Archive for the ‘Inspiration & Ramblings’ Category

This blog has moved…

October 20, 2009

If you happen to have bookmarked this blog site, first let me say  THANK YOU!  I am flattered!

I have moved the blog to a WordPress.org blog (from this .com blog) – it gives me more flexibility and features and I finally found the time to get it done!  So from now on, you can find my blog here…

www.TaraReedDesignsBlog.com

Come on over!  – Tara

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Single Mom’s need inspiration too!

August 25, 2009

I don’t know how much of  “my story” you know but when I was just starting my business in art licensing, I ended up getting divorced.  Now if you have gotten divorced or know anyone who has had the displeasure of going through the experience you know that a person’s self-esteem is not at its high point.

I have talked to different people about the business of art licensing and how I got started and mentioned this “cross road” moment… do you keep trying in spite of the turmoil in your life (I had a 10 year old at the time as well!) or do you go the safe route and get a regular job?  I obviously decided to follow my passion and would love to help other women (or men) do the same.  Five years later I’m “through the fire” as I sometimes say and life is great.  It takes a lot of work but it can be done!

CarolynGableShow-blogPic

On August 13, 2009 I had the honor of being a guest on “The Carolyn Gable Show” – an internet radio show to encourage and empower single moms to live their dreams. Here is the official information about it from the website:

About the show:
A live, call in show focused on empowering single mothers to achieve their dreams. Get the word out to all your friends and family who are single moms!
Call the show at 877-474-3302, Listen at wsRadio.com

Show Info:
The challenges facing single mothers are diverse, and every day is different from the last. From time management to financial struggles to sharing custody while still being “mom”, Carolyn and her guest will help you overcome your specific challenges.

As a single mother of 7 children, ages 9 to 34, the CEO of New Age Transportation, founder of Expect A Miracle Foundation, Author, and Professional Speaker, she shares her life experiences on how to overcome the struggles of a single parent.

About the Host:
Carolyn’s rags to riches story seems impossible to believe. After graduating high school, she wandered as a beautician for a year until she settled as a waitress. Twelve years later and raising two children by herself, she took a risk that changed her life forever. Today, Carolyn is a single mother of 7, ages 9 to 34, and continues to manage a successful business career, philanthropy, motivational speaker, all while balancing the responsibilities of ‘mom’

Host Website: www.carolyngable.com

If you want to download and listen to the segment I participated in, CLICK HERE.  Share it with a friend who might need some inspiration.  See who the weekly guests are.  It’s a great show and maybe just what the doctor ordered!  Thank you again Carolyn, it was a pleasure to be able to talk with you and share my experience with you and your audience.

– Tara

7 Things You May Not Know about me…

March 29, 2009

There’s a wave pulsing through the blogs of entrepreneurs called “7 Things You Don’t Know About Me.” Dana at Nine Tomatoes tagged me and six other bloggers to reveal our hidden secrets. In turn, we keep it alive by bringing in the next wave, and you can see how it grows exponentially. Why not, I thought, and came up with a list of obscure things that only a few people know about me. It’s odd, as an artist, to step out into the light this way. But there’s freedom in exposure! Try it…

  1. I hate getting chain letters and chain emails and usually don’t forward them. But I always worry, just a little, that it will bring me bad luck. I’ve been tagged for this 7 things a few times now and figured it was a sign, I best start writing.
  2. My first job was serving ice cream in a Dairy Queen. I can still do the swirl on the soft serve just right!
  3. I spent my junior year of high school in Tours, France. Mais oui! Je parle français!
  4. I was Glinda the Good Witch in a Girl Scout camp version of the “Wizard of Oz” growing up. They cast me because everyone was being very cliquish and mean to each other and the counselors said I was the only one smiling and being nice. Perhaps they should have had me sing before making that decision — it wasn’t pretty! 🙂
  5. I never thought I would be able to draw as well as my dad — he does cartoons. I’m glad I tried and found my own style or my life would be very different today.
  6. I once went to bed at 7 pm because I was told I had to eat a fig or go to bed, I was 12, I opted for bed.
  7. I drive a Honda Accord and it “fits” me… practical, dependable and comfortable.

Anything you want to reveal???

The next wave of little known facts can be learned from these 7 random people:

David Billings, artist, Sparky Fire Pants, follow on Twitter

Cathy Perkins, TheWordPressWizard, follow on Twitter

Laura Bray, artist, Katy-Did Designs, follow on Twitter

Cherish Fleider, artist, Something to Cherish, follow on Twitter

Matthew Bookspan, M Group (Mac Organization KING!), follow on Twitter

Holli Conger, artist, A Girl Who Creates, follow on Twitter

Brenda B Bailey, ThetaHealing™ Master, Unlimited Possibilities 101, follow on Twitter

The rules are simple. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post. Simply share seven facts about yourself in the post. Tag seven people at the end of your post and let them know they’ve been tagged. And have fun!

