Bring festivity in the home with mixed media: Cajun Country

Cajun-Country-Finished.jpgKimKingClassified Advertising Manager
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<p class="p1"><span class="s2">Inadvertently I made my first wedding decoration this week. When crafting or making any sort of art, sometimes inspirations come and go. The work evolves on it’s own. In my opinion this is a special event and when it happens, just go with it. </span>Cajun country fabricKimKingClassified Advertising Manager
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<p class="p1"><span class="s2">I started with a piece of scrap fabric I found at an estate sale. It looked like it was once a hanging calendar. Where the burlap fabric was cut, there were reminiscences of month names…”uary…arch..apr”. Above the chopped names was a crawfish sitting amongst chili peppers and rice blades underneath the phrase “Cajun Country”. When I saw this, I immediately snatched it up. I knew I would use this some how or another. I trimmed the border of the partial months and removed where a wooden pole was inserted to hang the calendar. </span>

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">My first encounter with my fiancée was him replying to an ad, “I like art.” Little did I know this person would be the person I would marry and be someone that is so talented in everything he does along with painting. He really loves Bob Ross and the Realist style of painting. I’m more Abstract and Modernist. He works in oil paints and has shown his amateur work at the Henning Cultural Center. I digress; we have blank canvases in the house and I wanted to mount the burlap “Cajun Country” to one of the canvases. I thought of various ways to attach this fabric to canvas, but decided that I was going to use needle and thread.</span>1021181005.jpg

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">I centered the burlap on the canvas and tacked it with purple embroidery thread. This was the thread I had on hand and little did I know, this would make the piece. After tacking the corners with 3 stitches each, I followed the “Cajun Country” type with a back-stitch line through the center. </span>1021181111.jpg

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">After this was all done, my next thought was to stamp different “Cajun Phrases” on the background of the canvas. I thought that I would be able to make my own stamp pad (to use some of the gold acrylic paint I have from the Dryer Duct Pumpkins) out of a sponge piece and acrylic paint. After testing, I found it faulty and didn’t want to use it for this project. So now I’m thinking what next…</span>1025181022c.jpg

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">I found a bag of Mardi Gras beads that I had caught during my first Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana. There was one in the bag that was large enough to border the burlap. I tacked it with embroidery thread as well. My craft still needed more and I was still a little stuck on the Cajun phrases. My mother had sent me a calligraphy kit which included “1 Bar of high quality sealing wax with wick.” I played with the different pen nibs and found again, that I didn’t think it would work well for this project. However, the wax and stamp were really intriguing and the stamp was a fleur-de-lis. After testing out the wax and stamp, first on paper and then on a spare canvas, I grabbed my Cajun Country craft and stamped each corner with the gold wax and fleur-de-lis stamp. </span>1025181022a.jpg

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">The piece was startin</span>g to come together and this is when I decided that it would be a wedding decoration. We have friends and family coming from 11 states, including Louisiana, and one country, Japan. I really want to show them the Cajun community and culture that I have grown to love. This piece, I feel, will artistically incorporate a lot of cultural elements found in Southwest Louisiana. With this in mind, I wanted to bring in the traditional Mardi Gras costume worn for Courir de Mardi Gras. For folks reading this that are not from here, Courir de Mardi Gras is Cajun French for “Fat Tuesday Run”. To learn more about this tradition, you can visit the Visit Lake Charles website  at visitlakecharles.org/blog/post/lake-charles-de-mardi-gras-chicken-runs/. 

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">The traditional costume uses cut fabric to give a fringe effect. I had picked up some  cranberry colored felt from the same estate sale I found the burlap. The color matched the crawfish perfectly. I cut it into strips and made ½ inch cuts along the felt to make the fringe. I then glued the fringe to the border of the canvas. On the corners, I glued a single small strip to fill in the gap created by the corners. </span>

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">C’est fini!!! I really hope our guests will enjoy “Cajun Country” and I also hope you enjoyed reading how inspiration comes in many different forms. No matter how many times things don’t work out in your creation, never give up because there will be one element that will make your piece so special. And maybe I’ll hang this inspirational piece of what I love about living here in a spot during the reception that would make a great photo opportunity for my wedding guests to remember their visit to Southwest Louisiana. </span><p>Visit <a href="http://www.americanpress.com/creativecrafter" target="_blank">AmericanPress.com/CreativeCrafter</a> for more info on how your craft or crafting business can be featured in the American Press 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!</p>

<p class="p1"><span class="s2">As always, this piece will be on display at our office during the contest period. <strong><em>Don’t forget to place your ad for entries into the drawing to have a feature article about your craft(s) in the Holiday Gift Guide!</em></strong> Happy crafting! </span>

<hr /><p class="p2"> <em><strong>Creative Crafting with Kim</strong> prints on Saturdays. If you would like to advertise your crafting business or sell leftover crafting supplies call the American Press Classified department at 337-494-4000 or email <a href="mailto:djean@americanpress.com">djean@americanpress.com</a>. Deadline to place a display ad is Wednesday at 4pm and line ad deadline is Friday at 4pm. Feedback about this article can be sent to <a href="mailto:kwright@americanpress.com">kwright@americanpress.com</a>.</em>

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