February 6, 2002 - "Bunny Originals"

Centuries ago Mardi Gras was very much a homespun holiday - masks and costumes coming out of the kitchen and the sewing basket. For one Tangipahoa Parish woman the tradition is still alive with an elegant twist.

With wind chimes playing their gentle music right outside her kitchen window, Cheryl Heathman with infinite patience cuts, crinkles and glues small pieces of suede. "I guess God just gives me a lot of patience," she says. Cheryl needs that patience. It takes up to 8 hours to create one of her unique Mardi Gras masks.

"About 4 years ago I found some suede," she says, "And I decided one day to see if I could make a mask with it." The result was Bunny Originals, each mask hand made, each mask signed and numbered.

"I've come up with kind of different designs for each one, trying to do something different every time. People enjoy having something that's unique, and I feel like these are pretty unique in design. I haven't seen anything like them." Give Cheryl enough time, and she can come up with a mask to match costume, tux or gown - a Mardi Gras memory that will never be duplicated.

Cheryl's masks are on sale through her web site, the link is in the upper right corner of this page. Cheryl's phone number is (985) 902-8611.