Interview with Dreamer, Tara Fowler AKA Tee Ara
I recently had the opportunity to do a video chat with Tara and learned so many fun and interesting things about her. Her love for crafting doesn’t stop with paper, Tara also paints, draws and sews among other things. Tara forwarded over many of her wonderful Dreaming Tree Projects as well as samples of her hand drawn art and I must say it was very difficult to not showcase all of them. Be sure to take a peek at them at the bottom of this post. ~Mike
Where are you from?
I’m from Northern Missouri, USA. About 45-55 minutes Northeast of Kansas City Missouri.
How did you get into paper crafting?
I’ve been a crafter pretty much my entire life. Both my parents are artists and my Mom was a very hands on mother. She never allowed my sister and I to just sit around the TV. Both my parents would have all kinds of different crafts for us to keep busy and learn with. I personally always LOVED anything that was with paper. Drawing and 3D paper crafting has always been my most favorite. When I was older, and started babysitting, I would then start to create fun paper crafts for those kids to do. Once I had children of my own I did the same thing. Paper is cheap and you can do just about anything with it! I made games, airplanes, flowers and even fish for the kids to “catch” with their fishing poles that I would also make for them.
I also have friends that have different cutting machines, so I was lucky enough to play around with what they had to see what I liked. I ended up getting the original Cricut Explore machine. I made a LOT of projects on that little guy. It provided me with a lot of joy. Once it started to really wear out I began saving for a Silhouette machine. At the time, it had a lot more options than the Cricut did. I had finally saved up enough money to get one when Cricut announced they were releasing a new, more powerful and exciting machine – the Maker. I was hooked on that! I bought the Maker the week it was released and still use it all the time! It’s a great machine and has served me well.
How long have you been a Dreamer and how did you find us?
I’ve been a Dreamer for a while now. I couldn’t tell you when I first started, it’s been a while. I actually first started out using SVGCuts to get some of the 3D files and, of course, Design Space. That is where I actually first fell in love with Dreaming Tree. Design Space had a couple Dreaming Tree products offered for purchase and I was amazed at the detail in them!
Dreaming Tree is such a great company. When I hear that name I instantly smile. Honestly, I do! You don’t find many companies anymore, big or small, that truly cares about their customers and the quality of their product. It shows in every aspect of the company. First off, the products themselves- they are amazingly well constructed, with all the details really thought out carefully. Then the staff – all so nice and helpful. Whenever I’ve had to call about anything I’ve had a great experience, now how many places can someone say that about? And of course the videos – they are hands down THE BEST in the business! I can not think of a single other 3D papercrafting, or ANY crafting, video that shows you a complete start to finish assembly video. Leo has a great voice and demeanor that makes them that much better. No annoying music playing. No skipping or fast forwarding through any parts. And excellent explanations for everything. When I’m asked what I think of Dreaming Tree, all I can say is I think they are the absolute best in the business and I am so grateful to have found them. They have helped me through some very difficult times in my life without even knowing it!
What was your first Dreaming Tree project and your favorite?
I think the first one I did was the Castle Card, but I may be mistaken – it’s been a long time and I’ve made so many things that I honestly can’t remember for sure. The card had so much detail and was actually so easy to make – yet looked so complex – that I knew I had just found my new favorite place to go to get 3D files!
I’ve made almost everything Dreaming Tree has on their site. Not all of it, but most. I would say that so far anyway, my favorite project is the “Midnight Manor”. Halloween is my favorite holiday anyway, but all the detail in that project just really made it the most fun for me to put together, making it my favorite. But, to be honest, I did have to think a little bit about which ONE project to pick as my favorite. There are just so many great and versatile projects and it is a little difficult to decide on a favorite.
How many Dreaming Tree Projects have you completed?
When asked how many Dreaming Tree projects I have completed. Wow- I just don’t know! I’ve made at least one of nearly everything now. But I’ve made a lot of several different files now. I know some of the smaller, easier ones I’ve probably made maybe 30ish each of?? maybe more, maybe less, depending on which on it was. I’ve made a lot of cards, multiple and multiple ones of those. Christmas ornaments were great fun to make and I’ve made a ton of those too. The past 2 or 3 years now I’ve made a lot of the gift boxes, but I’ve changed them up to make them fit whatever occasion I’m using it for. All the different floral arrangements I’ve made several of as gifts to friends. I try to brighten up people’s lives with little gifts of anything from a simple card to a fancy floral arrangement. I also love to decorate my own home with a lot of the different projects. My house is full of my drawings and Dreaming Tree paper projects. Even my husband likes it when I make him different fun projects. Everyone that actually knows me well, knows that if you’re getting a gift from me it’s going to be a handmade gift. Anything and everything from a drawing to a sewing project to a 3D paper project, or all the above! A lot of my friends and family keep the cards, and even the boxes/bags, I make them! I just think that if everyone tried a little harder to put a smile on even just one person’s face a day that this world would be such a better place for us all. And what better way of doing that than with a simple piece of paper turned into something completely new and amazing with nothing more than a little ink and glue, a little time and patience, and a smile.
What advice would you give a new Dreamer?
The advice I think every Dreamer should hear and know is that there is no such thing as Perfect. You may absolutely LOVE something that I want to rip up and throw in the trash bin. Art and crafts is about the journey, the experience, not perfection. It’s okay to ask for advice, and it is ok to make mistakes – even big mistakes that require us to start over. I would love to be able to have all the Dreamers stop, me included, saying “Well, here’s me xxx xxx xx project. It’s not perfect but…..” The idea that everything needs to be perfect, or that we should be “as good as” another Dreamer can be crippling. Enjoy the Journey! Smile while creating! Have fun with it all! That would be the advice I would give every new, and old, Dreamer.
It really was a pleasure getting to know Tara more and as promised here are photos of her other ‘passions’.