Lido Beach Shelling Trip!

Wow guys, you won’t believe what happened yesterday. On Wednesday night at 9ish we saw a post on Facebook saying that Lido Beach, Which as on the west coast of Florida, was being dredged and that a ton of rare shells were on the beach. Dredging is when big equipment sucks up sand and shells from the ocean floor of shore and then pumps it onto the beach.

All of our finds from the trip!

So we immediately made plans to go the next day. It was a struck of luck that me and my parents schedule lined up perfectly so we could all go together yesterday. We left at 6am and drove about 2.5 hours to the beach. We got 10 minutes away and then realized we went to the wrong Lido Beach! Luckily, the right Lido Beach was only an hour away so we continued on. Once we got there, my dad dropped us off and we headed straight to the big equipment and the pile of shells near it. We sat down right in the middle of a long pile of shells 5 ft. tall and 25 ft. wide and started shifting and digging through the shells. We were finding so many amazing shells! We found 9 Alphabet Cones just out in the open on top of the shell pile and so much coral!

A huge Banded Tulip and the Alphabet Cones

To our left was a group of 5 or 6 shellers that were finding great shells too. They found multiple true tulips and one guy even found four junonia cobs! A Junonia cob is the shell that the middle area has been broken apart. It looks like someone ate the middle piece of corn on the cob. Also the lady next too him found a whole junonia. It was so cool. She even let us hold it! The Junonian is one of the rarest shells in Florida and one of the most well know. In some places if you find a whole one you get your photo in the newspaper. My mom and I had the middle area of the big shell pile mostly to our selves but we hung out with a nice couple for a couple hours talking and exchanging shell stories. That was when I found my favorite find of the day, drum roll …. a Junonian cob! I was so thrilled to find it! Finding a junonia has been on my bucket list for so long and I was so happy to find such a big part of it. This was one of the best shelling experiences in my life!

My junonia cob!
What a cutie 🙂

Over the course of the day we found so many shells in perfect shape, including horse conchs, bright orange whelks and so many shark eye’s and olives. Fun fact: There are false shark eye shells and true shark eye shells. You can tell the difference by looking at their spiral. The false shark’s eye has a spiral that pokes out and is more to the top rights/left of the shell. The true shark eye shell has a spiral that is almost completely flat and is center in the middle.

The way we were looking for shell was by slowly scraping shells away from an area and looking through them as we went. My mom’s pile at the end of the day was huge! I liked moving around more, so I was digging medium size holes and then I would slowly scrape new shells in while looking at them. I found a huge tulip by doing that. I was digging pretty far down in one hole and just saw part of it. I quickly managed to dig the rest out before the sides of the hole collapse and was rewarded with the biggest banded tulip I have ever seen! We were also finding tons of worm shells and Nutmegs.

We stayed there for four hours in temperatures that felt like 117 degrees but it was so worth it! The drive home was spent gazing at our finds and sharing funny stories about our day with each other. We are trying to go again this Thursday but we heard that red-tide is starting to affect areas near by it so we are going to play it by ear. As always, if you are a new reader feel free to leave a comment below saying “hi”.

How to Clean Your Shells

Hi everyone! I get a lot of question about how to clean shells so hence the inspiration for this post. Let’s say you get back from the beach with some shells and you want to have them outside as decorations or something, all you need to do is rinse them off with water and let them sun dry. If you want to bring them inside or use them for a craft, you will want to take a stronger approach. I like to rinse my shells in room temp water, just to get the salt and sand off, and then soak them in hot soapy water for a couple of hours or half a day.  Single bivalve shells don’t need to soak as long as the gastropods or the bivalves with both sides still attached but there are always exceptions for the time. The hotter you can get the water the better, but you don’t want it to be boiling. If you are serious about getting the shells clean repeat the soaking in soapy water again. 

I usually soak shells inside, but this group was so dirty I soaked them twice before bringing them in the house to clean them more.

Another popular method is soaking them in a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water for a small amount of time, depending on the condition of the shell. You do have to be careful because it is known to dull the color of the shell. If you do end up bleaching them, rubbing a tiny dab of mineral oil will bring back the color and shine. A lot of people use this method, but it is not my favorite because bleach can get very messy and you have to take a lot of additional steps. 

If you have a shell with old barnacles or just hard junk on it, I have found that putting it in a vinegar and backing soda mixture for 3-5 minutes really helps to loosen the hold on the shell and makes it easier for you either scrape or pop the other stuff off. The vinegar solution can dull your shells if you soak it for too long, so it is best to start off with a low amount of time and work your way up. If you do over soak your shell, rubbing mineral oil will bring back the color and shine. 

