Fleurs for February
It is no secret that New Orleans is an inspiration for the artistic. Fleur D’Orléans owners Thomas Laird and Jann Fenner have been consistently awed by the art, architecture and heritage of the city.

Monthly, the pair introduces new products, based on treasures they’ve spotted on the streets and inside a variety of establishments. None of the products within the shop (which has locations throughout the area) are purchased from wholesalers. Laird photographs architectural details all over the city, and then he and Fenner create jewelry, crystal, silk scarves and a range of other handmade products. Laird and Fenner, who spent 30 years in Asia, made connections overseas and today they employ artists and craftspeople directly, to ensure that none of their designs are produced in ways that harm the environment.

The clients are varied, but they all have one thing in common: “They are people who love New Orleans, and love to share the heritage of the city with their friends and family,” says Laird.

This month, with Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day, the shop will feature vintage-inspired Czech glass beads (like the ones that revelers used to catch during carnivals of the 1950s), along with necklaces, earrings and bracelets that are made with semi-precious stones in Mardi Gras colors. The “Heart of Orléans” pendant is always popular, and the couple has also introduced a new handwoven fleur-de-lis silk scarf.

Information, 3701 A Magazine St., 899-5585, www.fleurdorleans.com.

Reaching out to animals
For over 120 years, the LA/SPCA (Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has been saving lives and raising awareness for our four-legged friends who are not always able to stand up for themselves. In 1884, the agency began under the leadership of Eliza Jane Poitevent Holbrook Nicholson, without a charter. That same year, a state law was passed against cruelty to animals. The law at the time was unenforceable since no organizations had been given authority. Four years later, the New Orleans City Council adopted the necessary ordinance and charters that the LA/SPCA needed.  Throughout the years, the agency has evolved to include education, veterinary care, advocacy and disaster preparedness, and it continues to extend its reach around the area.

Today the LA/SPCA continues to host pet adoption days, and is getting ready to celebrate its second anniversary at the state-of-the-art campus on the West Bank in Algiers.

This month, the LA/SPCA will host off-site adoption days on Feb. 14 at Jefferson Feed, Pet and Garden Center, and on Feb. 28 at Canine Connection.  Additionally, in the spirit of Carnival season, Haydel’s Bakery is donating a portion of their proceeds from the Bead Dog Merchandise and Bead Dog raffle to the shelter. Next month, the LA/SPCA will host its 27th annual Dog Day Afternoon on March 29 at City Park, says Lori Haeuser, who works in the community outreach department.

Information, 368-5191, www.la-spca.org.