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 ShellLoveBug.com or CLICK HERE
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
PS- You just might see her shellivanting around the islands this week ;)
It’s hot on Sanibel Island in August and September so its the time of year when I try to organize the Rambo Shellaboratory by sorting shells we’ve collected in the past months and try to find room to display them. For months, our shells and bling we found in Okinawa, Japan sat on our dining room table while I tried to find the time to photograph and research all of the ones we couldn’t identify. I even wanted to do another post about the beach bling we found (like Buzz Lightyear, Jeanne!) but life happens and things get away from me when we return from a big trip like that. So now that its scorching hot during the day, I feel like staying in the air conditioning so I can enjoy the shells we’ve already collected instead of collecting more. Today I added a few shelves in the Shellaboratory so we can enjoy looking at our loot and share those precious memories Clark and I had while combing the beaches on that far away land we explored for weeks. I love it!
If you were keeping up with the weather on Sanibel, we’ve been watching Tropical Storm Erika in the Caribbean since we were in her path for a few days. Since we live on an island, we pay close attention when we are in the pathway for any named storm, but fortunately Erika fell apart and is no longer threatening us. That’s not to say that we don’t have some wicked skies…
Clark and I only got a few minutes on the beach before we heard thunder in the distance but we did find one or two treasures.
This morning I went to Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach to see if anything washed up. I ran into Tam Tam and Don shelling along the pier side of the beach.
They found some awesome shells! Tammy posted this photo on iLoveShelling Facebook page of her incredible LIGHTNING WHELK and this very cool medium sized HORSE CONCH.
And best of all…. Kristen (instagram @_salt_life_ ) found a JUNONIA at Lighthouse Beach! Shellzam! She tagged this photo on iLoveShelling Instagram page. Congratshellations Kristen, it beautiful!
We should have still have some really bad weather this week so I will probably still be “seeking shellter” by sorting and being a Shellab Rat but if I have any news on shells coming in from this weather, I’ll let you know!
Just in case you missed my other post about The Shellaboratory, check it out CLICK HERE
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more information and dates CLICK HERE.
Introducing…. My Shellaboratory!
This was my summer project … Secret Mission: Shellnado Transformation into Shellaboratory .
Our shell collection used to look like a shellnado hit it head on! So I finally organized the thousands of shells Clark and I have picked up over the years to learn about the different species of shells and beach bling that wash up on our shores of Southwest Florida.
We collect not only the pretty or most colorful shells, we collect different color forms, freaks and not-so-attractive shells and “bling” to learn about their lives in the Gulf of Mexico. Its an educational experience for us as well as a hobby to appreciate the beautiful qualities each shell has to offer.
The best part is that I have the privilege to be able to share this knowledge with you! We are learning together and it will help tremendously when I want to write those posts like “the differences in types of shells” or like “different colors variations in the same species“. It won’t take me all day just to find those different color forms. Yay!
I always wanted to have an organized craft room for the many art projects I’ve created over the years. But… I’ve always had a few obstacles. I get scatterbrained. I get so excited when an idea for a project pops into my brain. I turn into a mad scientist thinking up all the fun stuff I can create but my crazy mind never pays attention to the clean up details during or after my “work of art” is complete. Organizing has always taken too much time away from the actual “fun” project… until now!
Yes, this was fun! It all started as I needed a space for those big shells I painted to decorate the Junonia Jalopy for the Golf Cart Parade. They were crammed behind some Christmas boxes in the garage from last year. See? I never even put the Christmas stuff up because I was on to the next project. Those poor painted shells were getting bumped, bent and covered with dust. Geez! I worked hours on those things and I didn’t even have time to put them away properly. That got me started thinking about “decorating” my Shellaboratory with them.
Of course, I should use them to decorate!
Then I measured my space for shelving which was the perfect excuse to make several road trips to Ikea for adjustable book shelves and storage containers. I love Ikea. I finally had a space to display all the jars I’ve been saving for years to one day to use for a job like this… but I still needed more. I shopped discount stores, dollar stores, thrift stores and yard sales to find different sized jars or tubs so I could see each type of shell. I even found a place to put my Shelly Temple dress (just in case I ever want to sing “On the Good Beach, Sanibel” again?).
After building the shelves and finding homes for my containers, my next project was to sort… and sort… and sort. This was the part that was oh-so fun! I found shells that brought me back to the exact day I found it. I spent hours upon hours organizing and I felt like only 5 minutes went by- just like shelling on the beach.
Each time I found a WORM SHELL, I said the same thing I say when I find one on the beach… “Wormie!”. Yep, I now have enough that I can make a few more WORM SHELL frames now too.
I’m still not done sorting but I separated the room so one area is dedicated to displaying BEACH BLING for the different types of SEA BEANS, ECHINODERMS, EGG CASINGS and all that cool sort of bling…
I’ve started one area dedicated to BIVALVES…
and another area for GASTROPODS (uhk- I’m not fond of that word – ewww- lets call them UNIVALVES, shall we?)
If you noticed I wasn’t on the beach every single day the last few months… No- I wasn’t taking a shellbatical.
I was being a shellab rat in my own Shellaboratory!