• Tamara Ruckdeschel

Embracing You

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

I have been referred to as "queen of the nerds" on occasion. No, Penny from the Big Bang Theory did not coin the phrase. Like most female gamers, especially where fantasy RPGs are concerned, I tend to be the only female in the room. Next to that I am usually the only Native American in the room. I am technically only 7/16th Native, but that still puts me in one of the smallest groups globally and even here on our own continent.


My dad was born at (or in) Council House Oklahoma in 1932 (ish). I say this because he never had a birth certificate until he was 12. My Dad's older brother, uncle Hoppy, told me Native women didn't need a piece of paper telling them they just had a baby or got married to validate the occasion so they rarely applied for documents, let alone delivered in hospitals or had ceremonies in courthouses or churches. Then my Dad joined the army at 15, married the first white woman he met, and moved us all to Pittsburgh before I was born. He and I were very close, but he passed away when I was only a teenager.


Our neighbors back then (in the 70's) were not quite open to having a Native American man in their neighborhood, nor were the kids open to letting me live a peaceful existence in or out of school. I didn't have a friend until 5th grade and that is because we moved to Michigan and a place that had other minorities. They took me under their wings so to speak. It was difficult for me to "embrace" myself in those days.


Along the way I discovered I had quite a potent intellect. When I finished staring at my shoes, because to make eye contact would incite violence against me, I found I had an insatiable hunger for knowledge. Besides studying mathematics, art, marco and micro sciences, fantasy novels were a constant in my spare time. One year I read 95 novels, each averaging well over 300 pages, and all this while working full-time, and parenting my young son.


I started adulthood with a degree in Fashion Design. I designed wardrobes for rodeo queens from my studio in Western Colorado, then when my family in Oklahoma found out, there was no end to the mockery. Therefore, I spent a couple weeks in Oklahoma and let my cousin who used to teach beading at the council house in Tahlequah teach me tanning, beading, and quillwork techniques. My design business morphed from serving rodeo queens to creating Native American regalia for dancers, recording artists, and even repairing/restoring historical items for collectors. I would work all winter in my studio and then take off on the Powwow trail and sell my items on consignment with the vendors at the Powwows. I also moonlighted working with an Interior Designer when time permitted.


Later in life I had to move back to PA to take care of my mother. I took a job as a cut-and-sew designer in the promotional products industry. As all this was going on I developed an interest in other facets of historical costuming and lifestyle by attending Renaissance festivals and SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) events. I came to love ancient architecture and fashion!


I have since gained diplomas (because some people respect credentials over experience) in Business Development, Interior Design, and Graphic Design. I am still drinking in all I can learn, but I am at a point I can serve my clients better than ever, and in more ways that ever before.


Throughout my life, fantasy novels have helped me to keep my sanity though all of life's trials, tribulations, and persecutions. Now I am privileged to share not only my talents, but my vision by opening the doors for others to live their more whimsical identity through clothing, accessories, home goods, landscape/garden design, and interior design and decorating.


You will see Native American influence in many of the items I develop to just "sell" on our site, but my heart leans toward more eatherial aesthetics and what others may deem "costuming" or "staging." Truly, many of our architectural mouldings have been used for events, but are intended for more permanent use for home and garden decor.


These days I embrace my Native side and my European side. It is a blessing to be who I am and develop into who I was created to become. I want the same for my clients.


Please contact us with any questions about items you do not see but have always dreamed of having commissioned for yourself or someone you love. Myself and the local artisans I work with would love to learn more about your dream project and find a way to make that dream come true.


#GossamerGallery #NativeAmericanRegalia #FairyTaleDesign

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