Majestic as F*ck

Image

So you guys remember when I mentioned that eagle bike I was working on?  Yeah, of course you do because EAGLE BIKE!  Well, I finished it and it made its debut this carnival season with the artist krewe of Kolossos.  My friend Katrina runs both Kolossos and The Bearded Oysters which is how I came to be involved in this project.  I put many hours into it and it was so worth it, I mean look at the picture above this paragraph from mardigraparadeschedule.com.  That’s me with four Saints super fans majestically carrying red white and blue ribbon poles behind me.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt or looked cooler.  I may never look that cool again.  Freedom!

ImageI was doing non-stop paper mache while at my shop for three days straight, eight hours a day.  I was dreaming about it at night.  Everyone that came into the gallery loved it and kept asking, “So this is for The Mardi Gras?!”  It is, I would reply and think about how it’s odd that tourists feel the need to turn Mardi Gras into THE Mardi Gras.  Then I would just keep on sopping up glue water with phone book strips.  I took her on a test drive around the quarter to make sure she was road worthy, fixed some problem spots, and brought her to the art lofts where I painted her all up.

ImageImage

It only took me one day to paint thanks to Katrina having already done a base coat of white for me.  My sister Erin stopped by when she got off work and painted the claws for me.  She also brought me a slice of pizza from Pizza Delicious which was much needed fuel at that point.  Thanks Ern, shout out to you!

ImageImageMuses was the tricycle’s grand debut.  I wanted to be equally as fabulous as the bike so I made a huge feather head piece (because, necessary).  As for my dress, I got it from a costume liquidation sale from a theater last month.  It was a Donald Duck costume made for a chunky child which ended up being an almost perfect fit for me.  I chopped off the arms, added some sequin trim, and called it good to go.

ImageImageHow amazing does it look lit up?!  Amazing!  I can’t take any credit for that, I know nothing about adding lights to art trikes.  I rode it again on Saturday for Tucks and had an amazing time that day as well.  I got a lot of “MERICA!!!!” along the route and successfully started many “USA! USA!” chants too.  I’m hoping more pictures will surface in the next week or two because I was posing like a crazy lady.  The one above this paragraph and below were both taken by one of my fabulous artists from the shop.  Thanks, Loopy Boopy!  And that’s that.  Every year, when Mardi Gras ends, I’m sad that it’s over but excited to try and top my costuming and parading next year!

Image

I’m a Glutton for Stress

Image

It’s true, I can’t help myself.  I constantly take on way too much.  I know I’m doing it and that I’m going to make myself crazy, but I do it anyway.  I currently have tons of projects in the works.  The way I get myself through times like these is I say, “It’s only six weeks of my life.  Or it’s only a week I won’t be sleeping…”  You know, things like that.  Currently, one of my big projects being the eagle bike.  It’s a mini man powered Mardi Gras float that I’ll be riding during Muses and Tucks.  Holy crap do I have a lot of paper mache to do.  I’m working on it while I’m at the store because all of my time on my days off is spent working on paintings for a group show I’m hosting at the gallery on February 20th.  I’m putting in really long days painting but it will be so worth it when I have some of my own work in the gallery again.  Here are some of the canvases I’m working on in various stages of completion.

ImageImage

ImageWhen I finish these gals I’ll post in full about the meaning behind each along with a photo.  I may be hella busy but I’m still taking time to have some fun.  Last night was the 610 Stomper Debutante Ball and it was a blast.  It was 80’s themed, Six Ten Candles, hence those glorious getups.Image

Bring on my most favorite time of year!

On Football

Image

I didn’t grow up in a home where we watched sports.  My dad isn’t a football fan and my mom isn’t much of one either; in short, we never root root rooted for the home team.  It wasn’t until I moved to New Orleans, that I fell in love with a sports team and found a passion for football.  Finding myself actually enjoying watching a football game is something that I NEVER thought would happen for me, but it has.  The enthusiasm and love that the Saints generate for this city is undeniable.  The energy and excitement that pulses through New Orleans is palpable on game days.  The camaraderie you feel whether you’re watching a game at a bar or at home with friends and family is unlike anything I’ve experienced; it’s magic.  You celebrate the wins and console each other on the losses.

While I would have rather seen the Broncos win last night after the Seahawks took us out of the playoffs, I can imagine the celebration on the streets of Seattle and I’m happy for the fans.  The 2010 Superbowl, where the Saints defeated the Colts and brought New Orleans our first ever Lombardi trophy will forever remain one of the most fun filled days of my life.  Seattle, like NOLA before the 2009 season, had never won a world championship before and it was well deserved for them.  Job well done, Seahawks.  I know I can’t wait for the next time The Saints head to the big game and bring us home another victory.

