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.
Louisiana Board of Ethics hopes to recover all fees paid to development consultant, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.