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Parting is such sweet sorrow. My darling Britta has flown the proverbial coop, probably leaving me for some french kitty.
Whether she knows it or not, she will miss me terribly.
- Bodhi


Dragons are mythical creatures featured in many cultures' mythologies. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon (derived from folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies) and the Chinese dragon (with counterparts in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other East Asian countries). The English word dragon comes from a greek word(drkn), meaning serpent of huge size or water-snake, which probably comes from the verbdraken,to see clearly. Typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs and often depicted with wings, dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers. They are also symbols of strength and good luck or fortune. The Emperor of China historically used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power.In Chinese daily language, extraordinary people are compared to or referred to as dragons. A number of Chinese proverbs and idioms feature references to the dragon (Hoping one's son will become a dragon, to be as a dragon, etc) In yin and yang terminology, a dragon is a symbol of yang, representing the universe, life, existence and growth.It is the only mythological animal of the 12 animals that represent the Chinese calendar. 2012 is the Chinese year of the Water Dragon. 

Another foggy Trinidad afternoon but you can't deny, it has it's charm.

As you all can see, I am the axis around which Tika rotates.
I have these girls wrapped around my adorable white paws.

A fabulous assortment of merchandise from Tika's most recent booth at the California Gift Show in Los Angeles, July 2012.
Thanks to Colleen, our newest Tika girl, for the fantastic photographs!

Tika Girls, gotta love em!
California Gift Show, Los Angeles, July 2012

Quan Yin

Also known by Kuan Yin or Quan Lin, she is know in both Taoism and Buddhism as the Goddess of Compassion. Kuan Yin's earthly name is Miao Shan, meaning Wondrously Kind One. Quan Yin is one of the most universally beloved deities in the Buddhist tradition. She is the embodiment of compassionate loving kindness. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, She hears the cries of all beings. A true Enlightening One (Bodhisattva), Quan Yin vowed to remain in the earthly realm and not enter the heavenly worlds until all other living beings complete their own enlightenment and thus become liberated from the pain-filled cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Quan Yin carries strong similarities with the Christian Marchy (the mother of Jesus) and the Tibetan goddess Tara. In many images, she is depicted carrying the pearls of illumination. She is also often shown pouring a stream of healing water (the Water of Life ) from a small vase. With this water she blesses devotees and all living things with physical and spiritual peace.She holds a bowl of rice or rice seed as a symbol for fertility and sustenance.The dragon is an ancient symbol for high spirituality, wisdom, strength and divine powers of transformation, and is a common motif found alongside or bearing the Goddess of Mercy. She is unique among other deities in that She is so utterly free from pride or vengefulness that She remains relulctant to punish even those to whom a severe lesson might be appropriate. Individuals who could be sentenced to dreadful penance in other systems can attain rebirth and renewel by simply calling upon Her graces with utter and absolute sincerity. It is said that, even for one kneeling beneath the executioner's sword already raised to strike, a single heartfelt cry to Bodhisattva Quan Yin will cause the blade to fall shattered to the ground. As 2012 is the year of the dragon and also a water year according to eastern traditions, it is thought by many to be an ideal year to worship and hold the lessons of Quan Yin close to the heart.


Buddha means the enlightened one. Siddhrtha Gautama Buddha was born to a royal Indian family and later in life became a spiritual teacher on whose teachings Buddhism is founded. He was thought to live in the 4th century BCE. The Adibuddha is the original Buddha who is without beginning and without end. He is said to be infinite, self created and revealing himself in the form of a blue flame coming out of a lotus. In Nepal, Swayambhu isworshipedas Adibuddha. The five Dhyani Buddhas (Buddhas in meditation or Pancha Buddhas) are emanated from Adibuddha. They are not separate Gods. They are just abstract aspects of Buddhahood. They are also often called Tathagata, the name the Buddha of the scriptures uses when referring to himself. The term means, paradoxically, both one who has thus gone (tath-gata) and one who has thus come (tath-gata). Hence, the Tathagata is beyond all coming and going beyond all transitory phenomena. In other words, he is one who has found the truth. They are so popular in Nepal that they are found in every stupa, in courtyards and painted in the main entrance of the Buddhist house. They are always shown seated in the position of meditation. Of the five Dhyani Buddhas, the senior is Vairochana, who occupies the center of the Mandala. The four other Dhyani Buddhas are Akshobhya in the east, Ratna Sambhav in the south, Amitabha in the west, and Amoghsidhi in the North.

Tika girls, knee-deep in LA Gift Show prep!
Hard at work, but never too busy to stop for a group photo ;)

A Tika organizing task turned up these excellent vintage images promoting our very own Boot Buttons! We find these old styles of shoes drool-worthy in their own right These buttons are not being manufactured anymore, so let these advertisements inspire you to pick some up and create something stylish!


