Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Sunday, August 29th 2010 11:30ish PM
That's me on the left: tank top, flip flops, Stella Artois and a smile; just a' two-stepping it up on the dance floor. 'Til the beers kicked in, the flip flops became formidable, and came off, then I went into full-on terpsichore. "Aww shit y'all"! I was looking good: pig-tails tight, not a menopausal pimple in sight; just workin' it, in my pear-shaped-body-friendly jeans. Hell, just a beer before the one shown, a nice young man with a flashlight asked me for ID! Aww-shit-y'all-gaze, with a wink and a gun.

Tuesday, August 31st 2010 6:00ish PM
Those are medical records, and the hand of the nice woman who is explaining the costs associated with the purchase of my brand spankin' NEW! Bifocals! Still-slightly-dilated-glazed-over-oh-shit eyes.

Note: I have apparently been ambling about the past noneofyourdamnbusinesshowmany years as a visually impaired person. Please accept this sincere one-time-only apology for any boogers I've neglected to point out; as well as any unbecoming hairdos, outfits, and random unattractive wo/men you've had the misfortune of obliviously engaging as a result of my absence of ocular awareness. I assure you my intentions were good...mostly.

Peace and clarity

Sweet Tea Tuesday: Rolling Stones

Ah yes, Rolling Stones,The Aftermath: unfortunately, this is not about a rock band, but rather a band of children. Shifts position at the table. This is about me, the four siblings I’ve learned of, and the couple I’ve met in the past 12 years.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I’d heard the whispers of “grown folks’ business” betwixt my grandmother and her coffee, toast and jam crew. My parents were young and free-early 1970s free. My mother-a progressive womanist-sans title at the time -prided herself on being a woman who’d taken on a man, not one taken and stripped of her person and name.

It all seemed simple enough then, y’know when life was simple. I had two sets of grandparents, and as the years progressed and my mother partnered with my stepfather, some aunts and uncles too. Really, who can’t use twice as much guilt-laden grandparental and familial love?! In truth, I know they loved and love me infinitely, but what I also know to be true is that they feared the worst. They wondered, worried anxiously about the aftermath of all of this free-rolling love.

Well, here we are some 37 years later and I’m trying to explain to my children where these aunts and uncles are coming from. Awkwardly describing-whilst trying to decipher-how it is that social networking sites have been more instrumental in the cohesion of our “family” than its founders were. Plugging dates and tracing steps, wondering just how often we’d each crossed paths in one place or another, oblivious of one another. Navigating the tenderness of words, pre-meditatively placing careted words like “other” between “my” and “brother”. Breathes slowly and deeply.

The dynamic is incredibly complex, because on the one hand I’m morbidly curious and fascinated by the similarities in features, stature, orthodonture, cadence, tonal inflections and more. Yet, it’s apparent each of us, in our own ways are protective- guarded even- of our foundations, of the families we grew up in, the pieces of our Selves we were able to salvage, safeguard and restore as the stones rolled.

This piece was originally written for my weekly Sweet Tea Tuesdays column over on Moms of Hue. Today is the last day to vote for us as the Best Parenting or Family blog here.

Peace and love

Monday, August 30, 2010

Opening Doors

"A small key opens big doors.”
-Turkish proverb

Finit! I still don't know what to call it. Mayhaps I've inhaled too much Krylon. I suppose "Opening Doors" is sufficient, it certainly is apropos. I went for the old door look when choosing the worn and whitewashed paper scraps with which I decoupaged the flattened brass oval.

And the "Tameka brown", was I spot on or what? This was so much fun to create from its inception right down til the completion. I'm going to wear it tomorrow when I shop my wares to a local retailer. Squeal! Let's hope it opens some BIG doors.


Mind's eye, mind's voice

"Untitled WIP"

It's been some time since I've written about keys and their symbolism. Just when I think I've let go, moved on, or forgotten about them-them and all of the deep-rooted feelings of which they are symbolic- they resurface; just as lost keys often do.

I'm finding my way again, in ways I'll write more about as they become clearer-both perceptively and in reality. Until that time, here is what has become of one of the sweet little doll arms from my last vintage score. It's now brass-capped, "Tameka brown" (acrylic paints and satin Krylon finish) and in the company of a 1.5 cm key, bronze lucite bead-of which I'm still uncertain; a large flattened brass oval, and a scrap of worn, whitewashed wood, patterned paper. Say that three times fast. I'd say I'm almost 100% certain where I'm headed with this, so stay tuned.

Peace and creative expression

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Old and awesome

Ha! I bet you thought this would be some autobiographical declaration of greatness, but you were wrong! Look at what I got in the mail this week!

There are actually another two pairs of magical little porcelain doll arms, but they're being prepped for a NEW! life. And, I don't think I'll be able to part with the old sewing machine key that looks like a lotus blossom...nope, I don't think I will.

