Monthly Archives: July 2010

Ricely yours


dirty rice: delicious jewelry from the cajun heartland

Dirty Rice. If ya ‘aint from the south than you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. My little Cajun maw maw, rest her soul, made the best dirty rice ever. She also made the best rice and gravy, but that’s another post for another day. When Elise from Lafayette contacted me about her Ecrevisse jewelry collection I knew it would be perfect for Slow Southern Style. Paying tribute to the southern food I grew up on is always a good way to win me over. Turning real crawfish claws into jewelry? Even better.

Crawfish jewelry made out of actual crawfish is an interesting concept. What spurred the idea?
Everything I know about jewelry I learned from the internet or the library. I kept reading about all these alternative materials for beads, and had decided that I wanted to try to sell my work and was brainstorming for ways I could develop a line of jewelry that was unique. It was a eureka moment; I suddenly realized that claws might make fantastic jewelry. My second thought was that surely someone was already doing this…but after a lot of poking online, I really couldn’t find anything. So there it was, a unique product and a local market. After that it was a lot of trial and error, research, and experimentation to figure out the best way to use them.

Poydras Fringe Necklace Poydras fringe necklace

I love the names of your jewelry, obviously all southern references. How do you pick each one out?
 I wanted a shop name that reflected my local pride and the fact that my products are handmade, yet was familiar enough outside of Louisiana to make sense. I did a lot of brainstorming and in the process of deciding on a company name generated a long list of ideas. Generally while I am working a piece a particular name comes to mind, perhaps inspired by the color or shape of the item (for example, a nutty orange brown color reminded me of whiskey, which lead me to Whiskey River.) Usually by the time a piece is finished, I already have a name in mind. I guess they name themselves.

How does living in Lafayette influence your work?
I couldn’t do what I do anywhere else! I also wouldn’t be doing the kind of work I do if I hadn’t spent 5 years in Boston and 4 in Portland, both really fashionable cities in their own ways. I have tons of supportive friends who have become customers, and Lafayette is in a place right now where there is a lot of interest in funky local items.

Whiskey River Earrings - Crawfish Claws and Pearls Whiskey River Earrings

You’ve had quite a handful of interesting jobs! Would you care to share these with Slow South Style’s readers?
I’ve done a little of everything; part of it has to do with earning a degree in Painting from art school. Finding a relevant job wasn’t an option at first. So I took was what available after I was out of school, which ended up sending me to Portland, OR to work as a matchmaker at a high-end dating service. After that I worked at the district attorney’s office in Portland, and was eventually assigned to the sex crimes and homicide unit. It was fascinating and rewarding work. My husband and I decided to move back to Lafayette, our hometown, and I now teach art at the Episcopal School of Acadiana, my alma mater. It’s a fantastic school and my absolute dream job, and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach there.

Define southern style.
Yikes! Perhaps it is ironic, but I definitely do not think of myself as fashionable. For me, southern style means comfort, accessibility, and a lack of pretension. Nothing too fussy, but not so casual that anything is left to chance. The first thing that comes to mind are all of my relatives up in Shreveport with their crisp white pants and beautifully coiffed hair, seersucker suits with bow ties.

Get your own serving at Dirty Rice’s Etsy shop.

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Out of this world

Affordable art? Vintage clothing that I’d actually wear? Pffft! You’ll believe it when you check out Jupiter & Mars and Poppyart, two sweet little Etsy shops based out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Y’all run two shops, Jupiter & Mars and Poppyart. Can you describe what y’all do and how you got started with both?

We initially had one shop, Poppyart, selling both vintage and art but found it too demanding so we opened up the second shop, Jupiter & Mars.  We started selling items on Ebay but found we didn’t really enjoy the venue.  Several friends told us about Etsy so we checked it out, liked it and started up there.

