Archive for October, 2008

Tourist Spots of New York City

October 30, 2008

Last week I went to New York — for work and a little play.

I brought my boyfriend Craig (I feel old to say “boyfriend” but what else do you say?) who had never been before.  He got to see first hand the complete joy I experience from a few days in the big city!  I love the hustle and bustle and history.  Perhaps I’ll go there for a few months but at this point, it’s once or twice a year, for a few days, mostly working.

I thought I’d share some photos and highlights from our trip.

This picture was taken on the ferry boat that goes from Battery Park to “Liberty Island” and then “Ellis Island”.  If the weather is good the views are spectacular.  Plan on 4-6 hours to see everything, including lines to get on the Ferry. 🙂

Times Square by day… see all the yellow cabs?  That is why I don’t drive in the city — crazy! But if you are flexible and want to see a Broadway or Off-Broadway Show, don’t miss the newly renovated TKTS booth in the middle of Times Square for 1/2 price tickets.  Click here for more info. We saw Mary Poppins which was AMAZING — worth going just to see the sets — a man in line to get tickets told me they spent $8 million on it — I believe it!

And another skyline — this one taken out a window in the Ellis Island Immigration Building.  The movie is worth seeing to understand what people went through to immigrate to the U.S. at the turn of the 20th Century.  It puts flying cross country in perspective — I may not complain about leg room again!  (OK, I probably will, but compared to how they traveled in the hull of ships, maybe I shouldn’t.)

If you are in New York and the sun is shining — the views from the top of the Empire State Building are amazing!  This is obviously looking up and looking down.  I love how you can see the “tip” of Manhatten.

We went to the Financial District and had a little “Chat” with the Bull — asking him to PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! come back to the market!

This picture is taken at Ground Zero — the Twin Towers would have been behind me.  I have been here 3 times since 9/11 — each time very different.  They have opened a Memorial Museum that is well worth a visit — tissues are throughout the exhibit and boy are they needed!  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Lots of personal stories, an airplane window, twisted metal, shoes, wallets… very moving.  Downstairs there is a wall where you can write your personal impressions, experiences, etc. and read what others had to say.

In closing, I will show you a picture of what I believe is the most beautiful Home Depot buildings in the U.S.  It looks more like an embassy than a hardware store so I just had to take a picture.

Have a wonderful day!

~ Tara


Scarlett O’Hara: Manipulative Vixen or Misunderstood?

October 28, 2008

About 2 years ago, I got to thinking a little more about dear Scarlett and it hit me: I want to BE a modern day Scarlett O’Hara.

I made this proclamation to a friend who is a therapist and she told me I better have a good explanation or she’d be putting me in therapy twice a week, and pronto!

Although many profess to be fans of the epic saga “Gone With The Wind”, digging deeper it is hard to find any true Scarlett fans.  Like many strong, modern day women, Scarlett O’Hara is misunderstood.

While watching the movie with my boyfriend, he could barely sit through it.  He found Scarlett to be ‘evil personified’ – everything he finds unattractive in a woman.  He too, was concerned when I told him of my desire to be a modern day Scarlett.

Don’t get me wrong, her moral compass was in need of repair.  Her “fiddle-dee-dee’s”  eyelash batting and the whole “I’ll worry about that tomorrow” could be a bit much.

But Scarlett O’Hara was a woman who knew how to succeed in the environment she lived in, and what woman doesn’t want that? (Or man for that matter)

Here are the top 5 reasons I want to be a modern day Scarlett O’Hara.
(And I don’t even include how great she looked in evening wear!)

1.    Scarlett Knew How to Read and Relate to Her Audience

If you watch the movie again, see how good she is at presenting herself to get what she wants from the people around her.  With her keen sense of human behavior, she knows to play “Daddy’s Little Girl” with her father.  She should get an Oscar for her ability to play the “Damsel in Distress”.   While she acted innocent and in need of protection with most men, she knew that the way to get Rhett Butler’s attention was to let her spoiled little girl side and temper show.  Remember when she wanted to be in Atlanta to see Ashley?  How well she played the role of dutiful niece to Aunt Pittypatt.

