a couple of small recent finishes

blue beaded catI made this for my grandmother in Louisiana, as a birthday present. (I also gave her a jigsaw puzzle. 90-year-old women are hard to shop for.) I hadn’t made anything beaded in a while, it was fun. And this is a cool kit, because it came with everything, including the beads. The stiff material was real easy to work with, too.

I just need to matte it and add the little heart-shaped button decoration that came with it, and it’s done. It can’t be framed under glass, because of the beads (unless the matte is real thick), so I think I’ll just hotglue a little ribbon loop to the top, and she can hang it that way.

This is actually one design of a set of three, and I bought the other two before I left Louisiana. Those will be her Christmas present.

shadows teche cross stitchI bought this at the Shadows-on-the-Teche gift shop, I thought it was cute. It’s supposed to be a Christmas ornament when it’s finished, but I might make it a pincushion or scissors fob.

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shadows-on-the-teche

I have been trying to visit this plantation for the past several visits. It’s probably the closest of all the plantations I’ve been to;  it’s only just over in New Iberia, and I’ve been to River Road plantations that are halfway across the state. But something always came up. Usually it would be my one of my regularly scheduled bouts with Norovirus. (I’m still reeling that not only did I not get it this year, but I managed to avoid any illness. Probably if I go at Christmas I’ll get Swine Flu AND West Nile.)

This year I was nearly thwarted again, first by torrential tropical rainstorms, then by practically being rear-ended as we were literally pulling up to the place. Jeez universe, what the hell?

Anyway, I managed to finally visit it without any damage to life or limb. BTW, the constant reference to the final owner (the one who donated it to the state) as an eccentric childless bachelor who threw wild parties and loved celebrities led me to decide he was gay about 20 seconds into the docent’s spiel. He was also an artist who spent years in Paris, and there were some of his paintings in the house. Most of them were of strong young handsome black men. HMMM.

Also, Henry Miller autographed his door during a party, so that was interesting to see.

shadows on the teche

shadows staircase columns statue

summerhuse and flowers

Here is the whole set. None of these places ever let you take photos inside the house, so they’re all of the grounds and the outside.

relax, nerd

Okay, I had a bit of a hissy fit when I got into work this morning and found a mess. There’s always some kind of karmic retribution for daring to have something else going on your life other than your fucking job. Stupid Puritan work ethic! Why couldn’t America have been colonized by lazy Catholics?!

Anyway, I had a great time on the actual vacation. The first week there were a lot of people — my mother’s younger sister and brother, my sister — who came just for Granny’s birthday, so we mostly just visited and ate. Although the day before the party, Jamie and Rian and I went to an antique mall in Washington, Louisiana that’s in an old schoolhouse. And the following Saturday, Rian and I went back with the ‘rents. I bought several old pins both on both trips, and Mom gave me some, then Granny — who has entire shoeboxes crammed full of old jewelry — gave me some more. I like tripled my gaudy old pin collection on this trip.

I also scored some awesome old cameras: I picked up an old Kodak Duaflex on the 2nd trip to the antique mall. It may not work, but it was cheap and I decided to take a chance. It shoots 620, but you can modify 120 rolls to fit in it. Or I could use it for through the viewfinder shots. Then Phil gave me his old Zeiss Ikon Maximar 207/1, which he bought in Germany, when he was in the Army. It was an antique back then. He said I could have it a few years ago, but between all the hurricanes and the moving, it went missing until recently. It shoots plate film, although I’ve heard about rollbacks that can be hacked onto it. I have to do some research. But even if I can never use it, it’s cool just to have it.

It rained like a motherfucker at least part of each day for the first 10 days or so, complete with lightning; thunder close enough to rattle walls; and once, a double rainbow afterward. It was also humid as a sumo wrestler’s buttcrack, but I was expecting that. However, the last few days were sunny and almost not humid.

Other things we got to see: The Academy of the Sacred Heart, the inside of The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Shadows-on-the-Teche, Laura Plantation, and Cypremort Point.

There was also a visit to The Rosary House (it cracks me up that they have a website), where I may or may not have gone crazy and purchased three rosaries. (I totally did.) They were half price! Rian also bought one, and for some reason this shocked our mother, even though he was the only kid of hers to actually be baptized into the RCC. My great-grandmother didn’t want him to wind up in the infant’s limbo and actually wrote a letter to my mother — in English, which couldn’t have been easy — expressing this, so Mom did it to placate her. But I think she’s always kind of regretted it. Too bad Momo died before the Vatican was like “Yeah, that was just some bullshit we made up to scare everyone. Sorry about that.”, then she needn’t have fretted.

We didn’t go to New Orleans this trip, because no one was insane enough to think treking around the city in near 100% humidity was a good idea. Maybe at Christmas.