To start a seashell art project, the first thing on the “to do list” is find shells. Check.
Then the shells have to be cleaned and dried. Check.
Then the shells should be sorted by species and color. Check.
Depending on the project, the shells may need to be sorted in sizes. Check.
Now that we’ve got most of the finding, cleaning, sorting and sizing done… there is even more fun to be had in the creating process.
Shelling is beach therapy but creating shell art is just another form of therapy all over again… seashell therapy. To look at the beauty of these treasures is an art in itself. I can’t get enough of it!
Now that we’ve got lots checked off on the list for our seashell art project, we’ve still got lots to do to put them all together to make the design and finished product. I can’t wait until it’s done and to unveil it for the 1st Annual National Seashell Day June 20, 2016on Sanibel and of course I’ll be showing lots of photos right here. It’s gonna be spectacsheller… Stay tuned!
I am channeling my inner artist looking at these CHANNELED WHELKS as I look back on our shelling trip to the Carolinas earlier this month (Beach Combing Trip To Portsmouth Island). I could have taken hundreds of photos of these incredishelly beautiful works of art as I saw them laying in the sand half buried in the islands of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
Seeing KNOBBED WHELKSand OYSTER SHELLS rolling up in the surf was a masterful sight to behold.
Mother Nature artfully placed a SAND DOLLAR as though she staged this still-life for me to photograph.
I didn’t find all of her still-lifes in obvious places. These 2 KNOBBED WHELK shells, an ANGEL WING and oodles of OYSTER SHELLS were behind a large wrack line of driftwood, seaweeds and various sticks from sea oats and sea grasses.
The EASTERN OYSTER SHELLS are so beautiful as well, especially the juveniles as they form stunning sculptures.
After searching for miles, we found an area filled with the sweet adorable miniature shells. There were even WENTLETRAPS!
And then, Whelp… another WHELK.
How can they be this gorgeous?
We found dried KNOBBED WHELK EGG CASES too. They are so similar to our LIGHTNING WHELK egg cases we find in Sanibel but the KNOBBED WHELK EGG SACK disks are little more oval in shape.
But this just may have been the find of trip…. a GIANT EASTERN MUREX. Boom Shellalaka! It may not have been he prettiest shell on the beach but it really is giant and it just seemed impossible that we would find one. I can’t claim finding it- our friend (our hostess with mostest) Karen found it then gave it to me. Omigosh really? We don’t normally bring home shells that we don’t find ourselves (we are fortunate to already have enough) but it is an amazing memory from that day and an awesome shell. Very cool- thank you!
Clark and I (in red colors) are still smiling from our shelling trip with Nanette, Helen, Jackie, Karen and Captain Dan. We met all of them in McClellinville, South Carolina where Karen’s buddy Captain Dan Scarborough took us out on his boat to the out islands. I can’t even explain how much fun it was island hopping out on the boat all day with this crew.
We brought back a few brilliant shells with different color patterns that look like Mother Nature had a field day with her architectural designs and paint brush.
Clark and I are so grateful to these Three Crazy Carolina Girls- Jackie, Helen and Karen for inviting us on this unforgettable shelling trip. Love these girls!
To join me on a shelling trip adventure in SW Florida…
A new shelling destination! Our iLoveShelling Adventure with Captiva Cruises has lead us to explore a new part of to Cayo Costa island… and its so cool. We had quite the adventure as the temperature dropped to the low 50s (I know, it’s not as bad as most places in winter but its kinda cold for us) so we all bundled up then pulled up to a brand new dock, walked through some awesome scenery on a brand new boardwalk…
We reached a part of Cayo Costa that nobody else can easily get to.
Lots of shells lined the shore.
It was so much fun to see what everybody was finding. Christina (MA) found lots of SAND DOLLARS.
Look how cute Patti from Minnesota is! She has SAND DOLLARS in one bag, minis in another, the Sanibel Six shells in another and I think the last bag was her bestie bag. She is an organized sheller- nice work Patti!
Mallory, Angie, Makenna and Pam (Kansas and Naples) were excited to find SAND DOLLARS and ANGEL WINGS.
I think everybody found their own “Beach Bucks”… Jennie from Philly (and Venice ;) ) found some too.
Dave from Michigan is a super sheller! He found three big empty LIGHTNING WHELKS (one is in his net) on the beach. Shellzam, Dave!