A scotch bonnet soaking in vinegar and baking-soda to get remands of barnacles and algae off.

If you don’t have mineral oil then coconut oil, olive oil and baby oil will work too, but they might make your shell smell or attract ants. Mineral oil is really the best option but any other oil will work.

Different type of oils to bring back your shell’s shine

This is the scotch bonnet before and after 5 minutes in the vinegar and baking-soda mixture and an hour in hot soapy water.

Before
Before
After
After

 I hope this is helpful to everyone and if you have any questions feel free to comment below! Good hunting! 

Traveling with Shells (is super fun!)

Hello from the beautiful mountains of North Carolina! My family and I started our vacation about a week ago and we have been having so much fun. The weather has been beautiful and we have been outside enjoying every minute of it. Before we left I was organizing my shells and I had a great idea! I remembered that North Carolina had a state shell. Can you guess what the state shell is? Its the scotch bonnet! So of course I had to bring one with me to take a picture of it in the woods. But why stop there. What if I took my scotch bonnet around with me on my trip and took pictures to share with everyone. So I grabbed the thickest, most sturdy scotch bonnet I had and packed up. While on the road, I had the shell wrapped up with cloth in my bag so I wasn’t able to get a picture of us on the road. 😦 But, once we got to the place we were staying at, a condo on Mountain Air outside of Burnsville, I snapped this pic during our first sunset of the trip.

First Sunset!

Then the next day my shell and I explored some of the woods surrounding our place. The sunlight shinning through the trees was so pretty!

In the woods
Finding some pretty flowers to take a photo with on the walk back from the woods.

I think the highlight of my trip so far was going to this beautiful pick it your self flower farm with my mom. It wasn’t too hot and the flowers were stunning. There were flowers of every shape, size and color that we could pick.

The area where we were staying at, has some beautiful hiking trails all around the mountain with breathtaking views and lots of wildlife. My family and I hiked about 2.5 miles in a big loop, spotting all kinds of animal tracks. We found deer, chipmunk, racoon and bear tracks!

This was the view at the end of that trail before we could follow the road back or turn around and hike the trail back. So worth the walk. 🙂

Yesterday, the last day of our trip, we went on a golf cart ride to a nearby field that has some awesome black berry plants and picked a ton of them. We also played in the nearby stream where we found salamanders and crawdaddies. It was so fun! Definably my favorite part of the trip. 🙂

Yummy!
Cute little guy!

This vacation was one my family will never forget and I am so glad I got to share it with you via my scotch bonnet photos. Make sure to leave a comment saying “Hi” if you are new or just want to check in. 🙂 Good hunting!

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In and Out Beach Trip and Etsy Shop Opening!

Hi everyone! So happy to be checking in. I am super excited to announce the opening of my Esty shop!!! I am the co-founder of heartofthesea1 with my amazing sister Reese, and we are so excited to get to share our love and passion for the beach with you. We have so many beautiful one of a kind necklaces that are just waiting for the right person to come and buy them! Visit our shop here at https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeartoftheSea1 and visit our Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/heartofthesea1/ too!

Today my whole family and I packed up our beach stuff and headed to the beach. We drove to our usual beach that was close by but, decided to check out a more secrete entrance that we have noticed some cars parking nearby a little farther away. The reason I’m calling it the secrete entrance is because here are no signs pointing to it and the path is blocked from view by some overgrown sea grape bushes. Unless you are are the perfect angle, you can’t see it all. Even though the sea grapes are overgrown, you can still make the 2 minute walk to the beach without touching them. It was the perfect start to our trip!

Once we set up our chairs and sunshade, everyone who wanted to sit and hang out stayed with the sunshade and I took everyone else who wanted to shell, shelling. About every 30 yards there was a patch of tiny, crushed, shells that were sprinkled in a 5 yard area where we were finding some nice sea glass and scallops. We didn’t have any crazy finds, but we did get some sea glass that will make some nice necklaces.

On the way back we saw some clouds but didn’t think much of it until they slowly started to get bigger. For a couple minutes we thought it was going to start raining, but luckily the storm missed us. 🙂 Then we came back to the others, got some water, then set off in the other direction for about 15 minutes. That was were I found a crab just hanging in the water and a nice piece of clear sea glass.

