Good things in life aren’t always obvious. Arriving to dreary, overcast skies on the beach of a year-long planned vacation destination might be disappointing for some folks. Then after coming up empty handed after an hour of searching for those large gorgeous TULIPS, CONES and WHELKS you’ve read all about… the disappointment could get even bigger.
When I’m on the beach and I hear “This is my vacation and the shelling has been so disappointing”, I stop… look at the beach…. look at the water… and I look at every lovely thing surrounding me on the beach as I stand there in a tee shirt, shorts and flip flops. I don’t know, but my eyes must just see more blue peeking out of the clouds in a beautiful landscape. I also see a beach filled with shells as far as my eyes can see. I see this…
There may be crushed shells and sea weed but I never look at that as a bad thing. To me, that’s what makes shelling so much fun! Maybe because I looooove to play games and I love to learn and respect the rules of games to make it more challenging. The way I see it… Mother Nature is playing the Shell Game with me. Each hour of each day in Southwest Florida, Mother Nature has hidden little shells and treasures in different places on the beaches and I have to find them.
Aha! Hidden in a line of beached SEA GRASSES, I found you little LETTERED OLIVE, APPLE MUREX and sweet tiny TULIP!
Weehoo! Thank you, Mother Nature, for slowing me down to pick up that OLIVE and MUREX so I could refocus my eyes to see those BUBBLE SHELLS, SPARSE DOVE SHELL and that awesome WENTLETRAP that were only inches away.
Then inches from that WENTLETRAP I saw a beautiful little honey hole of minis. Well… everything is relative, isn’t it? This is what I call “beautiful” so maybe you will too in the next CYBERSHELLING photo. Click on this next image to see if this might make you happy even on an overcast, dreary day. I do believe it will!!
It’s not so dreary after all, right? Those little things in life are things we need to focus on some times.
They will lead us to the more obvious beautiful things.
As beach combers, we all have different reasons why we like to walk the beach in search of shells, flotsam, jetsam and other beach bling. That’s why we all enjoy different things on the beach to collect as souvenirs or to capture in our minds to remember in our hearts.
Hanging out for 4 days with the lovely, caring and oh-so interesting folks at Shellabaloo was a wonderful experience for all of us to learn our commonalities and also to learn from each other through our differences. I started our journey tying made OLIVE shell bracelets to tie Sharing and comparing shell collections at the end of the day has been a tradition for over 100 years at Island Inn on Sanibel so of course we carried on that tradition at Shellabaloo. We had so much fun on our last night for Shell ‘N Tell as we shared some of our found treasures as each person displayed their faves.
It was so much fun to see Kristen’s “K” shells, Elaine’s gorgeous mosaic mini shell art and quilter Cathy’s patchwork shell design.
Christy made a shell tree scene (with an awesome WORMIE as the trunk)
As you can see, everybody found something different that made them happy- Katherine showed us her absolute favorites, Janet made a cute JINGLE SEA HORSE and Travis loved lots of the bling.
I loved looking at Robin, Bobbie, Karen and Katy shells as they showed us their favorites of each species they found…
I was so touched to see that one of Bonnie’s special finds was the perfect DOSINIA shell with a natural hole so she could use it as a necklace along with her sterling silver pendant she received from SeaLife By Congress. Bonnie exchanged the certificate for this cutie PELICAN charm!
I had one more surprise gift on our last night together. Clark and I chose one Shell ‘N Tell display that “spoke to us” about the shells and about our time during Shellabaloo. The prize was my new Whelk Of Wonder canvas gallery wrap. It’s one of my favorite photos Ive taken over the years while combing the beaches of Sanibel so I decided to finally do something with it. We gave it to Elaine- Congratshellations! Your mosaic shell display was abshellutely amazing.
I loved every minute with these fabshellous folks of Shellabaloo 6.
Thank you so much Island Inn for hosting such a spectacsheller shellathon.
And thank you for letting me share this awesome journey with you.
Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more info and dates CLICK HERE
Any time we combine shells…
with low tide…
with a beautiful uninhabited beach…
with awesome shellers on an iLoveShelling cruise with Sight Sea-R Cruises… it’s a blast!
Along with our Shellabaloo folks I introduced you to on my last post, it was so much fun for everybody on our cruise on Wednesday who was anywhere around Stana from Illinois to see her overwhelmed excitement when she found a huge empty LIGHTNING WHELK after arriving on Big Hickory Island. It was so much fun to meet you and to see your enthusiasm. We talked about how to clean a shell like that but to make it easier, here is the link for the tutorial I told you about… CLICK HERE. Congratshellations Stana!
It was also such a treat to have seasoned shellers Peg, Dave (Ohio), Karen and Warren (Sanibel) on our shelling trip…
These are just a few of their fave shells they found.
Mary and Amy (Ohio) were on an ANGEL WING hunt…
I’d say they were very successful, wouldn’t you?
Ahhhh… it was such a pleasure to meet cutie shellootie family Diana, Charles, Steve and Katey (from Ohio as well- hmmmm-lots of shellers from Ohio)
Their family CONE count was at 7 but I think Charles found most of them- he definitely has a great shellers eye!
Look who else joined us! Shelling Sister Muriel with her husband Ted. They both warm my heart.
Muriel loves those JINGLE SHELLS about as much as I do.
Some of you might know “r.g. stein” from some of his comments here on iLoveShelling.com… he was on our shell trip too. It was so edshellcational for some of the other shellers to see this huge live HORSE CONCH he found in the water. He shared the sight then placed it gently back in the water where he found it. Thanks for your gifts r.g..
Visiting from Iowa, Brent and Pam (you can imagine why I’m a little partial to her- heehee) displayed their shells on a blue jacket so they look like gorgeous jewelry on velvet. Love your shellicious sea gems! Their shells are the ones in the featured first photo.
Sweet Lynn from Tennessee was happy to collect a BABY’S EAR shell on the trip.
Mindy and Nancy (Pennsylvania) had so much to share on the trip and also got so much in return… look at that bag-o-shells!
It’s always fun to see the different types of shells that different people see and collect.
It was such a fun and successful shelling trip on the Sight Sight-R with many treasures…
With spectacsheller people and shellicious sea gems.
Join me on another one of our iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure trips- for more info CLICK HERE