ImageImage

Halloween Recap

Holy crap, y’all!  I’ve been so busy.  I mean it’s November 5th and I’m just now getting ready to recap last week’s Halloween festivities.  First there was The Krewe of Boo Parade.  So much fun and a huge success!  It’s back in full force and was the first NOLA parade to throw only locally sourced throws.  Pretty amazing!  We hit up the after party at Mardi Gras World and followed that up with a night at Kajun’s Pub (our usual) and then I got sick the next day.  Whomp whomp.  Worth it!  We handed out treats, some of those hand painted oysters to thirty lucky folks along the route, and scared a lot of little children with those puppets!  I was a little worried parents would be mad at us, but they were dying laughing.   Image

Continue reading

CHAIRish the Children

Image

No matter how busy I am, I have a hard time saying no to charity events.  If some one contacts me asking for a donation of a painting, I almost always say yes.  So, when I received my donor form in the mail for the Louisiana Children’s Museum’s biggest event of the year, I called and asked if I could make a chair for the event.  You see the event is CHAIRish the Children because tons of funky, unique chairs decorated by local artists are auctioned off.  Get it?  CHAIRish.

The LCM was thrilled with my request and so as soon as it was confirmed, I hit up craigslist looking for my chair.  I found an old high chair that had been posted that day. It was kismet.  Image

The theme this year is there’s no place like home; the museum is going to be transformed into a New Orleansififed Oz.  I decided I wanted to go with a green eyed gator theme because it’s a fun way to advertise for the shop and because I love a good gator.  I did three scenes where the GEG is having fun around New Orleans.  On the back of the chair he’s heading into Audubon Zoo, on the seat he’s taking in St. Louis Cathedral at night, and on the tray he’s enjoying a lucky dog.  I did my signature striping in shades of green and the back says “The Green Eyed Gator knows there’s NO place like NOLA!”  I did some paint splatter for some added texture, varnished it and called it a day.  I dropped it off yesterday and I’m SO looking forward to the event next month.ImageImageImage

Image

Pretty stinkin’ cute, eh?  I wouldn’t stick an actual baby in it at feeding time but I think it would be great in a nursery for a little girl to feed her baby doll in and the tray could be hung on the wall!  Speaking of cute, I know I’m biased, but I’m pretty sure I have the cutest dogs in the world.  God, I love these two.ImageImage

Oh, New Orleans. You and your pot holes!

photoEvery time family comes to town they’re always blown away by the roads in New Orleans.  Pot holes fa days, I tell ya.  Seriously though, sometimes I feel like I’m off roading in the city.  This one opened up tonight, uptown, outside of my mom’s house. I mentioned in my previous post, that’s where we are staying while we live in limbo between houses.  Anyway, it happened sometime in the half an hour from when I got home at 5:30pm to when Jen arrived at my house for a walk around Audubon at 6pm.  She mentioned the crater outside and I was like, “What?!  It’s not that bad.”  Then we went outside and I saw that the earth had swallowed up a good six or seven feet of pavement.   Holy shit.  She had me lay next to the hole for scale.  The picture above is what came out of that.  Guess it’s time to call 311.

Only In New Orleans…

We recently bought a new house!  That makes us officially second time home buyers!  We saw it, fell in love with it for it’s possibilities, and now it’s ours.  It needs a lot of work and Nate and I have never taken on a project like this so we’re in the, “Now what?” phase but it’s going to be so amazing once day.  It has good solid bones but the interior probably hasn’t been touched since, oh, maybe, the 1960’s.  On the plus side though, that means it’s filled with lots of awesome old treasures.

1

The people we bought it from inherited it from their parents.  It had been in their family since 1946 and they decided it was time to move on and let some one else make their memories in it.  That’s exactly what we plan to do.  This will be our family home where we will bring our future children into the world and make memories within those walls.  The sellers were sentimental at the closing seeing as they have so many memories associated with the house.  Nate had driven by a week earlier and met then while they were moving out.  He told them about us and let them know they could leave whatever they wanted behind and we would be happy to go through it.  At the closing they asked about my shop and then told me that they had left me some vintage Coke-a-Cola glasses and a trunk full of old Mardi Gras beads.  I thanked them, in my mind being more excited by the glasses than the beads because I had no idea just how awesome these beads were.  When we got the keys, we grabbed a load to move into the “basement” of the house and we took a look around.  I saw the beads and I almost died.  They’re not the plastic beads the I know today, they’re the vintage, Czech glass beads that I’ve only heard about and most of them still have their paper tags attached, stating their origin.

2

43

5

6

I posted some pictures to my Instagram and Facebook and I received several comments from people saying “Only in Nola!!”  That got me thinking, “Really!  Where else would this EVER happen?!”  They even left me an adorable note saying they thought the beads may be good for “artistic purposes.”  I ask you, are these not the sweetest sellers ever?  I have ideas for what I’d like to do with these newly acquired treasures, but I haven’t settled on anything yet.  In the meantime, I’m just enjoying sorting through the box and chatting with my hubs about our plans for the place.  Stay tuned for pictures of the interior and many, many posts over the next couple of years about our renovations.

