sometimes I do what I got to do.

sometimes I do what I want to do.
sometimes when I got to do what I want to do – it’s the same damn thing.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year (means) New Beginnings...

This was quite an interesting year.

...AND it really all started after that large tree in front of my house fell down from that ridiculous snow storm in February.

There is something to be said about how you really need to let things go - or you need to 'make space' to allow for new opportunities and blessings.
The funny part is that I was told to cut that tree down a few years ago - in order to get my roof fixed...
Of course I protested...
Needless to say - I think I prolonged the inevitable so long that God took the tree down for me. Since then I can not tell you how much natural light has been pouring into my house...It's incredible.
AND not to mention that that particular tree was located directly in my "mentors and helpful people" sector of my house (with regards to Feng Shui)
...let me tell you. I am now a true believer.
This year has brought so many ups and downs.
Losses and gains.
Struggles and uncertainties.
Sadness and anger.
It has also brought to me an army of angels that have manifested clearly out of no where. 
Some came in the form of business / client relationships morphing into incredible collaborations and friendships...
Some came in the form of old friends that I have finally been able to connect with on various levels.
Others came to me through connections through friends and associates that can only be described as nothing less than divine intervention.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone that has helped me to become stronger and even more driven to reach my goals. Our relationships are JUST beginning and I can not wait to see what 2011 will bring to us ALL...

I wish you all Peace and Prosperity in the NEW Year :)


Saturday, December 11, 2010


(Not referring to to the computer system - but the actual concept that it derives from. But - they have a cool logo.)


This past year has been an exercise in stepping out of my comfort zone and as a result I have had the most incredible experiences and opportunities. (Some of which I could have never even imagined.)

One thing that has really resonated with me - is the fact that you can not accomplish everything on your own AND in order to become what you want to be (if you even know what that is...) you need to circle back to the simple concept of human connections.

Ubuntu (oo-BOON-too) is an ethical concept of African origin that focuses primarily on our relationships with each other. It teaches us that teamwork and collaboration has the power to reshape our workplaces and our relationships with our co-workers.

I plan on making Ubuntu infectious in 2011.

"In Africa there is a concept known as Ubuntu - the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others."

- Nelson Mandela

Saturday, December 4, 2010

13.3% (Re-visited)

 A few of you asked what I submitted to the exhibition....
Well - I wrote a little book called "200something".... (Stay Tuned!)

And YES - I made this submission before I had the epiphany to be a good wife and actually CHANGE my name :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


 ...and just like that - it was printed. bound. mailed. and tracked all the way to Los Angeles...

I recently made an “ exasperated reply to those who say: ‘there are no women making architecture.’"

I submitted a little project that was realized in early February - but has been ever evolving since about 1992... 
Just a little something that conveniently fit inside a standard sized 9x12 manila envelope and it has about 200something pages...

((Is anyone in LA?? I need a photo of my exhibit!!!))

Just over thirteen percent of architects are women, according to the American Institute of Architects.
The exhibition 13.3%… borrows from the conceptual structure of curator Lucy Lippard’s landmark 1973 exhibition of conceptual art, c. 7,500, in which each work on display fit into a standard manila envelope. Lippard’s exhibition contested the belief that there were no women making conceptual art at the time — and she did so by mailing evidence of this work directly to the gallery for display. Nearly forty years later, 13.3%… provides a space and form in which to consider the contributions and visibility of today’s practicing female architects.


Dear Work Husband, 
We haven't talked about it in a while, but I would like to tell you that I REALLY miss our kids..

I took this year off from mentoring students in the ACE mentoring program in order to clear my head and focus my energies on developing ME.
...well apparently developing ME is taking a little bit longer that I thought - and I guess I just didn't want to miss it so soon.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mrs. Millner

 ...the artist formerly known as Tiffany Strother-Millner.

Well - I tried the "hyphenated thing" for a year...
...and I thought that he was "okay" with it...
..we went to the Capital Grille and the waitress came to the table and pleasantly said " Good Evening Mr. + Mrs. Strother..."

That was it - and I just couldn't take it anymore... I didn't want to hear his mouth. (I assure you - it made for interesting dinner conversation)

I knew that Deme was more on the "Traditional" side of things... but I guess I was just trying to hold on to my independence... 
I mean COME ON!!!!!! You are one person for 32 years and then you just become someone else...

Ugh - it's going to be alright :)
You should have saw the smile on his face when he opened a little box and saw my NEW driver's license in it... 

