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Joyeux Mardi Gras & Laissez Bon Temps Rouler Yall!

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Happy Mardi Gras! Time to live it up! Eat too much, drink too much & party too much! We certainly managed to do all of those things on our trip to The Big Easy! We spent the last day wandering around The French Quarter…
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We window shopped and shopped shopped! I always love to look at the old bottles in the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum! We then stopped by Hove Perfumerie for some soaps and vetiver root…
IMG_9408 So many things to buy there! Like this fab mask! It’s only $3000!! Someone buy it for me please! I bought a few masks but not nearly as fab as this…
IMG_9347 The first of the Mardi Gras Parades happened while we were there! This is from Krewe De Vieux. Their parade was wacky and fun with many political messages, overtones and innuendos.
10974661_10152565756761573_9215901375320193631_o (1) Luckily for us, it passed right in front of my brothers house! So we had a perfect view of the Vieux! The best part for me hands down was the music! There must have been 20 bands marching and playing at the same time. It became this magical cacophony of sounds that was quite moving! I managed to get a few little video loops! Check em out! So amazing! Can’t wait to go back! Everyone have a Great Mardi Gras! Live it up today, cos you could die tomorrow! More pictures from my trip as well as vintage Mardi Gras snaps on my instagram. Click pix! More soon… oxo GD

A video posted by grandedame (@grandedame) on

A video posted by grandedame (@grandedame) on

A video posted by grandedame (@grandedame) on

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What A Fantastic Holiday!

xmasmams As I am settling back in to my seaside life, I can’t help but reflect on what a truly marvellous vacation I had, from beginning to end it was brilliant! Mamma left her decorations up for me so I could experience Xmas! Even had my stocking filled from Santa! Aww!!
mail Palm Springs was absolutely breathtaking on every level! The style was beyond! It was a full on movie star experience! Can NOT wait to go back!
sunsetvolcano And OMG! Those sunsets! They were electrifying beyond belief! The magic of nature!
IMG_8869 Going to New Orleans and experiencing a proper Mardi Gras Ball was a total blast! So proud of my brother in law! His costume was magnificent!
IMG_9018 Getting the tour of old friend Glade’s amazing house was not only a treat, but ended up being quite an emotional experience too! But a good one as it reopened my connection with my late uncle
familyden Also had several amazing family dinners! Esp this one at Upperline restaurant! I had Baby Drum Meuniere topped with Lump Crab Meat! So yummy! Great to see everyone!
hooha I even had a blast in my hometown. Making new connections like these Nigerian Dwarf Pygmy Goats at lovely Hooah Hill Farm! They make the loveliest soap from the goats milk! All natural, organic, non gmo, and chemical free! Plus it leaves your skin sooo soft!! I adore beauty products! Check em out!
IMG_0021 I ate so much food! Diet starts now, but there’s no better friend chicken on earth than Minnie’s Restaurant in my hometown!
LovelyBiddyandherwork I got a wonderful tour of the lovely home of local historian, proper Grande Dame, and Gracious Lady of Georgia – Biddy Hammett – and was shown her beautiful paintings! So stylish and elegant!
IMG_9996 Going through all the photos, drawings, sketches, musings, comics, scripts, etc… of my uncles and other family memorabilia was quite moving. It made me really think of who I am, and where I am from. And how special my family is. Even tho most are now long gone, they live on in me, and it was great making them come alive again and sharing their brilliance with the world!
goldengals And of course I had a lovely time with my wonderful mother! Thank you mamma for making my trip so special! Love you! Gobble Gobble… :)
TheGrandeParlour And now I’m back at the palace with my darlings Booboo Beebee & Tomcat, and it’s just how I left it! There was loads more things, people and places I went and saw and experienced, but I can’t put it all on this post. In fact I still have a New Orleans Post to do, but it is perfect for Mardi Gras, which is tomorrow, so I’ll do it then… Anyhoo, back to work! I’ll be visiting the states in a few months, and hopefully this time I’ll make it to the attic with tons more photos and memorabilia! Yay! Click pix or here to see more from my trip! oxo GD

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Crescent City Journey Part 4 – My Amazing Uncle

