Sep
09

Taiwan Seashell Temple

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Taiwan Seashell Temple

Since we were all overwhelmed by the Sea Grape Lodge, I thought I would continue with seashell encrusting creativity and really knock your socks off. Caution! This isn’t for good for the weak-kneed shell crafters. Please be seated and make sure your seat belts are securely fastened. I found this on Fine Shell Art Blog which is by awesome shell crafter L.A. Givens. Thank you Lisa!

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Taiwan Seashell Temple

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Sep
08

The House That Seashells Built

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Sea Grape Lodge

Every inch of this house on Demere Key (just off Pine Island) is encrusted with seashells. It is mind boggling to think about adhering each and every one of those whelk shells (they look like conchs too) to the outside walls….. much less, collecting all of them together!

Seashells around each window

The house was originally built by Phil Degraff to be a winter resort and named it Sea Grape Lodge.

Left side of Sea Grape Lodge

The lodge closed a number of years ago and now is a private residence so we tried to be as respectful as possible while driving by in our boat…. but it’s like stopping in front of a house with every inch covered in christmas lights… it’s mesmerizing!

Even the fence is covered with shells

Oh my, I couldn’t get enough

I was on overload with eye candy!

Sea Grape Lodge on Demere Key

After first posting this, I received some rich historic information from quite a few people who commented on this post. Please click on the title or comments to read many wonderful stories of folks who either stay on Demere Key or had find memories of the property.

Sep
06

Oh What a Beautiful Boating Day

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Live Limpets on a fallen tree on Cayo Costa

No rain and no work! …. Time to get out on the water. We took the boat out to our fave spots North Captiva and Cayo Costa. We found three BABY’S EARS, a few WHELKS and WORM SHELLS (only a few) and the views were spectacular. Well worth the trip.

Periwinkle on Cayo Costa

Ibis and roots

South tip of Cayo Costa

Limpets in wood grain

Barnacles on tree root ( I know, nothing fancy but I thought it looked very picturesque)

Ibis in a Cayo Costa tree

Ibis enjoying the view

Clark with a Rocksnail

We weren’t really sure what this shell was Clark found but he insisted it was something good. It kinda looks like a worn KINGS CROWN but the opening edge is sort of serrated. It was really slimed with algae and gunk so Clark got it cleaned up and then check again in the books to see if it’s a ROCKSNAIL . That’s what it looks like so far. It’s got some wear and tear but it’s 2 and a half inches long and it’s not something we find every day. I think it’s a good find too, Clark! (Update- 10-7-10: Yes, it’s a rocksnail. We got verification from MurexKen and Dr. Jose Leal from the Shell Museum. Thank you both!)

Rocksnail

Rocksnail

Birds on North Captiva

Christine (Venice FL) finding shells on North Cap

Pelican landing strip

Sep
04

Kicking off a Winning Weekend

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Belinda's snook fish fishing Sanibel

Belinda won the battle with this awesome snook….. and I even got it on video! She said she usually shells when she and Bob visit Sanibel from Islamorada in the Florida Keys but decided to fish this time instead. She still couldn’t help but feel around for shells with her toes while waiting for the bite on her line. Sit back and enjoy Belinda versus Big Snook (she gives all the credit to The Bait Box !) video and a beautiful bright orange SCALLOP find.  But wait! We have more winners so make sure you scroll down after the movie.

shellers ann paul sanibel

Ann and Paul (MN) felt like a big winners after finding a BABYS EAR near Gulf Side City Park. The same beach where Belinda caught (and released) her big bad snook.

Now for the really big, really big (said in that Ed Sullivan voice)

Winner of the Write From The Beach GiveAway ……..

Karen M. Wells !! Congratulations, Karen!

And a big THANK YOU to everybody for leaving so many wonderful comments. This is just so much dang fun, I’ll have to start thinking of my next giveaway already.

Sep
02

Sarah’s Seashell Chandelier

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Sarah's chandelier

Sarah is one of my best friends but she isn’t a sheller. She does her shelling in my garage when she comes to visit. Sarah is an artist and this shell chandelier is a spectacular piece that she just hung in her home in Virginia Beach this year. Unbelievable! She has such a detailed eye and it shows in every inch of it. She picked the perfect spot to show it off! Gorgeous!

Sarah's chandelier closeup

Stunning, huh?

Two years ago she came to visit for a week so she decided she wanted to make a shell mirror while she was visiting. We went thrift store shopping to find an old frame then I dragged her to the beach to figure out what kinds of shells she wanted to use. We found a few to start but that’s when she decided that picking through our shells in the garage was much easier. Clark teased her that she could only go in there for “supervised visits” so she wouldn’t take the best shells. LOL

Sarah's mirror

She wanted to use a few starfish and sea glass for accents so we went to a few shell shops to find her the perfect finishing touches.

Sarah's mirror closeup

Now you see why I’m so crazy about her…. it was so much fun to spend our time planning her project and to see her create this gorgeous piece before my eyes. Of course, this would be my favorite piece because of the great memory.

Speaking of memories, I will have another good memory from yesterday. I was a nominee for the 2010 Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Service Awards.  I didn’t even know that there was such a thing until I got the notification that I was nominated for the category of “Other Services” for iLoveShelling.com. The winners are chosen by a committee with criteria such as satisfaction, work ethic, compassion, and familiarity with our community. Who knew? I didn’t! I didn’t win but it was such an honor to be included with such thoughtful people in our community.

One more day to enter the Write From The Beach GiveAway! Click Here

Sep
01

Manatee Grass and Hermit Crabs

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Manatee grass

It looks like julienned coconuts, parmesan cheese or some sort of spaghetti, doesn’t it? There are wash lines of MANATEE GRASS at the tip of the lighthouse beach. We finally had a beautiful day so I needed to get out on the beach whether there were shells or no shells. Unfortunately, not many keepers. There were clam shells and scallops and that’s about it for shells.

Tree roots at the lighthouse

And the SHARK’S TOOTH frenzy in Manasota Key continues! Our friends Joe and Manuela took a day trip down to Stump Pass and found their first shark’s teeth……83 of them.

Shark Tooth Joe (Ft Myers)

I have another video for you! I didn’t do fancy editing or add any music this time. It’s just a raw piece that shows exactly what I saw for 5 minutes. A hermit crab took a new home in a KING’S CROWN and was so happy that he was doing the happy dance …. Another crab in a MUREX shell peeking out .. .A pelican flying so low he was teasing the water…. the sky so rich. Enjoy.

Big, scary Hurricane Earl is headed toward the east coast and already stirring up the waters on our side so we are keeping a close eye on the weather and keeping our fingers crossed that he just fizzles out before any damage occurs.

Only 3 more days to enter Write From The Beach GiveAway! Pass the word- click here!