Southern Belle drinking glasses Southern Belle drinking glasses

 Both shops have a really fun, upbeat aesthetic. What’s the deciding factor on the vintage pieces that make the cut?
Anything we personally find interesting and that’s not in too bad of shape generally makes the cut.

Tweet Birdies halter top Tweet birdies halter top

 I noticed y’all stress recycled materials. Was maintaining an eco friendly inventory a conscious decision?
Yes and no.  We receive previously used packing supplies and also use remnants of vintage items such as ribbon, jewelry bits, and fabric to make a lot of our art pieces.  We didn’t start out trying to be ‘green’, we just thought how wasteful it would be to toss all these things, which are still perfectly good.  So our instinct to not be wasteful has turned into being very eco friendly.

Out of The Forest charmed bangle Out of the forest bangle bracelet

Any plans for the future that y’all would like to share?
For the future of the shops, who knows. For our personal futures and as artists- to never be stagnant, always growing and evolving, always learning. To be happy. To be true to ourselves and do good.

1950s Moroccan circle skirt 1950’s Moroccan circle skirt

Define southern style.

Subtly eccentric

Available at Jupiter & Mars and Poppy Art.

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Show & Tell

 This week’s Show & Tell Saturday is a double whammy, featuring a really special item and a cool new shop on Magazine St.

I know I talk a lot about traditional southern specialties, like boat shoes and seersucker but as equally important and infinitely cooler are the blue collar staples of yesteryear.*

Behold my old as dirt Jack Daniel’s tee. Procured from the Phoenix Buffalo Exchange I had to practically arm wrestle a friend for this. He’ll be happy to know it is being lovingly stored in the dirty south where it truly belongs.

See the light shining through? This topper puts those newfangled burnout tees to shame. It’s thin as hell and worn to perfection. It’s way too big on me but to alter it would be sacrilege.I wear it with equally as ancient engineer boots and black skinny jeans.
What else can you wear it with? How ’bout these bad ass cowgirl boots from Truck Stop. Oh yea and if you’re a 7 1/2  hands off the pink pair! I still need to try those on.
The shop has only been open for two weeks but their aesthetic is perfection. When you walk in it looks like you pulled into the coolest truck stop ever with vintage signage and a working pinball machine. They stock western wear, belt buckles,jewelry and of course vintage tees. Who knows maybe you’ll find your own Jack Daniel’s tee. Oh yea and tell them Slow Southern Style sent ‘ya. 
2209 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Mon – Sun: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

If you have a crazy good item that you want to tell the world about e-mail me at nolagurl{at}gmail{dot}com for inclusion in Show and Tell Saturday.
* To really appreciate this post you have to immerse yourself in the following. Trust me it’s good stuff.
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Slow Southern News

  • LF is having a sidewalk sale this weekend from Friday, July 9th to Sunday, July 11th. Items include $8 t-shirts, $16 dresses, $12 jeans and much more.
  • The New Orleans Buffalo Exchange is sponsoring a canned and non-perishable food drivenow through July 31st. Donations will go to  Second Harvest Food Bank and will benefit  Gulf Coast families who have been directly affected by the recent oil spill. Donate three nonperishable food items and receive a $5 off coupon for your next $20+ purchase.
  • Miss Malaprop will be hosting a shopping party to help welcome Skin Studio’s new space across from Whole Foods on Saturday, July 10th from 1-3pm. 
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Time for Therapy

With all this talk of the oil spill it’s enough to drive even the happiest person mad. Fortunately we all have one thing to look forward to and that’s football season. Even if you’re not a fan it’s hard not to get excited about the Saints after their incredible Superbowl win.

With games comes the ritual of game day outfits and when Jean Therapy sent me their new game day scarf to test drive I was more than happy to oblige! I love scarves, especially in summer.

