Saturday, February 22, 2014

Party Hat

The birthday of one of my roommates, Charlotte, overlaps with the Muses parade this year, so as her birthday present, I fashioned her a special parade hat. For those of you not all that familiar with New Orleans Mardi Gras, Muses is an all female night parade that basically spends the entire budget of the parade on its throws (they're also known for their marching bands and heavily costumes on-foot subkrewes). You leave the parade like you just received a bag of swag. Custom Muses coozies, lunchboxes, makeup bags, notepads, iphone covers, change purses, and, most coveted of all (like fist fight coveted), the hand decorated shoes.

Last year, I saw a guy with a case of champagne, offering a bottle in exchange for each shoe. It was working, too.  It helps to be creative. The point is, I think Charlotte deserves a birthday Muses shoe, and a wild headpiece has got to make at least one float rider swoon.

Yes, that's a little shoe centerpiece:

I've worked on and off as a cake decorator in the past, so I knew I could make a convincing birthday cake. I found a tutorial on faux cupcakes that suggested lightweight spackle, which ended up having an uncannily similar texture to icing. It's a little delicate, but it should last through the night, as long as drunken mishaps are kept to a minimum. I went ahead a bought premade royal icing roses instead of trying to attempt them with the spackle, since icing flowers require just the right consistency to hold their shape. I coated everything with a spray matte finish, which should hopefully prevent them from so easily melting. I can't wait to see what reactions she gets.

Oh, speaking of cakes, I'll be decorating a real one coming up soon. A couple is getting married on Mardi Gras day, dressed as merpeople, complete with a ship float to ride through the streets after their nuptials (I couldn't make this up if I tried). Naturally, they need a mermaid themed cake for the event. Should be pretty epic. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dance for a Chicken: The Cajun Mardi Gras

It's movie day! With Mardi Gras around the corner, I thought I'd post something on the subject that's not so New Orleans-centric. I've never been to Cajun Mardi Gras, but I do feel like Pat Mire manages to capture the spirit of something special to South Louisiana with this one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nagin Showing Some Muffin Top

Ray Nagin's conviction meant some last minute additions to the Chaos parade:

A guess it puts a new twist on the whole "Chocolate City" controversy... What? This is Mardi Gras. We ain't about being classy here.

 Also, The Advocate published a lovely article on the owner of Royal Artists, Richard Valadie, and his fiance, Scarlett Torrence. I'm glad to see The Advocate giving some recognition to the talent and passion that goes into making Mardi Gras right.

The Carnival power couple that is Richard and Scarlett in their home studio.

I was stoked to see a painting I did for a 2012 Proteus float (which Richard salvaged at the end of the season to hang in his house) made it into the slideshow:

I'm famous!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Costume Update

Here's the Mardi Gras costume thus far:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Big Freedia in the House

For the back of a Miley Cyrus themed float for Krewe D'Etat. NOLA's gotta show how it's really done...