Saturday, December 19, 2009

TattooDreams Beaded Charm Spirit Necklace

You've shopped for everyone else, now it's time for YOU!

After many hours and lots of detailed it is! If you saw me at an art fair during November onward of this year, you probably saw me wearing a similar creation. The myriad of beads that waterfall from this silk and beaded one of a kind neckpiece are now available to you.

There are over 30 strings of beads hand knotted on waxed linen. Interwoven with tied and knotted silk, this necklace is right in style with todays layered trends and accentuates the nature of buying and dressing ones self in handmade spirit-infused accoutrements.
I've used peanut butter jasper, sterling, glass, trade beads, clay, pistachio shells, betel nuts, measuring tape, turquoise, bamboo, hematite, bone, sea shells, marble, horn, green turquoise, dominoes, mother of pearl, stamped chop sticks, limestone, bamboo coral and TattooDream rubber stamped beads. There are many more.

The length is adjustable and left untied so you can tie it however short or long you prefer. It's 36" long and can be tied in a bow behind your neck. This flexibility allows for various necklines to be accentuated and adds even more versatility to this artful necklace that goes with everything! (Okay, maybe not plaid, but darn close!) The beaded strands vary from 8" to 16".

This is a statement piece of wearable art, not for the faint of heart. You'll derive 'ohhs' and 'awes' and visible fondling while this piece envelopes you. This necklace and an evocative fragrance are all you need to set the party afire!

It's easy and fun to wear and not nearly as heavy as it looks. Total weight is 12 oz.

Domestic shipping is FREE!

In my etsy shop awaiting the right collector!

Altered Art Peace Box

This is my Altered Art *ACEO Trade Cards Box. Designed to hold almost anything.
This handmade cherry box measures 8" wide and 3 3/4" deep and 6 1/2" high (20.32 cm x 95.25 cm x 16.51 cm ). It could hold a huge array of ACEO (trade cards), tea bags or anything else you desire. An edgy box with metallic teal feet and black fringe. Wonderful artsy images adorning all sides and inside lid. A lift off lid reveals all your cards or treasures. Inside, the bottom is lined in black velvet. If you prefer a box without the fringe, let me know and I can remove it prior to shipping.

♥ Boxes this size beg to be handled and loved.
I hope you consider 'loving' one of these soon! ♥

*Artists Trade Cards Editions and Originals (ACEO's) are miniature works of art the size of a playing card

My boxes are quietly making their way into esteemed collections around the world.

••I love making special things for special people!••

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:


Ships right away! FREE Domestic shipping!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Artists Dirty Hands

Jon stumbled upon a most interesting post on a design blog he reads daily ( The post highlighted an artists hands while making their jewelry. Apparently their hands were in a photo showing their work. Comments grew and so did the concept of sharing the working hands of others. What resulted was a compilation of hands and submissions were being shared on her blog. Jon submitted my hands and here they are.
What came to mind when he shared this with me and while he was taking these images in our studio yesterday afternoon was a poem I read many years ago. The author escapes me, but the context of the poem was about how 'the trade enters your body'. Whatever trade you pursue, it becomes part of you.
The sentiment resonated and too the work these and millions of other hands and what they do on a daily basis. Our minds and our hands are our most basic tools. How we use them is often reflected without saying a word.

Why do we do what we do?
I can only answer for myself.
I make art because to do anything other than that feels odd and displaced.
I make art to stay sane in a world of insanity.
I make art to settle the chatter which runs like a non-stop soundtrack in my head.
I make art to find peace within myself.
I make art to expel the millions of ideas that fill my head.
I make art to share and sell and derive my livelihood.
I make art because I need to.

To quote one of my favorite musicians, Dave Matthews from the "Big Whiskey" album, Why do I make art? --- because it's "why I am"!

Patricia Hecker

To see more hand images, the blog I referenced is:

To see what my hands make:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Bob" A Little Box with A Big Story!

