Archive for Sailor’s Valentine

Mar
10

2014 Sanibel Shell Festival

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francis tammaro cameo engraver on helmet shell

This was not just the Sanibel Shell Festival this year, it was a fabulous FestiShell!

jingle shell craft flower

There were so many treasures from the sea made into beautiful works of art.

treasure from the sea valentine sanibel shell festival

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!

iLoveShelling shellucky luckett ladies with pam rambo

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.

hannah milman with jose leal at sanibel 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.

birth of beach combing Venus Heather Strawbridge

This shell box was done by shell crafter Heather Strawbridge…

seashell artist heather strawbridge at shell festival

The miniature shell craft pieces were amazing…

peter gabel miniature shell art craft

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.

hannah milman looking at miniature shell art by Peter

For all of you mini shell lovers out there, you will surely love these sweet creations.

cheryl witten miniature seashell craft sanibel festival

Cheryl Witten got a blue ribbon for this tiny shell flower arrangement.

cheryl witten miniature shell art crafter

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!

diane parr eric visit sanibel shell festival from new york

It’s always fun to see Captain Brian and more shelling friends Lynn (St Thomas), Laurel (CA), and Anne (MN).

laurel ca, lynn vbi, anne mn, capt brian

The sailors valentines seemed more magnificent than ever this year.

karine almir sailors valentine shell festival

Karen Almir won a blue ribbon for her single medium valentine.

karine almir sailors valentine sanibel shell festival

Victoria Ross (Sanibel- right Vicki? ) won a blue for her gorgeous valentine. Congrats!

Vicki Ross sanibel shell festival 2014 blue ribbon

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.

urchin shell craft with ingredients

Fun piece Marvin!

marvin hennemann ky shell crafter

Every year I enjoy learning about other aspects of shelling.

rachel fields natural pearl exhibit

Rachel Fields won a blue ribbon for her awesome display on natural pearls.

rachel fields natural pearls display sanibel shell festival

This New Zealand shell scientific exhibit won a special merit award for education.

new zealand shells kris roger woods

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.

gary schmeltz Roger Kris Harry Lee sanibel shell festival

 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

ruth bulger shell art crafter you are my sunshine

Nancy Goes made that beautiful shell necklace

nancy goes 2014 sanibel shell festival seashell artist

Audrey O’Donnell made the fabulous RICE SHELL arrangement

audrey odonnell blue ribbon shell artist

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!

pam boynton shell valentine 2014 sanibel shell festival

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…

david rhyne madame butterfly sailors valentine

So I hope to see you again next year on Sanibel or maybe even at another shell show.

seashell craft flowers sanibel shell festival

Until then, I’ve got to get back to my first love…  the beach. i Love Shelling!

first love shell valentine shell craft

sanibel stoop after a storm

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!

shelling after a storm on Sanibel

All sorts of STARFISH, PEN SHELLS, DISK DOSINIAS and SEAWEED piled up to form a nice thick wrack line to pick through…

shells and shellers after stormy weather on sanibel

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!

hidden treasure shell in beach debris

Did you find this stunning TRUE TULIP too?

red true tulip after sanibel storm

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…

dosinia white clams washed up on sanibel beach

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.

true tulip in pen shell

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.

morning shelling after a storm on Sanibel

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.

collecting seashells and beach bling on Sanibel

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.

shelling trip

Okay, I can’t resist…. I have to show you a few more shell pieces from the show. They are exquisite!

seashell design susan lloyd sanibel shell festival

sailors valentine exhibit 2014 sanibel shell festival

you are my sunshine seashells

sea shell art flower

pam rambo worm shell frame

 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.

seashell photograph winner pam rambo

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!

pam rambo seashell frame art worm shells

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…

shell art jewelry

seashell art sanibel shell festival

david rhyne shell art valentine

So stay tuned for more shell crafts, shell artists and scientific shell exhibits coming soon! 

love and be loved shell valentine

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.

Feb
07

2013 50th Annual Sarasota Shell Show

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sarasota shell club show

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!

Suzanne Dietsch people 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).

shell show judges

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…

jane santini pam rambo merit award

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.

fran schlusemann 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.

seashell bust

This was a lucky moment! I got June Bailey (on the left) and Nora Bevard together with her winning piece…

june bailey nora bevard

Phyllis picked this stunning miniature piece by Anni Ferretti for her Judges Special Merit Award…

anni ferretti merit award

There was a jewelry category as well. Sharlene Totten won for her lovely jewelry piece..

.sharlene totten shell jewelry

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!

