After thousands of hours, over 20,000 shells, over 65 volunteers, over 60 tubes of glue and millions of decisions… Shell Love Bug has graced the world.
This 2005 convertible Volkswagen beetle is the ultimate symbol for the love of seashells and shelling… hence the name Shell Love Bug. Most of the shells used to make this shelldazzled masterpiece are from our personal collection and the Sanibel Shell crafters but there have been oodles of shells donated by other obsessed shellers like us. We’ve made the biggest mobile Sailors Valentine on the planet!
How did Shell Love Bug happen?
When Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau had the brilliant idea of officially making June 20 of each year National Seashell Day to “shellebrate” this wonderful hobby of collecting shells, I was abshellutely thrilled. This is a day every sheller gets to share this passion for shells with friends, family and everybody they know… however they want to even if you can’t be doing the Sanibel Stoop on that day. You can give gifts made with shells, have a dinner party with shells as centerpieces, make shell paintings, send homemade shell cards ….whatever makes you happy to share the love of shells.
So the VCB asked me if I had any ideas to make a big splash on the first ever annual event to make it really fun. Errrrr…. Well heck yea!!! I pitched a few ideas… swing and a miss. haha Then it hit me…. yes… it’s gotta be a car. A car covered in seashells. They liked it! Y’all, I can’t tell you how over the moon shell I’ve been to work with the people in this community to create this car…. Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau, so many of my shelling friends and a few talented ladies at Sanibel Shell Crafters. We only had 6 weeks to shelldazzle this car… but when shellers step up, things get done. It was truly a community project.
There are soooo many amazing stories I want to tell about “her”… the different shells she has, the people who helped, the glue, the shell crafting, where and when you can see her (CLICK HERE for next week’s schedule), whats gonna happen to her… and on and on. I promise, I will get you all the information. But first…..
We’ll be on Good Morning America tomorrow morning at 7am with Ginger Zee! Make sure you tune in to ABC or set your DVR to watch the live broadcast…. with Shell Love Bug!
Sanibel has had so much rain in the past month, we’ve had flooded streets, yards and parking lots. Now that we have had a few days of sunshine, we are finally drying out. It’s so refreshing to be on the beach without the threat of a thunderstorm and to enjoy the site of shells and beautiful skies.
I’ve found mostly shell crush (broken shells, bits and pieces), drift shells (smooth beach worn shells) and Sanibel’s most common shells (CLICK HERE for the top six shells) but they remind me I should start some shell craft projectsusing the same shells that are on our beaches in SW Florida all the time.
I’ve always wanted to do a frame like this as friend Rhonda makes …
But after having lots of home improvement projects this summer, all I want to do is enjoy walking the beach to unwind and to admire all of these beautiful shells (broken or not!) and the landscape that surrounds them. Beach therapy is the best therapy on the planet.
Shellzam! These are some of the unbelievable shells and bling we’ve found on an extraordinary shelling trip to the other side of the world from our home on Sanibel Island, Florida. Yes, Sanibel is the the most amazing place on the planet for beach combing but when you’re extreme shellers like Clark and me…
We’ve got to explore the awesome beaches around the globe.
Stay tuned for all of the details of our amazing beach combing adventure…
These sweet little KITTIES washed up on the sand bar at Blind Pass yesterday waiting to be adopted (errr I mean collected) for a good home. Here Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty!
Aha- And I know what I “knead” to do with them. I love this idea!
Charlotte P. shared a photo of her KITTEN PAW creation on iLoveShelling Facebook page and said…
“My two nieces, my sister and I collected kitten paw shells at Blind Pass this past June. They were so plentiful, that we just scooped handfuls of them into our shell bag. I made these 9-inch trees using about 460 shells each. Now we will always remember our fun summer day every Christmas! …use Michael’s stryo cones, sort shells according to size. I used the largest on the bottom. (The shells that are still hinged together are too thick. Also, the really curved ones don’t work either. ) Shove the shell into the cone until secure. Take it out, insert hot glue and jam it into place. Repeat about 459 or so times!”
CLICK HERE to find the link to her post on iLS Facebook page…
Our kitties PuppyCat and Dustie are already in the holiday spirit dressing in ShellElf hats to match their mom so I’m sure they would love to help me. They love craft time.
