Happy Mardi Gras

Happy Mardi Gras!

I have so many wonderful memories of Mardi Gras from growing up in New Orleans. I remember some of the costumes I wore, the ladder seats we sat in, scavenging the ground for beads, watching the St. Aug band play, and eating Popeye’s chicken.

Those memories spurred me into having our own little Mardi Gras party despite the fact that we are 600 miles from the real event.

Like most parties I host, I was planning on decorating and cleaning right up to the minute when guests walk in the front door.

This time that plan backfired on me.

Our party was set for 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon. I thought…plenty of time to cook and work on things. That’s a great plan exept that I became sick at 6:00pm the night before the party. I mean, I went down quick and was in bed by 8:15.

In came my superhero husband. He cleaned and cooked up a storm. Without him there would have been no party. I was still in bed when it was only one hour until the party and went back to bed about an hour after the party.

So, our decorations were minimal. Not my best work but it is what it is. After all, I’m pretty sure everyone was there for the crawfish pasta and king cake, anyway.

My mom sent the adorable mask along with Mardi Gras plates, napkins, and shirts for the party. The mask was placed in a flower vase filled with purple beads. I added the gold signs which read, “Let the Good Times Roll,” and the same in french,”Laissez Le Bons Temps Rouler.”

The only other decoration I put up for the party was the “Parades” sign. I actually wasn’t able to finish the sign since I got sick so the last parade, Crescent City, has a lighter coat of paint than the others.

And no I haven’t gone back to complete the sign. I got things to do.

I remember getting up early on Mardi Gras day to get to our spot on the parade route. First came Zulu and the thrill of them throwing decorated coconuts, Rex with the huge cow float, and then the truck parades, Elks and Crescent City, which each had over 120 floats in a row.

Steps in creating the sign:

1) Paint large board purple

2) Print out the names of the parades and arrange on the board.

3) Take the slip of paper with the parade name on it and turn it over. Color the letters with a white crayon (you are coloring on the back of the paper).

4) Turn the paper over so that the crayon will make contact with the board.

5) Trace the letters with a pen onto the board.

6) Lift the paper up and you will see a faint outline of the parade name.

7) Color inside the letters with paint.

Go here to see our Mardi Gras wreath.

Do you have any favorite Mardi Gras memories?

The Gift of Words

I’m sure you have all seen the subway art that has been floating around. I have wanted to attempt this for the past year but never did. I decided that my dream present for Christmas would be a Silhouette machine which would help me make the subway art. My wonderful husband took my ever so subtle hint of leaving the website up and mentioning there was a sale going on and surprised me with one for Christmas. I was thrilled but a little nervous at the same time. I have the habit of really wanting something but once I get it I wait and wait to open it. I thought about it, studied it, pondered it some more, and eventually was ready to try the machine last week.

I decided my first project would be a birthday present for my sister Kelly, who’s birthday is today. Not sure if subway art correlates with Kelly’s taste or not but I’m pretty sure I’ll never know since she lives 800 miles away.

I asked Kelly to email me her top places, foods, holidays she thinks about when she thinks of New Orleans. It’s our hometown so I knew she would have some special places she associates with it.

Here’s her list: Commander’s Palace, street car, beignets, Jazz Fest, City Park, Mardi Gras, & 5 Happiness. I took Kelly’s ideas and added to them.

I first started by painting an 11 x 14 canvas gray.

Next I chose some of the words I wanted to use. I typed them into the Silhouette program for sizing and then printed them out on vinyl. After a few more steps I carefully peeled away the paper and attached the vinyl words to the canvas. Here’s the I don’t think I’ll ever finish shot halfway point.

partially completed subway artThe work in the beginning was tedious but I eventually got the hang of it and moved at a quicker pace. Once I finished putting on all the words I modged podged it so it would have a protective covering.

Here’s the final product:

final subway art product

Kelly, this is going into the mail today for you. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Birthday!

I think this would be so much fun to do with other cities, places you’ve visited, holiday themes, etc. I would like to do one which lists every street my husband and I have ever lived on since we were kids.

If you could have a piece of subway art, what would be on yours?