Sharks Teeth

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When I was young, I remember sitting for hours on North Lumina carving sharks teeth out of the gravel.  I loved it.  But, I have never been one to find sharks teeth on the beach.  My theory behind it is that I didn't want to take the time to train my eyes to look for them.  They were so trained on sand dollars, sea urchins, scallops...etc; colorful shells that seemed to jump into my vision.

Yesterday, I decided to change that.  Not on purpose though.  I was pumped for a full moon low tide, but living on Ocean Drive in North Myrtle Beach doesn't really present itself as an ideal shelling spot in the heart of the summer.  There were so many people on the beach.

Ocean Drive Beach, SC

I ran into this character as I was walking north - he maybe 6 teeth and a tattoo on his left shoulder that said "MAD DOG".  We started chatting about shark's teeth.  He found a huge white great white shark tooth near the Cherry Grove pier.  He gave me a couple of the shark's teeth he found, and I then decided that I wanted to be like Mad Dog and be able to find sharks teeth too!  It took a while to get in the groove.  That must be why too, my back is killing me this morning.  You really have to get down on the sand and look.  And, some of the sharks teeth may not be sharks teeth, which can make the search frustrating.  But, I did find a few that without a doubt are from that terror of an animal we all fear at some point swimming in the ocean.

Mako Shark Tooth (I think).

I took multiple pictures of the following Great White Shark Tooth - I am mildly obsessed with it.  Even though it's from a Great White, it is quite small.

Great White Shark Tooth.

The tip of the tooth is dented.  Wonder what caused that?

Back of the tooth - look at the ridges along the sides.  Cool!

Various Sharks Teeth

That was fun.  Can't wait to find more.  Just what I need - another thing to hoard.  


Margaret Turner Designs - Watercolors

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Being around other artists is inspiring and creative.  This past weekend at the F8 Artist Show, Barbara Jamison ( Barbara Jamison Fine Art) was kind enough to help me come to terms with the fact that I can actually sketch and paint.  Apparently, those of us artists who are good at math, are supposed to be good at watercolor.  Barbara brought some of her supplies and coached me through the process while giving me great pointers on watercolor technique throughout the weekend.

I decided to stay within my scope, and paint my shells.  My first was the speckled crab.  Since it's flat and only two colors, I reasoned that it would most definitely be the simplest.  I forgot about all the specks, so I just did some here and there.

Crab watercolor on crab scarf.
Not only does it look decent, I have to tell you - I love it!  So, I did a couple more.  On top of that, it also happened to be my Mimi's birthday and my brother's birthday so I had unique gifts for both of them.  My brother loves to hunt (crab), and I learned my love for shelling from my grandmother, so she got the sea urchin watercolor:

Sea urchin watercolor.

Horseshoe crab watercolor may need some help.

I will post more watercolors when I finish them my website (Margaret Turner Designs Watercolors) so please check there for updates.


Figure 8 Island Art and Shopping Splash

Monday, July 22, 2013

This past weekend I had the pleasure of participating in an artists show on Figure Eight Island, NC.  It is almost comforting to spend time around other artists.  And, lets be honest - who doesn't like to work on an island?  There was inspiration everywhere.  It was the second annual Splash Show on Figure Eight Island, and for the artists around my table and I, it was a successful one.

Great table real estate for my scarves and designs.

Tags for scarves inspired by Bald Head Island Ferry tags.
Great weekend to shop, and capture storm photographs.

I also learned how to watercolor; I'll devote a complete post to that tomorrow.  I posted some new pictures on my website, including the watercolors.  Check them out (Scarf ShotsShell ShotsMargaret's Watercolors)!

I was so impressed with the show and the artists and vendors, I thought I would also introduce you to a few (that is, if you don't already know them).

B. Bear Jamison - Fine Art

Barbara Jamison's art is incredible.  Inspired by the coast, you can imagine why I love everything she does.  I am mildly obsessed with the following marsh painting - doesn't it make you want to go hunting and gathering? You can view more of her art on Fine Art America here.