• Now here's the story about Bob. This box is dedicated to all the 'Bobs' out there. You know who you are.... You are the small orange goldfish who every 8 year old had to own. The one who lived with the plastic plants that never grew along with the horrible neon colored rocks interspersed with occasional goldfish turds they didn't see when they supposedly cleaned your bowl each Saturday morning after cartoons while Mom was vacuuming. Did they not once notice your need for a more muted decor? Did they not once notice you hated to constantly swim through the fake rocks with the fake holes only to later swim through the fake resin treasure chest complete with fake pearls opened up by the fake half floating mermaid with the yellow hair and big boobs you couldn't quite see atop your florescent rock carpeting with the never ending stream of bubbles surfacing ALL day and ALL night long? Did they feed you the same frickin' fish flakes day after day after day despite your kind requests for something a little higher on the food chain? Did small snot impacted nosed children with big round eyes stare at you in your thick glass bowl that they picked out amidst the barking dogs and background parakeet chatter in the store where everything smelled like cedar gerbil bedding even in the fish isle after they abruptly scooped you away from your other orange frolicking friends with the green plastic net and into a plastic bag marked 99 cents with a rubber band secured around the top for the bumpy journey home between juniors knees with the prepubescent hair follicles waiting to sprout as he repeatedly pushed his 'who knows where it had been' finger against your temporary pliable poly home for the ride to the new digs? Yes, this is for you Bob! When you died and were flushed to oblivion with little more than a few meager sheets of squeezably soft Mr. Whipple (remember him?) approved toilet paper gently laid across you as you swirled endlessly into goldfish funeral oblivion in the pastel tiled bathroom in the pastel colored toilet bowl with the matching pastel colored hand towels hung on the fake marble plastic 'guest towel' ring by the sink en-route to your final resting place---THIS BOX IS FOR YOU!! You've endured enough!

Bob The Itty Bitty TattooDream Box is on my etsy site


Small TattooDream Boxes

Diminutive boxes are often my favorite! These fit that bill!
Will be posted soon to my etsy site along with several others. If you need a quantity of them, feel free to leave me a message and we can talk!



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Create ACEO Trade Cards Box

~This is my Create ACEO Trade Cards Box. Artists Trade Cards Editions and Originals (ACEO's) are miniature works of art the size of a playing card. Where to store your collection? Why not in a box like this! This artful box can be kept out for people to admire and for you to share your collection!
Think of it as a 'coffee table box'!!

This handmade cherry box measures 8" wide and 3 3/4" deep and 7 1/4" high (203.2 cm x 95.25 cm x 18.41 cm ). It could hold a huge array of ACEO (trade cards), tea bags or anything else you desire. A cute box with purple and black feet, purple trim and black fringe. Wonderful artsy images adorning all sides and inside lid. A lift off lid reveals all your cards or treasures. Inside, the bottom is lined in black velvet. It could hold tea tea bags, artists trade cards or almost anything!

♥ Boxes this size beg to be handled and loved.
I hope you consider 'loving' one of these soon! ♥

My boxes are quietly making their way into esteemed collections around the world.

••I love making special things for special people!••

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:


FREE Domestic shipping! I ship by Priority Mail, so this can arrive in time for Christmas!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What's Orange on Top?

What's orange on top, fun inside and can fly your direction instantly?
This TattooDreams Box........
Purchases on etsy can be shipped directly to the recipient and shipping is free!

Thanks in advance for purchasing handmade!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Magic is This You Say?

A simply charming magical box awaiting the right person to hit the 'Add it to my cart' button and make it theirs!

On etsy
$79.00----includes shipping


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Twenty Nine Winters Ago Today.....

Twenty nine winters ago John Lennon was doing what most of us do daily - he was on his way home from work. Home from working in his recording studio. Earlier in the day he signed an autograph for the man who hours later would end his life.
IMAGINE if things happened differently that cold night.

Twenty nine years ago I was unmarried, living in my first apartment in Florida. I was 20 years old. It was a warm night and I had the windows open. I recall the searing message that came over the tv, then the radio, then everywhere. I remember newscasters crying. Howard Kosell in tears. A hole was drilled right through me and pain entered. An unsettling silence.
The world mourned the loss of this amazing iconic individual. A visionary of peace who was far more than a musician or rockstar. He wrote of the world 'being one' and perhaps it took his bloody death for that to happen.
How sad.

I recall the days afterward laying on my living room floor listening and crying to every Beatle song played on the stereo and radio. So many possibilities ended with his murder at the Dakota. For a pacifist to die by way of a weapon of steel seems a fate worse than cruel.
Across from his home lay Strawberry Fields. Another irony is the sign posted there. "No playing of musical instruments allowed". Where better than there?

