Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Artists Palette

This box is made for artists! Ideal for supplies, notes taken, a place to stow information culled for that next creative endeavor. This handmade cherry box measures 6"x 6" x 9" high. A festive box with black feet adorned with red fringe. The top opens by way of a dimensional palette knob. The color and detail on this box along with all the great images make it a show stopper! Certainly a box any artist would love to have!

Treasures from loved ones, trips to galleries or absolutely nothing can be tucked inside this collectible art box. Emblazoned with rubber stamped images representing this most exhausting of professions--being an artist. Not that it's tiring, just highly misunderstood. If your have an artist in your family, I hope they are understood.
This box may help bridge that gap.

The colors and playful fringe with the strong graphics make this a really fun box. Inside, the bottom is lined in black velvet. All my boxes are sealed with a clear spray finish. All my boxes are handmade and hefty- NOT purchased from a craft store- handmade!!!!

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


Like my work? Become a fan on my Facebook Fan Page-

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hospitals and Airports

Hospitals are like airports.
Exits and entries.
Arrivals and departures.
Laughter and tears.
Old magazines.
Crumpled newspapers.

to gates
to labs.
Sitting in institutional
Staring at wear patterns in industrial carpet.
Looking at nameless faces and
codes on loud speakers
calling no one
you know.

Places designed for the masses
catering to the needs
of a given moment in time.
Whitewashed in the brevity
of the short time we pass through
the open spaces
where movement
lies silent
wheels in unison
to the needs of those.
Who grip
safety railings
non skid floors
to keep from harm
from getting injured
becoming confused
arriving late.
Getting hurt
Becoming healed.

Signage that
the time that we
are alone
in a crowd
watch the people that pass by
and wonder.
Where are they going?
Arriving from?

Are they there for others
To exit
to enter
to stay
to be tested
to visit
to comfort-
those coming

Time passes in these tiled spaces
on boards
Decorated diatribe.
Alone and in groups.

As we wait for answers
Among crumbled newspapers
coffee cups
In seats designed for brevity
that feel like eternity.
We wait.

Patricia Hecker

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ginkgo Leaf TattooDreams Box

Handmade rubber stamped folk art cherry box. Measures 7" wide x 7" deep x 8 1/4" high (17.78 cm x 17.78 cm x
20.95 cm ). Perfect for holding thoughts, dreams or anything in your life! Ginkgo leaves are sensuous and beautiful. One of the oldest trees and one that cleans the air.
Adorned with two toned purple feet and fringe with a leaf shaped knob. Lined on the bottom with black velvet.

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

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:

FREE Domestic shipping!


Friday, December 10, 2010

TattooDreams Wine Bottle Charms

These are new! New in the last few months and new to my etsy shop. This charm depicts a sensuous dragonfly fairy with the positive affirmation of the importance to dream along with a radiant sun. On the back, a message of peace.
These tactile handmade wooden beads can adorn fan pulls, wine bottle necks, Christmas trees, drawer pulls, gift packages - or nothing at all. For you to decide! Each collection of wood beads are hand cut and strung on black waxed linen
with small glass and wood beads interspersed. Both sides are designed.

Custom charms can be made. Please contact me for a quote.

Overall charm length from top of cord to bottom 11 inches tall. Actual length of beads 5" tall x 7.25" wide.

Please see my etsy shop for more original TattooDreams work.
Todays icons for tomorrows heirlooms.

$28.00 each- FREE SHIPPING


Thursday, December 9, 2010

To Have & To Hold

Weddings bring people together in the most wonderful of ways. People who are meant to share this life find one another, unite and share the joy as they begin their journey.

A few months ago, dear friends Marc and Wendy began their life together.
Jon and I created a TattooDream box to hold wedding cards for the day and memories forever!

The entire wedding party wore red Converse hight tops........so did their box!
Their dear friend Parker shot the wedding and in doing so crafted a lifetime of memories for them. Every smile and nuance captured the love and happiness.

Blessing of love and health to you both!!

Patricia & Jon

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dia de los Muertos Altar for my Parents

Many trips to the desert southwest have helped me embrace the quiet culture and deep spirituality that is reflected in the celebration of Dia de las Muertos. A respect and celebration for the lives of loved ones past. It is felt, that on this day, the spirit of the deceased comes back to visit. Graves are decorated with flowers and food and there's a solemn joy that fills those that believe. This being the Catholic equivalent of the Feast of All Souls.

