Friday, December 14, 2012

Where Do We Begin?

We are a country that is torn apart.
D i v i d e d
and sadly-
one another.

I'm not sure how we come together and stay together.
How we heal.
How we unfold - safely
in our

Today my own world feels
like it needs to close in-
grow smaller-
and heal.

I'm not sure how people of such diverse ideas
can come together
and speak
when everyone seems
to be shouting
and divisive.

We need to find a way.
We need to make peace.

~Patricia Hecker
December 14, 2012

Photo courtesy Jennifer A Ramos

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cinnamon Carrot Bread Recipe

3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. canola or sunflower oil
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp.ground cinnamon
1 tsp. coriander
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 c. finely grated carrots
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 chopped pecans or raisins

In a large bowl combine the sugars, oil and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and the beaten egg mixture to the sugar and oil mixture.
Mix well.
Next add the carrots and vanilla.
Place batter in greased loaf pan.
Bake in a preheated 350º and bake for one hour.
Let loaf sit for about 10 min. on a wire rack to cool before removing.

Warm from the oven, this is a wonderful fall treat.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's Wrong With Me?

Our lilac bush was budding and the sound of song birds perched high in our sycamore tree chirping filled the air. Wiggly pink earthworms found warmth on the driveway after the nights rain. Small wonders seem more apparent as I moved slower. In my not so distant memory, I recall stretching my legs at a faster pace and moving quicker. While I'm not sure I'll move this way anytime soon, if ever, I recall it easily. ~ Spring 2012

The day before Valentines Day this year I was officially diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. UCTD for short.
Most people, including me, had never heard of this. There are a handful of connective tissue diseases and when your body hasn't quite settled into enough symptoms to definitively diagnose which one, this is what they call it. My Uncle died last fall from one of these Connective Tissue Diseases, Systemic Scleroderma. 
My last conversation with him, he reminded me to tell my doctors about the strong history of these autoimmune diseases on our side of the family. His strong faith and acceptance left an indelible legacy.

Blood work sent to Mayo Clinic held the answers for me. My diagnosis took months to obtain. Blood tests, nerve exams, three neurologists, two MRI's of my brain and spinal cord and eliminating an MS diagnosis brought this to fruition. When you're a diabetic oftentimes that becomes the 'go to' answer. I knew there was something very amiss inside me. A huge amount of patience was required - not my strong suit mind you. 
I began not feeling quite right last July in the heat of summer. Bright lights, heat, sun, loud noises and odd nerve pain was adversely affecting me. We changed lightbulbs and lighting in our home and studio. I'd dimmed the light on my computer screen. I'd lost strength down the right side of my body. Most noticeably in my leg. I began using a cane. Oftentimes I've had a hard time articulating words or thoughts. Confusion over simple things comes easily and makes us both laugh. 
And in that laughter comes some sort of odd acceptance. 
The alternative is to cry, and I've done plenty of that. This along with bouts of depression. Yes, someone who lives in a purple house really can be depressed! Sometimes daunting when mixed with pain management. Pain in turn adversely affects blood chemistry making my Type 1 diabetes a greater challenge.

I believe that's where we are with this right now. We waited months to hear what was wrong and now we know. Jon's been my rock through all of this. He quietly senses what I need and makes adjustments. 
Memory issues have brought about small yellow post it notes around our home reminding me of things. Seems silly, but necessary. Eight weeks of physical therapy showed mixed results.
What has happened seems humbling. An internally quieting sensation. Not necessarily bad, but a game changer. Then again, life is a series of changes. 
I'm not sure if I'm getting better or worse. More tests will indicate where this is going. The medication I'm on is treating me as if this is already Lupus, so it's easier to say that is what I have. 
I can remember how it felt to have stamina, walk faster and think clearly. One of the hardest things to do for me is to walk into a room of people who I haven't seen in a while. Or to see people who don't know what's wrong with me. People have questions. Some ask, some don't. 
I wish I had more answers.

My tendency is to fight. I watched my Mom do that as she battled cancer at a very young age. She never gave up. She had two kids. She wanted to see us graduate from high school. 
She didn't get to do that. 
But I watched her maneuver a daunting battle. I wonder how much energy she used to do this. Mine is nothing compared to what she encountered. 
I'm wrestling with her memory of fight and my reality of accepting so as to not waste energy.
I'm tired all the time.
I've come to learn tiredness is it's own disease.
It takes time from you. Trying to rearrange your life around that takes time.
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 

Small things feel big and big things seem small as perspective shifts. 
Perhaps this is a gift I've not fully realized.
I've got the most amazing support of family and friends.
I'm blessed - things could be worse.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Back by popular demand! The best guacamole recipe, from Jon Hecker
2 or 3 medium size ripe Hass avocados
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 c red onion
1 roma tomato
1/2 lime
1/4 c fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. coarse salt

Prepare the ingredients:
Finely chop the garlic
Slice onion into thin slices and chop into pieces.
Slice tomato in half, remove inside flesh and seeds. Then cut outer layer into strips and chop into small pieces.
Rinse a small bundle of cilantro thoroughly, dry with a towel and chop into fine pieces.
Once all of the above is prepared, cut each avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop with spoon and place into bowl.

