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Hi all y’all!

Welcome to super busy December.

Jingle Parade 2014
Jingle Parade 2014, photo by Karen Ocker

The Jingle Parade is super fun. You can tell by how many Pussyfooter’s wanted to do it. Mr. Bingle is the snowman in the middle.

Mr. Bingle is famous in New Orleans. 

Among many distractions, I finished “Distraction”, my first duo painting. The women are in a coffee shop at different tables. One woman is distracted by the humming-bird hovering over the flowers in the second woman’s hair.


Hummingbird Distracted

I just entered them in a mixed media competition.


I used a ton of mixed media… acrylic paint, Silks Acrylic Paint, foil, paper, lace, thread, gesso, matte gel, Gilders Paste, charcoal pencil, varnish on reclaimed cabinet doors. The competition is to tell a story with your painting. Click on the logo if you want to enter.

Distracted lace

Here are close-ups of my favorite parts. I had this lace collar since I was maybe 12. It has been in my sewing basket for more than 40 years. I trimmed it and inserted it into her sweater using matte gel.


Distracted stitching

I painted embossed paper. Then I top-stitched it on my sewing machine. Sewing on paper is one of my all time favorite activities.

It is also a great way to mount children’s art on construction paper to make a quick frame.



Distracted HummingbirdThe hummingbird has pieces of gold and blue foil applied with matte gel. I painted over the foil about 50% to push the foil back and make it seem more part of the bird. I painted several coats of Acrylic Silks over the humming-bird.





Now, the picture of the day. I think this would be a great cover for a coffee table book.

Pussyfooter eating cereal the morning after. Clearly not ready for the party to be over
Pussyfooter the next morning eating cereal. Clearly not ready for the party to be over.

My goal in Spark this month is to paint. The other two things I am balancing December with are getting out and enjoying New Orleans and celebrating a bit of Christmas in our house every day. Balance is sometimes difficult and Spark helps.

Spreading Christmas Joy,

Gator Girl


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Some paintings paint themselves. Some don’t.

Hi all y’all!

I am starting with a painting that is not painting herself. Maybe I am a bad listener. Like maybe I have something in mind and it is not Magnolia and we go round and round.

Sometimes my sweet darlin’ asks me what I have been working on and for weeks I have answered, “Magnolia”. My idea for Sweet Magnolia is simple. I wanted her encompassed by the Magnolia flowers. She needed to have the same coloring as the flowers and leaves.


Magnolia, the beginning
Magnolia, the beginning
Working on Magnolia
Working on Magnolia

I love this version of Magnolia, but look at her left eye.

Magnolia's eyes spaced incorrectly
Magnolia’s eyes spaced incorrectly

I fixed the left eye making her eyes too close together.

Magnolia, starting over
Magnolia, starting over

Here is Magnolia today. I wonder if she just wanted big, Southern hair. I made her earrings by photocopying the two magnolia flowers on the left, shrinking them and applying with gel medium. Her crown is made from glossy, green tissue paper.

Magnolia completed
Magnolia completed

I have a frame cut for this painting. It is dark green, made from a screen door. I need to cut a piece of wood to go on the back. This is held up by not having a table to cut on at the moment. The back yard is in limbo.

Is something in retrograde?

My new painting goes with another painting. A duo.

Cabinet door repair
Cabinet door repair

I took the handle off and threw it away. The hinges I soaked in vinegar, salt and dish soap for two days. They came out sparkly clean.

Hummingbird beginning
Hummingbird beginning

She will be looking at the woman on the other cabinet door. They are in a coffee shop at different tables. I was going to put a chicken on the woman’s head. Maggie thought of hummingbird drinking from the flowers on her hat. Go Maggie.

Hummingbird in progress
Hummingbird in progress

So far, this one is painting herself. I love her already. I am doing something cool with her shirt. I am painting textured paper then stitching the collar and sleeve together with my sewing machine.

I went back to the salvage store for more cabinet doors. I waited too long.

I hope you are having a great Friday.

With abundance and joy,

Gator Girl


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Alligator Bliss

Hi all y’all!

We are having the most beautiful fall weather. Seems like it might be perfect for my first Pussyfooters parade next Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing what dancing in front of crowds is like, basically so the nightmares of being exposed in public stop. I feel compelled to do it because it has been a lifelong dream to be in a dance group. (note to parents: just let your kids live their childhood dreams in childhood. The dreams don’t just vanish with a “no”.) With the Pussyfooters, I met the requirements of having or living like I have vagina and being over 30. Yea me! I qualify. The Krewe of Jingle parade is on Canal Street.

Two more awesome reasons to join with the Pussyfooters are the service we do for the community, raising money to support and empower women, and for me to meet other women. Since I work at home now, I feel the need to get out and into the community for mental health.