Together, they look like a Steampunk project in the making, but in my mind's eye, I see something less sci-fi fantasy and more literary nostalgia. Hmm...

Have you scored any NEW! Old and awesome stuff, lately?

Peace and creativity

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Winner, winner, tempeh dinner

And the winner is...

Yael Rose is wearing Revlon Red: She thought you all should know this!

Despite the low participation numbers, this giveaway increased the NEW! shop's online following and exposure exponentially. Thanks lurkers, I love y'all too!

Starting over has been an interesting undertaking thus far. Gleaning what works, and what doesn't has really been eye-opening. I applaud anyone who dares to stand alone in any retail endeavor, online or otherwise because it truly is grueling work. I stand firmly by my decision to leave the community-type venue, even if I am standing in pretty worn out shoes, for the moment!

I think I'll post regular EOM stats of the journey, so I can look back on my meager start-up numbers and laugh most boisterously! That, and it's nice to see the growth as it happens. I often look back at my first designs and photos and marvel at the journey.

Peace and congratulations, Barbara.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Giveaway Time

I'm settling nicely into my NEW! digs over at Big Cartel, and to celebrate I'm hosting the shop's first giveaway. Giveaways are a great way to drum up a little PR with the buzz they create amidst the Interwebs.

Buzz is the bread and butter of Internet sales, and lucky for me Big Cartel has a no hassle means of tracking just where my customers (just browsers at the moment) are coming from. At this time, I'm fairly Facebook heavy, so I'm going to even things up a bit.

For every blogger who blogs about this giveaway between now and Friday August 27th, there will be a separate chance to win a (1) $25 Pretty in Peace gift certificate. Yes! A blogger exclusive giveaway.

Here's what you'll need to do:
Create a post about this giveaway with the slogan:
"Live, love, laugh and be Pretty in Peace".
Leave a comment on this post stating the following: "Blogged."
Include a link to your post.
Remember to include your e-mail address to receive notification.
The winner will be randomly chosen on
Saturday August 28, 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday:TMI

I almost considered smoking again... almost.

Too much information, too much Internet, too much interaction, too much intrigue, too much interest, too much ignorance, just too much...

Favorite Guy told me a week ago that I read too much, and my initial reaction was to scoff and raise my brow in disdain-this is natural reflexive action for me in many cases...okay most cases. He wasn't talking about books, but of blogs and feeds and social networking foolery. Y'know, he was right; there's just no way to come into contact with the immensity of information/ignorance on the Interwebs and not be affected by it. I think I need an intervention, so here's my note to self, and y'all.

The following topics have negatively affected me:

-Antoine Dodson: Okay, so the ignorance entailed in the whole Dodson debacle rested most uncomfortably in my craw. For one, a woman was sexually assaulted! I fail to understand the impetus for comedy in such a heinous crime. Secondly, and I don't generally get all sociopolitical, the "funny" part was how Dodson managed a stereotypical trifecta on national news: sexuality, race and class. Um, yeah, I'm still not getting the joke.

-Hair, hair everywhere: The natural hair movement is moving me to fits of frustration! Am I the only person who sees the danger here? How is natural hair in and of itself, a movement? Unless you are taking your afro clad asses out to the streets and the voting booths and the SCHOOLS you have a hairstyle, you are not a movement. Now this is not to demean or take anything away from those who wear their hair natural symbolize their stance on issues in which they actively engage-this is about the poseurs. This is about the polypeptide proselytizers who've run amok on the Interwebs. When I chemically straightened my hair, I did not trade in my self-love and cultural awareness card any more than I traded it in when I shaved it off, braided it up, chunked it, spiked it, highlighted it, twisted it, etc. On rare occasion when I put my previously perkier breasts in a bra, I'm no less a womanist than I've always been. For a people to wield the same weapons of separation and othering that were previously used against them and call it a movement? Hmm, I suppose, if moving backwards is a movement, y'all might be on to something.

-Ebonics: Funny this would come up just as I was studying sociolinguistics! When I speak, most people recognize a regional (East Coast/New York) dialect. You can tell me for yourselves within the next few weeks when I will begin vlogging occasionally. The same can be said for most people, yes? So what's the big deal about Ebonics? I made a cameo appearance in the Etsy fora yesterday and a few "community" members were discussing the subject of Ebonics. Big mistake on my part, having already been overloaded with Internet fuckery. Not only were the comments bordering on overtly racist, but the examples of Ebonics used to further arguments against accepting it as a language were clips from comedy films and television clips. Le sigh. I shared this quote from one of my textbooks and made my exit: "Ebonics is no more a lazy form of English than Italian is a lazy form of Latin." (Rickford 1997) If you were uncertain on your stance, chew on that for a bit.

But, look what I found: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society. Adds to cart. The end justifies the means, kinda.

Peace to the people

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eep! She Vlogs

Well- almost, my camera came in the mail yesterday. Yeah, yeah I know I could have just taken a still shot of myself with the handy NEW! webcam, but I'm not completely ready to step from behind the lens just yet.

