My Motivation for Cleaning Shells - Simon Pearce

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Most of the time I love cleaning the shells that I find.  What makes it difficult right now?  The fact that winter won't seem to leave.  It's cold outside, and that takes away from the joy a little bit. 

Cleaning the loot

Most of the sea urchins I found were ripped from their homes.  And, they all took a beating.  Some cracked in half as I started the cleaning process.  Every time a sea urchin or sand dollar is broken, my heart breaks a little bit.

Battered, still intact, (and still gorgeous) Sea Urchin
These sand dollars are the ones I found in Kiawah.  They were also ripped from their beds by the severe current and new moon, so they needed a lot of sun bathing to get to their pristine whiteness. 

Sun Bathing Sand Dollars
So, you wonder, where my motivation for this labor intensive task came from?  This insanely awesome Simon Pearce Lamp that was a wedding gift from one of my favorite people.  You can see why.  And who would put lemons in a lamp when you have shells? 

Nantucket Lamp by Simon Pearce
I can't wait to get these babies all cleaned up for their new home.  The lamp can't wait either.  I think I'm the most impatient of all the inanimate objects I just gave feelings to.  :)


I'm dreaming of Sea Fans

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Two days ago I posted some pictures of the sea urchins I found at Cape Fear Point on Bald Head Island.  At the end of the post, I snuck in a picture of a sea fan I also found.  I was dumbfounded when I found the beauty.  Many of the "fans" or what looks like a sea fan, are actually made up of a spongy material.  And as this material drys out, it turns brown, and it stinks.  It stinks almost permanently.

Spongy Sea Fan (no idea what it's actual name is).
I like the smell of low tide, but I think I am the only person.

Bald Head Island Sea Fan Loot

When I found this sea fan, I was overjoyed, because it is not the same specimen.  The fan part is firm, and keeps it's color.  I have dreams of putting it in a shadow box and looking at it everyday.  Since I don't feel like motivating to go by a shadow box today, I instead decided to make a design with it in mind. 

Sea Fan Design

What do you think?  Not only would this be great fabric for a scarf, but also perfect bathroom wallpaper.

If you find yourself wanting this design in any capacity, please contact me and we can order it, and even customize if you wish.  Email me at, and as always check out my other designs at


Kiawah Island - a sheller's paradise

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Three weeks ago, my best friend Eliza had her bachelorette weekend at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.  I had never been before this trip.  I know it's hard to believe, but when you grow up on an island, you really have no reason to leave.  Not only are Eliza's friends lovely, and hysterical, but I was also treated with some of the best shelling of my life.  It's also a good lesson to keep in mind - sometimes you don't have to go far to find your next treasure.

If you are visiting Kiawah, or frequent the island and have never shelled via bike, that you rent one for your shelling adventure.  The best shells are north, and the point was pushing up sand dollars left and right.  Pushing up so many that I couldn't pick them all up.  Also, bring a bucket, and if you have the option of a basket for your bike, choose that option.

Great Tun (I almost started crying when I found it) and sand dollar.

Holy Sand Dollars!  I love the flat ones in the background.

Kiener Whelk at the point at the north end of Kiawah Island.

Wonder what is hiding under the sand washed over them?

Gorgeous Kiawah Sand Dollars!
One of many treasures going home with me.
 I would love to hear about what you find on Kiawah Island.  I can't wait to go back!


Not so scary - Sea Urchins washing up on Cape Fear

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's no secret I love Bald Head Island.  But, it's not the most welcoming place when it's 37 degrees and raining.  The silver lining:  the shells that wash up during these cold storms.  Somehow I know, the more mean the weather, the more fruitful the shelling.  And, thankfully, I was correct.  Not only have the sea urchins been washing up in mounds, I also have a bit of color from the severe wind gusts.  Check out some of the pictures I captured.

South Beach Sea Urchin

Gorgeous East Beach Treasures

Old Baldy

Hide and Seek!

Treasures mixed with good storm gunk; gunk, technical term, usually brings goodies!


Baby Starfish.  I threw him back; hope he made it!

Doesn't this Sea Fan look fake?

I will post more pictures later when I can; after I clean the 104 sea urchins I found.  So excited to stock up.  Now I have more to give away!


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