Monday, January 25, 2010

One World, One Heart Blog Event


Some of my Etsy friends told me about this wonderful event that begins today, called One World, One Heart. I checked it out and thought it sounded like a fantastic way to connect with people that I otherwise would never have an opportunity to meet.
Then, when I saw that the theme of this year's event was "Riding the Magic Carpet" I just knew that I needed to continue in the spirit of the previous post and my excitement about the Saints making their first trip to the Super Bowl. After all, it is a pretty magical ride that we Saints fans are on these day.
I decided to give away a set of four ACEO-sized (2.5" x 3.5") photographs. These photos were taken by my son last summer on a mini-vacation to New Orleans. Professionally printed on Kodak Endura metallic photo paper, these photos provide a glimpse of the unique beauty found in the New Orleans French Quarter.
What I'd like for you to do is tell me (in the comments section) if you've ever been to New Orleans. If you have, what is your favorite thing about this magnificent city? If you haven't, what would you love to see if given the opportunity to visit? You can chat about anything having to do with New Orleans....the food, the music, the art, the history. You name it!
On Feb. 14th, I'll choose one person through random drawing. That lucky person will receive this set of photos. Make sure you post through your blog or leave your email address in the comments section, so I'll know how to contact you!
While you're at it, make sure to click on the "One World, One Heart" image above. That will take you to a list of all participants, and you're going to want to visit as many as you can! Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Just Football, Right?

By now I'm sure you've heard that the Saints are going to the Super Bowl. You may already be sick and tired of the "Who Dat", "Geaux Saints!", and "Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez". But, let me go ahead and break a bit of news. The frenzy has only just begun. This may confound and confuse you. You may be thinking, "Give me a break. It's just football, right?" Well, you see, that's the thing that's so wonderful about the Saints going to the Super Bowl. It's not just football.

If you've never traveled to the New Orleans area, let me encourage you to do just that. There is just something a bit magical about New Orleans. The French Quarter architecture alternates between gaudily colorful and a touch of stately elegance. Bourbon Street really does smell like stale whiskey. Voodoo shops are a dime a dozen. Magazine Street is an artist's paradise. The Creole cuisine is a spicy treat, and the beignets at Cafe du Monde really do melt in your mouth. Even though all of these things are true about New Orleans, they are not what creates the magic.

The people of New Orleans are what makes New Orleans such a special place. There is a love, a loyalty, and a pride in this city which is unique to the area. This spirit of loyalty is not restricted only to those who have deep roots in the area. Even newcomers find themselves caught up in the spirit of the city, and soon feel an emotional attachment as though they have spent their entire lives here.

I don't live in New Orleans, but my Dad was raised there and my grandparents lived there. We visited regularly as I was growing up. As a child, I caught my first glimpse of a "beatnik" through the open door of a bar on a French Quarter corner. When I was sixteen, my friends and I hopped aboard a Greyhound bus and spent Fat Tuesday prowling the streets of New Orleans. I've always felt a connection to that wonderful, bawdy, boisterous place. In June of 2005 my family spent a lovely day in New Orleans. My father acted as tour guide, showing us his childhood home, his school, and the streets where he delivered the Times Picayune newspaper. I insisted that my son photograph everything, feeling an intense need to preserve every moment and image from that day. I had no idea that two months later the landscape of the city would be scarred forever by the ravages of Katrina.

