Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Today" for Today

A most spectacular sky full of clouds-T.Allen-Mercado 2009

Today is a new day, a day full of firsts: my first thought, my first sip of coffee (not necessarily in that order), the first cat/ child/ phone call to greet me; my first smile

Today is a new day, a day full of choices: forgive yesterday's foolery, reward today's accomplishments, forget old worries, forge ahead, take precautions, take heed; learn

Today is a new day, a day full of love: birdsong, trilling, laughter, familiar voices, a restful sigh, winds blowing, branches rustling; a joyous high

Today is a new day a day full of peace; silence

Tomorrow is unknown, seize your today

I wrote this off the cuff, inspired by a series of blog posts I read whilst sipping on the java; posts about yesterday, posts about's one for "Today".


Monday, December 28, 2009

This Art-filled Life II

J-Murk (Jordan) performs in Scottsdale, AZ

Saturday, also known as "The Day After Christmas Crash" I sat sated, pensively feeling on a handful of new beads; both in my hands and mind's eye. Only one eye though, as the other ogle my new journal and color scanner; key components in my quest to break off the monitor and into print with my doodlings and musings. Yael Rose sit in her whimsy-filled quarters, focusing intently on her new skateboard and instructional guide for girl skaters. Joe is fidgeting with gadgets I should surely know by name after 20 years of art and love. He has that look...the one we all get around here when we're trying to balance the beckoning of the muse against the bellowing of real life. And the phone rings...(per usual I'm the only one who hears it) Grimace.

Hello... Din of voices. Hello...Hello Mommy? It's Jordan who has gone to a local venue to audition for their New year's Eve event. "Hey, how'd it go"? Most admirably restraining the desire to squeal-a mother knows these things, he says, "They liked me." Mom-always needing further clarification says, "Oh good, so you made it". To which he says, "Yes they liked me!" We exchanged a few more words then I hung up and told Joe the news. Yael Rose (yes, the same one who didn't hear the phone) enters and says, "Cool, Jordan made it!"

I go back to my spot and the playback begins, "Mom, they liked me..." It echoes through my thoughts in an almost surreal manner. For a moment, I'm frozen. I need to organize these thoughts, I need to make sense of what I'm feeling. Part of me feels like I need to have a grade school-like talk about self-acceptance and self esteem. But, I know better. In my heart, I know that Jordan is confident and self loving, I know that Jordan is a well-rounded young adult. In my [he]art though, I also know what he just said, what he is feeling is indeed genuine; completely honest. He does feel an overwhelming sense of acceptance at this moment, greater than even a mother's love. It's what we've been unknowingly preparing him for all along. Jordan is an artist; the Self and the craft are one. Pauses in ambivalence. Somehow, I suspect this realization weighs more heavily on me than him.

Peace, art and love

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Santa Cause

Blu's first Christmas here with us in in her forever home.

Last year I made up my mind that I’d add Santa Claus to the list. Yes, the list; I’d jot his name down right under religion and politics and there he’d sit forever in conversational purgatory, and then…well, it happened. You’ve heard the adage about great minds, yes? I bet you’re thinking, “great minds think alike” ironically enough, it’s been changed to none other than “great minds are subject to change”. That being said, today I’m going to talk a bit about the dude and his cause.

I am a lifelong supporter of the “Santa Cause”, my parents were supporters, my grandparents were supporters and short of a mischievous childhood friend or two and perhaps an evil cousin this was working for us. Or so I thought when I donned my red hat and took oath to bumble about in the wee hours of Christmas morn whilst (oft-unsuccessfully) trying to recall all the spots I’ve been stealthily securing goodies since the blasted day after Thanksgiving sale. Breathes heavily. It seems now I’ve been told this practice- along with doling meager donations for cute little, mottled, milk teeth, and hiding eggs at springtime is dishonest and a disservice to my children. Gasps.

You mean I’m doing them a disservice by engaging in benevolent fantasy play, by upholding traditions that have been a source of joy and fond remembrance in our family and many others for centuries? Hmm. I’m not sure I’m buying it. In fact, I can back that up by saying that NOT one of the now adults and parents with whom I shared far from “Cleaver-like” childhood experiences has been adversely affected by the presence of the fat guy, the tooth fairy or the springtime bunny-well, there was that one time I ate too many Peeps, but overall it’s all been a good run.

