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

Practicing The Sanibel Stoop On Cayo Costa

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Baby's Ear, Captiva, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Day Trips From Sanibel Island Florida & More, King's Crown, Shell Love Bug | 11 comments

Every single time I step on the beach of Cayo costa… its different. Its truly fascinating to see it change so drastically and which part of the beach the shells pile up.  The last few months, we had to walk down to the right to find the shells washed up and before that we found them to the left. This time as soon as we stepped on the beach on our iLoveShelling cruise with Captiva Cruises, we saw loads of shells right in front of us.

Its so much fun to see the different shells everybody finds.

Lots of Sanibel Stoops … Or Cayo Conch Crouch? heehee

There’s enough for everybody!



Such fun times!

Even a surprising live KINGS CROWN! (Of course safely put back in the water)

Yahoo! Fabshellous LIGHTNING WHELK totally empty.

Good to see Brin and her amazing shelling family again.

She’s an amazing artist so she has such a great eye for beautiful shells with different color patterns. Thank you Brin ;)

Such fun to hang out with so many amazing shellers.

Check out this spectacsheller assortment Will found… BUTTON SHELLS to BABYS EARS and lots in between.


I had a surprise for everyone too! Shell Love Bug made a special appearance at Captiva Cruises so everybody on our shelling boat could see her. Fun! For Easter week, Shell Love Bug is now at the airport in Fort Myers until April 18 – hope ya get to see her and find your favorite shell.

Hey hey- I have new dates for summer iLoveShelling cruises! Hope I get to see y’all-  Check them out …

PS- I’m really sorry I couldn’t work in all requested dates :(





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Shellavanting The Beaches

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Button, Junonia, Millipede Starfish, Pen Shell, Shell Love Bug, Starfish | 14 comments

I heart finding the mini shells! I’ve been enjoying short little walks (mostly at Gulfside City Park) on the beach this week to strengthen my sprained ankle so searching for miniature seashells is abshellutely perfect exercise.

Autumn showed me this sweet FLAT SCALLOP (ZIGZAG) she found a little further west but when she showed me her shell, I couldn’t help but be drawn to her nails too. Cute nail polish, Autumn! ;)

Since I’ve had my bum ankle, it’s been the perfect time to run around in Shell Love Bug! My good friend Diane and I took it to the Marco Island Shell Show.

The Marco Shell Club is awesome!

I met big time shellers Jack and Ella (Marco, FL) a few weeks earlier at the Sanibel Shell Festival then I got to see them again at the Marco Shell Show too. It was so much fun to see them again…. then omigosh… the next day they found a JUNONIA!

It was completely covered in barnacles but they knew right away what they had. They cleaned it up to uncover this stunning specimen. Boom Shellalaka! Way to go!

Then I took Shell Love Bug to Blind Pass where I saw so many fun shellers like Pat, Curt, Char, Dave and Colleen

Michelle (Fort Myers) showed me this little shell she found. Hmmmm… it sorta looks like a BUTTON SHELL.

So here’s our “normal” BUTTON SHELL (Modulus modulus) we find here in SW Florida…

Button shell

And now look below at the one Michelle found. Different, right? Kinda looks like one found in the Caribbean but I researched it in my Shellibrary but I still didn’t find an exact match. This is the closest thing I came to finding…

Here’s the aperture. Can anybody out there identify it? MurexKen? SusanH? Y’all think its a WEDDING SHELL?

So it’s been a fun week shellavanting around on the beach and with the bug. Maybe just as much fun as these MILLIPEDE SEA STARS were having while doing their Locust yoga poses.

I’m working on setting dates for my shelling cruises for this summer since I only have the scheduled until May so far. I’ll post those new dates ASAP but until then…

PS- I know my pages here on my blog are a little messed up if you are looking at my posts on a mobile device or tablet. My Seashells Identification button, Beach Bling Identification button disappeared- Ugh!  I’m trying to fix all that so please bear with me? So just in case you were looking for the pages to identify your seashells or beach bling….

identify beach bling identification


seashell identification - identify shells

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Lotsa Shellove at the 80th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Beachy Shell Stuff, Sailor's Valentine, Sanibel Shell Festival, Shell Art, Shell crafts, Shell Love Bug, Shell Shows | 18 comments

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.

