Introducing…. My Shellaboratory!
This was my summer project … Secret Mission: Shellnado Transformation into Shellaboratory .
Our shell collection used to look like a shellnado hit it head on! So I finally organized the thousands of shells Clark and I have picked up over the years to learn about the different species of shells and beach bling that wash up on our shores of Southwest Florida.
We collect not only the pretty or most colorful shells, we collect different color forms, freaks and not-so-attractive shells and “bling” to learn about their lives in the Gulf of Mexico. Its an educational experience for us as well as a hobby to appreciate the beautiful qualities each shell has to offer.
The best part is that I have the privilege to be able to share this knowledge with you! We are learning together and it will help tremendously when I want to write those posts like “the differences in types of shells” or like “different colors variations in the same species“. It won’t take me all day just to find those different color forms. Yay!
I always wanted to have an organized craft room for the many art projects I’ve created over the years. But… I’ve always had a few obstacles. I get scatterbrained. I get so excited when an idea for a project pops into my brain. I turn into a mad scientist thinking up all the fun stuff I can create but my crazy mind never pays attention to the clean up details during or after my “work of art” is complete. Organizing has always taken too much time away from the actual “fun” project… until now!
Yes, this was fun! It all started as I needed a space for those big shells I painted to decorate the Junonia Jalopy for the Golf Cart Parade. They were crammed behind some Christmas boxes in the garage from last year. See? I never even put the Christmas stuff up because I was on to the next project. Those poor painted shells were getting bumped, bent and covered with dust. Geez! I worked hours on those things and I didn’t even have time to put them away properly. That got me started thinking about “decorating” my Shellaboratory with them.
Of course, I should use them to decorate!
Then I measured my space for shelving which was the perfect excuse to make several road trips to Ikea for adjustable book shelves and storage containers. I love Ikea. I finally had a space to display all the jars I’ve been saving for years to one day to use for a job like this… but I still needed more. I shopped discount stores, dollar stores, thrift stores and yard sales to find different sized jars or tubs so I could see each type of shell. I even found a place to put my Shelly Temple dress (just in case I ever want to sing “On the Good Beach, Sanibel” again?).
After building the shelves and finding homes for my containers, my next project was to sort… and sort… and sort. This was the part that was oh-so fun! I found shells that brought me back to the exact day I found it. I spent hours upon hours organizing and I felt like only 5 minutes went by- just like shelling on the beach.
Each time I found a WORM SHELL, I said the same thing I say when I find one on the beach… “Wormie!”. Yep, I now have enough that I can make a few more WORM SHELL frames now too.
I’m still not done sorting but I separated the room so one area is dedicated to displaying BEACH BLING for the different types of SEA BEANS, ECHINODERMS, EGG CASINGS and all that cool sort of bling…
I’ve started one area dedicated to BIVALVES…
and another area for GASTROPODS (uhk- I’m not fond of that word – ewww- lets call them UNIVALVES, shall we?)
If you noticed I wasn’t on the beach every single day the last few months… No- I wasn’t taking a shellbatical.
I was being a shellab rat in my own Shellaboratory!
Now THAT is a room to die for! Great job! I could live in there for weeks!
Happy New Year. I absolutely love this. Did Clark make those big shells for you? I would love to do this. Thanks for sharing.
Oh Pam, it’s absolutely WONDERFUL!
Wow!!!! You could charge admission!!! So in love with this!
Very nice, Pam. No wonder I can’t get hold of you.I only wish I could live down here! That had to take all Summer!!!!!!!
Congratulations to all of your success!!!!
Stunning! I can only imagine how much work this room took you to put together! I absolutely love it! Where did you find all those jars with aqua lids? Did you have to order that many on line? I live in California but have been to Sanibel once. I fell in love with it and hope to get back there one day!!! Thank you for all your amazing pics and information that you post.
I am so jealous! What I would give for my craft/shell room to look like that. You are one lucky girl.
