Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mardi Gras!!

I am originally from Southwest Mississippi, not far from New Orleans...and we used to go to Mardi Gras parades every year!  This was a very long time ago, when I was very young, back in the 1960s! I haven't been since that time.  I'd love to go back one day!
If you aren't familiar with Mardi Gras, it is called Carnival in other countries...it's a time of parties and fun from the Twelfth Day of Christmas until the season of Lent.  The grandest parade in New Orleans is Rex, which is on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday--the beginning of Lent.  The floats are elaborate and they throw beads and doubloons and all kinds of fun trinkets.  The Mardi Gras colors are Green, Gold, and Purple--for Faith, Power, and Justice.

In that spirit, I have a Mardi Gras tree!!!  I have stitched a few ornaments, getting the patterns from a freebie search online.  There are several more I'd like to add!  I used many strings of beads--some are new and some are vintage, from the days of my childhood!  At the top of the tree is a parasol, which was a favor at a convention we attended at some point.  Parasols are carried and twirled in jazz funerals, and at events throughout New Orleans.  There are also several masks--some with feathers, and ornaments with the fleur de lis.


It's such a fun time at Mardi Gras!  Everything is so bright and cheerful! Music is playing and everyone seems happy!  There's always too much to eat, but all of it is wonderful!

This ornament is the comedy/tragedy masks and has a beaded bottom made from vintage Mardi Gras beads.  The pattern came from here and is by BD Coture.


You see the fleur de lis all over New Orleans, all the time, because of the French influence.  Even the Saints football team has one for their logo!  I stitched this one in Mardi Gras colors.  I found it here and it's by Penelopis.  I had a fleur de lis charm I put on the top left side, over a black tassel.  I was able to find many cute Mardi Gras fabrics in stores locally.


This freebie, located here, is "Let the Good Times Roll" in French--a common saying during this time of year!  Again, I used some really cute Mardi Gras fabric, and I added a black bead edge (more vintage beads), feathers, and a button with a crown charm. Those feathers came from my mother--her friend has a blue front Amazon parrot named Joe!! Joe drops feathers all the time and one day my mother mentioned that I love pretty feathers.  Now his owner sends me feathers every so often! It's amazing that Joe is not totally bald!!!  But she assures me that it is normal for feathers to fall!  I was so pleased to use them and when I showed her the ornament, she teared up!  Joe is her "baby" and she has had him for 30 years!!!!!  They live to be very old, and she has already lined up who will take him when she passes!  (people love their pets!!  sweet!!)


This cute Mardi Gras freebie sampler is from The Sampler Girl, but I cannot locate it online!!   I added a crown charm and put a very glittery edging on it!  These are so much fun to make!!


The last little ornament I made is just a little pillow from Mardi Gras fabric, but I included a little purple crown with a King Cake baby on it!  King Cakes are popular and you probably know the story--a little baby, said to represent the Baby Jesus, is baked in the cake, and the person who finds the baby in their slice of cake is supposed to receive luck and prosperity AND host the next party!


It has been easy to locate Mardi Gras fabrics, and Wal Mart and Party City carry Mardi Gras items.  Michael's has some, too, but I realize that it might not be so plentiful in other parts of the country.  I try to be thrifty (ha) and I used up some small scraps of purple and gold Aida on these ornaments.  I want to use some more neutral fabrics on some others--for a different effect.  I intend to add a few more to the group, but you can fill in with lots of beads so the tree isn't empty!  

I also have my Valentine Tree up, and I'll show that one shortly!  The calendar made these two close together...Valentine's is February 14 and Mardi Gras is over February 18 this year!!!  So, I just put both of them up, in separate rooms!

Thank you for visiting, and please stop by again soon!
Frances

21 comments:

Nancy Collins said...

Oh my goodness! Frances your seasonal trees are wonderful! Your stitching is beautiful, and your finishing is so creative, fun and inspiring! Thank you for the links to the freebies! I can't wait to see your Valentine tree!

CalamityJr said...

What a fun tree, and it's great that it brings you so many happy memories. Thanks for sharing the freebie links; it's always nice when we can find one we really like.

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Interesting and funny:-)

Jacquie Morris said...

WOW!! My word your tree is marvelous, I simply love it. So pretty and colourful.... And such fun too :)
Looking forward to your next tree :)
Smiles :)
X

Melissa said...

Mardi Gras is surely a blast of colour in the dull winter days. Your tree looks so happy and bright!

Algodão Tão Doce said...

Amei conhecer o seu blog!!!Achei maravilhoso!!!
Visite-me:http://algodaotaodoce.blogspot.com.br/
Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!

Obrigada.

Beijos Marie.

Carol said...

What a fun tree, Frances--it certainly brightens up this winter weather :)

Andrea said...

Your tree is wonderful, so bright and cheerful.

diamondc said...

FRances: Your tree is georgous, love the stitching ornaments, I have Mardi Gras on my bucket kist to get to some day.
Thank-you for sharing such a beautiful tree.

Catherine

Outback Craftaholic said...

That's an impressive Mardis Gras tree Frances. Beautiful colours. Your little cross stitches are lovely. Good luck growing your blog. Cheers, Tracy.

Sally said...

I love your tree!

Karin G said...

This is one fun and colorful Mardi Gras tree! I love that!

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Sweet tree and cross stitch. It opened up a whole discussion in our home about Mardi Gras, Lent, the 12 days of Christmas. We learned something new today and that is always wonderful.

Sandra Cox said...

Look at those beads! Beautiful.

Joyce Clark Frank said...

What wonderful trees. Mardi Gras is fun, since I am from TEXas, I have been some. I even marched in one when I was a senior in high school. Enjoyed your blog. I am also part of Grow Your Blog, come visit mine.
http://joycesloveoflife.blogspot.com

Cozy Expressions said...

Blog hopping with “Grow Your Blog”. Its so great to meet you. Wishing you the best!!

Diane Baker-Williams said...

Your trees bring back a wonderful memory of my mom's East egg tree loaded with hand blown colored eggs. The Mardi Gras tree is so colorful. Hopping by from Grow Your Blog. Will be back to see that Valentine tree.

Kaisievic said...

Frances, that is is a wonderful Mardi Gras tree. I so enjoyed this post, thank you.

MartiDIY said...

I never knew that much about Mardi Gras even though my family once lived in New Orleans. I'm visiting from the GYBH too.

Donna said...

Wish I could have had a picture of your tree to send to my finisher. Love it!

Annette-California said...

WOW! I love love love your tree! It's gorgeous Frances. I need to stitch some Mardi Gras ornaments:)
Great job decorating. The parasol did me in.
love Annette