Aug 31, 2010

it's a wrap

I, Tara Anderson, am officially caught up with all current deadlines! Huge sigh of relief!! This is the best feeling, knowing that everything that needed to happen is finished, and I have a week now to prepare. I have to disappear for awhile in order to really accomplish anything as I'm easily distracted by..... ohhh what's that!

See what I mean? :)

This weekend, I shot almost 600 photos, wrapped up some of the biggest projects I've ever done and started a to-do list for this week. Here's a peek into what my weekend was all about. I do wish I could share more, but not until Christmas.

So celebrating a mini-Christmas of sorts was alot of fun this past week, but I have to get my head out of the clouds!! We're still going strong in the midst of summer and if we're lucky enough we may have a wishful Autumn in just a couple of months. I say wishful, because here in the desert there is no Autumn season, so you have to get creative and make believe that it's Fall outside! I will say though, that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes are definitely helping add to that wishful Fall-ish feeling. :)

That leads me to my question of the night. What is your favorite part of the Fall season? Is it a certain color combination? Or, maybe a pumpkin and nutmeg spice candle? Oak trees turning colors? Is there something new you've discovered about the season that you're head over heels about? I would love to know!!!

Aug 21, 2010

Elles Studio ~ winner!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random integers:

47 Timestamp: 2010-08-21

Polly McMillan Raymond said...
Ohhhh super cute and colorful, just my style for scrappin' and crafting! I saw the photo in my contacts at Flickr and I'm happy I'ved discovered your beautiful blog - I will start following. :)


Yay Polly!! send your contact info to me,, and a little happy package will be on it's way soon!

What are you doing this weekend? Any picnic plans? Day road-trips? Or are you like me, and have plans to clean your home all day? :) I have a loooong list of emails I need to return.... somedays it feels like I will never catch up with emails. A little at a time, that's my motto.

Oh and because it's Saturday, I thought I'd share this little project I did for my
Etsy shop. I made some little scrap kits, inspired by my Saturday Colo Combo posts. I'll add them to the shop this evening. :) How I love paint sample colors!! I only made 6 kits, 2 for each color combination. :)

Tomorrow, I am locking myself in my room and finishing deadlines. No computer, no phone calls, and hopefully no distractions or interruptions. Just scrapbooking and creating!

That's about it for me, happy Saturday and have a lovely weekend!

Aug 17, 2010

Elles Studio - Giveaway

It's my day over at the Elles Studio Blog! yay!

Elle is one of the most generous and the sweetest person I've ever worked for, and she always sends me so many products to work with. So, I thought I would pass along some of her fabulous journaling cards to one of you!

((If you've been with me for awhile, you'll know that I have to open every package I receive, just to see what I have to work with. I'm like a kid at Christmas time, so there's no original packaging.... but I'll wrap them up super cute for you! :)) There are over 50 journaling cards/tags and a rubber stamp kit!

Just leave a comment and I'll pick a name on Friday!

Aug 16, 2010

a happy little dog named Maggie

How many of you believe in fate? Or destiny or whatever else you want to call it?

I do, I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. Now granted, sometimes it's not easy to think there's a bigger purpose for everything, especially when you're the one going through it, but I tend to keep hope, that everything will work out the way it was meant to be.... in the end.

Two Sunday's ago, we had a family shopping marathon for back-to-school stuff for Alaina. In between Kohls and Target, there is a Petsmart, and the consistent begging, coming from back seat, led us to their doors. I'm not sure about every Petsmart, but ours holds a pet adoption every weekend. The kids and Peter pushed through the dogs and puppies at the front entrance and headed to the cat area, while I was much too distracted with the adoption commotion to continue past the front of the store. One little dog had caught my attention, she was a mini, long-hair, red Daschund and a little girl dog no less. I spent 20 minutes talking with her foster Mom and the head of the rescue organization. Her name was Maggie, and she seemed like a great little dog. We walked away from Petsmart and onto Target, but Maggie stayed in the back of my mind.

(The irony of this, is that in highschool, I had a mini, long-hair, red Daschund named Mandy. My mom has her now in her old age. Here she is. ) I told Peter this little dog was meant to be mine. I was reminded of how, just the day before, I had announced to the world that there would not even be a thought of a 2nd dog...... after I had just experienced a horrendous week of pet sitting my neighbors dog. (Long story, but the alarm company was call, the police were called, Chase got bit twice, the doggy had tummy issues on my carpets, and we got locked of my neighbors house, so I had to keep the sick doggy at my house. It was a terribly long week!)

After a disappointing meeting (with the same news and plans for surgery) with my new gyne-oncologist at the beginning of the week, I spent the next 3 days a completely crying, emotional, sensitive mess. My birthday was a tad uneventful, and Peter called from work to tell me, since he didn't do anything for my birthday, how about calling the rescue center to see if Maggie was still available....

and she was. This is why I believe in fate. Had I not needed an extra package of little girl socks from Kohls, and a 5 year old begging us to go look at kitties before we headed into Target, I would never have seen Maggie. It was love at first sight.

