NO! Not Christmas! MARDI GRAS! I have come to love this southern tradition. I’m not sure when or why my love for it started, but I do know that I look forward to it every year.
Many years back we were invited to our first Mardi Gras party. I had always heard of such things as a child growing up but never attended such a gathering. Our host spent the entire morning working on his homemade gumbo. I’m talking the “honest to God, he spent 30 minutes making the roux” kinda gumbo. I knew in that moment this was serious business. I made and brought a king cake (of course it had a baby in it… no baby = glorified cinnamon cake with tri-colored icing). As the other guest filtered in and the party started I “got” it. I was hearing the song of my people and I instantly fell in love with the celebration of Mardi Gras.
Since then I have learned its history and traditions. Living along the gulf coast of Florida and Alabama (and having a fondness for New Orleans) it became second nature. Best part is I can keep my house colorful and bright after Christmas. (In THIS house we use POUNDS of beads to decorate with… all or course from several parades throughout the gulf coast region) This plethora of beads inspired some handmade decorations around my own home.
This piece came to me as I was hanging said beads around the house. I asked my husband if he would mind me cutting some up. He was cool with it and I created this:
Mardi Gras Bead Art
I fell in love with it as it came long. With each bead I glued down I got more and more excited. no photos will ever do it justice! It sparkles, it shines, it screams “MEMORIES!” We have celebrated with many a friend over the years and since we acquired a second home in a city that celebrates Mardi Gras even more good times roll! I cherish those friends and the time we spent together clawing and fighting over beads. The laughter and the stories we can now share.
All of that lead me to make this:
I found the blank wood cutout in a craft store after Mardi Gras and HAD to have it. I was originally going to glue beads to it. I could see the finished product in my head. I stopped short of gluing the beads on because I knew that adding the beads would be a mistake. It looked fantastic at this junction. I bought two because I knew that I would want one for my own home. I was NOT wrong. I can’t wait to hang it’s twin up once the Christmas tree comes down! Let’s be honest! I am half tempted to keep it hanging all year round. It really does look that good!
At some point in the further I’ll be making another beaded canvas and will be putting it in the store for your pleasure!
Until then Laissez les bons temps rouler!
For what it’s worth…. Mardi Gras is only 299 days away!
I think I finally found the perfect solution for this blog. (Shameless promotion of my Etsy Store )
Please don’t get me wrong, I still love food, drink, and all things travel. It just didn’t feel right to blog about them. I hated the time it took away from my adventures and husband (the brief time he is home). I felt guilty if I didn’t post. Hated that I felt that way. But, now that I FINALLY listened to those in my close circle and opened the Etsy store and started brushing the dust off my beloved materials; it feels right! I blog now to share what I really want to, not what I thought I wanted to. I LOVE to TALK to people about food. I have a hard time conveying my passion for food in the written word. My art work can speak for itself.
So, I’m sorry that you followed this “food and travel” blog only now to have it shift gears. I can’t promise that I will be strictly sharing my creations in this space. After all, travel greatly shapes our creative spirit. I brought home a lot of it from Cabo on my recent trip there. Made earrings because of it. Matter of fact, several projects have been started because of my travels to Cabo. Travel= inspiration !
I hope you guys stay with me on this new journey of mine. If you don’t I completely understand! You can’t say I didn’t warn you though…. I wasn’t kidding about the “Crazy Life” part 😜 ! Hope everyone has a blessed weekend! Back to the studio for me.
With Easter on the brain, I remembered about the bunnies I used to embroider. I dug through my supplies and found this guy! I also found head, legs, and arms for at least one complete bunny. I have a road trip coming up. Guess I’ll be stitching one up!
Remember in my last post I mentioned a project that I made/designed that I was super proud of? One was a barn door for our beach condo. Thought I’d share it with ya tonight.
Ya see, I done up and told people on my Facebook that I was gonna start sharing my creations with the world. So why not start with something I am very comfortable sharing… I LOVE this door. I can not take credit for actually putting it together. My tools and such were 300 miles away so my friend made all the cuts and actually constructed it. I, however, did pick the wood, designed the door, and treated the wood. It was burned and stained. (I was really going for a castaway feel) I had so much fun creating this project and thrilled with the results. Dare I say “proud” of it!
