Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar

Jon and I are in Austin Texas doing the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with our TattooDream boxes. Twenty six years of doing a myriad of various types of shows and venues across the country and nothing remotely compares to this! Booths are various sizes which lends a varied and interesting esthetic to what is already an eclectic show. Coupled with the amazing live music from class acts, we feel this is a real treasure and a gift to be here.
Every day we open our booth to the wonderfully fun and interesting people of Austin Texas. They are genuine and most welcoming to us, especially when they hear we came so far. Our hosts, Bruce and Annie have gone above and beyond to welcome us into this Armadillo family. Health issues as they are, we need to make some changes to our show schedule and we hope by doing this show that will allow us the ability to do just that.

To us, this is our Christmas gift.

This year the show runs 11 days. Open daily from 11 am to 11 pm right up to Christmas Eve. In it's 36th season this year. We've spoken to so many artists who have done it from the beginning as well as patrons for whom this has become a holiday tradition.
We've known about this show for a very long time but knew we didn't have the rigth work for it. Now to actually be here doing it it feels very cool!
Our dear friend Bonnie Blandford is here to help us for the first 5 days. Her offer to help us has been hard to quantify. She's given up time at home after a busy year to do this. We are forever indebted. Days are long and morning comes a bit too soon, but the energy within that hall is addictive.
Time away from the booth is good too. Our dear friend David Haun is taking Bonnie and I to the South AustinTrailer Park Eatery tonight for supper. Food trucks in Austin provide some for the best local fare around and this one is sure to please. Bonnies first night here we at at Chuy's. Excellent food and eclectic decor. Loved the ceilings full of hubcaps! Hmmm... I do believe it was here that the infamous Jenna Bush got arrested! (Some rich girls just need to know that laws are for everyone!) Hahaha!

If you are anywhere near here, plan a trip over to the Armadillo. We're in the Palmer Events Center. Plan to stay the day and into the evening! A dim hall, alcohol, fantastic live music and a great place to do all your holiday shopping!
Eat, drink, shop and fill your sleigh!!

Heckers TattooDreams are in booth B4. The one with the puple and blue LED lights and fun boxes!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Morning Haiku

Winters quiet light
Breath rises in silent fog
The days peace unfolds.

~Patricia Hecker

Featured box is available for free shipping from my etsy site.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Artist Bunny Box

Woman is born to creating she becomes herself, accomplishes her destiny. Her whole life is only an initiation into her creative power. To create is not merely to produce a is to give out ones individuality. Woman becomes creator when, after the numerous stages of adaptation to alien influence, she finally grasps what is really her own, what she really receives, not from men, but directly from God as a special personal message.
Jeanne de Vietinghoff

This quote resides on one side of my Artist Bunny Box

This box and others available on my etsy site.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vegetarian Refried Beans Recipe

Killer Refried Beans

2 c. dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
bay leaves
3/4 c canola oil
1 bulb roasted garlic
2-3 tsp. kosher salt
tamari or Braggs Amino
adobo powder
cumin powder
1 can chopped roasted tomatoes

Sort beans for any stones. Rinse beans and add to pot with water. Cook with cover ajar for 2 hours till soft. Add water if needed, but doubt that will be necessary.
Keep the water level about 2" above beans.
(Note:DO NOT SALT beans till they are fully cooked.)
In the meantime.......
Roast a bulb of garlic drizzled in olive oil with a pinch of thyme.
Remove bay leaves from the cooked beans. cook beans until there's very little water above the height of the beans.
When garlic is done roasting, remove cloves and mash them slightly and add to pot of beans. Mash beans in pot with a potato masher or big spoon.
Add the canola oil to the beans.
Add the undrained roasted canned tomatoes to the pot.
Add tamari or Braggs, salt and adobo.
Add 2 tsp. of cumin

The longer you can cook this down with all the spices and things added, the better your beans will taste! Keep cooking them until they thicken a bit more and serve. You can add chopped jalapenoes and serve with shredded cheese or not.

This Day of the Dead Box is available on my etsy site.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Handmade for the Holidays!