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2008

Just a quick blog-note to wish everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas!

christmaspicI have been snowed and iced in my house in Portland, Oregon for 12 days now… not quite the “12 days of Christmas” I was anticipating, that is for sure.  But as I sit looking out my studio window, I remind myself that it can’t last forever (can it?) and to enjoy the beauty of the snow while it lasts.

I will be spending a quiet holiday at home with my son, baking cookies, hanging out and watching TV.  This was in the plans even before the latest “weather event”.  I hope you spend your holiday a way that makes you smile as well!

~ Tara

Fun Blog find! A great use of my Snowman Stamp!

December 10, 2008

Yesterday I was delighted to a blog post by Sankari Wegman, who used my Snowman rubber stamp for a color challenge and I think stamp challenge too… I must admit, I went right to admire what she did with my design!  It truly made my day!

The basic idea of her project was to use the colors from this yarn photo as inspiration for a project.

She used my snowmen and created this cute card.

snowmanstampyarn

To see the whole story, click here to visit her blog.

I just love how it came out!  And she was so happy when I emailed her for permission to use these photos from her blog (you do know you shouldn’t “borrow” photos from websites without permission, right?).  It became a mutual “you made my day” festival!

I’d love to see what others have created with my stamps — there are lots to choose from!  (Many at Hobby Lobby right now)  Send me pictures at contact@tarareeddesigns.com

Happy Creating!

~ Tara

P.S.  Here is what the original art I did (and the stamp) looks like, click on it to order:picture-19

Or you can go to Janlynn.com and search “Tara Reed”.  A few needlecraft things that aren’t mine but all the stamps are.  (Something about key words… I have no idea!)

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”

A baby girl joins the family!

September 14, 2008

It’s a girl! The long awaited arrival of my niece is over.  🙂

She is so sweet – sleeping a lot as newborns do.  She makes some very funny faces which I am enjoying catching on camera.

Welcome to the family Gillian!  I’m sure you have many great adventures awaiting you!

~ Aunt Tara

Get to know Tara Reed…

August 28, 2008
An artist friend of mine had a cool slide show on her website. Of course I wanted to know how she did it!
I clicked the “Make Your Own” button, uploaded a few pics and VOILA! Here is a little slide show that gives you a peek into my life.
Go ahead! Click the button and make one too! It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s free!
~Tara

Orphan Works Legislation: Dear Congress, my art has a loving family, don’t take custody!

July 21, 2008

My art is no orphan, thank you very much!  If you are an artist, you have probably heard about this bill that is cruising through Congress at lightening speed that will make it easy for people or companies to use art and just say “I didn’t know whose it was”, whether they just chose to take your name off it to save some money or it was actually true.  Then if you go say, “Hey, that would be mine, thank you very much!”  there is really very little ramification.

It’s happened time and time again– when it is easy to save a buck by pleading ignorance, many will do just that.  And where does that leave we artists?  Closer to the “starving” stereotype I’m afraid!  This will seriously affect an artists ability to make a living creating art.

If you want more information about this, Brenda Pinnick and Joanne Fink were just interviewed at the CHA summer show and you can see what they have to say.  These two sharp women have been campaigning hard and deserve the thanks of everyone who puts pen or paint to paper.  The interview was on July 21 so search for that date if it isn’t still on the main page of the link below.

See the interview

If this upsets you, find more information and what you can do to help fight this by visiting the

Orphan Works Opposition Headquarters website

Have a creative day, don’t get stuck in the negativity and give up, but be sure to join the fight. 🙂

~ Tara

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!  I hope you take time today to think about what you love about this country and the freedoms we enjoy.

When I was in high school I was an exchange student in France during my junior year.  I remember when we studied the US and they were asking me about different people in my family.  My great uncle was a paratrooper on D-Day in Normandy, which wasn’t far from where we were.  They asked me about him and I told them what I knew.  The thing that amazed everyone, even the teacher, was how relatively easy it is to be as successful as you want in business in the US.  My uncle started in very humble beginnings and built a successful business for himself.  Their astonishment at that was an eye-opening experience for me.

In many countries the opportunities aren’t as readily available as they are here — in the US, with hard work and determination, people can achieve their dreams.  So dream big and figure out how to make it a reality!

Enjoy your day — have fun and be safe!

~ Tara