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We are a circle of friends from all across the world who have been brought together through our love of Jesus Christ and our desire to express our faith in creative ways. Faith Sisters has been created to help you leave a legacy of faith. It is our hope that you will find inspiration in the challenges and the artwork created by our design team and our members. We encourage you to participate in the challenges, forums and post your creations in the Faith Sisters Gallery!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Special Guest - Tasra Dawson, Writer of "Real Women Scrap"

We are so excited to have Tasra Dawson as this months Celebrity Scrapbook Guest.

Tasra is the author of the book, Real Women Scrap. We love Tasra’s blog, Real Women Scrap TV, which is a series of interesting and informative webisodes you can watch for free. We were able to ask Tasra some questions this month. Her answers are sure to inspire!

Tasra, Can you tell us a little about your book "Real Women Scrap"?

The idea for Real Women Scrap was born out of a time when I was out of balance and felt like I was losing control of my life and myself. Back in 2002 I was a single mom planning a wedding, moving out of state, beginning a new job, and trying to keep it all together. It was a late night visit to the emergency room for mysterious (stress-related) stomach pain that started the adventure I am currently living.

With doctor's orders to rest for two weeks, God finally had my undivided attention and I began to reconnect with myself, my family, and my faith. Most of the time I was too busy filling my life with noise, distraction, and stuff, but not anymore. Those two weeks were a time of refreshing, reconnecting and creativity. I began scrapbooking again and found that the lessons I applied to make award-winning pages were the same lessons I should be applying to my busy life. Learning and applying the lessons of balance, focus, symmetry, boundaries, comparison, sisterhood, and more allowed me to quit a stressful job and begin taking care of myself at least as well as I take care of everyone else.

The same can happen to any woman because that's what Real Women Scrap is all about.

What are some of the life lessons that scrapbooking has taught you?

Like I mentioned above, scrapbooking has taught me valuable lessons about balance, focus, symmetry, boundaries, comparison, and sisterhood.

One of my favorite lessons is about focus. It's something I've learned more about through scrapbooking and photography than anywhere else in my life. Focus is critical to good photos, pages, and a happy life. Without the right focus, things could still look good, but there always seems to be something a bit off. When we focus on the important and what has a lasting impact, it's so much easier to let go of other things that don't support that vision.

Are you a paper scrapper, a digital scrapper or both?

Definitely both. I started completely addicted to paper only. I still love the look, feel, and even smell of paper products. I think getting in and using your hands with the real products has a different affect than digital. But in recent years, and as I take more photos, I had to turn to other forms of scrapbooking to keep up.

Now I blend the two together or do them separately based on the photos I have to work with and the mood I'm in. There are definitely some projects that lend themselves to one or the other, but generally it's more of a personal decision in the moment.

Can you share a favorite scrapping tip with our Faith Sisters?

A favorite scrapping tip? Hmmm. There are so many practical ones about scrapbooking like making sure you store and organize your photos, put protectors on your pages, and don't go shopping without a list. But I think a key tip I would like to share is the importance of expanding your definition of scrapbooking and giving yourself space to be who you are and where you are.

Too many women struggle with feelings of guilt, comparison or envy when it comes to their photos, their supplies, their workspaces, and their pages. It's not about that at all and if we let ourselves fall prey to the temptation to compare, we lose the value and joy in what we are creating.

How do you find time for your scrapbooking hobby?

Finding time is a challenge. When I speak to women's groups and at conventions, I always say that you can't find time, you have to make it. Everyone's situation is different so it will show up in different ways.

My husband and I sat down and worked out a daily schedule where we each have downtime during the week and a longer time during the weekend to do whatever refreshes each of us. It's our discretionary time and that's when I find time to scrapbook.

What is your favorite scripture verse?

I don't have one favorite verse... I have many. But my favorite book of the Bible is Isaiah. Most people laugh when I tell them that because it's not a typical favorite book. But when I was a single mom, I connected to the writing and the chapters about barrenness, isolation, restoration, and redemption. God was faithful and brought that restoration and redemption that I prayed for too!

What is your favorite Christian Song?

Right now my favorite song is "Just Showed Up for My Own Life" by Sara Groves. I attended a Breakthrough training with ACCD (Association for Christian Character Development) in December. It was an amazing and life-changing experience. The song by Sara Groves was the one they chose to represent my life so it is very meaningful to me right now.

Thanks for having me here. It's been fun talking about Real Women Scrap and scrapbooking. Makes me want to pull out my stuff and get to work!

You can find Tasra at her website: and at her blog:

Tasra has been so nice enough to offer a signed copy of her book to one blessed individual! To enter, please post a thought here on this blog post about what Tasra had to say and we will randomly choose a winner!


CreativeMish said...

Thanks for posting about Tasra and Real Women Scrap. It was uplifting and inspiring. I need to find some balance. I know I try to do too much in my life and stress is invading. I turn on my favorite Christian music each time I Scrap or make cards. I can create and worship at the same time

Anonymous said...