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --
merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
... year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.
Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone -- yes EVERYONE - - gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American-owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who thinks nothing of plonking down
the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is
struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local artists and crafts people make stunning baskets, spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, pottery, sculpture, tree ornaments and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that
China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about
us, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion
groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments.
We are the 99%.
We can make a difference!

This is a revolution of caring about each other,
and isn't that what Christmas is about?

This post has been shared and altered along the way by those it touches.
My thanks to fellow artist, award winning basket maker Stephen Kostyshyn.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with Chipotle Sour Cream

Pumpkin Soup with Chipotle Sour Cream

2 tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 c diced onion
2 large carrots, diced
1 1/2 tbs diced jalapeños
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups pumpkin puree (canned or cooked)
2 c vegetable broth
1 1/2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste

Chipotle Sour Cream

8 tbs or so sour cream
1 tsp finely minced chipotle peppers
(I used dried and reconstituted with a little water to soften)

Heat the 2 tbs. of oil in a large stock pot. Saute onion, carrots and peppers for about 15 minutes till it smells wonderful and people begin saying "what are you making?"!!!
Add the cumin, garlic, pumpkin, milk and broth. Bring to a simmer and season as needed.
I chilled our soup and reheated it later while making some jalapeño cheddar cornbread.

Serve soup with a dollop of chipotle sour cream on top.


