As I mentioned on Friday, I spent this weekend working on promotional items for the release of my upcoming books. My aunt came up with the idea. You see, the problem with my stories (which I’m still kicking myself over) is that there is no central theme or symbol that appears throughout each book except for one thing: South Louisiana.
How do you summarize South Louisiana and tie in characteristics of each book? I spent weeks trying to work out the problem and finally turned it over to my mom, sister-in-law, and aunt. They each had wonderful ideas, but it was my aunt’s idea that made me go “Well, duh!”
She suggested that since Mardi Gras is such an integral part of the culture here, that we make Mardi Gras masks, but with a twist unique to each book. So that’s what we did. This weekend we sat down to work on the masks and I had my nephew take a few pictures while I put the women in the family to work.
This was at the start of the day. We invaded my sister’s house and set up shop. Really, it did feel a bit like a sweatshop because I wouldn’t let anyone just sit there and watch (although my sister tried). I’ve mentioned before that my mom is an artist and she did such wonderful work I was tempted to make her paint all the masks. Fortunately for her, everyone else wanted in on the fun (with the exception of my sister, but I made her work too).
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not crafty and I’m so not. The entire time I worked on the masks, my hands were shaking. I can’t draw and my designs are so uninspired, but I did my best. The entire time, I had to encourage my sister explaining that I’ve told everyone many times already how she and I are the two non-artists in the family. She grumbled, but she finally accepted it and just went with the flow. I think she may have even had fun!
Once all the painting was done, we tore open the bags of feathers…I hate feathers. I really do. They were…horrible. Truly horrible. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not a bird or anything because then I’d have to deal with the little beasts all the time! This was one part of the craft party that everyone was an equal. My mom was frustrated with them. My sister-in-law seemed to be okay with them (and I think I’m suspicious of that fact and don’t want to know where she got so much experience working with them). In the end, we only did a few of the masks on Saturday, but I finished them up on Sunday.
Overall, it took us about five or six hours to complete fifty masks. That seems a little excessive, I know, but I bought extra in case we had terrible mess ups. Luckily, we didn’t and in the end, we used the spare masks as lagniappe. Yup, I’ll have masks to give away that are simply pretty extras.
Here’s a peek at some of the finished work:
So that’s what I did this weekend. I can’t wait to start the guest blogs and author interviews coming up soon! I hope the people who win these masks truly enjoy them (although…I don’t think they’ll want to actually wear them).
I couldn’t have done this without my family. So, thank you Melody for the use of your house and for allowing me to force you to stretch your artistic limits. Thank you, Megan for your beautiful silver masks. They’re so elegant, I know whoever wins them will adore them. Thank you, Marsha for your beautiful marsh scenes and the tattooed masks you did. Do you have to be so good at everything you do?? Thank you, Lynn, for the tigers and others you did. They look amazing (and no, I’m not trying to make you feel better). Thanks, Adene, for the great idea and the fantastic masks you painted. Who knew you were so artistic? And thank you Mom for the gorgeous work you did. I really was tempted to make you paint all of them 😉
And now all I can think is: Thank God that part’s over!! LOL