PAM!!! That is awesome!!!! LOVE IT!!! I’m sure you had so much fun organizing!! If you want to take some close-ups, we would love to see them!
This is such a Shelltastic room, Pam!!!
That is fabulous! I’m envious! I’m sure you could get a crowd of people that would love to tour your shellaboratory. By the way, what is the display on the wall under the alphabet cone? I wish I had a room that I could devote to just shells. Pat
WOW, so that’s why we haven’t seen you:-) Holy carp, that is staggeringly fabulous. We want a tour!
I’m shell shocked! The room is gorgeous and looks so inviting.
Love the aqua cover jars too…where can we find them?
Shell shocked – what a perfect quip!!!
What a wonderful room (museum)— anytime you have bad weather you can just escape and play with your shells. Doesn’t everyone play with their shells?
Wow — love the shellaboratory! Such a good feeling to get that kind of organization… You should do tours.
I wish I had a spare room to turn into a crafty shell room……………SIGH!
You did an absolutely awesome job!
oh my gawd!!!!! bailey-matthews is going to have to step up!!!!….kinda like a shell nursery…put in a rocking chair and you can go sit and coo at your loot!!! i just can’t get over it…. ah mazing!!!!!
FOR SURE we’re counting on a reprise of Shelly Temple! Great job Pam!!!
This is true “Heaven”, a shell lover’s paradise!! I think a room like this is something we shell lovers always dream of. I know how much you must love it, and can only imagine all the days you put into it becoming this perfect getaway! As always, you have inspired us all so much, Pam. Love, love, love it!
Thank you, Pam, for sharing your amazing Shell Lab. Wish I had one. I still have to organize my ärt studio”! My shells are on display in my living room entertainment center bookcase which is looking more and more like a shellnado!!
Can’t wait to shell with you on Nov.10. The perfect way to celebrate my retirement! I am truly blessed to have your shelling cruise available during my week’s stay at Island Inn.
See you soon,
Cindy, I believe you mean shelling with Pam is the perfect way to SHELLEBRATE your retirement…lol!
What a beautiful room! I am in awe of your collection!! Some day, when we move close to the beach, I hope to be able to have an organized collection in my craft room (right now, a lot of them are in boxes, which I hate). I also love your site…its my new addiction :)
Wow! That is absolutly beautiful! I hope to live there one day and be able to collect shells whenever I want! You’re so lucky!
WOW!!! That’s all I have to say, because I’m speechless!
That is the most amazing shell room ever. I LOVE it!!
Your room is simply gorgeous – I would move a bed in and never leave! I also love your painted shells, especially the alphabet cone with a hidden message! ;) very clever idea! You are so talented :D
Pam, you must be delighted with the way it all turned out. I hope you have some room left still for expansion … :)
This looks a.m.a.z.i.n.g!! I KNOW you’re loving your new space and “rediscovering” a few shells here and there!
Just a quick note to tell you how much Susie and I (and our families) enjoyed your shelling cruise. It was so fun to meet you, the other shellers, and spending the day in the area. We’ve learned so much from you – you are truly a wealth of knowledge! Visiting your blog is always a treat, we love seeing all the pictures and videos! Because of you and your passion, Sanibel has become a favorite destination! Thanks again for an amazing adventure!
(PS…I wrote about our “shellventure” on your amazing cruise!)
This is absolute craziness! It is an amazing space! I could sit in there all day :3 Thanks for sharing these photos. All that hard(fun?)work was well worth it!
I used to keep mine separate…then it became about the memories. So now, I keep them in a jar with a custom seashell tag of when and where. I’m still jealous you get to go shelling whenever you want though! Sanibel is on my bucket list!
Just LOVE it.Its shell heaven on earth and boy that must have taken you forever! Congrats on getting all that organized. Love ,love, love the colors and can I please ask where you did get those aqua colored cap jars,perfect!!!!
Amazingly Shellabeautiful Pam!
Well worth the time and effort- it is beautiful!
