Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Few Online Holiday Shopping Ideas And Suggestions

Have you finished your holiday shopping? If you're anything like me, your answer is probably, "Heck no, I've barely started!" Personally, I can't stand the crowds, the lines or the traffic, which is why more and more, online shopping is starting to look like the way to go. If you're looking to spare yourself some of the aforementioned aggravations, and you like unique, but reasonably priced gift items, you just might want to check out some of the online sites I've been visiting of late.

Lady Kinnks has compiled a "Santa Please" list of Natural Hair Related Products. Her Kinnks tee with the Marcus Garvey quote is something I'm considering, not only as a gift idea, but for myself.

Narmi has a nice assortment of products in her store, Namari Oils & Books. On one of my recent visits, I saw a Lavender soap that has my name of it.

If you have any online holiday shopping ideas and/or suggestions, feel free to leave the info in the section for comments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Hair Conversation . . . With Pearl, The Hair Deva

Well, they say the 3rd time is the charm (smile). Pearl, The Hair Deva & I have rescheduled our conversation a couple of different times over the past few weeks. But today, unless we run into an unanticipated hitch, we'll be chatting about the movie "Good Hair," my novel, A Natural Woman and possibly a few other hair-related issues on her blog radio show, A Kinky Konversation. You can join us today, if you'd like, at 3pm central / 4pm eastern.

To learn more about Pearl and her program, click on the LINK.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories (Michelle D.P.)

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories
(Michelle D. P.'s Story)
Michelle D. Petelinz

Background / I'm 53 years old and I'm originally from Long Island, NY. I lived in Boston, MA for over 20 years and currently reside in Raleigh, NC. I am a mixed media artist, creating wall hangings, shadow boxes, mirrors and clocks with an Afrocentric flair. Along with my husband, I own Kindred Spirit Studios, displaying and selling my work throughout the southeast in juried shows and art festivals. I write a blog about my journey as an artist called Artventuring ( and show my work online on the Kindred Spirit Studios website (

Hairstyle / I wear my hair in two basic styles, mostly according to the season. In the spring and summer, when it's hot and humid here in NC, I wear my hair "natural," meaning I just wash, condition, air dry, and apply locking gel to smooth the frizz and enhance the natural wave. During the dryer months, I use a blow dryer and flat iron and wear it straight. I don't use a chemical relaxer and haven't for over 30 years.

Munira Ancestress of Radiance From Michelle's "Kindred Spirit" Collection

Reason for wearing a "natural' hairstyle / The most compelling reason is ease of handling; I learned that when I don't fight my hair, it and the weather come to an "understanding", and I'm much happier! I decided not to fight my hair's natural tendencies in the summer about 10 years ago.

Support of your natural look / My husband really likes it, and I receive positive comments from friends as well.

Negative reactions / My mother wasn't particularly fond of the look. She was a big proponent of straight hair, and saw to it that I wore it that way growing up. We did the whole home relaxer thing until I left for college. Once I was on my own, I decided not to continue with that. Questions from White women about my hair are sometimes irksome. They seem surprised that both straight and naturally curly styles are possible with my hair. I've had to educate many on the subject.

Response to negative commentary / I don't get negative comments.

Shadow Box From Michelle's "Kindred Spirit" Collection

Women with natural hair whose style you admire / I love seeing Jill Scott in The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency with her Afro; she looks comfortable in her own skin and hair, which is just great! And, I think the model Alex Wek is absolutely gorgeous!

Useful natural hair care tips, styling techniques or products / About 8 years ago, a stylist recommended Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Gel for my natural style, and I love it. It works, smells great, and doesn't make my hair stiff like other alcohol-based gels.

Advice for women considering a natural hairstyle / Do what feels right for you and your hair. Don't worry about what other people think or say; it's your hair, your look, and your life! Do what makes you happy. Words to live by in all things, not just hair!

Your definition of a "natural woman" / I believe a natural woman is one who is comfortable in her own skin; one who doesn't feel the need for artificial things to be beautiful--she knows she's beautiful, and loves herself.

Tarishi From Michelle's "Kindred Spirit" Collection
If you'd like to learn more about
Michelle D. P
aka Michelle Davis Petelinz please visit her at




"Michelle D.P. 's Story" is part of an on-going series I created that focuses on African American women who wear their hair au naturel. Check the archives (see sidebar on the right) for past segments, features and profiles. If you'd like to participate in the series, please email me for details (go to my blog's profile page or visit my website for contact information). Your feedback is always appreciated. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments you might have about "Michelle D.P.'s Story," the "Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories" series or Black hair in general, in the section below marked for comments.

Thank You!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Questions & Answers

Not long ago, author and playwright Vanessa Richardson participated in the Old School Mix's "Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories" series. Last week she invited me over to her spot, "The Certains One," for a bit of Q & A about A Natural Woman and my on-going journey as an author.
If all goes as planned, tomorrow (Wed/Nov. 4) at 3pm central time, I will be hanging out with Pearl, The Hair Deva and doing a blogradio spot on her show Kinky Konversation.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Natural Woman News

In case you're wondering, I've been a bit busy, but I'm still here. I do have a few items to share with you on the A Natural Woman front.

First, on Saturday, November 7, 2009 from 1pm-3pm, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (SouthPark) in Charlotte, NC., I will be siging copies of A Natural Woman. If you are in the area and not too busy, come on out and keep me company. Even if you already have a copy of the book, I'd love to hear your impressions and chat with you about the novel.

While I'm on the subject of impressions, the following is another nice review of A Natural Woman. If you visit Namari's site, and check out the review, don't forget to leave her a comment and let her know you were there.

Last, but not least, I will be posting another "hair story" soon. Michelle Davis Petelinz, our artist-in-residence, steps forward with her unique perspective on the topic of "natural hair." Check back, 'cause you don't want to miss it . . .

Oh, I almost forgot. I'm scheduled to do a blog radio interview with Pearl, the Hair Deva who resides in my old hometown of Memphis and who holds a "A Kinky Konversation" every Wednesday at 3pm (central time). I'm not sure if I'll be on tomorrow or next Wednesday. I'll keep you posted.