It’s The Little Things In Life

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miniature seashells in the sand


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.

seashells at lighthouse beach

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…

shells on the beach during cool dreary day

Then everything else in the world disappears when I look at this beach combing playground. Wait! Did someone just say to me “There are no shells”? wracks of shells on the beach

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.

not so obvious shells not the beach

Aha! Hidden in a line of beached SEA GRASSES, I found you little LETTERED OLIVE, APPLE MUREX and sweet tiny TULIP!

collecting shells on the beach

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.

finding seashells on the beach

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!!

Sanibel cyber shelling miniature shells

It’s not so dreary after all, right? Those little things in life are things we need to focus on some times.

seashells and seaweed

They will lead us to the more obvious beautiful things.

beach art mermaid with starfish

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beautiful shell display picture

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.

lightning whelks

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.

Shell N Tell Sanibel

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.

Shell n Tell at Shellabaloo

Kristen's shell display

Seashell and paper mosaic display

patchwork shells

Christy made a shell tree scene (with an awesome WORMIE as the trunk)

Shellabaloo Christy with her shell display

Sanibel shells by Christy

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.

shellers with their display

seashell seahorse display


I loved looking at Robin, Bobbie, Karen and Katy shells as they showed us their favorites of each species they found…

Shellabaloo shellers and shell displayI 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!

silver pelican necklace charm

Sealife By Congress was so generous to give everybody at Shellabaloo a $25 gift certificate for their store on Sanibel as well as all of the other shellers on our Sight Sight-R cruise.


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.

pam rambo canvas gallery wrap prize


I loved every minute with these fabshellous folks of Shellabaloo 6.

Sunset on Shell trip with Pam Rambo iLoveShelling

Thank you so much Island Inn for hosting such a spectacsheller shellathon.

island inn sponsor logo

And thank you for letting me share this awesome journey with you.

sunset at sanibel

Join me on a Shelling Adventure! For more info and dates CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips


Comments (16)

lovely shells and coral on blue

Any time we combine shells…

Sandy shell collection in Florida

with low tide…

Big Hickory Island Shelling tour

with a beautiful uninhabited beach…


with awesome shellers on an iLoveShelling cruise with Sight Sea-R Cruises… it’s a blast!

Shellabaloo on Sight Sea-R shelling cruise

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 HERECongratshellations Stana!

stana finds a huge empty whelk

It was also such a treat to have seasoned shellers Peg, Dave (Ohio), Karen and Warren (Sanibel) on our shelling trip…

Peg, Dave, Karen, Warren on shelling trip

These are just a few of their fave shells they found.

seashells found on shelling cruise with Pam Rambo

Mary and Amy (Ohio) were on an ANGEL WING hunt…

Mary Amy Ohio collect shells in SW Florida

I’d say they were very successful, wouldn’t you?

angel wing shells and beach treasures

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)

Diana Katey Charles Steve Ohio collecting shells

Their family CONE count was at 7 but I think Charles found most of them- he definitely has a great shellers eye!

Charles alphabet cones

Look who else joined us! Shelling Sister Muriel with her husband Ted. They both warm my heart.

Ted and Muriel on iLS shelling trip

Muriel loves those JINGLE SHELLS about as much as I do.

mound of jingle shells

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..

r. g. Stein with live horse conch

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.

Brent Pam from iowa on iLS shelling trip

Sweet Lynn from Tennessee was happy to collect a BABY’S EAR shell on the trip.

lynn from tenn found seashells on shelling 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!

Mindy Nancy PA on iLS shelling cruise

It’s always fun to see the different types of shells that different people see and collect.

seashells in white shell net

It was such a fun and successful shelling trip on the Sight Sight-R with many treasures…

shells within a shell

With spectacsheller people and shellicious sea gems.

dark chocolate kings crown conch

Join me on another one of our iLoveShelling Shelling Adventure trips- for more info CLICK HERE

pam rambo shelling trips