Marje and Rick (IN) were excited to find one too.
Missy from Indiana is a super sheller too finding two empty HORSE CONCHS Another Shellzam! haha
The apple doesn’t fall for from the tree… Missy’s mom Nancy is quite the sheller too…
Nancy had her eye on double SUNRAY VENUS and double CALICO CLAMS. So pretty.
Washed up in the high tide wrack line on the beach Anita (NY) found ANGEL WINGS.
Sandi (AL) and Teresa (NY) collected all sorts of shell and a few wonderful memories… and me too. Sandi, it was so much fun to meet you and say “hi” to Michelle for me?
Scott and Laura (MI) found more beach bucks too.
Jackie found a very cool ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR …
and Steve’s faves were the ANGEL WINGS.
Dawn and Scott (Colorado) found some really fun finds…
Don’t ya just love the pattern on that SAND DOLLAR? Those perfect PAPER FIGS have such amazing colors on the side as well.
Kim and Lona (TX) found lots of shells on our trip and showed us their Texas shells. Thanks y’all!
Jo and Jeff found shells and loved the bling… Jeff is holding a chunk of the COQUINA LIMESTONE.
Ok, so you know I like my beach bling too, right? Pam from Naples found this weird thing on the beach and asked me what is was… “Oh cool!” I got really excited to see it because I found one a few years ago but something happened to it before I could take photos. haha It’s a FISH SWIM BLADDER. After I told her that she kinda didn’t want to hold it any more (heehee) and asked me if I wanted it… heck yea! LOL So now I have a FISH SWIM BLADDER to add to the Shellaboratory. ;)
And there’s always someone that touches me and makes my day complete- Wendy and Scott from Indianapolis…
The gifts we are given from the sea are treasures we keep with us forever.
On our iLoveShelling cruises we get even more gifts… every passenger will receive a $25 gift certificate for Sealife By Congress Jewelry store!
And one more for you… here’s a gift of CYBERSHELLING! Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see how many keepers you might see.
Join us on one of our iLoveShelling Adventures… CLICK HERE
PS- We had more special guests on our cruise as well- a film crew! In about 2 months when the piece is done, I’ll post the link here so you can see all of us on their film. We had so much fun- thanks for joining us!
Shells, shells and more shells rolled in the week after the storms hit SW Florida this week. Folks who didn’t mind getting their toes wet at the surf’s edge for a couple of hours were rewarded with some a-maaaazing gifts from the sea. Annie, Lucy, Heidi and Doug who were visiting Sanibel from Ohio all found some cool shells… and look at that huge empty HORSE CONCH Lucy (in the red sweatshirt) found- it was Shellectric!
It was like playing Duck, Duck, Goose… picking up shells and looking to see if they were occupied- Live, Live… Empty!
The shell game…
It was almost too overwhelming to look at the beach with all the beautiful colors peeking out of the sand when the waves receded. Which way do I go?
LIGHTNING WHELKS… it was like a people were tripping over them. haha (Ok- I’m sort of exaggerating… errrr.. sorta)
But Im not exaggerating about this…. Chris and his wife Karen from Vermont found a JUNONIA at Blind Pass- Shellzam!
Patti from NY was overjoyed to find her own big WHELK at lighthouse beach. Boom- Shellalaka!
Then I saw her one hour later and… she found another one. haha Ooo Shell-la-la!
You can see Clark in the background scooping up shells I showed you earlier this week while families all around him found their own amazing treasures.
Rudy from MN was finding WHELKS too- he was around the same spot as Clark and there were plenty to go around for everybody. Happiness.
This says it all! The day was so spectacsheller, Kathy was doing the happy dance and shouting to the palm tree tops. Isn’t she the cutest thing?
But hold on… I never even got to show you the crazy FOSSIL SHELLS that local shellers Pam and Cheryl found near the Sanibel fishing pier…
Seriously, isn’t this crazy?
Shelling sisters Andrean and Karen from OK had the same instincts I did throughout the week because I ran in to them at just about every stop- they hit the same beaches at the same time. We should have just car pooled together hahaha. They even found the “FOSSIL PIT”.