This soup is a wonderful harvest soup. Served in one of my friend John Baumans stoneware pumpkins pictured here, even better. See more of John's work and buy it now in time for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

~~~Steve Jobs~~

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Stay hungry. Stay foolish." -Steve Jobs 1955-2011.

Not that long ago I blogged about Steve Jobs. Tonight this visionary man passes from one world to the next. All the adjectives used to describe 'genius' have already been attached to this man and to his legacy. There isn't much more to say except that he will be missed and what he designed has had a profound affect on me.
I never thought I'd enjoy using a computer. If I were using another platform (I'll refrain from mentioning), I know I'd have little interest.
I use a Mac.
I always have, and always will.
Yes, a cultish following indeed, but because this operating system is so easy to use I've found new talents within myself that I may have never tapped.
Perhaps that is also part of the genius behind this man. He taught us to look inside ourself for answers and to continue to ask questions. To believe in the power of ideas. To act on those beliefs.
I am profoundly grateful to a man I've never met, a genius that will live on and whose innovations enlighten and connect me to
my friends-
to the world-
and to new ideas.
I will always remember his genius and his generosity.
Rest in peace~


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Artist Box

Some pieces just come out really good-- this was one of them!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Skull & Skeleton In Art: Folk Art to Pop Culture

This past July we were thrilled to be approached by the energetic Mary Urbas at a show we did in Ohio. Mary organizes the gallery at Lakeland Community College. She asked if we would like to participate in a the Skull & Skeleton In Art: Folk Art to Pop Culture. Sounded like it was right up our alley- so we sent 15 pieces of our work. One piece is featured here, our newest mirror we call the Day of the Dead Milagro Mirror. Accompanying this mirror were a myriad of boxes and vases all very TattooDreamed!

The shows runs September 15- November 3 2011.

Many thanks to Mary for her hard work and amazing dedication and to Michael Kifer who introduced us to one another!

I hope if you're a Day of the Dead collector or in the Ohio area you'll attend what will be a great collection of wonderfully 'dead' art!!!


Monday, September 19, 2011

A Few New Zodiac Boxes

New boxes were added to my etsy site this morning. stay tuned- more will be posted!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Visionary of Our Time

There are people on this planet who think differently.
For them I am grateful.
They reinforce that mental solitude is not futile.
When the brain is playing it is working!
Any artist knows the best work comes from letting ones self play.
It is when visionaries build in their heads
that they create
ideas that integrate into reality.
They take chances.
Some are artists.
Some are poets.
Some are designers.
Some are all of these.
Steve Jobs is one of them.

On the right side of my blog are the words from the 1997 Apple ad campaign.
There's not a single day I have not let those powerful words resonate within me.
They have become my mantra.

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do
is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.
1997 Apple Campaign

Steve at Stanford giving the commencement speech.

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Work from TattooDreams Studio

We have been busy here at TattooDreams Studio on Purple Hill. Our collectors will reap the reward of our efforts! If you see something here that ignites your soul- contact us jphecker (at) bluemarble (dot) net. We can help make this part of your collection!
~Jon and Patricia Hecker

The Artists Palette
Roughly 12" high. On this palette resides a wonderful quote from St. Francis of Assisi. Speaks to the creative spirit of craftswomen and artists. A must for your studio!

Affirmations Mirror
Black stain on oak adorned with positive affirmations. Affirmations are of various heights and are accented with a raised copper tacked edge. Very hand hewn!
Excellent for an entry way to your home or business or wherever the tone of positivity needs to be prominent!
20" x 28" Can be hung horizontal or vertical. Wired on the back with stainless steel cable.

Quilted Reflections Mirror
Hand painted and air brushed patterned pieces adorn this bold mirror. This matches everything!
Wood is stained black over oak. Patterned shapes are of various heights and are accented with a raised copper tacked edge. Very hand hewn!
20" x 28"

Affirmations Mirror
20" x 28" Cherry with raised words in black. Affirmations are of various heights. A wonderful way to set the tone!
Cherry copper tacked raised border.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stuffed Spinach and Cheese Shells Recipe

• 1 box large pasta shells. I used Tinkyada as they are gluten free and available on Amazon
• 16 oz. Ricotta cheese
• 1 large egg
• Large chunk of mozzarella cheese, cubed
• Parmesan cheese
• About a pound of fresh chopped spinach
• Ample garlic, black pepper
• Fresh or dried basil and oregano
• Fresh or jarred pasta sauce

In a large bowl mix ricotta, egg, mozzarella, parmesan, spinach and spices. Set aside.
In a large pot cook the shells till al-dente in salted water. Rinse with cold water and drain throughly in a colander.
