Friday, July 24, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Agent Violet in Vintage Paris Purple

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Vintage Paris Purple © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Agent Violet in Vintage Paris Purple © Shell-Sherree}

As Agent Violet has discovered, trench coats have their uses but you can stow all manner of useful gizmos in the voluminous sleeves of a vintage coat like this one. 

The spotted cuffs and matching pillbox in today's illustration might seem too eye-catching ~ but don't be fooled.  Violet is well versed in the art of distraction so no doubt they serve a purpose for which we can only hazard a naive guess.  After all, in Paris, one never knows when one might need to secure a surreptitious stash of brandy-laced macarons that can weaken an adversary's defences after dark.

Shall we tail her and see where she leads us ?  Let's not dilly dally, though, as she knows how to slip into a chocolatier and vanish without a trace.  On y va.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you ! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fashion and Fluffballs : Have Ball-Pup, Will Play

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Have Ball-Pup, Will Play © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Have Ball-Pup, Will Play © Shell-Sherree}

In my teens, I had a tennis phase.  In hindsight, I suspect it was more about the look than the game.  Bless my mother and sister ~ we spent more time getting the giggles and chasing balls than returning serves, and usually at night under lights so we could avoid the sun.  But they valiantly rallied to indulge my sweatbanded addiction, secretly expecting it would only last a few weeks and turning out to be pretty much right. {I've since learned that pastries are the easiest way to manage my 'serial obsessive' phases.  Salted caramel scrolls are the current pastry du jour.  Their days are numbered.}

Anyhoo, something like today's fashion and fluffballs illustration would give me incentive to hit the court again ~ though I fear I'd tucker out just one Pomeranian ball-pup, so I shall arrange a team of pooches and a Pawty Pavilion for their recovery sessions. 

There's plenty of room in this tennis bag for a spare racquet and puppy treats.  Maybe even some miniature salted caramel scrolls.  For the rest of this month, at least.  Care to join me in rallying for 'tennis pinks' to be the norm ?  So much more universally flattering for the complexion.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashion and Fluffballs day to you !

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Wandering Not Lost in Paris

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Wandering Not Lost in Paris © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Wandering Not Lost in Paris © Shell-Sherree}

 Not all those who wander are lost. 

JRR Tolkien composed this line in the first book of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, but methinks he was dreaming of Paris at the time.

Funnily enough, this quote is commonly attributed to William Shakespeare but it seems Tolkien caused much confusion by prefacing his sentence with ''All that is gold does not glitter," which bears a striking resemblance to a line of Shakespeare. Perhaps there's some kind of poetic justice afoot by giving credit to Shakespeare for something Tolkien wrote.  Had Shakespeare been alive to see how closely Tolkien brushed against his own oft-quoted gem from The Merchant of Venice, it might have given him the fair Willies.

Anyhoo, today's illustration sees us wearing something that could be just as home in both pieces of literature, and certainly while taking a stroll in the city of light.  We shall seek out some caramel au fleur de sel macarons as our own form of golden currency and more four-legged fluffy companions to enchant us and tell us how fetching we are.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day : An Australian Frenchie in Paris

Paris illustration : An Australian Frenchie in Paris © Shell-Sherree
{Paris illustration : An Australian Frenchie in Paris © Shell-Sherree}

Happy Quatorze Juillet !  There's nothing like having one's illustration photobombed by a cheeky French Bulldog after labouring at the drawing board especially for Bastille Day. Sacre bleu and pass a profiterole !

I haven't the heart to chastise, as I think this poppet was merely endeavouring to snuffle closer to the macaron crumbs on my chin.  And possibly some remnants of a tarte framboise.  {What can I say ?  It was a long day ... And between you and me,  I've had far less appealing offers ...}

As capris and Bretons are more universally flattering than a sea of ruffles, let us opt for our Frenchie friend's classic Parisian wardrobe choice for our pâtisserie crawl.  I've issued a decree Chez Shell that anything made with butter has zero calories for the next 24 hours.  Let us make haste.  And on that note ...

Happy Bastille Day to you !

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Ruffled by a Sea of Ruffles

Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Ruffled by a Sea of Ruffles © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Ruffled by a Sea of Ruffles © Shell-Sherree}

Wearing ruffles can be so exhausting.   

And locating wardrobe space sufficiently expansive to house them ?  Where's my snifter of brandy ! 

We could be here a while assessing load-bearing walls.  Then there's the perplexing choice of wall colour. Duck Egg Blue is always de rigueur but I hear Peacock Egg Blue is fluffing up a storm this season ~ not to mention sparking parental equality debates.  Let's pull up a tufted ottoman with our little Frenchie friend before the smelling salts are required.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fanciful Friday {Or Is It?} : The Real Amelia Story

{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : The Real Amelia Story © Shell-Sherree}

Not quite this day in 1937 {let's pretend it's 2nd July ~ missed by 'that much'}, Amelia Earhart vanished.  The first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean was also instrumental in the formation of The Ninety- Nines ~ a organisation for female pilots ~ who are most likely politically-correctified to aviators nowadays, but to heck with it.  Just like our heroine and her companions, the word aviatrix is far too enchanting to ditch into the sea.

There are many theories as to what happened when Amelia disappeared.  Today's illustration gives you an inkling as to mine ~ and regardless of what scientific analysis might seem to validate in the course of time, I'll be paying no heed. 

In honour of a feisty and determined woman and her fluffy companions who have hitherto flown under the radar, let's raise our goggles and drink champagne cocktails in their honour.  {Hold the maraschino cherries.}  And on that note ...

Happy Fanciful Friday to you !