My Father died this past April. It was at sunrise on Easter morning that he left this earth. My father and I had a kindred love of Easter. When my Mom was dying he and I took part in a special yearly event at our church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization replicating Christs' Apostles. Each member of this council agreed to one hour that they would pray in church during the 24 hours leading up to Easter morning. I asked if I could go with him. I was 15 at the time and I asked him to pick an hour it would be most difficult to stay awake, to make the practice more resemble what the Apostles did. We picked a very late hour and walked over to our church which was in our neighborhood. The cool quiet woke us and the silent meditation infused us both with what we knew lay ahead. It was later that year that my Mother lost her battle with breast cancer.

That Easter,for that one hour, was ours.
Ours in quiet contemplation.
For my Dad to die on this same day, 35 years later seems part of a long cast puzzle slowly unfolded.

I recreated this Day of the Dead altar from one I made a few years ago for my Mother. This year, after a long earthy divide, they are reunited. Surrounding the altar are love letters my Father wrote to my Mom while he was in the Marine Corp. Each on Marine Corp stationary, embossed with the Marine logo and ink pen he wrote daily. The written word kept them together.

No phone or faxes. No facebook, text messages or e-mail. I trimmed the edges to resemble the papel picado flags that are used in these types of celebrations.
On the altar I placed a photo of them on their wedding day, with a wood cut cherub floating above them. This is a Valentine for them.
Memories of my Father and his life at the Sheriffs Department mark the years he and my Mom were 'apart'.

On the day my Father's life was celebrated at his small Georgia church, a pair of large birds hung in air currents and glided past the floor to ceiling church windows. In the months that have passed, I have been comforted by the vision of birds overhead.
His soul is at rest and he is with my Mother and the angels overhead.

Rest in Peace Mom & Dad

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Handmade Bee Box - TattooDreams

Bee Box measures 5" wide x 5" deep x7" high (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 17.78 cm ). The top opens by way of a yellow and black wooden knob and matching feet. Inside, the bottom is lined with black velvet. I always decorate the inside of the lids, and this one is no exception. Treasures, trinkets, jewelry or nothing at all can be placed in this box.
Artful empty or full!


More boxes can be found on my etsy site:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

FREE Domestic shipping!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gingko Hand Made Rubber Stamped Box

One of my newest boxes-- It measures 7" wide x 7" deep x 8 1/4" high (17.78 cm x 17.78 cm x 20.95 cm ). Perfect for holding thoughts, dreams or anything in your life!
Ginkgo leaves are wonderfully sensuous and beautiful.
Adorned with two toned purple feet and fringe with a leaf shaped knob purple. Lined on the bottom with black velvet. Touches of warm gold accentuate the graceful knob.

My boxes are quietly making their way into esteemed collections around the world. Let yours be one of them!

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:



Monday, October 11, 2010

Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe and Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Crust

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 c oatmeal flour*
5 tbsp cold water
1 tsp vanilla

Cut butter into flour until a crumb like texture forms. Add water and vanilla and work dough with hands. Press into a pie pan. Mine was about 10" wide.
Bake at 400º for 12 minutes.

Some individuals with celiac disease cannot tolerate oats, use your best judgement.

Pie Filling

1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 425º. Mix all ingredients and pour into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes at 425º.
Reduce oven temperature to 350º and bake for 35-40 minutes until center of pie comes out clean with toothpick test. Cool pie before cutting.
We add a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of warm pie!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood sisterhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Happy Birthday John!
You are alive in our souls!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Art doesn't match your sofa- It matches your soul!

This sign is part of a campaign I've begun to remind the public that art is not a thing- it's a way. It's a necessary component of our lives and our culture.
These hand stamped signs are done on cherry wood and tied with hemp cord. Can be hung anywhere, but best used indoors.

There's a page I've just begun on Facebook to share this message. Become part of the movement to take back the media with our message!

I'm not pushing overt consumerism- I'm asking people to realize the importance of art in their lives.
Art doesn't match your sofa- it matches your soul!

Each sign will differ slightly, but resemble this one. Less than 12" long. Sealed but best used indoors.
Hang them in your art fair booth, your cubicle - every arts organization needs at least one!
Spread the word. With velco added to the back, these signs can easily be displayed on Pro Panels or fiber walls.

Available at my etsy shop for 15.00
FREE Shipping


Monday, October 4, 2010

New Ornaments on Display

My husband Jon built the most beautiful display racks for our new ornaments. Crafted from a downed branch in my brother-in-laws yard we brought back from Virginia, this looks great. Copper tacks securely hold the waxed linen thread over each limb.
These new ornaments will go to our next shows, arrive at the Orchard Gallery in Fort Wayne and be posted to etsy.com in time for the holidays.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NEW Things From Our Studio!!