Maggie came to join our family this past Saturday.

Maggie Anderson
arrived on Saturday Aug. 14th, 2010
age: 5yrs. old
weight: 17 pounds
hair: red with black low-lights
eyes: brown

I have to say, for this summer being a complete and total bust, I was due for some good luck and I finally got it!! Maggie has had no problems fitting right in, letting the kids carry her, exploring the back yard, sniffing stuff with Dutchess, and sleeping in bed with me. She's a very confident, patient and well trained little dog. Nothing seems to phase her. She's calm and quiet, cuddly and I can't believe how lucky we are to have her.

We adopted Maggie through Lost Our Home It's a non-profit rescue group of real-estate agents who rescue pets left behind due to home foreclosures or other financial hardships. In Maggie's case, her owner passed away, and a friend had taken her, but when they lost their home to foreclosure this summer, she was sent to Lost Our Home. I think this rescue group is just amazing and I am so grateful to have been able to give Maggie a home.

My new happy little dog, welcome to the family.

Aug 14, 2010

the Garland winner!!

congrats to :

Random Integer Generator
# 22
Timestamp: 2010-08-14

Dana Gustafson said...
My perfect birthday is filled with laughter, great friends and me not having to plan one iota of it! ;) Thanks for the opportunity to win one of your adorable garlands!


Dana, send me your address ( and I'll be sending a little package of lovely paper garlands to you. :))

Thank you to everyone who entered! I loved reading the comments about our perfect birthday celebrations! ~ I'll be doing a very special giveaway this week, so be sure to check back for that one!! It's going to be a spectacular!

Aug 11, 2010

Dreams of India, mini

I created a kit for my shop called Dreams of India. Obviously very inspired by the colors of India, but there's a story behind this kit too!

Last summer, while roaming up and down the isles of an antique store, I found an old package of vintage tin elephants. I knew I had to have them, even if at the time I had no idea what I would ever do with little painted metal elephants, they were just too unique to pass up. So, the elephants have sat in the bottom of an old suitcase, just waiting for the perfect idea to come along, for the past year.

Then..... last month, while sitting in a waiting room, there was a local photographers work , on exhibit, against one of the walls. Her photos was from a recent trip to India, and one of the most striking photographs was of an Indian elephant in full costume dress. Bright flower leis draped around it's neck and layers of textured blankets covered it's back. It was truly one of the most beautiful photographs I've seen lately, and the perfect inspiration I needed to put together a mini scrapbook!

It really is true, inspiration can be found anywhere!!

I would have loved using this kit as a travel journal,... but since we visit the zoo so often, I decided to make mine an animal themed mini and use a mix of photos. I just have to add a little journaling and a few more photos and then it should be complete!

I only made 3 of these kits, mainly because I only had an extra 3 tin elephants. I'll be adding these to my shop tonight at 7pm my time (mountain time.) Since I've had more people ask for a kit, than I have actual kits, I decided not to hold any of them and just to put them in the shop. ((I have a terrible guilty conscious and would feel bad if someone thought I was playing favorites. Sorry!))

Kitschy Sale!! Granny's Attic

Just wanted to share Kitschy Digitals one-buck Wednesday. This is one of my favorite kits that Danielle has designed, and what's not to love about so many pretty flowers!

happy shopping!

Aug 10, 2010

A giveaway this afternoon!

It took me awhile to decide on what I should be giving away this week. :) I'm so indecisive! But, then I started to think, because there are so many Birthdays this week, it would be fun to do a giveaway of one of my Paper Garlands. They're bright and festive... perfect for a birthday week giveaway!

Here's my question for you: What would your perfect Birthday consist of? How would you want to celebrate?

My perfect day would look a little something like this;

1. Road trip to Sedona with U2's Joshua Tree cd playing the whole way up there.
2. Hiking the West Fork Trail, through Oak Creek Canyon
3. Chinese food for dinner
4. Watching the sunset on the red rocks.

I'll choose a name on Friday!! good luck!

Aug 8, 2010

a sneak before bedtime..

I had originally planned to re-open in May, after all of our house guests had finished visiting.... but then I just got busy. I figured, opening the store for a little while should keep be busy and preoccupied for the remainder of the month! :)

So, there are just a handful of new things, a few kits I made with some vintagey finds at the local antique store, and some pretty handmade paperish things. :)

If you haven't checked out this giveaway on the Elles Studio Blog, please go visit them now!! There are so many sponsors and chances to win something lovely! and what grand re-opening would be complete without a giveaway or 2 of my own? :)) more about that on Tuesday!