Friday, June 26, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Shall We Dance

Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Shall We Dance, Humbugs © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Shall We Dance, Humbugs © Shell-Sherree}

Hello, vague nod to Italian backdrop of uncertain precise location.  For some reason, I'm thinking Milan, but we can be anywhere you like.  Really.  As long as we have one pigeon, we're cooking with gas.  {No-one tell the pigeon, please.  Some things are too hard to explain.}

A single pigeon makes a fetching dance partner.  A flock ?  Not so much.  Kitty is here for crowd control purposes, lest I have a pigeonesque repeat of the Chook Feeding Incident of the summer of 1976 from which my sister and I are unlikely to ever fully recover.

If the idea of dancing brings out the 'bah humbug' in you, at least our black and white attire is colour coded to that particular boiled lolly.  Come to think of it, Eliza/Audrey might want to join us. Her hat can find a boyfriend. And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you ! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fairy Tails : Story Dogs Helping Children Read

{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Fairy Tales with Fluffy Tails © Shell-Sherree}

Puppy dogs helping children tell tales ?  Now, there's a tall story !  Except that it's not.  Cross my heart and hope to eat a carob TimTam.  

Story Dogs is an Australian organisation based on the American literacy programme Reading Education Assistance Dogs.  According to Story Dogs, "when children read to a dog, the outcomes are amazing!  ... The non-judgmental, loving nature of dogs gives this program its magic and helps children relax, open up, try harder and have fun reading to a friendly and calm dog."

As kitties are non-judgmental too and I'm one dog short of having a dog Chez Shell, perhaps Ella would like me to read War and Peace to her.  She might be a bit tougher an audience than a puppy, but if we stop for walkies breaks, we'll never get through it. 

If your pooch would like to help a young child find their reading paws or sponsor a Dog Team, you can get in touch with Story Dogs here.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Paris Poise and Vintage Vogue

Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Paris Poise and Vintage Vogue © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and Fluffballs illustration : Paris Poise and Vintage Vogue © Shell-Sherree}

Come on up. The view is lovely from here.  While Workplace Health and Safety might whip out their notebooks and bypass brow furrowing in favour of writing me up for a hefty fine, Chez Shell there's no such red tape.

But for the sake of prudence and an excuse to use the word alacrity, I'll err on their side of caution and position a round, plump, cherry-red mattress thingo on the footpath below.  Not that I plan on us needing it.  How inelegant.

Today's Paris fashion illustration is inspired by this vintage Vogue number from 1956.  It's kind of School Marm meets Victoria Holt Equestrian ~ a temporary departure from our usual ruffles as the degree of difficulty perching here was advanced enough without adding them into the mix. Petit fours will be delivered by carrier pigeons momentarily.  A recipe for disaster but I'm hoping they will rise to the occasion.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Friday, June 12, 2015

Fashionable Friday : My Fair Ladies

Fashion illustration : Eliza and Dover - My Fair Ladies © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion illustration : Eliza and Dover - My Fair Ladies © Shell-Sherree}

With Royal Ascot preparing to enter the mounting yard next week, today's fashion illustration honours a well-loved and long-retired but never-to-be-forgotten favourite.  The expression,"Rooster one day, feather duster the next," was certainly not made for Audrey Hepburn or Eliza Doolittle ~ even though some bemused men folk might wonder if the hat is a combination of both.  {They know not what they do.}

Not so long ago, I illustrated Audrey Hepburn in a different costume from the Royal Ascot scene in My Fair Lady.  It's lovely and all ~ but nothing can rival this breathtaking magnificence Cecil Beaton concocted especially for her ... somehow primly elegant and wildly extravagant all at once.  There's a rare gift in successfully combining both.

We feel we must apologise for inflicting hat hair on you yet again, and indeed, it is a requirement of Royal Ascot's official style guide that we do.  But we have arranged for distractional brandy in sterling silver hip flasks should one's hat come adrift at any point in proceedings.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Carry-On Your Valuables

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Have Carry-On, Fluffballs Will Travel © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : Have Carry-On, Fluffballs Will Travel © Shell-Sherree}

Travelling with everything you need in your carry-on luggage is light. Carefree. And oft much envied !

Wearing a classic black maillot during the day with jeans and a dash of Hermès jauntily knotted at one's neck sounds peachy.  For an elegant dinner, team it with a black pencil skirt, trade the scarf for a statement necklace and you're guaranteed to use every piece of cutlery correctly before a modestly-partial disrobe and champagne-fuelled moonlight dip. Master the art of tying your Hermès as a bandeau, a belt and a halter-neck. Add in a white shirt and several strings of faux pearls long enough to wrap around your waist, and you can see out a week without wearing the same thing twice !

Of course, if you take your most valuable thing with you ~ something along the lines of today's illustration ~ this elegant theory is completely blown out of the water and relegated to a suitcase ~ in which case, you might as well opt for excess baggage, boots and all.  So let us find a fleet of gold-plated trolleys and be on our way.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fashionable Friday : Faux Fur and Feathers Flying

Fashion and fluffballs illustration : The Two Muskateers © Shell-Sherree
{Fashion and fluffballs illustration : The Two Muskateers © Shell-Sherree}

My kingdom for a horse !  And a third muskateer.  And why stop there, I ask?  Frankly, I've always thought it a tad harsh that d'Artagnan wasn't fast-tracked for his entreé as a muskateer, given he quite clearly possessed the required sense of derring-do. He even came up with, "All for one, one for all !"  That alone should have earned him a robust clinking of rapiers and more feathers in his cap.  If Athos, Porthos and Aramis spent less time having drinking games and more time not having drinking games, maybe the thought would have occurred to them.

As for our wardrobe for the weekend and as you would expect Chez Shell, all of my illustrations clearly show Faux Fur on the label.  Someday, I hope all garments bearing any such resemblances will show the same.  So come, let us find those horses and make haste under the cover of darkness.  Follow the trail of champagne buckets.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashionable Friday to you !