Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scarborough Seashells Giveaway


First of all I'd like to thank each and every one of my followers and readers for all of your wonderful support!  And  thank you so much for all of the kind comments and encouraging emails I received about my great day yesterday!!!  I really do appreciate each and every comment and email, and even if I don't get to respond to each one, please know that I do read and enjoy every last word!

So it's been a week or so since my last giveaway, and I know how you bloggy friends love a good giveaway!  So, along with a wonderful artist profile, you'll have a chance to win something too!

This month's artist profile is of a very talented jewelry artist, Tara of Scarborough Seashells!  Tara and I met very early on through blogging, and as soon as I saw the lovely things for sale on her website I immediately knew I wanted to feature her work.  Not only is Tara a super talented jewelry designer, but she is also a terrific person!

Tara's unique pieces have everything I look for in a great piece of jewelry...simplicity, one of a kind beauty, and of course a beach theme.  A true artisan, Tara skillfully incorporates seashells, sea glass, and bits of pottery found along the coast into each of her gorgeous handmade pieces of jewelry.  Along with Tara's beautiful jewelry, on her website you'll find lots of other great handmade items inspired by the beach, such as sea glass wine charms, seashell encrusted mirrors, and other home decor.  And even her logo is cool and beachy, so what's not to love!

I was able to interview Tara recently and ask her a few questions about how she started her business and what inspires her as an artist.  Below you'll find her answers along with photos of some of the breathtaking pieces of jewelry she has for sale. And you won't want to miss the beautiful earrings Tara and Scarborough Seashells, who is also a sponsor, has graciously donated as a Giveaway, so be sure to read all the way to the end of the post to find how how you can enter to win!






How long have you been designing and making sea inspired jewelry and home accessories?

I started in 2003- when I learned I was pregnant with my second son, Aidan.  I worked in a very physical field and had to go out on leave for the duration of the pregnancy.  We lived on the beach, so I took up walking in the mornings and had soon amassed huge containers of rocks, sea glass, shells etc.  After a few months of looking at piles and bowls and baskets overflowing around the house, I decided I should do something productive with all my finds and as an added bonus, make a little extra money.  That’s when Scarborough Seashells was born!






I love how you incorporate sea glass and pottery shards into your jewelry pieces, where do you find the sea glass and pottery pieces that you use?  

My first and favorite beach will always be Scarborough Beach in Narragansett, RI where we live, but over the years my family and I have found lots of great little nooks hidden away along the RI coastline.  Many we get to by the good grace of friends who allow us to “trespass” their properties to make it down to the rocky shores where there is no public access, some are only accessible at low tide and others we’ve come across by accident while clamming for our dinner!  I am so fortunate to live in the Ocean State where there is coast all around me.  I love taking day trips with my husband and discovering new beaches to hunt for glass!




Do you have a studio in your home where you make your wonderful creations?

I do.  One of the requirements when we bought our house last summer was a studio space for me to work in.  If I were not so embarrassed of the mess, I’d show it to you!  I am creative, not tidy.  Lots of times I have multiple projects going at once and am fortunate enough to have the space to accommodate them, so to visitors, it often looks like piles of junk everywhere and a mishmash of boxes, bins and tools- but I assure you I know where everything is and it does get cleaned up periodically!  One of my favorite things in my studio is a shelf that my father and grandfather made for my mother’s kitchen when I was growing up.  It holds all of my most precious pieces of sea glass and pottery in perfect little rows of canning jars, all sorted by color and size.  Sometimes when I am struggling for inspiration I will grab the jars and dump a few of them out onto my workbench and just start playing around with the pieces and  before I know it, I’ve made two or three things!




Do you have a favorite type of jewelry that you enjoy making more than others?

I think my favorite things to make are rings.  When I was learning to solder, the first thing I successfully made was a sterling silver ring, and I was hooked.  I love hammering the metal, shaping the bezels and fitting the stones.  Soldering and bezel setting is very hands-on in its basic form and I get a lot of joy knowing that the finished pieces were formed with little more than a few rudimentary tools and my own two hands.  (Although I admit that the thrill of wielding a torch capable of temperatures in excess of 1500 degrees F is pretty cool too!)





I noticed from your website that you use mostly sterling silver and that you often incorporate wire wrapping on some of your pieces, is this something that you trained yourself to do and why do you prefer working with silver rather than other metals?

Wire wrapping is something I taught myself to do (and boy, do I have some BAD beginner pieces to prove it, lol!)  When I was starting out, I browsed around on the web looking for jewelry designs I liked to use as inspiration, then I tried to figure out how they were made- which is still something I do to this day!  Whenever I have the opportunity to look at any wire wrapped jewelry in person, I zoom in to find the end piece of wire, then trace it backwards with my eyes (like doing a maze in reverse) and make an image in my head of how it’s done.  It’s very interesting to me to study the styles of different artists.  The variety is amazing!
 

Honestly, the main reason I use sterling silver is because it is my own preference for jewelry.  The only piece of gold I wear is my wedding ring.  That being said, sterling is also much more affordable than gold when learning, so mistakes are less costly.  I wish I had a more romantic answer for you!






