Saturday, March 16, 2013

Slippin' Southern at the SweetArts 2013 Bash

Gregory Morris of Slippin' Southern with models at SweetArts 2013 Bash

Yes, this picture is a little bit shocking.... but it's New Orleans y'all.

Two weeks ago we took a few minutes break from sign making to stroll over to our local coffee shop, New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co. to get a quick cup of chicory coffee when we passed a house on the way that we love walking by because they often times will have two of the cutest French Bulldogs frolicking in their front yard. As you walk by them, they will walk along their fence with you and bark and carry on, they are just adorable!

Too Cute Bubble Girl who greeted us at the entrance to the Bash

Go-go Girl on the Dance Floor at SweetArts 2012
On this day, there was a man walking about in the yard, a Southern Gentleman to be exact. We sort of notice him the same time he noticed us so I pointed at the Frenchies and said something like, "We just love your doggies!"

In no time, the man came over and invited us up on his front porch to sit for a minute and he proceeded to tell us about the dogs, the house and little bit about his family. I explained that I had a wall art business just around the corner and I sold and shipped signs all over the world. It was like we knew him all of our lives. The conversation was warm and friendly. And the Frenchies filled in any awkward moments in the conversation.

Couches for lounging during the Party
Finally, as the conversation ended, he walked us back out to the street and from his car, he pulled out an invitation to the SweetArts 2013 Bash that was to be held the following Saturday. We thought to ourselves, wow, what are the chances that we would bump into someone like Gregg Porter, a Co-Chairman of the SweetArts 2013 Committee? We were so happy to have met him and had this opportunity fall into our laps.

So anyway, long story short, we purchase tickets and attended Gregg's shin-dig the next Saturday. It was like something out of Batman meets Austin Powers movie. Held of course at the CAC (Contemporary Arts Center) building where they are currently featuring an exhibit called Beyond Beasts, featuring props from the motion picture Beasts of the Southern Wild, sorry, I have not seen this movie but the props were amazing.

DJ Matty spinning the best tunes at SweetArt 2012
The party scene went something like this.... Ashley Longshore's film performance piece starring Nissa Teissier is going on in one corner. Local print shop artists are creating on-the-spot mementos and poem relics while you wait in another corner. There's Mystic ponies featuring swamp inspired aerial & dance performances in another corner... there's lots of corners in this place.

Once inside the main party room there were hundreds of guests, all in suits and party attire, dancing and cocktailing the night away, at least for three hours.

There was also a burlesque trapeze act spinning above the heads of the terrific DJ Matty, DJ Bunny & DJ Lingerie who spun tunes that were the perfect mix for such an eclectic mix of Hollywood meets modern art crowd.

At one point in the evening my wife, Susan stopped dead in her tracks and backed up against the wall and told me to do the same. It was if she had seen a ghost. The music was loud, and it was kinda dark. I thought she was getting sick or something. But then she pointed ahead of us and said, "Don't freak out, but, it's him!"  Who? I asked. Robert.... she said. Robert who? I asked. For the next minute or two we could not for the life of us remember his last name. I even grabbed another guy walking by us and asked, "Hey, what's that movie star's last name?" This guy said he couldn't remember it either. It was like everyone was under this spell of complete dumbness!

Gregory Morris, the Gountry Gentelman
I've heard of people blanking-out when meeting a celebrity and now I'm having the same experience y'all!

I looked once again, and then it comes to me, and it wasn't DuVall, it was Deniro. Robert was surrounded by folks who all were trying to get their pictures taken with him as he was trying to make his way through the crowd. Then, in a moment he was gone. I'm not sure how long he was in the room but it was brief.

Oh, by the way, the coat I'm wearing? It's a Slippin' Southern original design... A duck-tape covered vintage suit coat complete with Sharpie pens that we threw together so fellow party goers could draw, write and sign their names right on my coat. Let me tell ya, a great ice breaker at any cocktail party y'all.

I asked a lot of folks to sign it up until I had about three drinks... then folks started asking me if they could sign it. I had the art director from the movie Beasts sign it, and many people that I don't even know. Over the past week I have pulled it out of my closet, looked it over and have tried to decifer the inscriptions all over it.

Anyway, thanks Gregg Porter, for being such a warm host to us at your big shin-dig, we really enjoyed spending an hour on your couch at the party!

Gregory & Susan
Slippin' Southern

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mardi Gras is in full swing y'all!

Float from Cleoptra's 40 Enchanting Years Parade

Mardi Gras is in full swing y'all, however, New Orleans took an unprecedented week off from Carnival  to host the NFL Super Bowl XLVII last week. It was the 10th Superbowl ever hosted in New Orleans and the first after Hurricain Katrina. So, all parading paused on the West side of the Mississippi River. But now the good times are about to start rolling again this week. Here are some of Slippin' Southern's personal pics from the parades we attended last week...

