Everything in life is art!
  • Dental Art and Your Practice
    (A two-part series on “Dental Associates and Your Practice”)   After thirteen years in private practice and a trainer/consultant for about as long, I have learned one hardbound rule: there is definitely a right and wrong way to go about adding a dental associate to a practice. As a consultant, I frequently answer questions from […]
  • Where can you find Boudin outside of Louisiana?
    Where can you find Boudin outside of Louisiana?  There are several online Cajun stores that you can order from, but the product is frozen and shipped on dry ice.  The Boudin can’t be fresh in my opinion.  Fresh Boudin, there is nothing like it in the world.  You can purchase it fresh on almost every […]
  • Pots and Pans
    There is no one more serious about pots and pans than a gourmet chef.   Pots and pans? My husband has been a gourmet chef all of his 70 plus years.  He is retired now and still cooks each and every day like a professional.  The presentations are nice, sometimes too nice for my waist […]
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New Orleans Artists Calendar
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New Orleans Artists – A Mecca of Artists

LGDFleurFenceKatrinaDoor

LGDFleurFenceKatrinaDoor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Orleans is certainly a mecca of artists. The artists, the culture, antiques and admitted freaks.  New Orleans is a favorite city for many.

I remember when I started this blog.  It was a favorite for sure. I’ve always loved New Orleans.  I’ve never lived there but I’ve lived close.  My husband is from Lafayette a mere alligators leap away.

One walk down any street in the French Quarter or a ride through the charming Garden District helps you see the city is filled with history.

If you’re a New Orleans artist you can be listed on this site at no cost.  Send us  your web-site and business address and contact details and we will write an article for you for free and post it on this site.  Please contact me at kathrynsias@zoho.com  to let me know if you would like a listing.

New Orleans Artists – A Mecca of Artists indeed!

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New Orleans Artists Blog

Portrait of a beautiful blond in the studio lo...
New Orleans Square Station

New Orleans Square Station (Photo credit: andy castro)

 

Join in our New Orleans Artist Blog and tell us all about yourself. Do you love New Orleans art like we do? Tell us exactly what you love about New Orleans and the artists that you’ve met there.

In fact, Louisiana is more than just New Orleans.  Once you see the art, culture, places to stay, things to do, and the food in Louisiana, you'll be just like we are, and return ever day to post your thoughts.  Welcome, to our New Orleans Artists blog. We hope to hear from each and every one of you.

Please help make this blog your own.  We get a fair amount of traffic and growing all the time. We’ve been online for years but off and on again active.  We are active again, very!

Please remember we do not approve spam comments or comments that promote other sites unless first approved.  Comments should be concerning the page topic or they will not be approved.  If you see a link on these pages it’s because they are links we promote because we want to, not because we were asked to.  We seek quality commenting and posts.

Let art imitate life, and your life imitate your art. Enloy!

English: Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter Français : Le trompetiste et chanteur de jazz Louis Armstrong. Türkçe: 20. yüzyılın en önemli müzisyenlerinden Louis Armstrong trompet çalarken (1953). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Dental Art and Your Practice

portrait of a dentist and patient

portrait of a dentist and patient (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

(A two-part series on “Dental Associates and Your Practice”)

 

After thirteen years in private practice and a trainer/consultant for about as long, I have learned one hardbound rule: there is definitely a right and wrong way to go about adding a dental associate to a practice. As a consultant, I frequently answer questions from Dentists believe they need a dental associate in their office immediately or are thinking about adding one in the future.

 

Here are some of the key factors to consider when looking at adding a dental associate:

 

1. When should you get an associate?
2. How would you structure compensation?
3. What’s the best way to find one?
4. What are the important points to cover when interviewing?
5. How will you integrate them into your practice?

Let’s start with number 1: “When should you get an associate?”

 

Not only is this probably the most important question, it is also where I see Dentist making the most errors. Let’s say you are doing moderately well, still have some openings in your schedule and get about 10 new patients per month. You decide to expand your hours and bring in an associate to become more productive. The reasoning seems sound – you are adding more hours and providing more treatment opportunities for your patients – but this rarely works. New patients don’t magically show up, the associate is unproductive and unhappy. You either a) let him or her move on or b) start moving work from your schedule to make the associate busier/happier. The net result is less profit and a problem, i.e “how do I keep my associate busy?”

