Posts Tagged With: beads


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I’ve seen Japanese quilts before, but this show had some very creative ideas and stories to them. Like a series of little kimonos and shirts as wall hangings.

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Kimono portrait here is a beauty, with extraordinary quilting patterns. The fabric is Japanese themed in many of the quilts.

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A wall hanging of closed and opened fans. One, partially opened fan near the bottom.

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On close inspection I realized that part of the quilting pattern inside the fans is chop sticks.

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We Americans, who think we invented quilting, certainly a particular style, anyway, talk of our heritage of using every scrap of fabric, not wasting. Used fabrics, parts of clothing that were once a treasured dress or pair of pants carry memories. I loved the Japanese metaphor of cloth traveling through many hands carrying wishes and thoughts.

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And, here a quilt that expresses the tradition of Sange.

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The Quilt Museum is held in an old Victorian mansion. The third floor held quilts all made by one woman. This quilt is the equivalent of flour sacks quilts in early Americana.

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Utilitarian quilts, using homely fabrics. I’ve done that, made denim quilts, and suit fabrics. Often tied together. Utilitarian fabrics here are quilted in larger stitching but very full, straight fill stitching without any particular pattern.

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Not all Japanese quilt artists use Japanese materials.  This applique is a beauty.

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A gorgeous silk quilt with tiny beads. Not meant for a bed, obviously.

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An origami decoration, several in fact.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit. I heard three Japanese women talking about this show and comparing it to another that made them cringe. They were very enthused with this one.

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An unusual thing about this show, the docent said we were allowed to handle the quilts by putting on white gloves. I declined because I don’t think exhibit quilts should be handled by anyone except those who hang the show. My own quilt guild has that policy and I think it is a good one.

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The narrow halls of this old mansion make it difficult to photograph these quilts. So, if you can, go see it, and don’t depend on my choices. There were many really beautiful pieces.



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Lake Charles, Lousiana – Day 8

The motorhome is parked at the 1,086 acre Sam Houston Jones State Park about 12 miles north of the city. We have been here enjoying Mardi Gras which ended Tuesday. We had planned to depart here today, but we are still weary and need to rest some more. We now expect to leave tomorrow..

You can read about Lake Charles by clicking this Wikipedia link…,_Louisiana

You can read all about the history of Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana by clicking this link…


You see this slogan everywhere in Louisiana. In French it means… LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!

And roll they did on Fat Tuesday, the last day of Mardi Gras this year.

Our day started with a 30 minute drive to the small town of Iowa (pronounced locally as I-O-WAY) to witness the chasing of the chickens. If you do not know the history of this tradition, reading this Wikipedia link will take care of that…

The event was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM. We were late getting out of the motorhome and did not arrive until 10:30. They were late getting started and said they would begin at 11:00. But we could not stay because we had other obligations elsewhere. So we took a few pictures and departed…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…





Here’s a short video of another Cajun tradition. Just click the link…

Another about 30 minute drive brought us to the home of Renola Simon (pronounced SEE-MON in French) where the Krewe de les Cajuns float is stored. We’ve been invited to ride on the float during the final and biggest parade of the Lake Charles Mardi Gras!

The first two hours was spent getting to know everyone, eating and making the float ready…


Renola served spicy deer and pork sausages that were really yummy…


Here’s the float…


And the back of the jacket of the Krewe de les Cajuns…


The float was towed by this truck…


On the way to the parade assembly point, it started to mist lightly and Mary was ready with her garbage bag raincoat…


The parade assembled right along the shore of Lake Charles. It threatened to rain, but never really did…


We took a walk to see some of the other 50+ floats…


Here’s Mary with 80-year-old Renola Simon…our hostess. She was a founding member of the Krewe de les Cajuns 26 years ago and has done this every year since…


Here’s the others with whom we rode the float…


We had a three-hour wait for the parade to begin and Mary really got into the mood…


Click this link to see a short video…

With the French Cajun Music blaring loudly, at 5:00 PM we started rolling down the main drag of Ryan Street in Lake Charles…


The object was to throw as many string of beads and plastic cups to the begging crowd as fast as possible. We guesstimate the Krewe threw 25,000+ during the 1.5 hour parade route…


Into the night we continued. It was amazing to see how a string of beads or a plastic cup brought a beautiful smile to the face of the recipients…


We just had a blast! Thank you Krewe de Les Cajuns for inviting us along. We will never forget you!   LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!

Enjoying a Louisiana Mardi Gras is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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The city puts on a dinner called Taste de la Louisiane.  The idea is to give tourists an idea what Louisiana cuisine is all about. we were in-line with Carla and Mitch, and we had dinner together. Mitch likes the idea of traveling in a motor home, so we filled him in.

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The offering, if I can remember them all from top left to right, jambalaya, gumbo ,spicy okra, coleslaw, red beans & rice, etouffee, tomato shrimp, corn machow. I’m not sure I’ve got the names right. Then king cake and bread pudding for dessert. The gumbo was delicious but we thought the gumbo cook off was a better introduction to Cajun food and people  here,  and much more fun.