What a lot of work! I have almost as many shells and ocean bling things as you do, and my place is still a shellacious wreck! I love what you’ve done.
We are planning our first trip to Sanibel in January. Cant’s wait!
Thanks so much for your work and your site.
You have done an exshellent job! Looks like you devoted some serious time to your engineer-like organizing side… The first-rate Shellaboratory puts my lil’ shell shed to shame ;) Does Clark get any credit??
My only job was to pick up containers at various stores. Pam get all the credit for the work. However I did help find many of the shells on display.
Awesome work Pam!!! Beautifully done!
Amazing. I can’t even organize my thoughts to express how wonderful this is! I can just imagine the positive energy in that room. Congratulations, Pam!
WOW is all I can say!!! This is fabulous!
How fabulous is that? I mean, Pam! Seriously, you worked your little tushy off and it’s gorgeous. LOVE the paint color and you do have a way with design as well. Congratulations on a job extremely well done! Should be featured in a magazine or some such…Maybe a short video to share with your “admirers” on the blog. Happy Shelling!
Love that you kept the aqua theme. When you get back to the beach again are you going to remember where to put the new shells. There are so many on shelves how will you remember what is where. I LOVE IT. I have been home in Jersey for a month and already counting the days til I come back in February. See you on the next shell cruise.
O…M…G. I cannot get over this shellaboratory. So fabulous! Your collection is AMAZING! You did an awesome job. :-)
Ohhhhhh Pam!!! I am so proud of you! I love your Shellaboratory. And your big art shells you did are really awesome. You are so talented. And all the turquoise is fabulous! You go girl!
Shelling Sister Susan-Panama City, FL
I have never seen a more beautiful, practical and stylish shell room! I am truly impressed Pam! It is a monumental thing that you have accomplished! Woohoo! And I want to thank you for taking such an interest in all the intricacies of nature found on and near the beach. I have learned so much from you. You are a blessing to me and my family who are avid fans of Sanibel. Our “home” is Golden Beach one week a year. Would love to meet you and thank you in person some time. Our countdown to Sanibel is 45 day! First time we will be there in Nov-Dec and CAN NOT WAIT! Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine in your Shellaboratory!
Pam that is an awesome room, you did a great job !!! Hope to see you on the beach in December!!
Oh, Pam, I am so shellous!
I am impressed, great job
Oh, how wonderful! Thanks for sharing Pam!
Wow! What a transformation! Of course, the shellaboratory is artistic and gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it in person! Miss u!
Gorgeous!!!! And my heart was beating like crazy looking at the pix of your wonderful room and all those beautiful shells. Your passion is amazing!!!! And as another sheller….warms my heart!!!! And turquoise is perfect!!!!
Oh Pam! How beautiful… I can’t wait until next summer. Maybe we will see you on another cruise and better yet take a field trip to your lab! Teachers in TN love field trips! Carol would certainly be in heaven again!
I want to be cremated when I die and my urn placed on one of those shelves!
Eight weeks until I’m there……..Sanibel, not the urn.
Your are so dang talented! I love your new shellaboratory!
If you do have an open house, I will be on Sanibel jan1-feb 28 at IBC. I would love to see it!
Pam- this is something to behold! You could charge admission (and I’d gladly pay!) It’s like a candy shop only much, much sweeter. Thank you for sharing.
So wonderful, and amazing! Wow! I just love it :)
Pam…..this room is a dream come true!!! Every part of it is just delightful. You are my inspiration!!!! Someday I’ll create a “nature room”, for all my sea shells, heart stones, turtle shells, bird nests…feathers, and all my nature pictures!!! You are a treasure!!!!
INCREDIBLE!!! I love it.
Just speechless and can’t wait to show my hubby!!
Love it! Love it! Love it!
That room looks fabulous!!
I’m in awe of such beauty, I have dreamed that some day I too will have my own Shelling station, this is breath taking♥
Your room is beautiful! What wonderful organizational skills you have. I could just spend days in your room exploring all the goodies there. Thanks for sharing.