I have two paintings to share today. I finished the La Virgen de Guadalupe. I just need to varnish her to protect her from dust and uv rays. I am also giving the person who commissioned her a chance to see her before I take her to be packaged and shipped. I painted the virgin how I think she would appear to the person I painted her for. I added the traditional saint card near the bottom of the canvas. 

La Virgen de Guadalupe

I am starting a new painting just for fun on a piece of reclaimed wood. It is just a scrap of wood that I am going to frame in old wood from an old house. It is called Alligator Bliss.

I have some safety glass from a broken car window. It looks like the scales on an alligator’s legs and shoulders. It looks really cool to see the paint through the broken glass. The trouble I am having is the glass is raised up higher than the rest of the gator. My plan is to just continue on with the plan, hoping that it all turns out. Maybe I could put a piece of glass over the whole painting when I frame it. (Insert here any of your good ideas.)

He is not much to see yet. (Why are my alligators always men?)

Alligator Bliss in Progress

I laid some glass on the painting so you can see how cool it looks. Maybe it will be OK just to have the glass parts a little higher. Hmmm.

Looking forward to feedback.

With unending love and gratitude,

Gator Girl


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Imagine it and you can have it… in the tangible.

Good Morning all y’all!

Either my husband is so sweet or I am risking my marriage to write to you. Time will tell. It is our 28th anniversary today and he helped me to nail on the trim to a dresser that I am reclaiming and now I am blogging about the process.

About 2 weeks ago, I was looking for a dresser on Craig’s List and found the perfect one for $20 in Mid City. I didn’t have a car that day to pick it up. By the time David got home with the car, the dresser was gone. I thought, maybe I will find one closer and less expensive. I didn’t quite believe it. Then… last weekend, our neighbors moved out and put a cheap dresser on the curb. This dresser didn’t have the same quality as the one I saw on-line. But it made me happier, like getting a dog at a shelter happier. This dresser was going straight to a landfill. Besides being cheaply made, it was missing a drawer and the front of a drawer. To me this was perfect. I needed a flat place to store my prints instead of on the top of everything And I always need more general storage.

I painted the top, framed the open drawer with molding from the neighbor’s trash, bought two baskets at Target (exactly 17 inches deep) for a grand total of $30. This total does not include painting with Golden Acrylic paints. I couldn’t wait long enough to buy less expensive paint.

Aerial View of Dresser

I saw the idea for putting baskets in place of the drawers on Pinterest.

Let it be me. In progress.

I am  not quite done with Let it be me. I am going to try something new (to me). I am going to paint melted bees-wax around the woman to soften the background. I tried painting something small with bee’s wax before, but not one of my paintings. Wish me luck. I really operate on a combination of luck and divine intervention.

This painting is representing the moment of surrender. The giving up of self to the greater power. Big step.

I am hoping to heal the world with painting. What are you hoping today?


With all my heart,

Gator Girl

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For Miss Ashley

Good morning and happy Saturday!

Today is party day! 6 pm at my house. I hope to see all y’all. I am cooking for company today, so this will be short and sweet.

I painted every spare minute to get this finished. It is a gift for Miss Ashley of Hansen’s Sno Bliz. I framed it in her old, old screen door. I decided to give it back to her when I saw the look in her eyes when she asked what I was going to do with the door. She kind of looked like she was losing an old friend. I hope she likes it.

A refrigerator for your tummy

There is often a line at Hansen’s because it is truly the best. I put Miss Ashley in the picture with butterfly wings because she is like a good fairy giving so many people enjoyment. The experience is not just the snoballs but also the other people waiting in line, the staff, and the timelessness of the shop. When my 80-something mother-in-law goes to get a snowball, it is the same place she went as a child.

Thank you Miss Ashley. This Snoball is for you.

With everlasting, sweet love,

Gator Girl

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Making Amends

Good Afternoon all y’all,

It is almost August, if you can believe it. Exactly two weeks until our Gator Girl Art and Friends of Samuel Square Party. If you are in or around New Orleans, I hope you come by.

Angela and I sent our application in for a huge grant to improve Samuel Square. I have a good feeling about it. It is for $75,000 and their decision is between two parks. It might be good if you picture us at the ribbon cutting of the new playground.

Today, I am going to share the finished Making Amends. I chose the name because those were the words that refused to be covered.

Making Amends Completed

I oiled and varnished the frame. I like the rich brown color. The wood is the top half of a door. The top hinge is still on the right. I couldn’t decide why the painting wasn’t finished for a while. Then I put the sun further back and voilà.

Close up of her face.

I feel like I know her.

Close up of her baby.

I think he is going to do something special for the world.

I am getting some giclee’s made, framing a print, making a menu. It is exciting to have a party. My Aunt Grace is coming with three of her childhood girlfriends, so I already know it will be fun.

Until later,

You are always in my heart,

Gator Girl