Marsh at Boat Ramp by Barbara Jamison

Gabrielle Jewelry

Gabrielle Jewelry (website here) was also in attendance.  Gabe Bratton is an artist from Raleigh, NC and I was equally impressed with her artistic jewelry as well as her process:

"Her pieces combine historical fashion with contemporary style. One of her specialties is the lost wax casting process, where she integrates traditional clothing adornments into modern pieces of jewelry, preserving the original design by replacing it with metal. To maintain the detail and intricacy of the material, the fibers are dipped in wax, manipulated and lastly re-contextualized into metal to solidify the detail. The transfer of materials completely changes the fabrics weight and feel. The delicately patterned layers become transformed revoking the fragility, while retaining the soft romantic pretense of the original form. The vulnerability of the lace is lost, but the intricacy of the design is captured and formalized into an elegant, one of a kind piece. Gabe also works with semiprecious stones in a variety of colors, styles and designs. Her pieces are unique, delicate and the perfect blend of masculine and feminine concepts."

Gabrielle Jewelry Floral Cuff

Please do yourself a favor and check out her site.

The Type Writer

Whitney Simms has beautiful handwriting.  I guess she would have to if she is in the calligraphy business.    

Isn't that the truth!




She has different calligraphy styles you can view along with a complete portfolio here.


Kenzania, an American woman run business, was conceived by Margie Springer after a misson trip to Tanzania.  The name is a mix of Kenya and Tanzania where the line is produced.  It is sold exclusively online (here) and through boutique shows.

"Kenzania is devoted to helping provide employment opportunities for sewers and craftsmen in Kenya and Tanzania. A portion of our proceeds will be returned to these communities. We are an American, woman-owned apparel and accessory company. Our products are sewn in “cottage” industries in either Kenya or Tanzania and constructed with Kitenge and Khanga fabric traditionally worn by women in East Africa.  Your purchase from Kenzania will help to change and improve lives in East Africa!"

Zanzibar Tote

Moyo Bath Robe

Shell quiz: what is that shell?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yesterday I found some gems!  Some baby gems.  Some days finding these smaller shells really make shelling feel like a treasure hunt.  I thought it would be fun to test our knowledge, and maybe introduce you to a shell you have never seen before...or perhaps one you have found, but haven't been able to figure out it's name.  This happens to me a lot.  Which is one of the many reasons I love to shell - figuring out another thing I can collect and horde in my already limited living space.  See if you get these right - I'll include a little bit of info on each one as I list the names of the above numbered shells.  

1.  Channeled whelk - this is a baby one and only 3/4".  I rarely find these very large, but each find is beautiful.  Their colors can be yellow or gray on the outside with yellow, orange, and violet on the interior and horny ridges around each channel aperture (the coiling of the whelk).  Channeled whelks live in shallow offshore waters and deeper areas of sounds and inlets.  

2.  Atlantic oyster drill - this specific shell I found isn't even 1/2", and most remain below 1 1/2"s.  These shells live in sounds and inlets and are commonly found.  This species is a major oyster predator, although its effect on the North Carolina industry is less devastating than in Northern states.  However, they prefer barnacles and also prey on crabs.  

3.  Florida wormsnail - as you can see this shell has a tightly coiled shell.  Many times you can find multiple wormsnails attached to each other creating a large mass.  They filter their food through the coils.

4.  Keyhole Limpet - I call these shells Chinaman's Hats.  I love the look off these shells, and they remain one of my favorite shells to find.  It attaches itself to rocks with it's powerful foot and feeds off algae.  Because of the jetty at Masonboro Inlet, you can find these often on Masonboro Island in a range of lovely colors.

5.  Angulate wentletrap - these have strong and pronounced ribs, and are found infrequently.  These shells are carnivores, and forge themselves in sand for sea anemones and tears tissue with their jaws.  

6.  Star coral -  one of my favorite shells to collect.  Because of the nature of coral, you can find star coral in all different shapes.  I also find coral growing on pieces of shells that wash up on the beach and sounds.

7.  Shark eye - Smooth circular shell with a small spire.  Gets it's name by the prominent eye in the spire's center.  This shell is also a carnivore burrowing in sand to find it's prey.  Commonly found on North and South Carolina beaches.  I find loads of these in Ocean Drive, although it's one of my least favorite shells.  I think it looks like a boob.

8.  Lettered Olive - I call it a Key Shell.  It is South Carolina's state shell, and for good reason.  I find them all the time in Ocean Drive, and never tire of finding these gems!  These shells are also carnivores and feed on bivalves and small crustaceans.

