All posts filed under: ART

Mississippians can’t cut those apron ties: New video and more of the story

As one of only two women employed full-time for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Brookhaven deputy Krysten Butler carries a gun and badge, and with versatility, works an array of cases, from narcotics investigations to child abuse and sexual assault crimes. It’s a job that only someone tough could do – someone who must stay in control in any situation. “I can hold my own,” Butler said. “I’m not a girly-girl. I never have been.” But when this hardcore mother of five – who can also stand her ground with three teenagers, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old – gets home from work, she’s still fierce, (in both the fashion and bravery sense of the word), when standing in the kitchen wearing a vintage-style, multi-colored, ruffled apron. “My mom brought me the apron because she said that I made a horrible mess of my clothes when I cooked,” Butler said. “After I put it on, I fell in love with it – not with the actual apron itself, even though it’s pretty cute, but the way …

Attention all Mississippi gardeners: Check out the Crazy Yard Art video

Deep in the concrete jungles of Ridgeland, right off Old Canton Road in an urban shopping center, is a foliage-filled sanctuary of wild animals so brightly colored that passersby can’t help but turn their heads, startled by giant giraffes, zebras and butterflies. You may hear a monkey squeal, a frog ribbit, birds caw and sheep bleat if your imagination runs as wild as the yard art on display at Freshway Produce. Like other stores in the Jackson metro area, Freshway has become a colorful place where shoppers looking for unique and eye-catching art can purchase something “cra-zazy” that’s guaranteed to make your garden ferocious and fierce while your neighbors’ is tame. Want a flying pig? They got ’em. Need a weird looking metal goat? It’s there. What about a 10-foot giraffe? Check. “We have goats, rabbits, butterflies, giraffes,” said owner Richard Cockrell, adding that giant butterflies and giraffes have been his most popular sellers. The giraffes come in 4-foot, 6-foot and 10-foot sizes. Quirky yard art is so popular these days, it was recently used …

Would you let your baby rock a mustache?

Log on to Pinterest, and you’ll find picture after picture of adorable babies with their noggins covered in some of the cutest crocheted hats you’ve ever laid eyes on. I spotted lions, skunks, mermaids, snowmen, puppy dogs, baby fishermen and even Rapunzel wigs while researching one of our latest Style stories. Photographers love the hats for props, and parents love them because it turns their itty bitty precious baby into something even more adorable – an itty bitty precious bunny rabbit or kitty cat. It reminds me of something I blogged about in 2006. A company called Baby Toupee was making hats with hair in them for babies to comically wear. You could get them fashioned after celebrities like like Bob Marley, Donald Trump and Lil’ Kim. I’ve also recently noticed that some company is making mustache pacifiers, so you’re baby can rock a stashe while he’s soothing his gums. Here’s our latest Style story about baby trends. Check out the gallery of photos. Hope you enjoy: Photographer Jennifer Sparrow doesn’t have to leave the …

Pinterest Project # 4: Painting is For the Birds

I’ve been a big fan of the late Texas designer, Enid Collins’, quirky 1960s box purses for many years. I own a few of them, and I’ve even made a few of my own inspired by some of her designs. As I hobby, I like to search for antique furniture pieces and revive them. I recently found a boring wooden cabinet, and it reminded me, in some way, of this Enid Collins purse called “For the Birds.” So I decided to create the same design on my cabinet. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

How to turn your iPhone into a vintage pay phone or Polaroid camera

Chances are, this Christmas, someone you know will be getting an iPhone, and they’ll need a case. Here’s a story we recently ran about some of the unique iPhone cases that are on the market, specifically the website Etsy. The vintage trend is alive and well here. Check out some of the cases fashioned like obsolete objects of the past. LaReeca Rucker The Clarion-Ledger As we move into the future, almost a decade past Stanley Kubrick’s vision of 2001, our culture has become fascinated by obsolete objects of the past that now hold sentimental and nostalgic value, and that fascination has been directed toward our cell phones. It’s become hip and ironic to snap on a phone case and turn your modern smart phone into vintage pay phone, your keypad into an old typewriter or your iPhone camera into a Polaroid. Lisa Russo, of Pennsylvania is a fine art photographer who turns her photos into iPhone cases and sells them in her Etsy shop LisaRussoFineArt. “The cases came about as simply another medium for sharing …

Pinteresting Projects – 1, 2, 3 and 4

I have a variety of furniture and decorating projects that I started at home and have not found time to finish them. So I decided this weekend I would devote some time to completing a few. Here they are: Table – One afternoon, I spotted this table in the back of The Salvation Army for $5 and knew it would be pretty painted. Here’s the finished result. It actually only took about 10 minutes to do using white paint.  I filled in the middle with a touch of turquoise craft paint, and now it sits in front of my bed. Not sure what I’ll put in it yet. Monogram – This was originally an antique mirror, but I broke it during my recent move. I had seen similar things done on Pinterest using letters, so I decided to create one of my own using my initials. At first, I wasn’t happy with the gold color of the letters, so I repainted them light brown. It still didn’t look right, so I changed them back to …