You have so many wonderful things for sale on your website, from shell encrusted picture frames to wine glass charms, do you make everything that is for sale on your website?

I make all of the jewelry on my website but some of the home décor pieces are by other artists.  Being a mom to 3 active boys ranging in age from 4-13, I just don’t have enough time in the day to create all the gorgeous stuff I dream of making!





Where do you find inspiration? 

Most of my ideas come to me while I am walking on the beach.  It is generally the only time during the day that I am alone and not required to talk, cook, mend or care for anyone but myself.  Many times my mind wanders from random thought to random thought and something as simple as a squiggly piece of seaweed that tangles on my shoe can jar me from those thoughts and become instant inspiration for a new design.





What is your favorite part about making jewelry?

Wow, this is really hard.  I have started to answer this questions 3 times and each time erased it because it didn’t quite capture what I want to say!  I guess I just love knowing that I have taken something discarded by so many and found the beauty in it. 





Tara has offered these gorgeous sterling silver and blue pottery shard earrings to one lucky winner!  I love these, and they remind me of what the sky can sometimes look like when you're out on a boat as nighttime approaches, I can almost see a few twinkling stars can't you?!  Thank you Tara for this wonderful giveaway!


So, in order to be entered to win you'll need to:

1.  Kindly visit Scarborough Seashells Website HERE and then come back and leave a comment telling me what wonderful things you found.


2.  For a second chance to win, you can let others know about the giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, or by posting about it on your blog.  Just be sure to come back and leave another comment letting me know that you've done one of those.


3.  And for a third chance to win, leave yet another SEPARATE comment, letting me know that you are a follower.  I've tried to find a way to assign numbers to each follower so that you wouldn't have to do this, but I've yet to figure that out, so you'll need to leave me another comment letting me know if you become, or already are, a follower. 


The Giveaway will be open until Midnight, PST, Monday April 12th.  Be sure to check back on Tuesday, April 13th when the winner will be announced.



72 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the interview and hosting the giveaway. It was very interesting learning about the creation of these lovely pieces. I visited Scarborough Seashells and really like the Sea Glass Suncatchers, especially the Aqua and Seafoam Green ones. Also the Sterling Silver and Genuine Seaglass Cuff Bracelets, #1, 2 or 3!

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  2. Kat..
    #3..
    am a DEVOTED follower of lowtidehighstyle..
    love the blog and it's myriad of delightful topics! If I still lived in Maryland, I feel we would be the best of friends because we are kindred souls!
    warmest hugs, laughing smiles!
    Loui♥
    now off to vist Tara

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  3. K~
    having just visited Scarborough Shells..
    am just blown away..
    the variety of items..
    that's colors,materials and designs..
    mindblowing!
    personally..
    i LOVE the cobalt blue earrings..
    the lime and blue seaglass bracelet..
    the wine pendants,
    and of course all the Christmas ornaments!
    Thanks for the opportunity to WIN one!
    Loui♥

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  4. I had a look on this webiste and was amazed by how many different products there are. I thought it would be just jewelry. Love the beach glass treasures and those mirrors!

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  5. Giveway announcement on my sidebar.

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  6. Kat..
    Posted on my site..
    Another WONDERFUL Giveaway!
    I want to win those gorgeous earrings!
    thanks to both you and Tara for the giveaway!
    hugs and smiles..
    Loui♥

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  7. Oh my gosh, I am in love with Scarborough Seashells! They have so many wonderful items! I love the Cobalt Blue Sea Glass Suncatcher, the Hand Painted Wine Glasses Set of 4 - Scarborough and the Sea Glass Wine Charms - Brown.

    ~ Tracy

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  8. I posted about the giveaway on my sidebar!

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  9. I love, love the cobalt and green bracelet. There are lots of goodies on her website.

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  10. I think that the Genuine Sea Glass & Rosewood Hair Sticks Cobalt are absolutely beautiful.

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  11. I have visited Scarborough Seashells many, many times becasue I just love her seaglass jewelry. I am especially fond of the amber and white seaglass bracelet. I really hopeI win this giveaway...thanks for sharing!

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  12. I am a follower! The color of these earrings is so pretty.

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  13. So many pretty things. Love the bangle style sea glass bracelets.

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  14. Oh, I love the Aqua Sea Glass Earrings. Everything is so pretty!

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  15. What a great interview - and such inspiring work! I especially love the new treasures you create from found bits of pottery. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  16. Found you through Lou of Mountain Mermaid and just became a follower.

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  17. Well, I went visiting and went straight over to the bracelet because I love bracelet. My favorites were the sea-beach pottery bracelets A. What a GREAT!!! site and have to go back and do some more looking.
    Geri

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  18. Just visited Scarborough Seashells and found so many beautiful things, especially the seashell bracelets. I'm now living in Florida, and the best thing I found was a fellow Rhode Islander. I can't tell you how excited I was to read your interview and discover that Tara was living on Scarborough Beach, a place I have so many memories of. Blogging brings you so many connections doesn't it. Thank you.