Mash the avocados thoroughly. Next, incorporate the onion, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes. Add the sour cream to bring consistency to a creamy suspension. Squeeze the juice of half a lime and mix thoroughly. This will bring it to the final texture. Cover the mix with plastic wrap and chill for several hours. When ready, salt to taste, adding roughly 1 teaspoon. Mix thoroughly.

Tips for the best results: Pick avocados that are firm and not mushy. A slight resistance means it is ready. If it is very firm, place into a brown paper bag and store at room temperature for 2-3 days until soft enough for preparation.

Enjoy with your favorite tequila and Mexican dish. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day of the Dead Box

The TattooDreams tour of 2012 continues and has us on the road in Oklahoma City for their six day long show. Our booth is filled with many new boxes and furniture. This is our first time taking this body of work there and plan to leave many pieces behind!

This new Day of the Dead box is in our booth......until someone snags it!! If this needs to be yours and you're not there, contact us! It can be yours!!!

Booth 32C

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Steampunk Box

What's old is new and often revisited.
Such is the case with the steampunk movement in design.

An era when things were

Smokestacks and glass block windows.
A grid of light.
The hum of factories filled the air
and lined the pockets of workers
wore time pieces
and hard soled shoes
walked to work
heard lunch whistles blow
punched time clocks
wore aprons and visors to shield them
from the
Being created
by machinery
printing presses

and their hands.

On etsy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

••• Leaf Vessel •••

Our newest TattooDreams vessel is the Leaf Vessel. This is a tapered cherry box designed and built by Jon. Patricia stained it a warm tobacco color and stamped gold leaves onto its' surface. Over that she attached cut, painted and airbrushed leaves of various sizes and type. These deciduous leaves are edged in gold and adorn all sides as well as the top. The lid is composed of an additional layer which leaves tuck under and around the decorative finial.
The ephemera that cascades down from the finial is a compilation of seeds, shells, nuts, and semi-precious stones strung on waxed linen.

This vessel is currently on display at the Orchard Gallery in Fort Wayne Indiana. It's part of their "In the Garden" show which runs from March 3-31.

The Orchard Gallery
6312A Covington Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46804

(260) 436-0927

If you feel the need to adopt this box, call the Orchard Gallery at the number above and tell them this one needs to be in your collection. They will understand and help you make this happen!


9x9 17

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Indiana Art Fair at the Indiana State Museum

This weekend we have our first show of 2012. It's the Indiana Art Fair held at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis. We have new work and look forward to the year ahead.
Please join us and come see the artists that will be exhibiting this weekend.
Above is our new Tribal Mask Vessel. It will be in our booth this weekend.

Jon and Patricia Hecker

Booth# 1-12 On the ground floor/Canal Level

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Valentines Day Means to Me

I love Valentines Day! I love that ~ in the midst of the darkness and chill of winter, a day is set aside for love.
For flowers.
For showing affection.
A day for love.
As a young girl, Valentines Day was special. My Mom found something, albeit small, to gift to my brother and I to remind us of her love. That is after all what Moms do, and my Mom was great at this kind of thing. It was also in February that I usually caught the flu and would miss my classroom Valentines day party. The parties where crayon decorated brown paper bags were made into mailboxes with white scalloped doilies and taped to the side of your desk to hold Valentines from classmates. Where the Room Mothers brought in cupcakes and punch and math class was halted.
Valentines. The small envelopes, some pink, some red, some white got deposited into your bag. Some with stickers on the back. Each with your name on the front.
Tucked inside, the small illustrated cards bought in cellophane packs at the supermarket the night before and hurriedly signed by the obligatory classmate. Then every now and then you'd find one that said "Guess who?"..... a mystery that made your day...needing to be observed more closely later that night in the privacy of your bedroom.

Now I have a new appreciation for this holiday of red and pink. I love seeing these colors come to stores after the reds and greens of Christmas disappear. It's in the February that I generally feel the full thrust of winters' cold. When flowers are not blooming and an assorted sense of cabin fever and general malaise sets in. The winter holidays are over, the anticipation of spring beginning. A feeling that things to come are not quite here yet.


Love that was.
Love that is
Love that can never be.
Love that never dies.

The most beautiful of all four letter words.
A verb that magnifies our lives.
Because if love is not put into action, it's merely an adjective to describe.
Love must be put in action to become fully alive!

That's what Valentines Day means to me.

With love,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

••• Sara's Box •••

Every once in a while an artist is gifted a great commission. This box was one of those commissions. We met the woman gifting this box to her sister in Austin at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. When she saw our work, she knew that a box made by us would be the ideal gift for her sisters 40th birthday.
Ideas were shared and stamps were culled and so began the box. Jon crafted this elegant tapered box in cherry. A fitting and beautiful canvas for me to stamp the desired ideas that came our way. We were given a wide berth in which to create this box and that was appreciated. Giving an artist that freedom usually yields a finished piece that is pleasing to the person who commissioned it as well as the artist.
Such was the case here.
The box is adorned with a wide array of earthy stones. Turquoise, jasper, sea shells, chestnuts, glass and seed beads fall gracefully from the linen cords as well as beads we crafted ourselves. Atop the vessel sits a wolf.

We know that Sara's box will be gifted in the spirit it was made~ with great love.
An artist can ask no more than to give it their all.

Happy Birthday Sara!

Patricia & Jon