DiggieBoomBoom I have been wanting to write this post since last week, but it’s really hard for me to write about my late uncle. He was so extraordinary, that words do not do him justice. He was talented beyond us mere mortals. Spoke 7 languages fluently! Wrote musical comedies (sometimes in foreign languages!!), could hear a piece of music once and sit at a piano and play it perfectly!! Made the most amazing costumes. The pic above is him at Mardi Gras 1980. He built sets, wrote cookbooks, painted, sketched, he had his own comic strip, and made comic books, he could do anything! But on top of the creative genius he embodied, he was the most positive person ever. Never said a negative word about anyone. He was almost christlike, and I know that sounds corny, but he was… My mother once said “I know we’re making it sound like he could walk on water, but he kinda could” He was really that special!
dijournal1 In my last post I mentioned his friend Glade gave us one of his journals. It was so great to see. This particular journal was done in the early 1970’s. My uncle had been living in NYC after a very successful theater tour around the world with La Mama ETCs Greek Trilogies. But he was disillusioned in NYC, and pined for his beloved New Orleans. Reading through his notes, it made me think of when I lived there, and how I went through a similar thing.
digcoke Diggie played the mime in this popular Coke ad that ran on TV in the 1970’s. I would kiss the screen when it came on. My grandfather had a billboard size poster of this in the basement of his house. Dunno where it went, but Glade had a magazine size one, it was wonderful to see it again.
wizarddiggiesm Not that I could ever forget, but being at Glades really opened up the memories and everything came flooding back. He was a total wizard! That is him as the wizard in a children’s show from New Orleans in the 1980’s…
Scarlet1 He made my childhood so special. This is me in a southern belle costume he made for me out of antique lace, ribbons, feathers, rhinestones and other findings…
sal Not the best picture, but this is me as Salome dancing with the Head of John The Baptist at Catholic School Halloween. I was 9 years old! Mamma & him worked on this idea for a year! Everything was so detailed! Shame you can not see, but the head piece had copper hair made out of pennies glued to twine. It weighed a ton too! But was a big hit and I won Halloween contests every year!
Birdy A bird costume he designed for someone to wear at Mardi Gras. So fab!
MGbyDig Another of many costume sketches by my uncle. The crazy thing was, he would design and make all the outfits for him & his friends to wear and it was just for one day! Madness!
dighouse Going to his wonderful apt on Esplanade Ave in the french Quarter was like entering a fantasy world. Sadly, I’ve not been able to locate any decent photos, but I found a great sketch he did of his living room.
IMG_9856 He also had a wicked sense of humour. This was an excerpt from his comic Hawt-Break, which ran in New Orleans Magazine in the early 80’s…
pianomam Matched with his wit, and drawing skills, was his sentimentality. It was unparalleled. Being a starving artist most of his life, he made things for people. One thing he did often was make comic strips/ books for his loved ones about things that happened in their lives. That is from my mom’s comic, she hated playing piano.
grancomic1 This was the one he made for my grandmother. Reminds me a bit of Robert Crumb.
digtaj1 When he was a little boy, my grandfather made him a Mini Taj Mahal Mardi Gras Float to pull around the streets…
digtaj2 Later, when he made my grandfather a comic book of his life, he included a sketch of the Taj Mahal float my grandfather had made him! Sweet or what?
digenvelope Even his envelopes were works of art! He spent days just decorating them! He never sent things out plainly, everything he did was 100 times more than you would expect. On my birthdays, a special delivery would arrive, even on Sunday. I would be having a party with all the neighborhood children and this, massive glitter and sequined box would arrive, with Alice & Wonderland drawings covering the outside. All the kids frozen in amazement, oohing & aahing as I opened to another decorated box, and another, finally revealing a intricately designed sparkly costume, with matching hats, capes and parasols… He made my childhood so magical!
sweetdig Even as a little boy, he showed more love than normal kids. This was a card he made for my grand father. Again the sentimentality, and going the extra mile for others. That was Diggie.
goodbyedig That visit to Glade’s was quite emotional, as he showed us Diggie’s goodbye letter he wrote right before he died. It has been 28 years since he passed, we had never seen it before. And just in his life, in his death, he put us first. It says “I’m feeling rest & sleepy. I’m leaving tonight’s sleep open to all possibilities. This is not a cruel joke. I thought I had more time & I still think I do. But just in case… I was never the form, but the idea inside it. When you think of me, you think with me. Where you are is the dream. It is I who survey reality. All mind is one, that is truth. We can always talk, we always have. I’m so close to all of you! Love in my love till we meet in paradise.” He was so special. I am so lucky to have known him…

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Journey to the Crescent City Part Trois