Oh what a great gift.

It's a good life!
Terri E.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing, Tasra! I lead a small faithbooking group & we're growing in the Word & scrapping together. Recently I helped my DH scrap a layout for each of our daughters & he journaled precious thoughts for them. Michael Card, Steve Green, and the Women of Faith CDs play while I play! Thanks for your inspiration!

Kelly said...

I love the thought that you have to make time to scrap. I have been frustrated lately with not finding time to do this, yet I feel so much better when I have that bit of time to myself to be creative.

Anonymous said...

It is one of my dreams to scrap my story and I was excited to find this site. I agree that it is about making the time instead of trying to find the time.

Charity in Canada

Unknown said...

This definitely was an awe inspiring look into the reasons for scrapbooking and she was able to express some of my feelings that I cannot regarding scrapbooking. I just loved her responses and the book of Isaiah is also one of my favorite books as I feel it touches on some of the pain and restoration that God offers each of us. Thank you for spotlighting Tsara............

Marilee said...

Thanks for sharing with us, Tasra! It's great to see how God can work through our scrapbooking.

Rhonda said...

Enjoyed the article and video.

Loved this quote, "scrapbooking has taught me valuable lessons about balance, focus, symmetry, boundaries, comparison, and sisterhood."

I can identify with that thought.

Bandon, Oregon said...

What a Blessing!!! The right time for me to read this blog... Thank You,

Hope said...

What a great post. Loved Tasra's down to earth attitude about scrapbooking and life. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Loved looking at your blog and looking forward to watching the episodes in the upcoming days.

stampnscrap said...

Balance is missing from my life. It is so true that you will not find the time, you must make the time. Thanks for directing me to a nice blog; I'm sure I'll be dropping in frequently.

Secret Dreams And Passions said...

I have already read the book, and had given it to a dear friend to read. I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the interview with Tasra.
Enjoy your day!!
Denise from OHio

Phil 4:13

Anonymous said...

Nice to have you here Tasra - you are such an inspiration!

Sara said...

It's nice to know that other women share the same struggles and challenges in life. Thanks for the inspiration, Tasra

Anonymous said...

Everything she said is so true. Balance is so important. I would love to scrap ALL the time, and some days I do indulge myself. But then at the end of the day, I haven't done any of the other things I NEED to do, or WANT to do. Some days I just seem to be spinning my wheels and my creativity seems stuck, other days I fly through my pages. I think a lot has to do with balance and focus. Thanks for sharing.

Lois B said...

It was inspiring to read about you, Tasra. Finding the balance in our lives is so worth looking at. I started scrapping just over a year ago and have 70 years to catch up on but oh how it has helped me to find some of that balance. Zeroing in on what really matters and letting go of what really doesn't matter has been the biggest thing for me. Jesus is the centre of it all.

I so would love to read your book :)

Rita S. said...

Thanks for sharing Tasra. I can totally relate to the comparison bit - when I saw the studios of others in the magazine I found myself envious, even though I know it is wrong to covet. I've gotten past that as I continued to grow in the Lord, much through scrapbooking, and am happy scrapping in my unfinished, not so bright basement -even if I do have to wear fingertip-less gloves in the winter. God has blessed me with a spot to keep my scrap supplies out all the time - and to think there are those not blessed with that!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. It is inspiring to hear how God uses times of adversity to focus us on Him.

Muffins and Lace said...

Tasra, Reading your interview today and your answers made me look at my own life. It is very busy and as a new christian I am excited to read what God has done in your life. A great inspirtaion to me. I see how God works in your life as well as others and it makes me feel excited. And makes me remember the bible verse I keep reading over and over that through Him ALL things are possible. Thank you.

Audra said...

I love Tasra's comment the you can't find time to scrapbook you have to make it. So True! Thanks for sharing with us Tasra!

Anonymous said...

I am usually a digital scrapper, but used to paper scrap. I like her idea of combining the two!

Kristie said...

Tasra gave some great ideas, I especially like her thoughts on finding(making) the time for scrapbooking. Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

Penny said...

I am looking forward to checking out Tasra's blog. I agree with her tip - define your own style/type of scrapbooking. I don't feel I fit the typically mode of scrapping, but I remind myself I'm doing it for myself & my family. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!

Penny G

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I always find it interesting to hear peoples story behind the story. :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, Tasra.
I total agree with you on reconnecting with myself, my family, and my faith through creativity. Also, taking the time not just finding time to do it!


kimB said...

Hi Tasra! You probably don't remember me, but I once entered a contest at your blog a little over a year ago - I received an honorable mention for my LO, "About Face."

We shared a few emails back and forth and I was so blessed by your sweetness and encouragement :)

So good to see you here at FS!

Hugs & Blessings from Alaska - kimB