As a society, we allow guns to become available to people who have no business having them. Freedom to own a protect yourself. A right of the constitution.
As a society we allow instruments of creativity to be purchased, but ban where and when they can be played. Why? To protect others peace?
This is just more madness in a world overcome by rules that 'allow' people to not have to think or take responsibility for themselves or others.

Some things make little sense to me.
Some things never will.
The legendary lyrics and music from the Beatles are dogma.
Time honored art that collectively became a prayer for peace,
a mantra to end war
and birthed hope for generations to follow.

Here we are twenty nine years later.
The music still resonates but now with a new generation.
To those who grew up with them, they are forever with us.

We need to give peace a chance.
We need to IMAGINE.
We need to Imagine Peace

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

✯ Christmas Card Box ✯

What childhood Christmas memories do you cherish? Was it a particular way something was made or done? A favorite cookie or carol? A particular tradition you still hold onto? Mine was our holiday cards. We strung them on twine that we covered in paper drinking straws. They hung around our living room and each day with the delivery of more mail, the string got longer and longer.
For some, the memory is an object that only came out at Christmas. A decoration or item passed through families that made the holidays all the more magical just by it's annual appearance. I hope I made one of these today.
My husband Jon built this wonderful box from cherry and I rubber stamped it with selected holiday stamps from my vast collection. I chose somewhat 'retro-feel good' stamps that reminded me of my childhood and simpler times. A warm fuzzy for certain!

This box is ideal for safely keeping your holiday cards or treasured ornaments. A usable nostalgic box that can be lovingly passed along to your children as they go out on their own.

••Buy several and begin new traditions this year!••

This box measures 10" x 7" x 7 " ( 25.4 cmx 17.78 cmx 17.78cm). Adorned with green feet and a red ball knob. Both are trimmed with fringe, one red and the other a sparkly cream. Inside trim is gold. Inside the lid is stamped for more magical goodness! This box is not lined so your cards can be easily removed for sharing with others.


For more of my Tattoodreams:

Ho Ho Ho!! I ship for FREE so load your sleigh and let TattooDreams make Santa's work easier this year!!!

Thank you for buying handmade!

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Do We Really Need?

What's going on? The holiday buzz is upon us. The retail weirdness of shopping on Thanksgiving Day......What could one possibly 'need' that has to be purchased on Thanksgiving Day other than foil or cranberry sauce?

We were in the grocery store on Wednesday,along with the rest of Bloomington and what I saw made me feel good. People smiling at one another! In a time of what soon becomes the rush of the holidays, give the easiest gift of all - a smile. I found people all day returning them to me.

It's the simplest recognition.
It's the easiest of gifts.
To someone it may mean the world.
That someone noticed.
Took the time.

Today I posted more boxes to my etsy site. I hope you'll peruse them, hopefully finding something that tugs at you for a gift for yourself or someone else. Tomorrow we'll do the Bloomington Farmers Market with my TattooDream Boxes. Next weekend we'll do our last show of the year, the Unitarian Universalist Church Show.
After next weekend, our busiest year doing shows comes to a close.
25 shows, all over the country, 2 bodies of work.

I'm feeling ready for 2010 and a new beginning.

Some things look yummier close up! This is a detail shot of one of my new boxes.

Give away a few smiles-the person getting one may be more in need of one than you know!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Garden Recipe Box

For you or the chef in your life---this is my Garden Recipe Box. This wonderfully handcrafted cherry box was made in our Bloomington Indiana studio and adorned with fruits, vegetables and pasta rubber stamps. It measures a generous 10" wide x 7 1/4" deep x 7 1/2 " high (25.4 cm x 18.41 cm 19.05 cm). A great box accented with cinnamon paint and knob. A small set of feet raises it ever so gently off the surface.
We leave the bottom of this box unlined to allow for easy flow of the 4" x 6" recipe cards it holds. This impressive box makes a marvelous gift for the chef or foodie in your life--maybe even you! If a different color trim is preferred, please contact me and we'll see what I have made or I'll make another. We're happy to accommodate!

My boxes are quietly making their way into esteemed collections around the world- Perhaps your home will be one of them!
If you're interested in a custom box, please feel free to contact me.

••I love making special things for special people!••

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:
$89.00 includes shipping!

Patricia Hecker

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tea Bag Storage Box

This little box gets around! Used to store your tea bag collection, these cute handmade cherry boxes make great gifts for you or a friend. Santa's sleigh will have more than a few of them on board.
Be sure to order yours now!!!

