“Something Different” Favorite Scrappers Blog Hop!

Good morning everyone!

I haven’t been around on the blog lately (blame summer), but my sweet friend Suz Mannecke kicked my butt back into gear when she nominated me as one of her favorite scrappers last week. Isn’t that sweet? I can’t say how long I’ve “known” Suz (virtually, but hopefully someday in real life!), but it’s been quite awhile. She has always been one of the kindest gals I have had the pleasure of getting to know. She always takes the time to leave a positive and supportive comment on anything I post, which I always appreciate. Her scrapping talent is off the charts and I admire her in many, many ways. I’m pretty sure we’d be scrappin’ besties if we lived in the same town, is what I’m sayin’. I can usually spot one of her pages a mile away, she has a fun, detailed and quirky style that is all her own. So go check her out and give her some love.

A few questions I have been tasked to answer:

Q: What are you working on right now?

I just started my first layout in almost two months. Summer has stolen all the memory-keeping time, but the good news is I have a whole batch of new memories to scrap about! People in my city might throw rocks at me for this, but I’m actually not too upset about summer winding down in the next few weeks. I’ve had a great one, but I’m ready for fall, routine and cozy days in my craft room with a cup of tea.

Speaking of, that’s the other thing I’m working on. My craft room. I moved it down to the main level a few months ago. There are so many pros… being on the main level with the fam, not having to run up and down a flight of stairs whenever I need something, the list goes on. The only con is that I took a real hit space-wise down there. So with the help of Marcy’s workspace class, I’ve been purging and reorganizing to make the space more manageable and clutter-free.

I did manage to start working on my mini album for NYC this week!


Q: How long does it take me to create a project?

Too long. A layout usually takes me a minimum of 2 hours. Sometimes I walk away for a few days to clear my head if I’m not quite happy with it. The creative process is a very slow, methodical one for me.

Q: What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?

My Studio Calico kits, first and foremost. Because a) they’re awesome and b) they’re delivered to me, so I get what I get. Honestly, when I go shopping at an LSS, I buy way too much. My eye sees something pretty and I buy it, and then it sits there glaring back at me, unused for months. Seriously, these kits are actually saving me money. I also love creating with unique prints and art that I find on Etsy. I love finding little things that aren’t necessarily made for the masses of the scrapbook consumer and using it on my projects.

Q: How does my writing/creating process work?

It usually takes a bit to get me down to work, what with running a household and a full time job (which many of you can all attest to, I know), but when I do, I zone out to the sound of “Friends” on in the background. I usually go through my supplies, particularily my Paper and Embelleshments, pull my faves and go from there. The supplies usually dictate which picture I use, so the actual theme of the layout is typically the last thing I decide on. If I’m writing, I have a much easier time getting out my thoughts and feelings accurately if I’m typing, as opposed to handwriting, so I’ll spend some time in front of the computer with a candle burning and a cup of tea.

Q: How do I become inspired and stay inspired?

Actually, is there such thing as too much inspiration? I was thinking about this on my way home from work yesterday. In trying to decide how I was going to spend my evening, knowing it was going to be spent creatively, I had at my fingers a multitude of avenues of inspo. I am currently enrolled in both Marcy’s Workspace Class and Mini Album Class (among many other past classes at SC). I am enrolled in Amy Tan and KP’s Here & There class at Big Picture Classes. There’s the Studio Calico Boards, Member Gallery and Creative Team Gallery, there’s One Little Word (I’d link it, but Ali’s site is still down as I write this) and let’s not forget Pinterest. It’s actually overstimulating – I don’t know which way to look most days for which direction I’m going to take.

The moral of the story is that I need to do a better job of managing what I take on. And I should probably stick to classes that are offered in the fall & winter.

Q: What is my signature style:

This is always a hard question to answer. Like Suz, my style is always evolving. I used to torture myself trying to find “my style”. I laugh at that former version of myself, because I now know I’m unlikely to ever really find it. As mentioned above, there is just so much inspiration out there to be taken in. Every new project is inspired from some new place, and it always brings out something new in me. And I’m completely and totally happy with that. I’m just gonna make what I wanna make and like what I wanna like. But at the moment, I’m big into typography, black and white patterns, pops of color, keeping it feminine and all grids all the time.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

Now, onto my nomination!

I nominated Magdalena Stigson as one of my favorite scrappers. Her edgy style is unmatched, and I love seeing her work pop on the gallery. Every layout she posts gets better and better, and I love her style! Go check her out and leave her some love!

Creative Scrappers Sketch 269 – My Final Sketch!