OMG!! I am so jealous! And my friends kid me about the small amount of shells I have. Wait until I show them your shellaboratory! You are my hero, Pam Rambo!!
Wow, that’s like a world record of a seashell collection! It looks great, we will be on the Sanibel beaches tomorrow. Hope we find more great stuff to add to our collection and that we run into u again :)
wow! Love it! My friend and I have said many times ” I wonder what Pam’s shell inventory looks like!?” Thanks for sharing !
To say that I am “shellous” is an understatement! I have scoured these photos numerous times now and have forwarded them to my cohorts ( TN teachers- Beth, Debbie, and Joyce). What an amazing room- just one I could loose myself in for hours! I am so happy for you- to have your treasures categorized and sorted is a great accomplishment but to have them displayed in such a beautiful way just screams I love shelling! Thanks once again for taking me to my “happy place”- a dreamland of shells!
It screams Happy! You have not idea how long I have been looking at these pictures and picturing being myself working in your laboratory! Wash station, work bench, so organized… But it’s your artistic touch Pam that pulls it all together, especially with all the fun pops of your favorite color. A beautiful and fun shell sanctuary. I’m sure you had a wonderful summer putting it all together.
I am sending this blog to Coastal Living – shellerious it is beautiful Pam !!
Pam, how beautiful! It’s obvious that you’re an artist because you did such a creative job of organizing the shellaboratory! Now you’ve inspired me to get started organizing my own shells. Thanks for all the great ideas!
After all this time of reading your blog, I finally have to post to say thank you, Pam, for all the time and effort you put into shelling, organizing and sharing with us. It makes my day when I get to work and see I have an email from iloveshelling, and no matter how busy I am, I always read it and enjoy it. Your ShellCave is amazing, what a labor of love. Thanks so much for brightening my life.
THAT IS ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! I love it!
OMG!!!! Can I live in that room??? PLEASE!!
This looks so so beautiful, gorgeous, terrific …. I do not find the appropriate words. You created something really special. Would love to see it with my own eyes.
You did an outstanding job, looks like a store. I love how you incorporated all the turquoise even on the jar lids…. Amazing job Pam. Thanks for the virtual tour
That is so cool. Can’t imagine how long this was to organize!
Amazing… We would all love a room like that!
Thanks for sharing Pam!
Congratulations on finishing your summer project. It looks fabulous!
WOW! When do the tours begin? lol You know we want to touch every one of those shells. That is super. Thanks for sharing. You did good, girl.
After about the 50th ‘Oh My God! ‘ I’m calm enough to say, “I want to grow up to be just like you Pam.’ Thanks for keeping the dream alive for the rest of us.
The only thing I like more than shelling is before and afters of organization projects. I can imagine the before and marvel at the after. Amazing! Congrats!
Brava Pam! So much work … and a big payoff. Love all of the uses of your signature blue. Shelltacular!
I love it! I have a guest bedroom we call the seashell room because I have shelves in there with my shell collections on them, mostly shells from Sanibel, but this is great!
Oh.My.Gosh!!! GTMO internet finally loaded your post and WOW!!! Your shellaboratory looks absolutely marvelous, Pam!! Great job..I know you love walking into it each and every time….such an accomplishment! ❤️❤️ I’m sure that Supersheller Clark played a hand in helping too!!
WOW, Pam great job!! You should be proud. The shelves are perfect..guess a trip to Ikea is in store for me. Thanks for all your ideas & info!!
Very nice indeed and so much fun to work in
What a labor of love. What size is your shellaboratory? Love the ocean blue colors. Do you have room for expansion? Ya know, the shells just keep rolling in and piling up…..can’t wait to get there.
Wow! It’s just the most beautiful place on earth!! You did a wonderful job :) I love your giant shell paintings – the perfect touch!
They talk about Dream Closets, but I’ll bet this is beyond anything anything ever done for shells Anywhere in the world! My jaw is still on the floor. It deserves a spread in a Magazine, for sure! I’m sure you put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the project – but what perfection!