Love You Deme!

Tiffany C Millner

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Friday Five.

Aww.. nothing like a little shameless self promotion :)

Sunrise + Sunset

It's been a while...
I have been on vacation.
I wrote "something" a few months ago - and I have finally blown the dust off of it.
I met some new people.
I video taped a little tv show (more to come on that soon)...
I celebrated an anniversary and fell in love all over again.
I ate wedding cake that was frozen for an entire year - and STILL was exceptionally moist and scrumptious.
(Angie - You are the best!)
I shot some really cool photos and watched the sunset every night (for a week) that God sent to me...
It's amazing how fast it sets...It really puts time into perspective when you think about how little time there really is between sunrises and sunsets.....

I have been seriously M.I.A.

I have been purposely avoiding writing...documenting...expressing my feelings for the fear that something uncharacteristic will flow from my fingertips.
I am not afraid anymore...
Blogging should be about life and all of the experiences that the blogger wishes to share and I wish to share this with you.
The second that you start to lose faith - you will know.
Your heart will grow heavy.
Your energy will cease to exist.
Your mind will spin uncontrollably and you will feel as though you are trapped inside a glass box looking out - with no hopes of escaping.
I was in that same box not only an hour ago and I am finally ready to accept the fact that I am nothing without my faith, my love, my dreams, and my hopes...
They were still there - but the wool was so thick over my eyes that I didn't even see them. I felt as though they abandoned me...
I am writing with my heart on my sleeve to express to you that you will never be alone and without hope - even when you feel at your worst.
Always remember that and those dark clouds will surely fade sooner - rather than later :)

Ok - Enough of that!!

(back to smiling)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Faith + Freedom

Humm... I think I may have "burned" myself again...

For the past month and a half, I have been working on a little something that I called "Faith + Freedom". I knew that the annual PhilaNOMA Art show was coming up and that was enough to put the fire under my butt to build something - and get my head away from thinking and stressing about thing I can not control. 

Everything seemed to fall into place... I received power tools for my birthday. I carved out a little corner in the basement to become my "wood shop", I had full access to the Soup Factory AND Cacao was on vacation in New Jersey.
I found some wood slats in the garage from an old IKEA bed in my garage - and I already had the vision. So I was ready to go....
The idea was to make a "picture frame" for flowers to be mounted on a wall - but like everything else, It became much more. It became my creative outlet... (Hey - what better way to relive the stress from work - than to go home and use some power tools??)

 It was awesome... and then this popped into my head as I was building it... So I had to incorporate it:

i wanted to let go, 
but it wouldn't let me go.
i tried to break free, 
but i was always... always +
always will be free.


Faith + Freedom is an exercise in re-discovering the creative side within me. As working professionals we sometimes lose sight of the simple things that bring us enjoyment and in turn serve as natural stress relievers.
Over the years, I found myself running from the things that would set me free. The lack of time committed to creativity wold be the very thing that would save me from the mundane day to day - also known as life.
Bending those wooden dowels was a stupid idea manifested. It was tedious and i broke a lot of them - even though I had them soaking in a tub of water in my basement. BUT I assure you that during that entire process I was NOT thinking about getting shop drawings back in time, dis-respectful clients that have no idea what i do for a living, construction time schedules that were shot and people blame you because you are the architect, stressing about toilet room clearances and that extra grab bar, and my favorite - the pissing contests that develop at the end of a job when all of the change orders get tallied up and the boxing gloves go on...

AND - it's new home in my dining room...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I have a confession to make.

...And this is not going to be easy.
But it's something that I really need to get off of my chest... I can only ask that you will forgive me.

A month or so ago, a friend of mine asked me what I watched on TV... And I really didn't have an answer. Seriously, I have been anti-TV for a while. I mean, don't get me wrong - if its on, I will watch it - or I will find  myself flipping through random paternity tests or finding out where Anthony Bourdain is this week... But I really can't say that I have A SHOW that I need to break my neck to get home to see - or would even seduce me into getting Tivo or DVR.
Also - please keep in mind that I am married to someone that LOVES tv and WILL break his neck to see any new show  that is science, news, or ufo related.
(I swear - sometimes, I just do not feel like learning at 10:00 at night)
(love you Deme...)

OK -  but yes - I have a confession to make...

Typically our "happy medium" shows are: The Golden Girls, Anything Food related, Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The news (If I can stomach it) - and most recently - Wrestling. 

Yeah...I said it.

