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.
My heart is all warm and shelly after receiving 3 boxes of seashells this week to reimburse the shells used in making the hearts and flowers for Shell Love Bug. I’m pink with gratitude to Melanie Herrin who sent many gorgeous ROSE PETAL TELLINS. I know these precious shells aren’t easily found and I would have never asked for them if I wasn’t in a pinch (as I explained in my blog post Seashell Repurposing). So I’m grateful she sent them to help finish creating Shell Love Bug. Omigosh and she sent other shells I needed to replace … FLORIDA SPINY JEWELBOXES and SAILORS EARS. Melanie also made a JINGLE SHELL bracelet to be sold at the next Sanibel Shell Festival in March to raise money for the Sanibel Community House- so very sweet! Melanie made a few shell creations for the Shell Love Bug box as well. What a “sweetheart”.
Sweet, Sweet Marie McDermed. She and her sister have kept me going through the years, for sure. Marie sent a huuuuge bag of SAILORS EARS that will replace all of the ones used from the inventory of the SCA Shellcrafters.
And she took so much care in separating ( left valves from rights valves!) and bagging so many different color COQUINAS to replace what was used in the hearts. Marie, I’m a lucky girl to know you.
Linda Gammon is so clever! I couldn’t help but smile seeing sooooo many beautiful coquinas for Shell Love Bug. I smiled at feeling grateful but I also had to smile seeing the clever packaging in which she thought to send her sorted COQUINAS.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to these dear givers who donated these shells to help with finishing putting together this shell car. I had the idea of making a mobile seashell art piece of the first annual National Seashell Day so I turned a car into a Sailors Valentine… but I didn’t have all the total 20,000 shells in the Rambo Shellaboratory. I’m grateful to the folks who donated shells (and helped glue shells) while creating Shell Love Bug last month and to these lovely contributors Melanie, Marie and Linda who have made it easier for me to get things back in order. I can’t thank you enough!!
I’ve also been scouring the beaches looking for purple COQUINAS this week and I had lots of great luck so I think that’ll do it for replacing shells. Yay!
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 try to get you all the information. But first…..
We’ll be on Good Morning America tomorrow morning at 7am with Ginger Zee (This was June 20, 2016) ! Make sure you tune in to ABC or set your DVR to watch the live broadcast…. with Shell Love Bug!
To keep up with Shell Love Bug and her tour- ShellLoveBug.com. Remember she’s brand new so there’s not much info on her yet.
UPDATE! Check out this awesome time lapse video and Making Of 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)