Friday, April 30, 2010

Selling My [He]Art, Again...

"Purple Reign" bracelet T.Allen-Mercado

Tomorrow, I'm downtown-bound again; soon, I'll be dolled up, packed up and headed out to my very first trunk show. Today was pricing day, which always makes me feel a bit "dirty". Odd as it seems, I find it easier to give away little bits of my Self with each piece, than sell them. But, the birdies quickly remind me of that little...hush Joe- shopping habit of mine, and understand, yes?

I'm filled with the usual anxiety and excitement which precedes the selling of my [he]art. "Will they like me, will they like my pieces, will I do well, will I meet and exceed my always super high expectations?" Followed, by the, "Why do I do this to myself", and of course the, "Duh, 'cause you're an artist and if you didn't well, then you'd be doing something completely unrewarding and thinking, why did I do this to myself?!"

On the bright side, I'll meet more of my fabulous customers, who I only get a chance to meet in-person on these rare, downtown junkets. I have to admit, it feels almost surreal, meeting these people who-just like me-(although probably not quite as bad) go giddy for pretties: fidgeting for their debit cards and crumpled cash to get their retail fix. It totally outweighs the butterfly-belly madness which precedes it. Either that, or the happy butterflies cancel out the nervous ones, the verdict is still out on that one. I'll have to fill you all in upon my return, with lots of pics. I hope you all have plans for a fabulous weekend.

Peace and love

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh, shut up...

And, look at my pretty new dresses!

Thursdays are generally my profound, random thought day, but I've exhausted my capacity to think nice thoughts given the current political climate of the interwebs. Most of you know, I live in Arizona, Valley of the Sun and most recently "valley of no damn fun", depending on who you ask. You should also know that I try (but, sometimes fail) to discuss politics only with seemingly sane people who also possess the ability to insert their elbows into their ears. So...looks around for takers-I guess that's none of you, huh? Fair enough. How do you like my new dresses?


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Variations on a Theme

Where it all begins...

A little back story: I scored this William J. Bennett book at a vintage book sale in Old Town Litchfield Park. Whilst most of my time is spent reading contemporary literature, I love being surrounded by old books: their history; their smell; the story behind coffee rings and other assorted page tears and staining; margin notes and more. This time, it was the way the faded gold lettering and green canvas cover complemented each other; layer upon layer of creamy worn pages with hints of weak tea and goldenrod edging.

Vintage Literature Collection: Limited Edition Spring/Summer 2010
by T.Allen-Mercado for Pretty in Peace designs


Friday, April 23, 2010

A Week and A Day

The Kahlo Collection: Limited Edition Spring 2010

One week and one day and it's trunk show time! I am excited, but surprisingly not at all anxious. I've kept to a consistent schedule all week; which has been so helpful. I bet you're thinking, well duh. But, you see, schedules and my creativity are not friends. I just knew I was going to come upon dullard's block and be completely unable to produce anything awesomelike within the two weeks I was allotted. Not so.

A few of my favorite super-duper suppliers whipped together packages of goodies for me and expedited the shipping. While that was happening, behind the scenes, I created a collage of the supplies and kept them up on my desktop, ruler in hand creating around the missing pieces. Two impressive collections later and it's jump ring, lock and solder time. More pics to come!

If you're local, come on out and mention this blog-
FREE! goodies for the first 10 guests:
Frances Vintage Boutique Trunk Show 10 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ
May 1st 10:00-4:00


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cars and Drivers: The End

Pedestrian: T.Allen-Mercado

Continued from [here].

The day started off well, this I could tell by the words I used to describe the concept of God. My sensors were hyper-alert, I was attune to his sensitivity on the matter, yet assertive in the presentation of my own thoughts. We had lunch, said our closing thoughts and off we went.

When we arrived at the 30th annual Phoenix Gay Pride Festival, it felt like home for the holidays. I'm not a fan of clubs and cliques, and "organizations", but this was different, it's about equality and humanity, and I felt empowered and enlightened just being present. There I was in my new kinda-mini-for-a-36-year-old-mom skirt, feeling at home, empowered, enlightened and pretty damn cute. I got the femme Black boys' nod-which is truly saying something. Then, for a moment the sky eclipsed,when just beyond the hill I spotted those two. My own advice came back to me as quickly as our eyes did meet; the test drive was about to go down.