IMG_9571At the Masked Ball, Mamma & I ran into both of my late Uncle Diggie’s best friends – Becky Allen – who was crowned Queen; and Glade Bilby – a local New Orleans photographer, who took this photo of me when I was 9 years old! My uncle made the outfit for me. It was pretty spectacular! A mini Scarlet O’Hara with a matching rhinestone parasol!
IMG_9018 Glade bought an amazing property in the French Quarter & has been fixing it up for over 2 decades. He invited us over for a tour the next day. The house is called The Bringier – Barnett House and was built in 1848 by Henry R Denis for one of his daughers. It was one of 3 that stood on Esplanade Avenue.
IMG_9020 It stands in typical French Quarter splendor, with curling grill work framing the balconies. So grand and imposing!
IMG_9208 The ceilings on the ground level are nearly 20 feet tall! I tried to take a pic of the doors, but they were so long, they didn’t fit in the frame! This is the fabulous dining room! Glade did the decoration with the fabric himself! How wonderful! That is something I have always wanted to do – gather fabric around a centered ceiling light!
IMG_9210 The exterior gardens are just as spectacular as the interior. With lovely palms and tropical plants! Ahh to have your morning coffee here would be absolutely dreamy!
IMG_9209 And what a kitchen to cook in! A great room to entertain guests as well!
IMG_9221 New Orleans is so romantic! This is the view of the upstairs veranda…
IMG_9212 Glade definitely has impeccable taste! This is his office. I wouldn’t get much done in here, as I would want to look at everything!
IMG_9172 My Grandpa was a local New Orleans Jazz musician and band leader. This is one of his Gig posters and horns hanging on a wall in Glades upstairs guest room.
IMG_9174 This wooden palm tree was one of two that belonged to my late uncle. They were also in his living room in his apartment that was also on Esplanade. Mamma said he got them from The Sanger Theater Prop dept. I loved them so much when I was little. What a treat to see them again!
IMG_9173 In the 1980’s my uncle had a comic strip in New Orleans Magazine called – HAWT-BREAK. A very funny series about local New Orleans culture. Glade had one of the strips framed and hanging in his billiard room. I must put the one I have in a frame as well! What a great idea!!
IMG_9384 On top of getting the grand tour, we were also shown and given some of my uncles journals. This was a random page. He was such an amazing talented person! And our visit was very emotional. It was a wonderful privilege to see such a beautiful house, and one I know my uncle LOVED, as it was owned by a supposed Countess that he made friends with and spent a lot of time there, as he told my mother and I stories about her. I know my uncle would be happy his dear friend he loved so much is now living in such a beautiful place that he also loved! Tomorrow stay tuned for PART 4 – My Amazing Uncle Diggie! oxo gd

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Pilgrimage to The Crescent City Part 1

IMG_9457Apologies for the gap in my posts, but our little trip to the Big Easy was so chocked full of things to do that I couldn’t keep up! In fact there was so much going on I’m gonna hafta break it down into five parts!!! It was an 8 hour drive from my mothers to New Orleans. We passed many religious billboards along the way, like this marvelous anti-evolution ad!!! It was everywhere! WTF?
IMG_8440 It’s a long journey, so one must amuse themselves with shopping! Here you see me modeling my silly sock purchase – Mr Spock! Not pictured my Wonder Woman socks that come with their own capes!!
Holy House As you can see I am absolutely giddy with excitement! Because we made our way to the redneck MECCA – Stuckey’s! So many useless things to look at!
IMG_8457 Lovely greetings at the door of this majestic, holy temple!
IMG_8472 So many Jesus t-shirts to choose from, this was a fave!
IMG_8471 Not to brag, but I nailed it in my animated short THE TRIP. This was just one random case – A tin box with a cross and bible, pepper spray pen, and knives all for sale at Stuckey’s! I heart that place!!
IMG_8510 1 I did manage to score a Free Masons Ski cap!! Total randomness from that weird & wonderful store!!
IMG_8526 We made it just in time to catch the lovely sunset on Lake Ponchatrain right outside the city…
IMG_8539 And had a yummy fried feast at New Orleans institution – Liuzza’s! I had fried dill pickles, fried green tomatoes, and fried oysters! With Abita Amber beer in a frosty mug! Nomm…
IMG_8565 Of course you gotta have desert when you come to New Orleans and we had yummy ice cream & gelato & pastries from Angelo Brocato! I had the chocolate Saint Anthony! It was scrumptious as well! Ok Part 2 tomorrow! Click pix or here to see more on my instagram! oxo gd

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Young Southern Belle from Hell

I have been going through a lot of old photos lately. This is one of my faves. I could kick myself for not taking care of it! I hope my mom has a better copy somewhere. I think I was about 9 years old. My uncle made the dress, it had a matching rhinestone encrusted parasol! It was one of my Scarlet O’hara looks. The pic was taken in my uncle’s amazing apt in New Orleans. It was like a film set inside. Lots of antiques and statues and props he stole from old theaters. I loved being there it was a fantasy world. I told the photographer not to get my feet cos I didn’t have my boots on. But he did anyway. Good times. oxo gd

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Grande Dame Sessions

This is a video of my song writing partner, piano player and dear friend Pete Z warming up for a recording session on our album for our track “Legend in Your Own Mind”. It has an old New Orleans Roots Rock & Roll sound to it, so Pete went for a Killer/ Fats Domino kinda vibe. Pete is a brilliant player, I don’t tell him too much, cos I don’t want him to get a big head, but he tells me I’m great all the time. Ha Ha! The whole band is brilliant! We’re available for live shows if your looking for a swampy voodoo experience! Get in touch! oxo gd

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