I have fallen back in love with it and it has made my Monday nights wonderful and with something to look forward to. I can remember back to when i was younger and my Great Grandmother (Bamby) would sit and watch that stuff for hours!!!! No joke.... She LOVED it. I dunno - I guess its just something about seeing people fake beating each other up and having fake drama to make a story line. 
Monday Night Raw celebrated its 900th episode last night... (I know that my Bamby was watching in heaven...)

Here are a few photos of the wrestlers that I have liked in the past...And you KNOW you know who they are..... (....nope... really didn't care for Hulk-a-Mania)

 Currently - We know all about Randy Orton's RKO move and can probably sing all of the words to his theme song....(yeah - sorry about that babe...)

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Sunflower.

Faith is interesting.
Faith is mysterious.
Faith is unknown - doubtful - and just when you are at the cusp of giving up on it - it comes through and shows you why you MUST always keep it with you...

For the past five years I have been growing sunflowers somewhere in my yard. I LOVE them. They are these huge gentle giants that need nothing more than some sun, soil and a little love.

I started them as seeds this year...

Planted them...
And one by one they got blown over by wind, taken over by weeds, eaten - or just for some reason didn't make it.


I cleared these ridiculously large weeds in front of my yard and found this - My one and only sunflower for the season.... humm - remember that little post about spiritual gardening?

"He who plants a seed beneath the sod - and waits to see believes in God."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cacao's Photo Shoot...

It was a wonderful Sunday!

-The birds were chirping..
- The weather was behaving..
- Then Cacao came outside - so I decided that it was time for her to have a photo shoot.....

...........Until I looked up and noticed that there was a ginormous wasp nest, hive, house - whatever - in the ivy that is growing up the side of my garage.

OK- so yes! There is a story to tell...(there is always a story to tell :)
Demetrius has been threatening to kill that ivy for 5 years now... he hates it. 
So what - the ivy has seriously eaten through the mortar between the CMU and is growing inside the garage now... 

So what - I am scared to death to go into the garage because I always felt like something was going to jump out and land on my head.
So what - we sat on the patio one day and watched 4 birds fly out of it.
So what - I think it looks really nice on the side  :)

SO - needless to say - we will be going to war with it at sun down.... I will keep you posted.

Oh - and here are some photos from Cacao's Photo Shoot...

Friday, August 6, 2010


On 8/1 I became another year older and I am still finding myself contemplating my existence.

I just LOVE the Daily OM... You will be hearing a lot more about this from me soon :)

Return and Reclaim
Returning to Creative Dreams
Our creativity is an important part of being a well-rounded human being. For many of us, this has been shut down.

As children, many of us entertained fantasies or even goals of being an actor, singer, dancer, artist, or musician. In some cases, we received enough encouragement to develop our abilities in those creative arenas, but somewhere along the way we stopped. This stopping may have been due to circumstances beyond our control or to our own unconscious acts of self-sabotage. Being creative can be scary in a world that seems to value logic over imagination and practicality over dreaming. We can forgive ourselves for shutting down or turning our attention away from our inner artist, but perhaps we can also take steps to reclaim our dreams.

In certain times and places, developing a creative ability was considered an important part of being a well-rounded human being. It was not necessary to be a professional or a masterly genius, because the act of creativity was valued in and of itself. It gifts are manifold from the sheer pleasure of allowing our imaginations free reign to sharing and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Children share drawings and songs freely, without self-consciousness, and there is no reason why we cannot do the same thing. You may already be remembering some lost form of expression, such as making jewelry or writing songs. Your soul may be responding with an energetic lift as it feels its way back to a time when it was allowed to express itself freely. Your brain, on the other hand, may be throwing up obstacles, like the idea that you are too old or do not have the time.

The truth is, you are not too old, and if you have time to pick up a pen, you have time to make a doodle or write a haiku. Recognize that the obstacles you find before you have arisen from a place of fear and that they will wane in power every time you do something creative. Each creative act takes you deeper into a realm of beauty and magic, a realm that you have every right to return to and reclaim.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

ode to architecture.

I stumbled upon this web post today... Couldn't have said it any better myself.

What an architect actually is:

An architect is a........
Manager, facilitator, creative problem solver, manager, decision planner, decision maker, salesman/presenter, writer, draftsman, artist, designer, manager, analyst, organizer, scheduler, advisor, researcher, student, transcendent paradigm shifter, manager, prioritizer, manager, prioritizer, estimator, magician, pencil-pushing hardnose academic who has never worked a day in construction, arbitrator, explorer, manager, salesman/presenter, LISTENER, and manager.