So, after much rambling, in closing I guess I’d just like to say I confess, “I have lied”. Rises whilst the big guy, the tooth fairy and the spring bunny remain seated. “I am the real Santa Claus, tooth fairy, and the springtime bunny. Wait, before you declare my penance: my kisses, they’re frauds; they have no FDA approved medicinal properties. I just dole ‘em out, cause well, I like kissing my children’s boo-boos. Oh, and perhaps there are smarter, prettier, more handsome children out there, and that’s a lie too. Mea culpa. Hmmm, oh yeah…that time at the dance recital, I did notice my angel turning in the wrong direction…I guess I should have told her instead of saying I hadn’t noticed and neither did anyone else. Instead, I took the low road and told her she was flawlessly graceful. Hangs head in shame. Not! Laughs. I learned that from the kids. Okay, okay…the real truth is, I’m not sorry at all. I’d do it all over again, and fully intend to, season’s greetings!

This post was originally published on Moms of Hue where you can read more of my musings and those of several other talented writers.

Peace and joy

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sweet Victory!

Front to back:
Dark chocolate & almond cookies, lemon ricotta, butter cookies,
and chocolate crinkles.

My first Tiramisu layer cake.
Aah, yes...a culinary success story.

Merry Christmas, friends

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Baking Undertaking

So, I'm baking and once again, I'm asking myself, "Self, why do you bake when it troubles you so?" Baking, much like sewing is an exact science. Tameka, much like her children [insert grimace here] has grave difficulty following direction. She just isn't happy unless she adds her own "creative spin".

My butter cookies needed a bit of almond extract. My tiramisu needed more instant coffee powder in the batter, less liqueur and more confectioner's sugar in the frosting. My chocolate crinkles needed to cook a bit longer. My lemon ricotta cookies needed a less lemony glaze. And now I need a Valium as I'm filled with worry that all of this tweaking will render my recipes inedible.

Stay tuned and cross your fingers, will you?

Peace and bad carbs

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Little Things, Big Smiles

Buddha, a twisted tree, rock garden and captured raindrops in downtown Sedona, AZ.

...just a few feet away from the rock garden, this whimsical pinwheel and perennials peeking through the moss and earth.

A walk after the rain with the one that makes my heart sing.

I hope your Sunday is filled with a warm heart, the beauty of little things and great big smiles.

Peace and love

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Linear thoughts are overrated...

{excerpt from page 53}
The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine N. Aron Ph. D.

Seemingly out of nowhere, yes? Darn the Universe is good! I read this while we were vacationing, (I am now back at home and quite refreshed.) and immediately felt a tinge-you know the one when you realize; hark, this is me. Yes, well that one.

I'm either all the way in, pining about my seeming lack of motivation and trying to jumpstart it with all matter of caffeine and brute force, or all the way out at sea drowning in brilliant-albeit overwhelmingly exhausting, creative ideas. Right now however, I'm in a good place and hoping I can ride this feeling out at a comfortable pace through the holiday hoopla and into an exciting, but tolerable new year. Which incidentally will begin sometime in February, likely on a Tuesday because the pressure of beginning at the beginning is far too great.

I hope you've all been doing, feeling and living well!

Peace, love and random banter

Friday, December 11, 2009

Before Santa arrives...

Original collage by Elena Mary-available on Etsy .

I need a reprieve, again. Somehow I'm not looking forward to Christmas this year. Frowns. Something is missing, so we're going up north sans outsiders and distractions, ringing phones and obligation to find it. Yes, we are headed north to do absolutely nothing but look at each other, talk to each other and reconnect. We're going on a love junket before Santa arrives.

Peace and love

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'Tis the Season

For Swappin'

One of the many benefits of the blogging and arts communities is the prevalence of swapping. We love it, we live for it-and damn it, we're good at it! Above is the contents of my Brown Paper Package swap hosted by Max & Ellie.

I received the most insanely delicious VEGAN Sweet & Chewy Coconut Chex mix complete with the recipe! In addition, there were some beautifully hand-sugared pears and one of my favorite things in the whole world to adorn my favorite body part: (in case you didn't know) a handmade scarf! Woot!

Now, my turn...I'm working on my gifts now. We got to choose a winter holiday for the swap and I chose the oft-ignored New Year's. Wait'll you see what I'm shipping to Exeter!

Peace and happy swapping!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Downtown, Selling My He[art]

Pretty in Peace at Crafeteria 3, Phoenix Arizona

Urban Adornments' owner/artist, Gina Hullum

One of several super Indie bands who kept my mind off the bitter temperatures and on topics such as love, art, humanity, and the oft-inhumane and quite insane Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The violin's playing like lo-o-o-ovely singing... A song from Glee Club, yes of course I was a member.

