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

My Latest Stories from the beach

Seashells In Virginia

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 in Channeled Whelk, Fairy Stones, Knobbed Whelk | 29 comments

moms shells virginia north carolina

Being surrounded by shells has been a comfort to me all my life. Growing up in Virginia Beach, my family would spend weekends at our local beaches and vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Combing the beaches for shells, driftwood and beach bling became our entertainment and our source for our favorite souvenirs to bring home to my parents house…. and plain happiness.

channeled knobbed lightning whelk

I’m spending a few days with my mom who still lives in the same house I was raised in.. and where all of those beach treasure souvenirs are still throughout her home. I couldn’t remember exact beaches where we found most of the KNOBBED WHELKS and CHANNELED WHELKS so I asked her if she had any idea. She couldn’t remember either but she thought probably near Cape Hatteras. Then she told me she still has boxes of shells in her closet that she hasn’t looked at in years. Of course I had to get them out!

mom shell collection boxes

Sorting through these boxes, shells and findings has been so much fun to reminisce about all of our first times swimming, the games we played at the camp grounds, leaky tents and lots of treasure hunting.

moms shells virginia north carolina

Then I pulled out a little tiny bag filled with some sort of stones. “Hmmmm….  I think I remember digging for these pieces but I cant remember what they are”. My brother Doug took one look at the bag… “Fairy Stones”.

fairy stone virginia state park

Oh yeah! Now I remember -we made several trips to hunt for these FAIRY STONES at Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia over 40 years ago (yes, I was just a baby- ha!). But what are they? Hmmm- nobody could remember so I Googled them. This is from Fairy Stone State Park… Fairy stones are minerals called staurolite which is a combination of silica, iron and aluminum. Staurolite crystallizes at 60 or 90 degree angles making the stone’s cross-like or “x” shape. They are only found in rocks once subjected to great heat and pressure formed long ago during the rise of the Appalachian Mountains. Pretty cool, huh?

fairy stones cross x shape

 Finding these stones (for the second time) made for more reminiscing of more family trips and funny stories. Having these experiences as a child is why I love shelling and treasure hunting as an adult, I’m sure of it. It brings back the sweetest of memories especially when I get to share them with my family.

fairy stones from virginia

I’ll be back on the island soon to get back to finding treasures on our beaches in SW Florida and getting back to the rest of my sweet family…Clark and my kitties.

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Shelltastic Southwest Florida Vacation GiveAway!

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Congress Jewelers (Sealife By Congress), Fort Myers Beach, Giveaway, Starfish | 45 comments

Pointe Estero Giveaway LOGO2

It’s time for a Shelltastic Southwest Florida Vacation GiveAway!

We have TWO giveaways for TWO winners!

The first prize is a 4 day/3 night stay on the quiet south end of Fort Myers Beach, Florida right smack on a gorgeous stretch of beach filled with beautiful seashell treasures from the gulf just waiting to be found. You can shell all day into the evening then catch brilliant sunsets right at your front door. It’s a sheller’s dream!

Pointe Estero Beach Resort Sunset Fort Myers

You could have a chance to win a stay in a beautiful suite like this…

Pointe Estero Room View

Relax and refresh by taking a dip in the tropical pool with cool breezes off the Gulf Of Mexico…

Pointe Estero Ft Myers Beach pool

Or take a walk on the peaceful beach for a little serenity and shell collecting…

Fort myers Beach Florida before storm

These are just some of my fabulous finds I collected within a couple of hours just last month (CLICK HERE to see the post)…


Look how many SAND DOLLARS were scattered along the beach.

Fort Myers Beach Florida seashells Point Estero

See what I mean? It’s Shelltastic!

shell collection diane myers beach florida

Which brings us to the second prize from Sealife By Congress!

Sealife By Congress Logo

Sealife By Congress is giving away this stunning sterling silver Starfish Reef pendant!

sea life by congress starfish necklace

 Their store on Sanibel Island is filled with gorgeous jewelry made especially for beachcombers like us. This starfish necklace is dazzling!

starfish necklace sea life by congress

So how can you win one of the awesome prizes? It’s easy. Remember, there are 2 different prizes and 2 winners so you have to register for both prizes separately.

Just follow these simple directions… UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS OVER. A winner has been chosen (see below).


  • Enter A Chance To Win- 4 days/3 nights stay in Fort Myers Beach, Florida
  • Enter A Chance To Win- A sterling silver Starfish Reef pendant by Sealife By Congress


  • Enter for a chance to win either of these prizes from September 5, 2013 through September 11, 2013.
  • Properly fill out entry form at the link stated in the directions above
  • Properly fill out entry form for Sealife By Congress at the link stated in the directions above
  • Winners will be announced September 13, 2013
  • One entry per person

Okay? Just to make sure…. Did you click on both different links to enter your chance to win both prizes? All righty then. Good Luck on your chance to win a Shelltastic Southwest Florida Vacation Giveaway !!

UPDATE: 9-13-13- The contest is over. The winners have been chosen…


Denise Stahl (AS, FL) for winning the 3 night stay

Kathie Porter for winning the sterling silver Starfish Reef pendant by Sealife By Congress

Sealife By Congress Logo

golden sanibel starfish photo




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Captiva Cruise To Cayo Costa State Park

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Alphabet Cone, Angel Wing, Arrowhead Sand Dollar, Captiva Cruises, Cayo Costa, Horse Conch, Lightning Whelk, Sand Dollar, Whelk | 10 comments

susan cape coral sand dollar cayo costa

Last week’s Captiva Cruise during Shellabaloo turned in to paartay cruise! We had so many fun people aboard like Lily-Pink-Bikini-Susan (Cape Coral) who was thrilled to find her first SAND DOLLAR. Deana from New Jersey kept us in stitches on the boat but was an eagle eye on the beach finding shells. I met her last year at this same time after Hurricane Isaac and she had just found an ANGEL WING.  Check out my post from last year from Labor Day weekend with Deana (CLICK HERE)– the shelling was incredible! Wanna guess what she found this year too? Yep! She found another ANGEL WING! What are the chances?

deana new jersey angel wing cayo costa

I had so much fun talking to Lisa from Atlanta and was so happy for her when she found an ARROWHEAD SAND DOLLAR… and a HORSE CONCH. The HORSE CONCH was a little beat up but she loves those big shells like I love my “yard shells”.

Lisa Atlanta arrowhead sand dollar horse conch cayo costa

Woop! Woop! Christine (Ft Lauderdale) found a big whole HORSE CONCH while snorkeling in about waist deep water. It might look a little green and gunky right now, but I think this shell is gonna clean up to be a beautiful trophy!

Christine horse conch cayo costa

Little cutie petutie Alex is holding a really nice LIGHTNING WHELK almost as big as she is! Her dad Jason (West Palm Beach, FL) asked me how to clean it up and I told him about my step by step tutorial – CLICK HERE. I think they will be surprised how well it will look once its cleaned. I asked him where they found it and he told me another gal on the cruise gave it to Alex. OMG How sweet!

jason alex whelk cayo costa

The gal that gave away that beautiful shell is Sally. She said she was so happy with the ALPHABET CONE she found that she felt like she didn’t need the WHELK as well. Such a generous heart, Beautiful Sweet Sally…

alphabet cone sally cayo costa cruise

Our voyage back to Captiva on the water was like looking at smooth blue glass. So picturesque…

boat on captiva blue water

…with a few DOLPHIN in our wake. Thanks to all of you awesome shellers for such an amazing day!

useppa florida dolphin

Join us on another iLoveShelling Cruise! CLICK HERE for dates and information.

iLoveShelling seashell day cruise

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