2.    Scarlett was an Agent For Change

Scarlett O’Hara didn’t blindly accept the norms of her time.  Throughout the movie we see her bucking the system.  She doesn’t see why the women have to nap during the barbeque. She wants to eat and enjoys food, in spite of constant reprimands by Mammy.  She wants to run a business, own property, be in charge of her own destiny – not simply sit and look pretty while being taken care of by a man.

3.    Scarlett Had Amazing Strength When She Needed It

How many women can go from “Damsel in Distress” to helping men who are wounded in a war with the blink of an eye? When Atlanta is being bombed, Melanie is giving birth and Miss Prissy is completely losing it, Scarlett takes firm control of the situation and keeps everyone safe in spite of huge obstacles.  (Like bombs, fire and stampeding mobs!)

4.    Scarlett Could Swallow her Pride & Get the Job Done

It isn’t easy to stand tall when you haven’t made the best choices, or when you must admit you need help—especially for a strong-willed gal like Scarlett.  When the plantation is in shambles and her sister’s are falling apart, Scarlett takes charge.  She organizes the family and works the land to grow food for their survival.

Scarlett makes a dress from curtains, trying to show Rhett Butler she is doing well when she needs his help. She holds her head high, with a stoic look on her face as she enters Melanie’s party wearing her red dress, ready to accept whatever consequence there will be for putting the men in danger.

5.    Scarlett was a Shrewd Business Woman

Women couldn’t own businesses in her day – so she found a man who could and who would let her run it.  It is unfortunate that this man happened to be her sister’s fiancé, but that does make for good movie drama.  Thankfully women don’t have to resort to stealing our sister or friend’s fiancé to own a business these days!

Through it all, Scarlett remained a woman with vulnerabilities and a very feminine side.  So I say keep your ‘fiddle-dee-dee’s’ and swooning to a minimum and channel your “inner Scarlett”.  Let the strong, self-assured woman inside shine!

Who doesn’t need a little of her spunk and tenacity these days????

~ Tara

P.S. You guessed it – I was named after the plantation, which I’m sure, at least in part, accounts for my love of the movie.

P.P.S.  Pictures are ©WarnerBrothers / MGM and the movie “Gone with the Wind”

If I had to get a “real job”…

October 28, 2008

I’d give Dennis the boot at Google and be in charge of the doodles! In fact, in honor of my recent visit to the New York offices of Google, I created my own Halloween Google Doodle and emailed it to Dennis — along with written permission to use it on Friday.  Fingers crossed!


I was fortunate enough to be able to eat and tour the offices since Craig’s friend works at Google. Of course, being the man that he is, Craig had no idea his friend worked for Google until we showed up — it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.  Here… enjoy the view with me… pretty spectacular huh? (That’s the Empire State Building, front and center)  The food was just as good… and a job perk, not a cash register in sight.

Did you know they have food stations every 50 feet in their offices?  Everything from espresso to M&M’s (someone labeled them “semi-food”) to organic nuts and tons of protein bars and oatmeal in between.

Ask anyone who knows me, I LOVE to go places not everyone can go… and Google is one.  Tight security!  No secrets will be revealed here… no siree! (I promised Doug… plus I didn’t see any.)

But I did see a bunch of Razor Scooters.  Google is in the very large Port Authority building so they have scooters throughout the halls– they don’t want their employees wasting time going to meetings so they provide the means to SCOOT around quickly.

If you work at Google and need a break –head to the game room.  There you can play ping pong, Dance, Dance, Revolution, Guitar Hero, and more.  There are massage chairs… not sure about hula hoops but I wouldn’t be surprised.  They pull out the stops for their people at Google.

SO… I just had to share!  It was fun!  If I ever get a real job, I want Dennis’.

