Archive for the ‘Tara’s Travels’ Category

Thank you to all the wonderful Quilters at Craft Warehouse in Gresham!

July 17, 2009

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to two groups of quilters at the Craft Warehouse in Gresham, Oregon.  What a fun and talented bunch!  If anyone thinks sewing is easy, you head over there and look at some of their work – wowza!  I was invited to the two “Quilt Parties” to talk about the design process.  If you were one of those women, thank you for letting me join you for the day!Picture 21

I design fabric for South Sea Imports and I’m told my fabric can be found all over the US as well as Australia, New Zealand and I believe parts of Europe.  Usually I’m coming up with ideas from my studio and brainstorming with the office in California.  I do sneak out and look through different stores that sell fabric from time to time.

But having the chance to interact with the people who are really using the product, asking what they like, what colors they want, what themes they wish they could find… that is some valuable information! I had a long discussion about what makes or breaks different “basics” groups (those textured fabrics that come in a rainbow of colors and can be used as background or fillers with all sorts of things).  I took a poll about some ideas I have been tossing around for a new collection and got feedback… and I had a great time!

Today I am back in my studio with new ideas swimming around in my head.  I asked the women who won or bought my fabric to send me a photo of something they use it on to post on my blog… hopefully they will!

If you live in Oregon, Washington or Idaho  and haven’t discovered the joy of a Craft Warehouse store, CLICK HERE and see if there is a location near you.  This family-owned store is a mecca for the creatively inclined!  I’ve never met a Craft Warehouse I didn’t like!

Now it’s back to the studio and back to creating wonderful new fabric collections for quilters everywhere to enjoy.

– Tara


Taking my “trunk show” to Craft Warehouse in Gresham, Oregon!

July 12, 2009

Today I dusted off my sewing machine and got busy! I used to sew a lot… as I sat piecing fabric together I remembered buying my Pfaff… it was about 12 years ago when my son was little and I needed to upgrade my machine.  It was a MAJOR investment and I remembered all the curtains my neighbors commissioned me to do to help pay for the machine.  So worth it!  I still love it today although truth be told, I don’t have the time to craft & sew that I used to!  Now I spend most of my time painting and designing collections to license – one of my favorite categories being FABRIC!

MidnightMonsters-CraftWarehouseAdHow fun to sit at my machine all day, sewing MY OWN fabric. *Pinch me* I still think this whole art licensing career is too good to be true!  All kidding aside, I work very hard but I am passionate about what I do so it makes the work seem more like playing…

This coming Thursday, July 16th, I will be talking to two quilt clubs at the Craft Warehouse in Gresham, Oregon. One meeting is at 11 am and the second is at 7 pm.  You are welcome to come — they are located at: 604 NW Eastman Pkwy. (Division & Eastman) in Gresham, OR 97030.  If you need directions you can call (503) 661-0574.

I will be talking about how I design fabric – from initial concept to putting the patterns together to getting my samples to play with! When I talked to the clubs in Aloha the quilters had great questions and amazing quilts to share – I am in awe of their talent!

When I was talking with the coordinator she asked if I had a “trunk show” – I will admit to not knowing what she was talking about.  She told me it was samples of things made with my fabric.  That’s why I got out my machine – I was inspired and figured it was better to get busy the week before than the week after.  So you will see some things I’ve whipped up (the bag below is one project I finished today), as well as a few quilts a friend did.

So if you are in the area, come on by! If you aren’t but like this fun Halloween Fabric, ask for it at your local quilting store or look online for “Midnight Monsters” from South Sea Imports.  You can also CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PROJECT SHEET.

Halloween will be here before you know it so find your black, green and orange thread and start your sewing machines…

– Tara

It All Began When I Was Jumping Up & Down in the Fabric Department…

April 8, 2009

Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to two quilting club groups at the Craft Warehouse in Aloha, Oregon.  This store has an amazing quilting and fabric department whose size is very deceptive – they pack a great variety of fabric in a small space.

The first Tuesday of January I was wandering around the store and not only found some of my fabric, but the quilt panel was sewn together and hanging as a sample!  Woo-Hoo!  COOL!  Who could I tell?  This very nice lady named Phyliss came by so she was the winner.  It turns out she coordinates the monthly quilt club at the store (it meets the first Tuesday of the month at 1 pm and 6:30 pm).  When I told her I was a designer for South Sea Imports and they carried some of my designs, she asked me to come and talk to the group.

