Thursday, February 14, 2013

The X-files - episode 1

well the moment has arrived. The moment when I realize that my dating history has become such a farce that It just wouldn't be fair not to share some of my stories with the public.

I had a few "dating" experiences in Sweden before I moved to the states but the formal dating in the U.S. is far different from the way Europeans go about the whole thing. For all intents and purposes, I will try my best to tell these episodes in chronological order, beginning with the times leading up to my departure.

This story takes place in a time where the internet was a new and exciting thing. It was mostly used by the military, people doing research and meeting people on the website Blackplanet.  I was not in the military, nor was I old enough to do research so I used my time the best I knew how: booking Greyhound tickets and chatting with random Black Americans online. I guess you could say I was conducting a bit of research - How to infiltrate the black community!
Now, I know now that meeting people online is different from meeting a person in real life. You can be anyone online and back then, nobody bothered to fact check.
I started talking with a  few different people and one in particular. I forget his name, lets call him Steve. You would think that I would remember him, things were pretty intense for a while there. We talked on the phone a few times, we even planned a meet up once I was in the States. He lived in Maryland and I was going to arrive in NYC. My plan, though somewhat lofty, involved hanging out in NYC with my good friend J for a few days, meet up with random black planet guy, then catch a greyhound bus to CO where my friend M lived. after that I was to at some point meet up with relatives on my mother's side who live in the Midwest.

But I digress. My New York stay was coming to an end and I had not been able to get a hold of the guy to arrange a meeting.He was not answering my phone calls and I did not have a cell phone. My friends I believe were a bit relieved but it was with a heavy heart that I made my way to Port Authority and got on the bus to CO. It was not long until I had completely forgot about the guy, I was too busy staying alive on the 2 day long ride to the Rocky Mountains.

PSA Announcement: Don't ride the Greyhound unless you really, really have to.

I had to. I had $2000 and no solid plan. cheap travel was a necessity.
Fast forward a few months. By now I am with my Midwestern family. If I remember correctly, I received a phone call, it could also have been an e-mail... It was from the boy's parents. They had somehow figured out my number/e-mail, I am guessing my mom had picked up and gave them the number to where i was in the States.... To this day I am a bit fuzzy on how they found me....Remember this is 11 or so years ago now and I have tried my best to forget the whole incident.

His parents were calling me to see if  I knew where their son was. Apparently I had been talking to a person who had a lobotomy after a car accident a few years earlier. The procedure had obviously affected/impaired his judgement which was part of the reason he was still living at home! He was now missing...
That's right, yours truly was infatuated with a man who had part of his brain removed and was now on the run. I was, to say the least, in a bit of a shock and disbelief after hearing this information.Seconds later, I  decided that disbelief was an illegitimate feeling in this situation. If someone tracks you down to inform you that their son has part of his brain missing and is in fact himself missing - believe them! I can see no reason as to why a perfect stranger would make something like that up.

Needless to say, I did not date online for a while after that.....

Stay tuned for the next episode of the X-files.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Creating your own destiny

Have you ever had the feeling that something big is about to happen? That there is something in the works, churning away somewhere in the periphery of your existence, ready to explode onto the canvas of your life?

Now imagine that feeling and add the realization of that force being yourself. That is kind of where I am mentally today.

My whole life, I knew I was supposed to do something really cool and fun and so far I have had a lot of experiences that were, but my life as a whole was not. At least it wasn't to me.

Now, I don't know why or when this happened but I have this weird image of myself that I just can't seem to shake. It is like the outside that everyone else sees and my insides do not match. Maybe it is a lack of encouragement or feedback from my peers, maybe an insecurity rooted in my absent father figure or maybe I am just a weirdo. in any case, my entire life, I felt as though I was waiting for this moment of greatness, some magical event that would transform my life.

