It was a dream come true to have an opportunity to walk through Blain Kern’s Warehouse. I felt as if I'd taken a sip of Alice’s potion, shrunk into a tiny person and gotten lost in my own studio!
If you want a most fanciful and magical New Orleans experience, be sure to tour Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World.
This is where a great majority of floats are built each year (actually hundreds for the different Krewe’s who will parade during the Carnival season). A float will only parade one time.
A small group of twenty artists work all year to create these amazing floats. The colorful structures (or sculptures) that typify a Mardi Gras float in New Orelans (for example this lady with the wings above), are called "The Props".
Armatures for the props are usually created out of of carved Styrofoam which is covered in papier mache, afterwards it is gessoed, then finally painted. Themes for floats are specified by the different Krewe's.
* A Krewe is a club where members are selected and then must pay yearly dues. These are social and pleasure clubs, where the dues are used to build the floats, for costumes, also for a grand ball. The "throws" must be purchased by individual Krewe members and I've heard can cost around $2,000.00 per person (depending on the Krewe and the throws).
On Ash Wednesday, (the day after Mardi Gras), the artists at Blain Kern will start deconstructing and begin the process again, to create floats for the following year. All the props are saved, to be recreated, hopefully in the future.
This is an account of the mysterious way my life recently changed because of three dreams and a Bissle electric mop.
Imagine thousands of tiny white dots (but not too noticeable), spread all over a dark hardwood kitchen floor. Now consider what it would be like to take on the project to remove them. To be clear, these are NOT the kind of dots you just wipe off with a sponge or mop. No, they must be surgically removed with a straight edged razor and for the past two years the army white dots have been multiplying.
Years back, my mom and I had theory....... more a running joke about the devious elves, who sneaked in at night and painted tiny white dots all over the floor, artfully one by one. In reality, they are probably caused by minute amounts of flour mixed with water and then it hardens into water based polyurethane sealer.
Though I didn't like looking at them, the idea of removing each dot individually was daunting and so I did nothing. I'll admit, I’ve spent my life feeling resentful about cleaning except for before giving a party, so it’s a darn good thing I’m a party girl for the sake of my husband and house! And now, I’ve been wondering and concidering my bad attitude about house cleaning and conclude that it might stem from being a little girl growing up during the Women’s Rights Movement. Perhaps my distaste was rooted in the changing rolls of women. At the time and I had it in my head that housework was a way to suppress woman and keep us away from the workforce. Unlike me, my mother did not carry a resentment towards cleaning, not at all. In fact she was one of the least resentful person I’ve ever known.
Soon after Christmas I had three dreams where my mom visited me and in each dream she told me “Clean the floor”, but in the third dream, she was actually on the floor with a brush cleaning the floor. It made me feel sad to see her on the floor “Mom, don’t worry...........I will do it”, I said.
Soon after, my neighbor Donna gave me a Bissle electric mop that a friend had given to her and she didn’t need. When I got home I tried it on the kitchen floor. And something changed in my brain I felt determined to tackle the floor, one dot at a time and I would work to remove dots for jut 18 minutes at a time. The next day and every day since, I’ve worked and bit by bit the floor is beginning to look remarkably better. But, this is way more important: Something happened to me on the inside, it’s as as if my mom’s good attitude is inside of me now and I feel that it is a gift from her.
Now, I feel at peace on the inside when I am cleaning, not resentful. Also, I’m putting good energy into the house, I’m different, in a good way. I even bought rubber gloves! It’s crazy, no?