More tea boxes will be posted to my etsy site tonight.
Also, coming to my etsy site----a groovy new recipe box!~


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

♬ Walking In Memphis..... ♫

Well, we walked in Memphis! Took in Beale Street, Tater Reds and ate at the famous Arcade. A table there was reserved for Elvis. I heard Elvis fan and dear friend and blog reader Michael Bole resounding in my head! Yes the ghost of Elvis! They served peanut butter and banana sandwiches too! Their cornbread and jalapeno hushpuppies were killer! All weekend long, people photographed the facade of this historic restaurant. The afternoon sun caught every detail of this ornate building.

We'd been to Memphis before, but this time I enjoyed it so much more! The people are warm and friendly and the texture of this old city is alive with a spirit much like New Orleans. Old souls who kindly waken and invite you to take in their city, if only for a weekend with a smile or kind word.

The weekend took on new meaning as we celebrated our dear friend Bonnie and her one year being cancer free! It was a year ago at this show she became aware of what lie ahead for her. She has been a real trooper and this time, was here with us to celebrate her birthday (with pink candles) and her one year anniversary! Here's to many more!!!

On Saturday night Jon and I and a few friends took in the lights and flavor of Beale Street. Cool night air made for a fun stroll down this street of lights and sounds. Horns wailed and the blues carried out into the street. This southern city has wonderful creaky old trolly cars that move people about. We took the trolly over to Beale and back.
On the return trip we met 3 wonderful men who were in town visiting relatives. These men were cousins and you could sense how important family was to them. Conversations conveyed how they gathered for reunions and family events on a somewhat regular basis despite family being spread across the states. They were lively and engaging. They helped us get on the right trolly. We'd have gone in the opposite direction if we got on the car we were going to ride.
The 45 minute ride took us past old and new Memphis and ended right near the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. A place of such tragic history now sits bathed in the lights of what has become the Civil Rights Museum. There is a glow there that is both erie and comforting. An aura I will never forget.

Somehow in our travels through life, we find our way.
To historic places-
places to sell art and have fun
places that impart memories
places where buildings or
terra firma become one with our mind.
Sometimes what becomes most memorable
are the people we encounter - who for the distance of a trolly ride-
no longer feel like strangers.
For me, this trip was cemented in the
people I encountered.
Memphis is about people.

One of the three men we met on the trolly was a minister.
He helped us find our way-
perhaps in more ways than one!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

❦ Artists Dream Box ❦

This is my Artists Dream Box. Crafted by hand of warm cherry in our Bloomington Indiana studio, this box measures 6" wide x 6" deep x 8" high (15.24 cm x 15.24 cm x 20.32 cm). The top opens by way of a wooden lift off lid and hand painted wooden knob. On one side it says ARTIST on the other side DREAM. Purple accents of trim on the feet. Inside, the bottom is lined with black velvet. I always decorate the inside of the lids, and this one is no exception. Treasures from loved ones, art supplies, ideas to grow on or inspiration for your next great masterpiece can be tucked inside this artful box.

On my etsy site:
I have several boxes to chose from..........
Don't be afraid to buy art!
It keeps us artists alive!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Joan Baez- a personal hero

Last night I watched a wonderful documentary about the life of musician and activist Joan Baez. It traced her life from the humble beginnings of her folk music career and how her passion for truth defined her. She wrote songs about injustice and the vision of peace in a time of war.
She was outspoken and sullen. Hated by some, loved by others.
She protested for peace along with a generation of pacifists. I always loved that about her. For her, war and killing were never the answer. This is something you either get or you don't. I was struck by the support her parents extended her to encourage her to speak out on volatile issues and stand up for her beliefs. She said she was at her best when she merged her music and politics.

It was these fundamental issues that defined her and led her on a personal journey that has never ended. She fell in and out of love -sometimes with the wrong people. She experimented with life and in the end never wavered from the truths that made her the icon she was. In biblical days, someone who stood so steadfast in their beliefs would have been penned a saint!

I look at her now, she's 68 and stunning. An old soul with a wonderful story! An eloquent, soft spoken soprano who speaks and people still listen. There's power in her words and her message is the same.
Presidents have come and gone. Parties in rule have changed.
Accords have been signed, wars launched, soldiers are fighting, innocent people are still being killed, but her message is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago...

We must work for Peace.

