Monday, March 12, 2012

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the "Titanic" who waved off the dessert cart. -- Erma Louise Bombeck

The Marco Island Shell Club held it's annual Shell Show on March  8 - 10 on Marco Island, Florida.

I am a super resourceful person.  Whenever  possible I like to kill two birds with one stone.  I try to save gas by combining shopping trips instead of going to the store for just one item on sale.  If I find a shirt or pair of pants  that actually fit well & in a color I like I will buy several and stash them for later use.  So you can imagine my ingenious sensibilities going on overdrive when I figured out I could combine a shelling trip to Marco Island with the Marco Island Shell fair.  I had passed on the 75th Annual Sanibel Shell Show a few weeks back.  The Sanibel Stoop Guinness World Book of Records had been enough shellabrating for me.  I also wanted to check out a new shell show that I had never been to before.  Marco Island is a 2 hour drive south from my home base camp.

 The public beach access on Marco Island is limited with only two lots.  The beaches are open to all - it's the parking that is a challenge. Tiger tail Park on the north end of the island is great shelling spot but you have to wade across a 200 foot wide/3 foot deep lagoon to get out to the beach.  BTDT, so I drove to the south end parking lot where getting to the beach was just crossing a street not a lagoon.  The south parking lot is $8 (for an hour or all day) and only has 70 parking spaces.  If you arrive after 10am especially in the winter months be prepared to wait in a line of cars for a space to open up.  We arrived at 9am and the lot was already 50% full.  The beach is a short walk across the busy main drag but Marco Island has blinking cross-walks for pedestrians at every cross street with stop signs.  Pedestrians are a priority on Marco Island. Early is the best bet for finding shells on the Marco Island beaches.  The parking lots don't open until 8am and by that time all the early bird condo dwellers and hotel vacationers have walked the beach for all the bigger goody shells that rolled in over night.  Low tide is a must on this beach.  It has a short shelf line that even when the tide has turned to go high again the shell line is under water.  All in all any beach with shells is a good beach.

After a bagel & another cup of coffee it was on to the shell show.  I like to keep a blogger-low-profile at these events although I did have on my aqua blue t-shirt on which gets me some head turns and second  glances as I am mistaken for that iLove gal. (Is that Pam from Sanibel over there?)  LOL, I could have alot of fun with that little misidentification but I don't.  They are always so disappointed when I tell them it's just little ole me.  I do  love to chit chat with others about their shelling adventures but usually if I let others do most of the talking sooner or later they will spill the beans on some local little known shelling spot. Not these folks. The shelling info vault was closed for business. Even when I asked point blank "Do you have any good shelling spots other than the public beaches?" I got no info I could use at all. On the other hand they had some really beautiful shell collections & shellcraft so I just had to settle for that. (ratz)

The length of the beach is lined with tall condos & hotels.
Jetties are always a great place to look for shells.  They get trapped  between the beach & the rocks as they wash up.
The shell line by the jetty. The weird looking thing to the right is the egg casing from a whelk.
Spring has sprung because there were egg casings everywhere. This one is square-shaped and belongs to a fig shell.

You can spot the iLove Shelling Caribbean blue a mile away on the SWFL beaches. Bill Geist (on left with Pam) interviewed blogger Pam  of iLove at the Sanibel Shell Show.  Check out this Sunday's program (hopefully)  on CBS for the  spot they did on the Shellabration.

The Marco Island Shell Show drew a nice crowd but I still had room to stop, look, & take pictures.

The Hobbyist Class are those who do not make money from the sale of their shells.  The self-collected are my favorites because the tags usually have a more specific location which gives up some hints for good shelling spots.

Everybody loves Alphabet Cones.

This Hobbyist collection was the top right, bottom left, & bottom right in order of lightest shell color to darkest.

So you have a sentimental old bowling ball you can't let go of ?  Of course!  Cover it in shells.

I am seeing more & more shell whorls being used in the shell craft.  The inside of the shell is just as lovely as the outside.

Shell pomanders are easy to make.  The create an impact when displayed in quantity.

Angelic shells win a first place ribbon.

This  monochromatic Cross is so elegant.

Jingle shells and wedding bells.

This shell artist had a ton of patience.

This miniature beach scene was amazing.  Click on the picture to make it bigger.

The artist include a magnifying glass and an index as a guide.

It's all in the detail when it comes to shell craft. 

By the time you have made one pass through the exhibits your senses are on shell over lode from all the beautiful shells & shell artistry.


  1. Wow, I'm in shell shock!!!
    I've always loved that crazy guy from CBS Sunday Morning, something I watch loyally. I'll never forget the time he entered a tiny little fish in a fish contest...he brought it in inside a fishbowl :)

    You did say Zeke's on Dearborn for Wednesday's lunch, didn't you? I Googled Zeke's and all I could get was Zeke's Bar & Grill on Wentworth at the Royal Palm Marina...I remembered you mentioning tiki hut-style tables, a coffee shop on Dearborn, right?

  2. Great post. Thank you for taking me to the Marco Island Shell Show!

  3. So many gorgeous things in this post (besides you!) LOVE the shell hat and that shell cake is fab!! Also loved the cross and the sailors valentine. I am going to HAVE to make it down for a shell show one year so I can see this stuff in person. Thanks for posting this and sharing.

  4. I agree - beautiful shell creations! Kim - let's go together!!

  5. The wedding cake! Oh em geee what a beautiful thing to see!
    Loved the bowling, too, although it's all quite amazing.
    I'd love to go to a shell show one of these days.

  6. Wow-love the bowling ball and the storck piece. Ah-you are so lucky to live in FL.

  7. Whoa babee!!!! How cool is all of this? My fave is the beach you remember what the legs and beaks were made out of??

  8. Looks like you saw a lot of great stuff- I like the quirky wedding cake!
    Melissah from Coastal Style

  9. I'm enjoying all of your's really hard to imagine this much beauty! WOW! I would love to create some art with some of my shells! Hugs! ♥

  10. LOL- just add lots of freckles and voila...twins! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it airs this Sunday! Your are a traveling chick- your Marco trip sounds like lots of fun


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