By then everyone was done, so after an hour at the beach we packed up and headed out through the secret entrance. Just as we were leaving, some clouds started rolling in and lighting was spotted 5 miles away, so we picked the perfect time to leave. I have loved so much getting to share my experience with fellow glassers and shellers so please in tell your friends and family about this! If you are new, feel free to leave a comment below saying “hi” too! Remember to take a look at our Etsy shop!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeartoftheSea1

Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Hey everybody! How are you? I’ve missed writing so much. I have been crazy busy, but I was able to take some time and go on a road trip with my family and explore a new beach! We drove about 45 minutes to the Sebastian inlet and then checked out a couple of beaches nearby. Almost all the parking lots were full because school is out and it was the weekend but we finally found one that only had a few people parked. We jumped out and made a beeline straight for the water. It was so beautiful, I can’t even describe how clear and teal it was. We had come the hour before low tide so the waves were calm and the shells were right under our feet. Something really cool about this beach is that the shell spots in the water were made up of weathered bivalves and rocks and coral. This is really good material to find nice sea glass in because it weathers the glass into more of a rounded nugget shape instead of the flatter less smoothed pieces we get at my beach. There was so much sea glass! I loved how there were so many different shades of green and I even found a blue! Here are some of my favorite finds from the trip. 🙂

We also found so many cool shells that we don’t usually find on our beach. Shells like turkey wings, mossy arcs, yellow prickly cockles and spiny jewelry boxes!

So worth the long drive!

Then that evening we went back to our beach for a 20 minute walk and found so many shells. They were just laying right on and around the tide lines. It was so cool! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long because a storm was coming but it did give us a nice breeze and beautiful skies.

What an awesome beach filled day! Well I got to go but I will be writing again soon! Good hunting!!!

Sea Glass Crafts, Necklace and Framed Art

Hi everyone. I have had a crazy busy week but now i am ready to sit down and do some crafting. One of my favorite activities to do with sea glass is to make necklaces out of them. I am opening an Etsy shop to sell my necklaces next week so please go check it out. ( I’m so excited!) I will post a link in my next blog post so you all can see it 🙂

To make a sea glass necklace first pick out a nice sea glass piece that is the size you want. I usually go with pieces that are 2″ by 2″. Then cut a piece of wire, I use a 20 ga, that is about 8″ long. Then make a loop around a pencil and twits to get the part where the necklace attaches to the chain.

Then lay the loop flat to the back of the sea glass.

And start wrapping the wire around the piece very tightly. You can overlap the wire if you want or keep it simple. To end the necklace simply the the wire and wrap it in the back flat against the glass.

And wha-la, your done! You have made a sea glass necklace! Give your self a pat on the back!

Here is another of my favorite seaglss crafts;

You can glue sea glass on paper to form cool shapes like this mermaid tail and this sea turtle and then frame it on your wall.

To start, pick out sea glass pieces that are all the same width and as flat as possible, that will help them glue to the paper better. For these examples below I used Elmer’s glue that I got from a school supply store and it worked perfectly. What I like to do is set the the sea glass in a pattern I want on the paper, or what ever background you are using.(Elmer’s glue also works well with glass too) Then, one by one i pick up, put glue on and place back down a piece. Some times i overlap them, like the bottle, and some times i leave space between them, like the sea turtle one.

When you are done, you can put the paper in a picture frame and frame it or hang it on the wall. If you want to frame it, you can either take out the picture frame glass panel, or pick very flat pieces of sea glass so the frame will fit.

So here are a couple of my favorite crafts you can do at home with sea glass and later, I will be sharing some super fun shell crafts and even more awesome sea glass crafts. Those will be out some time in the next two weeks so keep an eye out. 🙂 Also, if this is your first time here I just want to say “Hi” and invite you to leave a comment and tell all your friends about this blog. Good hunting!

Oh What a Beautiful Day Part Two

Hi everyone! So I’m sure you all have read my post about the shelling parts of my trip yesterday but I didn’t just find shells… I also found sea glass too! If you didn’t see my first post then don’t worry, here is the link to it. (It is the the first one on the left.)

We came about 30 minutes before low-tide in hopes to find some good shell spots in the water, but we ended up finding most of our treasures in the shell beds way high up on the beach. It just goes to show you never know where you will find the good shells and glass. It was so hot we made a last minute decision to pack a bottle of water with us and I’m so glad we did. After we took one of our many water breaks, I walked over to the next shell pile, looked down and saw this.

Can you spot it? How about now?