610 Stompers at the Krewe of Carrollton Parade (These guys are GREAT!)

Parades run back to back on most days, that is if you are late to the first one, just wait, there is usually another right behind it. Each one has about 25 floats, a dozen marching bands plus Shriners on motor cycles or dune buggies, horse back riding clubs, dancing girls, police cars, fire trucks and well, you get the idea.

Masked Bead Tossers at the Krewe of Carrollton Parade
Some parades are at night and others are during the day. Most of the parades run north on St. Charles street. These are your larger, G-rated family parades. On the north side of town around Frenchman Street, you'll find the counter-culture, adult parades like the Krewe of Chewbakus.

Horseback Riders at the Krewe of Carrollton Parade
What is watching a Mardi Gras parade like? It's like the 4th of July? You take the day off, cook out, hang out with friends and then that evening, you go to your favorite spot and watch the fireworks? You enjoy the smell of good things cooking on an open flame, music and tons of people watching? Now add the element of Halloween and the New Years Day Parades.... It's kinda like that, but better.

Susan & Gregory Morris watching the Krewe of Carrollton Parade
Mardi Gras is not just one day, it's day after day after day from late January through February. Different locations, different parade routes, different Krewes. Each parade is unique and has it's own history and traditions.

Krewe of Cleopatra Parade Float
There are several ways to watch a parade. The most common is to watch on the street. This method will yield the most beads. More on that subject later. The other method is to watch from a bar balcony. This get's you above the parade so you can see more.

Krewe of Carrollton Parade

Most of the parades go East down St. Charles Street. That's the street that you always see the green New Orleans street cars going down the grassy median center, in the Garden District. 

More to come soon, stop back in a few days for more of Slippin' Southerns Mardi Gras report!

Krewe of Carrollton Parade

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carnival Season is almost here!

Mardi Gras Masks for sale at my neighborhood Walgreens
You know when a major holiday is coming up and you walk into Walgreens and walk down the seasonal isle to see things to decorate your home with? I'm sure in your local Walgreens right now, Valentines Day is the big thing, right? Well, that's not the case here in New Orleans. Valentines takes a back seat to Mardi Gras, also known as Carnival Season. The isles are filled with masks, t-shirts, and beads, beads, beads y'all!

Slippin' Southerns been here close to four months now and we are pretty settled in. We have a new apartment and a new shop in the city to make our wall art. We've lived through Halloween, Christmas, New Years. But that's just child's play compared to the party-storm that's brewing...

Mardi Gras Floats warehoused in Uptown
I recently passed by a couple of the large warehouses just blocks from our apartment that are housing some of the floats that will be slowly rolling down St. Charles Avenue in just two weeks. And let me tell you, they are amazing! They are so big and grand... it's breathtaking.

This all got me to thinkin'... So when I was out and about in the city this week, I keep asking everyone that I meet from taxi drivers to my neighbors around my shop on Constantinople Street, "Just how crowded is it going to get here during Mardi Gras?" The answers vary, but most agree that parking will be an issue and the crowds will be even a bigger issue. You have to decide which side of St. Charles street you need to be on the day of the parade. Since we are just a couple of blocks from St. Charles Street, we probably will close early on days when the Parades will be near our shop. Luckily, most parades are on the weekends but there are a few that are during the week.

The Mardi Gras Season goes from January 20th to February 12 or Fat Tuesday. Oh, and did I mention that this year, right in the middle of Mardi Gras, New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl too?

Below is a photo of the front of our new shop with our big red gator over the door way. It's not real sexy... it's an old warehouse that Martin's Wine Shop used to own. In the true spirit of Mardi Gras, we've decorated our Red Gator with beads. The BURGERWOOD letters are a project I just finished for Burgerwood in New Jersey... check them out y'all!

Slippin' Southern's New Shop in New Orleans
I grew up about 4 hours from here, in Pensacola, Florida. I've never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, except for one time in high school. I was in Marching Band with the Pace High School Marching Patriots and we marched in one of the parades. I have no idea which one it was.... I should check on that and get back to you on it.

More Mardi Gras Decor from Walgreens
Mardi Gras is big, really big y'all. It generates over a billion dollars in spending in New Orleans. There are 53 parades and the parade routes end to end would cover over 300 miles.

For more facts and history on Mardi Gras the best authority I have found so far is Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide. You can get to their on line guide here: AH's guide tells all about the history and the parade routs and dates on this site!

If you'd like to keep up with Mardi Gras events on your iPhone or Android, check out the local NBC affiliates app called "WDSU's Parade Tracker."

Stay tuned to this blog for the Parades that Slippin' Southern will be attending this year y'all!