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  19. I like the sea glass bracelets. Thanks for sharing

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  20. Tara's creations are so lovely. I love the pendants and rings with the silver bezels, as well as the white shells. Love this look. It's so interesting to learn the beginnnings of her business began with the collections she amassed while strolling along the shore. Thanks for the chance to win those gorgeous earrings! ~Lili

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  21. Well, I'm stuck on the jewelry..I love the blue earrings that are featured in your blog, but also wouldn't mind the pink mother of pearl earrings either. I really have been looking for a nice pink set. Then I also really liked the Sterling Silver Turquoise Basket weave bracelet. I love Sterling silver and stones! Very nice site!

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  22. I shared this link on my facebook immediately!

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  23. Thirdly, I hope you already know I am a follower, you are one of the firsts I started following! Love your style!

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  24. Love those sea glass cuff bracelets and the pottery shard bracelets. Just beautiful!

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  25. I've visited and love so much! The seaglass earrings and the pendants and the holiday decorations. Thanks for this opportunity.

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  26. Hi Kat- wonderful site- I have my eye on a few pieces there! I'd love to win these- they do look like the sky- lovely!

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  27. I've posted about this on my sidebar!

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  28. I adore the seaglass bracelets but my favorite are the pottery shard bangle bracelets. Simply beautiful, and timeless.

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  29. I am a follower now as well :)

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  30. Kat what a fabulous interview with Tara! I love her work and have just visited the website! Wow, so many gorgeous things. I loved the blue seaglass Xmas Angel ornament and the pottery shard bagle style B - ok I pretty much loved it all:) Thank you Kat for this gorgeous Scarborough Shells giveaway, it is gorgeous. Hope you are having a fabulous week ~ Tina xx

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  31. As you already know I am a follower of your gorgeous blog Kat ~ Tina xx

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  32. Entry #3 - I have posted your gorgeous giveaway on my sidebar. Thanks again Kat ~ Tina xx

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  33. I love the rings she does...well I love everything but I just saw the rings. Tara your killing me

    Tracy

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  34. hi-great post! i loved hearing her story.
    i visited her shop and fell in love with so many things, but my faves are the shells with the silver bezels-how she scalloped the silver to match the shell...
    i also loved the pottery shards-she does great work!

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  35. i'm already a follower of yours, as well as a facebook fan. i just joined your twitter group as well!

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  36. AND, I'm off now to blog about you and your give-away on my Urban Artifaks.blogger blog as well as on my facebook.
    i would LOVE to win those earrings, they are beautiful!

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  37. I love the beach and collecting shells so I loved the shell bracelets. I also love blue and really liked the cobalt blue pieces of earrings and bracelets.

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  38. I am also a follower of your blog!

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  39. I love almost everything I see - just gorgeous - but my favourite is the Cobalt Blue Sea Glass Bangle-Style Bracelet. What a lovely giveaway - thanks Kat!

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  40. I went over to the Scarborough site, and I saw a pendant that probably has my name on it! I'm off to get my credit card. :)

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  41. Amazing sea glass items, love the bookmarks - what a great idea! (This is coming from a librarian:)

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  42. Everything is beautiful at Scarborough site. Love the Genuine Seashell Sterling Silver Necklace.

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  43. I went to her site and nearly didn't come back here.
    I love the bags with small painted shells, the notebooks...everything!
    And this:
    http://www.scarboroughseashells.com/servlet/the-89/Genuine-Seashell-Coral-Earrings/Detail

    Which gives me the feeling of summer rightaway.

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  44. Twittered/tweeted: http://twitter.com/Laanetweets/statuses/2147483647

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  45. I LOVE the tiny bezel set seashell earrings!! So simple and elegant!

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  46. I'm also a follower - love your blog!

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  47. I tweeted about it, but have no idea how to find the link to that to show it.
    My twitter is scrapityanne

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  48. I love those earrings and everything else! She has some pretty sea glass angel ornaments on her site! She is an amazing talent. I follow and will blog about this giveaway. Hugs Anne

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  49. I blogged about your giveaway at http://annesphamily.blogspot.com/

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  50. I love sea glass...I have only found a few pieces in my life! The cobalt blue earrings are my favorite.
    ~Nancy

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  51. Oh my, how lovely are Tara's creations. I love her jewellery but the one that has caught my eye is the Black Sea Glass Pendant. xx

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  52. Hi Kat, I have just written about your giveaway on my blog here:
    http://mccarthydesigns.blogspot.com/2010/04/monday-catchup.html

    Thank you for the opportunity to win such a lovely prize! xx

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  53. Oh my, such pretty artworks! Love love that color shade blue! The Genuine Beach Combed Pottery Shard Bangle Style Bracelet C, is my absolute favorite. I mean, look at that color!!
    Do enjoy your gorgeous Giveaway, Kat!

    Have a happy Monday and a wonderful new week. xoxo

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  54. I love the Scarborough Seashells site - where do I start? The Abalone coasters, seashell note cards, wine charms or the turquoise capize shell chandelier, plus the beautiful jewerly and suncatchers -- all good stuff. I'm thrilled to be entered in the drawing for those lovely earrings!!
    Brenda Foehrkolb

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