Wonderful patrons, like seriously... which is good, because I'm so not built for the craft show nightmare patrons I've read and heard about.

The terrible, horrible, very bad view of all that was fantastic in downtown Phoenix Friday night!

The Dish:
I did well!

The Very Best Part:
I met a sweet woman and her even sweeter little boy who recognized a pair of my earrings. He'd purchased them from Frances Vintage, with his own money, for his mom on her birthday. She mentioned that she loved them and had worn them to work just this week. We spoke about how well he-at such a young age, knew her taste and how they were happy to continue to support me. She took a card, we shook hands, and I felt all warm and fuzzy. It was indeed the very best part.

The Fabulous Future:
I received great feedback on my Moo cards, which feature my collage work. I'm thinking prints. Hmmm. And, speaking of prints, I'll be in print! Yup, me in the College Times along with pics of some of the editor's favorite Pretty in Peace pieces. Isn't that fabulous? I'm thinking it's pretty fabulous. Thank you, for all of your well wishes for health and success.

Peace and art

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crafeteria is here...

as is what appears to be some strange stomach virus-like thing. Cripes! Sighs, sips tea and clenches glutei. Which oddly enough rhymes with TMI.

At any rate, I'm no stranger to the Law of Sir Murphy...I should've known when my less than $10 display came out like this there'd be some turn of events!

Stubby beer bottle covered in leftover tulle from the gold themed X-mas bin and ribbon from a recent gift exchange. Glittery ball thingie NEW! Cost: $3.00. Twine bust also covered in same tulle and ribbon, bracelet pillow sewn by moi from corduroy and other cotton fabric scraps-Cost: FREE!

Last year's brass goblet and glass plate creations, polished and now seated atop the brass colored chargers from our dinner party 4 years ago. Cost: FREE! A runner made of more corduroy fabric scraps; I added the lace, a recycled embellishment from a recent purchase. Cost: FREE!

Last years's tablecloth, I removed the duct tape and put in an actual hem! Cost $3.00 for matching thread.

Now to do something with these jewelry making hands of mine, lest I scare the patrons! Wish me good health and luck for tomorrow!

If you are in the Phoenix area:

Crafeteria is at 10 W. Camelback Road, 6:00-10:00 PM

Peace and Indie love

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good Times and Bad Blogging

The day before Thanksgiving:
These Red Velvet cupcakes were the first in a 9 hour Soul food cook off!

The morning after, not a creature was stirring...

I hope you all had a joyous Thanksgiving- last Thursday, if you don't partake. My day was replete with all of necessary fixin's: food, friends and folly. While I'm sorry that I didn't take my usual host of holiday gathering pictures, I'm thrilled to say that rather than behind the scenes and lens, I was right in the thick of the celebration, and it was a a thoroughly enjoyable change for me! Yes, I engaged in pleasant social interaction sans anxiety and regret-for this among many other things I am grateful!

Peace and thanks

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sammy, Michael & Katt

Creedits: Images stolen from Google search

Sammy Sosa lightened his skin, we've established this. Personally I think skin lightening creams produce an odd- for lack of a better word, complexion when used for any purpose other than blemish removal. Medically, they are unsafe, so Sammy's decision is odd all across the board, to me. Initially, my thoughts are, well why you wanna go and do that, love?

The Favorite Guy and I start in on the topic and immediately I say, "It kinda sucks since he came here [US] made a name for himself as a prominent athlete and there are I'm sure, hosts of dark-skinned Dominican children who had someone to look up to". Then, I reflected on Michael Jackson and how the Black community lauded/condemned him based on his personal choices and the changes he made to his physical appearance and felt saddened by my flippant rush to cast judgment and place such heavy responsibility on this person whom I do not know. Sure, he has chosen a profession that puts him in the public eye, but keep in mind, their contracts don't have a role model race/gender/social responsibility clause.

For a moment I thought, "Hmm imagine if my chemically straightened hair, excessive consumption of imported beer and favored, frequent use of the F-word were the only things people referenced when formulating an opinion about my worth, both self and societal". Oh the pressure, the pain, the horror.

Katt Williams (I'm a fan.) said something about self-esteem that really resonated with me. He said, "self-esteem is called [such] because it is the esteem of yo' motherfuckin' self". Vernacular aside, this is a heavy, poignant statement and a virtue of sorts that we should all aspire to make our mantra. When each of us is working within, our best face is put forward and in turn we see only the best of those around us. It's ignorant to believe we're all the same, it's enlightenment to acknowledge that being different is a cardinal commonality.