Have yourself a ‘Sippi little Christmas

When Madison resident Cathy Halford’s youngest daughter Ashley moved to Birmingham, she took her love for Mississippi with her. “I decided to make an ornament for her in the shape of Mississippi,” said Halford, a lifelong crafter and billing coordinator for a Jackson law firm. “I put a red heart in it to indicate Madison, her hometown. She loved it.” Then Halford had a Mississippi epiphany. “I thought maybe other people would like to show off their hometown and state,” she said. “I was right.” Today, she operates an Etsy business making handcrafted, state-shaped ornaments. Her husband cuts them out of wood, and Halford creates a 6-inch piece, decorating it with beads to create a mosaic. “A red, heart-shaped, acrylic gem is placed on the hometown,” she said. “I found out that people love their state and are proud of their hometown. Some are buying them for friends and family as a reminder of their home. I also think they make a great welcoming gift for someone moving into a new area.” You can find …

‘Hey y’all,’ take a look at these Mississippi arts and crafts

I recently attended the Handworks Holiday Market at the Mississippi Trade Mart and saw a lot of interesting handmade creations that inspired me to begin decorating for the holidays and thinking of special Christmas presents that I could make for friends and family. Here are a few things that stood out to me. At the end, you can see what I picked up at the event. I didn’t catch the name of the artist who creates these unique jewelry pieces by combining elements of vintage jewelry, but I think they are spectacular. And I love how she attaches them to old photographs to emphasize their vintage appeal. I was hoping Santa would bring me the interesting necklace or pair of leaf earrings above. Check out these wooden angels made by Mississippi craftsman Billy Lay. I love the colors he uses and his vision of using simple pieces of wood and cut tin to form the body of an angel. Perhaps that’s a door knob used for the head? Here’s a set of Mississippi-shaped pottery dishes by …

My wreath-making adventure and other hall-decking ideas

I just got finished decorating for fall, and now it’s time to decorate for Christmas, so I decided I needed a wreath for my front door. I searched Pinterest for wreath-making ideas and and found many creations made from a variety of materials. Here are some that gave me inspiration, and at the end, you can see what I created. A Bright Idea – This colorful bulb wreath was first spotted on a blog called Layers of Meaning that also offers other holiday decorating ideas. Pine Comb Wreath – This is simple, but with all the right touches. It is featured in an Internet article on the Better Homes & Gardens website called Creative Christmas Wreaths that offers a few other unique ideas. Burlap Wreath – There’s a step-by-step guide with instructions for this one on the Craftaholics Anonymous blog. Green Trio – I really like the way that these simple wreaths in descending size are displayed with ribbon on this door. The idea was pinned from a blog called Stina Ballerina. A la Natural …

Would Norman Bates approve?

Last week, I went blonde for our office Halloween party. Today, I thought I’d delve a little darker into the Halloween spirit. This tree dress that I refashioned using an old shift dress from a thrift store and upholstery fabric from a craft store, seemed like a fitting Halloween ensemble, even though I wear it year-round because I like tree prints. I guess I’ll be wearing it tonight at the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Screen on the Green showing of Psycho. It sounded like a Halloween night event worth checking out. Update: A picture from the event: Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

How to party like ‘Mad Men’

Los Angeles-based Natasha Feldman and Julianna Strickland host a web-based cooking show about food and movies called “Cinema & Spice.” They are big “Mad Men” fans, and recently taped a segment about how to throw a “Mad Men” party. Q: How did you become fans of the show? A: Julianna: Natasha’s mom was a media manager in the advertising industry for many years and worked for New York agencies mentioned in the show, so she was familiar with that world from childhood on. When a show came out focusing on the intrigues and adventures of advertising executives, she was curious about it and wanted to see what challenges women in the ’60s faced vs. the opportunities they have now. Q: Who are your favorite characters? A: Natasha: We both love Peggy and Joan. They are both strong, intelligent women, who are always growing and evolving in a challenging environment. They both defy the traditional roles that women were forced into for lack of guts and opportunity. We love how talented Peggy is and how she …

Trends: Things that make your heart sing

I picked up these cute bird notecards over the weekend printed on recycled paper. They are by Green Inspired, a company that sells its products exclusively at Target. You can learn more at green-inspired.com. I liked the verse that reads “Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.” –Marcia Wieder I picked up these cute bird notecards over the weekend printed on recycled paper. They are by Green Inspired, a company that sells its products exclusively at Target. You can learn more at green-inspired.com. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Mississippi fashion designer sews for Jennifer Hudson, Tyler Perry, Cee Lo

She was No. 19 in a blended family that included 25 siblings. Stuck between nine older brothers and six younger ones, Maria Harper often found herself fighting to be a girl. “It could have been fun being in a large family if I had sisters right in there with me,” she laughed. “But I was in the middle of all those boys, and they tortured me.” Her father also failed to recognize Harper as a young lady. At Christmas, he bought her cap guns and Army men. “I would cry every Christmas and say, ‘But, Daddy, I’m a girl.’ He would say, ‘Be grateful. Kids in Africa don’t have anything,’ and I would be like, ‘Really?’ My mother was like, ‘Baby, we’ll make you some clothes.’” Sewing is how the former Mississippi girl stopped being one of the boys and, in the process, made a name for herself with the Atlanta fashion business Maria Harper Designs. The 53-year-old has worked with celebrity clients like Tyler Perry, Cee Lo Green, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia. Harper and …

Repurpose driven life, continued.