Through her music, she was able to reach out to a generation, and in doing so embraced the world.
She shared with people
at odds,
at loss,
in their darkest days.
She never gave up!

Who is todays Joan Baez?
Who is the soul - standing steadfast in their beliefs, no matter how unpopular?
Who is taking on the demons?
Fighting the good fight and not backing down.
Standing up for their principles?
Letting people listen?
Reaching out?
Who is todays Joan Baez?

What made Joan Baez beautiful then and now is that she has lived her life on her own terms - no one else's.
She let her be herself. It was who she was.
I think that's what real inner beauty is.
Letting yourself become who you need to be.

Patricia Hecker

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall is here!!

¸,•´¸.•¤´¨} ¸.•*¨)
(¸.*´ (¸.*`¤~ Awaiting the right person is my Leaves Charm Table. This one of a kind hand made table was designed and built by my husband in our Bloomington Indiana studio. It measures 17.5" (44.5 cm) square and 23" (58.42cm) tall. These fun tables are stamped with a myriad of leaf stamps and adorned with a wide array of handmade, hand stamped beads. Each cluster of charm beads is wired to the table with stainless steel cable and tied atop with torn silk. The earthy nature of this one-of-kind art table shines through and will certainly become a conversation starter in the home of the lucky owner!

The top is cherry with a black apron with cherry trim that is glued in place. Copper tacks accentuate the edge and add a creative hand-forged detail. The legs are stamped with leaves. To make shipping easier, the legs can be unscrewed from the table base. The top has been treated with a good dosing of Danish Oil and then a satin polyurethane finish. It's both a durable and a very usable table. The legs have been treated with Danish Oil.

The beads I have tied/wired on securely, but they are small and may not be best suited for a home with small children, as they could become a choking hazard if disengaged. Cats however, love to walk beneath these fun tables and stir the energy of the dangling beads with their playful tails. Around here we affectionately call them 'tiger tables'.

The price of this table is clearly reflected in the fine craftsmanship and it's unique nature. When you find something one of a kind, the price reflects that fact that whomever owns this has the only one!

I'm including domestic shipping in the price of this art table.
If overseas quotes are required, convo me and I'll be happy to supply them to you.

Weight of the table unboxed is 12 pounds.
Indoor use only.

On my etsy site

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gracing the top of my Chocolate Lovers Box is this simple but important

•• Chocolate Lovers Survival Kit ••

At the first sign of anger
eat a RED one.
Eat a BLUE one to
minimize depression
To relieve stress,
eat a GREEN one.
If you feel a headache
coming on,
eat an ORANGE one.
To cheer you up
Eat a YELLOW one.
You can eat the BROWN
ones at any time.
If all symptoms occur a
at the same time

On my site
and it's yours!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

♣ Needfire Groupies! ♣

A quick little entry about one of my favorite bands- Needfire. They're a Celtic Rock band from Texas. They performed at Cottonwood Arts Festival (Dallas) last weekend. They were scheduled to play last May at the spring show and got rained out. More rain this year, but not enough to stop them or their fans from enjoying their energy.
Then again, what's to stop men in kilts and Doc Martens and great rock music!!!
This is my good good friend Bonnie and I. We're playing hooky from our nearby booths to take in the music and visuals!
Photo was taken by Jon. He too played hooky to catch us watching the band. It was worth it!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art Up Close

Some things look even better up close! This may be one of them. It's a close up of my Artists Urn Vessel. Posted to my etsy site today. These large vessels are sold as art pieces but can easily be used to stow the ashes of deceased loved ones or pets. I sold one this week for just that purpose. It gives me an honor you wouldn't believe to know that someone is going to use a vessel my husband and I created for this type of purpose.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to peruse the contents of the recent work I have on my etsy site. It's my 'storefront' for you.
If you see something intriguing, something that causes you to pause, perhaps it is that piece calling your name. Buy it!
I give you permission to do so!!
This is the way the best collectables are acquired! A collection begins with a desire to exhibit passion. It takes passion to open the mind and heart to buy art. To buy something not mass produced - but handmade and executed with the years of dedication, experience and fine tuning it takes to become a fine artist or craftswoman.

It takes love to make it. It takes love to buy it.

It takes the willingness to be aware of these most sensitive characteristics within ourselves to be open to the possibilities.
Life and art are one in the same-letting ourselves be open to the possibilities.
When passion becomes awakened in an individual, they have caught the 'bug' -- the 'high' if you will, of collecting art.
When someone finds something that tugs at their soul---such is the way with buying art.