So what, the voice within someone who once looked like me or you has chosen alternate packaging and your voice says stay in the skin/features/gender to which you were born, it's all the same difference.

Disclaimer: I'm not blind to hegemony, I'm not naive to the beauty standards of the west, I am however completely ignorant of the reasoning behind any of the aforementioned celebrities' reasons for altering their appearance and as a result of that ignorance have opted to form my opinion based solely on aesthetics, "packaging" if you will.

Peace and self love

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Meet Minerva

The owl is a superb animal, a master of physical presence, grace and alertness. She relishes physical reality and takes delight in sensation and movement. She lives in her body and listens to the music of her own metabolism. She feels the waxing and waning of the living energy that pulsates in every cell.

Minerva is a red-haired, olive-hued Gemini.

She likes sweet tea and strong lovers

She reads with the radio on

She dances to silence and sings with her eyes

She wears short-sleeved sweaters and sneakers with heels

Her words are few, her tales many

And, she just won't have it any other way

Peace and wisdom

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Einstein Didn't Sew!

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points is Anything But a Straight Line:
and Other Truisms on Amateur Sewing

Catchy isn't it?! Honestly, I'm rather enjoying my sewing adventures y'know now that I've figured out clockwise, versus counter clockwise and stopped breaking needles! Needle breaking was getting costly. Between us here, the trick to stitch length and depth and subsequent needle preservation is to use measurements, not a random combination of your two favorite numbers between one and five! I'm glad I got that all worked out!

What else? Oh! I've learned to respect the pedal, no more Danica Patrick type acceleration. I am also quite happy to report I am stitching at a comfortable even pace. Well, except for when I veer off course and have to straighten up again. The reverse stitch function thingie is for reverse stitching; it doesn't remove crooked stitches. Yep, I learned that too.

Anyone else working on anything new?

Peace and NEW! crafty endeavors

xoxo, Tameka

Don't ask about the cookies, if I tell you...I'll have to kill you (unless you share).

The funny thing about humans...

Just when you think, that's it, I'm done a pox on all of 'em- the special ones make themselves visible. This impeccable timing is undeniable even for an aspiring misanthrope like me.

After my "Drunk, again" post, the beautiful humans weighed in; in the comments section, in e-mails, on the phone, on Facebook!, in person...and gratefully all in small well-timed spurts. Winks. They''ve all reminded me that without the occasional ugliness that is the human condition, I'd forget or otherwise overlook the beauty that exists in all of us, in all of you. Thanks, friends.

Peace and love

Monday, November 16, 2009

Drunk, again...

I've done it again-I got people drunk, and now I'm paying with a hell of an anxiety-laden, what was he/she thinking, what did they really mean by "x,y,z", she looks sad, he looks distant, he lied, she lied, I lied...collapses and faintly whispers, hangover.

I know what you're thinking (which is a big part of the problem), so why do I do it? Well, I don't do it intentionally, and even try to avoid it by dulling the senses with fine lager. Nevertheless, it happens. My receptors get all fired up and here I am in this human-filled room hearing all of their conversations, comparing and contrasting their eye and body movements against what is being said; picking up on their secrets, shame and demons, and before you know it, I'm on overload. Now, the party is over, they've gone on with their lives and I'm unwell.

Yesterday was the hardest day, I imagine it's like waking up next to someone whom you don't know well enough. Blink brain starts to awaken and the discomfort sets in. I bring my forearm up over my eyes to...I don't know what it's supposed to do, I saw it in a movie I think. Cerebral radio begins to play the random hit of the night; tonight's hit is the Black-Eyed Peas, Meet Me Halfway. Figures, I hated that song not 5 minutes before we left home.

I feel, I don't know how I feel. I feel open, fearful, anxious. I feel I've been made privy to too much and in that exposure I too have become weakened, vulnerable, fragmented. I feel-in short, like I need repair. So, that's what I'll do, as I've always done. I'm going to reach in and fix myself, clear my head, straighten my back, recoup and rehab, and I'll undoubtedly fall off the people wagon again, but hopefully not too soon.

Does anyone out there experience these same sensitivities after social situations?

Peace and solitude

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Thought Thursday: On Dreams and Dreaming

Oftentimes I have these dreams, vivid, fascinating dreams (a regular occurrence for the HSP) that end all too quickly, and often incomplete. I often wonder what- if anything, to make of these fleeting moments.

