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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Gone Extreme Shelling- Across the World

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Decorate with shells, Indo Pacific shells, Okinawa Japan Beach Combing, Shell Art, Shell crafts, Sunsets, World shelling | 27 comments

Beach combing in Okinawa Japan for seashells and sea glass

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…

Extreme shellers Pam and Clark beach combing Okinawa Japan

We’ve got to explore the awesome beaches around the globe.

Explore the beaches of Okinawa Japan for seashells

Stay tuned for all of the details of our amazing beach combing adventure…

Seashell crafting with a darling Okinawa shell and sea glass sign

in Okinawa, Japan!

okinawa sunset spider conch sea shell

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Meowy Kitten Paw Christmas

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Christmas, Decorate with shells, Holiday, Kitten's Paw, Kitty, seashell decor, Shell crafts, Shell Tree | 19 comments

Sea shell beach bliss

Do you see what I see?

The perfect beach with shells

Thousands of purrfect KITTEN PAW SHELLS!

Collecting kitten paw shells on Sanibel Island

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!

Meow! Kittens paw shells

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…

Kittens Paw Christmas Tree Shell Craft

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.

puppycat dustie santa christmas

Wanna scratch around in the sand to find a few KITTENS PAWS too? Lets go CYBERSHELLING! Click on the next image to enlarge…

cyber shelling kittens paws sea shells

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)

Meowy Christmas!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/a00gJeNd8wk?list=UUu2b66f3iGn5EJMQ6yl3IBg[/youtube]

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How To Use Seashells For Gift Tags

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Decorate with shells, Disk Dosinia, Dosinia, Shell Art, Shell crafts | 24 comments

Using seashells for gift tags

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.

How to use seashells for gift tags

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 necklaces and 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.

Dosinia shells on a Sanibel beach

Yes, they are just white CLAM shells but I can’t help but pick them up…. just in time for the holidays.

bag of Sanibel shells with dosinias

I choose the shells that have the pre-drilled holes in them to bring home. (You don’t know why the holes are in these shells? Check out my post What Makes The Different Holes In Seashells – its fascinating!)

using natural drilled shells for gift tags

After the shells have been rinsed and dried, write your note with a magic marker inside the shell.

writing on seashells

You can use twine, raffia or any other thin string to thread through the hole in the tip of the shell.

threading a seashell for gift tags

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.

tie sea whips and seashells to gift packaging

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.

Using seashells for gift tags

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!

sea urchin vignette

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.

Or… if you want more ideas of how to find different shells, join me on one of my iLoveShelling Shelling Adventures! We are completely SOLD OUT for our next cruise with Sight Sea-R Cruises on Wednesday but we have more dates scheduled for future events or you can hop on one of their regularly scheduled cruises. Either way, CLICK HERE for more info.

pam rambo shelling trips

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Shelling at Sanibel Farmers Market

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Decorate with shells, Duck Clam, Sand Dollar, Shell crafts, Smooth Duck Clam | 28 comments

seashells at Sanibel farmers market

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?

Sanibel farmers market vegetables made from seashells

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.

Sanibel Farmers Market with owners Betsy Jean Sherrill

You can even find seashell soaps at the market…

sanibel soap in the shape of seashells

seashell shaped soap

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.

shellers mary and jim from wisconsin sanibel farmers market

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.

shells from Sanibel's gulf side city park

Just after I met Nora, Mac, Dan and Molly (visiting from Illinois) I heard a loud “Whoa!”.

nora mac dan molly illinois find sand dollars on sanibel

Mac found a SAND DOLLAR laying under some seaweed just like this and then fund a few more.

sand dollar under seaweed at Gulfside City Park on Sanibel

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!

Sanibel smooth duck clam and sand dollars

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.

sydney, lori from Indiana finding seashells for making shell crafts

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!

seashells with holes for crafts

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…

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2014 Sanibel Shell Festival

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Sailor's Valentine, Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, Sanibel Shell Festival 2014, Shell Art, Shell crafts, Shell Shows | 28 comments

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

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How To Make A Worm Shell Frame

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Decorate with shells, Shell Art, Shell crafts, Worm Shell | 25 comments

seashell frame shells

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.

worm shell virtual sheller

The ones that have a funny sideways twist? Even better!

worm shell true tulip turban

 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…

worm shell lovers key

 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!

Worm 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!

glue gun shell craft frame

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.

shell frame seashell craft

 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.

worm shell frame photo sanibel

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!

Baileys sanibel dinner traders

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.

rambo bailey traders dinner

Thank you so much Cheri and  Jimmy for letting Clark and me be part of this amazing decision! Congratshellations!

worm shell frame sanibel

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