Monday, February 24, 2020

Lundi Gras

Today is Lundi Gras.

It leads to tomorrow, which is Mardi Gras.  On the day before Mardi Gras which hearkens back to 1874, Rex, the King of Carnival, arrives by boat at the riverfront.  The King and his royal court travel from the river to City Hall where the mayor and various city officials present Rex with the keys to the city and grant him temporary control and rule of the city beginning at sunrise on Mardi Gras morning.

Bleubeard and I will be traveling virtually to New Orleans to don our masks and share in the Mardi Gras festivities.  We'll also show that Mardi Gras is loved by encasing masks inside an open Heart, which is also my theme this month at Art Journal JourneyLet's also visit the colors of Lundi Gras, because green gives us an excellent opportunity to once again join Try it on Tuesday. Purple Represents Justice. Green Represents Faith. Gold Represents Power.  Legend has it that Rex, King of the carnival, selected the official Mardi Gras colors, although the reason behind this decision appear to be vague.

Let's start this journey.

Lundi Gras (also known as Shrove Monday) traditions are mostly observed in the meals that are prepared. Since Lent is a season when no meat can be eaten, Shrove Monday appears to be a day to eat all the meat so it doesn't spoil during the 40 days of Lent.

In England, the British name is Collop Monday, in which the traditional dishes of the day are slices of leftover meat with eggs. In other countries the tradition for Shrove Monday is the Carnival Parade, the most famous in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Different samba schools compete with luxurious costumes and giant floats decorated along one of the avenues, called the Sambódromo, to be the winner of the festival.

In Germany there are also parades, and the festival is called Rozenmontag (a transliteration which means “running Monday”) , when people wear costumes and make fun of politics and public figures.  According to various sources on the internet, it is the highlight of the German “Karneval” procession.

In Greece the day is called Kathari Deftera, also known as Green Monday, and according to various internet sites, the tradition there is to fly kites. Like Greece, most of Mediterranean Catholic countries celebrate Shrove Monday during Carnival with parades and parties.

However, in New Orleans, Shrove Monday is called Lundi Gras

and the events including Carnival, are specific to New Orleans and the surrounding area.

The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Monday.  The three days before Ash Wednesday are also known as "Shrovetide," starting with Quinquagesima Sunday and ending on Shrove Tuesday, known more popularly as Mardi Gras. 

Quinquagesima means the 50th day before Easter, or specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent.

This leads to Mardi Gras, the biggest party of the year in New Orleans and around the Catholic Christian world.

The period from the last Sunday before Lent through Fat Tuesday is known collectively as Shrovetide. 

Shrovetide is also known as Carnivale.  It means "goodbye to meat" (from carne, meat, and vale, farewell).

According to several sites on the internet, Mardi Gras is also known as pancake day in Great Britain.

Fat Tuesday is more commonly known as Mardi Gras, which is simply Fat Tuesday in French.

In New Orleans, those attending Mardi Gras parties often wear masks that are donned with feathers.  Those attending Mardi Gras parades vie for the beads that are thrown from the floats.

I began by separating this page into two sides.  Although I used the same background colors, I made the lines vertical on one side and horizontal on the other.  The background is a combination of water soluble crayons and water color pencils.  

For the Lundi Gras side, I computer generated the words and colored them using water color pencils.  The hearts were made using acrylic craft paint.  The green feather was originally light pink, and I dyed it using one of my handmade shimmering mists.

For the Mardi Gras side, I also computer generated the words and colored them using water color pencils.  I used one of my handmade shimmering mists to make the heart, which I cut after I painted the entire page.  I found a Mardi Gras image in my travel brochures, cut it to size and added it to the large heart.

Bleubeard and I are grateful you stopped by today. Your visit means the world to us.  We hope to also see you at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday

Sunday, February 23, 2020


Today I'm once again joining Art Journal Journey with my Hearts theme.  I'm also joining Try it on Tuesday where their theme is Recycle Something,

I call this "Nesting."

The little bird is nesting

inside the heart.

I got a bit carried away with this heart, too.