 

In this scenario the office was in no position to justify adding an associate. As such, this begs the question: How do I know when the “right time” is? To answer this question, ask yourself the following:
a) Is your practice growing (or has it grown up to now and you just seem to have “maxxed out”)?
b) Are you scheduled efficiently?
c) Is your business profitable?
d) Is your schedule relatively full?

 

If you answered “Yes” to all of the above, now is probably a good time to add an associate.

 

I’ll give you this scenario: Your practice has rapidly (or steadily) expanded up to a point where you can’t take in more patients than you currently are. You are operating efficiently and the office is profitable. You just can’t see more people and things start to book out a couple of weeks in advance. Now is the time to add that associate to serve three purposes:

 

1) To provide faster and more efficient service to your patients,
2) To lighten your schedule so you can focus on the type of work you want to do and
3) To increase practice productivity.

 

If my practice was in the above situation, I would look at adding an associate – perhaps one to two days a week to start and roll from there.

 

From a practical standpoint, I would also look at how many charts I had. In my experience 1,000 charts, if handled efficiently, can potentially keep a doctor and hygienist productive. Also, maintaining a ratio of one doctor to one hygienist seems to work best. If you are already have two full time hygienists (who are booked), chances are you need an associate now. However, you also need to consider the other points above.

 

Business survival is inexorably connected to expansion. If the office is well-run (which would mean that it was expanding at least a little bit), there would come a time when you couldn’t produce any more yourself and would need an associate. The level of production that will require an associate will be based on your style of practice, fees, type of dentistry you do, etc.

 

At MGE (http://www.mgeonline.com) we suggest you get an associate when there is more work than you personally can handle and patients are being pushed out on the schedule too far.. How long is too long for them to wait? Although this is ultimately your decision, it shouldn’t be more than a couple of weeks. Too long of a wait is just not good service!
One of the questions asked above when deciding whether or not you should add an associate, asked about expansion. How much expansion do you need? To start, are you even getting enough new patients to support yourself? How many should you be getting? This depends in a large part on how you practice, but I’ll give you a basic formula to use:

 

a. Take your total number of active charts
b. Multiply this by 20%
c. Divide “b” by 12 (months in a year)
d. The figure from “c” above gives you the minimum number of new patients you should be getting on a monthly basis to maintain your practice’s health. Note that this is just to keep you going. You would definitely need to exceed this number to add an associate.

 

Example: Dr. Smith has 1200 active charts. 20% of this is 240. 240 divided by 12 is 20. To maintain a healthy practice, Dr. Smith should be getting at least 20 new patients each month.

 

Keep in mind this formula assumes a couple of conditions exist:
a) The new patients are fee-for-service.
b) The doctor has an acceptable skill level when it comes to treatment presentation and acceptance (which is reflected in production and collections).

 

If you want an associate, I would recommend that you far exceed this 20% factor. This is where the “MGE New Patient Workshop” (http://www.mgeonline.com) comes in handy – whether you want an associate or not. If you want more fee-for-service new patients to keep your practice healthy, to expand or to make it possible to add an associate the “New Patient Workshop” is the solution.

 

 

 

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Where can you find Boudin outside of Louisiana?

Boudin Blanc, confit potato AUD36 - Bistro Gui...

Boudin Blanc, confit potato AUD36 – Bistro Guillaume (Photo credit: avlxyz)

Where can you find Boudin outside of Louisiana?  There are several online Cajun stores that you can order from, but the product is frozen and shipped on dry ice.  The Boudin can’t be fresh in my opinion.  Fresh Boudin, there is nothing like it in the world.  You can purchase it fresh on almost every street corner in Lafayette Louisiana. I know that Lafayette, where my husband was born is known for its fresh Boudin and cracklings, better known as ‘cracklins’ where the cook takes end pieces of the pork (where the fat meets the meat) and carefully slices so that the small chunk has a bit of meat and a bit of fat.  Its then deep fried and seasoned with special Cajun seasonings from mind to the very hot.