So yesterday I told two groups of women about the design process — from idea to color to creating patterns.  We had Q&A and they had some great questions.  It was so nice to get out of the studio and connect with people who use my products — and see what they are doing with fabric in general to keep my creative juices flowing.

Thank you Craft Warehouse – let me know if I can ever help again!



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

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

My little escape from reality…

September 30, 2008

(If you read my Art Licensing Information blog – this is the same info – just so you know!)

You’ve heard of a ‘vacation’.

This summer some clever stores unveiled the ’stay-cation’ (where you save $ and gas by staying home and fixing up your house instead of going on vacation)

I would like to introduce the ‘coma-cation’. That is where you go and become so relaxed that all you want to do is sleep for days.  OK… so my ‘coma’ was somewhat medically induced — afraid of getting queasy on my cruise last week I took 1/2 a Bonine for motion sickness and was out cold by 8 pm.  I almost feel asleep at my muster station but did rally for dinner.  That was my trend the next 2 days… sleep, eat, nap, eat, see a show, sleep… it was heaven on water!  Oh how I needed a break!

There is nothing better than a little R&R with the one you love! BTW… my main-squeezes name is Craig — it has been pointed out that I have been ‘protecting’ his identity — for good reason!  He is so amazing I don’t want anyone trying to steal him away!

When I came out of my fog… I got my sea legs and didn’t take any medication after day 2… I found artistic inspiration in between reading, eating and napping.

I checked out the art and was able to study many different art techniques and styles at the art auctions.  They even had a 1/2 hour ‘history of art’ that was pretty interesting.

Leslie Lew, one of the artists whose paintings were being auctioned off was on board and did a few live demonstrations.  She does very textured art — “sculpted oils” she calls them. You can see more of her work on her website at:

And every night we had a new towel animal waiting for us in our cabin — talk about a piece of art!  I of course bought the book that shows me how to make 75 different animals — it is harder than it seems.  Those cabin stewards are quite talented to clean up the rooms and create these towel creations so quickly!  Kudos to the towel art!

Anyway — I had a wonderfully relaxing time and found some inspiration at sea.  I hope you have the chance to unwind, relax and look for new things to keep you inspired!

~ Tara

The answer: 14,520 M&Ms™ edge to edge

July 3, 2008

The Question: How tall is the Seattle Space Needle?

My son & I went to Seattle for a much-needed 2 day break.  Our main destination was the “Experience Music Project” museum — complete with a large exhibit about Seattle native Jimmy Hendrix.  My son is an aspiring Rock Star so he was into it.

I was less into the roller coaster he decided we should ride that gave me whip-lash… seriously.  I have NEVER heard my neck crack like that while on a roller coaster and I love them.  Don’t tell me I’m getting too old… I won’t believe you.  🙂

My big find was this cool, artsy hotel in downtown Seattle.  I felt hip just walking in. The lobby was dark gray.  The hallways were dark and all the doors had photographs on them and a light above it.  The windows looked like eye charts but if you look closely, it says “HOTEL MAX” over and over.  Each room featured original art from a Seattle artist –the photos in the halls were by local photographers as well.  If you are headed to Seattle, you might want to check it out.

I got a great deal on the room from a website a friend recently told me about.  You might want to check that out too.

We had a great time exploring the city, seeing some sites and “creating memories” as we both kept saying. 🙂  Be sure to have some fun and relaxation soon!

~ Tara

Surtex Trade Show

May 23, 2008

I LOVE New York City!  I just returned from my annual trek to exhibit at Surtex – a trade show where artists show their work and manufacturers come looking for art.  I met with many current clients and hopefully met some new ones – I’ll keep you posted!

One of the best parts of the show is that my sister comes and works with me in my booth– guaranteed “sister time” each year.  We have a great time and always see a show or two at night.  This year we saw “Curtains” – a new musical starring David Hyde Pierce (he was Niles in the TV Show Frasier) — very good! Phantom of the Opera is still a winner for us — it was my third time and Christine’s 4th or 5th — she has lost count.  🙂

This is a picture from our booth.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

Be well — Tara