I’m A Gangster Wrapper

There are a few things we go ALL out for in Louisiana; anything for family, hunting season, Mardi Gras season and football!  This year, when I was trying to come up with a concept for my ‘costume’ for my Alexandria Mardi Gras Krewe ball, Krewe of the Gratiae, I was stumped!!  Our theme was “Louisiana Gratiae Night” (Louisiana Saturday Night), and there were SO many options that I was pretty overwhelmed. Swamp Princess, Voo Doo, Saints Players, Camo…..the possibilities were endless. Each ‘goddess’ dresses in costume to coordinate with our theme. Then it hit me like a DJ Chark catching a 45 yard reception from Etling. Where is best place to be on a Louisiana Saturday night….TIGER STADIUM!!!?? Now, how the heck was I going to make that happen? And not have it look like a hurricane passed through it.

This is where the Gangster part comes in AND when you realize that you have ride or die friends. One of my Bff’s was at the house, and I believe my exact words were “I need your help with my ball costume. I will need to wrap you in plastic and paint you for a few hours.” Her response, after a giggle was, “Will there be champagne?”  My husband, who was walking thru the kitchen as this convo was going on, made a 180 and proceeded to tell us he would be working from home that day. He was not going to miss this entertainment!! And entertaining it was! I ordered all of the necessary items. Of course it had to be one of the coldest days of the year, in the teens….so the “wrap session” had to happen fast and in front of the fire. (The wrap was to keep the paint off her clothes. We are BFF’s, but I was not going to ask her to get naked for me in my kitchen)

IMG_1444On went the GREEN suit…and onto the counter Kristie went. Of course, I had a blanket and pillow for her. It was going to be a long afternoon and I’m no barbarian. Oh, and champagne as promised! As you can see, the counter/kitchen area is covered with FULL Mardi Gras prep items. Not to mention we are on day 2 of snow days. After a 3 day weekend…so we are having some cabin fever! #JesusTakeTheWheelAndPassTheBubbly #evenTheDogsAreLoosingIt


The painting begins! FYI, a steady hand is hard to have when you have to stop to; 1-giggle, 2-feed your model champagne thru a straw because they can’t bend, 3-give her phone for Facetime with her 3 kiddos who have cabin fever as well. I’m very thankful she didn’t have Mexican food the night before….or it could have been extremely unpleasant for me at about the 25 yd. line going towards the south end zone. Kristie said she felt like one of those people they lay the sushi out on. 🙂

IMG_0903Lot’s of drying and standing by the fire while I painted the backside. Incase what you are wondering what a good friend looks like….they look like this….

IMG_0908.jpgThe field isn’t complete without the 50 yd line ‘EYE”!


Moving on to the “Collar”. I had the collar frame made for the ball a few years ago when I had to participate in the skit as the ‘goddess of wind’. Off came the wind and lights and on went the painted foam. I even printed out photos of a scoreboard and sponsor signs to glue onto scoreboard & found some flag tooth pics to push in around the top of the end zone bowl.

The ‘outside’ of the stadium was painted and then glittered so it had some ‘jazz’. I mean, it is Mardi Gras. This was in the process before the edges were finished. You can still see the wire frame and the 1/3 inch foam.

THEN THE FACE…DAY OF BALL. I found a photo on the internet I liked and got my paints ready. I used regular acrylic paint. Here is step one…and my OH SO funny child’s text response when he asked what I was doing. I guess I did look like Santa….or a tired clown. At this point, we had been decorating the ballroom for 2 days straight and back at it that day since early that morning with final details. #NotSanta #NoPresentsForMatthew #lookLikeATiredClown

IMG_0932After 2 hours of painting, and a few mimosas, it morphed into this…..almost done.

IMG_0933And the WIG, topped it of.

IMG_0950Just waited for my table mate & friend Kelli G to help zip me into the body suit/aka TIGER FIELD….and we were ready to walk down to the ball. #ThankGoodnessForGoodUndergarmets #ThankGoodnessForFriends

This was the finished product…Tiger Stadium! And what is Tiger Stadium without a cheerleader and a Golden Girl! Not sure, but at times we worked without a Coach…ha! Bad joke, but true!


The hubby, King Gratiae XIX, and I. Oh, and friends kept coming up to me apologizing for not recognizing me earlier in the night! LOL


And my other most FAV costume…a CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE!!!!!

IMG_1007.JPGThe ball was a BLAST and the 20th King Gratiae was crowned!!!!! And this is what Kristie looks like without plastic wrap!!!!!! This is why we call her Hot Fresh!


Someone asked me…”Why do you y’all go all out for costumes & decorations?”.  Here is why…. It’s Mardi Gras. And if you are invited to our ball you are our guests and we want you to have the most WONDERFUL time possible. We let the good times roll and no detail goes untouched. Some goddess wear gowns, and that is ok. Some spend weeks, even months planning and working on their costumes and that is ok too. We ALL love our krewe and LOVE Mardi Gras.  This year, I learned that I have some mad Gangster Wrapping skills and not to shabby Tiger painting skills. Now, do I want to freehand paint myself as a tiger again anytime soon? NO. But, I sure am glad I did because it lit up the faces of SO many guests this past Louisiana Saturday Night. #NotSanta #OrATiredClown #PastCaptainClub

Our current Captain, Annette and I before the ball started. Being Captain is a tough and sometimes thankless job, but you rocked it sister! Great job! Enjoy the rest of your year and then exhale! #DidntPlanToMatchWigs 🙂


Thanks to my husband for putting up with the dining room, and kitchen, and pretty much the entire house being covered in glitter for about 2 months now….and will probably be covered in glitter until Ash Wednesday. And thanks for letting me wrap you in plastic, Kristie! You da best! #TheThingsYourFriendsLetYouDo

Happy Mardi Gras season everyone! Eat King Cake and Drink Champagne!










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