of Venus at the center.
This shell box was done by shell crafter Heather Strawbridge…
The miniature shell craft pieces were amazing…
This mind blowing miniature shell exhibit won the artistic People’s Choice award for obvious reasons. Shell artist Peter Gabel points out a few details to an amazed Hannah Milman.
For all of you mini shell lovers out there, you will surely love these sweet creations.
Cheryl Witten got a blue ribbon for this tiny shell flower arrangement.
While scoping out the exhibits, I ran into Shelling Sistah Diane Parr and her fiancé Eric from New York. So nice to finally meet you, Diane!
It’s always fun to see Captain Brian and more shelling friends Lynn (St Thomas), Laurel (CA), and Anne (MN).
The sailors valentines seemed more magnificent than ever this year.
Karen Almir won a blue ribbon for her single medium valentine.
Victoria Ross (Sanibel- right Vicki? ) won a blue for her gorgeous valentine. Congrats!
There were so many different shell flower arrangements to be stunned and amazed by. Marvin Hennemann made this one completely out of SEA URCHINS and their pieces.
Fun piece Marvin!
Every year I enjoy learning about other aspects of shelling.
Rachel Fields won a blue ribbon for her awesome display on natural pearls.
This New Zealand shell scientific exhibit won a special merit award for education.
Scientific Division judge Gary Schmeltz (left) with Roger and Kris Woods (who flew in from New Zealand) pose with the other distinguished Scientific Division judge Harry Lee.
I’ve shown some shell art the last few posts so I wanted to show you some of the artists that make these incredible pieces. This is Ruth Bulger with her “You Are My Sunshine” Sailors Valentine…
Nancy Goes made that beautiful shell necklace…
Audrey O’Donnell made the fabulous RICE SHELL arrangement…
Pam Boynton said she was very honored to have seen my post with a photo of her “Love And Be Loved” Sailors Valentine… especially after reading Skip Collins’ comment “Love and Be Loved is about the coolest thing I have ever seen, well…Shellwise”. She thanks you Skip!
I wish I could have photographed and met all of the exhibitors because there were so many more that were awe-inspiring like every single piece by David Rhyne…
So I hope to see you again next year on Sanibel or maybe even at another shell show.
Until then, I’ve got to get back to my first love… the beach. i Love Shelling!
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!