Boudin is a casing stuffed with a rice mixture, seasonings, onions particularly and any type of meat you can think of from alligator, crawfish, shrimp, pork, chicken.  You name it, if its a meat you can bet that its been cooked with the Boudin mixture of rice.  I love Boudin. We’ve driven as much as 1000 miles to get some.  When we’re in St. Louis we’re always ordering it fresh from our favorite Lafayette meat house.  They freeze the links as soon as they are cooked, then as soon as they’re frozen solid they ship on dry ice.  Its awesome because its still very fresh.

The Boudin links look like sausage links but rather than wholly meat it’s a stuffing mixture of rice and the seasonings that generally go into Boudin; however, you can make your own recipe. Cajun / Creole they all have their own special methods of making this delectable local dish.

 

English: Photograph of Boudin sausage balls; a...

English: Photograph of Boudin sausage balls; a Cajun variation on Boudin blanc. The sausage is made of pork and rice, then instead of being packed into casings, its rolled into a ball, battered, and deep fried. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Pots and Pans

cooking essentials

Cooking is a certain art!

There is no one more serious about pots and pans than a gourmet chef.  

Pots and pans? My husband has been a gourmet chef all of his 70 plus years.  He is retired now and still cooks each and every day like a professional.  The presentations are nice, sometimes too nice for my waist line.  The pots and pans that he uses are very specific.  Every chef has their own cookware essentials.  My husband loves steam table pans.  He cooks directly in them in the oven and is able to use them for presentation as well.  While he carefully slices the Cajun seasoned pork shoulder, he lays it out oh so nice.

English: Cast iron skillet cornbread with baco...

English: Cast iron skillet cornbread with bacon, jalapeno and onion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He does the same thing with his cast iron skillet.  A pan my husband cannot live without is a cast iron, a very large cast iron skillet.  He loves corn bread.  After he bakes the corn bread he is able to present it while still in the skillet.  Not only does that save time cleaning up after a meal, it looks great just where it is.  Why move cornbread to a platter when the cast iron skillet is  a rustic cooking essential that can be used to cook or to present just about anything?

Pots and pans?  We have so many pots and pans that I can no longer count them.  We purchase a lot of our pots and pans and other cooking essentials online through various sources.  I will list some links within this article to direct you to some of what we found to be the best cooking essentials / supplies / pots and pans on the market.

I love writing for this New Orleans Artists blog.  My heart is in New Orleans.  My husband was born in Lafayette just a hop, skip and a jump from there.  His first cooking experiences were in some of the finest restaurants in New Orleans.  Cooking is an art indeed which is why it will always be a hosted section on this artists blog.  If you have any recipes you would love to share, particularly Southern / Soul / Cajun / Creole then bring it on.   I’ll not only post your recipe to this site I will allow you one link back to your own blog so we can continue to share the love of fine art and fine cooking.

Here is a site for all of those out there who are serious about their pots and pans:  http://www.cookwareessentials.net/

 

 

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Keeping a Water Bottle Handy With Ribbon

My water bottle

My water bottle (Photo credit: JeremyMcWilliams)

Keeping a Water Bottle Handy With Ribbon

This summer is supposed to be a hot one! You need to be doing everything you can to stay hydrated and cool. It is recommended that you keep a water bottle with you at all times, but that can be difficult when you are constantly changing purses and making trips to the pool or beach. A great solution is a water bottle carrier. You can wear it or just throw it over your shoulder, never worrying about dehydration again!

For this craft, I would recommend fitting the measurements to an ordinary disposable water bottle. If there is a particular brand that you drink, go ahead a buy a bottle so you have the right measurements. At the fabric store, you will want to pick up a spool of 1” wide grosgrain ribbon , and some cording. You can choose any color of ribbon you want, just make sure have about 4’ to 5’ to use for this project. You will want to cut the ribbon into about a 45” strip. Depending on how far you want this water bottle carrier to hang, you may want to add a few inches to that strip. Whichever length you choose, fold both ends in half widthwise. Cut the cording into a strip of about 6”.  Fold the cording in half and tie a slip know towards the loop end. With the ends, tie a regular knot. Place the regular knot inside the crease of the ribbon, with the slip knot outside of the ribbon. Take the other end of the ribbon and sandwich the cording between the two. Sew the ribbons together with the cording in-between them, and stitch back and forth to secure the cording inside of the ribbon. The cording slip knot should still be exposed so you can attach it under the lip of any size of disposable water bottle.