The last time this road got washed away by a storm, the City Of Sanibel brought loads of dirt with shells mixed in from the FOSSIL pits in Florida so thats why these unbelievable shells rolled out. That OLIVE in Andrean’s hand was still shiny- Wow. And… the shell just to the right of it I believe is a Mitra lineolata which was a common shell 5 million years ago but is now extinct. Cheryl had one in her hand in the other photo too. Blows the mind, right?
I hope to do a whole post just on FOSSIL shells you can find around the islands (to see a previous post on FOSSILS CLICK HERE ) but I still have much to catch up on (it was a busy week…. my birthday week- heehee). We also had an awesome time on our iLoveShelling Adventure yesterday so I’ll show you what we found there on my next post.
I know lots of you up north are dealing with some terrible weather and preparing for scary storms this weekend so we are sending love and warm wishes to you. Please be safe!
Oh and PS- The BROWN PELICAN we took to CROW (on my last post CLICK HERE) is still being cared for at the clinic. He still has a splint on his fractured right leg but they say he is making a nice recovery. Yahoo!
You get that magical feeling when you see a STAR wash up on the beach next to your toes, don’t you? We always feel so lucky to be able to touch them, to pick them up and to return them safely to the sea … never feeling afraid they will bite like so many other sea creatures. They seem happy, peaceful and a little whimsical for some reason so we always feel a little giddy to catch a glimpse of them. So since they seem so magical, I’m gonna make a wish whenever we see a SEA STAR from now on.
All along the east end of Sanibel this morning, we saw lots of other healthy live creatures as well… like this beautiful PEAR WHELK.
Earlier this week at Blind Pass Sanibel, I found a few strings of shells lining the beach…
I found a few hidden treasures tucked in between the loads of ARK shells…
I found a few other treasures too…
Sue and Molly from Indiana were so much fun to talk to and happy as clams to be stooping for shells in the cooler weather.
Sue’s fave find was a beautiful GAUDY NATICA, while Molly was thrilled she found a little MOON shell too… a juvie SHARKS EYE and a verrrrrry cool BRYOZOAN COLONY that looks like a cross between a SPONGE and CORAL.
I also met other shellers traveling from Indiana to Sanibel…. Debbra and Steven.
We found lots of little mini shells along the beach at the water’s edge and some nice LETTERED OLIVES as we waded in the water shin deep.
My fave finds today? Seeing the live creatures were a highlight of the day and I found many cutie colorful SCALLOP SHELLS (and a sweet double SUNRAY VENUS) to make me even happier.
Join me on an iLoveShelling Beach Combing Adventure… CLICK HEREfor more info
Shell trip! Clark and I took a beach combing road trip from Sanibel Island to Pass-A-Grille over the weekend … and had blast finding lots of shells. We found all of the shells in this next photo as we walked from our hotel Inn On The Beach, down to the south tip of the island at jetty rocks to the Pass-a-Grill North Channel.
It was like an OLIVE garden just at the water’s edge but we even found some of my faves…. WORMIES.
There were lots of shells to pick through on the gorgeous beach as well…
I was tickled to find a teeny tiny BROWN-BANDED WENTLETRAP hiding in the mix.
There is an island right across the channel from the jetty rocks called “Shell Island”. What? Shell Island? Of course we had to explore it! There are ferries to take people over to the island but since we wanted to spend all day on the water, we rented a boat. Look at the color of the fabshellous LIGHTNING WHELKS we found. Gorgeous!
We actually had more luck on the back flats of Shell Island instead of the beach on the Gulf Of Mexico side. There were lots of those empty LIGHTNING WHELKS, oodles of double SUNRAY VENUS shells and some really funny live KINGS CROWNS scooting all along shallow waters so I did a little time lapse video of one of them to show you. Ha! Groovy KING CROWN dance moves coming up….
So in between the KINGS CROWN congo, Clark found one of the prettiest orange colored LIGHTNING WHELKS we’ve ever seen. It is really the color of a carrot!
Ok- I took another video too of all of those empty LIGHTNING WHELKS. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
We also boated over to Egmont Key to find a beautiful sandy beach island.
We didn’t find as many shells on Emont Key but we found a couple of ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS. Ohhhhh such treat to find these pink feathers!
At the end of the day, we sat our on our lovely porch to admire all of the beautiful colors and patterns of so many different shells we ended up finding.
We had a lovely time shelling and then relaxing in our beautiful room at Inn On The Beach.
Not a bad way to celebrate our 19 year wedding anniversary, huh?