Notes From A Cajun Wedding Thursday, Jan 13 2011 

New Orleans is a favorite spot for weddings. Tradition has it South Louisiana could really put on a celebration for a wedding out doing even Mardi Gras.

Harnett T. Kane, a New Orleans journalist and author of, “The Bayous of Louisiana”, published in 1943 by Bonanza Books of New York,  wrote, “The more I saw of this place and people, (Louisiana)  the more I came to appreciate them.”

Mr. Kane once attended a Louisiana wedding and found: “Only one other South Louisiana institution can match the Mardi Gras in its semiregulated horseplay, and that is the French-style charivari.”

Kane said he was once surprisingly invited while visiting in Cajun Country to a charivari. A hurried man knocked at his door and asked if he wanted to see a charivari. On the way Kane was told that an old businessman after his first wife passed away married a young girl, and had returned with her from a private wedding in New Orleans. As usual a charivari developed spontaneously by men in the community. Kane said they stopped in a crowd on the road a short distance from the couple’s home. A loud procession went to the couple’s house but the noise grew louder upon reaching the home. For about 2 hours, the charivari noise went on out side the house. The rules were the group had to be invited in, the noise would go on until the invitation was given.

One man knocked the door of the old businessman’s home. After several discussions the husband came out. He knew the rules; there would be no end to it until the bride as well as the groom joined in the charivari. Reluctantly the husband fetched the bride.

They were urged to kiss and the husband then asked the question expected by the crowd. “Quoi vous voulez, mes bons hommes?” (What do you want, gentlemen?) The leaders of the charivari group, told him they wanted wine, beer, cake, sausage, cheese and whatever available, and they’d even wait for him to go get more food. “Entrez!” called the leaders. Thus the charivari begins. For the next hour music played, food was eaten and toasts made. “Que le Dieu benit les maries!” (May God bless the married ones.) “Que le Dieu benit les noces!” (May God bless the nuptials.) Eventually charivari ended and the couple left in peace. Only one celebration per marriage is allowed but for a Cajun any reason is good enough for an another party.

For further reading on Louisiana Cajun Customs of marriage and the actual marriage celebration see: Pouponne et Balthazar: Nouvelle Acadienne by Mme. Sidonie de la Houssaye; Librairie de l�Opion, Nouvelle-Orleans: 1888 a retelling of the “Evageline” story by a Louisiana Creole author of the time period. See also Cajun Country by Barry Jean Ancelet, et al. Paperback / Published 1991 ISBN: 0878054677.

Traditions are still made in many weddings in New Orleans and the local favorite Pirates Alley wedding tradition first thought to be done by a local pirate who now haunts the Alley. You can have one too, just contact Jerry Schwehm at

Buy Local Made In USA Art Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 

While Christmas shopping last year I went into several places that sell art, frames, prints, and art supplies. I spoke to several people there who were buying some art. They said the prices were good and they could use the art to decorate their home. I asked if they considered buying from an artist and they all said the prices would be too high?? I informed them about buying American art from American artists. Then about my art, made, painted, done all in America by a local guy, me. My prices went from $10 and up with framed prints at $50 and up. I also have canvas prints from $150 and up. They were surprised. I think the big stores just brain wash people into thinking the art they sell is cheap when most local artists have very reasonable prices. Unique and limited edition art that could increase in value.  I urge each of you reading this to buy local. Buy American art,  buy here in the USA and avoid those cheap prints done in China. We need to support local art. It is reasonably priced, helps the economy and local people.  See my art at the below links and help a local artist in America.

How To Save Money, Frame Your Print Yourself

After years of selling my art I have learned a few tricks to getting good looking frames at a reasonable cost. Too often clients tell me they love the inexpensive prints I sell but having them framed is expensive. I tell them, ” get the frame first.” Many art and craft stores have seasonal frame sales. Frames come in standard sizes, 8×10 and 11×14, some have mats in them too. I have been able to find 11×14 frames with a mat for as low as $15 on sale at many discount, import, and crafts stores. I also find “postcard size” collage frames 4×6 with one, two, or more places to put a 4×6 print in them. Clients can also use the greeting cards I sell 5×7 as small prints framed with a mat.

First shop for a nice frame knowing what size prints are available, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14. Be sure to know when the sale goes on and look for a frame with a mat. I also get discounted pre-framed prints and remove the store bought print and put in its place my prints. Above is a photo of an off size painting I did for my daughter, framed in a frame I found at a discount store with an existing food print at half price. The painting fits perfect into an existing frame and was $12.

Framing a print need not be costly when you keep in mind to get prints to fit a standard frame. Look for frames first, on sale, then frame your print yourself.

