Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Solo Art Retreat...Heaven in Vicksburg

Very thankful for the much needed last few days. The Hubs and I made a deal that I could get away for a weekend to work on our spring and summer designs after hunting season was over for him. Let me tell ya, I was READY!!!! I love my two P's, but they wear me out. Two under two is tough,tough,tough. So, I booked myself a room at Aherns Belle of the Woods  (www.belleofthebends.com)  in Vicksburg.
Trip Advisor said it was the #1 B&B so that must be so ;). Neat place. Built in 1876. An Italianate mansion.The owner Mary was personable and helpful. My room was quite large

and my bathroom had a tub (prerequisite if you know me!!). There is even a 170 year old crape myrtle there.

   I immediately got to work drawing out designs--the clock of was ticking!! After getting one finished , I header over to Rusty's Riverfront Grill (www.rustysriverfront.com)
. Delicious! Thank you to all who suggested it to me on FB. You guys were right--The fried green tomatoes with crab were heavenly.
Worth driving over from West Monroe for. But, get there early bc this place fills up quick. I sat at the bar beside some strangers and by the end of our meals, we were all sharing desert! Don't you just love the South ;). Then,  I got back to my room and worked till midnight on our designs.
I got a Louisiana Black Bear drawn that I really really love.
Did you know that is our state mammal.? Anyway, after a long soak in the tub, I crashed.
  Next morning, breakfast was served~ eggs, biscuits , gravy, fried apples, sausage ,etc.
Met a nice couple from Hattisburg. Then, back to drawing ;). By noon, I was stiff from sitting in bed so I went for a jog over at the Vicksburg Military Park It was quite large and hilly!
 But very pretty. Yes- I can run again since my accident but I do ache a little when I do.

 At the suggestion of Mary, I went and had lunch at the coolest funkiest little place off Hwy 61 South (like you are headed to Natchez) called The Tomato Place (www.thetomatoplace.com)
It's basically two shacks. Looks like a produce stand from the road. Reminded me of Sara's Kitchen in Ruston but with more color. Felt like I was walking into this secret club as I peeled back the plastic visqueen entrance.
Food was good, atmosphere was great for the creative soul and the lemonade was tasty.
Then, after a quick trip to outlets, it was time for a big long nap!! Hahaha. Pure heaven ;). When I finally woke up, I worked some more before heading off to dinner at Walnut Hill (www.walnuthillsrest.com)
LOvED this place!! Two cool dudes sang the Blues (they do this every Fri and Sat night 6-9)
and I had their amazing Fried Chicken-YUm!!!- guys, Im serious about some fried chicken-this was GOOD!
This Southern plantation home was built in the 1880's. I didn't get to sit at their famous round table since it was just me
, but I will def come back with a group to do so.
  Once back in my room, I worked till midnight again. I don't want to give too much away, but I'm excited about our new girl shirt. I also came up with a new Warhawk (promise we will have plenty of youth tees in this!) and new a Bulldawg design. I think total, there are 12 new designs. I'm feeling quite accomplished, and rested all in the same time. Sunday morning after breakfast, I took one last jog around DowntownVicksburg before I left.
Love old brick streets.
Two thumbs up for Vicksburg. And now back to reality..
  Big thanks to Brent for watching the kiddos!! Cant wait to do this again in another town-Natchez maybe??

Thanks as always for reading~

P.S. Our first batch of Krewe of Black Bayou shirts sold out super fast-if you didn't get one, no worries, we have another batch on order and should be ready around the end of Jan.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Krewe of Black Bayou

Wheeeeew- This one was tough, tough, tough. Wanted to give up many many times and just say we will pass on this, but something inside me just wouldn't let this design go. I think I worked the longest on this one than any other design so far.
  We thought it would be fun to do a Mardi Gras shirt and I knew we should have animals involved but that was the extent of it. We also knew we wanted to print another long sleeve shirt and this one be a tri blend long sleeve shirt-Super super soft against your skin during these colder days.
  And then, it hit me one day while talking to my mom..."Krewe of Black Bayou" I blurted out!!! We weren't even discussing this shirt or Mardi Gras,  But she looked at me and said "That is it!!"
  Research time!!! What animals are at Black Bayou??? Who would know this first hand, but Robert Eisenstadt aka BOB. He is the treasurer of The Friends of Black Bayou (www.friendsofblackbayou.org) and friends with Rebecca who owns Miss Persnickety Joon (they are one of our retailers). Through many texts back and forth between Rebecca, Bob and I, I learned that Black Bayou has Gators, Alligator Snapping Turtles, Anhingas, Coons, Coots, Herons, Hawks, Eagles, Snakes, Deer, Possum, Blue Wing Teal, Nutria, Bull Frogs, etc etc etc.. WOW!! (and what in the world is a "Coot"??? A "coot" is a very cool water fowl that is also known as a "water chicken". Interesting~ learn something every day. :)
(photo taken from internet)
That Coot has some big ole feet!!!
  Now off to sketching... I first just started out drawing a bunch of the animals out there.
 But Brent was adamant that it needed to have a gator standing up leading the parade. So, here he is..

Def needed more. I tried scanning it in our our computer and playing with the colors and added a few swampy trees....My sweet husband and Mr P's Co owner informed me that it looked like a Frat shirt-OUCH!!!
 Next, I tried drawing out a bunch of these animals and moving them around on the paper. Wasn't working. Then, it hit me, what business do I have doing a shirt with animals from Black Bayou when I haven't even visited it!!!  So, the next day, I picked sweet Phoebe up from MDO and headed out to 165N.
 This place was nice-much nicer than I had envisioned.. and bigger too.
I was impressed and highly recommend anyone to go visit it.
The weather was terribly cold that day and I didn't get to take a tour, but I will be back.... I would love to take the kids on a canoe ride.
  So, back to the drawing board.  I added my own personal font was added.

After talking to my graphic friend Jeff, I worked on adding more of the animals out at Black Bayou and livening the design up.

Isn't that what Mardi Gras is all about-One Big PARTY!!??? I worked on the swamp scene some more and added a sax to the gator, rather than the wand. The shirt now consists of the gator, a snapping turtle, a coot, an anhinga (also know as a snakebird), and a coon.  Congrats to Kelly Jaubert and Lyndsey Avery for guessing the correct animals on our Facebook contest. The decision was made to keep it all in purple and not try to cheese it up with a ton of color.
 Here is the final product...
Yay! Hope you love it as much as we do!! These shirts will be available in about 2 weeks. Adult sizes S-XXL $31 and Youth 2,4,6,8,10 and 12 $26. The shirts look like this.. Adult
 and then youth

Thanks for reading!

To get to Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, take US HIGHWAY 165 North and turn right onto Richland Place. This is about 1.5 miles north of CenturyLink.