Every so often, I'll have this stroke of genius of an idea and think to myself: "That would be fantastic, you should do that!"
Then there will be this other thought in my head: "But you don't know the first thing about that, how would yo do it, where do you start? You might as well not do it at all."

Basically the story of my life, right? So I go back to waiting for that amazing thing to happen to me, you know that thing that I am not entirely sure of what it is.

Fast forward to today.

For some time now I have been watching videos on Youtube. I watch videos on natural hair care, DYI videos and just random things recommended by the site...It has become my nightly routine. A lot of times it is better than TV. Scratch that - It IS better than TV.

So, today it hit me! I keep watching all these cool people and listening to their stories rather than telling my own! If I find them and their lives fascinating, why wouldn't they or someone else for that matter, find my life fascinating?

So, therefore I have decided to start making videos. "Of what?" you may ask. Well that has yet to be determined but I can tell you one thing:

It is going to be amazing!

photo credit: <a href="">Thomas Hawk</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Friday, February 8, 2013

A visit to D' Road Cafe

As a self-proclaimed nomad, i have developed a rather diverse palate. I love trying new foods and although I  am far from snobby when it comes to food, i do prefer well made cuisine whether it comes from a five star restaurant or a street vendor.

For the last two years, I have enjoyed learning and tasting a variety of southern foods. Greens, Beans and rice, okra, and shrimp étouffée just to name a few. But living in a smaller city in the south unfortunately also means less choice in other types of food when it comes to eating out.

About a week ago, I got word of a restaurant, right here in Montgomery that lo and behold, serves Venezuelan food! There was no question about it, I had to eat there! About a week later, I took a friend there for lunch.

D'road Cafe is owned by Janett, a very sweet lady who can cook up a storm. The place is small and intimate, the decor is simple but welcoming. Make sure to look at the mural on the right hand wall.

We both ordered the special, roast beef with black beans and rice. We also received a side of coleslaw, home made bread and Janett's "magic sauce". when I tell you this sauce is delicious, it is an understatement. she told me it has cilantro in it and something else that I can't remember. what ever it was, it was divine.

My lunch from D'road Cafe
I finished everything on my plate and was very satisfied. The lunch price includes a drink and dessert for under $10, you can't beat that!

 Everything is made from scratch and cooked to perfection.  I will definitely come back here again and again. I can't wait to try their breakfast items and dinner menu.

When I left, I not only had a great meal, i felt like I made a new fried. Janett is very friendly without invading your privacy. you really feel as though you are eating a meal in her home. The food and Janett's hospitality transported me to a different space. The only time I was reminded that I was not in a South American country was when I looked out the window.
The menu
D'road cafe is affordable and a great place to eat. Whether you already love south American food or just want to try for the first time, this place is excellent. Make sure to check her Facebook page for daily menus and her Friday special. Each Friday she creates a menu from a different country!

D'road is located on 6250 Atlanta Highway in Montgomery, AL in the same strip mall as Virginia College.

D' Road Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Triburban Crochet Project

So a few months ago, I had a great idea. I love to travel ad I love to crochet, so why not fuse the two together?

My idea is simple. I reach out to my friends and family who live all over the world and I ask them to create an item with me. We work together to come up with a product, color scheme, material, etc.

I then send it to them and they take pictures with the item. Those very pictures I then put in my store to display the new custom made item, now available for anyone who wants to purchase it.

The very image becomes a literal translation of what Triburban is and means.

I am so excited, I just sent out my first item to my friend Heather in Denver, CO!

Heather went with a neck warmer with tribal buttons. I really love how it came out. This item will be available in my Etsy shop shortly and in several different colors.

as always, I love custom orders! If you have an idea, please contact me via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook or my store. I would love to get creative with YOU!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Artist Feature: Shantell Bancroft

I recently decided to follow a young fashion designer on Twitter with the handle TheUrbanTiger_. I liked the name and I thought her clothing line looked interesting. To my surprise, she sent me a message! I use twitter but I never really got the whole interaction part of it - until now. I am very proud to introduce to you, my newest creative friend: Shantell Bancroft!