We've been busy this week! After some very cool brainstorming with our friends Steve and Sue last weekend, we took to our studio and created smaller versions of our 'oh so popular' beads. These strings are about 10", tactile and oh so yummy (if I do say so myself). Can be used as ornaments, fan pulls, or decorations to hang-- we'll let you decide! You'll easily want multiples, so deciding which ones may be the hard part! All are one of a kinds!!!

If you're in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend we will be too! We're in the St. James Art Fair - On the inner court in Booth SJ-341i- North Green between Magnolia & the Fountain.

We have boxes, beads, wall pieces, tables and spirit sticks! It will be chilly, the beer and cider flowing and the leaves falling!

Come out and buy some art!
Support the creative spirits!

Posted here is some of our new work we'll have with us this weekend.

Patricia & Jon

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tattoo Dreams Day of the Dead Folk Art Box

•This is my newest Day of the Dead Box. Made of cherry wood hand built in our Bloomington Indiana studio. Rubber stamped in black, this box measures 6" wide x 6" deep x 8" (15.7cm x 15.7 cm x 26.67 cm). The top opens by way of a lime green stained painted wooden knob and matching feet. Knob has pink trim and feet have blue trim- making them just a bit more fun than normal!! Inside, the bottom is lined with black velvet. I always decorate the inside of the lid, and this one is no exception. Treasures from loved ones, trips to Mexico or absolutely nothing can be tucked inside this collectable art box. Could be used as an urn for ashes. It's adorned with images representing this most festive of celebrations---Day of the Dead- nothing morbid, just a true celebration of loved ones past.

My Day of the Dead boxes disappear fast- YOU can own this one!!!

75.00 on my etsy site

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
FREE Domestic shipping!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

3 c granulated sugar
1 c canola oil
4 eggs
1 16 oz can pumpkin

3 1/3 c flour (I use oatmeal flour to make it gluten free)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 c. nuts (optional)

Grease and flour 5 small bread pans. I use pans that are about 6" x 3 1/4" x 2". Heat oven to 350º. Beat sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat this mixture into pumpkin mixture. Add nuts now if you chose. Divide batter among the loaf pans. Tap each pan to remove air bubbles.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean at the center.
Let cool 10 min. in pans and use a knife around the edges to loosen loaves.
Wrap in foil and refrigerate.

Happy Fall!


I Pray

I pray for our life
our health
our time together
our tiger children
our endurance of hard times.
Those times are here.
I pray.

I pray for our home
our studio
our van.
We need these to keep our
business going.
I pray.

I pray for my friends who
have been our rock.
I pray for their health.
For my family.
For their health and well being.
I pray for those I've lost.
I pray.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TattooDreams Beaded Room Divider Screen

This is a room divider screen that my husband Jon and I designed and built. It appears more like a sculpture and becomes a conversation piece wherever it's placed! Each panel is 66" tall, 16" wide and holds 5 strings of beads per panel. It consists of 15 strings of handmade rubber stamped painted and cut out beads strung on stainless steel cable. Each string is adorned with tied silk and fringe intermittently added to radiate bursts of color.

Beads can be custom made to incorporate family names or pets or significant dates almost making this a 'family tree'.
Can be made with color or natural and black.
Pieces of my work are available for movie prop rental. Please enquire by phone 812-935-6172 availability and rates.
Any item from HeckerDesign Studio can be shipped world wide.

Jon and Patricia Hecker
Bloomington, Indiana

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Light Filled the Temple

Sun light filled the Temple on this past Saturday afternoon in early September. We were in Dunn Loring Virginia attending my nephew, Benjamin's Bar Mitzvah. My sister-in-law is Jewish and this ceremony is his acceptance of his Jewish faith. There was a cantor who sang and although I knew not the words, they enveloped me with a sense of history and awe I'll not soon forget. Some brought tears. I knew I was witnessing a very old ceremony amidst contemporary surroundings. The Ark of the Covenant.

We witnessed our nephew take command of a foreign - yet studied language, stand before family and friends and read from the handwritten scroll of the Torah- backwards, with amazing poise and confidence. He was respectful and solemn and steady in his demeanor. I was so proud of all he had accomplished to arrive at this point in his young life.

I saw a Temple filled with people of all faiths and all beliefs. From near and far, friends and family. I thought, 'why cannot this small microcosm of life, right here, right now, be the way a world of people get along?'
It gave me hope.
Hope that maybe it could.
Hope that maybe it will despite the differences we face.

