Archive for Shell crafts

Apr
07

Shelling at Sanibel Farmers Market

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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…

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

May
01

How To Make A Worm Shell Frame

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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

Sep
19

Tips To Decorate Your Home With Seashells

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dining shell basket dmm

“What do you do with all of the seashells you collect?” Haven’t you been asked that question every time you tell someone you love to collect shells? I’ve been asked countless times and I’ve asked other shellers so I’m guilty as well. I think we all are interested in getting ideas of what to do with them from other people who love what we love… seashells.

Dick Mary Fatima seashells

Our friends Dick and Mary love shelling and love their seashells and beach bling surrounding them in their beautiful home. Join me as I show you their seashell arrangements… with the help from kitty Fatima.

Fatima kitty with seashells dmm

 This is a perfect example of what I love about Dick and Mary in the photo above…. there are no rules. They find so many beautiful shells on the beach but they also love to buy shells if they see one that strikes their fancy and they don’t mind mixing them. Most of those shells in the bowl (that Fatima is admiring) were found on the beach by either Dick or Mary but some, as Mary says with a laugh “I found that one too…. in a store”.

Alphabet cone display decor

 When it comes to ALPHABET CONES, they don’t have to buy a single one. They found all of the ones in the glass vessel on Sanibel and Captiva. Wow! Piling the same shell in any type of vessel is my favorite way to display my shells as well. They found all of these baby HORSE CONCHS too. Wouldn’t you love a bowl full of candy by your bedside table?

bedside candy dish dmm

 They framed their oddity treasures in a shadowbox.

Seashell wall art dmm

They framed some of their best shells to make a wall collage in the hallway.

Hallway framed seashells dmm

Framed seashell display dmm

framed starfish dmm

 This is the top of the very first shell mirror Mary made but the mirror is so big, I couldn’t get the whole thing in the photo. Again, she mixed bought shells with beach found shells.

Seashell mirror top dmm

Here’s the bottom of another shell mirror…

bottom shell mirror dmb

They displayed their “knobless wonder” HORSE CONCH (the spire doesn’t have those pronounced bumps normal horsies do) right at the front entrance with a striking vase of PAPER FIGS.

knobless wonder with figs

knobless wonder with figs

They call this little heart the WENTLETRAP trap…

Wentletrap heart trap

This wire bowl has a beach found key chain, pottery pieces, sea glass, driftwood and other beach bling along with a bought object d’ art. See? Mix and match, just do it.

beachcomb objects dmm

 Mary was a doll maker a number of years ago so on the shelves of her glass door cabinets she displays the things she loves mixed together.

sea urchin bowl display

 Of course there are OLIVE shells in the olive dish.

olive dish with seashells

 Remember I showed you the OYSTER shell mirror on my post Ordinary Oyster Turn Extraordinary? Mary made a plant stand out of them.

Oyster shell plant stand

I still have so much to show you! Like how they use their shells in the garden and by the pool and how they organize all of their shells. But, oh my. I’ve run out of time so I have to break this post into several so… hang on! You won’t believe your eyes at how many more shells they have and what they do with them. So for Part Two… CLICK HERE

sea life still under glass dmm

 

 

Wendy Alphabet cones Sanibel 7

All eleven of these ALPHABET CONES were found within four days of shelling this week along Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive by Wendy from West Palm Beach, FL. Talk about an eye for shelling! And she even found another one that wasn’t in that bunch. I’d say she is the CONE QUEEN.

Wendy alphabet cone

She found these FLORIDA CONES and COLORFUL MOON SHELLS too!

wendy cones and moons

But even when she isn’t lucky enough to find all of these CONE shells, she is still having fun picking up other shells with her friends to use as embellishments. Love this- they strung these shells around her straw hat. So cute!

Wendy seashell hat

Yes, that hat is awfully cute, but these hats just stole my heart! LaDonna, Carla and Belinda were all sporting their iLoveShelling caps when I saw them on the same beach. Weehooo! Shelling Sistahs!

Lighted shelling sister caps

We had the best time chatting it up when I spotted something pretty nice in Shelling Sistah Carla’s shell bag (you might recognize her name from her comments- Carla Knotts!). She found an excellent LIGHTNING WHELK.

Carla lightning whelk sanibel

She said she was happy they were already finding lots of shells but even happier just be on Sanibel. It holds a special place in her heart and I could see she wanted to capture every second on that beach and never let it go. She’s not just a shell seeker but a Sanibel seeker.

beach combers sanibel 7

Then I ran into our local friends Dick and Mary…..

mary and dick sanibel

They look like they have golf clubs, don’t they? Belinda said Dick looked like he was the “Golfer of the Sea”. It would be appropriate since Clark plays golf with him every Sunday and both admitted they were better shellers than golfers.

Golfer of the sea

The Golfer of the Sea found a pretty nice SHARK’S EYE….

Dick's shark's eye

I was tickled when they introduced me to Ernest Hemingway! Errrr, well, he looks like Papa anyway….. and has even won a look-a-like contest in Key West.

Hemingway look a like

Tom, Linda, Dick and Mary

It was an amazing day yesterday off beach access #7 to find so many shells but the best thing was to meet many new friends and to see a few old ones too (and I dont mean in age! LOL).

fighting conch family

Fighting Conchs

 

Red True Tulip Sanibel 7

Red True Tulip

sun in aqua sky

 

Blue Ribbon winner Barbara Walling

I started thinking about summer projects this week so I revisited some of my blog photos for inspiration. Bingo! The 74th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show was last month … and it gave me a great idea for both me and you. I thought I’d find out some of the secrets of shell crafting so I asked how 2011 Blue Ribbon and Judges’s Special Award winner Barb Walling made her “Dandelions” piece. We will get to learn every detail of how this piece was made by the artist herself!

Barbara Walling shell crafter

Barb was gracious enough to invite me over to her Sanibel home to see where the magic begins. She first showed me how she organizes her shells that she picks up off the beach after she washes and dries them.organized shells

She categorizes each box or drawer by the shell name. This one is the SEMELE which she uses as the base to the dandelion and most of her shell flowers.

Semele seashell drawer

From here, I’m gonna let her tell you how everything else is done. Sit back, relax and let your imagination roll…

YouTube Preview Image

How ’bout that, huh? Here’s a close up of the SEMELE she talked about ……

Semele seashell drawer closeup

….and the CROSS BARRED VENUS

Cross Barred venus Seashell

This is a dead PURPLE SEA URCHIN that washed up on the beach with some of it’s spines still attached.

Crab shell, Urchin, Fig and Sponge

This is a close up of Barb’s SEA URCHIN spines. That’s a lot of SEA URCHINS!

Sea Urchin spines

Thank you so much for the shell craft lesson, Barb! Can’t wait to see what you create for next year’s 75th Anniversary of Sanibel Shell Fair and Show.

Barb Walling ribbons