ShellLove is in the air…

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Sanibel Shelling and Shell Love Bug

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Sanibel, Community Outreach, Shell Love Bug, Shellaboratory, Shellebrity | 13 comments


Holy Cowrie- I’m shocked at how long it’s been since I’ve published my last blog post! I think this is the longest I’ve gone between posts in 8 years but it hasn’t been because I haven’t been conchsumed with seashells. I’ve found shells at Bowman’s Beach …


And Gulfside City Park beach (notice that amazing lemon yellow LEAFY JEWELBOX)…


And Blind Pass Sanibel (finding so many color variations of the FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCH)


And hanging out with my girlfriends Janie and Sandy on the West Gulf beaches.


I even took a trip up to Virginia Beach to see my family. It was just what I needed… a big dose of family with a recharge of seeing my dear friends and childhood beach I grew up on. I was thrilled to find a few RAZOR CLAMS (we always called them RAZOR CLAMS but I think they are actually AMERICAN JACKKNIFE CLAMS) that matched my new bracelet my friend Wendy Miller gave me (Heart Of Dolphin Designs …and of course my long time favorite silver shell bracelet by Congress Jewelers )


And then…. there’s been the Shellaboratory. I’ve been working every day trying to get our shells back in order and doing some remodeling. The floor is done (sneak preview of the shells I painted on it ) but all our shells still need to be sorted again. “Why” you ask? Because it looked like a shellnado whipped through the shellab after the shelldazzling of…..


Shell Love Bug! I’ll take that shellnado any day- she was so worth it. I hope you get to see her soon- check out her new tour date schedule updated periodically by going to or CLICK HERE


Exciting News!

Shell Love Bug will be a shellebrity at The Celebrity Island Dinner for the fundraiser for our fabulous Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island at Traders October 3. Remember a few years ago when I dressed up as Shelly Temple hahaha (click here) ? Yep, this is the same event but unfortunately, the event sold out very quickly this year… although…. you can still play a part of the event.

Wanna show some love for Shell Love Bug? Help spread the shelling love …. give Shell Love Bug a “tip” as a donation to the Shell Museum. Shell Love Bug spreads the shellove of seashells and so does the museum.

Let’s all help out by shelling out a few clams for either Shell Love Bug or any of the other “shellebrity waiters” to raise some beach bling for the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum   CLICK HERE

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

PS-  You just might see her shellivanting around the islands this week ;)




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Shells Of The Heart

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in Beach Art, Beach Hearts, Packing Fragile Seashells, Shell crafts, Shell Love Bug | 22 comments


rose petal tellin shells

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”.

shipped seashell gifts

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.

shipped seashells

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.

coquina gift

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.

shipped 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!!

coquina shell hearts-1

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!

purple coquinas-1


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Seashell Repurposing

Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 in Seashell Repurposing, Shell Love Bug | 24 comments

ark shells from Sanibel island

Seashells are wonderful souvenirs reminding us of the best vacations of our lives after getting the healing dose of beach therapy.

butterfly coquinas florida

Most shellers keep shells in bowls in the family room, near the computer and decorate in every room like friends Dick and Mary.

Alphabet cone display decor

Lots of us collect shells for plans of shell crafting to make frames, ornaments or to decorate the house like Jane…

decorate seashell coasters

Yes… I get a little shelloony and create extreme spaces like my Shellaboratory.

Pam Rambo's Shellaboratory

But more times than I can count, I’ve been asked the question “What can I do with all of the seashells I’ve collected while visiting Southwest Florida that are now packed away in boxes in my closet and garage never to be seen again?”

mom shell collection boxes

I completely understand how that happens. I had hundreds of unfinished projects that I collected supplies to complete but all got put on the back burner for years (ahem… my shell projects took over!). Last summer I cleaned out those old projects I really wasn’t passionate about any more then donated them to good homes that could use the supplies. Whew. I feel so much better to have the space for projects I’m more passionate about and I feel like I helped someone else along the way.

