Shell Yeah, I'm a Sheller! I gather Shells!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Old Sheller's Don't Die, They just Conch Out"

My Mimi has this quote needlepointed in a frame at her beach house on Charlotte Street in Wrightsville Beach.  I think it's is the most lovely corny quote.  

So, yes, I hunt and I gather.  And, this post is about the shells I gathered over the hurricane and birthday holiday, August 27, 2011.  And, in advance, I'd like to thank, yet again, Bald Head Island Management for not making me leave the island before Irene hit. 

On my birthday this past year, I had one of the best gifts ever!  A hurricane!  And, guess where I rode the hurricane out?  Bald Head Island!  And, guess how many shells I gathered on East Beach as Irene moved up the coast?  101 Sand Dollars, 38 Complete, Perfect Conchs, 42 Sea Urchins, 12 Starfish to name a few.  I discovered the conchs at the conch graveyard as I called it, right at Cape Fear Point, nestled up to the dunes, waiting for me to come and gather them home.  I continued to say:  "It must be my birthday!" was my birthday.

Here is a shot of my discovery:


I am such a dork.  Can you hear the excitement in my breath?  I am baffled.
Some other shots of the shells I found on East Beach at BHI on August, 27, 2011!  Happy Birthday to me!

I've gathered shells since I can remember.  Not only am I a sheller, I bring them home, rinse off the sand, stare at my bounty, and then categorize them and then put them in glass containers that decorate my humble abode.  Now, I am taking one step further and I am designing scarves based on some of the shells in my collection.  Sometimes I feel sorry for the shells I don't pick.  I'm sorry dudes, but I do have my favorites.  And, some of you shells don't photograph well.  

My inspiration started when I was young, but it was my hurricane and birthday trip that really got the design idea rolling.  Please stay tuned, my initial swatches for my first collection should be arriving any day and I can't wait to share them with you and get them to market!  

For those of you who may not be familiar with some of the shells along our coast, here are a few of my favorites with a picture so now you too can be a huge dork and comb the beach and gather shells.

Chinaman's Hat:

Coral (there are so many different ways to find coral - I love that I found a heart):

Coney's (I renamed the shell from ice cream cones):

Key Shells (technically they are "Lettered Olives" and the SC State Shell, but that's not what we (my family) calls them):

Sea Urchins:


Please check back and follow my blog.  I'll mix in some funny anecdotes with my progress.  I'm always doing something embarrassing that makes people laugh.  

Happy Shelling!

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