What an architect actually does:

Tries to identify, analyze and solve 4 dimensional (space AND time) problems on the following levels and from simultaneously varying scales from microbes to planet:
1. UTILITY : what functions are needed and how and when will they be served. Aesthetics are a function too.
2. IMPACT : what will the initial and life-cycle impact be on economy, society, culture, physical environmental, human health, human mind, human spirit, and general resources and how and when will that be allocated and documented.
3. FEASIBILITY : can, how, when, and why will this endeavor take place and how will it meet the UTILITY and IMPACT parameters.
.....and does all this while managing clients, consultants, staff, communication, and information.

Garden Update #2

Ok - So after about 3 weeks of a steady heat wave...
- A wonderfully large water bill...
- Fighting off the pests...
- Expressing love and constant nurturing...

We were finally able to reap the fruits of our labor!! (Well, kind of...)

So - Here's the update:
  • Tomatoes do not seem to be doing that well - at all. So far we ate one off of the patio tomato plant in the container - but NOTHING from the (4) plants in the ground. Apparently "something" has been robbing us - as i have found evidence of this in my hosta pot.(Yes - that is a half eaten green tomato... what is even funnier is that i went out there the next day and it was gone.)

  • Green peppers - umm, yeah, they aren't doing anything either.
  • very sad.
  •   Cantaloupe- Well.... Its spreading like crazy - and I see evidence that we may actually get a couple of cantaloupes - if we do not get robbed.
 BUT the Cucumbers are doing excellent!!! So far we have eaten a couple of them AND I just picked this one off of the vine tonight.....

    (Thanks for the cucumber salad recipe Marissa (& Martha)!!)

    Quick Pickled Cucumber Salad
    In a large bowl, combine 2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
    1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
    1 teaspoon of sugar
    1/4 cup rice vinegar
    Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and toss to combine.
    (Salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 hours.)
    Serves 4

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Dolla Dolla Bill Yall

    I did it.
    We did it.

    We sacrificed the dollar and we did it.

    I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it.
    But again - was it really a big deal to sacrifice the dollar?

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I ate an ice cream cone with candied bacon on top.

    Jake's can get another dollar from me :)

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    heal MYself

    I am really getting old... I woke up this morning sooooo sore.

    Was it lifting the tree trucks we found on the side of the road in the park?
    Was it laying on the floor drilling holes?
    Was it "playing" in the pouring rain as if I had no sense - or a mother to tell me about myself?
    Perhaps the Creativity was served so HOT that I burned myself.
    Nahhh... I think that Natural Doctor put a hex on me.

    The Soupers at Blackeye Soup vend at The Heal Thyself Garden Party...(for like 2 hours)  :)

    The Heal Thyself Garden Party is an annual event that is dedicated to educating and informing the community about the availability and benefits of non-traditional (alternative) health care choices.This year it was held at the newly re-opened Elkins Estate in Elkins Park, PA.

    The entire process was such a learning experience that despite the fact that we only were able to show the products for about an hour - it was well worth it. AND even though we had to put all of the cards, shirts, and bags away to protect them from the torrential downpour - the Pimped Tent was still able to serve as our symbol of creativity, spirit and unconventional thinking.
    Ahhh - don't you just LOVE how a plan comes together...

    (Recently added to Tiff's repertoire: t-shirt design, screen printing, vinyl lettering, patience, deconstruction in the pouring rain, enhanced driving skills on an estate with no parking and a host vendors unloading, gratitude - oh and a dis-taste for Nag Champa...yeah - I am over the incense for a while...)

    Here are some photos of my journey:
    (sometimes when I got to do what I want to do – it’s the same damn thing.)

    My Transparency.

    Tag Prototype.

    In Studio Set-Up.

    Display :)

    Screen printing.

    Yes - our neighbors were selling MJ T-shirts.

    Event Display.

    power. ambition. creativity.  (Tote bags)

    power. ambition. creativity (T-Shirts)

    Inspired by the Soup Factory.

    A few last words...

    Sheila - I didn't see a goat. (& Thanks for the chicken.)

    Josh - We should have just left. (& Thanks for throwing me in the fire with those bags.)

    Jordyn - Your nails were beautiful.

    Deme - Thanks for your perseverance.

    Natural Doctor Dude that told me my colon has emotional issues - Um, yeah - t h a n k s..