So this brings us to the biggest seashell project of my life….  Shell Love Bug! The biggest mobile Sailors Valentine on earth. Now THIS is what I call passion. haha

Shell Love Bug front fender seashells

This was a wonderfully huge shell project but I had to complete in a very short time. I could have never finished shelldazzled this car if I had to glue all of these shells myself in 34 days so I had to recruit lots of friends to help. I never would have had thousands of ARK shells and COQUINAS in our personal collection of shells either. Most of the various shell species were from us- (the Rambo shellaboratory collection) but it wasn’t enough. Lots of friends generously donated shells to the project…  like Leroy (check out my blog post about this amazingly generous man CLICK HERE), shell jewelry artist and dear friend Wendy Miller, the sweet and giving Johnny Lorren and oodles of other long time shellers. I am also very grateful for some of the talented ladies at Sanibel Shell Crafters who brought shells to get the job finished in such a short period of time. The Shell Crafters make shell crafts all year long to sell at the annual Sanibel Shell Festival each year to raise money for the Sanibel Community House. So to get this car done in this short time, I promised them I would return their shells so it wouldn’t take away any funding for Sanibel Community House (which is under construction right now).

Pink, blue, purple, yellow, red and orange Coquinas

Sooooo….Wanna help? So here it is…  I’m sending out an S.O.S (Saving Our (unused) Seashells) !

We all save our seashells but some times they end up never being used for anything and put in the closet. Here’s a way to do something with those saved unused seashells. I’ve been able to replace most of the shells I “borrowed” … but…. we need to replace hundreds of color sorted COQUINAS – especially ones with purple insides which were used for the hearts on the car. Clark and I had oodles of them but it didn’t come close to replacing them and they will take too much time to find. So I have an idea…. if you are one of those folks who love COQUINAS and have collected them over the years but have them stored in the closet or they just don’t work in your space any more… Would you like to donate them? If so, could you send them to Shell Love Bug? She would be grateful but the really cool thing that would be happening is that you would be helping with the finishing of Shell Love Bug. You would be a part of the whole project like a patchwork quilt and repurposing beautiful shells!

coquinas sand dollar colors

If you would like to donate COQUINAS, please make sure the shells are clean and in plastic baggies sorted by color. It would be really awesome if they are separated by left and right valves too. Did you ever have any idea how much work went into shell crafting? haha Yep. We had to clean, dry and sort by color, size and shape for all of the shells that went on Shell Love Bug. Truly, there was a lot of love that went into making her come alive. If you can help, thank you!!!

Errrrrr…. I hate to ask but…. We need to replace the ROSE PETAL TELLINS as well. I know they are precious! But just in case you have the ROSE PETAL TELLINS in that closet too… could you send them as well? But hold on, I have one more request… if you have any of these shells and they make you happy as a clam, please don’t send them just to give back. Only send them if you are not using them, will never use them in the future and it would make your space happier knowing they went to a good home. I created Shell Love Bug to shellebrate the joy of seashells, shelling and to spread the shell love… not to ask you to give up your sweet seashells.

My friend John at Qwik Pack & Ship on Periwinkle Way on Sanibel is receiving the shell packages for Shell Love Bug. I’ve known John as long as we’ve lived on the island and he has handled all of our shipping for us throughout the years. He’s so happy to help finish this project with us too so remember any time you need to ship from Sanibel, John is the guy to call 239-472-0288.

Clean and sorted  COQUINAS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS. Also to be replaced… clean white one inch (ish) ARKS, SAILORS EARS (aka CHANNELED DUCK CLAM) and JEWELBOXES can be sent to or dropped off at…

Hold the shellphone….


UPDATE: July 16, 2016- Shell Love Bug and I have received enough ROSE PETAL TELLINS, SAILORS EARS and JEWELBOXES !!! Yippee! I’m so grateful, thank you!!!

But if you still have COQUINAS or white one inch (ish) ARKS, we’re still collecting them so you can send to…

UPDATE: Im so sad to hear that my friend John has temporarily closed Qwik Pack n Ship due to health reasons. My heart goes out to John and his family for a quick recovery. If you used his services for shipping please be patient at this time for his recovery. Our thoughts are with him.

Want more information about Shell Love Bug?  Visit 

Shell Love Bug seashells car scallop

Need help identifying any of these shells or others? Check out my Seashell Identification page

seashell identification website page


PS- Ive had many requests to show more photos and details of Shell Love Bug and I’m so sorry I haven’t gotten to that yet. I promise I will… I think I completely exhausted my being. I’m going to take it slowly for a few days to recover from non-stop rocket speed. No worries, I just need some beach therapy…. which reminds me. I LOVE our shelling cruises together and finally secured a few dates so I hope you can join me!

New dates!  Check it out CLICK HERE 


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