There were celebrations and parties and hugs and well wishes through out the weekend. What will remain with me from this occasion was a young man taking control of himself. Accepting his faith and growing up, right before my eyes.
Light filled the Temple and hope filled my heart.
We are all one- if we chose to be!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TattooDreams Wall Art

As my line of rubber stamped TattooDreams work evolves, so have new ideas! Pictured here is an image of the back corner of my booth showing some wall pieces I've recently done. These complete what is becoming a body of work that is maturing. I'm happy with it's progression.

You still need art!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

༺ Good Gourd Almighty! ༻

I have a green thumb. Oftentimes that comment is underscored by rampant growth of some vegetation on our property. This is one of those times!
Pictured here is a happily thriving 'volunteer'. This gourd vine has taken off and now crawls across the front door of our studio.

The seeds were tossed outside when I cleaned gourds last fall. I never know how many will make it to the dried stage. When they do successfully make it to that point, they become art supplies! We were gone 2 weeks and this went wild!

So, if this vine produces gourds that dry well, they will get to enter the door they now broach, get cleaned, rubber stamped and embellished. After their 'makeovers' they will be photographed and sold!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Etsy Workshop - How to Sell on Etsy--South Bend Museum of Art

Jon and I are looking forward to our Etsy Workshop in South Bend on August 16, 2010
Monday: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
We are being hosted by the South Bend Museum of Art and Community Foundation’s ArtsEverywhere Initiative

During this informative workshop we'll show the finer points of using the etsy website to the participants and post a box live to our etsy site.

Jon and I are not affiliated with etsy in any way other than being happy users to its site, but are available for group workshops. If you or your group are itnerested, please contact us at through our website for availability.

Pictured is one of our new Peace Boxes. It will be posted live to our site during the workshop next Monday.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Selling Art Globally

Make local -
Sell global!
One of the wonderful things about selling my work on etsy.com is that people all over the world see and buy my work.
These two African Adinkra Symbol Boxes were a commission and are headed to the United Kingdom.
To have access to the world to sell my work makes me feel honored and a bit more in touch with the fact that art is appreciated all over the world. Work made in our Bloomington, Indiana studio will find its home far from where it was made but take with it the imagination, breath and fingerprints of it's creators.
For this and so much more, I rest satisfied in what I did today!
I made art!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Summer Evening On Our Deck

June was one of the hottest summers on record. Last night the temps dropped enough to enjoy dinner outside on our deck with our tigers. What a treat! We've been working hard and fresh off the heels of a long hot Ann Arbor 4 day art fair-a-thon!!

Life is good!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair - You Still Need Art!

During the next few days, the right of passage known as the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fairs will emerge once again. Too many artists to count and even more art loving patrons gather each summer amidst the meandering streets and sunny skies of Ann Arbor Michigan. Multiple shows reach into one another so much so some don't know where one begins and another ends. It is there you will find everything from wonderfully imaginative work to 'stuff' impaled on a stick. (There is a name for such 'stuff' I will refrain from using here.)

I will be there! My TattooDream boxes will make their debut at the Summer Art Fair also known as The Michigan Guild Show. My booth is #8 on State Street near the steps to Angell Hall by the Quad. With a show so large, one needs GPS and comfy shoes to take it all in!
By doing this show, I'll mark having done all of the major shows that concurrently go on for these four (usually sweltering) summer days in this artsy enclave.

In my booth, you will see a sign. It simply says "YOU STILL NEED ART"......

For so long, the mantra has been to not be seen spending money. Guess what? You have my permission to begin shopping again! Yes, you heard it here! The concept is to be selective and buy things that enhance your life, feed your soul, and nourish your being.
So what I'm saying is---BUY ART! Buy art this week. BUY ART NOW!!

Find your favorite artist or a new one and re-establish buying art. (We know you haven't forgotten how to do this!)

We have not gone away, we're still here.
Here fighting to hang on in a screwed up economy, pay our bills and and carve away the dust to uncover our dreams and prosper once again.
We need you!
YOU are a part of that process.
Without YOU, artists cannot keep creating.
Join in the process of keeping art alive again. It's easy, really. All it takes is you giving up something of value to you in exchange for me giving up something of value of mine.

Resume the passion of collecting!! YOU STILL NEED ART!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Girlfriends BFF Rubber Stamped Box

♫ Hey- Girls just wanna have fun!! ♬ ♫
That was a song as I recall!
My Girlfriends BFF Box has been a hit at recent art fairs. Ensuing laughter and comments like "you gotta get this.." Handmade cherry wood box measures 5" wide x 5" deep x 6" high (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 15.87 cm ). Perfect for the one who shares your inner most secrets- your BFF!
Adorned with fun sayings you and her will get......
"If I get tired of shopping, I sit down and try on some shoes!!"

