Jeweler Chris Des Jardins had only been back in Louisiana for six months when Hurricane Katrina hit. “I wanted to do something to help with the recovery,” she says. Every other jewelry maker seemed to be concentrating on using the fleur de lis, a stylized lily that is the symbol of the Kings of France and the city of New Orleans. Des Jardins found another south Louisiana plant that caught her fancy — the lotus. The fragrant water flower grows wild in the swamps. “It was perfect,” Des Jardins says. “The flower and seed pod rise high out of the muck, representing the spirit’s ability to bloom in any circumstance.” She particularly loved the Cajun name for lotus, graine à voler, “seeds that fly.” (The oval shaped seedpod shoots its seeds into the air.) “That was what I was looking for, the organic shape combined with symbol of hope,” she says.
Des Jardins casts the seed pod in silver, then fills the small holes with “seeds” of sterling silver or semi-precious stones — pearls, garnets, jade or amethyst. She makes pendants and earrings, or will string necklaces to match the seed pod’s accent stones. The design is elegant and subtle. After 30 years of studying Buddhism in Idaho, she says the lotus was the ideal representation for her, both in her move back home and in her desire to create a symbol of renewal after the storm. Des Jardins donates a percentage of the sales to Habit for Humanity to help with the rebuilding of New Orleans.
Des Jardins’ lotus jewelry can be found at Beaucoup Beads (111 Rena Drive, 991-0411) and Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery (219 E. Vermilion St., 266 7999). For more information, visit www.dejardinsjewlery.com or contact Chris Des Jardins at 254-8427.
A state district judge on Tuesday threw out a last-minute retirement hike lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent, ending a political firestorm over a pension boost passed without public scrutiny on the last day of the legislative session.
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ads promote moderation; Obama says Ebola security threat; Peterson on exempt list and more national and international news for Wednesday, September 17, 2014.
Michelle D. Lavergne, who worked for the Lafayette law office of L. Clayton Burgess for 13 years, faces up to 10 years in prison.
Sonnier, former media buyer and account exec at Sides, joins Acadian companies as marketing specialist; Maggard, who most recently worked for Potenza, joins Russo as director of media and PR.
New recreation/fitness trend taking over old Crazy Charlie’s on Ambassador Caffery Parkway.
An obvious follow-up question for any Republican politician who accuses Democrats of being science deniers is one about science, to which Jindal bobbed and weaved like a welterweight champ.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council is expected to decide tonight (Tuesday) whether to go along with a proposal City-Parish President Joey Durel made in February’s State of the Parish Address and consolidate taxes for mosquito control and the parish health units into a broader tax program that would also cover animal control.
Jeff Gremillion delivers a touching eulogy, capturing the essence of his longtime friend.
U.S. District Judge Richard Haik has dismissed Greg Davis’ lawsuit against the LPSB, yet in his ruling, the federal judge doesn’t bite his tongue in pointing out the "threat" being posed by certain board members.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Of all the political offices being contested throughout Lafayette Parish, the race for Broussard’s top police post has literally become one of the most heated.
A state district judge is deciding whether to issue an injunction against the enforcement of a last-minute retirement hike that lawmakers gave to the state police superintendent.
A new website is up for Louisiana's state government employees and retirees to choose their health insurance plans for next year, a choice they must make by October.
That fact that New Orleans led both games in the final 10 seconds of regulation, and lost each by a field goal or less, is of little solace.
The superintendent will make another go at getting a budget passed for the already commenced fiscal year as the LPSB is slated to meet tonight on the eve of the state’s budget adoption deadline.
A person familiar with the situation says New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has a broken hand.
It seeks an investigation into a $100,000 fund transfer from Vitter's federal campaign account to an independent PAC supporting Vitter's 2015 candidacy for governor.
Landrieu has acknowledged that she improperly billed her Senate office for nearly $43,000 in charter costs that should have been paid from her campaign account.
In this letter to the editor, LaPESC chairman Stephen Bartley looks to the Nov. 4 elections as Lafayette's best chance to rally around a 'Common Vision' for our public education system.
Three bedroom Rayne traditional or two bedroom cottage on the Teche
House District 45 Rep. Joel Robideaux is term-limited and running for city-parish president next year, leaving his seat up for grabs come 2015 and at least three likely contenders so far, including ...
The romper gets all dressed up
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Authorities said that a Chevron Corp. subsidiary was still releasing natural gas Sunday from a pipeline off the Louisiana coast where a Saturday incident killed a maintenance worker.
When the Browns explained their plans to Brian Hoyer about bringing rookie Johnny Manziel into the game, Cleveland's starting quarterback bit his lip and devised one of his own.
National debate over solitary confinement puts spotlight on Angola inmate’s 35 years in ‘the hole’