Shantell Bancroft, the face behind the Urban tiger

Shantell Bancroft is the Fashion Designer behind the label, The Urban Tiger. Born in London to
Barbadian parents she blends the culture and heritage of the Caribbean with a chic London look,
producing statement handmade and up-cycled fashion and accessories. Shantell designs, makes and
hand prints all the garments.

How did you first get involved in fashion design?

I’ve been drawing ever since was knee high as I was brought up in a very creative household. My
mom is a writer and an amazing cook. She would read her children’s stories to me and my sister.
Most weekends my mom and I would bake or pickle onions. My dad was always drawing and loved
photography. There was always music playing in our house from my mom and dad’s precious vinyl
collection. When I was little mom taught me how to hand sew by mending the elastic back onto our
knickers, as well as darning socks and holes in clothes. Around ten years old mom taught me to use a
sewing machine and to knit. Every few months I would start a new elaborate knitting project (always
a scarf) but never finished any. I learned to sew on a 1950’s green Singer sewing machine. So from an
early age I appreciated all forms of Art.

From about age 12 I began designing dresses and bridal gowns. I would sketch on any and everything.
In my teens I worked at a very large department store, if I had an idea I had to get it down. I’d
sketch designs on the till roll paper and plastic bags. I went on to do a B.A. Hons in Fashion Product
Innovation in women’s wear at Kent Institute of Art & Design, now called UCA (University for the
Creative Arts).

Describe your creative style in 3 words.

Eclectic, vintage, urban

Where does your inspiration come from?

The Caribbean is beautiful. The culture is colorful, bold, sensual and engaging. The languages,
slang and food tell stories. There is beautiful steel pan, fun and uplifting Soca and Calypso music.
The history of the West Indies is vast and its heritage includes a rich melting pot of Amerindian,
Creole, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, French and West African culture. All this inspires my work.
The inclusion of all these cultures within Caribbean history is the cause for an allusive ‘Caribbean
aesthetic’. I design in focus on searching and resurrecting it. I want to make this aesthetic visually
distinctive within British fashion. Being from London which is a fashion mecca for individualism, I

wanted to produce statement clothing in plus sizes because designer fashion should be accessible and
enjoyed by all.

Do you work alone or do you have a team helping you?

I design, make, print, photograph and do everything else involved with a business by myself. It would be nice to have a small team of people and not to have to juggle so many jobs.

What kind of sewing machine/s do you use?

I use a domestic Brother machine and a Janome Over locker. (serger)

Who do you design for?

I design for attention seekers, who treat the streets as their catwalk. Women that enjoy prints, have an
eclectic taste, and an appreciation for handmade and statement sustainable fashion.

Do you make custom orders?

No, all items are either ‘one of a kind’ or limited editions.

What do you do when you are not working on your clothing line?

I like going for walks in the park and people watching. I enjoy being creative but it’s hard to make things for
myself when I spend most of my day doing it for the label. But I do enjoy crocheting. I’m working on
a scarf at the moment. I read a lot. I like to draw portraits and I also enjoy making YouTube videos on
hair care and natural beauty.

Tropical Island or Ski resort?

Tropical Island

What is your favorite travel destination? (a place you have been and like to return to often)

Barbados. I haven’t had many trips but I am in love with that Island. It’s my dream to live there.

What is your next upcoming project?

I’m evolving the brand, developing my skills and some of the printing techniques I used for Autumn
Winter 12. Currently I’m working on the collection for Spring Summer 14.

What is your advice to someone interested in starting their own clothing line/boutique?

There are many ways to begin a business, but I would advise anyone who is thinking about setting
up on their own to know what you’re getting yourself into by doing as much research on managing a
business as possible.