If there's something you want to know or you want me to go check out for you... just ask!
You can email me at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

There's NOLA Place Like Home, the web site that hosts our retail shop, Slippin' Southern is currently asking all of its shops for photos for a promotional video that they will be producing in the weeks to come. You can read more about their video project here: ( 

The photo criteria was simple, submit a photo of yourself with your art near a famous local landmark. Since we recently moved our studio to New Orleans, Louisiana USA (NOLA for short) this was a no-brainer for us... 

We decided our tactic would be to shoot our new Big Red Gator sign in Jackson Square Park. Unfortunately, minutes into the shoot we quickly learned that you need some sort of permit to shoot any photos that are "staged" in the park if you are using signs. Fortunately, this turned into the setback we were looking for. It forced us to walk around the park and into the French Quarter to search for new backdrops to take pictures with.

Not only did we get our money shot, outside, but everybody just had to stop and ask us, "Hey, where were did you get that cool life-size red alligator?" Our answer always was, "Well at Slippin' Southern of course!" 

Later, we grabbed some coffee at Antoine's Annex (here's the link to the famous restaurant As creative endevors go, we got this idea as we were walking around with our big honkin' gator to shoot a "Gator Cam" video. We call our little film short "There's "NOLA Place Like Home" featuring Slippin' Southern's exclusive "Red Gator."

The hardest part about making a video in the French Quarter is making sure that we didn't run into tourists as we all were walking down the street with the life-size gator. And if you ever find your self shooting a video of a reptile walkin' down the street, remember it takes three people, a prop handler, a videographer and a spotter (the spotter is the most important person in the crew).

The Big Red Gator sign will be hung outside our studio in the weeks to come. He is a big fella, if you are interested in purchasing one this size email us at If he's too big for your wall, you might like our smaller Preppy Gator in our shop shown here.

Another funny thing is that a person walking down the street in the French Quarter with a 6 foot alligator looks normal to tourists that are already overwhelmed with the sights of the tourist mecca. Most people didn't give it a second thought and probably assumed that we had purchased it in a nearby shop. We also had several folks say to us as we were shooting "Hey, I really like your gator!"

We've been trying to think of a name for our new Red Gator, something Southern, if you have any ideas we'd like to hear from you... leave us a comment here!

Laissez les bon temps rouler, y'all!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This DIY advent calender  lets you customize an old family tradition.

Family Advent Calendar

Everyone knows children can't wait for Christmas. That's a fact, Jack (Frost). But advent calender kids can. The advent calender brings the family together through the simple act of giving during the whole month of December.

Christmas advent calender traditions date back to 19th century Germany. It's traditionally the count down in anticipation to the nativity. Original displays of the Christmas calendar consisted of drawing chalk lines on your front door from December 1st all the way up to the 25th. Since then, advent wreaths with candles, hanging pictures on the wall of the nativity, and the first printed advent calendar in the 1900s have all furthered the design. The standard design for "advent calendars" is always changing (as enduring traditions of the past two hundred years tend to do). One of these designs is the "wooden advent calender" taking the shape of a tree.

As this Advent calender tree is used up, other nostalgic holiday items can be added.
How the Advent Calender works:
25 gifts are randomly placed on the tree. The more unique the better! Each day, starting on December 1st, a gift is removed from the tree and opened by a family member. If there are multiple family members participating, odd and even days are recommended. The application of this item is virtually limitless. Memorable photos, secret messages, cards, foreign candies, gift cards, little boxes with goodies inside, etc, will all make any cold December day warm for your loved ones. There's something so special about a little gift in the morning before work or school.

It's recommended that whatever small item does hang is numbered (either 1-25), and that these numbers aren't put in order. Part of the fun of this calender is that days aren't arranged consecutively and there is a "search" feature as part of the experience.

With this clothespin tree you could create a different tree every year.

So start a new creative tradition in your home with the Christmas advent calender, it's a great family tradition that you'll enjoy making year after year!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Color Palette of Slippin' Southern

When you order wall art from Slippin' Southern, you can specify any of our 25 colors from our color palette. We have assembled enough colors to cover most wall art applications but we occasionally need to add a new color when customers ask. We can also custom mix a color if requested.

Shown above is our Slippin' Southern Finish Selector which is FREE to all retailers with their first wholesale order. You may order additional Finish Selectors for $25. 

We have given each of our permanent colors a name with a Southern theme or one that reminds us of an experience that we have had over the years traveling about in the South. Some of them are easy to recognize while others are a little more quirky... but that's OK, that's what make us Slippin' Southern.

Slippin' Southern color palette shown on the
last picture of most listings in our shops
Some new colors such as silver, gold and copper do not yet appear in our listing palette but are available in our Finish Selector shown above.

Here's the list our colors with a brief explanation of their origin. Each color also links back to an item in our shop so you can see how it looks on a sign.