 

Love Letters from New Orleans

Image

ImageI was listening to our local talk radio the other afternoon, when I heard an interview with Nessim Higson about his new book, Love Letters from New Orleans.  Hearing the interviewer talk about it how gorgeous, adult, and New Orleans-centric it was made me instantly want to purchase a copy; and then I realized it was a book that I had actually contributed to a couple of years ago.

A super talented gal I went to college with was working as Nessim’s design assistant and she asked if I would do make up for one of their photo spreads; V is for Voodoo.  Of course I said yes.  The original plan for the book was to print it as if it were a newspaper and leave it all over town.  This photo shoot must have been 3-4 years ago.  I did the make up, got to keep that awesome wig Fifi Mahoney’s styled, and I hadn’t thought about since.  It was such a pleasant surprise to hear that the newspaper style project had become a book and the book had been funded on kickstarter.com.  Below are some of the outtakes for the voodoo spread.

Image

I received my copy of the book yesterday and it is absolutely gorgeous.  Its color scheme is rich blacks, whites and gold and its design spreads are positively drool worthy.  There is a thoughtful haiku written for each of the letters and the words associated with each letter aren’t always what would come to mind initially, but are so perfectly suited for each character.  I’m so thrilled to have had any part of this and was elated when I saw my name in the back with the rest of the contributors.

There is also a free app you can download that goes along with the book.  Each spread is animated with sounds that go with their letter.  The following pictures are from said app:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 The book is limited edition and comes stamped as a genuine, first edition print.  Pick up a copy while you can.  You won’t regret it.

Dog Days of Summer

Image

ImageWell, summer is officially here.  No more cool weather what so ever.  We were blessed with a nice long spring this year, so I’m having a hard time adjusting to this heat and so are the dogs.  Nate and I try to give them a good activity everyday to tire them out but it’s hard this time of year!  Yesterday we went out to Lake Ponchartrain and let them go swimming.  Carlos is really the only one who likes to swim, Gypsy just wades around in the shallow water.  Swimming is always a good summer activities for the pups.  This morning Nate had to get an insurance quote for the potential new house and I walked around City Park with the dogs while he did.  We were only walking for maybe twenty or thirty minutes but they were pooped and I was super sweaty by the time Nate picked us up.

Speaking of summer, I’m cutting back my hours at the store and going on a couple of vacations.  Finally, some me time!  Ever since I opened, I’ve been so focused on making the gallery work and not producing anything of my own.  It will be a nice change of pace.

More Voodoo Dogs and Jazz Fest Weekend One

Image

So everybody has been loving the voodoo dogs.  Well, most everybody.  Some people have come in and asked if they’re for people who hate dogs and to those people I say, “No!  It’s just a funny alternative to a pet portrait.  Plus who doesn’t feel like strangling their dogs from time to time?”  Then I get the inevitable odd looks.  If you have pets, I know you can relate.  I love my dogs but when they tear off after a cat or attempt to dislocate my shoulder trying, in vain, to jump up a tree after a squirrel, it’s those times I’m talking about when the voodoo dog could come in handy.  They’re sleeping peacefully on the bed behind me right now and you’d never know what butt holes they are sometimes; but golly do I love ’em!  Speaking of my dogs, look at this hilarious picture of Carlos looking like he’s so high.  I capture these pictures of him often as he pants all the time and if his eyes are closed, like they were here, this is the type of magically hysterical shot you get.  And that tongue off to the side?!  Killing me!

Image

It’s the jazziest time of the year hear in Nola; that’s right Jazz Fest!  Only kidding though because it’s definitely not all jazz.  Not to split hairs here but I mean John Mayer headlined on Friday and I’d put him more in the category of music I really don’t care for/definitely not jazz.  I was debating on whether or not to go this weekend.  I LOVE JF but I inevitably spend a ton of money eating and drinking all day.  When the food is that good, it’s impossible not to.  But when my hubs gave me his blessing and Saturday ended up being so slow at the store I decided to treat myself.  I put up a sign that said, “Gone Festin’!!” and closed up shop.

Image

Image

3

Image

Image

Image

Image

Jen and I enjoyed an all crawfish diet on Sunday; berled crawfish, crawfish bread, crawfish enchiladas…oh and several daiquiris!  It poured in the morning so our feet were covered in mud all day.  Then the heavens decided to open up while we were getting our disco on with Earth, Wind, and Fire over at the Congo Square stage.  That didn’t slow anyone down though.  In fact, I think it made it that much more memorable.  My mom’s coming in town tomorrow and she, my sister, and Jen and I will be partying with Fleetwood Mac on Saturday.  I’ll be shutting down the store for the day but, hey, I don’t work for myself to miss out on the things I love most!