Or better yet, if I ever move out of my home and have a larger studio space, I’m getting cement floors and Scooter Parking signs.  If you have to spend your day doing something, make sure it is fun!

Have a fun and creative day!

~ Tara

P.S.  To see the note from Dennis and an archive of his Google Doodles, click here

Happy Hanukkah! (early) Dishes coming soon!

October 26, 2008

I know! I know!  Halloween is next week… but you know retail, always a holiday or 2 ahead!

I just got back from the Tabletop Show in New York City (where all the manufacturers of dishes and things for the table, kitchen, etc) have a show twice a year to show retailers what wonderful new treasures they can stock on their shelves.

I got to see my Hanukkah plates that will be arriving in a Ross Dress for Less store near you… soon!  So if you observe the Celebration of Lights — head to your local store and check them out!

Have a wonderful day!

~ Tara

P.S.  If you need to find your local store, head here for their store locator:  Ross Stores

Personalized Paper Products featuring the art of Tara Reed is ready!

October 13, 2008

I am so pleased to announce a brand new licensee:

This online site provides a wide variety of products to personalize, all in the comfort of your own home. And with $6 flat rate shipping, you can order as much as you want without worrying about how much it will weigh.

More than 150 of my images are available for you to put on everything from note pads to note cards, address labels, stickers, clothing labels and more.  You pick the art, then decide what you want to say.  What a great way to thank a teacher or find something unique for dear Aunt Madge who has everything.  Everything put a notepad with cool art and her name on it that is!

Here is how it works:

1.  Head to the website.  This is the home page — it shows you the types of products and the different designers whose art is available.  I circled my logo at the bottom in case you missed it. 🙂

You can click on a logo and see all the designs from that artist, but every design doesn’t work on every product so you can’t really go anywhere from there.  It is a great way to see the variety of topics though.

2.  Click on a product under “Shop Products” and you will see what is available.  I clicked on Gift Tags and it gave me two choices. 

3. Select the product you are interested in. Now you see more detailed information, including pricing, about the item.  If you want to order this product, click on “Personalize this Product”.

4. You will have a list of all the images that can be chosen for this product.  You can click on any to see what they are, but assuming you want to see my art (shameless self-promotion, I know!), use the pull-down menu next to “Designers” and choose “Tara Reed”.

5.  Click on any of the images and it will show you what it looks like.  If you like it, click on “Next”.

6.  Now you choose the font, color and size.  The far right is where you personalize — for this product, you have up to 2 lines.  If you want to leave a line blank, you just put a space so they know you didn’t forget about it.

Get creative – use names, add a sentiment (“Happy Birthday”), etc.  It’s all about you!

7.  The final step is where they put it all together and you see what you have created before opening your wallet.  If you aren’t happy with the font, size, saying or color, simply click “Purchase or Edit” and make any changes.  (For some reason, even if you are happy, you have to go back a step and then click the gold “Purchase” tab at the top.  Don’t ask me, I did the art, not the web design.)

That’s it!

So head on over and start your holiday shopping early!

Have a creative day — Tara

Tara Reed’s art makes a SPLASH in Nutrition!

October 2, 2008

Attention parents and teachers alike!

There’s a new fish on the block and his name is Fred…

Fred saves his own tail (and the rest of him, too!) when he introduces his hungry fish-eating friends to tasty, healthy squash!  Just as Fred’s friends learn that squash is delicious and healthy, kids will be entertained too as they learn that trying new foods is not only good for you, but fun!

Written by the very talented and funny Duke Christoffersen, I was thrilled to be able to work with him to illustrate this iceberg adventure featuring a great group of animal friends.

The characters came to life in my studio and can now be used in classrooms and homes across the country.  For more information or to order online, head to the website –BOOK

There is a “Healthy Skills” poster available as well.  Click here for ordering information.  POSTER

This will be the first of many projects I do with Brainfood Garden — stay tuned for more!

Have a wonderful and healthy day!  ~ Tara