What gives? Well, for the next 14 weeks I will immerse myself in deaf culture and language-specifically ASL- as part of my anthropological studies. (Huh? Oh that...yes, that is a therapeutic cuff on my dominant hand, the Universe is funny that way.) I think- although everything is subject to change-I'm most interested in the experiences of differently-abled communities and cultures as a primary focus.

I know I haven't spoken much about my return to school- or much of anything lately as I've been busy marketing the Pretty in Peace rebranding project-but, the academic experience has been wholesome and rewarding, thus far. It all feels right, nothing is forced and the answers seem to nicely acquiesce with the questions. It's all been sort of an organic journey of understanding of the world around me. Just as every other program on every other channel or station seems to be talking, highlighting, stereotyping, dividing and boxing us by race, ethnicity, gender and ability, I'm on the sidelines armed with a book, a pen and an open determined mind. It's all pretty amazing, really.

And with that, I'm off to record my class introduction video.

Peace and understanding

Thursday, August 12, 2010

CSN Stores: Reviews and Previews

A few months ago, I was given an amazing opportunity to test and review products offered at CSNStores.com This online marketplace houses over 200+ stores replete with all of the higher end department store fixin's, sans the people.

Better still, the search feature doubles as a personal shopper! Shop by designer, brand, style, color, and the ever-popular, price range.

I ordered the Farberware Premium 10 piece cookware set in platinum. (shown left). They arrived within the specified time frame, the item was exactly as pictured and described, and the shipping was FREE! I absolutely love them. I know I'll be back to blogging about food again soon, now that I've scored this gorgeous set.

As a preferred blogger, I get to test and review items from time to time, perhaps offering a reader giveaway in the near future. The cogs are already spinning! As we upgrade to a less bulky bedroom set-up, I can now make room for the bedroom vanity I've always wanted. I think this one is really beautiful, how about you, which one do you like?

Peace and purse strings

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Busy in Peace

New designs: "Autumn Breeze" necklace, "Simplici-T" hoops, "Suspension" necklace

I think a name change is in order! Besides churning out NEW! Pretty in Peace designs like the ones shown above, on a daily basis, I've also been nominated for a Black Weblog award. The amazing team of writers over at Moms of Hue, home to my Sweet Tea Tuesdays column are finalists in the "Best Parenting or Family Blog" category. I invite you all to stop in, have a read and decide for yourselves. Voting is currently taking place here through August 31st. Your continued support is greatly appreciated. Note: Best Parenting or Family Blog category is on page 3 and you MUST click through til the end and complete the ballot info for your vote to count.

In other news, classes resume on Monday! Fun times, especially since the bulk of assignments for one class must be submitted in video format. Vlogging?! Gulps and imagines self on the other side of the monitor. Y'all ready? You know I have to share this journey. Read: Solicit coddling from my ever-compassionate blog friends.

Lastly, I've really been spinning the marketing cogs for Q4. I have very limited time and dearth financial resources in which to get the NEW! shop off the ground. I'm really pleased with the look and feel of the designs and site, but it's gonna take more than my own sated nods of approval to get the word out. Any suggestions?

Peace, and a preponderance of pondering

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

On my way...

...along Highway 89A:
Dispatches From a Peaceful Getaway

Pine cone found along the curb...

One happy blossom among the wilted...


Ants living and working under a cairn (enlarged to show detail)...

Busy bees...

As I stopped to photograph the ants, a woman passing asked if we'd found, "anything special". I answered with a resounding, "Yes"!

Peace and beauty

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shop open! and other blog-podgery

" Pagoda II and Simplici-T hoops" NEW! designs for Fall
by: T. Allen-Mercado for Pretty in Peace

Pretty in Peace is open for business, and I'm quite excited. My World Traveler necklace has already booked a trip to its final destination: Oregon, in exchange for a much needed light box! Gotta love a well-timed barter as it's been quite overcast in the desert lately.

I made the move to Big Cartel, barring a few bouts with HTML hell, so far so good. I love the clean look and strictly business aesthetic of the host site, but what really won me over was the zoom feature. You must visit the shop and zoom in on something -really, you must!

In other unrelated news, school has come down to one final exam for this session and thus far, I'm holding steady at a 4.0! Admittedly, with a lot less ease than I had in my youth. My ability to retain information has certainly taken a backseat to short term concerns like feeding the kids, remembering to turn the stove off after feeding said kids, and/or staving off personal hygiene/grooming transgressions like putting lotion on both feet before heading outdoors. Uh, yeah... don't ask.

And, uh let's see what else...Oh! We're on vacation this week, and it's raining here in Northern Arizona, so I'll be making my rounds to visit all of you who continued to stand by me as I struggled to find the time to keep this blog afloat. I even made a few new followers, now that's pretty awesome for a blog-slacker, don't
you think? Y'all rock!


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