Pre-heat oven to 375º

In an oven casserole dish, add a small amount of sauce to bottom of pan. Fill each shell with spinach cheese mixture.
Place open side up in rows. Squish in any extra empty shells or mixture.
Add sauce to top to coat and sprinkle a little more parmesan on top or decorate with small pieces of mozzarella.

Bake uncovered till bubbly. Usually about 35-45 minutes.

Served with a rustic artisan bread and tossed salad- I must say - this meal rocks!


Monday, July 25, 2011

What I Learned at Ann Arbor

What I Learned at Ann Arbor
Sometimes life's lessons are best learned from watching nature. In our case, it was ants.
Yes, the lowly often stepped upon ant.
Sales were exceedingly slow in the 100º heat at Ann Arbor this year. I sat on our grey utility box behind our booth on Friday evening. The low box gave me a great vantage point to ant watching.
It had cooled a little. Streets were full but no one buying much. I had time on my hands and lessons to be learned!

A colony of ants found some broken chips on the sideway behind our booth. Perhaps remnants from us feeding Timmy the baby squirrel behind our booth earlier in the day. Timmy and his Dad inhabit the grounds in the front of Angell Hall on State Street. They must love the artists coming to town each year since their diet becomes infused with a new array of snacks and friendly animal loving artists to play with them. These cute squirrels were fed, photographed and befriended by many of us! Timmy loved peeled grapes cut in half, pistachios my husband shared with him and gluten free edamame chips. Only the best for Timmy!

The ants however added a whole new dimension to what occurred in my hundred square feet of overly expensive 'real estate' for four days!

Lesson One: Ants don't work alone.
They take on huge tasks and work in groups. Overwhelming to most insects they whittle away the sides of big things making them smaller and lighter, providing nourishment at the same time. They took on huge tasks and broke them into smaller tasks they could handle.

Lesson Two: They communicated with one another! If they can do this, why can't our politicians manage this task? Why can't we do this with one another?

Lesson Three: A few leader ants rode atop the small chip and gave directions! Clearly female ants charting the course not wanting to get lost and willing to ask for directions should they become disoriented along the way. Never needing GPS they were guided by instinct. What better way to live! It's the journey people! I digress....

Lesson Four: They traveled out of the path of being stepped on by moving their chip into the crevasse of the sidewalk. They stayed low and did their thing! Honestly, I don't think they cared that I was watching them. What a blissful state to travel through life in!

Lesson Five: They accepted help along the way. Other ants took over when the fist squad got tired. Something we all need to remember. We can help one another!

Lesson Six: When the rain came and splashed on their efforts, they took cover under the leaf I gave them and picked up where they left off despite their chip being relocated. A few inches to us, probably miles to them! They did not cease!

Lesson Seven: Past errors need not be repeated. We can learn from them and move on! A good reminder!

Lesson Eight: Sometimes it's Gods smallest creatures that can teach us life's biggest lessons - if we are willing to watch and learn!

They never gave up.

I can learn from this!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Frida Kahlo- A Mexican Icon

The amazing Frida Kahlo is the theme of this warm cherry box. The box is handmade by my husband and rubber stamped by me. All the designs are permanent and will not fade or wear away. Sealed with a protective spray. The intricate designs are a wonderful mix of sayings and images of this iconic Mexican artist. My one of a kind boxes are quickly becoming collectable and can be purchased from me here or at selected art fairs across the country.

This box measures 8" wide x 3.75" deep x 7.25" high. Perfect for holding thoughts, dreams, tea bags, artist trade cards or anything you desire!

Adorned with magenta pink feet and and red fringe. A fun Fiesta creates the knob on top. Lined on the inside bottom with black velvet. Wonderful details make this box one to covet!!
If you chose, fringe can be removed-that's up to you!

TattooDreams 2011 tour schedule is posted on my website

More boxes can be found on the rest of my etsy site.


FREE Domestic shipping!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home Box

a state of being.
Being where you are comfortable
find shelter
A place to stay safe
Retreat from
life outside
become yourself inside
begin again
A house is a building.
A home is a soulful dwelling.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Smoky Hill River Festival- Salina, Kansas

TattooDreams hits the road once again. This time we head west to Salina Kansas to do the Smoky Hill River Festival.
This unique show is like no other. Part art festival, part music festival, part homecoming. The entire town comes out for this annual event. The park is decorated from top to bottom- every tree, the pond, the bridges - everything.

The event takes over the town and is preceded by a search for a lucky medallion. Each year the medallion is hidden and clues are given. The lucky person who finds the medallion gets all kinds of things including admission buttons to the show. To say this is a unique venue is an understatement. Show director Karla Prickett is one of the best! She is boundless energy and ideas all packed into one of the sweetest people I know!