Lined on the bottom with black velvet. Pink ruffles and great messages abound the waistline of this most sought after box.

My boxes are quietly making their way into esteemed box collections around the world- let yours be one of them!

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

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:


FREE Domestic shipping!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Handmade Wisconsin Cheese Cow Box

If you love cows or cheese- this box is for you! This handmade cherry box measures 6" wide and 6" deep and 9 1/4" high ( 15.24 cm x 15.24 cm x 23.49 cm ). An ever so fun - 'Wisconsin' box with cow spots, a faux cheese wedge on top (complete with holes) and utterly sexy magenta pink feet! The top opens by way of a wooden lift off lid. Carefully airbrushed, the carved wood 'cheese' is the handle to this groovy box! Lined on the bottom with velvet as black as a night sky in the country.

Sure to be a hit with the cheese lover, Greenbay Packer fan, Cheese Head or Wisconsin Alumni in your family. Each box is a one of a kind!

79.00 on my etsy site
FREE Shipping

Saturday, June 26, 2010

TattooDreams Zodiac Boxes

What's new from TattooDreams you ask? These zodiac boxes are new and will be awaiting buyers at Boston Mills Artfest. Held at the Boston Mills Ski resort in Peninsula, Ohio. I will be there July 1-4 in the North tent with lots of boxes and Tattooed ephemera! My boxes make great gifts for yourself or someone special.

Not yet listed to my etsy site, these zodiac boxes will make their debut! I have limited quantities and will be taking orders.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Margarita Rubber Stamped Salt Box

Summer may now begin!! I just listed this fun new box to my etsy site. Margarita Rubber Stamped Salt Box- This handmade cherry box measures 5" wide x 5" deep x 6" high (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 15.87 cm ). Perfect for the tequila lover or margarita aficionado. The top opens by way of a lift off lid. The 'knob' is a wooden lime wedge!
Salt on the rim- no problem! I've added sparkly 'salt'--nifty huh!!
This box is unlined and designed to hold salt or what ever other party needs you wish to have on hand.
This small box looks great on a kitchen counter and will be the life of the party! Laughter and tequila- does it get ANY better?



A great hostess gift for that special summer party!
Also makes a great wedding gift with a bottle of the finest agave tucked alongside!

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:

It's almost the weekend- treat yourself, jump start the economy and have fun!!!!

If you're in Salina Kansas at the Smoky Hill River Festival in Oakdale Park, come by our booth and see all our TattooDream boxes. We're in booth #12

Saturday, June 5, 2010

༺ A Family Reunion ༻

On Memorial Day weekend, my family gathered in New Jersey, the epicenter of Swearingens! There were 18 of us. My cousin Kathy and her daughter Izzy from the UK, my brother Ken and his wife Michele from Florida and Jon and I from Indiana.
This was the first time some of us had met. To all come together to reconnect, meet, laugh and cry was cathartic to say the very least. When my Father died unexpectedly on Easter, I think the feeling was that we all needed to come together somehow. This was the time and this was the place. My Aunt and Uncle and their children, my cousins, made it possible.

In recent years, my Dad would drive to New Jersey from his home in Georgia for summer visits. He made memories there that I'm hearing about now. He met his nieces and nephews children and their partners. He reconnected with his only brother and his wife and he had a good time.
This time the party was without him, but his presence was very much there.

On Memorial Day a red twig dogwood was planted in his honor. As the soil was being prepared, the sky grew dark, thunder rumbled and his plant was entrusted to my cousins yard. My Aunt felt their yard represented the 'future'. My brother and Uncle carefully turned the soil. I cried.
Swearingens are particularly gifted with green thumbs and gardening. What flashed through my mind were vivid memories of my Grandfather with his snow white hair, my Dads Dad, tending to his yard. The citrus trees he grafted and the tropical flowers he grew. It was his place of peace. It was like he too was there in seeing his now white haired son, my Uncle, prepare this ground for his brothers plant. Hands and shovels in soil turning the rich earth. Amazingly cathartic. The sky darkened further, thunder rumbled and the winds picked up. It reminded me of my brother Ken and I playing on our swing set before a storm. I loved it then and I love it now! The energy palpable. We were all feeling this emense release of joy and sadness all at one time in concert with the energy of the approaching storm.
I want to remember this moment like I remember the clarity I felt the day Dad died.
The air, the wind, the aliveness of all around me.
A few words were spoken, nothing formal. My little niece said "sleep well Uncle Ken".

That's all that really needed to be said!
Rest in peace Dad- you're loved!