I have this dream- a rather vivid and fascinating one; one that is also most certainly incomplete. I wonder about that too. Perhaps, my understanding or lack thereof is limiting. Perhaps the dreams and dream are indeed complete manifestations of fleeting incompletion.

An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.
-Paul Valery

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Young Men & Old Books

Jordan turned 18 on Friday, we haven't seen very much of him since!

In celebration of my giving birth day we headed over to the Arts Festival in nearby Litchfield Park and found a vintage and antique book sale going on in a very old school building. What a treat! I wanted to buy it all, but I settled on these: (Top to Bottom) Four Shakespearean Comedies, The Little Prince, Guy de Maupassant's Selected Short Stories, Gertrude Stein's 3 Lives, The Highly Sensitive Person, The Size of Thoughts , The Joy of Lex ( I almost passed it by mistaking it for that other joyful book!) The Book of Virtues, an old dictionary for altering, a book that didn't make the photo because it's already tangled up in my comforter (The Prodigal Tongue) and the piece de resistance...

This dusty little unsuspecting wonder is a 1953 copy of Albert Skira's biographical and critical studies of Pablo Picasso's work! I'm in heaven.

Peace and good times and books and stuff!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Gaia & Nirit : Pretty in Peace Fall 2009

Gaia, the Hebrew word for earth and Nirit for flower, these pieces are representative of the delicate symbiosis that exists between a mother and daughter. My grandmother's failing health has given me pause to consider and reconsider these relationships; hers and mine , my mother's and hers, and ultimately my mother's and mine.

Gaia (background) & Nirit : Pretty in Peace Fall 2009

I've used heavily oxidized and raw brass to symbolize the fusion of age and youth, stone and glass for fortitude and pulchritude and a large copper floral focal on Nirit for growth. Idyllically these would meld as nicely in life as they do in design and theory, but what fun would that be? Smiles.

Peace and love

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

30 Days...

Thirty days to primp and prep 'til I pack my wares and head down to Crafeteria 2009 in Phoenix! Yes, dear friends in art and life, I am in the building (er um parking lot). I made it, me and 29 of Phoenix's hottest indie artists will make our works available to the public this December 4th.

The pressure is on this year because: 1. Last year's debut garnered rave reviews from craft show veterans and patrons alike. One of my bracelets even had a write up on the local paper's fashion blog! 2. Phoenix or (NoPho) is quickly becoming the place to be for art and artists and Frances Vintage (home of Pretty in Peace designs) is the New Times boutique to beat when it comes to handmade goodness. I've got my work cut out for me.

While I toil away with the wire and beads, the postman has been coming through with all manner of display goodness. Feast your eyes above on these darling trays by Etsy seller Iktomi. I'm big on texture and contrast and can't wait to rest shiny baubles atop their earthy goodness.

I'll be posting periodic updates as the Pretty in Peace art and design table comes to life.

Peace and art

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Sprinkled cupcakes, the staple food of happy gatherings

Fruits, veggies and other carnivorous goods...

My Wild & Crazy Favorite Guy and Mae West
(who ONLY quoted Mae West for 4+ hours!)

An 80's version of Yael, I still can't believe I actually wore some of this stuff!

Monique the hostess and mother to Niqqi the girlfriend

Me with fairy wings (I wished they worked by the end of the night),
Jordan Inmate#6311...Officer Niqqi & Yael

The arrest

The winners

The End
Happy November

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Peace and brains...nom, nom, slurp...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Thought Thursday

I watch and talk to my pets a lot, probably more than I should admit in a public forum. I thrive on the infinite wisdom that exists in their silence. I do know however, should they break that silence... and, ever begin speaking to me- like in "people talk", I should seek professional help. In the interim though, my thoughts on their thoughts make for great Thursday blog fodder.

Beau, our recently transitioned guinea pig was an introvert like me.
The pic above was his initial response to the arrival of the cats back in 2006.

Beau thoroughly enjoyed his short reign as the only fur child.
There were many perks...

But all good things must...well y'know, that couldn't last long!

There were certainly some boundary issues to work out between he and Biju.
Biju was, er... a more worldly gal and certainly not the best house guest!

She often had to be confronted about these affronts.

But through it all they remained "friends 'til the end".

And, as she looks out over him now, I bet she misses him just as much as we do.

So call your friends, even if they're- well y'know, a little different.

Peace and friendship

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin