INK+WIT: Favorite Things

September 4, 2009

A few of my favorite things: INK+WIT

Hello! I’m Tara Hogan from the INK+WIT blog and I’m visiting today to share a few of my favorite things, also as part of Holly’s guest series. Featured are five of my favorite photos inside and outside around my home. I hope that you enjoy them!

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

Our kitchen was a project to fix up. We have a 100 year old home where the kitchen tile and countertop were in such bad shape. Every time I walk into the kitchen I feel like we have made such great progress. I took all the cabinet doors off as they were of no use anyway and created more of a café feel which makes me really happy and also gives you a reason to keep all of your cabinets meaningful and cleaned out. The kitchen to me is the foundation of the home as it nourishes you and brings people together.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

This space has a wood burning cast iron stove you can not see here in this photo but it is quite nice. The white wall you see was just sheet rocked and we took down the stove pipes as they were rusted and falling down. This area is a nice place for eye relief. It has become a little gallery for me to display my work. It reminds me of some of the old gallery spaces I saw while in Tallinn, Estonia.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

This is our dear cat Abby. She is the softest cat ever! And, very sweet with the exception of eating paper. She jumps on my desk and tries to chew all my magazines. She is lounging on our sun porch (in need of a paint job.)

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

We have a barn that takes the place of a garage. This barn reminds me of CT, my native state. It is very New England. The wooden deck you see was just built by my father this summer. It will always remind me of him. He is an amazing engineer and craftsman.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

A glimpse from my studio shelves which house inventory for INK+WIT, supplies, and of course all of my little Fisher Price animals I saved from my childhood. I love animals as you can see from all the INK+WIT illustration. Having these little nostalgic toys around reminds me to stay young and always play when I am creating. It helps you not take yourself too seriously.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

The Fox and the Grapes illustrated by me on maple block seen on my messy art table. The white dish I use to put my inks in is a salt and pepper dish from Pottery Barn. I love painting and drawing on wood. I have a ton of paper scraps I use to collage into my pieces.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

I saved this Garbage Pail Kid with my name, “Tara” and it totally makes me laugh as I had a HUGE collection of these and have not seen them since 1985. The little rooster is a memento from my childhood toys and the wood block and lead type make my initials.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

I love France. There are so many little treasures around my studio that I took home from my two trips to France. Little books, sketches, and paper memorabilia make me happy.

INK+WIT: Favorite Things

INK+WIT around my office and studio. I love buttons.


Recently, I have been inspired, funnily enough, by HBO’s series Entourage. It is the one series I watch now. My husband and I stay up Sunday night and laugh wholeheartedly at Jeremy Piven’s mannerisms. It sucked me in, I admit it. But, I enjoy every minute of this show for the simple fact that the characters are funny and the music always catches me off guard. I heard De La Soul, The Cure, and Violent Femmes in the last few seasons all at once and it reminds me of so many good times in high school and college. I love those bands. This show inspires me to have fun while going after everything I want in life. And, starring at Adrian Grenier is not too bad either. I have also been blogging more and more about children’s apparel, toys, and gadgets. I have been inspired by Handmade Charlotte, Kice Kice, and Tamar Mogendorff. Their ideas and way with ease of materials is magic. All are so different and take you into a storybook place. I love that.

Speaking of getting sucked into something I am now a coconut milkshake junky. Since I am vegan and pretty much allergic to a ton of food at this point I have gotten very creative in the last year. Looking for some refreshment? Saw open a Young Thai Coconut, pour the water in your blender, scrape out the meat, add 1 tablespoon of Agave Nectar, pinch of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder. Best chocolate vegan non dairy milkshake you will ever have and I have had all the dairy stuff back in the day and this is mighty fine.


One of the best quotes I ever read was in typography designer, Gill Sans, An Essay on Typography. “If you look after goodness and truth beauty will take care of itself.” I love how straight to the point this is and how it communicates all forms of beauty. If you take care of the inside the outside will follow on all levels both physical, mental, and spiritual. If you do good, good will follow. But, of course, you cannot expect anything in return for your goodness. Staying humble is wise. -Tara

(images: tara hogan)


  • Reply Deanna September 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    I love the idea of having things around you that remind you to stay young and to play, I believe we all need to keep in touch with the child within us. That fox painting is absolutely adorable too! Love it!
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Red…Meet Blue! =-.