I may have turned to Joe-although there was so much going on strategically and chemically between my ears that it's hard to be certain in hindsight. I was literally playing out my every move like a chess match: left foot forward, smile, don't break eye contact, shoulders up, right foot forward and again, and again, over the several feet before we all met up at the crosswalk, metal versus me.

Their engines were hardly audible. The buffoonish one may have rolled down her window, but I broke eye contact and dismissed her advances shortly after acknowledging her existence. Amidst the idling engines and random banter, I could feel my legs gain their previous level of fortitude and certainty, my brows unfurl, my pulse no longer palpable. It was safe to cross, and I did so, without incident. And, as much as I wanted to give my NYC pedestrian glare-once I knew I was safe-I didn't, perhaps next time. Winks and laughs.

If this story feels like it could have been written/told by you, you may have generalized social anxiety disorder, read more on this condition and others [here].


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cars and Drivers: Part Two

Continued from: [here]

I guess it's been about two months since I was involved in a multi-vehicle collision of the metaphorical variety. There they were recklessly trying to get somewhere-namely, under my skin. Not very complex they were: the textbook aggressor; short-sleeves rolled, left arm hanging from the window expressing an exaggerated facade of cool to hide the darkness and fragility. The other, an eager buffoonish sidekick-type pulled from the panes of a classic childhood cartoon. But, together they were coming for me fast and erratic-like, there was no time to strategize, no time to move, and nowhere to go, but down.

Again, I left wounded and ended up rationalizing, minimizing, lamenting and apologizing. Grrr, I thought. I just don't get it, I can't get it-and, I don't want to. I like it here, where there is no metal-only skin: soft and exposed; where my heartbeat is audible not drowned out by the din of a suped-up engine. I like being a pedestrian, I enjoy my slow deliberate awareness, I like the feel of the wind in my hair and the earth under my feet; the scent of flowers, birdsong and bees abuzz.

I spent some time in virtual hospice, thinking, writing creating; healing myself in prose and color-of course with a little help from my friend. And, wouldn't you know as I was-of all things-aiding someone close to me in their own quest for assertive awareness, I said, "I was hit by a car once-I have to consciously adjust my level of awareness as soon as I step outside. I don't wait until the car is careening for me. It doesn't have to be the same car, road or driver-I'm still the same me". I wanted so badly to make it okay for her to heal and move on with slow deliberation. I didn't want to lose another pedestrian, although having just been where I'd been, I wasn't sure if this was possible.

Unbeknownst to me, I was soon about to find out. To be continued...

What's with the "to be continued"? You see, I have a trunk show May 1st-Pauses for applause. Of course, I will need to make jewelry for it. And, since I must make jewelry, I have a sudden and uncontrollable urge to write and paint instead. Rolls eyes, grimaces, sighs and exhales heavily. I'm allowing myself moderate amounts of all, lest I go mad-or just become very, "unsparkly".

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cars and Drivers: Part One

"Pedestrian" T.Allen-Mercado 2010

I like to think of my representational Self as a simplified if not simple version of who I truly am. Years of misunderstanding and being misunderstood have honed my knack for breaking down the most complex emotions and situations into the simplest-or at best, most greatly-understood-by-all terms.

Take cars for example, or more specifically cars and drivers. Thursday, November 18, 1982, I was struck by a car. I was walking from my house to school in an unusually frantic rush. That morning, I had to double-back after realizing I'd forgotten my music notebook and flute; my music teacher-wonders if I should name her, but opts against it since I hear she's transitioned. RIP, MB.- could best be described as a sadist.

On the previous evening somewhere in our shared Universe, a young broker closed a promising deal, and drank quite heavily in celebration. So heavily in fact, that he'd overslept and was also in an unusually frantic rush-not to mention, probably still intoxicated. Each of us subconsciously justifying our haphazard means to an end, ended at the cross section of 50th street and Broadway; metal versus me.

The physical healing process was lengthy, but the emotional scarring was even more daunting. Surely I could just look both ways next time, but something about being that vulnerable again counteracted all logical thoughts and processes. I remember feeling saddened by it and wondering how he could have been so selfish and how could I have been so irresponsible. I even apologized to my grandmother as the ambulance wheeled me into the emergency room, at the hospital where she'd held residency for over 35 years.