I recently wrote an article for The Clarion-Ledger about the repurpose trend that is being fueled by Pinterest.com. Here’s a couple of additional shots I took at a local flea market in a booth owned by Nicole Nelson, who is featured in the story. I love the colors of her weathered door. She’s the one who had transformed a claw-foot bathtub into a love seat, reminiscent of the one Audrey Hepburn had in her New York apartment in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I just bought an old door myself that I want to transform like this, if I can ever find enough time to strip off its paint. Mine, I discovered, has glass window panes underneath the paint. And check out this chandelier. It’s old mattress springs with Christmas lights weaved in them. This is the view I had lying underneath it looking up. Very creative. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Repurpose driven life

Fueled by the economy, environmental awareness, and a creative desire to be innovative, repurposing is gaining popularity. The décor style, which appears to be a modern day take on California designer Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic brand (trademarked in 1989) has been updated and propelled by the popularity of Pinterest.com. Log on, and you’ll see pin after pin that are leading Mississippians to flea markets and thrift stores to salvage remnants of the past that they can transform and incorporate into their décor. It’s about turning trash into treasure, finding new appreciation for obsolete items that some would send to the landfill. If your antique dresser is worn and weathered, don’t stress — distress. Paint it a bright color and embrace it’s wear and tear. Some think the trend represents a generational shift sparked by the desire to save fading 20th century items — a sharp contrast with the recent mod décor revival that began in the new millennium. Mary Katherine McKelroy is trying to capitalize on the repurposing trend. She is taking over The Green …

Mud painter works from the ground up

He pulled the clay — white, gray, yellow, brown, purple and dark blue — from the gravel pits of Copiah County. He found shades of green in Columbia’s Red Bluff and reds in Copiah County creeks. Such colors make up the palette of a Mississippi artist who is gaining a reputation for his mud paintings, inspired by those of slaves. Hazlehurst resident Charles Jenkins, 63, began “mud painting” after a tour of plantations in St. Francisville, La. “One of the guys who was narrating everything said these are mud paintings done by slaves,” he said. “They couldn’t tell me anything about it, so I came back and started doing research on it. “The Smithsonian didn’t have anything on it, although the last mud painter of any significance was a fellow by the name of Jimmy Lee Sudduth in Alabama.” Sudduth, 1910-2007, began making folk art as a child and later created finger paintings with natural elements like clay and plants on refuse wood. “He died at 95 and was still doing mud paintings,” Jenkins said. …

Just pin it

Chances are you Facebook, you Tweet, but do you Pin? As Pinterest.com, a visual bookmarking site that launched in March of 2010, continues to grow, an increasing number of Mississippians are describing it with the words “addictive” and “obsession.” Users pin images that are linked to other websites, sharing everything from craft and décor ideas to wisdom, travel and food pins on boards they create. “As long as you see an image on a page, you can pin it,” said Shawn Rossi. “Users can pin anything, from family photos to business presentations.” Rossi collects her future Pinterest projects on a “To-Do List” board. “We just bought a 1983 Prowler travel trailer from the ’80s, and we’re going to renovate it,” she said, recalling one of the ideas she found on the site. Natchez resident Shannon Jex compares the site to a SkyMall flight catalog “There are a million products in that little magazine,” she said. “Few of them have anything to do with one another, but you find yourself wanting one of each. I draw …

The Artful Home

A few years ago, I discovered a catalog called The Artful Home that features many unique products made by artists and craftsmen through the U.S. The December issue usually has many art glass Christmas ornaments. Here are a few of my favorites: Nom de Plume – This blown glass ornament was created by Corey Silverman and Horace Marlowe featuring blue leaves. Crawling Frog – A glass tree frog by Phyllis S. Clarke. Monterey – Created by Scott Simmons, this ornament is described as having rich colors that coalesce like ocean waves rolling against a sunset horizon. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Blind Faith and the blues

Sharon McConnell-Dickerson was raised in New England, but when her vision began to fade in 1995, she turned to art to cope. That decision eventually brought her to Mississippi where she began working on a decade-long project creating lifecasts of legendary blues musicians’ faces. The original casts have been exhibited at Delta State University since 2008, and a smaller exhibit is now housed in Cleveland’s Martin and Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum. “With all the changes I’ve had in my life – going blind, having to recreate myself, reengineer my life, losing my livelihood and my identity – this project has helped me get through that and gave me a different perspective of my life,” she said. Miller said a railroad line nicknamed The Peavine ran across the county from Dockery Plantation near Cleveland that’s known to many as the birthplace of Delta blues. She said Eric Clapton took Traveling Riverside Blues and Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson and blended them into his version of Crossroads. Miller said the project is important because so …