I was asked to place 3 of my pieces of work on the tables for the Collectors Breakfast the first day of the show. I made these vases especially for that purpose. I only made a few so orders can be taken. They hold a recycled plastic water bottle so real flowers and water can be used.

There is something wonderfully gentile about this show. It harkens back to homecomings and reunions when everyone in town knew everyone else. A familiarity seldom found these days. A stepping back in time, at least for a summer weekend. One where I hope to leave my story boxes behind and bring home good memories from people who wanted to buy my work.

This vase can be ordered by going to my etsy site:


Friday, May 20, 2011

Reflecting Affirmations Mirror

New from our studio- our Reflecting Affirmations Mirror. We've been wanting to do this design for a while and this week it all came together. I love having an idea and see it come to life so quickly! A true collaboration of our skills.
Made from cherry with mixed woods of varying height and thickness for each word. The frame has a Danish oil on it and each word block is stamped, sanded and painted.

Ready to move into your life!
20" x 28"



~ Jon and Patricia Hecker

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Black Rock Mountain- Mountain City GA.

For a little over a year my Fathers ashes sat closed in the small bag the funeral home gave us. Cremains they are called. Dad died on April 4, Easter Sunday 2010.

Friday evening near sunset, my family gathered on Black Rock Mountain in Georiga. It was on this mountain that my Fathers ashes were to be scattered. This was his last wish and we were prepared to see it carried out. The sky grew dark as sunset approached. The leaves on the trees twisted in the wind indicating rain was imminent. The view from this board walk was magnificent and one he would have loved. Perhaps he too had stood there. Most likely he had at some point. Before us lie a mountain vista layered in rolling valleys of various shades of blues and grays. We carefully opened the bag that held my Fathers ashes. His second wife's ashes were to be scattered with his. After 78 years of life, what remains is a small bag of dust. Almost resembling beach sand and shells but finer and lighter. I lightly touched the surface. My finger leaving an impression in the dust. He is not this dust. He is in my heart, but this is what is left of him on Earth.

First a toast. Shot glasses, tequila limes and salt came along for this final send off. My brother Ken and I took turns scattering the ashes and hearing them fall on the green foliage below. It sounded like rain. It was new. Spring gifts this mountain range with an array of deciduous trees, most of which had leaves. The recent tornado took a swipe at this old mountain, but didn't destroy this section of the park. Much like relationships, they weather change.
Our life here on Earth is where we leave our impressions,
our scars,
By the choices we make, the lives we touch and the love we give.

This last year has been a roller coaster of emotions. Some good days and some not so good days. The lives that have touched mine have left their fingerprints on my soul. For them I am forever grateful. They have lifted me through difficult times and held me from a distance as I healed. Healing, is an ongoing process, that I'm certain. When I went through this as a 15 year old with my Mothers death, I had just 15 years of reference. This time, 35 years later, with the last parent carries a completely different, longer perspective. More water under the proverbial bridge. More memories, more 'what if's'.

Our lives are not what remains as dust. It's all the day to day small, seemingly insignificant things that make us who we are. We are not dust at the end. We are souls going their way leaving behind who we became.
We are who we make of ourselves with every breath. We are wind and light and memories and love.
We are the life of life and what we chose to make with that life is ours to chose.

Ashes to ashes - dust to dust.
Rest well Dad- you are home.

Your Pumpkin

Photos: Jon Hecker

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring is in the Air-

TattooDreams Tour continues-- Dunwoody Arts Festival•Dunwoody, GA this weekend. New vases, story boxes and wall art!! This past week we put into motion our new vases. They're a fun new inclusion to our work and come adorned with handmade beads and tied around the top.
They cost $68.00 and hold water using the recycled water bottle tucked inside.
Great for gift-giving or a gift to yourself!!

This is just the beginning-- there's more to come!
The road calls and there's art to be sold!
Happy Spring everyone!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Georgia on My Mind

Heading to Dunwoody Georgia this weekend for the Dunwoody Arts Festival. This will be our first time there and with us will come new work! I love taking new work on the road to get the reaction of collectors and fellow artists. Georgia should be beautiful this time of year with trees and wildflowers in bloom.
Hoping to spend a day with my beloved pandas at Zoo Atlanta. Lun Lun has a new cub, Po and we plan to see him. Pandas bring me peace. Their quiet demeanor and slow, careful gestures align with their docile nature and graceful habitat.