I added glitter paint to the nest and the bird. Maybe our glittery bird will attract a magpie.

I built the heart up, layer after layer

after layer.

It depended on the light and how it hit the bird

whether you could see

the glitter or not.

The same was true for the background which consisted of several of my handmade shimmering mists.

For this page, I began with 110 lb card stock to which I sprayed several of my mists.  I cut a heart from a cracker box which I pulled from the recycle bin.  I tore strips of fabric from an old bed sheet I often use in my art.  I tore and cut small squares from the sheet, then layered the pieces over the cardboard heart.  Each layer had to dry before I could add the next, or, as I found after the first layer, the weight of the wet PVA glue and fabric kept the "nest" from building up.  When I was satisfied with the height of the nest, I cut the excess straggles from around the cardboard heart.  I cut the bird freehand after I outlined it from a die cut I had been gifted.  The bird was cut from an old card that once lived in a drawer of the card catalogue.  My friend Pamela gifted me with the card and I put it to a very different use than even I originally envisioned.    Next I painted the bird with glitter paint and hit the high spots of the heart with the same paint.  When the bird was dry, I added it to the nest and glued the entire assembly to the journal page.  Finally, I computer generated the sentiment, to which I added the same glitter paint.

In case it was hard to tell, for Try it on Tuesday both the cardboard I used as the base of the heart and the old bed sheet I used to create the nest, were recycled.  Even the card used to make the bird, although new to me, was recycled/repurposed.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Your visit means the world to me.  I hope to also see you at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The tracks we leave

Some of you probably saw my Second Thursday tutorial where I shared a new-to-me shaving cream/foam technique.  I used the heart, cut from a recycled cracker box, on today's journal entry

just as I did the blue/green heart I featured in the tutorial.

When it came time to work on this entry, I was at a loss.  I allowed the heart to sit for nearly a week before I noticed the magnetic square I had tossed in the recycle bin possessed the perfect colors to fit the heart.  It also had a sentiment I could use.

"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."  It's a Dakota Proverb.

I sewed a heart shape

to affix the magnet to the page.

For this journal page, I started with a sheet of 110 lb card stock to which I stamped a heart using the shaving cream technique.  I then dug a magnet out of my recycle bin and sewed it to the middle of the heart using variegated thread.  Because it looked too plain to me, I added sewing around the edge of the paper using the same variegated thread.  This is a Heart, my theme at Art Journal Journey this month, so I'll be joining them, and because Try it on Tuesday's theme is Recycle Something, I'll be joining them, too.

And because we actually had more than a dusting of snow for a change,

I shot these photos on my way to my mailbox.

My flower bed looks rather sad.

The concrete was so warm, the snow quickly melted from those areas where the sun shone.

Thanks beyond belief for stopping by today. Your support of my art means the world to me.  I hope to also see you at Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday

Friday, February 21, 2020

Open your heart

By now it should be no secret that Bleubeard and I are hosting Art Journal Journey this month with our theme Hearts.  I'm also joining Try it on Tuesday, whose themes this fortnight are Go Green (the color) or Recycle Something.

The photos were taken late at night and didn't photograph well.  I decided to take new photos after I had the post ready.

I'm not sure this is much better, but at least the colors are truer.

I call this Open your heart.

There's all kinds of glitter in the paint, which made it difficult to photograph.

It all depended on how I held my camera and how much light I picked up in the room.

There's several heart buttons inside the heart

that I cut from repurposed vintage sheet music.

To capture the tulle, which I recycled from another project, thus meeting Try it on Tuesday's requirements,

I sewed around the heart using red/pink variegated thread.  The hole in the tulle was symbolic of opening the heart.

The sentiment was computer generated, then outlined in black Sharpie and given a coat of glitter paint.

For this journal page, I began with 110 lb card stock, to which I added glitter paint over the entire background.  When dry, I added a red stamp, then added the heart assembly (composed of recycled sheet music and recycled tulle) using PVA glue.

Thanks for your visit today.  I'm delighted you stopped by.  Please also join me at Try it on Tuesday and Art Journal Journey