Tika 4th of July Picnic!
Here at Tika, we decided to spend a few hours down at our local beach with a bottle of Prosecco and a fantastically delicious picnic.


Tara is the female deity of the Buddhist Pantheon. White Tara was born from a tear of the Bodhisattva of compassion. She holds a very prominent position in Tibet and Nepal. Tara is believed to protect human beings while they cross the ocean of existence. Among the various forms of Tara, White Tara is usually portrayed seated in full Vajra Posture, dressed and crowned like a Bodhisattva. Sometimes she is regarded as seven-eyes Tara, with extra eyes on her forehead, palm and feet, and lotus flowers at one or both of her shoulders. Her right hand will be in boon-conferring posture, her left hand in a teaching gesture holding the stem of the lotus. She is wearing all sorts of precious ornaments and looks beautiful. The practice of White Tara is performed to prolong life as well as for healing purposes. The Green Tara is regarded as spiritual consort of Amogasiddhi, the Dhyani Buddha. Her portrayal is similar to that of the White Tara. One can find the difference only in her left hand which holds a half-closed lotus or water-lily flower with long petals which are often blue. In the Lamaeist Tradition, Tara is incarnated in all good women. She is also thought to have a mortal base in historic peoples of the Nepali and Chinese princesses and credited with the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet and China. She is worshiped because she brings all goodness to all women. One of the main Tara is this group is Aryatara. Ekajata, or Blue Tara, is one of the most powerful goddesses in the Vajrayanic Pantheon. If a man listens to her mantra, he is at once freed from all obstacles and attended always with good fortune. His enemies are destroyed and he becomes religiously inclined. Ekajata is a ferocious form of Tara. In simplest form, she is represented seated, holding in her two hands a sword and a skull cup and in her crown is an image of Akshyobhya (one of the five Wisdom Buddhas). In other forms she is represented with four to twenty-four arms. Generally, she stands on her left foot with her right ankle stepping on corpses. She has a third eye and she laughs terribly with prominent teeth and a protruding tongue. Her eyes are red and round. Her hips are covered by a tiger skin and she wears a long garland of heads. If painted, her color is blue. She is dwarf and corpulent. If she has four arms, her symbols are sword, knife, blue lotus and a skull cup.

You may be familiar with our pre-1920's Victorian era shell boot buttons that we offer. This weekend at the Bead and Button Show it was a pleasure to meet Julie Suchy - her grandfather George Seebeck worked at the original factory in Muscatine, Iowa where these boot buttons were manufactured on the Mississippi waterfront. For 75 years Muscatine was known as the Pearl Button Capital of the World and produced 1.5 Billion shell buttons a year!! These buttons were used at the time for boots, corsets, underwear and clothing. Julie as a young girl also remembers her mother working at the button factory and that there were always mountains of shells with holes cut out around the perimeter of their home. Always fascinating to learn more about the incredible history of beads and buttons here is a link for more: http://www.muscatinehistory.org/pearl_button_industry.html 


Lakshmi (or Laxmi) is Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form lakS, meaning to perceive or observe. This is synonymous with laksya, meaning aim or objective. She is the goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune and the embodiment of beauty. She is the consort of the god Vishnu and is thought to bring good luck and protection to her devotees. When Vishnu incarnated on earth as avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi incarnated as his consort Sita (Rama's wife). She is known by many names, most with similar meanings in correspondence to the lotus blossom (lotus dweller', 'one who wears a garment of lotuses/holds a lotus/is as beautiful as a lotus') Her other names include 'one who is the beloved of Vishnu' and 'one who rides an owl.' She is usually found seated rather than standing, but portrayed both ways. She has four hands among which the prominent two are in Varada and Abhaya Mudra poses. The other two hold Darpana (mirror) and Sinhamoo (Vermillion pot or pot full of gold). Laxmi is often depicted in a red costume, representing continuous activity, or in a golden costume, representing fulfillment. She wears ornaments full of gold and a ruby-studded crown. Her hair is long, dark and wavy. Her complexion is golden, representing a boon-giver. She is thought by some to be related to the chakras of the solar plexus and the heart. Hindus worship Lakshmi on Diwali, the festival of lights. According to tradition, people would put small oil lamps outside their homes on Diwali in hopes she would come to bless them. She is also commonly worshiped in autumn when the moon is full, on the brightest night of the year. It is believed she showers wealth on this night and that she, along with her mount, the great white owl, descends to Earth to take away the darkness of poverty, stagnation, anger and laziness from our lives. Her owl represents royalty, penetrating sight and intelligence, serving as her mount over which she has full control. Some consider her to be a daughter of Durga, along with her sister Saraswati and her brother Ganesha.

Here in the midst of the 2012 Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee and as usual there has been a hum of Bead-Lovers at the Show.