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!