I have loved my time working with Creative Scrappers. Kristine is one fabulous lady, and I know the new crop of ladies will adore her and working with those great sketches! Time for me to move on though, and with that, I give you the final sketch! I was really excited when I saw this, because I knew it meant I could pull out one of my new October Afternoon 2×2 Divided Page Protectors.

Sketch 269

Since I’m currently working on a mini album about our recent family trip to Calgary & Banff, I took one of my favorite pictures from that trip of my husband and I exploring Banff one day, and made a fun little insert in my album:

Tara CS#269

As always, there are prizes to be won, so please play along! Check out this months sponsor, My Creative Scrapbook! The Design Team at My Creative Scrapbook is collaborating with us on this reveal, so please check them out along with the rest of us over here.

Thanks again Kristine, I have loved my time with Creative Scrappers and can’t wait to see what the new team has in store!

Happy Sunday :)

Creative Scrappers Sketch 268

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mama’s out there, but especially MINE! <3

Here we go with Sketch 268 – my second last sketch! Waaaaaaah! :(

A couple of things about how my layout came together for this sketch.

A) I’ve been buying 6×6 paper pads lately. I’ve never been much into 6×6 pads before, but as my style evolves and my desire for LESS STUFF grows stronger, I realize I don’t need 12×12 sheets of absolutely everything. These pads still inevitably create waste, since I tend to move on from collections fairly quickly, but it’s more manageable for me this way;

B) I had this KP Mon Ami Collection sitting there itching to be used;

C) I had this funny conversation with my husband about how instead of going to Vegas this summer, maybe perhaps we should just go to Paris. FINE, WE WILL GO TO PARIS. IF YOU INSIST. It’s kind of how it went. It’s probably not going to happen, as a few key factors have changed (one of them being that my husbands vacay schedule got moved around), but it was fun to dream for about a week there, and I wanted to document our moment of spontenaity. Cause I’m pretty spontaneous, but my dear husband is not. So I was all like, “do you have a fever, boy???”.

Anyway, here’s my layout.

Tara CS #268

I hope you’ll play along with this week’s sketch! Doing so could get you a kit from this months sponsor, My Creative Scrapbook, so let’s see what you come up with!

Check out the full reveal here.

Happy Sunday!

Creative Scrappers Sketch 267

Good morning! We are just coming off the Birthday bash blog hop on Friday and it was so amazing! That was the first blog hop I’ve ever participated in, and it was so much fun. Loved everything that the designers created and how about those prizes?!

Ok, back to business. Here’s the sketch!


And here’s my take on it!


I was really happy with how this one turned out. The sketch challenged me a bit, but that often results in the best layouts!

Playing along this week could end you up with a kit from this months sponsor, My Creative Scrappers, so I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Check out the full reveal here :)

Happy Sunday!

Creative Scrappers – Birthday Bash

Welcome to the Creative Scrappers Blog Hop! We are celebrating 6 years of Creating with Sketches.


We’re so excited to share 12 new sketches for you today, and some inspiring layouts as well.

We’ll be giving away a few prizes, so be sure to play along and check back on Saturday night, April 26th, to see if you’re the lucky winner!

Here are the different ways you can play along:
1. Like Creative Scrappers on Facebook
2. Giveaways will be done on our Facebook page all day!
3. Help spread the news!

Since I’m all about the grids lately, I was super happy to be working with this sketch (click on image for a larger version):

BB Sketch

And here is what I did with it (click on image for a larger version):

BB Layout

I love that Creative Scrappers puts ideas in my head that simply would not have existed. I was able to take this sketch and make it completely my own, which is important!

Here is the blog hop order:

Amanda Johnson
Ashley Horton
Danielle de Konink
Jenny Evans
Jody Rogers
Kathy Skou
Kristine Davidson
Michelle Whorwood
Missy Whidden
Sherri Funk
Stephanie Hart
Tara Elias (you are here!)

Back to Creative Scrappers

Head on over to the Creative Scrappers blog and download our sketches from today’s birthday bash blog hop! We have tons of giveaways on our facebook page today thanks to our our awesome blog hop sponsors :

Creative Scrappers, Let’s Capture Our Memories, Paper Camellia, Creative Embellishments, My Scraps & More, Scrapbook & Cards Today, Simple Stories, Jillibean Soup, Pinkfresh Studio, Davida Stafford – CTMH, Paper Issues, My Creative Scrapbook

Thank you for playing along today, and check in Sunday with us for more layouts using Sketch 267.

Thanks for visiting today, and enjoy the Blog Hop!

In a New York State of Mind


Less than one year from now, I will be joining some cherished friends in New York City to do what we all love to do together. SING. We will be joining a group of esteemed singers and musicians from Europe, the USA and Canada, and be performing the show at Lincoln Centre. That’s right, I said Lincoln Centre. You know, the home of the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera and let’s not forget Julliard.