  • Reply Tracey September 5, 2009 at 5:14 am

    OMG Garbage pail kids! have not seen them for decades, I used to have loads of them when I was younger. love that fox painting. lovely. x
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Cant wait for this! =-.

  • Reply Victoria Klein September 5, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Hooray – great to see you on decor8, Tara :) Seeing the small toys that you kept from your childhood is my favorite part of the post … so cute & nostalgic. My mom still has a milk crate with toy blocks that she played with when she was a kid, as did my sister & I, and now my sister’s kids play with them …

  • Reply Monica September 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Great post! Love the pics, and thanks for sharing the “milk”shake recipe. I’m vegan, too, so I’m looking forward to adding it to my list of recipes.
    I understand what you mean about that show inspiring you to live your dreams. The other day I saw a license plate that reminded me to do so. It said, “Live Big.” That’s my new motto.
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..Anthro Pics and a Surprise =-.

  • Reply Winona September 5, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Abby, beautiful cat, she is grey like a my cat: “Winona” . what breed of cats is Abby? Russian blue, Korat?. I have a fashion design blog and another blog for cats:


    These are two of my passions, design and felines.
    Congratulations on your wonderful -Decor8- and greetings from Barcelona.
    .-= Winona´s last blog ..Invierno 2009-2010: tendencia: inspirandonos en el "punk" =-.

  • Reply klee September 5, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    your cat’s eyes are really pretty!
    .-= klee´s last blog ..jessica stam =-.

  • Reply Emily September 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Wow, I just had to comment because your cat looks EXACTLY like my cat, which I realize isn’t that big of a deal (there’s lots of gray cats), but my cat is also named Abby. I just thought it was funny that our cats are doppelgangers.

    Anyway, your house and studio are beautiful. My dream is to live in an older house like yours!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt (no ice cream maker required!) =-.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente September 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    This is so lovely….I adore Tara’s work and loved getting to know more about her and her favorite things. I love that you still have the original cow and rooster from the fisher price barn, god I loved my fisher price house and barn when I was little! :) I love the glimpses of your home as well, the barn is beautiful and the quote you mentioned at the end is a great one. Thank you so much for sharing your favorite things with us Tara!
    ps I adore your fox on wood….one of my all time favorites.
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..Wow… =-.

  • Reply wren September 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    oh.. i so want your barn. i would have it as a studio / workshop it would be wonderful… thanks for sharing.
    .-= wren´s last blog ..a remodeling we’ll go =-.

  • Reply Zarnigar September 7, 2009 at 2:15 am

    when i was younger i had such kind of stuff which u mentioned in your blog specially buttons, water colours and hand made childish drawings. i had a cat when i was a child but that was white and your cat reminds me my own …. i would like to appreciate your collection ….. its wonderful

  • Reply Petergaye K. Kisielewicz/Yahgie September 7, 2009 at 8:51 am

    That is a very cute cat. Your studio looks very fun. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Petergaye K. Kisielewicz/Yahgie´s last blog ..Some of my favorite Interior design photos. =-.

  • Reply louise/artandghosts September 7, 2009 at 11:08 am

    beautifully inspirational – and your gorgeous kitty melts my heart with those eyes:)
    And somebody else who still possesses Garbage Pail cards! I had almost forgotten them!

    I am also quite moved by your advice. Integrity AND beauty indeed go hand in hand.
    .-= louise/artandghosts´s last blog ..The Audreys =-.

  • Reply Cookie Cutter September 8, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Love your keepsakes from childhood. They speak to the nostalgic in me. And your work is really cute too!
    .-= Cookie Cutter´s last blog ..Weekend through the eyes of my iphone =-.

  • Reply jenn September 8, 2009 at 9:53 am

    everything in here is so beautiful… even the garbage pail kid card!
    .-= jenn´s last blog ..django… =-.

  • Reply LobotoME September 8, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Lovely list of favorites Tara!

    J :)
    .-= LobotoME´s last blog ..{ bite ME } =-.

  • Reply jennifer12287 September 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    that’s hilarious! my brothers used to have a huge collection of garbage pail kids and they were so fun to look through. odd, but fun :)

  • Reply Rachael, Pistachio Press September 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I love Entourage, one of my very favorite shows. Wonderful quote, too!

  • Reply Penny Patten September 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Meow! Your home is lovely and a creative space.
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..The Donkey Arrived Yesterday =-.

  • Reply Suzy Procopio September 11, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Amazing stuff, Tara. Love all the photos and inspiration. I can tell that quote is one you live by!

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