This was not just the Sanibel Shell Festival this year, it was a fabulous FestiShell!
There were so many treasures from the sea made into beautiful works of art.
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!
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.
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.
This shell box was done by shell crafter Heather Strawbridge…
The miniature shell craft pieces were amazing…
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.
For all of you mini shell lovers out there, you will surely love these sweet creations.
Cheryl Witten got a blue ribbon for this tiny shell flower arrangement.
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!
It’s always fun to see Captain Brian and more shelling friends Lynn (St Thomas), Laurel (CA), and Anne (MN).
The sailors valentines seemed more magnificent than ever this year.
Karen Almir won a blue ribbon for her single medium valentine.
Victoria Ross (Sanibel- right Vicki? ) won a blue for her gorgeous valentine. Congrats!
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.
Fun piece Marvin!
Every year I enjoy learning about other aspects of shelling.
Rachel Fields won a blue ribbon for her awesome display on natural pearls.
This New Zealand shell scientific exhibit won a special merit award for education.
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.
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…
Nancy Goes made that beautiful shell necklace…
Audrey O’Donnell made the fabulous RICE SHELL arrangement…
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!
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…
So I hope to see you again next year on Sanibel or maybe even at another shell show.
Until then, I’ve got to get back to my first love… the beach. i Love Shelling!
Heavy winds and rain with tornado watches whipped through Sanibel during the first day of the 2014 Shell Festival yesterday. They had to close the show around 1:30pm because the storm caused power outages throughout the island so the Sanibel Community House was completely pitch dark. What a fluke!
But…. those same whipping winds caused hundreds of seashells to wash up at Lighthouse Beach this morning. Yay!
All sorts of STARFISH, PEN SHELLS, DISK DOSINIAS and SEAWEED piled up to form a nice thick wrack line to pick through…
I always love to sift through all the BEACH BLING to see what sorts of cool things from the deep belly of the Gulf Of Mexico make an appearance. I found a gorgeous treasure in this mess of sea debris so I thought you might enjoy picking through it for some CYBERSHELLING too. Get picking by CLICKING on the pic!
Did you find this stunning TRUE TULIP too?
Here’s another CYBERSHELLING photo to check out such an amazing pile of DOSINIAS. After I got home and looked at this photo a little closer, I realized I missed a very cool WORM SHELL, Dang it! Oh well, I hope someone else snagged that piece of yumminess up…
I love to look inside the PEN SHELLS for hidden gems too. This one had a tiny TRUE TULIP laying inside like a precious pearl waiting to be found. Once I picked it out of the PEN SHELL, I realized this baby TRUE was still alive and well protected so I put both together back in the water to hopefully get lodged in the sand.
It was so much fun to see so much bling and shells wash up at the Lighthouse Beach again… especially for the many shellers in town for the Shell Festival.
I promise I’ll get back to showing more exhibits from the fair on my next post but I had to shout out about the shelling news at the Lighthouse… and here are my favorite finds from this morning.
Clockwise- a GIANT ATLANTIC COCKLE filled with BUBBLE SHELLS, a BUTTON and a little itty bitty juvie FIGHTING CONCH; 2 juvie FIGHTING CONCHS; TRUE TULIP; CALICO CRAB SHELL; the smallest CARRIER SHELL I’ve ever found on Sanibel; SHARKS EYE; LACE MUREX, oodles of SUNRAY VENUS, SEA URCHIN and then another LACIE.
I have some other great news too… there are spots available for you to join us for Shellabaloo! It’s the most fabulous Shelling Adventure on the planet! Come join us April 24-27, 2014 to experience this awesome event. CLICK HERE for more info.
Okay, I can’t resist…. I have to show you a few more shell pieces from the show. They are exquisite!
I have browsed the beautiful artistic exhibits of the annual Sanibel Shell Festival for years and shared many photos of the show as well. I was even honored to be selected to be a judge for the artistic exhibits a few years ago so it may be a surprise that this was my first year entering an exhibit in the artistic division of the shell show… yep, I did it!
And I won a Red Ribbon for my photograph of this LIGHTNING WHELK! Yay! I am thrilled! I took this photo of a live Lightning Whelk in December 2013 on a nice low tide at Gulfside City Park. I loved the colors on the spire of this natural beauty and the way the morning light of the sun was just behind it. I snapped a few pictures, thanked him for coming up to shore so I could see him, then I took him out to a little deeper water to give him a bit more privacy. I’m so grateful to be able to capture these images of such incredible treasures of Mother Nature in their natural setting.