50 golden award shades

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!

donna cassin sarasota shell

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…

Harry berryman 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 Berryman cone display

 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!

dr jose leal conchologists of america

 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!

linda greiner seashell xrays blue ribbon award

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!

sally peppitoni sarasota shell club

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!

susanee dietsch seashells valentine

PS- The 2013 76th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show will be coming up soon too March 7,8 and 9!

Mar
06

Seashells Swarm The Shell Fair

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Junonia shell collection

Junonia shell collection

The 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show was over the top this year!  But, come on…. did they really have to put me over the edge by displaying this many JUNONIAS all together in one place like this? I just want one!! I got over my shell jealousy pretty quickly since there were too many other seashells to drool over too.

There were rooms of seashells….

Scientific room shell fair

Scientific display room

Tents of seashells….

Mom and shellcrafter Goz

Mom and shellcrafter Goz

Shacks of seashells…..

Live shell display

Live shell display

Sheds of Seashells….

Shell Shed

Outside Shell Shed

Boxes of seashells….

Boxes of seashells

Boxes of seashells for sale

Categories of seashells….

Categories of seashells

Gobs and gobs of organized shells

Flowers of seashells….

Flowers of Seashells

Flower arrangements for sale by the shellcrafters

Frames of seashells….

Lisa Givens shell frame

Shell frame by Lisa Givens

Tables of seashells…..

Tables of seashells

Artistic division table

Rows of seashells…

Fiji Shells

Fiji Shell display

Cases of seashells….

Shell Collection by Ethel Sinow

Shells Collected Dec 2010-Feb 2011 by Ethel Sinow

Posters of seashells…

Posters of Seashells

Blue Ribbon winner Barbara Hansen's display

Magnifiers of seashells….

Mini Fossil shell display

Blue Ribbon Mini Fossil shell display by Ron Bopp

Shoes of seashells…

Shelling shoes

Blue Ribbon for K-6 Student Weston Clark

Crafters of seashells…

David Rhyne shell crafter

David Rhyne shell crafter

Collectors (and cutie collectors, at that!) of seashells….

Diane Zimmer shell collector

Shell Collector Diane Zimmer

….and this is only a smidge of what I want to show you. I’ve got video too! As you can already see, it’s a little overwhelming for a shell lover to just run through it in a short time. I didn’t even get a chance to show you details of some of the scientific shell displays. So many shell displays, so little time.

A shell show would not be complete if I didn’t add….

Lovers of seashells…..

Shell fair Holaway, Rambo, Moran

Brian Holaway, yours truly, and Sandy Moran photo by Hannah Milman

Mar
04

Best In Show Sailor’s Valentines

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Best in Show Shell fair pro

Best in Show Professional

The Sanibel Shell Fair and Show is so overwhelmingly good this year that to give the winning art pieces their due justice, I had to break it down into more categories. That’s why I wanted to save the “Best In Show” winners for a post all their own.

This SAILOR’S VALENTINE by David Rhyne won a blue ribbon first place prize for “Best In Show Professional” in the Professional Artistic Division. Congratulations!

Best in show pro detail

Best In Show Professional close up

He explained this piece on a display card …

The entire center of the Valentine is made from the CAPIZ shell. The picture in the center is hand carved and painted by the artist. The mosaic treatmetn on the jewelry, gown, and pattern work is hand carved from the following shells… ABALONE, OPERCULUM, SCALLOPS, MOLLUSKS and LIMPETS. Assorted shells and sea-life complete the piece.

Best in show pro detail copy

Best in Show Pro detail

All of the SAILOR’S VALENTINES that I have posted so far have been made by professional shellcrafters that sell their work as well as enter shows.

This next SAILOR’S VALENTINE won a blue ribbon for “Best In Show Hobbyist” in the Hobbyist Artistic Division. Yes, James Cowperthwait is a hobbyist. Congratulations, James for Best in Show!

Best in Show Hobbyist Shell Fair

Best in Show Hobbyist

Best in Show Hobbyist Shell Fair

Best in Show Hobbyist detail

I have so much more to show you but I can’t get it all in at once.  I sure hope you don’t mind if I dedicate the next few days to the shell fair. I haven’t heard of anything spectacular happening on the beaches the last few days since we’ve had east winds. I think the winds will be shifting to the west soon so maybe by the time the fair is over, it’ll be good shelling again. I’m having a great time with my mom visiting from Virginia!!!

Mom buying a few shell crafts

Mom buying a few shell crafts. She's so cute!