My job is to create.
Your job is to 'see'.

Together I support your need to have art-
and you help support my life.
I give up something of value to me, my art-
and in turn you give up something of value to in exchange- your money.

This is one of the most primordial of transactions that continues, despite the madness of the world.
It ignites the fire, which for an artist, burns relentlessly.
For the collector-is all consuming.

You, the collector, is no different than me.
Our passion is ART. In this we become one.

Art brings people together much like music.
It lets us breathe and become the symphony of our soul.
It helps us heal.
It keeps us finding the good in every moment-despite life's realities.
It helps us become the best human beings we can be.
It lets us be us.
There is nothing more I need in this world than to be an artist and to be loved.

Buy art-find you passion!!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Creating Atmosphere in 100 Square Feet

Yes, 100 square feet is the average art fair booth size. Within the confines of which you need to showcase your work and display it at its best, be able to store extra work and wrap purchases. You need to stop folks passing by long enough to entice them to walk in. Better yet to walk in all the way!
Jon laid out our booth in a new configuration this weekend and achieved that goal!! The booth looks spacious and easy to shop and the beaded curtain continues to elicit ohhhs and ahhs and requests for commissions. This was my hope in creating this gigantic 'beaded beast'!

The tables pictured here will soon head to my etsy shop. Coming soon will be shelves and more beaded items for our valued collectors to peruse!
Thanks everyone for your support of this relatively new body of work. The words and imagery I use have found their way into so many homes and businesses-there really is something here for everyone!


Saturday, September 19, 2009


Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE pandas. To me they're pure peace. I look at them and all the weird stuff of the world drifts away and I'm left with these adorable, docile black and white teddy bears. I love everything about them. They have big lolly pop like ears, big furry feet, rolly polly tummies and the kindest of eyes. They love bamboo and fruit and leafeater biscuits.

This is a picture of Mei Lan. I saw a story 3 years ago about her mom, Lun Lun on CNN. The story said she was about to give birth. I became glued to PandaCam and watched her birth Mei Lan. She was the size of a stick of butter and resembled nothing of a panda. I was quite ill at the time and these pandas provided comfort like I never knew. They gave me something to look forward to each day for the 4 months I was sick. I watched daily as this little hairless squealing creature turned into the beautiful panda pictured here. Now three years old and celebrating her birthday with an ice cake this weekend in Atlanta.

If you've never been to Zoo Atlanta, you should go! It's a wonderfully quaint zoo tucked into an older neighborhood that is pure magic. It's easily walkable, usually not crowded during the week. The corridors that line the concrete etched walkways are lined with bamboo and add so much to this magical zoo. The animals that reside there and their caretakers are a real treat.

Happy Birthday to all the pandas at Zoo Atlanta! The entire panda family is having birthdays this month, Lun Lun (Mom), Yang Yang (Dad) Mei Lan (daughter) and Xi Lan (son).

Wishing you peace,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thirty four years ago today..........

Thirty four years ago today I was 15.
Thirty four years ago today my Mom died.
She was 45.
I thought forty five was 'ancient' in kid years.
I'm 49 and know fully well 45 is not old and
15 is way too young.
Some things hurt no matter how long ago they happen to you.
This is one of those hurts.

In the years after my Moms death, there were times I missed her more than other times.
When I was sick -I missed her more then.
When I was feeling lost and alone.
When I lost a cat. I cried for all my losses, old and new.
She was a wonderfully loving Mom who gave great hugs and let my brother and I know we were loved
and accepted no matter what. She encouraged us to be in life what we wanted to be, not what she hoped or
dreamed we'd be.
She let us be ourselves.
Not every parent allows this of their children.
There were no shadows or shoes to fill.
I think the longest walk my brother and I made was away from her grave site.
It felt like a million miles through the wet grass.

Her life was cut short of seeing who my brother and I turned out to be.
My brother became an attorney, is married to a wonderful woman and has a teenage son.
I became an artist. Married the love of my life and make art.
We became who we wanted to be thanks to her love and support.

