My Parable of the Houseplant


I’ve been so damn prolific this year and this is all I manage to post. Burning Man is over but the cleaning isn’t, and I’ve spent most of the day in bed. Story time!

In March I completely rearranged the New Orleans apartment, and part of that redecoration was getting a plant for the bathroom. Something leafy to fill the corner behind the toilet and give the grime some jungle charm, and I got a plucky offshoot from a neighbor’s garden.

houseplant-windowI painted a pot and stand gold, I draped pink Mardi Gras beads on my plant, and got a ping of satisfaction every time I walked past my bathroom.

After a few weeks, the lengthening stalks told me the plant wasn’t getting enough light, so I moved it from its gold stand in the corner to the shelf in front of the window. It was still leggy, but it seemed to be adjusting. Over a few months I watched my plant grow thin and start to yellow. A larger pot helped but didn’t address the real problem.

houseplant-insideOne day I looked into the bathroom to admire my plant, and instead of satisfaction I had a reality check.

My desire to keep that plant in my bathroom was killing the plant and filling me with guilt. That plant’s need for sunlight had nothing to do with my desire for a plant that would thrive in my bathroom. I had to let go of how I wanted things to be and accept reality.

I immediately moved the plant outside, laughed at my foolishness, and have loved seeing the plant thrive on my back deck. It’s been an excellent object lesson in acceptance of myself and others.

houseplant-daytimeI’m looking forward to choosing an appropriate plant for the bathroom when I go back, and having a glass of sake with this creole queen.

houseplant-at-nightHow’s that for turning 30 tao reflection? I’ll mike drop on my favorite Gandhi quote.




My latest painting project at Regeneration Springs is also my biggest. The deck surface is 16’ square, although there is a large hole in the center which cuts down on surface area.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by Julianne
This cold tub was built behind the massage studio, as a relaxing alternative to the swimming pool. All of the water comes from a well, and is wonderful to drink and bathe in. I stood in the pool to paint, though occasionally I climbed out and sat on a dry section of deck, or stood on the ground around the platform. I’d been concerned about my posture, but this variety of positions allowed me to adjust and be comfortable (so long as I worked in the shade).

My client supplied the themes of each panel and some references, while I designed the imagery and the aesthetics followed my previous work at the site. The core of the design is the Toaist bagua, supplemented by Native American and local symbolism, as well as centrality of the navel. It was a very peaceful project to work on!

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneFire, heart, purpose: The flames catalyze angular lines into sinuous smoke. The water in the background is the lower drainage pond.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneInner earth, stomach, sense of self: There are many layers between the core and the outward self, but they can be connected.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneMetal / lake, lung, emotion: The smoke plumes are deep sea vents that release minerals into the ocean, the jellyfish abides.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneHeaven / metal, maturity, presence, security. The step up to the deck is behind and below the sun. This deep blue/violet represents cosmic life energy in my work (it’s the first color I ever ‘hallucinated’ and Oliver Sacks backs me up, though I’m not full indigo here).

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneWater, kidney, instinct, endurance and transformation. The water’s flow and fluidity is the red lines. This pipe normally has a stronger flow of water but was turned to a trickle during the work.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneEarth, support, change: The arms protect and nurture the circle’s transformation, like an egg floating in the uterine universe.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneWood / thunder, nervous system, elder tree: The hollow core of the elder tree allows the energy of the lightning and dendrites to move inward and outward.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by JulianneWind, liver, problem solving: The red neuron blossoms into an elder flower, the leaves are ideas that are shared in the wind.

Transformation is a constant theme in every panel. The lines change and evolve, but are still connected to their origins and are always beautiful, so long as you can accept the change.

I took these panoramas from the center of the pool.

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by Julianne

Regeneration Springs deck painting, made by Julianne

And some in-progress shots!

work in progress, made by Juliannework in progress, made by Julianne

work in progress, made by Julianne

work in progress, made by Julianne

work in progress, made by Julianne work in progress, made by Julianne work in progress, made by Julianne  work in progress, made by Juliannework in progress, made by Julianne






I’ve never had a clear answer to the get-to-know-you question ‘what’s your favorite holiday?’ until now. It’s so obviously Mardi Gras! I grew up with the Mardi Gras, I know how to hang at a parade, I’ve made bead crafts my whole life, I tramp around the Quarter with friends on St Anne’s, and I thought I knew what it was about.

In true Mardi Gras voodoo fashion, I was called. A friend connected me to his Krewe, Jason and I quickly re-arranged our travel plans, and our local network helped us make it happen. The world is what I make, and making costumes for one of my favorite parades felt like destiny.

AND THEN Jason and I were asked to be guardians! We would wear our official tee shirts and act as support as our drunken Krewe careened for miles through the French Quarter. My job was to be a buffer between the marchers and our jazz band, so I got to hear the great music and laugh with the Krewe all night. And of course, offer some 5 star level costume support.

95c461148d_DSC5868What a group! Krewe du LEWD is a sub-krewe of Krewe du Vieux, which celebrated its 30th XXX anniversary as I celebrated my initiation.

505d389c25_DSC5850A group of volunteers built the float and Blanche the mule pulled it through the Quarter. Such glory!


You can see me on the bottom right, furiously hot gluing as we prepare to roll. Costume designer gets it done! I’ve never worked so close to my deadline before, even with Burning Man; I’ve never asked for help before, and I look back at the whole project with pride, relief, and gratitude.



e9b5925bd2_DSC5757These two troublemakers are a Mardi Gras Isis and CaliguNOLA himself (and two of my favorite LEWDists)!

c1251cc93e_DSC5974Miss Pink Mess above is the Spirit of Roman Candy (basically a taffy stick sold in Audubon Zoo).0585b9ce7d_DSC5884 The Senator! He requested a two-piece toga, which is basically a toga shirt worn over a toga skirt. The toga layer is worn over his gold long-sleeve and pants (worn over thermals).7a96925a83_DSC5896

e51e050a93_DSC5726I made his costume too: tunic, toga wrap, and wreath. The wrap is lined for comfort, so he can wear it for Red Dress Run and not worry about sparkly chafing!

7ce8c1aed1_DSC6043Thank you to Gus from Where Y’at for the great photos!

If you’re still suffering with post-Mardi Gras post-Lent blues, check out this great video my husband made of our night.

Mardi Gras / Krewe de Lewd 2016 / Krewe de Vieux XXX from Jason Siadek on Vimeo.


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