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The big room at the Civic Center was filled with activities for children. We took a sweep through there, face painting, a bounce house, many games like ring toss, and hoops.

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The kids were also entertained by various costumed characters like Shrek, Mickey and Minnie Mouse with whom they can have their pictures taken. Lake Charles does a lot for kids over Mardi Gras.

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Jim mentioned when we wandered into the room, “Hey, this band is better than the two we heard yesterday.”  And the two we heard yesterday were good, but these guys were better. A down home style that we associate with Cajun country music we like.

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We spotted a costumed Eva Gidlow, center, who turned out to be an events  promoter for Lake Charles. Jim asked her how we could find some French people?  She was quick to get us acquainted with Renola Simon, on the left. Renola invited us to ride on the French float on Fat Tuesday. We were overwhelmed at such a special invitation. As for French people?  There were plenty of them.

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The two women on the right, (it was loud and I couldn’t get their names) are members of a very active Cajun Dance group that travels all over. Their purpose is to preserve Cajun Music and Dance. They have a membership of 2000 families in 7 Chapters in Louisiana.

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Their official title means The Good Time dancers Assn. of French Cajun Music Lake Charles Chapter. Isn’t that amazing?  We talked about our mutual French heritage, how my grandparents wanted to assimilate and wouldn’t teach my mother, aunts and uncles French, nor we grandchildren. These women,  being Acadians, were punished for speaking French in school and made to feel inferior. We blogged about that subject  in some depth in 2010.

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Then, Eva  introduced us to 82-year-old Lesa Cormier, whose father was a founding member of the Sun Down Playboys. He still plays. His grandson plays bass. His son plays with a different band. There were two players missing on this day, but I took pictures of them all. Only two original members of the band remain. They are one of the oldest Cajun Bands in the state of Louisiana, still playing music after 64 years. In fact, Eva told us, Lesa  sent a pressing of a their music to the Beatles Apple Records and they liked it and promoted his music. He gave us one of his CD’s.  You can read more about them at this address:

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We so enjoyed August Broussard’s accordian and singing.

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And, Red Touchet playing fiddle. Too fun.

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I think this is Lesa’s grandson.

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I just don’t know who is who. All I can be sure of is they are a great band.

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Let the good times roll!!

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We waited for the Children’s Parade. Just before the floats began to roll, it started to pour down and rain, and rain, and rain. These two ladies are sisters. The woman on the left was my favorite dancer, with her twin sister in yesterday’s blog. I didn’t know they were sisters at the time. The sister on the right said to me, “We’re six girls and everyone of us has gray hair. I’m only 50 years old.”Dancing while capturing beads.

This is the twin sisters. They danced throughout the parade in between floats, in the rain, and while the floats were throwing goodies. I never saw such fun. They were born of a family of 12. (I hope I’ve got my info remembered correctly.)

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The floats were fun, and wet. They threw candy, beads, cups, stuffed animals, plastic coins, and various trinkets.

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As we got wetter and wetter, Jim kept asking, “Are we having fun yet?”

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While I tried to take pictures and catch beads, the sisters would give the best ones to me. They filled me up with cups, coins, beads and stuffed animals. They were so much fun, generous and I didn’t even get their names. I didn’t have a hand free to write them down. I hope they read the blog and correct any errors.

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Home, drenched to the gills; purse and everything in it. All of our clothes. I spread the beads out to dry in the Bronco windshield and steering wheel. There was no place to lay them. DSC02584 (Copy)

We had clothing hanging from the cutting board, the visor, the steering wheel, the backs of the seats…

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The heater was on all night trying to dry things with a huge thunder storm roaring outside. In fact, the signal was down for about three hours this morning, which is why we are so late to blog today. When life is wet, we still have fun.

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Jim and I went for burger night at the American Legion last night. There I met Kathy, a fun gal who found a treasure. Some earrings she hadn’t seen in a couple of years. She took them to the hall  to show her friends. We talked her into putting them on for a picture, except, I only had my cell phone with me.  Now, these earrings were six inches long and bountiful with beads. Real creations that demand special consideration of when and where a person would wear them. (She got lots of advice.) With her long blonde hair, the earrings were stunning on her. The pictures turned out nice…but…I don’t have the USB cord to get the pictures off my phone. Dang, I hate it when I go somewhere without my camera. So, I searched the net for earrings to provide a similar picture of Kathy’s earrings. I looked at “shoulder dusters” , Chandeliers, sexy exotic long earrings. There was Statement jewelry, Gypsy Moon, ethnic earrings, stiletto dangles, cosmic beads, comet glass…nothing  compared to her original creation until I checked Ebay. There, my friends, was a real shoulder duster, and its vintage. Longer than Kathy’s, but Kathy’s earrings were wider with several falls.  The search was fun and I learned a lot about ear wear.  The beer and burger were good, too.

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