Back in 2009, I participated in an Oratorio about events that took place during the Holocaust, called “I Believe”. Composer extraordinaire and my former high school music guru, Zane Zalis, composed the entire orchestral score and lyrics. We spent 5 months rehearsing, 3 nights a week nearing show time. It was a huge undertaking (5 years on his part, to be exact) and on May 21st, 2009, we premiered it alongside the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Centennial Concert Hall, under the direction of Alexander Mickelthwaite. It was a magical evening that took something as profoundly unimaginable as the Holocaust, and made it understood by men, women and children of all ages, races and languages.

I Believe” takes you from Kristallnacht in 1938, through to the disbelief of what was beginning to happen and the race to survive, to the final solution that was decided upon by the Nazi hierarchy and the concentration camps. To the Death Marches, liberation and freedom and finally, with the feeling of unbearable loss and wonder at how and where to possibly start over.

It was an incredible and moving experience, and I feel honored to have been a part of it. It has since premiered in Toronto and Stuttgart, Germany, both to sold out crowds.

The crazy thing is… when I was first invited to come to the rehearsals in 2008, I considered not going. I hadn’t sung with this group in a very long time and was nervous to show up after all those years since my graduation. I can’t even fathom that I almost didn’t go. It has brought some wonderful people into my life, and afforded me some wonderful opportunities.

And I’m so happy it isn’t over, and is still continuing into 2014.

You can check out that first live performance on iTunes here.

While I don’t talk about the music part of my life a whole lot, it’s something that’s deeply a part of me. I don’t know why I don’t talk about it a lot, no particular reason, but maybe because it feels like a part of my past life. Something I was passionate about when I was younger and wanted to make it my future. You know how the story goes. You get older, you get a job, a family and reality kicks in that you’re probably not going to be a famous singer ;) which is why I feel so blessed that every so often, I get an email from Zane to participate in whatever cool thing that he has going on. And we all gather again in that room at Miles Mac and it all comes together again, like we had been doing it all along.

The coolest part is that I’ll be experiencing all this with my two besties – One bestie is in the show with me and the other is coming along for the ride. There will be many things seen and done, including a couple of Broadway shows, visits to Saks, Bloomingdales and of course, the Louboutin store (where I will watch in a mix of half-horror, half jealousy as said two besties make shoe purchases), WTC tours, Museum visits, cocktails and pizza consumed (not necessarily in the same sitting, but I can’t guarantee anything), Central Park visiting… the list goes on.

I’ve been to NYC before, but probably didn’t even scratch the surface, so if you have any restaurant recs, send em’ my way!

Creative Scrappers Sketch 265

Good morning! Back with another Sunday morning reveal for Creative Scrappers!

You know, when I first saw this sketch, I knew immediately that I wanted to work with Amy Tan’s Plus One line. Why? Because the sketch is bold, just like AT’s newest collection. Here it is:


And here’s my take on it:

CS265 Tara

So basically a PL spread on a layout – love it!

This month, our sponsor is Scraptastic Kit Club! Play along to win!

Check out the full reveal here.

Happy Sunday friends!

Five on Friday

Back with another Installment of Five on Friday, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to blog about… mainly because it allows me to get these random thoughts out of my head and out there in the world :)


1) I received this print this week from the lovely Elise Blaha Cripe. I love the concept of her new business, Make29, and I truly look forward to what she’s going to be putting out there all year. Already super excited about her March release :)

2) While we’re talking things I love – Studio Calico released these WRMK 4×4 Mini Albums in their shop this week and I picked up a grey one. I’m not sure just exactly I’m going to document with this little beauty, but I love LOVE what Tracy is doing with hers.

3) I am having so much fun this week being MOH in my best friends wedding. Not that I haven’t enjoyed it all along, but I’ve had some opportunity this week to do some planning for some of the fun little traditions that go along with a wedding. And we all know how much I like planning! For those of you that don’t know me personally, the correct answer is “a lot”.

4) One Little Word is coming along swimmingly. Inevitably, there have been times I have not felt all that connected with my word (which is goals, by the way), but this process keeps it at the forefront of my mind, so that if I do happen to feel disconnected, getting reconnected is a priority. Loving Ali’s chill, laid-back approach, love that it’s focused on writing, love that it gave me the opportunity to do something really fun, like making a vision board and sharing that experience with my Stepdaughter. She made her own Vision Board, and while I’m pretty sure she didn’t know what she was getting herself into that Friday night, her words to me when we were done were, “I am so glad I did this, that was super fun!”.

5) I’m excited to be travelling to NYC this coming November to sing at Lincoln Centre with a group I perform with from time to time. I’ll have a blog post about that coming soon!

Happy Weekend!