While on this trip, my family will be scattering my Fathers' ashes in the mountains, per his request. It was a year ago he died on Easter and it is time to fulfill his last wishes. Having never done this, I look forward to returning Dad to the Earth and the mountains he so loved.
This is closure of the most natural kind.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.


Friday, March 4, 2011

National Grammar Day

It's National Grammar Day!
Yes, that's right. Not a Hallmark card type of event, but none the less, an important one!
As a culture we have whittled down the beautiful English language to a mere texting acronym of sounds.
Adjectives- those exquisite words that flower and paint the human word have become lost to grunts, groans and single letter dialog.
Nouns, made familial by using just initials not our given names.
Are our lives so busy we cannot hit the shift key to use capital letters where appropriate?
Are we in that big a hurry?
Must we tweet nonsense in place of carefully chosen thoughts
behind the wheel of the car
in public
at a party
at a dinner table?
All inappropriate times.

Must we convey nothingness at every turn using words jumbled and transposed?
Must we have run on sentences with no room for pause and breath?
Must we be so activated in the moment that we try to convey it to others rather than breathe it in and enjoy it?
Must we lose the fundamentals of communication to be 'on call' all the time?

Turn off your cell phone at parties- guess what- unless you're a doctor on call- you're not that important that it can't wait till later.
Use the written word and punctuation to paint, convey and control your message.
Use the shift key to capitalize words DAMMIT!

Grow up.
Wake up.
Not all technology suits us well.
Not all things typed, phoned, or written need to be.
Edit your life before you hit 'send'.
Edit your life.
Edit life.
It goes by fast enough that
seeing it
smelling it
tasting it
loving it
growing in it
being in it
need to just
Not be documented
without pause
and to the world.
Keep some things inside
for yourself.

Think to yourself!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Small Squares Exhibit

The square.
A most basic of shapes.
One of the first we learn as a child.

The Small Squares Exhibit at The Orchard Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN. features just that
this month. From March 3-31 the theme is Small Squares. A variety of media and artists have lovingly taken this theme and run with it to explore the nature of the square!

My contribution are the two boxes shown here. They are the only two of their kind and available at the Orchard Gallery for this exhibit. The remainder of my work is on my etsy site. Please join my TattooDreams Facebook Fan Page where my show schedule will appear and work and travel documented.
The opening is March 5th.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Franklin The Turtle Box

I created this little box for a wonderful repeat customer of mine. He liked my Bob the Fish Box, but needed a turtle. Not just any turtle, it was a special turtle named Franklin. In his quest for the most "Franklin-like" turtle, we discussed what I had and it was not 'Franklin-like', so he ordered just the right stamp and sent it to me. I used it and returned it with the completed box.

This sweet box now lives with his God-Daughter in France and graces her life. A reminder of love and care. There are many wonderful aspects that aligned in this brief transaction. Overall, it was a gift of love done for one person from another. It is the people who make the effort in our lives, who take the time, who go that extra mile that make all the difference.

Life is not about getting 'through' things. It is about the journey as we proceed.
What we learn along the way coupled with the the final arrival.

This takes time.
Love takes time.
This was a true gift of love - thank you for letting me be a part of it!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Artist Creativity Box

Rubber stamped with lots of artsy images, this handmade cherry box is ideal for jewelry or nothing at all.It measures 5" wide x 5" deep x 7" high (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 15.87 cm ).Perfect for the artist in your life. Maybe that's you! Maybe an aspiring art student. A place to stow ideas, thoughts or record your artistic endeavors.

Adorned with a turquoise blue knob, blue fringe and black and yellow feet. The knob sits perched atop a yellow gold square stamped with black kanji symbols. Lined on the inside bottom with black velvet. Blue fringe adds a whimsical playfulness to this altered art box.

My boxes are hefty, handmade and I must say - beautifully handcrafted! Not flimsy ones from a craft store or imported. All boxes are sealed with a clear spray finish. Careful attention to detail resides in all the work from our studio. My husband builds the boxes and I adorn them. We're career artists and have been for 25 years!

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

More boxes can be found on my etsy site:

FREE domestic shipping

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Valentines Boxes are Showing up at TattooDreams!

