Monday, October 8, 2012

Biloxi day two

 I have to have my John Maxwell book to do my best entry regarding my MoZart Retreat, and since I left it at work, we'll have to take a little detour and revisit Biloxi! 

I hate to brag, but I turned what could have been a pretty boring, humdrum trip into an amazing, totally inspiring trip and met some great people along the way!  This is Alan Watson and Jo Slay.  They are artists from Alabama.  I introduced myself, and the next thing you know, we're buds!
 They were at this really cool little art gallery, and Alan was out front doing self portraits.  Do you recognize that hot girl in the photo above?! 

I had bought one of his paintings earlier in the day, and didn't even realize he was who he was.  I just liked the painting.  It is called "Sunlit Diver", and it reminded me of my Gabbi Girl who would just as soon live underwater than on land!  It was also painted predominantly in the colors of the girls' room at the condo, so I know where it will get to live. 
 Ok, so Alan is the guy, I guess you realized.  And Jo is the woman.  She does meaningful mosaics, and I have invited her to join us at our next art retreat.  She said it sounds good to her.  COOL!  I guess you don't know until you ask!  So if you are thinking you might want to come to the next retreat (thinking January), start saving special broken ceramics, jewelry from your grandma, etc.  We can use just about anything in a mosaic!

Alright, so let me tell you how totally blessed I was when I was on my adventure.  I wandered my little self right into a little art crawl.  And what does that mean?  It means free wine for starters!  ha.  and really cool people and lots of inspirng art.

 This is a photo of all the artists who were represented in this particular gallery (the SidePorch Gallery)

They have a few little galleries right along this "pedestrian park" where no cars are allowed. 

 And not only were there no cars.  There were also bands!  And they were playing the greatest music.  I was just strolling right along and thoroughly enjoying myself.  I sort of wished I had some people with me to enjoy it too, but I'll admit, the entire weekend, I also just had a BALL being all by myself.  I met so many neat people.
 If you are ever in Biloxi, I recommend you look around a little and find this place.  It is behind the Waffle House and across from the Beau Rivage.  But it is a little bit hidden.  I found it last year, and I went back this year in search of these fun spots.
 You know the kind of fun spots that have PURPLE doors and stacks of pumpkins in front.
 Let me show you a few of the things I saw.  I have all this leftover painted canvas from last week's Camp Creative project of making canvas handbound books.  And then, I see these. 
WHUT?  Are you kidding me?  We can just throw on a little splatter pattern and add a snap, and voila.... cool bracelets.  Yep.  I'm gonna do that!
 Even outside I was finding great surprises.  This lantana and Mexican petunia bush had no fewer than 50 butterflies.  I LOVED brushing my purse into this bush to see how many of then would fly out.

 These bushes were outside the window of Gallery 782.  Another fun little spot to visit.
 They have all kinds of original art, and have many rooms, upstairs and down.
 Do I think we have room enough for one more tiger in the man Cave?!  I actually doubt it.  But this one is really fine.
 I also loved this Mardi Gras themed rooster!

 And lo and behold as I am getting ready to leave and am striking up a conversation with an artist and the on duty manager at the time, we realize he is from about 30 miles from West Monroe.  Rayville... represent!  How bout them apples?! 
 Last but not least is.....
 The Mississippi Crafts Center.

It is situated nicely right behind Mary Mahoney's Restaurant.

 I wish I could remember the significance of that restaurant.  I know it is super duper old!  We went to dinner there last year, and the waiters all still wear suits that resemble servants of the old days. 
 I think it was founded in like, the 1600's or something crazy like that.

 Back to Gallery number three...