Now you can be on-the-go and have water by your side at all times. This is a great craft idea before any hiking or camping adventure you have planned for the summer, so try it out! With how easy this is, and with how sizzling this summer is going to be, you will want to keep your water bottle handy with this ribbon craft!

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How to Make Ribbon Flowers

Ribbonwork Rose With Bud

Ribbonwork Rose With Bud (Photo credit: lambsandivydesigns.com)

How to Make Ribbon Flowers

If you need to accent a ribbon wreath, a headband, or even a cake, flowers are definitely a popular option. But real flowers can me messy and hard to work with; not to mention, they die so quickly! Fake flower are a little better of an option, but they fall apart so easily, and it is hard to find just the right size and color. If you want the beauty of a real flower combined with durability and lots of color options, then you need to learn how to make ribbon flowers!

First, you will need to choose the type of ribbon you want to use. Chevron ribbon is a popular option since it has such a cute design with just two colors – that makes it easy to coordinate. Buy a few different spools of different sizes and coordinating colors. Cut the wider-sized ribbon into 5” strips or so, and stack about 5 strips on top of each other. Thread a need with some thread that matches, and poke it through the stack of ribbon. Don’t pull the needle through the stack just yet. Spread the strips out and separate them into a star shape. Fold each end of the ribbon into the center over the needle’s tip. Repeat this step for each strip until you have a flower form. Pull the needle and thread all of the way through, and reinforce that stich with several more, looping back through a few more times. Now that you have the larger first layer complete, cut the skinnier width of ribbon into 5 strips of about 4”. Follow the previous steps and form into another flower form. Secure the smaller layer to the larger one with just a quick dab of hot glue. If you want to finish it off and give the flower a creative touch, you could hot glue a button to the center.

You can use these ribbon flowers on just about anything, so I would recommend making several at a time of different colors. That way, when you have a craft that needs just a little something extra, you will be ready and have something on hand.  If you don’t can’t find the ribbon you are looking for, or you don’t have a fabric store close by, check out The Ribbon Retreat’s selection and international shipping options.

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Elastic and Jewelry

Constructed beads

Constructed beads (Photo credit: scrappy annie)

Elastic and Jewelry

You sure have come a long way from make those “BFF” bracelets and charm necklaces, but one thing that has stood the test of time is elastic! No, no, I’m not talking about wrinkles, I’m talking about jewelry. Elastic is being used to make elegant jewelry, and it is turning into quite the trend! And for good reason too, because elastic is durable. No more replacing the bracelet ties or asking you husband to come pin the clasp- elastic offers convenience without sacrificing cuteness!

First things first, ladies. Go to your local bead shop or craft store and find the beads and designs you love. I would definitely recommend picking up some large fashion pearl beads if you don’t already have a pearl bracelet. Then, purchase a spool of 1/4″ colored elastic (I would recommend a darker color to offset the color of the pearls, such as navy blue or black) and some clear elastic jewelry cord. Start by threading the clear jewelry cord thru a needle as this will make this project much easier. Poke the needle through the elastic, the back again on the other side about 3-4 centimeters away from the insertion point. Then sting a pearl onto it. Repeat these steps until you have a completed pearl bracelet, with that darker accent in between each pearl. If you want to really dress this up, you could buy some ribbon that coordinates with the elastic, and finish the bracelet off with a simple and stylish bow.

With your other beads and clear elastic, make some more bracelets. If you like the look of having multiple bracelets on at a time, I would recommend tying multiple elastic bracelets together with small pieces of clear elastic, or even just with a ribbon bow. If you are going to be tying multiple together, you can make sure that it all matches by comparing your colors to a color swatch from the bead or fabric store. Happy beading!

