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Follow Your Heart

Hi all y’all,

Hurricane Isaac is now Tropical Storm Isaac. I was a little too nervous to write before and during the storm. Mostly, I just waited him out. Everyone handles situations differently. My husband went out and cleaned the storm drains on our street when there was a break in the wind. I just waited. My daughter had everyone over for beer and board games because they still had power. I just waited. What was the best thing to do? I guess you have to follow your heart.

While I was waiting, I thought about painting. I worked on this all day yesterday. It is called, “Let it Begin with Me”. Today, I think she may be called, “Follow Your Heart”. I am sure it will all become clear when she is done.

Let it Begin With Me

Big changes during the painting. She started out looking like a white girl in the 70’s and changed to a prayerful                African-American woman. She isn’t finished yet.

Maggie painted along side of me most of the day. She told me when she finishes a painting she always sings a little song. The end of it was… let your imagination sing. 4 years old is such a nice, open age … but not without concerns.

Maggie’s Girl in Progress

Maggie asked for a canvas the same shape as I was working on. I gave her a smaller canvas with the same shape.

Yesterday, Maggie asked me for some advice.

She said, “I have a feeling to stomp evil rabbits, and I don’t know why.”

I said, “Look in your heart and see how you would feel if you stomped the rabbits. What does your heart tell you?”

To my surprise, Maggie replied, ” My heart wants me to stomp evil rabbits.”

I told her, “Well, I think you should follow your heart. That is all we can do.”

… Follow your heart, because that is all we can do.

With a prayerful, loving heart,

Gator Girl

Disclaimer: No imaginary evil rabbits were stomped or harmed in any way. I hope they were persuaded to change their evil ways in a gentler manner.

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The Good News and Could Be Better News

Hi all y’all,

I will start with the good news. It seems like everyone had a fun time at our party. We got to meet some new people. A few of the new people live in our neighborhood. Some were soccer buddies of my son-in-law or people he builds for. Teachers from Harriet Tubman “represented” (as they like to say). Many of the guests were friends and family. My 80 year old uncle Anthony  drove in from St. Gabriel. He looked at every picture for a long time and left me a check for a Giclee of Heart of the Hurricane. He is such a sweet man.

Heart of the Hurricane
Snoball for Miss Ashley
Snoball for Miss Ashley

I painted this picture for Ashley Hansen unsolicited. I was happy to hear she likes it.

A collage of the party.

If you picture if not here, I apologize. This is just a sampling and I didn’t get pictures of everyone. Katy darling, you are not here because you stuck your tongue out at the camera.

Miss Michelle is in the bottom right. She made everyone’s night fun. She entertained the 3 and under crowd at my daughter Angela’s house. The little ones were thrilled to have their own party. Michelle is an angel.

If you couldn’t make it to our house. There is always next time. I hope to see you then, if not before.

OK. The not so great news for us, but great news for Harris Park. The Allstate Foundation and the Drew Brees Foundation in collaboration with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids chose  Harris Park in the Gentilly Woods for the park grant. This wasn’t the first time Harris Park applied for the grant. Two schools and a church will also use the playground. Since Angela and I have already written the grant, it will be easy to tweak for the next round of applications. Friends of Samuel Square Park had great support from the community in letters, money and the promise of volunteers. It is just a matter of time.


With a heart full of gratitude.

Gator Girl

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For Miss Ashley

Good morning and happy Saturday!

Today is party day! 6 pm at my house. I hope to see all y’all. I am cooking for company today, so this will be short and sweet.

I painted every spare minute to get this finished. It is a gift for Miss Ashley of Hansen’s Sno Bliz. I framed it in her old, old screen door. I decided to give it back to her when I saw the look in her eyes when she asked what I was going to do with the door. She kind of looked like she was losing an old friend. I hope she likes it.

A refrigerator for your tummy

There is often a line at Hansen’s because it is truly the best. I put Miss Ashley in the picture with butterfly wings because she is like a good fairy giving so many people enjoyment. The experience is not just the snoballs but also the other people waiting in line, the staff, and the timelessness of the shop. When my 80-something mother-in-law goes to get a snowball, it is the same place she went as a child.

Thank you Miss Ashley. This Snoball is for you.

With everlasting, sweet love,

Gator Girl

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More Artists I Adore

Hi all y’all!

You know, humidity gets a bad rap. I think it is kinder than scorching hot, dry heat. The air sort of envelopes you in a warm blanket. If you are not loving the heat and humidity in New Orleans in August,  you can visit St. Mary’s, Tasmania, Australia. The high is 55 degrees today. If that is not an option, go on-line for a virtual visit.

I was reading the blog of Gone Rustic and kept thinking of people I wanted to share Rita’s art  with. My sister and my California art friends, Mary Helen and Julie would love her art quilts and her dye and stitch projects. She also has a drawing section with one of my favorite things, Babushkas. Another, very cool thing is her shop is in Tasmania, Australia. Check it out!

Needle Felting Sample
by Rita Summers

This is one small sample for what she shares with you on her blog.

Next up is, Stephan Wanger of Galeria Alegria. I have a great respect for Stephan’s philosophy and art. He uses Mardi Gras Beads that would have ended up in a landfill and makes the most beautiful art with them. He cuts every bead apart from the strand, glues the beads onto wood, then frames the finished piece.  His art is truly amazing.

I don’t know when he finds the time, but Stephan also donates his time and supplies to local schools. He personally works with groups of children all day, and he leaves the finished art with the school.

Just check it out!

Can you believe this street car scene is made from individual beads? If you are in or around New Orleans, you can see original Mardi Gras bead art at 4431 Banks Street in Mid City. It will blow your mind.

Both of these artist’s websites are great.

Until next time,

With unfathomable love,

Gator Girl