Recently my family and I decided to drive far down the Padre Island National Seashore- miles down, where no one, or nothing was in sight. The changes you see along the way are priceless. Raw nature at its best. There are no bulldozers, no cleanup, and no ‘man sculpted’ dunes. Just nature, taking care of nature. We always take a couple large yard cleanup trash bags with us, to help mother nature out. The array of man’s trash clutter some areas of the beach, which almost makes my stomach turn at times. Some trash is understandable, I too have lost an occasional item or two to the wind, but most was totally preventable. Once we fill our bags, we spend some good family time together on the beach. If you travel down the beach far enough, you will come to an area that states ‘No cars or trucks without 4×4 past this point’- that’s where we want to be! Only fisherman, and hard core beach lovers go that far. There are two ‘named’ areas that far down. The first is ‘Little Shell’, and second, ‘Big Shell’. Our travels that day will not take us as far as ‘Big Shell’ unfortunately, but we do make it to “Little Shell”.
That’s where we spend our time gathering sand dollars, picking up sea glass (and regular glass at that matter), and gathering the small shells that are scattered EVERYWHERE! There are some areas of the beach where the sand has been replaced with what we like to call ‘Shell Sand’. You can dig nearly a foot down from the surface of the beach, and it is pure little shells. Oh, how lovely and vibrant they are.
Most people that are shell hunting forget these little fellows on the regular areas of the beach, but here- they are hard to resist. The colors are so much more vibrant, and many of the shells, big and small, are super smooth and worn down from the mix of waves and sand. There are beautiful shades of oranges, yellows, olives, purple, etc. It seems as the shell is worn down, smoother and smoother by the sea, the true colors of the shell come out.
We continue to gather the small shells keeping in mind the gorgeous jewelry and projects we will use them for. We then take out buckets and gather buckets full of the random ‘shell sand’ along the beach. Millions of tiny shells in one bucket full.
I will be introducing very soon to my shop, just that. Small bags of shell sand for your own decorating ideas. Endless possibilities- cleaned and ready for you! Here’s a snapshot of these cool candle holders with the shell sand I will also be listing. The candle holders are vintage shrimp, or crab chiller dishes. Normally ice goes in the bottom (where I have the shells), and the shrimp inside the top dish. I have turned these little dishes into great little shell sand, beachy, candle holders! Each holder will come with its own bag of shell sand for you to fill. They can be reused and filled with anything else you might want to use for decoration.