Water Meter Lid Fleur De Lid Jewelry from New Orleans Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 

Zazzle now has jewelry,beautiful sterling silver necklace.I’ve added a lot of my art. Sterling silver chain is 18″ with 3″ extender and lobster claw clasp. Necklace arrives in a special black felt bag. Finished with UV resistant, waterproof, glossy coating over the art. New Orleans jewelry now sold at my Zazzle shop. Stop in and see all the necklaces at

“Where Yat”, Water Meter Lid Fleur De Lid Jewelry from New Orleans #Yat #watermeter #neworleans

New Orleans Art on Ceramic Tiles Sunday, Jan 9 2011 

Pardon this somewhat vent. For ten years I have placed my New Orleans art on 4×4 ceramic tiles. Originally a friend asked about doing so as they felt the tiles were better display pieces then framed prints. The idea being they are more durable and cost effective. The paintings too could be made into murals. I began then to put my paintings on ceramic tiles and making specific designs for tiles. I used local images, local phrases, and experimented with things that conveyed the culture and history of New Orleans. The fleur de lis, the water meter cover, Jackson Square, old buildings are all on my tiles. The New Orleans Blue Letter Street Tiles in every letter and on shirts too.  At the time I was only aware of one place that sold tiles  and not old New Orleans designs.  Famous closed businesses that were New Orleans favorites and Pontchartrain Beach. Things I remembered from childhood. I then began to heavily market those ceramic tiles with old New Orleans images and my art. Eventually I began to see duplicates and now feel I have given birth to an industry in New Orleans. It seems there are many people making New Orleans centered tile coasters sold all over the French Quarter, some of the designs are of the beach I made up. I made up or created images of bathers and added in the words Pontchartrain Beach. These were to express the beach I remember growing up and are not real images from history or public images. Obviously duplicated from my collection. Some with silly sayings, some with made up ads, all things I created to express the images of my home town from times past. Those that were downloaded from my collection I was able to stop but those just duplicated by others not direct copies, I could not. Thus I realized I should be excited my creativity gave birth to an industry here in New Orleans. Local images on 4×4 ceramic tiles. I from time to time visit the other places tiles are now sold and always get amazed at their collection as it seems to duplicate mine.

The black cat I use in many places in New Orleans, at Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest appears in others. The more interesting one is the watermelon. I did several including the Loteria Card #28, La Sandia. I must have done 5 different watermelon designs and now Card #28 is appearing in others tiles?

Crawfish, Zydeco,masks, abound. But I am still making new designs every day so it maybe hard to keep up with me. As I place new designs and art in my collection I am sure others will follow. Giving birth to an industry is a good thing. Lets all go out and buy some ceramic tiles from New Orleans.


This Blog Since 2006 Saturday, Jan 8 2011 

This blog seems to be a jumble of this and that from my art studio. Just stuff with no real ability to follow. I managed to discover a somewhat list of contents I placed on the left side with a few of the more interesting posts. It does have a list by month and year but without what is there, so it is like a pig and poke to find something. If I ever learn how to use this blog I will try to get a good contents up on the left so interesting posts can be found. I’ve been working on it in spare time for years so do not expect it to appear quickly. It is a learning process.

If you stopped in to see my art here is a good link:

If you are looking for an article the list at left are the most read posts over several years. I think the search function too works so look and read at your own risk until I get a content list up.

Web Page Gadgets for Blogs Saturday, Jan 8 2011 

Although I have a limited knowledge of HTML and the web it is still a task to understand the terms and things to get images and art into my blog. I am trying to use the help provided by Zazzle to see if it works here so my Zazzle Shop at would be imported here so people can go direct to it to see some of my art.  But it seems the easy to follow instructions do not work well as below is supposed to be a little window with links to my art. So here is the page you can go direct to it with out the not working below gadget.

The above gadget was supposed to create a flash window where art appears but it failed to work. The individual gadget seems to work one print at a time. See below:

The Fleur De Lis and New Orleans Weddings Friday, Jan 7 2011 

The Fleur De Lis is a recurring theme in many New Orleans Weddings.  Both the  City of New Orleans and the beloved New Orleans Saints NFL football team use the fleur de lis as a symbol. I have noticed an increased use of the fleur de lis at many weddings in New Orleans. It shows up on invitations, on napkins, decorations, and even cakes. I am sure there is a wedding dress too with it  embroidered on and a necklace or pin attached. The fleur de lis is also a recurring them in my art and I have created many designs that can be used in invitations, cards, and more. Here is a web page with them, and some links to them below.

New Orleans Weddings

Dr. Jerry Kenneth Schwehm served as as Justice of the Peace in 1990 to 1994 in  Slidell, Louisiana and was ordained in 1989 as a Lay Minister after serving as Elder and Deacon in his church for many years. He has a BA and JD from Louisiana State University (1972) . He has performed numerous wedding ceremonies both as a Justice of the Peace and Clergyman. He is available in the Greater New Orleans area to perform your personalized marriage ceremony. He will go to your location or at his office in Fig Studio. He may be contacted at the below web page.

For more information on getting married in New Orleans see my weddings web page-