Place – Sanibel Island/The Shells

Have you heard of the Sanibel Stoop?

The Washington Times describes the Sanibel Stoop as “the bent-at-the-waist posture used to collect seashells on Sanibel Island.” Of course. While other postures and positions of the human form are primarily designed to reap a benefit directly related to health, wholeness or physique building, the Sanibel Stoop takes aims purely at the aesthetic, esoteric and artsy side of our being. ~Sundial Resort

This is my attempt at creating a daisy out of an iridescent array of pen shells. I didn’t bring any of this variety home. The edges are sharp and the shells are fragile, breaking easily into smaller pieces.

I did bring quite a few seashells home though. These are my finds, cleaned in the shell hut, a small open air shed with a sink, built by the West Wind Inn for the purpose of cleaning your shells. (This also keeps their plumbing, in the rooms, from becoming clogged with sand and beach debris.)

I thought ahead and brought some heavy duty zippered plastic bags I had saved from a recent purchase.

By nestling several together, we were able to bring home shells for all the children, grand-children, grand-nieces and nephews, and many for ourselves. I had read great advice in a blog post by another traveler to save plastic containers when you buy food on the island, and these also worked great to pack our shells for the flight home. Almost every shell made it back without breaking packed between layers of clothes in our carry-on bags.

Place – Sanibel Island/The Land

I am not exaggerating when I say I have wanted to visit Sanibel Island, Florida, for more than four decades. We tried to drive down once with our seven month old son in his car seat. We only drove for seven hours before realizing the nightmare of a long drive with an active baby was not going to work for us. That son is now over forty, and that’s at least how long I have wanted to see this beautiful island.

You might wonder why. What is the pull? Easy to answer…the lure of the island for me is the seashells. Sanibel beaches are considered some of the best for shelling in the world. After visiting in early October of this year…I can totally support the claim. I have never seen so many shells, or so many beautiful varieties, strewn across a beach.

Beyond the lure of the beaches and warm water of the Gulf of Mexico is the beauty of the plant life. I love flowers and foliage of all types. The island supports many tropical plants and trees. The West Wind Inn, a beautiful place built on the beach, has gardens filled with lovely flowers and trees.

I’m not sure what this tropical beauty is named, but I am using it as part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Another flower I saw in abundance was this tropical version of Black-eyed Susans. The flowers resembled the ones I grow, but the foliage was very different, thick and dense, able to withstand the heat and salt in the air.

We visited two beaches in addition to the beach in front of the West Wind Inn. The Lighthouse Beach has a fishing pier. We saw dolphins in the water there. There is quite a bit of parking, but the restroom facilities were a long hike.

Our favorite beach was Bowman’s Beach. It was a long, long walk from the parking area/restroom facilities to the water, but so worth it. We went here twice, and some of the best shells we gathered were found on this shoreline. I waited a long time to go to Sanibel, I hope I can go back soon, and not have too many years between my visits.

Project – Update/Sea Glass Mobile +

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For anyone interested in the power of “GOOP” glue, I’m including an update on other items I’ve used in my creations using Goop as the glue. Once again, I created a mobile, this one with my grandsons, and used Goop exclusively for the bonding. As in the directions for the Sea Glass Mobile, see Part I and Part II, I used fishing line and hemp twine for hanging and stringing.

mobile collage

The collage shows glass, stone, wood, nut and shells bonded together with goop. This is a great project to make with children using collections they’ve gathered from nature. A little bit of goop will even hold items with a bit of weight. (See top photo of small whelk shell)

  • Goop should only be used outdoors due to toxic fumes. Use sticks or brushes for applying the glue, and avoid contact with skin.

Photographs – Seashells and Snow

“This week show us something you’re optimistic about, or perhaps a talisman that helps you stay positive and hopeful, regardless of what life (and the weather!) throws your way.”

seashells, snow and sunshine

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall…I dream of seashells and sunshine. A “little bit” of snow can’t diminish my Optimistic Attitude!

I also feel my spirit lift when I glimpse the beautiful “Cerulean” Sky.
Color Your World – 120 Days of Crayola – Cerulean

Project – Seashell Mobile

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My cousin visited from out west this Spring. We spent a glorious day on some local beaches saving horseshoe crabs that had upended themselves and collecting sea glass and shells. I love the project she created with her finds, a seashell mobile, complete with a piece of ceramic turned into sea glass by the waves. I’m inspired! I was meaning to sort through my shells, but the thought of making one of these mobiles will give me a bit more incentive. So pretty!

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Collecting shells and saving overturned horseshoe crabs.

A good friend drilled the shells for my cousin. Use a thin drill bit with any type drill you are comfortable using. Notice the wooden block beneath the shell. If you don’t wear glasses put on a pair of safety glasses. Use fishing line to put the mobile together. This is a great project for shells, sea glass and other beach finds you might have collected over the years.

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