So here I am today. Missing her.
I have a nasty cold and seem to miss her more today.
Some things never change.
Love you Mom. I think you'd be proud of us!
We became ourselves.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TattooDreams Beaded Curtain

This took a long time to do!
It's the beaded 'curtain' for my TattooDreams booth.
Encompassing countless thousands of beads, it became a focal point in my booth this past weekend at it's debut show. Each string is about 7 feet long.
All the beads are strung on stainless steel cable and fastened to drapery rings. It's heavy and takes both Jon and I to
move it about, much like carrying a boa constrictor-not that we've ever done that!

It received lots of attention and may have garnered me a commission or two. Time and
follow-throughs will tell. Needless to say, it's a fun addition to my booth and one well worth the countless hours
of painting, stamping, drilling, and stringing to accomplish.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Letting Go

We went to Maine.
For 4 days--we let go.
of time
internet connectedness
bad karma.
I had a massage.
More letting go.
My therapist's strong hands clasped mine as she
noticed the array of colorful beaded bracelets on my wrist.
She asked me what kind of massage I wanted.
I told her.
She asked about my bracelets.
I told her....
small pieces of myself I like to share.
I gave one to a friend-someone I thought was a friend.
I had one similar on my wrist.

She worked the knots in my over-stressed body
and melted them away with
These people are healers.

She gave me the best massage I'd ever had!....
The remnants of a recent hurtful experience, now gone.
The knots released in my body as I let go of the pain I'd been harboring inside.

I dressed.
I breathed in deeply.
I left behind on her small table
a colorful beaded bracelet that
I no longer needed to wear.

I let go.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts

This coming Labor Day weekend we'll be doing our local art festival here in Bloomington. Located downtown on 4th Street, this artist run show is a true celebration of the arts in this enigmatic town. There we'll see everyone we know, lots of friends and hopefully be selling lots of TattooDreams work!

Tonight I finished this new Artists Affirmations Vessel. It'll be in my booth this weekend. This vessel is handmade by Jon of cherry, airbrushed, stamped and tied with ephemera. Adorned with shells, sea urchin spines, glass beads, waxed linen, silk,hand stamped beads and bamboo. Vessels this size cold be used as cremation urns.
What a way to go!!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Making A Difference

There are times in ones life when the passing of a 'larger than life' individual will leave you remembering where you were when you heard the news. The death of Ted Kennedy was one of those profound moments. I heard of his death while being near water in Maine. That felt appropriate since sea water flowed through his veins.

A life well lived let him weather many personal storms in his 77 years. He saw too many younger than himself die, buried too many relatives and yet he did not quit. He persevered and continued. I'll miss his Irish grin and determination. His service and selflessness will remind us of the purpose we can bring to our own lives. His gracious compassion will live on.

His personality let him be a part of everyone. His passing has helped me find within myself a determination to move forward in difficult times, since he too was not a quitter. If he was, he would have quit long ago.
It is lessons such as this that we can take from the passing of such people.
They shape so many lives while quietly going about their own.

Perhaps this is the marker of what it means to be fully human and fully alive.

Long a champion of those less fortunate, to me, he was the metaphor of a life well-lived. His broad grin and bright eyes gleamed with hope. He made the future feel possible.
He in no way was perfect.
None of us are.
His past a myriad of all that makes us human.

He made mistakes but knew that because he loved a forgiving God, he could move forward. This is the fundamental belief of being Catholic and he lived his faith. He was dealt his fair share of tragedy amidst a life of great privilege. Perhaps it was this loss that gave him endless compassion for people of all walks of life and in doing so garnered the respect of his family and many who fundamentally disagreed with him.

He had soul.

His good friend President Obama said this in his eulogy "The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became."

Ted Kennedy made a difference.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

This Is What 2000 5/8" Painted Wood Beads Look Like......

Over the past few weeks I have been preparing for the upcoming shows we have. There's always something that needs to be done. Always! Many of my TattooDreams items require beads to adorn them. Because of this, I paint beads every chance I get. These in the photo are 5/8" wood blocks. I create some beads by cutting wood and drilling the holes myself. This is far more labor intensive but offers me the ability to create any size or shape I desire. It's the variety of size, shape and mix of patterns that make these baubles so wonderfully tactile.
You'll be seeing more things with beads soon! Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good things.........

You know what they say about good things, 'they come in small boxes!'
In this case, the 'good thing' is the box! These are a small assortment of new ring boxes we finished yesterday. Each box is 3" x 3" and almost 3" tall. These will be headed to shows soon. Some may get posted to my site. Stay tuned, there's more to come!