Unfortunately, I didn’t win a ribbon for my sweet little WORM SHELL mirror I entered. Boooooooo! Oh alright, I’ll try not to be a poor loser but I just love my wormies so much I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed (should I get out the cheese with that whine?). But honestly, it’s ok because I didn’t make this frame for the show any way (errrrr….. thats sounds like an excuse, doesn’t it? heehee). I made this for our shelling friends Jane and John with a photo of them in it because they used Clark as their real estate agent. This fun, quirky wormie frame was their Thank You gift! Jane suggested I borrow it back to enter in the show since she loved it so much. I’m glad I did it but I am sooo not the caliber of shell crafter as most of these artists. They are amazing!
This was the first day of the show so you still have tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday to see it if you are in the area. I will get more photos of some of the other exhibits to share another post if you can’t see it yourself… but until then, here are just a few more gorgeous pieces of art exhibited in the show…
So stay tuned for more shell crafts, shell artists and scientific shell exhibits coming soon!
Oh… by the way, after 77 years they decided to change the name from the Sanibel Shell Fair and Show to the Sanibel Shell Festival. It’s all the same show so don’t be confused if you thought there was a second shell show.
Sunrise on Sanibel is such a beautiful sight at Lighthouse Beach, I always tell myself I need to get out there in the morning more often.
As I was shelling at the waters edge, I met a family enjoying the cool morning while collecting shells along the same path. Rick, Cindy, Sarah, Harley (she’s peek-a-boo-ing between her mom and dad’s legs- heehee) and Richard from Virginia were tickled with their finds.
Cindy found a beautiful PAPER FIG and ANGEL WING while Rick was finding juvie WHELKS, CONCHS and pieces of shells with cool BARNCLES attached…
Cindy found this awesome BRITTLE STAR on the beach which we thought was too dry to still be alive but while we inspected him and all ooohed and aaahed, the little guy started waving one of his arms to tell us he still had some life in him. Omigosh! He needed water! Cindy hurried to get this guy back to the Gulf Of Mexico.
Sarah found her first WENTLETRAP!
I should have known I would see award winning SAILORS VALENTINE artist Constance Miller shelling at the lighthouse because the Sanibel Shell Festival this week. She loves to find her own WENTLETRAPS and other mini shells to use in her gorgeous designs.
Clark and I walked just south of Bowman’s Beach to catch sunset and saw the perfect Sanibel Stooper shelling the sand bar just as the sun reached the horizon. So beautiful!
Just after I snapped the photo, that Sanibel Stooper walked back towards the beach so I approached him to tell him I got a fun photo of him at sunset. Holy Cowrie! It was Rick again! LOL Yes, that was the same Rick that I had just met in the morning shelling at Lighthouse Beach. He and his son Richard (Marley’s dad) were still shelling but this time near Bowman’s too. It’s a small island, huh?
These are just a few goodies they pulled out of their shell bag. Lots of treasure!
If you are near Sanibel Island this week Thursday- Saturday (March 6,7,8 2014) you shouldn’t miss the 77th Sanibel Shell Festival. It will be lots of fun AND…. I am entering into the show for the very first time. I have two pieces that will be judged in the artistic division so I will definitely show you pictures later in the week after they have been judged. Yes, judged… Ack! Pressure! Please wish me good luck! And of course I will be blogging about all of the other exhibits as well. I hope to see you there!
Oh how I love a good mystery….but even better I love a mystery that is solved! Back in November on our iLoveShelling shelling cruise to Cayo Costa, I met Ken and Candace from Missouri who showed me a piece of “BEACH BLING“.
They found it on the beach at the Island Inn on Sanibel where they were staying. After looking at the shape, the texture and by feeling the light weight of it, I told her I thought it was some sort of BRYOZOAN COLONY but those darker spots on it were throwing me off a little. Hmmmmm…. could it be a CORAL? Naaaaa….. but those spots. I’ve seen this type of piece before but I couldn’t place it.
Here’s the weird thing… Later that afternoon Trisha James posted this photo on iLoveShelling Facebook page saying she found this piece on Navarre Beach, Florida. OMG There it is again! But now I recognize that longer shape a little more because I saw a display of this very same thing in February at the Sarasota Shell Show. I also remembered there was a cool story that went along with piece of bling as well.
So I tore through all of my photos (I am soooo not an organized person so trust me, this is quite a task- ha!) to find this one picture of Doug Thompson’s TEXAS LONGHORN exhibit. Aha! That’s right! It’s a TEXAS LONGHORN!
And here is the story Doug Thompson added to his very cool exhibit…
“ This structure is built by a colony of tiny marine animals of the phylum Bryozoa, genus Hippoporidra, species (on our Atlantic coast) not known. Much as the coral polyps build large reefs, so these little bryozoa build the Longhorn, starting with a small deposit of calcareous material on a shell or shell fragment, and building in the coil outward until it is large enough to sustain the weight of the horns. After the horns are started, the whole building continues to grow, sometimes reaching an over-all span of six inches.