Attend as many business workshops in your local area. I started The Urban Tiger
blog and YouTube Channel to show what is involved in starting a creative company because at the
time, I struggled to find insightful information on the Internet. I share all the good business tips and
advice I find as well as my progress with the brand.

Research your product and the production process involved in getting it made. Don’t give up your
day job until you’re sure you can make a living from your work.

Work out your wholesale prices then
double it for retail.

Lastly, have fun and be patient, a business is a journey not a destination.

Favorite saying/quote.

"Unhappiness is the difference between our talents and our expectations"
                                                                                                          - Edward De Bono 1993

 To learn more about Shantell and the Urban Tiger, follow her on on any of the links below!

Website and shop:

ETSY shop





Instagram: TheUrbanTiger_

Youtube Channels: TUTInsideOut and AfroTales Natural Hair Care & Beauty

Until next time,


Monday, December 31, 2012

Triburban - 2013

Only a few more days until 2013!

The new year marks a anew start for many of us, including myself. I have many goals for this  year. I am determined to make 13 my lucky number! I do not do resolutions because I never keep them and also, the first of the year is not always the best time to change certain things, why restrain yourself?

I want to double my revenue from last year at least.

I want to organize my work space and put a shipping procedure in place.

Have at least 100 items in the store.

Develop a home decor collection.

Continue to grow my business and my creativity towards the ultimate goal: To be self- employed!

Post blogs regularly about my progress and about others like me who are striving to make the world more beautiful through their art.

Some of my personal goals include:

Get another tattoo.

Get out of debt  (at least a big chunk of it)

Road trip down the west coast with my best friend (already got my ticket!)

Document my room mate starting a business on my blog.

But first on the list is to clean up my space.My great aunt told me that however you bring in the New Year in your house, that is what your whole year will look like! I don't know about you, but I sure don't want my 2013 to look like dirty laundry and old hat.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of the year but the beginning of new beginnings!

As 2012 is coming to a close I figured I would write a little bit of a reflection blog. Unique - no. Creative not so much. My prerogative- Abso- freaking -lutely!

So here it goes:

This year has been interesting to say the least. I spent half the year in Sweden and the other half back here in Montgomery, AL. In the past year I have been working with kids, seen the Czech Republic, learned how to sell and buy property, attended a funeral, done some souls searching and ultimately learned what I am capable of. I am far from knowing who I really am or what my life is for, but I know now that I can do anything and the only one who can really stop me, is me.

My online Etsy store has changed names from Intertwyned to Triburban, a transition that I think is becoming more and more symbolic of myself and my evolution. Rather than seeing myself as intertwined, constricted by my multiple heritage, I am starting to see myself as a triple threat. someone who transcends multiple cultures, embraces them and becomes them. I am and will always be Swedish but I am also a black woman in America. That automatically connects me back to Africa. My father's family has a lot of Native American blood as well, Choctaw to be exact.Three cultures that I can call mine. That is amazing! I believe all of us can claim at least three cultures and I think it is possible to blend them harmoniously both within yourself and for the world to see. That is what Triburban is all about.

Traditional Swedish Dress
Traditional Tunisian dress.
Traditional Choctaw Dress

In the months to come, I will be working hard to bring my vision of Triburban to reality. what we wear is a reflection of us, what we want people to see and know about us. Clothes and accessories tell a story and are very personal. Triburban is a store for anyone who wants to bring that tribal, original deeply rooted culture into the modern urban world that we live in. Sometimes subtle, sometimes in your face. It is up to you. Triburban is about fashion, but more importantly- it is about people. It is about how you feel in your skin and your clothes and how your clothes make the people around you feel. Embrace your originality, become Triburban!

I just did my first photo shoot last week and I will be doing two more session next week. I am also initiating a project that will allow my items to travel around the world to my friends and family.I am so excited about this and I will tell you more about this in the months to come! 2013 is going to be great, I feel it in my toes!

See you next time! (Unless the Mayans had it right in which case none of what I just wrote will matter in a few days!