If you can, get out on the beaches today at low tide, and bring a ziploc.  These small gems are out there right now!  Low tide at Ocean Drive Beach (and North Myrtle Beach) is at 8:21 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.  If you are on Wrightsville Beach, Masonboro Inlet tide is low tonight at 9:15 p.m. and tomorrow at 9:25 a.m.  Happy Shelling!


Hunting and Gathering : Masonboro Island

Monday, July 15, 2013

What a fun couple of days hunting and gathering. It was one of those weekends when low tide happened twice a day. I was able to shell in the morning, and take my niece and nephew crabbing in the late afternoon.  Here are some highlights (I didn't get any pictures crabbing because of the muddy conditions).

Masonboro Island marsh.

First finds.

Sea Urchin and dead crab in background.

Whelk egg case on left; horse conk egg casing on right. 

Key and coral.

Sand dollar found on beach side of Masonboro.

Monday morning finds.

I love our Jones Bros.

It was a lovely as it looks.


Photo Shoot: Ocean Drive

Friday, July 12, 2013

Is it weird that I like to photograph the scarves I design?  Granted I use them for marketing purposes, but it seriously gives me great joy trying to capture the scarf in the perfect wind and the perfect light.  My bf and I headed over the the Horseshoe at OD (Ocean Drive) to watch the Thursday Night band and to grab a Budweiser at the OD Pavilion.  (For those of you not familiar with the OD Pavilion, this is the place where they filmed the shaggin' contest in Shag - one of my all time favorite films, although the history of this place runs much deeper than a lovely chick flick:  OD Pavilion history).

I brought along a few scarves to try and get some new pictures.

Working with the talent.

Starfish - back where he came from.  Just a couple beaches south.

Mingling with the Sea Oats.

I see stars and horseshoe crabs.

Using the flash - the light only touched the bottom of the Horseshoe Crab Scarf.

Quite windy.

Enjoying the OD rides.

As always you can purchase any of these scarves by clicking on the ones you are interested in below:

I wanted to continue the photo shoot this morning, but it is storming.  Hoping this storm will wash up some gems for a fun afternoon shell.


Shell Wine Glasses

Thursday, July 11, 2013

As I was combing through the website that is Pinterest, I came across these lovely shell wine glasses by Joss & Main.  And, duh - I have to have them.  Not that I need to, but lets analyze this very quickly.  It's a wine glass.  Yes, a wine glass.  There aren't many things I like more than red wine...but one of those things happens to be shells.  And, now here we have wine glasses with shells on them.  Obviously, the only thing missing is, well, the wine.  i. am. in. love.

You can get your set online at Joss & Main here.  They are also on sale!

Cheers.  Literally.

Exploring islands over the fourth...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Without actually planning it, I went on vacation over the 4th.  It was so nice to wake up at the beach, read on the porch, and explore islands I love.  It began on Ocean Drive, then some spill islands at Wrightsville Beach, and plenty of time on Masonboro Island.  Perhaps the highlight was witnessing a beached dolphin on the ocean side of Masonboro being rescued and successfully walked in a tarp back out to his home.  

Run loot!

Sea Urchin 1

Sea Urchin 2

Sea Urchin 3 - and with a key hole no less...

Dolphin being cared for before being successfully released.  It's amazing how large these awesome mammals are...

Masonboro Island - aren't we lucky to have barrier islands?! 
I hope you all had a happy fourth!  Here's to the rest of the summer crawling by!


Wedge Piddock

Monday, July 8, 2013

After Tropical Storm Andrea, I found a shell that I have never found before.  I tried going online to discover what this strange bivalve was, but not until I located my book, Seashells of North Carolina, did I identify these strange shells as wedge piddocks, also called a wedge-shaped martesia.

Wedge Piddocks are small boring clams that live burrowed in submerged driftwood.

Or, maybe a submerged old boat sponge.

They are a little bit on the creepy side when you find them alive.  Here, attached to a piece of Styrofoam...

I recommend having a shell book of your own.  The image of the book below is the book I own, and if you live in North Carolina or surrounding state beaches, it will prove beneficial.  You can get your copy here.

Glad the mystery is solved.  Happy Shelling!


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