I will eventually put my face and name to this blog 😱. That scares the crap outta me! So sharing my bathroom door is a baby step. I have to start somewhere…. Right?!
Today I went out and invested in some supplies for my Etsy shop. Just a few knick knacks to get me started. I am still dreaming up designs. I guess the other thing I really need to do is ‘reintroduce’ myself. You all have access to the ‘I love to travel and foodie’ side of me (the original intent of this blog). You haven’t met the “art studio basement dweller” side of me! (ALthough, I have been showing that side here lately) Both actually go hand in hand, but that is another story! Baby steps y’all. I am out of comfort zone!
I am not sure what it is in my personality that drives my particular brand of insanity. It is quite nerve wrecking actually. I am either all in, or not at all. For the last two years I have been struggling with what to do. I didn’t waste those two years. I just wasn’t productive much at all. I did finish an interior renovation, but that was it (a 6 week job at the most). I did A LOT of exhaling. Then I got bored. That is never good.
About 2 weeks ago I entered my basement studio. A place I have neglected and essentially abandoned, for no real reason. I made a barrette, a simple hair clip. What has followed has been overwhelming! My creative brain has turned on (I am literally dreaming projects) and now everywhere I look I see things that need to be done (household purge) and projects that need to be created! Three weeks ago I was overwhelmed by boredom and today I have so many thing to do and create that my laser focus is suffering from ADHD! I have 4 projects laying out and at least 3 more in the queue. My lists have lists!
But I did manage to squeeze out a project for my home (usually I make things as gifts) but THIS, is for me! Last year my hubs and I went to Mardi Gras in both NOLA and Panama City Beach , Florida. We came home with more beads that I knew what to do with. After taking down Christmas I was wanting color and decorations…. It’s Mardi Gras season! Why not put out the beads? As I was stringing bead necklaces up around the house inspiration hit! Ask the hubs if he would mind if I cut up some of our beads for a project. He said sure!
This is what my project looks like currently. It’s not finished yet. Still have to frame it and add a few more beads, but I am thrilled with the way it has turned out as of right now. I struggle with finding fault in all that I do. Last summer was the first time I ever made anything that I stood back and was 100% proud of what I had made (thats another post for another time). I am learning to give myself grace. This piece is not perfect I see room for improvement but even in all its flaws I LOVE IT! Much to my surprise my hubs wants to display it year round. He wouldn’t do that if he really didn’t like it.
I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the weekend. Looking forward to spending it with one of my gal pals!
Look, I know it’s cliche, but what else are you supposed to say when you start a two day train journey? I have never spent more than two hours on a train. This time it will be two days! I have a sleeper room and absolutely no idea what to expect.
The first leg of our journey starts flying from Alabama to Chicago, riding the rails from Chicago to Seattle, then we head south by rail to San Francisco! I am so excited!
I will actually be able to take you guys along with us on our journey. Hope you come along!
On a recent trip trip to New Orleans it took me several days walking around the French Quarter to figure out what was missing.
On my last tour of the city in 1999 there was a sound in the air that carried you down the street with toes tapping. It was infectious and blaring out of multiple stores on every block! That Cajun beat possessed your soul and caused anyone who heard it to dance down the street. It made the NoLa’s atmosphere as unique as the cuisine.
On my third day I realized that the toe tappin’, movin’ and groovin’ atmosphere has slipped away. Don’t get me wrong, jazz is still there and in the air, but that unmistakable sound of zydeco is just a whisper. I heard that whisper coming from The Krazy Korner on Bourbon Street. Drawn in by the sound of a washboard being slayed; I heard The Daywalkers. This band was closest thing to zydeco I had heard the whole trip. I could have stayed and listened to them for hours, but I had to leave to position myself for the Mardi Gras parade that was winding itself through The Big Easy. On my way out of the bar I did purchase one of their newly released CD’s.
Curious about the lack of zydeco in the city I asked the bellman at my hotel. When I questioned him where it went he got a very pensive look on his face. He slowly looked up at me and said that it had been years since he had heard it abundantly in city. There was sadness when he realized it was round about the time Hurricane Katrina rolled through and darn near destroyed the city. New Orleans suffered a great deal, I just hope that wonderful Cajun beat finds itself a home again in The Big Easy… I sure did miss it!