I have to be honest. Valentines Day is my favorite holiday of the year! It arrives in the dark cold of winter. The stores have fragrant flowers blooming and the color combo of red and pink decorations dazzle the palette! It was a holiday, that, as a child, my Mom made special. She usually served as a 'Room Mother' for my brother or I and that meant cupcakes were made and brought to school. Usually a small token of her love for us meant a little gift wrapped in special paper. My Mom loved detail and making small things fun and us feel special. She never missed the opportunity to hug us and let us know we were a gift to her. Some things are hard to forget.
In these last few frozen days, I've taken to my studio to create some fun Valentines Day boxes. They're slowly being posted to my etsy site and available right away - and free shipping is my gift to you!
This handmade cherry box measures 8" wide and 3 3/4" deep and 7 high. The top opens by way of a wooden lift off lid with a red knob and co-ordinating red feet with sweeping pink fringe. The bottom is lined in sultry jet black velvet. It will hold anything you wish to tuck inside - or nothing at all!
Stamped with a wide array of all things Valentine from my vast collection of rubber stamps. All boxes are finished in a protective clear coat and the images will not fade.

Every piece a one of a kind! If you like it, buy it!

My boxes are quietly making their way into esteemed collections around the world. They are handmade by my husband Jon in our Bloomington Indiana studio and finely crafted. He builds, I stamp. These are not flimsy boxes purchased and decorated from a craft store.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Walkin' In Memphis

Out of sequence here, but back in October of 2010 we did the River Arts Fest show in Memphis. Elvis still reigns supreme in this bayou town of music and nostalgia. The ever-present reminders of Martin Luther King, Civil Rights and the nearby Lorraine Motel become interwoven in this edgy city of history and strife.

Each time we do the show there, we spend Saturday night on Beale Street with friends. We take the trolley over from the show after we close our booths. On these trolley rides we've had the pleasure of meeting visitors from Australia and England as well as common folks who left footprints in our hearts and made our trip to this delightful city all the more enriching and memorable.

Last fall we met the Mayor of Beale Street, Rudy Williams. We ate dinner at The Kings Palace Cafe and took in some incredible jazz. The fried green tomatoes they served were the best!

The trip would not be complete without a meal at the famous Arcade Diner. It sits mixed in among the art fair booths that line Main Street. I do think they serve the best biscuits I have ever tasted. I'll have to return to verify this, but I'm pretty certain!
Some cities are magnets for interesting people - this is by far one of them. We look forward to a return and yet another wonderful encounter in the land of the Delta Blues.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why Would You Buy This?

Why would you buy this from me? I can tell you all kinds of facts about how it was made, who made it, the size, the color - buy why would you buy this? Why would you spend $55.00 for a box? $800.00 for a painting?

Financial/practical folks would say "Do you want it or do you need it?"
Of course you don't need it.
You buy art because you want it.

Will it improve your life? Debatable.
If smiling when you see this object counts, then 'yes'.
If feeling that you have helped contribute to the life of an independent artist to continue living their creative life makes you feel good, then 'yes'.
If surrounding oneself with unusual one of a kind treasures makes you feel
like you're creating a personalized pod to live in, then 'yes'.
If by owning this, you vicariously are living with a piece of this artists spirit in your home or office - then 'yes'.
Pretty compelling reasons I would have to say. Then again, I'm the artist who wants you to buy my work!

So - if this is the case.....think about these things the next time you hesitate. The next time you think,"should I buy that beautiful work of art that seems to be tugging at my soul".......just say 'yes'.

There is no right or wrong in buying art.
Buy what you love.
Buy what ignites your spirit.
Buy what makes you feel whole.
Buy what makes you miss a breath.
In becoming attuned to your inner voice, you come to count on it's intuitive input
when you need the push to say 'yes'!

As 2011 unfolds, make it point to buy at least ONE handmade piece of art each month.
At the end of the year, your collection will have grown,
your sense of collecting strengthened -
your passion expanded.
You will have grown too!
You may find yourself smiling more.
You may find yourself showing others your collection - having people into your home.
These are some of the wonderful aspects of art.
It is beauty and grace all wrapped in one!
--this is art!

Happy Collecting!

If you need any ideas - I ship for FREE on my etsy site!


Monday, January 17, 2011

CD Cabinet Commission from TattooDreams

Every year on New Years Day our studio gets cleaned. This year we've been too busy with a few remaining orders to tackle the task. In the meantime, we completed this commissioned cd cabinet for a wonderful collector! Her patience was appreciated as the form came to life.

Made of cherry, accented with opulent gold paint, rubber stamped and finished in Danish oil, it was delivered to the Orchard Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN where our client will pick it up.
We hope it will be treasured!

Commissions gladly accepted.
Their completion depends on the complexity and our studio/show schedule.

Jon & Patricia Hecker