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Craft Stores: Local vs. Corporate


homoerotic folk art
homoerotic folk art (Photo credit: reegmo)

So it’s time to start the next big project, but you aren’t sure where to go! Should you head over to the corporate craft store? Or maybe see what the local store has to offer. Whether you know exactly what you need, or maybe you just want to get some inspiration, let’s find out which store is right for you.

Inventory and Availability

We may be all grown up, but craft stores sure have a “kid-in-a-candy-store” effect on us! There is just something about walking into a store that shows you all of the options and ways for you to complete your project. One of the main differences between your local and corporate craft stores is what is available or what they specialize in. For example, you wouldn’t want to go to a scrapbooking craft store if you were trying to create your own bird house. Corporate stores tend to have it all, but they don’t always offer the largest selection in particular items. Sure, you can always have them search and see if they can ship what you need from another location, but sometimes it just “is what it is.” Local stores, depending on their specialty, can have more varieties available for exactly what you are looking for. Since they are local, usually anything and everything they carry is right there and in-house.

Knowledge and Experience

Now there is nothing wrong with “working for the weekend,” but that is the kind of attitude you may find at a corporate craft store. Their employees should be able to point you in the right direction as to where to find the ribbons you are looking for, but they might not be able to tell you the color difference between maroon, burgundy, and wine grosgrain ribbon. Corporate stores may not have diehard crafters, but local stores sure do. Usually, local stores are family-owned and operated which means when you walk into their store, the chances are that you will speak with someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about what they do.

The next time you find yourself wondering which way to turn in terms of you craft and supply stores, just ask yourself, “Do I know exactly what I need? Do I know if that store has it? Would I know where to find it or would I need help?” If you are still unsure, I would recommend starting out at the local store. If they don’t have what you are looking for, then just wander on over to the corporate store to see if they have what you need.

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Artists Enjoy Personalized Wristbands

notvote4bush

notvote4bush (Photo credit: feeb)

New Orleans artists seem to enjoy personalized wristbands.  At least the group of artists I just met!

During my morning walk down St. Marie Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans I ran into a group of artists.  Of course I was seeking out artists.  I love New Orleans.

On my way to my favorite cafe during my morning jolt outdoors I said hello to a male passerby. He stopped and laughed, teasing his friend, asking me to compare personalized wristbands.  It seems he’s never met a stranger.

It also seems the group of artists who were interrupting my morning walk  were a part of a nice-size New Orleans art club,  This group of artists was hosting a personalized wristband original design contest.  How interesting..  I had never thought of personalized wristbands as being art.   “What is art?  Is it everything pleasing to the eye!  What is art to you is different than for me!”  Art is so subjective.

Tony was right. That was the passersby name., Tony.

Checkered Rubber Wristband

Checkered Rubber Wristband (Photo credit: Kyota)

Tony had a black and white design that had engraved on it “In the midst of darkness I shall find light”. The words wrapped around the silicon wristlet and struck my eye.  His friends wristband was cool too. The color he chose was a bright blue with black and white print.  In black print the engraving said, “With Whom” and in white engraving next to the black were the words, “To Trust”.  Each wrist band was very unique.  The wristbands were truly a work of art.

Português: Braceletes Godstrong e Make Poverty...

Português: Braceletes Godstrong e Make Poverty History. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Art Galleries In New Orleans

If you’re looking for the best art galleries in New Orleans, keep in mind they are plentiful. New Orleans is known for it’s “art”, and art galleries are at the top of that list.

Art Galleries in New Orleans

A.G. Wagner Studio & Gallery
813 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70116 [Map It]
(504) 561-7440
www.agwagner.com

1022 Gallery
1022 Lowerline St., New Orleans, LA 70115 [Map It]
(504) 301-0679
www.1022gallery.com

A Gallery for Fine Photography
241 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130 [Map It]
(504) 568-1313
www.agallery.com

Art For The Soul

818 Howard Ave. , Ste. 101, New Orleans, LA 70113 [Map It]
(504) 558-7770
www.artforthesoulgallery.com

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