I know what y’all are thinking “It’s too hot to wear a scarf! Is she crazy?” But this swath of fabric is a linen and cotton blend so it is really, really lightweight. When the humidity is this high I run for a tank and shorts and a lightweight scarf is a nice addition to any simple summer outfit. Just throw on some jewelry and you’re good to go.
We all know that football starts in the “fall” meaning we’ve got to survive the heat of September and part of October so you know you’ll get plenty of use out of this lightweight accessory. Until the pigskin gets thrown around sit inside with a good book and a big glass of lemonade.

Pick up your “Game Day” black and gold fleur de lis scarf at any Jean Therapy location in mid-July.

And for more summer survival tips y’all might like these posts:

Guest post: Look cool even when it’s hot

Summer Survival

Biking in New Orleans: Don’t sweat it

Rain on my parade

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Canine Couture

I’ve been too busy to blog this past week, mainly because we just welcomed our newest addition to the family.

Meet Nadia, a 4 year old retired racing greyhound. We got her from Greyhound Pets of America. I’ve wanted a greyhound for 10 years so we finally took the plunge. Yea that’s a Zulu throw she pulled up “in bed” with her.

Having ran 23 races in her career her favorite activity is occupying  the futon. Her hobbies include drooling, as you can tell from this picture. I need to just put a fitted sheet over the damn thing so she doesn’t ruin it. Note the gross ripped apart suitcase in the background. That’s the only thing my cats will use as a scratching post besides my furniture.

Naturally I’ve had great fun shopping for cute doggy essentials. The trick is to find fun, unexpected items but  not turn your animal into a candidate for

I have a lot of bandannas in my hiking gear closet so Nadia is getting my hand me downs. I think that’s enough decoration, at least for now.

Not one to settle for a run of the mill dog tags from a kiosk I searched Etsy and found this one from Poochy Couture. It looks more like a piece of jewelry but still provides essential information.
Multi Metal Triple Layered ALL IN ONE Pet Tag

Why settle for an ordinary collar when you can get this extra sweet one from Nola & Spencer?

Balboa Posey Dog Collar in Pink

Or what about showing your southern side with these from Furry Twang?

Southern Belle Pink Dog Collar

What proper gentleman wouldn’t have a seersucker bow tie? I’m besides myself for this bow tie dog collar from Pecan Pie Puppies. They also make a “corsage” version for females.

Seersucker Custom Bow Tie Dog Collar

If I didn’t think my greyhound would knock this off the kitchen counter I’d buy this treat jar from Happy Hound. Fortunately she’s well behaved compared to this bunch.

Greyhound, Whippet , Italian Greyhound Kibble or Dog Treat Canister Jar

You can also check out local places to pamper your pooch:

Canine Connection

And check out Urban Dog Magazine for even more fun stuff!

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Properly southern y’all

Here in the south we’re known for our accents (not the ones on t.v.), our manners (at least some of us), our food, nightlife and the way we dress.

Southern Proper is a clothing and lifestyle company that epitomizes southern prep. Owners Emilie Claire Henderson and Reagan Elizabeth Hardy combine “elements of southern heritage and classic haberdashery” for “men who have a deep appreciation for style and heritage.”
From your head down to your drawers, or drawls, as they call their boxers line, you can dress the part no matter on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you reside.
Taking cues from classic southern symbols these accessories are sure to become a fun fixture in any man’s wardrobe. Their Spring 2010 line focuses on Kentucky, with nods to the racetrack in the form of horse bits, jockey uniforms, and of course, horses. Other lines include magnolia, cotton, bourbon and cigars, mallards, alligators, okra, and collegiate prints.

While the line primarily focuses on men’s accessories and shirts there are a few women’s products as well. Southern Proper also stocks pearls, headbands, and polo tees, items that no preppy wardrobe should be without.

The ladies from Southern Proper even have an online question and answer section to address etiquette and style, dilemmas, just to make sure y’all are acting like gentleman.
Get the proper look online or at any of these retailers.

Southern gentleman keep your eyes peeled on because I will be announcing a very special contest for y’all soon!

Remember y’all can  sign up for the newsletter here to keep up the easy way. 

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