Saturday, 8 May 2010

Guest: Tara Anderson

I really can't think of a more appropriate guest to follow the previous two posts on colour than Tara Anderson. Her blog, The Pink Couch, is one of my very favourite spots for bright and beautiful inspiration, and she uses colour like no-one I know.
For her guest post, we decided to get a bit nosy, and quizzed Tara on all sorts, from style and inspiration to her favourite kind of party food.
Hello! I'm Tara, an island girl at heart, now living in the sunny desert of beautiful Arizona! I have a fun and sometimes slightly chaotic household that includes my husband Peter, a super sassy 5 year old Alaina, my sweet little baby love Chase, who's 19 months already, and one very large puppy, Dutchess. They're all my very favorite subjects to scrapbook!
I try to scrapbook or to be somewhat crafty everyday, but I also really enjoy spending my time; cooking or baking, collecting books, hunting for buried treasures in thrift-stores, spending time outside with the kids, listening to good music, and trying to make everyday a little special for my family!!

Who inspires or influences you?
I know this probably isn't the most original answer, but I'd have to choose Martha Stewart. I first started watching her on TV and reading her books while I was in high school. I'm truly inspired by someone who has developed such a recognizable brand all built around domestic arts.
Has this changed as you’ve grown and developed your own distinct creative style?
It's certainly made me want to try new things like sewing and cooking. Growing up, I was always encouraged to be creative and artsy, so I've tried to branch out and work on developing my skills as a cook and hostess. I love Martha Stewarts Real Simple magazine, I'm always looking for new decorating, organizing and entertaining ideas.
How would you describe your style?
In 3 words I would say: pretty, feminine, vintage. I'm always searching for something I can reuse or repurpose. Right now, I'm really into using vintage items, especially fabric and textiles.

Who or what would you like to Copy+Paste in the future?
I would love to do a paper craft project inspired by Anthropologie's style. I adore their store but I find more inspiration from their website.
Do you have a favourite quote?

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
I say this to myself almost every day, and I have it posted in my studio as a reminder to always dream and to think of the impossible!

What else inspires you?
I love making lists!! So here's a few of my favs:

the beach
a library
picnics at the park
day trips to Sedona, AZ

SommerSet Magazine
Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion Magazine

U2 (I could scrapbook to U2 all day!!)
I love the mix of music I have on my blog right now
The Beatles
Alanis Morissette

What’s your biggest creative challenge?
My biggest challenge is just focusing and deciding what products to use for my projects. I spend a lot of my time "shopping" in my craft room for just the right piece of paper or fabric. I'm so wishy-washy with my decision making, but I never rush myself and I enjoy the time I spend creating anything new . . . even if it does take a while!!
Where do you find fresh inspiration if you’re feeling creatively stuck or blocked?

I take a trip down to Anthropologie or to the paint sample display at Home Depot. Sometimes just spending time playing with color combinations is a perfect way for me to get over a creative block.

Do you have a style hero or heroine?
Whenever I visit the mall in Scottsdale, I always make time to go into Betsy Johnson's store. Her store just breathes creativity and style. Her use of colors and fabric patterns is so creative and unique!!
What’s your best piece of creative advice?

I know I always say it, but it's such a simple truth! Just have fun with creating your art!! If it starts to feel like a frustrating job, take a step back and do something else until you feel creative again. I tend to hit a lot of 'bumps' while I'm creating, and instead of getting upset or pushing myself to create I take a break and do some jump roping in the living room, or have a little snack break. Just something to take my mind off of my current project, and when I feel refreshed, I pick up where I left off, and usually my ideas flow a little more smoothly!
If you could set us (and our readers) a ‘copy’ challenge, what would it be?
I would love to do a challenge using the color combination below – sunny yellow, leafy green, mixed with a little white and pink. I've been so inspired by this summery color palette! I have a feeling that green and yellow will be popping up more and more in my projects!


. . . kind of party?
An early evening dinner party with lots of friends and family.

. . . party theme?
I'm a very casual and calm person, so I think all of our parties tend to have those qualities in common. I work hard at creating an atmosphere for our guests that is welcoming, and easy going. I always want our guests to feel like family when they come to visit. I love having people over, it's always fun!
. . . type of party decoration?
My favorite trick for creating just the right ambience for dinner parties is candles. They are so simple and inexpensive, but when you gather a few candles together, it just creates a perfect casual elegance for evening get-togethers.
. . . party music?

I'm a huge fan of older classical and vocal jazz. I turn the music down just so that I can hear it, but that I can still have conversations with my guests.
. . . party food?
I love to cook. I think it's become one of my favorite creative outlets. So, it's hard to name one particular food that I like. But . . . fresh is always best, and I like developing a theme for a dinner party. I spend time planning and creating large dishes of food, salads, fruits, grilled organic meats, all displayed in pretty white dishes.

And, because we’re guessing you give the prettiest of party presents, your top tip for a simple handmade gift?
Here's my shameful confession of the day. I very rarely, if ever, make something handmade for someone. The shame!! So instead, I focus on the presentation of giving a store purchased gift or even just a simple gift card. I always ask myself "how I can present this gift that I would be proud to give someone and that the receiver would love to receive?" Simple right?! I love gift wrapping and making gifts as beautiful as possible, with handmade garlands, flowers, and gift tags. It's all in the details!!

Thanks so much for letting us quiz you, Tara!

For more of her delicious work and photos, you can head to Tara’s blog, her Flickr stream and With A Twist, her so-tempting-it-should-be-illegal Etsy store.


Claireliz said...

so many lovely projects, they're all so beautiful.:)

Clair said...

I've always found Tara's work so inspiring and love the fact that, even though it's so often full of modern, vibrant colours, it always manages to look feminine and delicate.

I feel lots of Tara inspired colour combinations coming on soon....

Joyce said...

My Mom hand a hotpink crushed velvet couch when I was growing up! I've just written down her URL's...

NicNacManiac said...

She was the reason I first started to blog...I cam across all of her beautifully inspiring photos of her creativity and love for her family and I was hooked!! Thank you for giving me a closer look at her world!!
Happy Mother's Day xOxO

Alison said...

Beautiful blog, with so many inspiring photos and colours.
Thanks for the colour combo inspiration - just right for such a miserable, grey day! I had a go here

LollyChops said...

Lovely interview!

I am smitten with that butterfly garland! I cannot wait to try making that too!


Efrat K said...

Thank you for this wonderful interview :). I love Tara's style!!

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