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!
You can find it here:
Taste of my Crazy Life Etsy
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 had very clear intentions for this project. VERY clear. I knew EXACTLY what it was gonna look like when I finished it.
Mardi Gras Wall Hanging
Pictures rarely give good glitter justice, and this is good glitter. I knew this project was going sideways after I finished the first letter. I’m fairly certain I’m poppin’ the clutch and moving on with plan ‘B’. Once I figure out what that is
The only thing I know for certain is plan ‘A’ is no longer moot. Just gonna have to let this guys talk to me and tell me how to proceed.
Let the good times roll my friends!
Taste of My Crazy Life (Etsy)
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!
Last year my darlin’ and I went to NOLA and celebrated Madri Gras. We ended up with over ten pounds of beads. After looking at them for almost a year wondering what I earth I was gonna do with them the above project came to me! So far I’m pretty happy with the results. Can’t wait to see the final product!
A Zydeco Fan.
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!