When I picked up that beautiful seafoam green piece I was ecstatic. I love finding seafoam pieces because of their cool history. This piece was most likely from an old coke-a-cola bottle that was thrown away and then some how manage to be tumbled in the ocean for years until I found it. Down below you can see the piece all cleaned up with some of my other sea glass finds of the day. What was really cool, was near the two and half hour mark of our walk my mom and i stopped at a shell bed that was pretty far away from everyone else that was hanging out at the beach. (and there was a lot of people) There my mom almost instantly finds a beautiful misty green piece, only the second green that day! To top that off even more, we walked a few more steps and then i practically walked on top of another thick emerald green. What are the odds, to barely find any green and then find two only three feet apart. It was like mother nature knew we need a little boost to keep going and finish our walk. On our way back I also found this little kelp green, or highlighter green as I sometimes call it, that is at the top of this stack along with some of the others we found that day.

What do you guys think the top piece should be called; highlighter green or kelp green?

Well, I have to go, but keep you eyes peeled for my next post. I’m going to be showing you how i use my sea glass and shells in fun crafts that you can do at home too! talk to you then 🙂

Oh What a Beautiful Day for Beachcombing!

Hi everyone! I had an amazing time at the beach today that I can’t wait to tell you about. The parking lot where we usually park was so full people were parking on the side of the road, so we decided to go the the next beach entrance more north. Once we got on the beach it was packed, there were people every where.

There were also shell piles everywhere!

We went at low-tide so there was some shell spots in the water but the best spots were high up at the high-tide lines. I found a ton of bi-valves like scallops, jingle shells, sailor’s ears and Atlantic cockles. There were plenty of shark’s eyes, rock snails and augurs too. I hope you all can see how shinny those two lettered olives are. They are so huge and so dark with the tips still on them. I found that cute silver toy soldier laying right in between two shells at the very top of the beach. Its so cute, he’s protecting my shells. 🙂

Here are some scallops that i just fell in love with and had to bring them home with me.

I am going to make a part two tomorrow about the glassing part of my trip so keep your eyes peeled for it. Oh what a beautiful day to go to the beach……

Shell Days

Hi everyone! I’m so glad to be checking in. I really wanted to share with you so of my favorite finds from my last two days at the beach. I went out with my mom for some mother-daughter bonding time and we had so much fun that we decided to do it again the day after. The shells were mainly piled up between mounds of sand every 5 feet and we were finding so many cute minies that were adorable. While we found a couple pieces of sea glass, these were really was more of a shell days.

From left to right you’ll see a crossed barred Venus, a beautiful white cross-ribbed ark holding a sharp-ribbed drill shell, a scotch bonnet, a gray calico scalp, a mystery shell, part of a worm shell, a mossy ark, a channel whelk, and a baby’s ear bellow another cross-barred venus. A big reason why these two beach trips were very special to me was because I found a lot of first and seconds over the weekend. I was so excited to find my first Worm shell that I did a happy shell dance! When I found my mossy arc I was thrilled too. It is a pretty common shell on the west coast but I have never even seen a piece of one on the east coast, so to find a whole one that was perfectly intact was super cool. You should have heard my yelp of excitement when grabbed this ash gray baby’s ear out of the sand. It will be joining my only other one in my collection once I get it cleaned up :). My mom’s favorite finds were the scotch bonnet and that gorgeous sharp-ribbed drill. if you look closely you can see that soft peachy color that is just so stunning on it. In the middle of the first picture I put a mystery shell there. It looks like an oyster shell but it has an opening like a slipper shell on the other side. I have no idea what it could be but I fell in love with colors of it. It was a marbled white, gray and soft pink design with an elegant texture. I’ll post a picture later this week with a better view if you have any idea what it could be. For anyone new who is seeing this post, please fell free to leave a comment below saying “hi”.

Hello fellow beachcombers

Greetings beachcombers! 🙂 my name is Riley and I am so excited to be starting this beachcombing journey with you. This blog is all about my beachcombing adventures, the ups, the downs and the in between. When I was first staring out, I didn’t know a ton about sea glass hunting and shelling, so a big reason why I wanted to make this blog, is so that I can teach others about beachcombing. For this first post I am going to keep it short and sweet, but I wanted to tell you a little bit about myself. I live on the east coast of Florida and have a huge passion for sea glass hunting and shell collecting and everything connected to nature and the ocean. Waking up super early and strolling on the beach while searching for that tell-tale flash of color is magical for me. I really love animals and volunteer at the zoo often. I have a huge family that means the world to me and my twin, Reese, is my best friend in the whole universe. My favorite Bible verse is 2nd Corinthians 5:17 because says that when you trust in god and love him, you become a better version of yourself. One of my favorite quotes is from Isak Dinesen, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” It has always meant a lot to me but as I spend more time with my feet in the sand, I realize how true it is. Bye for now, but I will be posting again soon so stay tuned 🙂

Therefore is anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation: the old has passed away, behold, all things become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17