The people of New Orleans are determined to reclaim the the magic of their city, and they are well on their way to doing just that. It took the Saints 21 years to experience a winning season. Their fans grew so frustrated that they took to wearing bags over their heads and calling themselves "the Aints". But, they still went to the games, they still wore their black and gold, and they continued to loyally follow their home team.
So, after 42 years, the Saints are going to the Super Bowl. Today, five years after the city was almost destroyed, the Saints are the NFC champions. It seems that the Saints are giving a gift back to the people who have loved them through the good, the bad, and the ugly. It still seems like a dream. And it's not just football...not by a long shot.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Hearts For Haiti" New Etsy Shop Benefitting Doctors Without Borders

In August of 2005 life as we knew it changed, at least for a while, with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. In a 12 hour time span, my family and I went from a comfortable, routine lifestyle to a world of chaos. We came to appreciate the luxury of a hot meal, a toilet that flushed, transportation, air conditioning, and clean water. Charitable organizations poured in from across the country, bringing food, water, and ice. They left their jobs for us, cooked for us, cleared our driveways, and patched our roofs. The kindness and generosity of strangers touched our hearts in a way that I hope never to forget. Although it is not possible to repay those kindnesses, I plan to never again miss an opportunity to "pay it forward".

I've been riveted to the television and internet since last Tuesday afternoon, when word came of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. The images coming from Haiti have taken me back to those frightening post-Katrina days. These are the times when we feel the most helpless, but each and every one of us can make a difference, especially if we pool our efforts.

A new shop, "Hearts For Haiti", has been opened at
Organized by Victoria of ExlibrisHandmade, Hearts For Haiti is stocked with a variety of items donated by hundreds of Etsy shop owners. Proceeds from all sales (less etsy and paypal fees) will be donated to "Doctors Without Borders"

The shop opened yesterday (Friday,January 14th)and is already doing a booming business! Click on this link and stock up on treasures for a cause at "Hearts For Haiti"!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Southerners and The Big Chill!

Since Rex the weatherman had been telling me for several days to prepare for the "Arctic blast" that was surely headed our way, I did what all good Americans do, and headed to Walmart to pick up the necessary supplies. Apparently the necessary supplies do not come cheap, because my bill totaled $145.
Southerners can prepare for a hurricane with one hand tied behind our backs, but we do not know what to do with extremely cold weather. We don't have chains, snow plows, or de-icing equipment. We don't invest in heavy winter clothing, because we just don't use it enough. Sometimes many years go by without even so much as a glimpse of a snowflake, and on those rare occasions when we do see snow, we declare a national holiday! Schools and businesses close, with all news outlets devoting the vast majority of time and space to coverage of the white stuff. We sit around and reminisce about the great snows of the past, when as much as 2-4 inches fell. We remember where we were and what we were doing during these momentous events.

Today I sit, hibernating in my warm house, thankful for Willmut Gas and my central heating unit. I look out my window and see a beautiful blue sky. There is no snow. Just bone-chilling, body aching, face burning cold. It is 23 degrees outside, with a wind chill of 11. My friends from the Northern states would probably call that a warm snap, but down here we call it a brutal shock to the system.

Do I sound like I'm whining? Well, maybe I am, just a little, but I'll try to put on my big girl britches and deal with it. I will not, however, be leaving my house. Today looks like it's shaping up to be a good day for creating some new art.

Who wants chili?

Monday, January 4, 2010

"The Lights Are On, but Nobody's Home" ...or Annual Goals Part Two

Okay, I'll fess up. Part Two of my annual goals really has nothing to do with the rest of the title to this post. I just was trying to think of a way to connect my annual goals with this latest design. BUT...I've got nothing. Oh well, since this is my blog, I'm just going to show it to you anyway.

This is a coaster design that I created in response to a challenge by my Melange buddies to create a collage based on the theme, "illumination". This will become a coaster as soon as the weather warms up a little bit. (I've found that frigid weather and sealant just don't go hand in hand!)

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, it's on to part two of my annual goals:

I really would like to get my house in order. I downsized several years ago, and have to be very careful in order to keep from being overrun by stuff. Closets are going to be cleaned out, cabinets will be purged, and many trips to Salvation Army will be made. Problem is, I have a cabinet set aside for my art supplies, and those are the things I have the most trouble letting go of. The cabinet is already full to overflowing though, so some of that is going to have to go. Rats. Well, maybe I can find those things a good home. Might be time for an Etsy destash sale.