This place had some really whimiscal pieces in it.  I LOVED these little guys! ! I think we might try to do something similar in art class. 
 This artist took only old stuff and made it into something else.  I am so inspired by people who think like that.  Those are old brooms for his mane.  And table legs as his legs.  THen, there is a shoe stretcher as this giraffe's head.  Awesome.
 I'm not a huge fan of ceramics, but if you are, here ya go.
 What I AM a big fan of is jewelry!!  I HAD to have this copper fish necklace.  And so, I bought it!
 This artist uses sheet metal and makes textures/ designs in the metal, adding patinas to get some rich colors. 
 I love it when galleries recognize jewelry as art.  I think there's a place for jewelry in every art gallery!
 I even loved the check out counter.  Just sayin'!
 And one other thing.  This was Friday, October 5th.  The very day that Jake went to be with Jesus 6 years ago.  I called in to tell Robin of the hugely inspired day I'd had, and I was about to burst with excitement.  Because she's worked with me so closely for so long, she KNOWS this emotion of mine.  She pointed out later that the whole day had been a gift from Jake.  ANd ya know what... I totally get that!  (In fact, it's 10:37 pm at this very moment that I type this... for those who know me well.... welll, just add those numbers up!  Jake always confirms it when he is sending me a message.  And it is always with an 11!!)
 So thanks, Jake, for sending me that awesome day.  And thanks, Paula for getting my girls to school on Friday.
 And thanks KK for sending me pics of my babies to keep us "connected".
 And for being the world's best babysitter..... remembering to take their morning picture before heading out in the morning.
I ended the day with this handsome fella.  Am I a blessed girl or what?! 

Now how bout you write me a comment so we can "connect"?! 



blessedmomof3 said...

Great post Mo! I love reading about all the cool, eclectic places you discover on your adventures!

Leigh Ann Perritt

Mama J said...

Dang girl, you just wear me out. What a great day we had. I say 'we' because you take us on a journey with your blog. Love it. Guess what? We will be moving to your neck o'de woods within a month or two. Fred being transferred to CenturyLink corporate office. Will be real busy these next two months...excited to be moving home, close to my babies! SO EXCITED! Maybe will get to meet you now... : )

Zhohn said...

I love that rooster! It screams new Orleans to me and that's what I like. That giraffe was pretty awesome.

The girls are growing so fast!! Like that Gabbi is trying her best to get the lips like big sister's ;)

Glad you had such a wonderful weekend with your hubby!

Becky said...

Mo - thanks for always taking me places I will probably never get to visit! You are looking awesome........Becky

Mary said...

Wow looks like you found some good places while you were there. You are so creative! I keep telling my husband for christmas I either want to go to the Pioneer Womans Ranch for cooking lessons (not sure she even does those, but, it's a "want") or to your art retreat. See how high I put you up...right there with the Pioneer Woman!!!! Love the girls, Love the blog!

angie said...

Sounds like you had a great time...
Will have to check those shops out... :)

Shannon said...

Love connecting with you first thing every morning.

jenny said...

Love all the goodies you got to see, esp the giraffe. My husband was in Peace Corps in Kenya long before we met. In 2006, we got to travel there and I fell in love with giraffes. They are absolutely breathtaking. Hope the rest of your Biloxi trip was just as enjoyable!

The Fords said...

I agree with Shannon. Reading your blog is one of the first things I do when I get to work. I'm guessing you have a lot of "silent readers" like me. Love from Kansas!!!!

Lisa said...

sounds like a great trip! The best gift you can give your girls is a strong marriage . . .and going away for a weekend together helps make a healthy marriage . . .and you had fun!!

SamC said...

Oh wow, my son would LOVE the rooster. If you get a chance, here is an article about him and his chickens that appeared in the local paper:

That boy loves chickens!

I have a dear friend that lives in Rayville. I have promised her that I am going to get down there soon. It is a small world!

Yes, you are very blessed. I think most of us would see just how blessed we are if we would slow down and take a good look at what we have.

Ness said...

January? OK, saving my pennies for the trip. Are you sure you don't have to have an Art degree to come? I was pretty intimidated by the pics just now. Your girls are growing up SO fast. Take care and don't stop believin'.