I thought about that day and the experience often across the years: perspectives evolving just as I was. I never shared it with laypeople, not wanting to be that person, you know the one. I realized early on that I was sensitive, and that sensitivity is seen as an affliction of sorts, particularly a sensitivity to one's own needs. These days the experience is one of a few standards in my social interactions-for-"normal"-people translation manual...(to be continued)

What's with the "to be continued"? You see, I have a trunk show May 1st-Pauses for applause. Of course, I will need to make jewelry for it. And, since I must make jewelry, I have a sudden and uncontrollable urge to write and paint instead. Rolls eyes, grimaces, sighs and exhales heavily. I'm allowing myself moderate amounts of all, lest I go mad-or just become very, "unsparkly".


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Phoenix Pride 2010

Family Time: Phoenix Pride 2010

The Favorite Guy and I seized the day and took off downtown to the 30th annual Phoenix Gay Pride Festival. It's the first LGBT event we've been to since leaving New York City where we were regular attendees. We had a great time celebrating diversity, people watching, dancing, jibing and imbibing. I caught the great photo opp-albeit not a great photo-above, whilst sipping on my Cosmo. A love like theirs makes it awfully hard to hate now, doesn't it? More event pics [here].

Peace, pride, love and equality

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trunk Show!

On the work table

I've just been invited to do my first trunk show, and am quite excited. I got the e-mail from Georganne of Phoenix's Frances Vintage Boutique earlier this week, and after googling "trunk show", thought, "Oh this is going to be great!" Well, with one minor complication-I have very little inventory. Spring and summer are not very busy for me online; I guess folks are out traipsing, shopping and enjoying the outdoors. So, last month, I stocked my retail vendors quite heavily leaving me with a few scattered pieces. Fear not though, I'm going to build a few collections around the pieces and supplies I have. Oh, did I mention it's in two weeks? Have a great weekend, I must be going now!

Peace and art

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This Art-filled Life III

Twenty two years on the dance floor! Can you believe it? In just a few weeks, our digital electronic music label, next dimension music will be 5 years old. Joseph and I have had a good run at this music thing, and it just keeps getting better. We've met some amazing talent out west, great supporters, and good vibes all around.
This photo was taken Sunday night at SideBar, a stylin' little inconspicuously placed lounge on 7th avenue in the heart of Phoenix's Historic district. Sunday night's Retro Hi-Fi party with resident host/DJs WF Rani "g", dk Strickler and Dr. Drea boasts a mixed bag of fun and funky locals who come hard and strong to party all night long. See more from this recent event, as captured by the talented, Fernando Hernández Photografher [here].

Peace, love and music

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Random Thought Thursday: In Bloom

Vacation is over, I'm back, but nothing is the same. You see before I left for vacation, I was going through an anxiety-laden emotional wincing of sorts; it could best be described as a mental "pee-pee dance". I was in need of purging and relief. Vacation came on the heels, albeit not close enough of another bout with people drunkenness and all of the what-I-could-have-should-have-done- differently hangover sadness. In short, people can really put a damper on life sometimes, but that's not always a bad thing.

Following our super San Diego sun and fun-filled junket, Iva arrived for a short stay, some of you may remember Iva from this post. True to form, she picked me up and brushed me off, without even knowing it. We spent the first few days catching up on the last couple years where tight schedules and purse strings kept us apart. We discussed everything from...Laughs. Just trust me, we discussed everything.

The afternoon before she left, on our way out for shopping and spirits we noticed the cactus in the front yard had blossomed, and there were more beautiful flowers than ever before. Looking down at an outfit I'd just recently-since Iva's arrival- felt comfortable enough- in my evolving body- to don, I realized that I had blossomed too. I was feeling more beautiful.

She left earlier this week, but not before the little birds in our tree hatched and moved on, the cactus blossomed and I remembered how contagious beauty is. There's this saying about friendships and seasons that escapes me now as I'm overcome with emotion, but in closing, I'd like to say, Iva brought Spring to me this year, and I am eternally grateful.

Peace and love

PS. Friend, if you're reading this-I went back to Old Navy and got the little skirt!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Look, There Are More Eyes

What Yael Rose said when she noticed our nesting friend has become friends.

Happy Spring, Everyone!


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