All this design and growth is not with purpose: the Texas Longhorn houses a small hermit crab whose full name isPylopagurus corallinus (Benedict). He differs from most other hermits in that his body lacks the twist to the left which makes it possible for other species to inhabit dead snails, most of which open to the right. Pylopagurus corallinus has a small, straight body because the spiral cavity he occupies is all on one plane. Like other hermits he has a shelly anterior and a soft, defenseless abdomen.”
You can read the rest of this fascinating information – CLICK HERE.
So the mystery was solved! But… then the holidays came along (and blah blah blah) and I never posted about them… so fast forward to this week when I saw all of the off the hook shells that Tam Tam from Michigan found. She also found a TEXAS LONGHORN! I knew exactly what it was but realized I never posted about it.
So I’m thrilled I saw Tam Tam’s cool bling and thank you Candace for showing me your TEXAS LONGHORN on our cruise together then sending photos. And thank you Trisha for posting your photos to jog my memory of the Sarasota Shell Show exhibit.
Now we know… TEXAS LONGHORNS. And have several more symbiotic relationships.
Join us for a Shelling Adventure!
I was a judge at the 50th Annual Sarasota Shell Show this past weekend for their 50th anniversary! I was very honored to be asked to judge the artistic exhibits especially after seeing so many creative pieces like this gorgeous SAILOR’S VALENTINE by Suzanne Dietch. Her special piece won the People’s Choice Award!
Thank goodness I didnt have to make the other ribbons and awards decisions all by myself. I had long time shell show judge Phyllis Gray to help me with the artistic division and the scientific exhibits were judged by David Green and Bill Lyons (on the right).
There was one award I got to judge all by myself… the Judges Special Merit Award. This was my one pick that I could give to any piece in any category for any reason. I gave my award to Jane Santini’s magnificent Sailor’s Valentine…
To keep things fair, when we look at each piece for judging, the names of the artists are hidden from us so everything is judged by the piece of art and not the artist. One of the big awards for the show is the Fran Schlusemann Best Of Shell Art Award which was won by…. ready?… Fran Schlusemann with her gorgeous shell mirror.
Heehee… Funny, huh? One of the other honored awards is the June Bailey Best Of Member’s Art (Sarasota Shell Club members) which was won by Nora Bevard.
This was a lucky moment! I got June Bailey (on the left) and Nora Bevard together with her winning piece…
Phyllis picked this stunning miniature piece by Anni Ferretti for her Judges Special Merit Award…
There was a jewelry category as well. Sharlene Totten won for her lovely jewelry piece..
Here’s a close up of her necklace…
For the show’s 50th Anniversary, they added a new category this year to memorialize their 50 fabulous years of presenting this show. The winner of this special gold ribbon award is this gray vase embellished with 50 shells called “50 Shades Of Gray”. LOL I loved it!
Donna Cassin is the clever artist who won this award and she happens to be the organizer of the whole show as well. She’s been a busy lady!
Phyllis and I got to judge one of the scientific exhibits as well! I was so excited about this one because I loooove to see so many unusual shells from around the world being displayed all in one place. But hold on, as you know, I am NO scientist so we didn’t judge them on their scientific quality. We got to present a winner for Most Beautiful Exhibit. Ha! I can do that! Phyllis and I chose Harry Berryman’s CONE shell display…
Here is Harry with his Most Beautiful Exhibit winning ribbon with me. I know, it looks like I was in the tundra with that jacket on but for some reason I was freezing in that room. Ugh! We couldn’t find Phyllis when Harry showed up so I’m sorry she’s not in the photo with us.
Harry also won the Conchologists of America Trophy for this same exhibit which was presented by the C.O.A.’s 2013 President Dr Jose Leal at the awards banquet. Here is Dr Leal with Donna Cassin since Harry Berryman wasn’t there to accept. Congratshellations Harry for such a prestigious award!
I was really thrilled for Linda Greiner as well. She won a blue ribbon for her display of “The Ins and Outs of Shells”. She showed X-rays of seashells so we could see the fascinating inside forms of shells. Brilliant!
Oh but hold on! I met a friend of yours too! If you read the comments here some times, you might recognize the name Sally Peppitoni. Well, she’s a member of the Sarasota Shell Club and I got to meet her in person. Here’s Sally!
Thank you Donna and everybody at the Sarasota Shell Show for giving Clark and me such a warm welcome into your seashell world. We both throughly enjoyed it!
PS- The 2013 76th Sanibel Shell Fair and Show will be coming up soon too March 7,8 and 9!