I'm retiring early tonight, Alaina's first day of school is tomorrow, bright and early, and I have a big apt. myself in the morning too. night*night*

a giveaway from With a Twist

Hi all! I'm hosting a giveaway right now on the Elles Studio Blog. I'm also apart of the free Journaling Class that's being offered, through their blog as well, this month!

and..... I'm going to reopen my store, but just for a few weeks!!

I'll be back tonight to post sneak-peek photos!

Aug 7, 2010

a lazy Saturday afternoon

I love Saturdays. It's the start of the weekend, and my cleaning day. Laundry, mopping, dusting and vacuuming. I plugged in my oil warmer, and I have Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin oil, warming right now. I think my next purchase will be the Kitchen Spice, Autumn and maybe Vanilla Lavender oils. The best part of Saturday's is that there are usually great family friendly movies on tv. We watched Parent Trap this afternoon, but my favorite Sat. movie is You've Got Mail. I love cute movies!!

Today's Saturday is extra special, it's Peter's birthday today! Chase helped me make brownies this morning and Alaina helped with the gift wrapping. Those 2 are my little elves, always willing to help mommy.

Peter's niece is coming over in a bit, and we're going out for an early dinner date. I love date nights, I get to spend time with my best friend! Happy Saturday!

Aug 4, 2010

a thankyou and some new crafty stuff

First, I'd like to say a huge thank you to all of you who phone me, send emails and leave comments, both here and on facebook. I must have the nicest, most sincere group of women surrounding me, and not a day goes by that I don't think of how lucky I really am.

I've spent most of the day, on the phone, with cancer centers/hospitals, oncologists, pathology departments, family and neighbors and even Peter's clients. The phone has finally quieted and it's given me some time, this evening, to reflect and think about all of the conversations I've had today. From Mayo Clinic, with one of the most compassionate women I've spoken with, to my grandpa who had a stroke the day before my surgery in June. (Gramps also has 3 cancers, so we talked for awhile about the different cancer centers here in Phoenix and the bedside manner of various oncologists.)

It's easy to feel alone when something unexpected happens, but then I find myself in the middle of this huge group of people who only want the best for me. People who call, just to see if there were any updates this week and when my next apt. is. It's kind of ironic, the fact that ordinarily, I'm a very shy and private person. I'm not use to the phone ringing so much, or people wanting to know my current health status.... I'm not sure how much everyone wants to know, so I try to keep things simple, tell everyone I'm doing good, just getting ready for the next surgery and then the wait for the next set of path reports to come back. I'll admit, sometimes I'm a little weirded out by all of the questions.... but then I try to have a sense of humor and laugh about the awkward moments. :) (That's my new favorite word, awkward, I say it alot when I get off the phone...especially lately.)

So, that brings me to the photo part of this post. We've had our neighbors and friends already volunteering to make us dinner and watch the kids for us, after my surgery. (Who knew that having a hysterectomy would come with dinner and a babysitter! It's almost like having a real date with Peter!)

So last week, I started making little giftbags filled with pumpkin spiced candles and cinnamon pecan swirl candles. I'll give them away as thankyous to our visitors, but I thought it was an ingenious idea to make them now so they're all ready come next month! Hopefully our friends/family love autumn scented candles as much as I do!! If not, I guess I'll be forced to keep all of the candles and the super cute little gift bags. :)) (insert tooting my own horn *here*)

(all of the pink and red leaves are from Kitschy Digitals. Those are my absolute favorite go-to scrap item for everything I create!)

If you're still reading this, thankyou! I have a question for you... What else could I purchase as a thank-you gift? I realize that not everyone appreciates candles, so I'm trying to think of something small and simple that I could give away. Any ideas?? ~ Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far!

Aug 1, 2010

a guest for Simply ATC

Just wanted to share something fun tonight! My friend Angie has started a brand new challenge blog called Simply ATC. It's all about inspiration and making little ATC's and then getting to trade them with other ATC enthusiast's. There's even a Flickr Group, just for the ATC's everyone has created. Sounds cool right!?!

So, when Angie told me the first challenge was going to be inspired by Tim Burton's, Alice and Wonderland, I couldn't say no! This very first challenge is all about Alice's' pretty dresses, and Avril Lavigne's song 'Alice.' (Alaina and I listen to that song for hours while I created all of my ATC's! :))

I decided to make 4 ATC's total, although you only need to make one to swap with :)) I can get a little carried away when I like what I'm creating!! For these first 3 cards, I was so in love and completely inspired by the red & black dress Alice wore.

The Queen

The End


This last card was a half and half. I loved one of Alice's blue dresses, but I also wanted to incorporate Avril's song. After much wishy-washiness and rearranging, I finally decided to write down some of the lyrics to the song, and tuck the little note in a pocket made of tulle.

just pretend

If you have a chance, you'll have 2 weeks to create one Art card, play along with us!! I'll be trading one of my messy-sewn-little-art cards with someone special at the end of the 2 weeks. :)