Aunt Betty's Silver
Named after my Aunt Betty who always keeps her silver polished

Barbecue Red
A historic, deep, warm red, used in home interiors at the turn of the century, 
also the color of  barbecue sauce (There are currently no items listed in this color)

Our classic red, just think of a barn

linen, natural, architectural, a great choice for a natural look

Black like cast iron urns and kettles

Chimney Brick Orange
This is a customer driven color, a cross between red and orange
(There are currently no items listed in this color)

Coach House Green
Dark khaki, a hybrid of green and brown
(There are currently no items listed in this color)

Deep dark blue waters of the ocean where whales swim

Like wood that you find along the beach, weathered and worn and natural

Couldn't you just eat one right now?

Front Porch Blue
Color that many folks paint their porch ceilings in the South to create a sky effect when you look up

The color of the teal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, down around Pensacola, Florida y'all

Reminds me of the color that a lot of historic houses were painted back in the day 

The color of your lime in your drink during cocktail hour

I'm told back in the day, they used a lot of copper to make moonshine. It makes a great name for a color.

You know, like mud, just very brown

Rustic, worn white, similar to the inside of an oyster shell

Papa's Suit Blue
Our answer to classic navy, named after my Papa's old suit. Often a customer requested color (There are currently no items listed in this color) 

The darker companion to Sweet Heart Pink

Patina Green
The color copper turns into after it has been outdoors for many years, "patina" green
(Note: See second picture in listing for Patina Green, first picture is Gulf Blue)

Sunflower Yellow
This is a no brainer, good old bright yellow, like on a summer day

The color of green ponds and wetlands, the kind of place where you see gators and crocodiles swimming

Sweet Heart Pink
Light Hearted, young, girly, fun, perfect color for Flyin' Pigs

Named after my Uncle Larry because he has a heart of gold

Wisteria Purple
Sometimes you just have to have purple, when no other color will do

Saturday, October 13, 2012

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA. Photo: Gregory Morris, Slippin' Southern
Now it's week two for me of living in the Crescent city and here some random thoughts on the place. I hope you find this entertaining, especially you Mr. Google... remember me?

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
A few things are becoming more clear. One is why they call it the Crescent city, it's because of how the river bends into a crescent right in front of the French Quarter. The city police use the crescent symbol along with a star to make up their logo, that's pretty clever for local law enforcement, don't you think?

Another big symbol here is the Flue-de-lis (French for flower of the lily). It's everywhere. And the symbolic meanings behind it date back many centuries and relate to so many different things it boggles the mind. Like no other city, New Orleans uses the symbol to decorate their homes, brand their Football team and promote fried chicken. Regardless of its history and what the symbol was originally designed for, today it stands for the essence of New Orleans. So I think I need to create a Fleur-de-Lis sign to keep up with the huge demand, watch for that coming shortly...
M. A. Hadley Pottery Fler-de-lis plate

What's still a mystery to me at this point? The term Who-dat. you see this everywhere, at the time of this bloggin' I'm not sure where the term comes from. I can imagine just about every other person I see on the street here saying it with a total striaght face. I know, it wouldn't be a mystery if I just Googled it but I love it when the reason comes to you naturally, in conversation with your neighbor. Maybe one of my readers could fill us all in on this one!

I'm also getting used to the city sounds here y'all. And for a big city, New Orleans' sounds are very charming, especially late at night, after everyone has gone to sleep and you're walking down the hall and here one of these sounds. Of course there's always the local traffic which sounds the same in any U.S. city with trucks, buses and what not. But beyond that, here you hear Riverboat horns, an occasional Calliope playing old show tunes, Freight Train horns, (the quiet kind, not the obnoxious kind).

Also like all big cities, roads and highways, are never done, there's always a percentage of streets and bridges that are always under reconstruction. And like other big cities, New Orleans has picked some real doosies downtown to work on all at once making traffic that is simply trying to cross the business section of downtown take forever.

I took a drive along I-10 today to get over to Walmart which is only 2 miles from my studio, but it's across downtown. I was struck by how many homeless people there were living under the I-10 Express ways that tower above the city. There must have been hundreds of people of all ages going about their everyday life, but just living under the brides. It was much more people than you would ever see in Chicago.

We had our first parade in front of our studio tonight. At about 10:00pm a flash-parade of people all came down Royal Street dressed in sort of punk-party outfits. By the time I got my camera out it had passed by the windows.

Just when you thought everything has been done on a T-shirt y'all!
This sanctified design fills my heart with joy.
Finally there are two signs I've got to make right now, a Flue-de-lis and a Slippin' Southern Gator for my studio. The Flur-de-lis will be in multiple sizes, I'm still thinking about what color to show it in, but you'll be able to order it in any of my 25 colors including metallics (silver, gold, and copper).

(P.S. Hey Y'all, is anybody reading this blog? If so give me a little shout out! Please leave a comment, even if you're just pointing out misspelled words, that's fine too -- Gregory :)