Omg thanks so much u guys. Yes it was a lot of work but it sure was a labor of love. I could be in there for hours on end and feel like only 5 minutes has gone by. I loooove my new space.
I want to live in there! I love how pretty and organized it looks in there!
Where did you come from? How did you get so talented and organized? Your shellaboratory is fabulous and I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. Much love.
Gorgeous, my house is looking like a shell museum, with shoe box storage, yours is AMAZING. Hope to run into you soon, we will be arriving Oct 27 and see you on blind pass, missed you in the spring when my husband and I each found a junonia, a matching pair, as I like to call them
This is so amazing and inspiring!
Hi Pam It’s L-O-R-E-E from Ohio I can’t come up with different appropriate words.. Everyone covered my thoughts..However, I will add this…. it is breathtaking. Roy and I arrived on the island this afternoon. After seeing your organized collection I am super pumped to spend a full day on the beach tomorrow.. We will see you on the shelling trip on the 27th. Can not wait !!!!!!!!!!
Thank-you for sharing with all of us. I want to see this room in Coastal Living.
That room is just amazing! Love the design of the room! You are not just a great sheller but also a very talented painter! Thanks for sharing your wonderful room!
OMG Pam! This is ultimate Shell Heaven!
Ditto everything that was said prior! Now plz come to my house & spread your magic dust!! When does this open for private tours. ?? You desserve all the best! Well done, This should be on covers of magszines! Bravo
East Granby. CT
This is awesome!! I would LOVE to have a room like that! I would spend hours in it!! Love reading your posts!!
Gracious, Pam, I was out of town and not able to check my emails and I came home to this gorgeousness. What a wonderful space…as someone else said, I am so very shellous! Would love more close-ups if you care to share!
Wow! I wish I had a spare room to do that! (In 2 years my oldest goes off to college – IKEA kitchen no, shell room, yes!) Your artistic talents are incredible. I need to keep more of the shells I throw back!
Where do we buy tickets for admission??
As frequent Sanibel visitors, we too have boxes full of shells. One year my husband sorted a bunch and we have them in clear jars displayed in our living room. They are quite the conversation piece at times when we have gatherings. One day, he’ll also sort through the boxes in the basement……or at least I hope he does. Beautiful room!
Pam your Shellaboratory is absolutely fantastic and just beautiful !!! I am so jealous !! I would love to take a vacation just to come see you and hang out in your beautiful room and dream !! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. You do a wonderful job and we just love it !! I will be leaving Cape Cod and visiting Sanibel in October with my Shell Club and I would LOVE to meet you !!! You are living my dream and you make everyday better by sharing your experiences, treasures, trips & wonderful people you meet. Can’t thank you enough !!! Pam D.
How can I be added to your will? Even one of those turquoise lidded jars would be a treasured reminder of your love of shells and would stand grandly among my humble collection! Is your space open for visits? Should I ever make it back to Florida, I would love to see it in person! Nicely done and a nice place to visit your memories!!
Hi Pam, I love your blog and have been following you for years. Your shell room is the best! I just spent my first visit to Sanibel Island a week ago
and plan to come again. Two buckets plus of shells and I can’t wait to organize as I look at your gorgeous room!!! Now I know where these beaches
are and it brings back special memories.
Love your ideas. We love FL beaches and have so many shells in our collection.
Thank you for what you do!!
Pam, Oh my, you have just out done yourself! I would just go nuts… I have always drawn my energy from the ocean and sea life, I live in the mountains of Central Oregon and have never been to the beaches like you comb. I love how you find the beauty in every tiny little shell and are so personal with each one… So now I find myself living and drawing my energy “vicariously” through you and your love for one of God’s most amazing gifts! Thank you every day for that… I love the way you make my heart smile…
Wow, you ever get that feeling of euphoria when u see something u like alot? Your shelling pics/videos are just that – so calm, peaceful, … exciting! Thank you.