Wanna scratch around in the sand to find a few KITTENS PAWS too? Lets go CYBERSHELLING! Click on the next image to enlarge…
Want more? Take a walk on the beach with me to see the shells, waves, water and listen to the jingle of the shells against the surf…. and be amazed at the oodles of KITTENS PAWS (and itty bitty orange ROUGH SCALLOP I couldn’t resist). Here’s a video! (sorry if the vid looks a little “fuzzy” right now- I hope it clears up)
With Thanksgiving and the holidays upon us, I’m getting excited about get-togethers with friends and family to celebrate the season of giving. But since I’m not a good cook, this means I also start to panic thinking about “what to bring” as a hostess gift – especially on Thanksgiving weekend. Hmmmm…. Bingo! What better “thought” from the Rambos (or any other beach comber) would be to give a gift of shells as a thank you? Doesn’t everybody love shells? My fave part of the whole gift is the packaging so I’ll show you how I easily I made a beautiful coastal package without drilling any holes in any of the shells. I’m tickled with my fall-ish colors I used to wrap up this small package tying seashells as a gift tag and adding beach bling to add that flavor of a coastal feel.
I got this idea from Alyson E. on iLoveShelling Facebook page last year after she saw my post about hundreds of DOSINIAS at Lighthouse beach. She showed a picture of the gift tags, earnings and ornaments she and her daughter make out of them- brilliant. I’ve been collecting them ever since for shell necklacesand gift tags of my own but if you’ve been on the Sanibel beaches in the last month, you’ve seen lots of DOSINIAS again.
Yes, they are just white CLAM shells but I can’t help but pick them up…. just in time for the holidays.
After the shells have been rinsed and dried, write your note with a magic marker inside the shell.
You can use twine, raffia or any other thin string to thread through the hole in the tip of the shell.
I added a beautiful yellow “harvest” SEA WHIP to brown craft paper to start the fall color theme but couldn’t help myself… I had to add something aqua. I just had to so I added aqua raffia as a base to hold everything together then twisted a WORMIE in through the knot of the DOSINIA shell. For this package, I found a similar size DOSINIA to put a cover on the gift tag. I don’t know, I just thought it looked so cute- like a little secret you have to peek inside to see what’s there.
To finish the look, I added an OLIVE shell with the tip missing like I use in making the OLIVE string bracelets and then tied on a SAND DOLLAR- easy peazy since there are lots of holes to choose from- heehee. Lastly I added a wider ribbon to hide all the knots in the raffia. It’s done! I didn’t have to cook a darn thing and my friend will have something to keep after the holiday is over.
Wondering what my “thought” is inside the beautiful package? My friend loves pink so I put one of my photographs with pink hues on an easel along with more beach bling. I think it will make a pretty little vignette somewhere in her house or office. I hope she likes it!
I’m very thankful I can share this love of shelling with you and I also hope this will give you an idea or two of how you can use some of those shells you’ve collected over the years.
I can find seashells everywhere on Sanibel… even at the Sanibel Farmers Market! Seriously, all of these veggies were made by Barbara Walling using different seashells. Dont you remember Barb? I filmed her making other shell art creations a few years back and she is still creating such fun shell crafts. Aren’t these the cutest veggies you’ve ever seen?
If you want to see this in person, you only have a few more weeks since this market is open seasonally from November through April where Betsy, Jean and Sherrill proudly display it at their booth.
You can even find seashell soaps at the market…
Honestly, I’m not much of a cook but when I have guests over, its fun to buy local fresh food and mingle with the island peeps like shellers Mary and Jim that I met on one of the iLoveShelling cruises to Cayo Costa.
But anyhoooo…back to the shelling on the beach. Here is a sampling of shell treasures I found at Gulfside City Park one morning this weekend.
Just after I met Nora, Mac, Dan and Molly (visiting from Illinois) I heard a loud “Whoa!”.
Mac found a SAND DOLLAR laying under some seaweed just like this and then fund a few more.
Then Molly asked me what this unusual bivalve was. It’s a SMOOTH DUCK CLAM. They are so fragile, it’s hard to find one that is not broken- so good finds!
I always say that there are enough shells on the beach for everyone because different people like to collect different shells. Sydney and Lori tom Indiana were trying to find broken shells and shells with holes in them.
They like to find the shells that already have holes in them so they can make jewelry. I love that they were getting so creative! I had to chime in too and told them that I like to collect the OLIVE shells without tips to make bracelets (for my tutorial CLICK HERE) and also explained how to make a seashell mobile too with broken shells. There are so many fun ways to decorate with shells!
PS- I got all my fresh ingredients at the Sanibel Farmers Market to make dinner because it was my turn to host for my book club (we’ve been together for 12 years!). I used some ideas from Pinterest and it was a fun, successful night with my girlfriends. If you like to read, this is my favorite book I’ve ever chosen that every sheller or treasure hunter would enjoy…